The 9 Best Jazz Bars in Toronto [2024]

Best Jazz Bars in Toronto

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Toronto, the vibrant and culturally rich city that it is, has a thriving jazz scene that resonates with music enthusiasts from all walks of life. Whether you’re a devoted jazz aficionado or simply seeking a soulful night out, the city offers an array of jazz bars that set the stage for unforgettable musical experiences!

Summary

What to Expect at a Toronto Jazz Bar?

Most jazz bars in Toronto offer live music seven nights a week, with early shows and late-night sets to accommodate different schedules. Many also have a food menu, so you can enjoy a meal while you listen to the music.

The dress code at most jazz bars is casual, although some of the more upscale establishments may have a dress code that is slightly more formal.

The music at Toronto jazz bars ranges from traditional Jazz to more modern styles, and there is usually something for everyone. If you’re not sure what you’re in the mood for, ask the staff for recommendations.

The Best Jazz Bars in Toronto

Now that you know what to expect, here are our picks for the best Jazz Bars in Toronto.

1. The Rex Hotel Jazz & Blues Bar

Neighbourhood: Queen Street West
Price Range: $ – $$
Shop here for: A legendary Toronto jazz experience with live performances every night.

The Rex Hotel Jazz & Blues Bar, a longstanding fixture on Queen Street West, is revered for its unwavering dedication to the jazz genre, hosting live performances seven days a week. With a casual vibe that welcomes all, from jazz aficionados to curious newcomers, The Rex offers a truly authentic atmosphere, coupled with an extensive beer selection and homestyle meals, making it a cornerstone of Toronto’s music scene.

Business Information:

194 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1Z1
+14165982475
therex.ca

Customer Review Highlight:

“Great place for live music, and amazing seats to view the band as well. Food servings were surprisingly filling and staff were amazing. Can’t go wrong coming here for a good time.”

Pros

Cons

2. The Reservoir Lounge

Neighbourhood: Downtown
Price Range: $$ – $$$
Shop here for: Swinging big band sounds and lively swing dancing in a subterranean hideaway.

Tucked away in downtown Toronto, The Reservoir Lounge offers patrons a toe-tapping, swing-dancing escape from the everyday. Known for launching the career of Michael Bublé and hosting other big names in jazz, this venue pulses with energy, featuring nightly performances that invite you to dance the evening away in an intimate, speakeasy-style setting.

Business Information:

52 Wellington St E, Toronto, ON M5E 1C7
+14169550887
reservoirlounge.com

Customer Review Highlight:

“A true Toronto gem. Easily the best jazz bar in town. What a true jazz bar is meant to be, intimate, unpretentious, all about the music. Still one of my favourites hangs and one of the nest spots in town for live performances. Get the sliders when you're there, they are heavenly!!”

Pros

Cons

3. Jazz Bistro

Neighbourhood: Downtown
Price Range: $$$ – $$$$
Shop here for: An upscale dining experience paired with world-class jazz performances.

Jazz Bistro stands out as a beacon of sophistication in Toronto’s music scene, offering a refined menu to complement its world-class jazz performances. This three-story venue features a stunning red grand piano, rooftop patio, and elegant décor, making every visit a special occasion. It’s the place to enjoy impeccable sound quality and an intimate performance in a luxurious setting.

Business Information:

251 Victoria St, Toronto, ON M5B 1T8
+14163635299
jazzbistro.ca

Customer Review Highlight:

“Classy dark upscale ambiance. My date and I are young, but we like to do fancy nights from time to time. There were other well-dressed 20s-30s, along with lots of 50+. Due to the very nature of this style of jazz club, the crowd is friendly and the vibe is lovely.”

Pros

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4. The Emmet Ray

Neighbourhood: College Street
Price Range: $ – $$
Shop here for: Eclectic jazz performances paired with an impressive selection of whiskies.

The Emmet Ray is a whisky bar that marries its passion for spirits with a love for eclectic jazz music. Offering a laid-back atmosphere with performances from emerging and established musicians, this College Street venue is perfect for those looking to enjoy a night of smooth tunes and even smoother drinks, all within a cosy wood-lined interior.

Business Information:

924 College St, Toronto, ON M6H 1A4
theemmetray.com
+14167924497

Customer Review Highlight:

“Great music and atmosphere! Drinks were great, and food was exactly as expected, definitely a step up from pub food. I had the absolute pleasure of seeing the Julia D’ascanio Sextet and they blew me and everyone else in the room away. Such a great spot for live music. Staff was super friendly and charming!”

Pros

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5. Grossman’s Tavern

Neighbourhood: Spadina Avenue
Price Range: $ – $$
Shop here for: No-frills blues and jazz in one of Toronto’s oldest music venues.

Grossman’s Tavern, an institution on Spadina Avenue, has been keeping the spirit of blues and jazz alive in Toronto for decades. Known for its unpretentious atmosphere and weekly jam sessions, Grossman’s is a place where musicians of all levels share the stage, offering a genuine and raw music experience reminiscent of the genre’s roots.

Business Information:

377 Spadina Ave., Toronto, ON M5T 2G3
+14169777000
grossmanstavern.com

Customer Review Highlight:

“I had a wonderful time at Grossman's having some drinks on the patio and then taking in an ultra lively live performance in the main room. Saturday's from 4-6 the air is filled with spicy Dixieland jazz and the dance floor is a poppin!!”

Pros

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6. The Home Smith Bar

Neighbourhood: Etobicoke
Price Range: $$ – $$$
Shop here for: Cosy jazz nights in a sophisticated bar setting at the historic Old Mill Toronto.

Nestled within the charming Old Mill Toronto, The Home Smith Bar offers a serene escape with its lush, sophisticated setting perfect for enjoying smooth jazz. This venue promises a refined evening out, where the intimacy of the performance space guarantees an up-close and personal experience with some of the city’s best jazz talent.

Business Information:

9 Old Mill Rd, Etobicoke, ON M8X 1G5
+14162323718
oldmilltorontohotel.com

Customer Review Highlight:

“Favourite Jazz spot in the city. Amazing food, great music and No Cover! How can you go wrong?”

Pros

Cons

7. Poetry Jazz Cafe

Neighbourhood: Kensington Market
Price Range: $ – $$
Shop here for: Avant-garde jazz in a vibrant cultural hub, blending spoken word and music.

Poetry Jazz Café in Kensington Market is the quintessential spot for those seeking an avant-garde twist to the usual jazz scene. This intimate venue is a melting pot of creative expression, hosting nights where poetry and jazz intertwine, offering a unique auditory and sensory experience in one of Toronto’s most eclectic neighbourhoods.

Business Information:

1078 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1H8
poetryjazzcafe.com
+14165995299

Customer Review Highlight:

“The definition of the perfect hole in the wall. You don't need to love jazz, or be a poet to enjoy this place. The atmosphere is so cozy and the staff are extremely caring. Go for one of the live shows in the night! PS. Great place for date night"

Pros

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8. Bluebird Bar

Neighbourhood: Little Italy
Price Range: $$ – $$$
Shop here for: Contemporary jazz in a modern cocktail bar with a laid-back vibe.

Bluebird Bar is a relative newcomer to Toronto’s jazz scene but has quickly made a name for itself with its contemporary approach to jazz music and a stylish, modern cocktail bar setting. Located in the heart of Little Italy, it provides a laid-back atmosphere where guests can enjoy innovative cocktails while soaking in the sounds of modern and classic jazz performances.

Business Information:

2072 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6R 1W9
bluebirdbarto.com
+14165350777

Customer Review Highlight:

“The Bluebird is friendly, comfortable and fun. The food is delicious and the staff are so welcoming. Great little board games corner. I heard they're getting live music soon too. The back patio is lovely on a warm evening!”

Pros

Cons

9. Mandy's Bistro

Neighbourhood: The Danforth
Price Range: $ – $$
Shop here for: An intimate family-run venue offering a mix of jazz, blues, and folk in a cosy setting.

Mandy’s Bistro on The Danforth is where cosy vibes, great food, and an eclectic mix of music meet. This family-run venue might be small in size but is big in heart, providing a platform for local musicians to showcase their talent in genres ranging from jazz and blues to folk, all within a warm, inviting atmosphere reminiscent of a gathering at a friend’s home.

Business Information:

123 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K 1N2
(416) 519-4461

Customer Review Highlight:

“Excellent establishment, recently attended a private party there that was absolutely a blast. Newly renovated space that was great for the evening.”

Pros

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FAQs About Toronto Jazz Bars

No, there is no cover charge to enter most Jazz bars. However, some may suggest a donation be made at the door to support the live music.
The best days of the week to go to a Jazz bar are typically Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. However, many Jazz bars also offer live music on Sundays.
There is no strict dress code at most Jazz bars, but it is generally advised to dress smart casual.
You can expect to hear a wide variety of Jazz music at most bars, from traditional Jazz to more modern styles. There may also be live music of other genres playing, depending on the bar.

Final Thoughts

Jazz bars are the perfect places to unwind after a long day, enjoy some great live music, and sample some delicious food and drinks. Whether you’re a Jazz aficionado or simply looking for a unique evening out, the city’s Jazz bars are sure to exceed your expectations.

So what are you waiting for? Go out and explore the city’s Jazz scene!

And if you like this article, consider checking out our top picks on:

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The Best Cocktail Bars in Toronto
The Best Sports Bars In Toronto
The Best Live Music Venues in Toronto

Malaak Hamadeh

Malaak Hamadeh

Meet Malaak Hamadeh, a Middle Eastern resident of Toronto with a passion for writing! Learn More About Malaak Hamadeh

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