When it comes to getting a great traditional cup of tea we might think first of countries where it’s a bigger part of the culture, like England. But the truth is that the U.S. has many of its own tea cultures, and quality tea rooms to enjoy it in at that. Here are some of the best tea rooms in the U.S.
Samovar in San Francisco
Samovar was originally opened as a single location in the Castro, but today there are multiple locations in the city. It’s founder Jesse Jacobs made an interesting decision when he opened the tea room…no wi-fi. The staff is well versed in details about each tea such as the regions it comes from and who the farmers are. The vibe is more current coffee house than traditional tea house, which is probably part of its success.
Cha-An in NYC
This East Village location is quite small inside, which means you might find yourself waiting for a seat if you come at a busy time. This tea room is of the Japanese style, and offers very strong brews and tasty desserts like mochi ice cream.
Ching Ching Cha in Washington D.C.
The tea room Ching Ching Cha is doing something right, because they have never had to advertise and have welcomed booming service pretty much since they opened 17 years ago. This is a truly relaxing tea experience, where patrons remove their shoes upon entering and sit on a traditional cushion platform to enjoy tea at a low table. The different tea options come from Taiwan, Japan, and China, and are served alongside freshly steamed dumplings.
Biddie’s Coach House in Dublin, OH
Biddie’s Coach House is located inside of a building that was originally built as a house in the 1830’s, so old charm is to be expected. The tea house offers a full Victorian tea service with finger sandwiches, scones, and charming tea cups. It can also be rented out for parties.
The Four Seasons Bristol Lounge in Boston
The Bristol Lounge in the Boston Four Seasons is often referred to as the “living room”. It is situated right next to the garden and has huge windows for enjoying the view. They also offer a tea service for kids in conjunction with Georgetown Cupcakes, and at some points of the year even have celebrities come and read to the children.
Lady Mendl’s in NYC
Lady Mendl’s is located in Manhattan’s Union Square, inside of a brownstone. The tea experience is Victorian style, but it’s a little more playful and modern that the true traditional style. Think more like black tablecloths than doilies and mismatched plate wear that is beautiful fine china.
The Palm Court at the Drake in Chicago
The Palm Court is a tea room of the fancier variety, even Princess Diana, Queen Elizabeth and the Empress of Japan had graced the spot over the years. This is a traditional afternoon tea spot with only the finest dining wear and sterling silver utensils.