Best places for sit-down tea in Vancouver

Tea at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

Tea at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

We took a look at the best places for on-the-go tea in Vancouver last time.  So now you’re probably asking – where are the places to have a relaxing sit-down tea. While I haven’t exhausted all the options for a nice tea in Vancouver, here’s a list of places that are either my favorites or are on my list of places to go (in no particular order):

  • Murchies825 W. Pender St (North side between Hornby & Howe) – Not only can you get tea to go here, but you can get a quick lunch (a menu that changes but usually offers sandwiches and shepherd’s pie) and delicious scones. Their tea is great and their scones (with cream and jam) are so good that my friend and I have trouble resisting them.
  • Urban Tea Merchant1070 West Georgia St. @ Thurlow (also on the North Shore in the West Vancouver Mall Village) – This downtown location just opened this year and they did a great job in separating the store from the tea room. The elegant, quiet room is the perfect respite from busy downtown. They have an excellent selection of a la carte dishes as well as your traditional high tea selections. The West Coast Tea for two is not to missed if you enjoy salmon. And if you’re not up for full high tea, the petite tea hits the spot. Plus you can choose from an enormous selection Theodor tea to pair with your meal. Reservations recommended.
  • Muzi Tea Bar –  870 west cordova street (by Canada Place) – This very sleek tea bar has some seating, but makes lovely traditional japanese teas as well as those with a modern twist. A good spot down by Canada Place for a rest. There’s a lovely milk/rose tea latte.
  • Pekoe Tea Lounge (formerly Steeps) – 895 W Broadway –  What’s great about this place is it’s homey atmosphere and the fact there’s a tea sniffing station from which you can choose your tea. You may find the Shitty Weather Tea apropos. If you’re with a group you can snag the couches in the back. Or if it’s just the two of you, the armchairs against the large windows in the front are a good spot for people watching. They have a small selection of cakes and sweets as well as some savories, such as samosas.
  • T1568 West Broadway – This is the tea that the Fairmont uses for their high teas, as do several other high-end hotels and restaurants around the world. It’s austere atmosphere looks like it’s only a shop, but you can order tea to stay or go. And you can also sniff the teas at your leisure before ordering. My fav here is the Mad Hatter tea.
  • The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver High Tea900 W Georgia Street – Dubbed Tea at the Castle, its held every day from 2 – 4:30pm. Traditional Afternoon Tea includes exclusively blended Fairmont teas (from T), finger sandwiches, tasty pastries, and scones and fresh strawberries with Devonshire cream. To make your tea extra special, order the Champagne tea by adding a glass of Moët & Chandon. For the kids, there’s the Children’s Bubblegum Tea that includes finger sandwiches (PB&J, you can always order something else if you’re anti-PB), fresh strawberries and cream, a giant chocolate chip cookie and a seasonal fruit tartlet. Reservations – strongly recommended.
  • Wedgewood Hotel Baccus Afternoon Tea845 Hornby Street – Weekends 2-4pm – (Not open during Olympics) This intimate setting in one of Vancouver’s best award-winning restaurants, plus the hotel is consistently on Condé Nast Traveler and Travel & Leisure lists. This afternoon tea offers a lovely selection of teas with finger sandwiches, a selection of tarts and pastries, and, of course, scones with Devonshire cream and jam. And for adults, you can add an extra special twist with a Kir Royal (cassis and champagne). Reservations recommended.
  • Secret Garden Tea Company5559 West Boulevard – Located in the posh Kerrisdale neighborhood, this tea room feels like you’re in a quaint English cottage.   It’s one of Vancouver’s favorites for special occasions and mother-daughter/son teas. For high tea, they have seatings at 12, 2, and 4pm. Reservations are a must. Choose from 40 different teas paried with a three-tiered tray of miniature pastries, sweets, scones, Devonshire cream, raspberry jam, and sandwiches.
  • Adonia Tea House2057 West 41st Avenue – Located in the same neighborhood as Secret Garden, this cozy (and less formal) tea room offers an slight fusion of your traditional English tea with Asian touches.In additional to the traditional English afternoon and mini-afternoon teas, you can order slushies, a shaved ice platter, iced tea and iced coffee. Adonia also offers a la carte soups, salads, sandwiches and desserts. And in the evening there’s also a section of pasta dishes.
  • Shaktea3702 Main St – Located in Vancouver’s hip Main St neighborhood, Shaktea brings the calm of yoga to tea. Your tea is served in individual tea pots that sit atop candle warmers to make sure it doesn’t cool as you relax and chat away the afternoon. There’s always a tea awaiting for you to sample prior to ordering and a lovely selection of gourmet pastries and cakes. 

  • Finch’s Tea & Coffee House353 West Pender – I have to say that while they serve good quality loose-leaf tea, it’s their sandwiches that I come here for. The brie and pear and the tomato and bocconcini baguettes are the best! Get their early before the lunch rush to get a seat.
  • Starbucks – one on nearly every corner – Vancouver embraced Starbucks as if it were a long lost child. And you can’t go 2 blocks in this city without coming across one. Their tea mistos (don’t call them lattes) are pretty good. And if you just want to get off your feet, it fits the bill.

6 thoughts on “Best places for sit-down tea in Vancouver

  1. Vancouver has a host of unsung tea treasures in the Suburb of Richmond. The Pearl Castle at the Continental Shopping Center on Sexsmith Road, for instance, is a modern metropolitan Taiwanese restaurant with an 8-page tea menu. In the same shopping center is Spring Cottage Tea House, the source of the absolute highest-quality teas I’ve found anywhere (and I purchase teas everywhere from Yunnan to Colorado!). The Best Tea House is only a few blocks to the south, an upscale tea vendor based in Hong Kong that has very rare and antique Chinese teaware and teas. Although most restaurant and shopkeepers in Richmond are Cantonese speakers, they are universally welcoming of Caucasian tea enthusiasts!

  2. I hope to devote a post or series of posts in the future on Richmond tea shops and restaurants. My friend and I are already planning a visit to the London Heritage Farm, and I hope to also get a tour of the tea shops and restaurants throughout Richmond. Additionally I’d like to do a post on the Chinese tea shops in the Metro Vancouver area that’s helps people feel less intimidated by the vast selection of teas that you can get there, especially since many unusal for your average tea drinker.

  3. Update: no longer recommended that you ask for tea mistos at Starbucks. The terminology has been changed so that they are all tea lattes now to avoid confusion (and there was lots). Thanks for all the great recommendations! Love Pekoe/Steeps, and will check out some of the others.

  4. Great blog! My partner and i definitely adore how it’s simple on my personal eyes as well as the data are very well written.

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