Even if you don't have the guts to get up in front of a bunch of strangers and showcase your talents, chances are one of your friends will be drunk enough to do so. New York City is the place where people go to make their dreams come true, so you might even catch a glimpse of a fledgling star. Most of these fill up pretty quickly, so make sure you get there early.
As classy as the composer for whom it's named, Caffe Vivaldi combines high culture with accessibility, creating a relaxed atmosphere for those who are a bit apprehensive when it comes to the classical music ethos. Its open mic night features all types of performers along with the relaxed café environment.
- Location: 32 Jones St. (Off Bleecker St., near 7th Ave.), New York, NY
- Phone: 212-691-7538
- Website: www.caffevivaldi.com
- Hours: Mondays: 6:30pm to 11pm
Check out the eclectic mix of open mic performers at this lower east side pub that spans an entire city block. Whether you're in the mood for comedy or music, Lucky Jack's is bound to offer something to suit your taste, not to mention a 60-foot copper bar.
- Location: 129 Orchard St., New York, NY
- Phone: 212-477-6555
- Website: www.luckyjacksnyc.com
- Hours: Thursdays at 8pm
Pete's Candy Store
While its days as an actual candy store are long gone, Pete's Candy Store is home of some of the best open mic performers around the city with a quirky background décor.
- Location: 709 Lorimer St., Brooklyn, NY
- Phone: 718-302-3770
- Website: www.petescandystore.com
- Hours: Sundays: 5pm to 8pm
This staple in the Alphabet City antifolk scene is essential for open mic virgins. Every show at this late night hang out is free with a two-drink minimum. Not a big price to pay for one of the best-known open mic nights around.
- Location: 94 Avenue A (at 6th St.), New York, NY
- Phone: 212-473-7373
- Website: www.sidewalkmusic.net
- Hours: Mondays: 7:30pm
Vox Pop Café
If you're ready for something a little different than the usual open mic nights and are in search of some political enlightenment, Vox Pop Café offers just that. Social justice is the name of the game at this Brooklyn powerhouse, so come share your voice if you dare.
- Location: 1022 Cortelyou Rd., Brooklyn, NY
- Phone: 718-940-2084
- Website: www.voxpopnet.net
- Hours: Sundays: 7pm