The 5 best bars for jazz and blues in Ghent

1) Missy Sippy

This new hot spot brings blues singers and jazz bands to an ancient building in the heart of Ghent. The owners aim to keep the joint jumping with a busy programme of concerts, DJ sets, dance nights and the occasional poetry reading.

ceiling Missy Sippy

Klein Turkije 16

2) Hot Club Gent

It is easy to miss this little jazz club hidden down a dark alley opposite the old meat hall. Founded in 2005, it takes its name from the famous Hot Club de France in Paris. The bar is quiet in the afternoon but turns hot in the evenings when students and music fans squeeze down the narrow passage. The programme features flamenco, folk and blues as well as straight jazz. The little walled courtyard adds to the charm of this place.

entrance in alley to Hot Club Gent

Schuddevisstraatje 2 (off Groentenmarkt 15-B)

+32 (0)9 256 71 99

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3) Minor Swing

This small bar with a piano squeezed inside is a popular late night spot. Local actors, musicians and students pile in here to catch a jazz concert or drink one last beer before heading back home. A few tables are put out on the pavement in the summer to catch the afternoon sun.

front side of Minor Swing

Ottogracht 56

+32 (0)494 90 64 83

4) Manteca

Not many people know about this hidden cocktail bar located in an old building from 1673. The curtains are closed during the day, but someone stirs to open up the place around 4 pm. The barman serves very good cocktails that are not too pricey.

interior of bar Manteca

Cataloniëstraat 2

5) Hotsy Totsy Club

This classic jazz bar has been around since 1973. Created by Johan and Guido Claus (brothers of the more famous Hugo), it was modelled on Al Capone’s Hotsy Totsy Club in Chicago. Initially a private club for artists and writers, this was where Hugo Claus launched his novel The Sorrow of Belgium in 1983. A poem by Claus in praise of the cafe can be read on an outside wall. The three brothers are all dead now, but this is still a unique jazz club where you can listen to blues or poetry deep into the night.

counter at Hotsy Totsy bar Ghent

Hoogstraat 1

+32 (0)9 224 20 12

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