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The 7 Best Luxurious Places for High Tea in New York City

the 7 best most luxurious places for afternoon high tea service in New York City, including spots in Brooklyn, the Plaza Hotel, the Carlyle and more.

The concept of tea time is an excellent one, if you ask us. Especially if you’re visiting a new city or hosting visitors yourself. You’re on the go all day and right about 4:00P you just want to sit, rest, chat, rehydrate and refuel. So why not do it in a gracious setting, with pretty little bites to eat and lots of fragrant beverage options served in china cups? If this is your idea of a good time, and you find yourself in New York City and in search of a place to have tea, read on. Our correspondent Meredith Lepore has curated a list of the 7 best most luxurious places for afternoon high tea service in New York City, including spots in Brooklyn, the Plaza Hotel, the Carlyle and more.

where to go at tea time in New York City (NYC)

As the Mad Hatter said in Alice in Wonderland, “It’s always tea time.” And though the Brits invented it, New Yorkers made it look good.

And let’s face it: afternoon tea is a slightly more interesting option than another $12 cup of coffee with meticulous foam art or an extravagant cocktail (’cause though we do love our cocktails, sometimes you just can’t drink at three in the afternoon.)

The best most luxurious places for high tea in New York City (NYC).

The best most luxurious places for high tea in New York City (NYC).

Besides, tea is so healthy! So civilized! So calming! Plus, delicious snacks come with it. Originally started as a way to prevent the hangryness of Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, in the year 1840, it certainly caught on and frankly that gap between lunch and dinner is a long one.

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In the past few years a number of fine hotels, restaurants and even bars have made tea time an important part of their offerings (we’re pretty sure the immense popularity of “Bridgerton” helped a bit with that, too). Here are some of the best places to have high tea in New York City. 

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7 best luxurious places for high tea in New York City (NYC)

1. The Palm Court, The Plaza Hotel

Well, if we are talking about tea time in New York City then, of course, we must start with The Palm Court at The Plaza Hotel. We’ll start with that gorgeous room. Everything from the circular bar to the ornate ceiling to the beautiful china the tea is served in is exquisite. If it is good enough for Eloise, it is good enough for us. 

The best most luxurious places for high tea in New York City (NYC) right now

The best most luxurious places for high tea in New York City (NYC) right now. The Palm Court at the Plaza Hotel.

The Palm Court has four different tea menus: Manhattan Tea, Plaza Signature Tea, Grand Imperial Tea and the aforementioned Eloise Tea for children. Having just been there I can tell you the food is absolutely delicious. Salmon puffs, cucumber sandwiches and delicate (and tiny) sweet macaroons, cakes and custards as well as scones. Children will love their options like  fruity and herbal teas, as well as lemonade and iced teas, plus macarons, cucumber sandwiches and pastries. That should be included on the regular menu as well, but, alas, we all have to grow up sometime. 

Afternoon Tea is served daily, 10:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. in The Palm Court

2. The Russian Tea Room

If we’re naming New York landmarks we must include The Russian Tea Room. Clearly it is a hotspot for tea (no pun intended) to stay around after all these years. They serve five different teas, including a gluten-free one.

The best most luxurious places for high tea in New York City (NYC) right now. The Russian Tea Room.

If you aren’t familiar with The Russian Tea Room, it was founded by the Russian Imperial Ballet in 1927 and has attracted the who’s who of New York ever since. Woody Allen even featured it in his iconic film Manhattan. 

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3. The Gallery at the Carlyle

Inspired by the sultan’s dining room at the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, Turkey, at The Gallery its a certainty that you will not get bored.

places for high tea New York

The best most luxurious places for high tea in New York City. The Carlyle Hotel. Courtesy Photo.

This is truly old, elegant New York but with a bit of a Bridgerton feel. 

4. The Crosby Hotel, SoHo

This celeb haunt is already a popular joint for drinks, breakfast and everything in between. So of course, high tea at The Crosby Hotel in SoHo is quite posh as well.

places for high tea New York

The best, most luxurious places for high tea in New York City. The Crosby Hotel. Courtesy Photo.

Served at the stylish Crosby Bar you will munch on delicious finger sandwiches made of ham, brie and orange. But save room for raspberry ganache tarts and lemon risotto cake. 

5. The Williamsburg Hotel

Gotta represent Brooklyn! And yes, they do have some lovely tea offerings too. The Harvey restaurant serves tea every day but with a bit of a funky twist.

The best most luxurious places for afternoon high tea service in New York City, including Brooklyn

The best most luxurious places for afternoon high tea service in New York City, including Brooklyn. Courtesy Photo.

This tea includes the ever trendy menu item avocado toast and instead of scones, you can have rosemary and chocolate. 

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6. Alice’s Tea Cup

Many of us learned quite how wild a tea party can get in Alice in Wonderland and this tea house is an homage to the childhood favorite. Alice’s Tea Cup was founded in 2001 by sisters Hayley and Lauren Fox on the Upper West Side. It soon became so popular for children and adults that lines formed out the door, and an Upper East Side location was opened as well. Now there’s also Alice’s To Go on Hicks Street in Brooklyn. 

The best most luxurious places for afternoon high tea service in New York City, including Brooklyn

The best most luxurious places for afternoon high tea service in New York City, including Brooklyn. The Alice in Wonderland statue in Central Park, NYC.

A perfect place for an intimate gathering whether you are young or old, it is a truly magical place (and was a favorite of Suri Cruise’s for a long time.) The nibbles are delicious, and include sandwiches, a side salad, mocha cake, lemon tart, or chocolate mousse, with assorted mini cookies, and if you are feeling super hungry, you can always indulge in the Jabberwocky, which includes unlimited tea, scones served with preserves and cream, sandwiches and dessert. Don’t worry, there is a menu for the small as well. Afterwards make your way over to the Alice in Wonderland statue in Central Park. 

7. Lady Mendl’s Tea Room

You can live out all your Samantha from American Girl dreams out here with this five-course tea in a Victorian brownstone in Gramercy built in the 1800s.

The best most luxurious places for afternoon high tea service in New York City, including Brooklyn

The best most luxurious places for afternoon high tea service in New York City, including Brooklyn. Courtesy Photo.

Indulge in classic teas  as well as a seasonal soup or salad, traditional tea sandwiches and scones, sweets, and a vanilla cream gâteau de crêpes. 

7 best luxurious places for high tea in New York City

That’s our take on the 7 best most luxurious places for afternoon high tea service in New York City, including spots in Brooklyn, the Plaza Hotel, the Carlyle and more. What’s at the top of your list?

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This article contains affiliate links to products independently selected by our editors. As an Amazon Associate, Dandelion Chandelier receives a commission for qualifying purchases made through these links. 

Meredith Lepore is a freelance writer, editor, and content strategist. Her work has appeared in Marie Claire Magazine, Women’s Health, InStyle, Architectural Digest, The Observer, and Travel & Leisure. She earned her Masters in journalism from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. Meredith resides in New York full time, and enjoys reading, jogging, spinning, and playing with her small dog, Otis.

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