Love this place! The decor is fantastic, lots of wood and candles that make for a nice, cozy ambiance. This place is really great to relax and enjoy the live performances, and they have live acts every night! To top it off, they offer great food & drink with friendly service. I'm especially a fan of their drinks, both cocktails and coffee (brewed strong and with quality beans...the way I like it!). Cannot recommend Caffe Vivaldi enough, it's a spot anyone will enjoy.
At Caffé Vivaldi, music erodes the line between performer and patron. The unassuming espresso drinker at your side might, at a moment’s notice, reveal him/herself to be a staggeringly talented pianist, bassist, or saxophonist. And while the vibe is refreshingly democratic for the NY scene, the music performed here – regardless of genre – is invariably of quite a high standard. In an area of blob-like encroaching fashion and food pretense, this unique gem of a New York City institution will fill you up like no thrift find or cheese board could ever do. It’d be hard for me to recommend any NY attraction more highly. TL;DR: - High standard of live music. - Delicious and healthy food and drink. - Warm lighting and intimate ambience.
Do not go there for the food. Go for the atmosphere, maybe? It was cold and late, and we were looking for a non-yuppie place to have a low-key celebratory dinner. Caffè Vivaldi looked cosy, there was a guy playing the piano, a woman singing, a nice-looking menu in Italian: why not? We were served a plate of overcooked spaghetti with random tomato sauce from a jar topped with two dry meatballs, and some anonymous grated cheese; eight dry raviolis in another ladleful of random tomato sauce; a cup of bitter coffee. With tax and tip: $43. This is the kind of meal I'd eat gratefully if it was served by my cousin who lives in a student dorm and has a food budget of $10 per week. Here: no. The final strike: it's cash only, which isn't written clearly (or at all) on the menu. We were very tempted to walk away but we're good kids and didn't. We did ask the waitress if we had just been unlucky or if this was really the way they do food. She told us everything was fresh (how fresh can spaghetti and tomato sauce from a jar be?), it was all a matter of taste (hmm) and she'd had a long day (yep, we did too, and it sucks to end it by paying so much money for such a lackluster meal). And then she turned her back on us. After leaving we saw here and on Yelp that many people have had similar experiences. (And that it doesn't look like it concerns this place's management at all.) Hope adding this review to the mix can help others steer clear of Caffè Vivaldi.