Though it turned 75 years old in 2010, The Village Vanguard still has the youngest spirit of any of the jazz clubs in town, consistently featuring the best of the new talents and cutting-edge jazz. It also looks the most like a jazz club should look, to my mind. You enter a red door and descend a steep staircase to a battered, triangular room, cluttered with posters and pictures of all the greats who played and recorded albums here (Mingus, Davis, Monk, Marsalis). The club has also showcased folkies such as Pete Seeger and Harry Belafonte over the years, but today it’s strictly jazz and its prices are among the most reasonable: a $25 cover weeknights, $30 on weekends, plus one drink. One warning: The sightlines can be problematic, so reserve ahead online to nab a front table.
- Pauline Frommer