The Beehive: This “sexy” “bohemian” South End club/funky art house is lauded for its eclectic nightly music - jazz, R&B, electronica, reggae, Latin - as well as its creative American fare; brunch is also a winner (617-423-0069).
The Burren: If you’re looking for the taste of the Irish, it’s here at this Somerville pub that not only serves the appropriate food, but a good dose of traditional Irish music seven nights a week, including an open mic night (Tuesdays) if you dare (617-776-6896).
Darryl’s Corner Bar & Kitchen: This stalwart neighborhood haunt in the South End remains a popular hot spot not only for its Southern-accented fare, but for the cool jazz most nights, occasional reggae and hopping Sunday jazz buffet brunches (617-536-1100).
House of Blues: Feeling a bit like some Marilyn Manson or a taste of Brit star Ellie Goulding? Then this Fenway venue is your go-to spot for the music and a bite, though the traditional American resto only opens for nights of shows and Red Sox home games (888-693-2583).
The Middle East: Local indies love this Middle Eastern dive in Central Square that developed a loyal following for its gigs as well as food that's great for a pre-show or late-night bite (617-492-9181).
The Sinclair: The latest darling on the scene is this rough-and-ready music hall in the heart of Harvard Square that spotlights national indie bands and has the rugged no-seat setup for close-to-the-stage dancing action the way the oldies (The Rat, Paradise) used to. The adjacent American restaurant gets cred from Michael Schlow, and the mostly communal dining room is open even when the music hall is not (617-547-5200).