San Francisco has a lot of wonderful unique tea houses, all with different blends, decor, and service.
Samovar Tea Lounge
One of my favorite places is the Samovar Tea Lounge in the Yerba Buena Gardens. I was taken there one night by a friend. I had never seen this area of San Francisco before; walked passed it millions of times. Inside Yerba Buena Gardens is beautiful in itself, filled with plant life, a memorial waterfall to MLK, and spectacular cityscape views. This Samovar Tea Lounge, with its high glass windows walls, overlooks this area.
But it’s not just about the views. The tea house accents its high ceiling with simple, Asian inspired design. If you want to enjoy the fresh air then you can enjoy outdoor seating on the patio. The tea menu is so extensive that it has its own menu, and there is a separate food menu as well in case you’re hungry.
There is a wide ramp at the base of the waterfall that will take you right up to the tea lounge. An there is a spacious wheelchair accessible restroom available.
High Tea at the Westin St. Francisco Hotel
Right in the Heart of Union Square in San Francisco is the historic Westin St. Francis Hotel. It opened in 1904 and included a cigar room, the only place where women were not allowed. With everything being made out of a beautiful dark oak, including the hand-carved high ceilings, this room was rightfully named the Oak Room. Today, it is one of many dining rooms at the hotel and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as High Tea.
There is little information posted on the website for the Westin St. Francis about High Tea, which is served at 1 and 3pm. You can make a reservation or get more information by calling the Oak Room at 415.774.0264. Tables do fill up, so reservations are basically required. There are three different kinds of High Tea; they are all pretty much the same but one includes a glass of champagne and the other a rare hand-created red tea from Asia. Everyone gets a delectable assortments of filling goodies, shown in the below photos. The specific menu changes a little bit with the season, but I’ve always enjoyed everything I was given. You get to choose one tea from the menu but I’ve always asked to “sample” two and the waiter will comply.
For someone using a wheelchair, there is a side entrance into the Westin St. Francis Hotel with a ramp and automatic button to open the doors. Wheelchair accessible restroom are located just past the lobby under the stairs.
Neiman Marcus San Francisco
In San Francisco’s Union Square is the luxury shopping store Neiman Marcus. One floor has The Rotunda restaurant. It’s open for meals as well as a few different tea services from 2pm to 4pm. Be sure to make a reservation as the restaurant is busy, especially for high tea. Make a reservation online or call 415-249-2720 ext: 246. Wheelchair accessible bathrooms are available in the store, just outside the restaurant.
Crown & Crumpet Tea Stop Cafe
In San Francisco’s Ghirardelli Square is this cute place called Crown & Crumpet Tea Stop Cafe that has high tea service. It’s not a big place, so reservations are recommended. There is no wheelchair accessible bathroom in the cafe, but there is one in the square.