It’s the rhythm that grabs you. A tantalizing salsa beat that moves the feet and stirs the soul. Frenetic samba drums and shaking percussion meet ripping guitar and soulful vocals to create a truly unique musical experience. Latin music can be as spicy and exotic as the food and culture which fuels it, and Boston knows where to find it for a good time. Here are five places to uncover live Latin music where the beat is as hot, hot hot as the feijoada or the asado.

Photo Credit: Mojitos Lounge via Facebook

Mojitos Lounge
48 Winter St.
Boston MA  02108
(617) 817-2533

Hours: Thurs – 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., Fri to Sat – 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Open weekends for both public and private events, Mojitos Lounge is an upscale destination located in Boston’s historic downtown district. Only a short walk from Newbury Street and Boston Common, Mojitos provides an impressive level of ambiance and atmosphere for that special date or a night out on the town with close friends. The club area features a massive wall mural depicting Latin musical legends Celia Cruz and Tito Puente, while the lounge area indulges in a Brazilian oak floor decor with copious Latin art pieces lining the walls. Featuring both live Latin music and resident/visiting DJ sets, Mojitos prides itself on a hip, energetic representation of Latin culture for the distinguished party-goer. Just remember to adhere to their dress code by foregoing athletic gear like baseball caps, jerseys or sneakers.

Related: Boston’s Best Margaritas

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Ryles Jazz Club
212 Hampshire St.
Cambridge, MA  02139
(617) 876-9330

Hours: Varies by show, See calendar of events

Priding itself on offering “the best in live music,” the venerable Ryles Jazz Club has been a Cambridge institution since 1919, owned and operated by the Mitchell and Wheeler families. It’s the second floor Ryles Dance Hall that should appeal most to Latin music lovers, however, as this is the place where salsa, merengue and swing music come to town for a proper shake ‘n sweat fiesta. Of particular note to dance-hounds should be Ryles’ Salsa Sunday and Noche Latina Tuesday events, where both experienced Latin Music diehards and newbies alike can indulge in salsa classes and dancing for an affordable $10 cover. Combine these specials with Ryles’ established dining and catering business, and you have a win-win situation for the adventurous Latin music lover.


An Tua Nua
835 Beacon St.
Boston, MA  02215
(617) 262-2121

Hours: Mon to Wed – 5 p.m. to 1 a.m., Thurs to Fri – 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., Sat to Sun – 12 p.m. to 2 a.m.

An Tua Nua is a humble, Irish-themed bar located on Beacon Street in the Fenway Park and Boston University districts, a short walk from Kenmore Square. Many might think: “Latin music at an Irish bar?” It may sound strange, but don’t be afraid. An Tua Nua may be your quaint, neighborhood pub, but it also has big aspirations for serving the greater Boston community via a diverse and unique array of themed nights. One of these special themes goes under the title Risque, with Wednesday night bachata and salsa classes with DJs Hernan, D. Martinez and Antonio Ortiz for the uninitiated from 8:30pm to 10 p.m. After 10, it’s all dance until the wee hours of 1 a.m. Not bad for a bar whose other theme nights include Geeks Who Drink and Ceremony: Gothic and Industrial night, right?

Related: Boston Music Scene Spotter: Interview with Boy Without God

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Enigma Salsa Fridays @ Fire + Ice
50 Church St.
Cambridge, MA  02138
(617) 547-9007

Hours: Salsa/Merengue lessons @ 9:30 pm; social dancing until 2am.

Located within an exclusive club room inside Cambridge’s Fire + Ice Restaurant, Enigma Salsa Fridays has proven to be one of the hottest destinations for live Latin fans seeking to dance their troubles away, late into the evening. High energy lighting and blaring loud speakers are positioned carefully around an air conditioned room, while DJs D. Martinez, DJ Saoko, DJ Hernan and more play the sweatiest, sexiest Latin fare. While the Enigma cover starts at $12 and rises to $15 during any live music nights, the inclusion of two bars, optional salsa/merengue lessons and an open kitchen make Enigma Salsa Fridays a go-to for couples and singles alike.

Photo Credit: Underbar via Facebook

275 Tremont St.
Boston, MA  02116
(617) 292-0080

Hours: Varies by show, See calendar of events

Although relatively new to the Latin music scene, Boston’s Underbar prides itself on providing only the most chic and cutting edge entertainment for the more modern, jet set dance fans looking to shake it to the hottest Latin house music around town. Featuring a revolving door of resident and guest DJs from both Boston and New York City, Flavor Fridays at the Underbar seeks to appeal to the young and hip Latin music fan who dresses to impress on a daily basis. Having only been open since 2005, the Underbar nevertheless revels in sleek, sophisticated oeuvre where fashion, music and the hottest night life all gather together for one good time.

George Pacheco has been writing professionally about arts and entertainment for over a decade. A graduate of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, George currently resides in a humble New England home with his wife, cat and massive music and film collection. His work can be found at