Where to Get Afternoon Tea Around Philadelphia
Seven Philly-area tearooms serving tiny sandwiches, scones with clotted cream, and all the tea you could possibly drink.
It’s getting colder and darker, and your day could use a little brightening. If you want to drink something warm in a place serving tiny sandwiches and scones with clotted cream, here are the tearooms to check out whenever you’re next craving a cuppa.
The Rittenhouse Hotel
When: Thursdays through Sundays, noon-3 p.m. Call to reserve (215-790-2533)
210 West Rittenhouse Square
After a pandemic hiatus, afternoon tea recently returned to the Rittenhouse without losing a step. Afternoon tea in the hotel’s Mary Cassatt Tea Room is all old-school grandeur — which may just be what you’re looking for in a high tea. The hotel has a dedicated tea room and even a tea manager — AJ Memmo, who tells us he personally sources from South Philly’s Amoni Teas — so you can be sure they take their tea seriously. Teas are thoughtfully listed, along with the optional add-on of tableside matcha service where you can watch the fine green powder whisked into slightly frothy perfection. With your tea, you’ll get the expected tiers of tea sandwiches, scones, and mini pastries. Sparkling wine is an optional extra. All the while, you’re seated in a light-filled room that just feels like luxury. Prices start at $70.
Holiday Bonus: Starting December 22nd, the beloved Teddy Bear Tea for children returns for on select days through December 30th. Kids get storytime, an actual Gund teddy bear to take home, treats, sandwiches shaped like bears, and the choice of cider or hot cocoa instead of tea. Parents get sparkling wine. Win-win. The pre-paid cost is $79 per person for both adults and children. Reservations are required and can be booked here.
When: Mondays through Fridays, 3-5 p.m.
124 South 18th Street
For something casual, try Stephen Starr’s homage to the British pub. Afternoon tea packages are intended for two and will run you $20 for two tiers of pastries and tarts, $30 for the “Down the Rabbit Hole” option of two tiers of sandwiches, or $50 for three tiers of sandwiches and pastries with a pot of tea. You can add on extra teapigs for $4-$7; and for $8 get a glass of champagne or rosé mimosa. The Dandelion is a good choice if you’re feeling more hungry than fancy, as they also have a la carte snack and meal options during the afternoon, ranging from oysters to a cheese board to fish-and-chips. The bar remains open during this time, so wine and cocktails are also available.
Prince Tea House
When: Daily, noon-10 p.m. (or 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays)
203 North 9th Street
This NYC-based chain came to Chinatown in 2019 with brunch, house-made desserts, and tea. Their afternoon tea service is a bit of a misnomer, as they serve it all day (“as long as we have all the ingredients,” they tell me). So if you’re craving a fancy tea party at 9 p.m., you know just where to go. Tea for two will run you $55 and includes tiers of finger sandwiches, scones, assorted desserts, and unlimited tea refills for two hours. While you’re there, be sure to add on a slice of their signature mille-crêpes cake, offered in flavors like green tea, durian, and ube.
When: Fridays and Saturdays, 1-3 p.m.
120 South 17th Street
The Sofitel’s Chez Colette transforms into a tearoom on the weekend, with a menu of scones (plain and seasonal), tea sandwiches and pastries, plus a choice between nine different teas. In addition to their traditional tea events, be on the lookout throughout the year for Drag Mafia teas featuring Best of Philly-winning performers led by Brittany Lynn.
When: Saturdays and Sundays, 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
1007 Frankford Avenue
This Fishtown spot features Pennsylvania Dutch-inspired specialities, and its weekend afternoon tea service is no different. Teas include a selection grown and packaged by Schwenksville-based Oma Herbal Teas. Alongside traditional macarons, cream puffs and tiny savories, your service will include house-made venison scrapple, shoofly cake and snickerdoodles. Instead of the expected scones, you’ll get biscuits and datch — a Pennsylvania Dutch quickbread — served with apple butter, jelly and cream. Afternoon tea is $35 per person.
The Painted Teacup
When: Thursdays through Saturdays, 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
220 South State Road, Upper Darby
This charming Victorian teahouse is worth a short drive for delightful tea service and an aesthetic out of every adorable grandma’s dream — I mean that in the best way. Afternoon tea is $30 per-person and includes scones, tea sandwiches, and deserts, along with two selections of loose tea with all the dainty fixings and flower-painted porcelain. Wear a fascinator, no one will question it.
Holiday Bonus: In addition to getting decked out for the holidays, the Painted Teacup also has a special children’s tea on December 11th that includes a visit from Mrs. Claus and gingerbread house decorating. Reservations are required and can be booked by calling 610-352-2334.
A Taste of Britain
When: Daily, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
503 West Lancaster Avenue, Wayne
This Main Line spot emphasizes the British aspect of afternoon tea, going so far as to include an adjacent boutique selling tea, tea ware and hard-to-find British treats. You can order tea and accoutrements a la carte or spring for the full afternoon tea — all served on whimsically mismatched china. For $32 per-person, you’ll get eight tea sandwiches, scones, assorted pastries and a pot of tea. They also offer a “gluten-friendly” version for $36 per person. And for little ones who may not be into selections like smoked salmon, a smaller kid-friendly version of afternoon tea is offered for $22 with sandwich options like PB&J and Nutella.
Holiday Bonus: Their popular Winter Wonderland Tea includes holiday-themed treats, a mimosa or spritzer, and little surprises like Christmas crackers (containing paper crowns, naturally). It’s available Saturdays and Sundays in December, as well as all the entire weeks of Christmas and New Year’s. It’ll run you $50 per person ($40 for kids), and reservations are required.