We recently wrote about how one of London’s top luxury hotel, Claridge’s, is heading to Beverly Hills for its storied afternoon tea service for one week and though we can’t make it out west at this time, we know several amazing places right here in Chicago that you can indulge tea without having to grab a passport and/or book a flight. There’s a small but detailed distinction between High tea and Afternoon Tea. Afternoon Tea which originated in London sometime in the 19th century came about when the seventh Duchess of Bedford wanted a lil meal after lunch but before dinner time and then made it into a social gathering where the rich upper class took part in. High Tea was a working class version without the social merrymaking as that was a way to hold over until dinner was served.
The saying goes “not all fingers are equal” so please do keep in mind that not all places in Chicago that offer Afternoon tea, offer the same experience or menu so its worth noting you can make this a weekly or monthly tradition to try the places listed below. For Afternoon tea in Chicago, we’ve got some places offering the traditional and decadent experience to those with a modern twist. Whether you’re looking to treat that special person in your life, meeting up with friends or a solo me-date we’ve curated a list of the best places in Chicago to enjoy Afternoon tea. To get more information or to make an Afternoon Tea reservation, please click the link provided with each spot. Cheers!
If people watching in a luxury setting while indulging in sumptuous treats is your thing? then afternoon tea at the Peninsula is your spot. The Peninsula Hotel Chicago has been ranked one of the best hotels in the city (and country) year after year so you know you’ll be getting excellent service plus and a delectable menu of springtime pastries and small bites, for your money.While the menu changes seasonally, guests will always find a delightful selection of traditional scones, tea sandwiches and desserts to share and enjoy. Have a date or special occasion coming up? This is sure to impress. Afternoon tea at Peninsula Chicago is available Fridays through Sundays starting April 22 , 2022 with seatings at 2:30 pm and 4:30 pm. Afternoon Tea cost is US$ 125/per adult and US$ 55/per child, plus tax and gratuity.
The Lobby at Peninsula Chicago 108 E. Superior Street 60611 peninsula.com
We love LondonHouse for its scenic insta worthy views from 21 floors above the city on its rooftop, perfect proposals in its cupola and now another reason to love the hotel by the riverfront is its Afternoon Tea with a twist. They recently debut a new spring menu specially designed by Executive Chef Liz Sweeney and Executive Pastry Chef Thomas Gorczyca. Guests will enjoy a selection of black, green, chai, and flower and herb teas from Rare Tea Cellars, plus a basket of fresh scones and breads, including a Lemon Poppy Scone and Morning Glory Muffin, with accoutrements. The three-tiered tower follows with savory bites including an Asparagus Tart (roasted asparagus, Boursin cheese, crispy shallot) and a New England “Crab” Sandwich (vegan jackfruit salad, micro greens) and sweet treats such as a Cherry Blossom Dome (cherry blossom mousse, cherry confit) and a Violet Macaron (candied violet, violet buttercream). The Afternoon tea service at London House Hotel’s Bridges Lobby Bar is $75/per person for adults and $35/per person for children under 10. Alcoholic beverages are available at an extra charge.
The LondonHouse Bridges Bar 85 E Wacker Drive 60601 Londonhouse.com
Drake Hotel Palm Court
One of the longest running Afternoon teas here in the city, steeped in tradition, The Drake hotel’s Afternoon tea service fit for a queen is back for the season. Guests will enjoy tea selections accompanied by the traditional three tiered tea tray filled with an arrangement of gourmet artisanal finger sandwiches, delicious from scratch breads, scones, and dainty petit fours plus house made preserves, lemon curd and English double Devon cream prepared by chef’s in Palm Court at The Drake Hotel’s pastry kitchen. Drake Hotel’s tea service costs $67 for adults and $35 for children ages 3-12; Alcohol beverages are extra charge.
Palm Court at The Drake Hotel 140 E Walton Place 60611 drakehotel.com
Four Seasons Hotel Chicago
Following an extensive multi-million dollar renovation, Chicago’s Four Season hotel reopened its doors in late April 2021 and with that they launched new dining concept which includes their Afternoon Tea service. On select weekends from April 15, 2022, guests will delight in a seasonal High Tea featuring spring flavours and floral finesse. Guests will enjoy a modern twist on a classic tradition with the botanical-inspired tea service that features savory bites like a new twist on PB & J: pear, brie and jamon by the Executive Chef and sweets by Executive Pastry Chef. Steeped in the art of the draw, tea service boasts more than twenty-five of the finest varietals from Chicago-based tea aficionados Rare Tea Cellar. The cost of Afternoon Tea at Four Seasons Chicago is $110/per adult + 1 glass of Rose (exclusive of tax & gratuity); $55 per child (6-12yrs including unlimited sparkling cider).
Four Seasons Hotel Chicago 20 East Delaware Place 60611 fourseasons.com
The historic hotel formerly known as Public Hotel and before that as the iconic Chicago Ambassador East hotel is now serving Afternoon tea in the hotel’s in-house restaurant, Ambassador Room for the first time. The Afternoon Tea at Ambassador Chicago will be on a monthly basis with one scheduled for Saturday, May 8 for Mother’s Day on the hotel’s terrace. Guests will enjoy a selection of globally sourced tea selections along with savory and sweet bites.
Ambassador Chicago 1301 N. State Parkway 60610 ambassador-chicago.com
Russian Tea Time
Following an extended closure due to renovations and Covid, Russian Tea Time is back and open for service. Unlike most other spots on the list offering Afternoon tea in limited time blocks, here you can enjoy it anytime of the day they are open from Tuesday to Sundays. Guests can choose from a Regular or Queen Tea service with extras including alcohol beverages and premium teas.
Russian Tea Time 77 E. Adams Street 60603 russianteatime.com
This isn’t your typical or average tea service. The Bar at the Pendry Hotel which now occupies the Art Deco Carbide & Carbon Building is serving up afternoon tea with a boozy twist. The actual tea service which costs $65 and only hosted on Sundays comes with the sweet and savory bites as well as non-alcoholic tea. The boozy part will cost extra and you can choose from a la carte tea cocktails, bubbles or shareable tea cocktails.
Pendry Chicago 81 E. Wacker Place pendry.com
Lincoln Park’s Vanille Patisserie offers a French inspired afternoon tea experience that’s still traditional though bit more low-key. Guests will enjoy selections of their signature pastries, finger sandwiches and scones along with Benjamin teas. Another added bonus to afternoon teatime at Vanille Patisserie? Its BYOB with a $10 corkage fee per bottle.If you have dietary restrictions like Vegetarian or gluten free, they can accommodate that as well. The pricing is $65/per person for adults.
Vanille Patisserie 2108 N. Clark Street vanillepatisserie.com
Langham Hotel Chicago
One of the fancier spots for Afternoon tea on our list and trust me it that won’t disappoint. The space in the Pavillion is perfect most especially for your insta/tiktok/photo moments. The Afternoon Tea service at Langham hotel is as traditional as they get (it started back in 1865 at The Langham, London) and dare we use the words exceptional and divine! Along with the city views and stunning decor, you are served proprietary Langham teas and an array of sweet and savory bites. This is the type of spot you book for a very special occasion or when you want to treat a loved one and their close friends to a special something, send them here. Its $95/per person or get the Veuve experience for $120/per person; Children 5-12 years are $50.
Pavilion at The Langham Hotel Chicago 330 North Wabash Avenue 60611 langhamhotels.com
pronounced: Boh-la-jee, like the Bellagio but w/o the O. SLC Editorial Director, loves to write about topics at the intersection of career and lifestyle for today's young professional and future leaders.