Eschew a quiet evening in your hotel room and venture out after dinner. Indianapolis boasts a happening live music scene, and these five clubs top the list of where to hear it.
The Jazz Kitchen
Catch dinner and a show at this Broad Ripple hot spot that serves up Cajun, Creole and Latin-inspired food with a side of smooth live jazz. Performers at Jazz Kitchen range from national headliners like Jane Monheit and Buckwheat Zydeco to local acts like big band Indianapolis Jazz Orchestra.
5377 N. College Ave., Indianapolis, 317.253.4900
Acoustic, rock, country, country rock, rock with strings, techno funk: All among the sounds you'll hear at Mass Ave's legendary Bavarian beer hall. In The Rathskeller's Kellerbar, grab an import on tap and the brat n' kraut balls while you listen.
401 East Michigan St., Indianapolis, 317.636.0396
Slippery Noodle Inn
First opened in 1850, the historic Slippery Noodle Inn has always been a bar, but didn’t start hosting live roots and rock-inspired blues music until about 50 years ago. Loads of famous performers have graced its stage, from Lonnie Mack to The Nighthawks, and today catch a show every night for a $5 cover or less.
372 S. Meridian St., Indianapolis, 317.631.6974
Chatterbox Jazz Club
Down in the Mass Ave arts district, the Chatterbox celebrates Indy’s rising jazz stars. Jam sessions range from classic to contemporary, and musicians play on saxophone, percussion and trumpet. Menu here is limited, but the bar is stocked—you can even carry out wine to-go.
435 Massachusetts Ave., Indianapolis, 317.636.0584
Rock and roll is king at this grizzled joint plastered with band posters, neon beer signs and dangling holiday lights. Birdy's serves up great live music every night from a range of local, regional and national talent. Hungry listeners will have to settle for bar bites, but try the battered corn nuggets.
2131 East 71st St., Indianapolis, 317.254.8971