Whether you take take your tea with mini, crustless sandwiches or a biscuit—your afternoon tea is meant to be enjoyed leisurely. While tea rooms in America don’t actually serve the traditional British High Tea (also known as dinner), you can however find an assortment of cakes, cookies and jam. We’ve search high and low for the best spots to enjoy a few hours over a teapot. So grab a seat at one of these teatime spots.
Bosie Tea Parlor in New York City, New York
Every so often I like to treat myself to a tea serving at Bosie Tea Parlor in the charming West Village neighborhood. This tiny tea room is popular for their savory and sweet spread in a setting that has none of the frills associated with tea parties. Check out the Chef’s Tea Service at a lofty $120 price tag, it includes luscious treats such as a quail egg and black truffle canapé and delicate macarons.
Where to go: Bosie Tea Parlor at 10 Morton Street in Manhattan’s West Village.
Mary Cassatt Tea Room & Garden in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Savor the views as much as the food when you enjoy a cup of tea at Mary Cassatt Tea Room. This Philadelphia tea room is the right mix of local culture and worldly tea flavors. Stop by any day of the week from 2-5pm for a perfectly steeped cup of herbal tea and finger sandwiches like smoked salmon with English peas.
Where to go: Mary Cassatt Tea Room & Garden at 210 West Rittenhouse Square in Center City West, Philly.
Taj Boston Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts
Hotels are reknown for hosting decadent tea servings. The Taj Boston Hotel in the historic Back Bay is the local place to go for afternoon tea since it first opened in 1927. Served on delicate fine china, the “Taj Royale” includes finger sandwiches, canapés, pastries, scones and Devonshire cream. Don’t forget about the pot of tea or the glass of prosecco to wash down all those treats. If your tea party includes pint-sized guests, they also have a children’s tea with hot chocolate and chocolate chip cookies.
Where to go: Taj Boston Hotel at 15 Arlington Street in Back Bay, Boston.
Lady Camellia in Washington DC
If you’re looking for that chichi, fanciful tea party, then Lady Camellia has you covered. They’ve perfected the macaron (a must with every good cup of tea) with interesting flavors like Pink Champagne and Spiced Pumpkin. This Georgetown local favorite is lavish in looks and taste but still very approachable in atmosphere. Also great for children’s tea parties!
Where to go: Lady Camellia at 3261 Prospect Street NW in Georgetown, DC.
Serenitea Cafe in Chicago, Illinois
We get nostalgic when we think of vintage tea rooms with eclectic tea sets. Serenitea Cafe in Oak Park fits the bill. Order their specialty, Afternoon Tea with a collection of finger sandwiches, scones and tiny desserts with individual teapots for each guest. An added bonus, they also offer vegan and gluten-free servings as well. Don’t miss their upcoming Myths and Legends of Tea event on Saturday for a delicious history lesson.
Where to go: Serenitea Cafe at 1046 Pleasant Avenue in Oak Park, Chicago.
Lovejoy’s Tea Room in San Francisco, California
It started out as an antique shop in the early 1990’s but visitors to Lovejoy were more interested in sipping cups of tea than shopping. Decorated in what can only be called as antique chic, this tea room is usually packed with groups nibbling on scones and drinking out of mismatched tea sets. Similar to the eclectic decor, the menu everything from shepard’s pie to hummus to biscuits—all of it delicious. Make this an afternoon must on your list.
Where to go: Lovejoy’s Tea Room at 1351 Church Street in Noe Valley, San Francisco.
Getty Villa in Los Angeles, California
Leave it to LA to take afternoon tea to the next level. As part of the Getty Museum, the Getty Villa is dedicated to ancient Greek and Roman culture and serves a Mediterranean-inspired tea course. A nod to it’s own history, this tea room began serving afternoon tea in the early 1970’s. Now it’s only available on Thursdays and Saturdays at 1pm, so make a reservation to enjoy this special experience.
Where to go: Getty Village at 17985 Pacific Coast Highway in Los Angeles’s Pacific Palisades neighborhood.