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“What a jewel this Caffe is.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Caffe Lena

Caffe Lena
47 Phila St., Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
518-583-0022
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Type: Bar/ Clubs, Bars
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Attraction details
Owner description: Dating back to 1960, this now smoke- and drink-free coffeehouse, internationally known for its acoustic music, has been graced by notables like Bob Dylan and Arlo Guthrie in the early years and recently by annual regulars like Odetta and Dave Van Ronk. This popular spot features folk, blues, traditional and jazz music, as well as storytelling, poetry and theater.
Troy, New York
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“What a jewel this Caffe is.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2013

Caffe Lena is the oldest continuously running coffee shop in the U.S. What a historic and fabulous spot to sit with friends and listen to awesome bands. The venue is so personal, you feel like they've put the whole show on just for you. Caffe Lena is a must for anyone visiting Saratoga Springs. They also have (a limited amount) of great food. Don't forget to tip, the waitresses/waiters and cooks are all volunteers as Caffe Lena is a non-profit organization. HUGE names have played there. Go there and you'll feel like they've set up a jam session just for you.

Visited June 2013
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19 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Burlington, Vermont
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Fantastic place to hear music”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2013

OMG, what a find. Going here to hear music is like being in your living room and having someone play for you. Very intimate place, and the history? You can almost feel the spirits of the performers from the past. The place has amazing energy. Do yourself a favor and check out the web site, read about it, then go there to hear some music. You won't be sorry.

Visited April 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Germany
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
22 attraction reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Great music venue with its own history”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

From their website: " “Educate your audiences to expect the best in musical talent, familiar or unfamiliar, and always be governed by the dictates of good taste.” – Lena Spencer

Caffè Lena is widely recognized as the oldest continuously operating coffeehouse in the United States. It is an internationally renowned cultural center and an American treasure. Opened in 1960, the café has helped to launch many of America’s best loved songwriters, including Bob Dylan, Arlo Guthrie, Ani DiFranco and many more."

I was there in January 2013 and saw Steve Gillete and Cindy Mangsen perform. I had booked a table with a request to be close to the stage to be able to watch them play from a close range. We actually sat right in front of them on an arm's length distance. Yet, it wouldn't have mattered really where we sat because the upstairs venue only has 20 tables anyway which gives the room a cozy and intimate feeling. Thanks to Steve and Cindy we felt among friends.
The food and beverage service is simple but good. You can get some snacks, warm and cold, and beverages too. They are planning on making it accessible to wheelchairs too.
As a folk music lover this is the place to go . Check out their website for upcoming events. It's worth it.

Visited January 2013
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Niskayuna, New York
Top Contributor
95 reviews 95 reviews
35 attraction reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Fine music and great atmosphere”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2012

Caffe Lena is a wonderfully classic, second floor coffeehouse celebrating fifty years of music. Folksinger/songwriters Pete Seeger and Bob Dylan have played there as well as up and coming emerging acoustical groups like Everest Rising. Service at Caffe Lena's is volunteer and the menu offers teas/coffees/simple snacks-all are tasty and fairly priced. The atmosphere is cozy and intimate, allowing for good viewing and listening pleasure. Make sure to call before going-seats fill up quickly.

Visited August 2012
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Schenectady, New York
Top Contributor
184 reviews 184 reviews
29 attraction reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
“It's the place to go for real entertainment in Saratoga”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2012

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE LIVE MUSIC.

It's a small L shaped room, that seats 75ish. Good, better and great music at a low to inexpensive cost. Nice coffee+ nice people + volunteer staff= terrible service.

It's a coffee house. I have to bring my own napkins and spoons. Can't seem to get the volunteers to bring them.

Is is worth it? Yeah, it is!.

I need to adjust my expectations to the price. That's all.

Visited August 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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