FAQ

Do you have a dress code?
Caffè Lena seats 110 in a relaxed, intimate setting. Our atmosphere is casual and neighborly. Expect to share a table with other visitors. During the concert the performer receives the audience’s undivided attention. It’s this rare combination of informality and deep respect for the music that makes Caffè Lena stand out among other entertainment options.
How do I make reservations?

You can purchase tickets for shows through our events page or by calling our toll free ticket line 24/7 at 1-800-838-3006. We do not operate an on-site box office. If you are using a complimentary member pass, a gift certificate or Local Living Guide coupon, you may make your reservation by calling our business office 12-5PM Monday through Friday at 518-583-0022. If you do not wish to use our online or call-in ticketing you may mail a check at least one week ahead (note the show name and date on your check) to Caffe Lena, PO Box 245, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

When should I make a reservation?

We encourage you to buy your tickets as soon as you find out about the concert, even weeks in advance. Advance tickets are sold until two hours before showtime. Any remaining tickets will be sold at the door on a first-come, first-served basis for an extra $2. We announce sold out shows on our website & at Brown Paper Tickets (1-800-838-3006), so check ahead to avoid disappointment. If the show is not marked Sold Out two hours ahead of showtime, there will be some tickets available when doors open a 1/2 hour before showtime.

How do I watch your live stream?

While our first choice is to have you here in person, we are delighted to provide access to our shows from anywhere in the world at ConcertWindow.com/CaffeLena. You can pay per event, or subscribe to ConcertWindow for $7 / month and watch unlimited content from venues across the country. You are encouraged to engage in the live chat while you watch, and use the “tip” button to support the performer and our non-profit venue. Tips are shared equally between ConcertWindow, Caffe Lena, and the performer.

How do I find you?

See our Directions page. We’re located on the second floor at 47 Phila Street, Saratoga Springs, NY. Enter through the courtyard between Solevo Kitchen restaurant and Sweet Mimi’s Cafe. An elevator is available just beyond the staircase on the first floor.

is the venue wheelchair accessible?

Our venue is fully handicapped accessible for audience and performers.  If you will be using a mobility assistance device and would like to ensure aisle seating, please call our business office (518-583-0022) at least three hours before showtime so we can reserve your spot. If you are planning to play at open mic and need a wheelchair lift to get on stage, please notify us a day ahead so we can have our portable lift in place.

When are you open?

Caffè Lena is open in the evenings for a wide variety of performances, jams, open mics and more (see our performance schedule for complete listings). We do not have public hours during the day, but the business office can be reached between Noon and 5 PM, Monday through Friday, at 518-583-0022.

Are children allowed?

We encourage you to bring your children IF they are able to remain quiet and seated throughout the performance. Advance tickets to all concerts are half price for students and children.  Our Student Rush Program allows students with ID to buy remaining tickets at showtime for $5. Our Stewart’s Little Folks Series offers free matinees for children and their families.

Most shows are appropriate for all ages. If you have questions about the suitability of a particular show, please write to sales@caffelena.org.

What's on the menu?

Please see our menu. Refreshments include our own signature blend of organic coffee, teas, specialty iced drinks, wine, regional craft beer and hard cider, homestyle desserts baked on the premises, and savory fare appropriate for a light dinner or sharing. We regularly offer gluten-free and vegan options. Food and drink orders are taken before the show and during intermission only, so please arrive early if you’d like to order before the concert starts. Late-arrivals will have to wait until intermission for service so as to preserve the listening experience for everyone.

Can you recommend any hotels or restaurants?

For nearly two centuries Saratoga Springs has been a popular year ’round tourist destination. We have an abundance of hotels and restaurants. Our local Chamber of Commerce offers a comprehensive directory for visitors. If you are coming in late July or during August, be aware that our world-famous horse racing track will be open and you will need to plan well in advance to secure in-town accommodations.

Our favorite places to stay overnight:

For a fabulous Victorian Saratoga experience try the Union Gables and mention Caffè Lena to get their corporate discount rate.

The Brentwood, located just steps from the Saratoga Race Cource, has twelve sunny rooms, beautiful grounds, and a perfect little six-seat pub on site.

Our favorite neighborhood restaurants are:

Sushi Thai Garden – Japanese and Thai cuisine right across the street from Caffè Lena. Many options for vegan and gluten-free diners. Call 518-580-0900 for reservations.

Hattie’s – A Saratoga landmark located on the first floor of our building. Hattie’s has offered Southern and Louisiana-style cooking since 1938. Call 518-584-4790 for reservations.

Solevo Kitchen & Social Club – Facing onto our courtyard, Solevo serves old world Italian cuisine in a festive, retro 1950s atmosphere. 

Is Caffè Lena really the longest-running coffeehouse in the country?

Yes! Lena and Bill Spencer first opened their doors in May, 1960. Neither one had ever done anything like this before, but they picked Saratoga Springs as a good place to open a cafe and make enough money to travel to Europe and pursue their art. Bill was a sculptor and Lena was an actress.
Bill left in 1962, and Lena went on to create a legend. Her remarkable roster of artists included Skip James, Mississippi John Hurt, Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, Arlo Guthrie, Don McLean, Nanci Griffith, Dave Van Ronk, Odetta, Rev. Gary Davis, Utah Phillips, David Bromberg, John Hartford, Bucky Pizzarelli, Joe Venuti, and hundreds upon hundreds of others. Check out this (nearly) complete list of our shows dating all the back to opening night. You can find un-retouched archival photos and early recordings at www.history.caffelena.org.

How can I support Caffè Lena?

Thanks for asking! Visit our Support page to learn about ways you can help Caffe Lena carry on its mission. 

Are there discounts for students and seniors?

We do not currently offer a discount to seniors, but we do offer Free admission to students for Monday Open Mic & all mid-week open mics and jams. For headline concerts we offer $5 Student Rush seats to full-time students for $5 starting at show time. You must present a valid student ID to receive this discount, or be high school age or younger.