We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“It's the place to go for real entertainment in Saratoga”
Review of Caffe Lena

Caffe Lena
More attraction details
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.
Schenectady, New York
Level Contributor
183 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“It's the place to go for real entertainment in Saratoga”
Reviewed September 19, 2012


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
Thank Upperny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

30 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Scotia, NY
Level Contributor
106 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
“Oldest continously running coffee house in the US.”
Reviewed September 15, 2012

I've been attending shows since I was a graduate student in the late 70's, my wife and I went here on one of our first dates, we then took our two sons and the music and atmosphere never fail to please. Whenever I attend I see all ages present. Bob Dylan performed here before hardly anyone knew who he was and two years ago at the 50th anniversary, Arlo Guthrie and Robin and Linda Williams performed offsite at Skidmore College and shared loving memories of the late Lena Spencer. Saratoga Springs is still a great town despite all the development some of which has detracted from its charm. Cafe Lena continues to be a dependable oasis and may it always be here for each new generation.

Visited August 2012
Thank ScotiaCantor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albany, New York
Level Contributor
101 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Woody Guthrie revue Superb”
Reviewed July 15, 2012

Friday's (7/13/12) Woody Guthrie review by Eck was just fine. The Caffe itself is upstairs and very homey and welcoming. It's small, so seating anywhere gives you a great view of the stage. Waiters are volunteer and do a great job of serving various teas, coffees, desserts and veggie fare. A thoroughly nice evening out.

Visited July 2012
Thank UsuallyEasyTPlease
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mechanicville, New York
Level Contributor
40 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“A unique and intimate experience”
Reviewed January 22, 2012

Compared to the coffee houses of the '60's, the Lena retains some of the crowded, small table ambiance, but is now populated with a much older crowd (perhaps seeking nostalgia) than the original would have displayed. For economic reasons it seems to have become too "show-driven", and not a place to drop-in, maybe hear some music, drop-out, and have some not so memorable food or beverage. All that said, it is dam nice to have it around, and add some well-worn street-cred to the dynamic music and arts scene of wonderful Saratoga Springs.

Visited December 2011
Thank mcvilleme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Caffe Lena also viewed

Saratoga Springs, NY
Saratoga Springs, NY

Been to Caffe Lena? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing