20 Spots for the Best High Tea in San Francisco

20 Spots for the Best High Tea in San Francisco

It’s been a long time since the act of drinking has become a social event for the upper classes, added to the fact that tea is healthier than water. High Tea, or what they call Afternoon Tea, became the bridge between meals for individuals who wouldn’t mind eating dinner at 8 PM. As such, High Tea became a 'mini meal' itself.

Locals in San Francisco have their own way of enjoying their Afternoon Tea in the best places in the neighborhood areas in the Bay Area. Now, if you love Tea, and you are looking for a proper High Tea at a luxe hotel or a less formal drop-in at one of San Francisco's local tea houses, get ready for a bonafide treat. Here are the top 10 best High Tea places in San Francisco that you must visit!

1. Filoli Historic House & Garden

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Price Range: | Hours: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM (Reservations only)
Open During COVID for: In-person visits
Address: 86 Cañada Rd, Woodside, CA 94062
Phone: (650) 364-8300

Filoli or also known as the Bourn Roth Estate is a country house set in an Anglo-American inspired 16-acre of gardens surrounded by an astonishing 654-acre estate. The LA Times called this semi-natural world of gardens and estates as Silicon Valley’s century-old hidden haven. In fact, this historic estate is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and also known as a California Historical Landmark.

Here you can enjoy a relaxing garden vibe and indulge not only in nature but with its rich history and shared stories as well. It is open daily until 5 pm, where everyone is welcome to enjoy the lights inside the garden, making magical memories with your friends, families, and loved ones. Filoli holds a particular version of their year-round Tea, a Holiday High Tea, where they pull out all the stops, serving unique tea blends, and guests can enjoy delicate treats of scones and finger sandwiches. General admission fee is $25. Reserve your slot in advance to enjoy the estate!

2. Garden Court at the Palace Hotel

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Price Range: $$$ | Hours: 6:30 AM - 10:30 AM, 11:30 AM - 2:00 PM,
5:30 PM - 10:00 PM
Open During COVID for:
Address: 2 New Montgomery St, San Francisco, CA 94105
Phone: (415) 512-1111

Garden Court at the Palace Hotel is a luxury place with ornate chandeliers, a glass dome, and marble, iconic columns. If you fancy an elevated fine-dining experience then this is your best choice here in San Francisco. Garden Court hosts live entertainment so you can fully enjoy your dining experience. There’s also a wide selection of aged wines, creative cocktails, and locally-sourced recipes.

When they open again for business, make sure to try their signature tea every Saturday from 2pm until 4:30pm, a classic Palace experience. You can try their majestic tea and enjoy every pour with an elegant menu to choose from for an even better experience. Another is their highlight à la carte offering which is the City Brunch every Sunday from 12-2pm. Reserve early as it can be quite tricky and hard especially that many are vying for a slot here.

3. Pardee Home Museum

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Price Range: $$ | Hours: 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM (Sat. Only)
Open During COVID for:
Address: 672 11th St, Oakland, CA 94607
Phone: (510) 444-2187

This cream-colored Victorian place has served locals and visitors with oh-so British High Teas. Pardee Home Museum offers private tea parties for you and your friends and family to enjoy. You can have your delectable teas served inside the house's elegant dining room. The minimum number for a private tea party is 6 and they can only allow a maximum of 12 guests.

If you’d like a more outdoor vibe like Alice’s tea parties with the Mad Hatter, you can opt to have them served in the garden. Fifteen minimum guests to reserve this beautiful grounds with a maximum of 40 guests allowed. The donation for High Tea is $35 while dessert tea costs $25. High Tea served in the garden costs $40. Pardee Home Museum also offers good pairs for their brews like platters of sweet and savory treats. You can check their sample menu here.

4. Fairmont San Francisco

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Price Range: $$$ | Hours: Open 24 hours
Open During COVID for:
Address: 950 Mason St, San Francisco, CA 94108
Phone: (415) 772-5000

Afternoon tea at Fairmont San Francisco is one of the best experiences that you should never miss. You can enjoy every cup with polished silver, fine china and Victorian accouterments which has been its tradition since 1907. Invite your family and friends for fine loose-leaf tea parties in steaming pots paired with house-made scones, tea sandwiches, fruit-topped pastries, and elegant French sweets. They also have requisite sides which include lemon curd, Devonshire cream and fruit compote.

Tea is served on Saturday and Sunday afternoons year-round. And you don’t have to worry with the price for all of this elegance. Fairmont offers teas at affordable prices because who said that only fancy people can enjoy this kind of luxury, right?

5. Top of the Mark

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Price Range: $$$ | Hours:
Open During COVID for:
Address: 999 California St, Fl 19, Intercontinental Mark Hopkins, San Francisco, CA 94108
Phone: (415) 392-3434

Top of the Mark has been great in serving guests and locals since 1939, with their restaurant high above the city, perched on the Intercontinental Mark Hopkins Hotel's penthouse. You can enjoy an ultra-exclusive semi-private dining area, featuring the views of the Bay Bridge, Sutro Tower, and TransAmericana Building. Nothing beats excellent food like a lavish Sunday Champagne Brunch with a dazzling view of the city.

During holidays, the restaurant offers afternoon tea that is good for adults and kids. Children's Magical Tea for only $80 comes with finger sandwiches, scones, and pastries served in buffet style.

6. Lovejoy's Tea Room

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Price Range: $$ | Hours: 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM (Closed: Mon-Wed)
Open During COVID for: Dine-in with limited menu, Delivery, Takeout
Address: 1351 Church St, San Francisco, CA 94114
Phone: (415) 648-5895

Lovejoy’s Tea Room definitely delivers the classic afternoon tea experience with a cozy atmosphere and tiered plates. The restaurant serves you with handmade tea cozies, warm scones, tasty tea sandwiches, and a bottomless pot of tea. They also offer hearty afternoon meals like sausage rolls, quiches, and shepherd’s pie.

But aside from great tasting tea with wide selection from black, green, and herbal teas, Lovejoy is also known for its special ambiance. It’s quirky with mismatched China and furniture. It also has antique tea cups, plates, and other things lined up its shelved walls with tables covered in beautiful lace cloths. It feels like you’re sitting outside a English countryside home but you’re just right here in San Francisco. You can also enjoy shopping at Lovejoy’s Attic just across the street. They sell teas, spoons, cups, sweets, and trinkets.

7. Crown and Crumpet Tea Salon

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Price Range: $$ | Hours: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM (Closed: Mon)
Open During COVID for: Reserved Dine-in, Delivery, Takeout
Address: 1746 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94115
Phone: (415) 771-4252

Crown and Crumpet Tea Salon is the perfect place with playful designs, floral décor, premium coffee, afternoon tea, and light lunch fare. Inside is a stylish room with tea and wit inspired by the classic and traditional tea salon in England. Crown and Crumpet Tea Salon is located right across the Bay in Ross. They serve a real delightful menu from Breakfast, Lunch, and Afternoon Tea. You can also choose from a vast selection of pastries and treats which have been inspired by British classics.

Their tea is definitely made out of love and is perfect for all tea lovers. Rest assured that you will have a really good afternoon tea time here at Crown & Crumpet. And for online orders, no worries. Your tea will still taste extra delicious as they serve them in signature happy take away cups.

8. Sip Tea Room

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Price Range: $$ | Hours: 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM (Closed: Mon-Thurs)
Open During COVID for: Takeout (ordered 24 hours in advance)
Address: 721 Lincoln Way, San Francisco, CA 94122
Phone: (415) 683-5592

Sip Tea Room has a lovely outdoor seating area and a charming destination to enjoy a traditional afternoon tea service, plus delicious foods and bites. You must try their three-tier serving that includes freshly prepared tea sandwiches, two baked sausage, veggie rolls, warm English scone, SIP clotted cream, mixed greens, lemon curd, fresh fruit, and delicate sweets selection. Guests are served with their special mimosa and a pot of leaf tea, for your High Tea experience.

They are currently open for a full takeout service only. Orders must be placed 24 hours in advance as they work on limited staff. Also, everything is always fresh from the kitchen and they sell out every time. Prices are affordable so you can definitely enjoy a good afternoon tea here.

9. Dartealing Lounge

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Price Range: $$ | Hours: 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM (Sat-Sun Only)
Open During COVID for: Virtual tasting sessions, Takeout
Address: 470 3rd St, San Francisco, CA 94107
Phone: (415) 644-0142

If High Tea is one of your list of things to do in San Francisco, well, Dartealing Lounge is one of the best places to visit. Dartealing Lounge has been a special place for locals and guests, with a flowery dining room serving tea, cakes, and finger sandwiches. The tea selections are excellent and very good. You can choose from their different tea blends, pure teas, black, green, and golden classics.

They also offer packages like Proper Afternoon Tea, ParTea Time, Box o’, Travelling Tea Caddy, and FInger Sandwich Selection. They only accept takeout and pre-orders are taken from Monday to Thursday until 4pm and payment should be done until Friday, 7pm.

10. Maison Danel

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Price Range: $$$ | Hours: 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM Sunday, Monday, and Thursday; 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM Friday and Saturday PM
Open During COVID for: Outdoor Dining, Pickup, Delivery
Address: 1030 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109
Phone: (415) 685-5900

Known as a french patisserie, viennoiserie, and Salon de Thé, Maison Danel is really one of the must-visit places to enjoy high tea in San Francisco. Their fine teas and locally roasted coffee pair well with beautiful and delectable pastries and authentic French cuisine.

It’s a Parisian-inspired restaurant with good tea service and a selection of croissants, and highbrow café fare, plus caviar. If you want to enjoy these at home, Maison Danel offers an afternoon Tea Box. What you want to enjoy here is their Le Classique Afternoon Tea Box includes a selection of their savory sandwiches, mini viennoiseries, sweets, sauces, and your choice of a large section of loose-leaf Tea. Maison Danel is the best tea place and French pastries for your brunch! Check out their website when they will officially reopen their indoor dining.

11. Japanese Tea Garden

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Price Range: $ | Hours: 9:00 AM - 4:45 PM during Winter; 9:00 AM - 5:45 PM during Summer
Open During COVID for: Dine-in
Address: 75 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA 94118
Phone: (415) 752-1171

Japanese Tea Garden is the oldest public Japanese garden located in Golden Gate Park. This tea place is open for guests who want to experience the natural beauty, tranquility, and harmony of a full Japanese tea garden. The Tea House is nestled right in the center of the Japanese Tea Garden overlooking the picturesque landscape of the park. It’s a definite must-visit here in San Francisco and also a classic tea experience for all tea lovers in and out of the area.

Here you can enjoy a meditative cup of tea like their loose-leaf jasmine tea paired with savory fortune cookies. The Tea House is newly refurbished with custom-designed irori or farmhouse style family tables. San Francisco residents need to pay a $7 admission fee while non-residents have to pay $10-$12 depending on the month of their visit. You can check out this link to see their detailed admission rates.

12. Imperial Tea Court

Pictures courtesy of Yelp

Price Range: $$ | Hours: 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday; 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM Saturday; 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM Sunday
Open During COVID for: Takeout, Curbside Pickup
Address: Marketplace Shop No 27, 1 Ferry Bldg, San Francisco, CA 94111
Phone: (415) 544-9830

The Imperial Tea Court first opened in 1993 in Chinatown here in San Francisco. It’s original location is closed but they now have locations in San Francisco’s Ferry Building and in nearby Berkeley. It was the first authentic tea room in the area and is very well-known for its traditional style of tea.

Imperial Tea Court, located in Ferry Building San Francisco, is another best high tea place to visit in the Bay Area. The tea court is open to everyone who simply loves tea. Imperial Tea Court is serving San Francisco and the whole world with their finest, rarest, and most highly acclaimed teas available in their teahouses and online. The famous tea house offers a wide range of tea experiences, including black tea, green tea, herbal tea, imperial tea, oolong tea, organic tea, white tea, yellow tea, jasmine tea, and puerh tea. Snacks are also available here.

13. Lovejoy’s Attic

Pictures courtesy of Yelp

Price Range: $$ | Hours: 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Open During COVID for:
Address: 1351 Church St, San Francisco, CA 94114
Phone: (415) 648-6845

Lovejoy’s Attic is one of the best places to enjoy some afternoon tea. In addition to their unique loose-leaf teas and tea accoutrements, they are also offering a great selection of vintage teacups, hats, aprons, and assorted bric-a-brac.

Lovejoy’s attic was originally an antique shop that serves guests a good cup of tea, and now they are more interested in tea and scones. That is why the tea room was born. The tea room reflects the diversity of San Francisco, which blends tea service with a playful spirit. Have a nice afternoon tea at Lovejoy’s Attic, and don’t forget to have some of their tea sandwiches selection!

14. KitTea Cat Café

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Price Range: $$ | Hours: 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM during weekdays; 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM during weekends PM
Open During COVID for: Limited Dine-in, Curbside Pickup
Address: 1266 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Phone: (415) 325-5510

KitTea Cat Café is one of the most unique cafés with the mission of saving cats and to show how relaxing and heartwarming they are. The store offers you some high-quality tea and is open for everyone who wants to enjoy some Japanese teas, waffles, sandwiches while playing with cats. KitTea Cat Café can relieve your stress as you play with the most adorable cats. You can enjoy your high tea with their Hojicha Sun tea, Sencha wind tea, Genmaicha tea, and Kukicha tea.

Now, they are open to limited dine-in services with 8 guests purr session and 4 people at a time are welcome to browse their gift shop. Included in the session is an intimate 50 minutes of cat time with a bottle of delicious complimentary tea. To help them save more cats, you can visit their GoFundMe page.

15. Stonemill Matcha

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Price Range: $$ | Hours: 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM Wednesday and Thursday; 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM Friday to Sunday
Open During COVID for: Delivery, Takeout
Address: 561 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Phone: (415) 796-3876

Matcha has been one of the most recent flavor hypes. And if you’re looking for the classic matcha tea for your perfect afternoon tea time, then go ahead with Stonemill Matcha. They offer only the best and finest Matcha tea from the shade-grown farms of Kyoto, Japan.

This café also serves delicious pastries, freshly baked milk bread by the loaf, and cakes! The store is open for takeout and delivery. But, it would benefit you if you come and visit the shop and enjoy the best Matcha tea in San Francisco!

16. Son and Garden

Pictures courtesy of Yelp

Price Range: $$ | Hours: 9:30 AM - 2:00 PM; 3:30 PM - 9 PM (weekdays) and 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM (weekends)
Open During COVID for: Delivery, Takeout
Address: 700 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109, United States
Phone: (415) 913-7404

Son & Garden is the latest viral sensation this pandemic from the Farmhouse Thai group. With its whimsical twist and over-the-top afternoon tea party in a box, this restaurant truly delivers the aesthetic from the eyes to the mouth.

Indulge yourself with their different treats from breakfast to brunch and even dinner! This Thai-American fusion cuisine takes pride in its Matcha Mochi Pancake, Deep Fried French Toast, and Fried Chicken Benedict. And in their secret bar, Son & Garden will give you the exclusive experience of a high tea service. You can order online through their website or through different apps like ubereats and doordash.

17. Malaya Tea Room

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Price Range: $$ | Hours: 11:00 AM - 5:30 PM (Closed: Mon-Thurs)
Open During COVID for: Takeout
Address: 920 Central Ave, Alameda, CA 94501
Phone: (510) 263-8208

Infuse your afternoon British tradition with the rich and crisp Malaysian flavors. Malaya Tea Room in Alameda County not only offers a delectable collection of tea flavors but also pandemic-inspired Afternoon Tea takeout boxes for only $28. They have rendang curry and kaya jam on sandwiches and chiffon cakes with pandan.

And just last year for the holidays, they introduced a turkey sandwich with cranberry and chile, a crab salad canapé, and a slice of fruit cake. There’s also a wide selection of teas. Try out their black teas passionfruit and mango notes of the № 24 blend and their buttery caramel № 54 as well as their signature “black monkey”. You will surely fall in love with teas here.

18. Samovar Tea Lounge

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Price Range: $$ | Hours: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM (Saturday only)
Open During COVID for: Indoor dining
Address: 730 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA 94103
Phone: (415) 227-9400

You can find Samovar in several SF Locations including Yerba Buena Gardens, 411 Valencia St., 1910 Fillmore St., and SFO International Airport. But as of now, all of these are temporarily closed due to COVID-19.

Nevertheless, you can still shop their organic, all-natural, and sustainable teas on their website. They offer these products in bundles, kits, and sets which are perfect for holidays. Their curated tea selection is phenomenal in the area with daily chilled varieties. And as soon as they’re open for dine-in, you can also enjoy their comfy cushions while drinking tea with avocado toast.

19. Alexander’s Patisserie

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Price Range: $$ | Hours: 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM (Closed: Mon)
Open During COVID for: Takeout, Delivery, Outdoor Seating, Curbside Pick-uo
Address: 209 Castro St Mountain View, CA 94041
Phone: (510) 263-8208

Alexander’s Patisserie is an offshoot of the famous Alexander’s, a steakhouse in Silicon Valley. They have your usual Earl Grey tea and the delectable English scones. For the Holiday Afternoon Tea, there’s a predetermined selection of seasonal items priced at $58 per person with a two-person minimum for pickup and local delivery through Doordash. For dine-in, you can reserve your slot on the website.

20. Red Blossom Tea Company

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Price Range: $$ | Hours: 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Open During COVID for: Doorside Order and Pickup
Address: 831 Grant Ave, San Francisco, CA 94108
Phone: (415) 395-0868

Red Blossom Tea was established in 1985 in San Francisco. And since then, it has been a premier source of artisanal tea and teaware. They deliver only the finest teas sourcing through traveling and visiting various tea gardens in China and Taiwan.

They offer a selection of nearly 100 teas. And what’s even more amazing is that they have dedicated and knowledgeable staff you can ask about teas. They take pride in the fact that these teas are not just products to them but they also consume it daily. So they are sure that these are clean, safe, and healthy.