Cake Shop

Bar / Live Music Venue / Pastry Shop
Cake Shop There's no better proof that New York is the city that never sleeps than the uber-cool, slightly schizophrenic Cake Shop, a round-the-clock upstairs vegan bakery Café by day and indie/hipster basement concert space by night... New York United States 40.720855 -73.987938
3.38 11
Cake Shop - Bar | Live Music Venue | Pastry Shop in New York.
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Ratings:
Lucas
Adriana
Jonah
Emma

Party Earth Review There’s no better proof that New York is the city that never sleeps than the uber-cool, slightly schizophrenic Cake Shop, a round-the-clock upstairs vegan bakery café by day and indie/hipster basement concert space by... ... read full review

  • Subway:

    J, F, M, Z: Delancey Street-Essex Street

  • Phone:

    212-253-0036

  • Links:

  • Hours:

    Café: daily 9am–2am
    Bar: M–Th, Su 5pm–2am, F–Sa 5pm–4am

  • Recommended as:

    • Day Spot
    • Night Spot

Party Earth Cake Shop Review

The Scene

There's no better proof that New York is the city that never sleeps than the uber-cool, slightly schizophrenic Cake Shop, a round-the-clock upstairs vegan bakery Café by day and indie/hipster basement concert space by night...

There’s no better proof that New York is the city that never sleeps than the uber-cool, slightly schizophrenic Cake Shop, a round-the-clock upstairs vegan bakery café by day and indie/hipster basement concert space by night.

As famous for its chocolate cupcakes as for its cheap cans of Rolling Rock, the versatile venue also houses a record shop selling an eclectic mix of music from rare soul 45s to 80s rock records, as well as records from their own music label, Capeshok.

By day, the café’s free Wi-Fi draws Lower East Side freelance writers and designers who find the orange faux-wood paneling and big tables – not to mention the endless supply of quality coffee and legendary sweets – conducive to working.

Once the bar opens at 5pm, the vibe totally changes as underground music lovers follow the mint-green staircase down to a long, narrow, and dimly-lit lair whose twinkling Christmas lights and red tinsel cast an intimate glow over the artsy types and hipsters dancing around the tiny stage or squeezing in by the bar to refuel on those cheap cans of beer and equally cheap hard liquor.

Seating is sparse and difficult to find, but as long as the music is playing, the denizens of Cake Shop’s nighttime party scene are much too busy rocking to the beat of the incredibly loud indie bands to even think of sitting down.

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Tip from Jonah:

Just a word of warning – if you want to see the band, you’ll have to get right next to the speakers by the stage. If you don’t mind ringing ears for a few days, great; otherwise, bring earplugs.

  • Crowd

    Artsy music lovers, underground scenesters, hipsters, college kids, and music industry types, 20s.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Regular roster of indie bands. Occasional readings, comedy nights, and movies. Check the website for nightly listings. Free Wi-Fi.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    The upstairs bakery and café serves vegan treats, sandwiches, and salads. Happy Hour daily 5–8pm.

  • Prices

    Cover charge $10 or less. Beer $3+, cocktails $10+, mixed drinks $5+, shots $5+, coffee/tea $2+, pastries $3+.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Lower East Side hipster style, including ironic tattoos, ripped t-shirts, and imaginative color/pattern combinations for both sexes.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights for more established underground bands, though there’s usually something going on every night.

  • Close By

    Welcome To The Johnsons (123 Rivington Street) offers a living-room vibe with cheap beer, pool tables, and indie tunes at a lower volume.

Cake Shop User Reviews

Average rating:
Dig it!
Gor G. Jun 10, 2013
I really dig Cake Shop. We were in town a few days and wanted to see some live music at a small local venue, ya know: just cheap cover and rock n roll, and Cake Shop scratched that itch perfectly for us. Cake Shop was something that came up on Yelp and so we popped in there on a Saturday night, I believe, in September and caught several good bands, including the excellent Native Cats from Australia. The beers were reasonably cheap and the atmosphere was great. This place has that greasy rock feel to it with stickers and grime but it's clean overall and while it's kinda funky being in a basement to see a show it's really no big deal. People were super friendly and while there is only very limited seating it's easy to get right up to the stage, which is like a foot off the ground or whatever, and be 'intimate' with the performance. This is the kind of place I love to see music: independent-type joints and the fact that you can shop for records and eat sweets here as well is just, er, icing on the cake, really. If you like this place and are improbably in Minneapolis, Minnesota, stop by First Avenue, or even better, the 7th St Entry.
Casual beers, live music, and cookies
Emily H. Apr 2, 2013
A $5 shot chased with a warm chocolate chip cookie - this can all be yours at the Cake Shop. It can't hurt to add in a burgeoning indie band and a few cheap beers. Cake Shop by day for free (and reliable) WiFi, strong cups of Joe, and cupcakes that will inspire. Cake Shop by night for live (and reliably stellar) music, cheap drinks, and a party you'll want to come back to. The first floor bakery/cafe lend a helpful hand to anyone inspired by caffeine, sweets, and/or art. Continue to the second floor for a small Christmas light show and wallet-friendly bar. The place is quaint, but not quiet; cool cafe with a double shot of espresso.
Fun Fun Fun
Alexandra M. Mar 29, 2013
Cake Shop is one of those places which was probably commonplace with artists could actually afford to live in Manhattan. The drinks are cheap, the atmosphere is fun and unpretentious, and the bar has just the right amount of authentic "divey-ness " to make it cool. The bands downstairs are diverse (and usually quite good) and the small, intimate basement with Christmas lights makes you feel like you're part of a special, intimate, secret party. The vibe is "low key Brooklyn" even though it's located across the bridge. You don't need to be a self declared hipster to enjoy the scene, you just need to enjoy good music and be open to different sounds. This is a great and affordable date place and I will definitely be returning!
Check It Out
Amira S. Mar 28, 2013
Is it a bar? Is it a music venue or restaurant? Cake Shop is all of the above and most importantly, it’s cheap! When I first moved to New York City last summer, I searched on the web for cheap venues with live music and Cake Shop was the first on the list. Located on Ludlow St between Stanton & Rivington, Cake Shop’s NYC location is cozy and attracts various crowds of people. I absolutely love their cookies and booze, especially the 2 for 1 happy hour special. If you’re in NYC Cake Shop is a must place to hang out. I am a fan!
Throw Hipsters, confectionary treats, indie bands, and chemical X in a blender and the result is this fantastic place
Taj S. Feb 20, 2013
This little New York enclave of counter culture brings you baked goods with a dose of peace and quiet between 9am-2pm for their cafe hours, but after 5pm happy hour this little cafe puts on the big boy shorts and packs a punch with multiple bands you've never heard of that you now love.....romantically. The ambiance of the place isn't overly welcoming, but it's definitely not alienating. You come in and have free reign to just exist without worry and enjoy some music and one of many cheap beers that go down great with the cookies they have. I wouldn't want to move into this trendy little hub, but I wouldn't mind being neighbors with them and their lived in charm.
Cake Shope located in, the Lower East Side of Manhattan and showcases local and touring indie, alternative, psych and experimental bands.
Jordannah E. Feb 19, 2013
Cake Shop is well-known and premier underground indie rock club in New York City. It’s located in, the Lower East Side of Manhattan and showcases local and touring indie, alternative, psych and experimental bands. The club mainly caters to Brooklyn and Manhattan’s hipster music scene and is one of the only venues tried and true Brooklynites feel truly comfortable traveling to simply because of the great and diverse bands the club books. In the day time, Cake Shop is a cozy coffee/party shop and bar. You’re welcome to use your lap top right at the bar and the upstairs eatery and coffee shop area has free wifi, and is usually very quiet. Sometimes, MTV2 television shows and alternative film projects are shot in the club, but the film crew and staff work around you. As long as you are quiet, everyone seems to coexist and getting your work done shouldn’t be a problem. At night, the upstairs area turns into a lively bar and caters to a who’s who of young actors, hipsters and musicians on the weekends. The rock bands play in the basement of the Cake Shop, which requires you to walk down a slightly steep stairway to get to a narrow corridor taken up by the sound booth and merch table area. The basement is a dark and cozy venue that is only lit by red and yellow Christmas lights. There is a full bar downstairs as well. Cake Shop is intimate, and a great place to take a date who is a indie rock music lover. Did I mention they sell CAKE! There’s a display case harboring several delicious cakes that you can by the slice in the upstairs coffee shop and bar!
Necessary
Chris K. Nov 14, 2012
If you haven't been to a show at the Cake Shop, you're missing out. This place has a fun dessert-filled top floor and a cool old-school rafter-broken venue down below. What makes Cake Shop so wonderful is its diversity. I've seen rappers with stand-up basses here; I've seen indie bands with bright pink outfits here; I've seen raging putrid necro-thrash metal here. The Cake Shop is the kind fo venue where every kind of music and culture can gather here without judgment, but it definitely still feels like a somewhat grimy and cool underground rock venue, not a commune or "safe space." Check out their calendar--you never know who's playing.
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