The quintessential British tradition, afternoon tea, has become a beloved ritual in many parts of the world. Chicago, with its rich culinary scene, is no exception. Whether you’re a local looking for a refined afternoon treat or a visitor seeking a taste of elegance, the Windy City has many options to satisfy your craving for delicate scones, dainty sandwiches, and aromatic beverages. Put on your bohemian dress, throw on a light cardigan, grab your favorite book: it’s time for an afternoon tea in Chicago!
2012 Irving Park Rd, Chicago, IL 60618
Chef Noah Zamler at Chicago’s Finer Diner, Irene’s, has created a High Tea Tower for two at the North Center diner, and it features some of the city’s best handmade bites and rare teas. No greasy spoons here — High Tea is all about Irene’s mission to heighten your diner experience. The tea tower is stacked with elevated and handmade delights like scones, banana bread, pastries and bagels paired with housemade seasonal jams and a lox platter. Diners will get their choice of two tea selections from Rare Tea Cellar, and Irene’s offers unique teas like Green Magnolia Blossom Oolong, Gingerbread Dream Rooibos and a 2012 Vintage Hot Chocolate Pu-erh — fermented for 5-6 years and with fresh cacao nibs and Madagascar vanilla bean.
140 E Walton Pl, Chicago, IL 60611
Inside The Drake Hotel, lies an extraordinary restaurant called Palm Court. Palm Court is known for having the most beautiful afternoon tea experience and The Drake has been hosting tea for about a century. History has been made here because of visitors like Princess Diana and Queen Elizabeth. With over 17 different options of tea and accommodating dietary options, this is an enjoyable affair for any occasion. Finally, you can expect a live harp to be playing in the Palm Court every day except Monday and Tuesday.
108 E Superior St, Chicago, IL 60611
If you want the most elevated high tea experience, look no further than The Peninsula Chicago. Taking place in the heart of the hotel, The Lobby, the beloved British tradition of hot sips and finger snacks gets the five-star treatment here. The menu changes seasonally, but you can always expect a delightful assortment of scones, sandwiches and desserts to share, plus a flute of Champagne for each guest.
330 N Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
The Langham is the best place for an upscale, relaxing afternoon. Located on the second floor of the Langham hotel, The Pavilion is a beautiful destination for tea. Most customers rave about the finger sandwiches and the scones, but also, the wide variety of flavors of tea available. The perfect event to celebrate a birthday, an anniversary, or a reunion. It’s great to note this is a kid friendly atmosphere and children 12 and under can enjoy afternoon tea for half of the price.
81 E Wacker Pl, Chicago, IL 60601
The Boozy Tea Service at this intimate hotel lounge seeks to liven up the classics. With your tea from Rare Tea Cellar, you’ll enjoy live entertainment from local musicians and snacks like Jidori chicken salad with quince jam, brown butter chai scones and the decadent truffled egg tartlette with parmigiano and Osetra caviar. For an additional fee, your party can toast with some bubbly or try the communally-served tea cocktails, like the Dream Punch made of Prosecco and vodka infused with gingerbread dream rooibos tea.
Featured Image: Irene’s