Boston's Top 6 Jukebox Joints

Playing DJ on the jukebox in your favorite Boston bar never gets old (even if it seems like a dusty old dinosaur compared to an iPod). Besides, it's a treat to pop in a quarter or two and wig out to your favorite guilty pleasure. You probably won't miss these old-school music machines until they're gone, so don't take any chances: Put on your dance pants and support your local jukebox joint.

Updated: October 21, 2009

Jonesing for a Jukebox

Charlie's Kitchen

10 Eliot St, Cambridge, MA 02138

Charlie's is one of Harvard Square's favorite dive-y rock hangouts, but its jukebox (located on the second floor) has a playlist to suit many tastes. Heavier rock and punk tracks usually play on busier evenings, but alongside The Sex Pistols you'll hear Neutral Milk Hotel, Al Green and Marvin Gaye--courtesy of the smoochy couples and would-be smoochers eyeing each other up at the bar.

Highland Kitchen

150 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA 02143

This neighborhood gastropub with a Southern tilt has one of the most eclectic and rootsy selections in town. The jukebox library ranges from classic soul to classic country, with a smattering of surf, indie rock and classic punk thrown in. Diners and drinkers can be found tapping toes to the man in black (Johnny Cash) one minute and then grooving to the beat pop of Guided by Voices the next.

J J Foleys Bar & Grill

21 Kingston St, Boston, MA 02111

This perennial watering hole for students and Downtown Crossing workers has an internet jukebox, which means the musical world is the barfly's oyster. The most popular song on any given night is The Clash's ?London Calling,? but on a weekend, expect plenty of shenanigans from The Pogues. Patrons are welcome to play any song as long as it's not offensive; profanity-laden cuts get axed swiftly.


40 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA 02138

Yes, indeed, you can press play on ?As Time Goes By,? the famous song from the movie that this iconic Harvard Square nightlife destination is named after. The jukebox mostly houses vinyl 45s (with a few CDs) and older jazz songs, keeping with the bar's retro atmosphere. Look further to find the selection ranges from classic rock and pop (Rolling Stones, U2) to familiar soul standards like Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin--you may even be able to queue up an `80s new wave hit or two.

Boston Sail Loft Restaurant

80 Atlantic Ave, Boston, MA 02110

A good ol? internet jukebox provides customers with thousands of choices at this North End waterfront hot spot. What do customers choose most to accompany their views over the harbor? Journey's ?Don't Stop Believin?." (Are you surprised? Neither are we.) In addition to classic rock, country music (particularly Kenny Chesney's breezy songs) and `80s pop (heavy on the Michael Jackson) add a little diversity. But you best get a lighter ready to hold aloft for the reigning soft-rock kings.

Middle East & Zuzu

472 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139

Musically, the humble resident jukebox has some stiff competition at ZuZu. After all, some of the hottest DJs in town spin eclectic and exotic dance cuts and all sorts of cool tunes in this space. But before the mix masters and bands kick in at 10pm, this Mediterranean-centric lounge in Central Square buzzes with new wave, punk and indie rock courtesy of a well-thumbed jukebox. Best of all? There's no charge! Now that really rocks.