Nuyorican Poets Cafe

Theater, Performing arts space East Village
  • 5 out of 5 stars
(3user reviews)
13 Love It
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This 30-year-old community arts center, deep in the heart of the East Village, is known for its long history of raucous poetry slams, jam sessions and anything-goes open mikes.


Venue name: Nuyorican Poets Cafe
Address: 236 E 3rd St
New York

Cross street: between Aves B and C
Opening hours: Tue–Sun 7pm–1am
Transport: Subway: F to Lower East Side–Second Ave
Price: Cover: $7–$15. Average drink: $3. Cash only
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Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
1 person listening
Adam V

An institution of the east village, there are always events here that range so dramatically - but any reason to come here is almost always a welcome chance to enjoy yourself. The place is actually kind of small, so do what you need to - buy tickets in advance, come early, wait in line, or resign yourself to standing near the door, the bar (which offers a small selection), or wherever as long as you're in earshot. I think the venue is most known for poetry and open-mic both of which are legendary; while there may be a mixed bag - this is where artists come to learn, build, and refine their craft so expect a range of experience, intensity and quality. Overall, a very interesting and authentic experience that's worth discovering.

Jaime B

Went for slam poetry, and I was a little worried about going or open mic night, but it was GREAT. I'm not sure how it works, but the whole night was scheduled with poets already. The MC was hilarious, funnier than a lot of comedians I've seen doing stand-up, and he created a really comfortable atmosphere. The turnover between poets was really fast, but the whole night lasted 2.5 hours, so I could understand why. There was some so-so poetry, but also some AMAZING performances. Afterward, the MC said that one of the poets was actually on the national slam poetry team (oh!) and one poet was the MC's friend from France. He performed in halting English (yet still managed to be amazing) and French, which was soooo strong. Will be going back for sure.

Monica L

6 out of 5 stars. My friends and I bought “VIP” tickets to the Nuyorican Poets Cafe Friday Night Poetry Slam via Livingsocial and were granted entry before the rest of the crowds filed in. That means we were able to grab chairs for the night’s show - most other audience members had to stand on the balcony or sit in the aisles to watch. The emcee and DJ were hilarious and did a great job engaging the crowd. The poets were incredibly talented. Almost every single performance gave me goosebumps. The emcee and DJ did a wonderful job of balancing the sometimes heavy atmosphere with fun dance breaks in between rounds. At one point they had the entire Cafe doing the Wobble. Get there early and plan for a long night, but it’s absolutely worth it. Hands down one of the best things I’ve done in my years living in New York.