Winter’s creeping up quickly here in the Bay Area. One of the things I like to do during this time of year (or any time of year, really) is have a nice afternoon tea. I’ve been to quite a few places, but wanted to share the ones I liked the most. (All places listed in this post are linked to their websites.)
Located in San Francisco’s Japantown off of Post Street, this has been a frequent stop for me and my friends when satisfying our afternoon tea craving. Their Tea for One includes finger sandwiches, warm savories, a scone and crumpet, desserts, and a pot of tea of your choosing. I either get their Strawberry Oolong or Murky Water (it’s actually a fruit blend tea, and really good). For $28, that’s the best deal I’ve seen by far up here.
Once located in downtown San Jose, they have since moved to their new one in Saratoga. I loved the inside ambience, not to mention their extensive selection of teas. Customers are able to look at and smell the different types before placing their order. The English Afternoon Tea ($37) or Tea for Two ($63 or $31.50/person) would be my recommendations if you’re willing to go all out. I would prefer the former because it includes a crumpet. I really don’t eat those anywhere outside of afternoon tea!
Call me biased if you will, but I absolutely adore this place in San Diego even though it’s the only SoCal location I’ve visited. I’ll heighten that sentiment even more because I celebrated my birthday here with some good friends. Their Queen’s Tea is $29/person, offering seasonal menus of various finger sandwiches, sweet and savory pastries, dessert, and unlimited pots of tea. They even gave me a candle lit mini cupcake and sang since it was my birthday. Talk about awesome service!
Looking for more options? Here are a few honorable mentions:
- Lisa’s Tea Treasures (in San Jose and Campbell)
- Samovar Tea Lounge (SF, Yerba Buena location)
- The Rotunda (SF)
Regardless of where I’ve been, these are my favorite afternoon tea items:
- English Breakfast tea
- Crumpets with clotted cream
- Lox or cucumber and cream cheese tea sandwiches
I highly suggest making reservations, especially if there’s a large group. Some locations will take walk-ins depending on availability, and they may also have gluten-free options upon request. It’s always best to plan ahead, and bring an empty stomach because some of these menus can be surprisingly filling.
Have you ever had afternoon tea before? Feel free to let me know if you have any recommendations.