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An overhead table shop filled with tea and cakes.
A look at Pavilion at the Langham’s tea service.
© 2019 Galdones Photography

15 Outstanding Spots To Sip Tea in Chicago

Terrific fancy and casual ways to enjoy the world’s beverage

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A look at Pavilion at the Langham’s tea service.
| © 2019 Galdones Photography

While Chicago counts one of the country’s strongest coffee scenes, thanks to the great work of local tea sellers — like Rare Tea Cellar, Spirit Tea, and Kilogram from Intelligentsia — the city’s tea culture is becoming evermore sophisticated, too. Beyond trendy drinks like matcha lattes, Chicago is experiencing a swell in establishments serving properly-brewed teas, wherein the temperature of the water is taken into consideration, along with brew method, and ratio of leaves to water.

From oolongs to greens to blacks, below, 15 of Chicago’s best places to sip tea.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Mango Pickle

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5842 N Broadway
Chicago, IL 60660
(773) 944-5555
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Edgewater Indian number Mango Pickle offers a range of teas like mango chai, tulsi lemongrass, and frangipani. And once a month (Sunday, 3 p.m.) the cozy eatery hosts high chai, which includes the choice of Bombay masala chai or sweet turmeric-neem leaf chai, and tea-lunch plates like keema sliders, eggplant chutney, peanut-rice “Poh” and more for $36. 

A glass of chai surrounded by spices.
Chai service at Mango Pickle.
Mango Pickle [Official Photo]

2. Band of Bohemia

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4710 N Ravenswood Ave
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 271-4710
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Tom Santelle came to Chicago’s Michelin-starred brewpub from Alinea, and he heads up a robust tea and coffee program. Beyond the pre-existing menu of carbonated and cold-brew teas, new to the menu is a reserve tea list from Inari Tea. Think rare brews ($20-$30) from places like Taiwan and China.

An overhead shot of tea.
Tea service at Band of Bohemia.
Band of Bohemia [Official Photo]

3. Backlot Coffee

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3982 N Avondale Ave
Chicago, IL 60641
(773) 657-3797
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Backlot Coffee, which now counts three locations (two in Evanston and one in Old Irving Park), serves brews mostly made from Rare Tea Cellar teas. And for those keen on unique tea-based beverages, pop in to try the lavender-imbued matcha, sweetened with a house-made lavender syrup. There’s also the chai option, made from a chai concentrate, chai spice-infused steamed milk, and — for an extra rush — make it “dirty” with a double shot of espresso.

A Mason jar with a creamy white liquid.
Backlot Coffee’s Chai.
Backlot Coffee [Official Photo]

4. Superkhana International

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3059 W Diversey Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 661-9028
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The tea options at mod Indian haunt Superkhana International in Logan Square skew, well, Indian. Try chef Zeeshan Shah’s auntie-approved extra-strong milk chai, made with Red Label loose tea, ginger, green cardamom, black peppercorns, water, milk, and sugar. The recipe was inspired by a family recipe that he grew up drinking. Beyond chai, beverage director and general manager Colleen Malone built a list using Spirit Tea, including Nepal white, rosella, and okumidori sencha.

A photo of a long bar with black chairs.
Superkhana International offers a sterling tea selection.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

5. Chiya Chai Cafe

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2770 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 360-7541
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Chiya is the place for chai tea fans. This modest Nepalese cafe in Logan Square serves over 150 different combinations, with classic and creative flavors like masala and cardamom to “Salty Pink Himalayan” with almond butter. Then, order some momos (dumplings) alongside. 

Three glasses of colorful chai teas.
Assorted chai drinks
Chiya Chai [Official Photo]

6. Intelligentsia Coffee Old Town Coffeebar

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1233 N Wells St
Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 229-1400
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Local specialty coffee chainlet Intelligentsia offers drinks made from Kilogram Tea. Pick from English breakfast, chamomile and jasmine green teas, in addition to matcha drinks. Select locations also offer seasonally rotating sparkling Kilogram teas, like turmeric tonic, schizandra berry, and organic golden needles tea.

Kilogram Tea
Intelligentsia [Official Photo]

7. Petit Margeaux

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11 E Walton St
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 625-1324
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Years back chef Michael Mina had a restaurant in Los Angeles, and through his time spent there he befriended Craig Min, owner of Lamill coffee and tea. So, over at Petit Margeaux within Waldorf Astoria Chicago, Mina serves Lamill teas. Guests can choose from options like organic jasmine, Moroccan mint, and masala chai. 

Tea time at Petit Margeaux
Petit Margeaux [Official Photo]

8. The Peninsula

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108 E Superior St
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 337-2888
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Served in the heart of the hotel, the Lobby at the Peninsula offers afternoon tea daily from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on Sunday ($85 per person, or $98 with a glass of Champagne). The house tea brand of choice is Le Palais des Thés, served alongside scones, tea sandwiches, and small desserts. 

The Peninsula’s tea time is full of swanky bites and beverages.
The Peninsula [Official Photo]

9. The Langham, Chicago

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330 N Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 923-9988
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Pavilion at the Langham offers daily afternoon tea service, with tea sandwiches and scones served beside jam and clotted cream served on Wedgewood china. Brews are not outsourced, instead the hotel commands its own proprietary brand with 25 unique blends. From time-to-time the property also offers specially-curated afternoon tea sessions, including a special Valentine’s Day focus.

The Langham has upscale afternoon tea service
The Langham [Official Photo]

10. Metric Coffee Co.

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2021 W Fulton St suite k-101b
Chicago, IL 60612
(312) 982-2196
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Though sleek micro roaster Metric might be best known for its excellent coffee, the tea program here is also one of the city’s best. The team carefully sources its teas from Spirit Tea, offering a mix of whites, blacks, greens, and matcha. Unsurprisingly, their matcha has been the biggest seller lately, available both as a steamed latte and as a shaken iced drink. 

Spirit Tea is the choice of Metric.
Metric Coffee [Official Photo]

11. Gaijin

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950 W Lake St
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 265-1348
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Over at newly-minted West Loop savory pancake specialist Gaijin, the teas lean Japanese. Beverage Director Julius White Jr. sources his teas from Rare Tea Cellar, and guests can choose from five hot and two iced tea options daily. Think samurai chai (sencha tea with popped rice and chai), and sakura Kyoto cherry blossom tea (Japanese green tea with cherry blossom and wild rose).

The inside of a dark-hued restaurant and bar.
Inside Gaijin
Gaijin [Official Photo]

12. Kumiko

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630 W Lake St
Chicago, IL 60661
(312) 285-2912
Visit Website

It’s no surprise that Julia Momose’s Japanese cocktail den in the West Loop, Kumiko, is big into tea. Momose is sourcing all of her teas from a single, family-owned plantation in Hoshinomura, a village located in Fukuoka’s Yame District (an area famous for green tea production). Flavors include gyokuro, kukicha, oolong, hojicha, and kodemari matcha. The latter of which she’s also using in a warm dessert cocktail, the “Matcha Miruku,” with shochu, cashew nut milk, and honey. Those looking to go caffeine-free can choose from tisanes such as red chai and emperor’s chamomile.

A woman pouring matcha into a bowl.
Kumiko’s matcha service.
Sammy Faze Photograhpy

13. Virgin Hotels Chicago

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203 N Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 940-4400
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The Commons Club within Virgin Hotel Chicago takes a more alcohol-fueled approach to high tea. Running Saturdays from 2 to 5 p.m., Upside Down Tea Service ($35 for booze-free tea; the hard stuff begins at $45) includes warm, booze-spiked tea drinks (using Jenwey Tea Co.) and Champagne, in addition to regular brewed tea options, plus sweet and savory tea bites. 

Commons Club has an array teas with or without alcohol
Virgin Hotels Chicago [Official Photo]

14. Chicago Athletic Association

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12 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60603
(312) 940-3552
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With its fireplace and living room feel, Drawing Room at the Chicago Athletic Association hotel is one of the city’s coziest places to sip tea during colder months. Here, the team worked with Rare Tea Cellar to draft a menu of unique and seasonal teas, and right now guests can pick from options like emperor’s house chai, magnolia blossom oolong, and royal chamomile mint. Meanwhile, Cindy’s atop the hotel also sources its teas via Rare Tea Cellar, and those brews flavor drinks both boozy and alcohol-free. The ‘What’s The Tea’ cocktail calls for sweet peach noir in the form of a bright and fruity cordial. For those less interested in a buzz, the ‘Lads and Lassies’ infuses in lapsang souchong for a smokey, spirit-free cocktail libation.

Tea cocktails at Cindy’s.
Chicago Athletic Association Hotel [Official Photo]

15. Lockwood Restaurant & Bar

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17 E Monroe St
Chicago, IL 60603
(312) 917-3404
Visit Website

At Palmer House’s American eatery Lockwood Restaurant & Bar downtown, afternoon tea ($55) is a must. Swing by for elegant tea service Monday through Sunday, from 2 to 4 p.m., in which guests can choose from teas like darjeeling, wild strawberry, and green. Tea-friendly sweet and savory bites will accompany.

 

Tea cakes and tea.
Tea service at Lockwood Restaurant & Bar.
Lockwood Restaurant & Bar [Official Photo]

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1. Mango Pickle

5842 N Broadway, Chicago, IL 60660
A glass of chai surrounded by spices.
Chai service at Mango Pickle.
Mango Pickle [Official Photo]

Edgewater Indian number Mango Pickle offers a range of teas like mango chai, tulsi lemongrass, and frangipani. And once a month (Sunday, 3 p.m.) the cozy eatery hosts high chai, which includes the choice of Bombay masala chai or sweet turmeric-neem leaf chai, and tea-lunch plates like keema sliders, eggplant chutney, peanut-rice “Poh” and more for $36. 

5842 N Broadway
Chicago, IL 60660

2. Band of Bohemia

4710 N Ravenswood Ave, Chicago, IL 60640
An overhead shot of tea.
Tea service at Band of Bohemia.
Band of Bohemia [Official Photo]

Tom Santelle came to Chicago’s Michelin-starred brewpub from Alinea, and he heads up a robust tea and coffee program. Beyond the pre-existing menu of carbonated and cold-brew teas, new to the menu is a reserve tea list from Inari Tea. Think rare brews ($20-$30) from places like Taiwan and China.

4710 N Ravenswood Ave
Chicago, IL 60640

3. Backlot Coffee

3982 N Avondale Ave, Chicago, IL 60641
A Mason jar with a creamy white liquid.
Backlot Coffee’s Chai.
Backlot Coffee [Official Photo]

Backlot Coffee, which now counts three locations (two in Evanston and one in Old Irving Park), serves brews mostly made from Rare Tea Cellar teas. And for those keen on unique tea-based beverages, pop in to try the lavender-imbued matcha, sweetened with a house-made lavender syrup. There’s also the chai option, made from a chai concentrate, chai spice-infused steamed milk, and — for an extra rush — make it “dirty” with a double shot of espresso.

3982 N Avondale Ave
Chicago, IL 60641

4. Superkhana International

3059 W Diversey Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
A photo of a long bar with black chairs.
Superkhana International offers a sterling tea selection.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

The tea options at mod Indian haunt Superkhana International in Logan Square skew, well, Indian. Try chef Zeeshan Shah’s auntie-approved extra-strong milk chai, made with Red Label loose tea, ginger, green cardamom, black peppercorns, water, milk, and sugar. The recipe was inspired by a family recipe that he grew up drinking. Beyond chai, beverage director and general manager Colleen Malone built a list using Spirit Tea, including Nepal white, rosella, and okumidori sencha.

3059 W Diversey Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

5. Chiya Chai Cafe

2770 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
Three glasses of colorful chai teas.
Assorted chai drinks
Chiya Chai [Official Photo]

Chiya is the place for chai tea fans. This modest Nepalese cafe in Logan Square serves over 150 different combinations, with classic and creative flavors like masala and cardamom to “Salty Pink Himalayan” with almond butter. Then, order some momos (dumplings) alongside. 

2770 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

6. Intelligentsia Coffee Old Town Coffeebar

1233 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60610
Kilogram Tea
Intelligentsia [Official Photo]

Local specialty coffee chainlet Intelligentsia offers drinks made from Kilogram Tea. Pick from English breakfast, chamomile and jasmine green teas, in addition to matcha drinks. Select locations also offer seasonally rotating sparkling Kilogram teas, like turmeric tonic, schizandra berry, and organic golden needles tea.

1233 N Wells St
Chicago, IL 60610

7. Petit Margeaux

11 E Walton St, Chicago, IL 60611
Tea time at Petit Margeaux
Petit Margeaux [Official Photo]

Years back chef Michael Mina had a restaurant in Los Angeles, and through his time spent there he befriended Craig Min, owner of Lamill coffee and tea. So, over at Petit Margeaux within Waldorf Astoria Chicago, Mina serves Lamill teas. Guests can choose from options like organic jasmine, Moroccan mint, and masala chai. 

11 E Walton St
Chicago, IL 60611

8. The Peninsula

108 E Superior St, Chicago, IL 60611
The Peninsula’s tea time is full of swanky bites and beverages.
The Peninsula [Official Photo]

Served in the heart of the hotel, the Lobby at the Peninsula offers afternoon tea daily from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on Sunday ($85 per person, or $98 with a glass of Champagne). The house tea brand of choice is Le Palais des Thés, served alongside scones, tea sandwiches, and small desserts. 

108 E Superior St
Chicago, IL 60611

9. The Langham, Chicago

330 N Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
The Langham has upscale afternoon tea service
The Langham [Official Photo]

Pavilion at the Langham offers daily afternoon tea service, with tea sandwiches and scones served beside jam and clotted cream served on Wedgewood china. Brews are not outsourced, instead the hotel commands its own proprietary brand with 25 unique blends. From time-to-time the property also offers specially-curated afternoon tea sessions, including a special Valentine’s Day focus.

330 N Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60611

10. Metric Coffee Co.

2021 W Fulton St suite k-101b, Chicago, IL 60612
Spirit Tea is the choice of Metric.
Metric Coffee [Official Photo]

Though sleek micro roaster Metric might be best known for its excellent coffee, the tea program here is also one of the city’s best. The team carefully sources its teas from Spirit Tea, offering a mix of whites, blacks, greens, and matcha. Unsurprisingly, their matcha has been the biggest seller lately, available both as a steamed latte and as a shaken iced drink. 

2021 W Fulton St suite k-101b
Chicago, IL 60612

11. Gaijin

950 W Lake St, Chicago, IL 60607
The inside of a dark-hued restaurant and bar.
Inside Gaijin
Gaijin [Official Photo]

Over at newly-minted West Loop savory pancake specialist Gaijin, the teas lean Japanese. Beverage Director Julius White Jr. sources his teas from Rare Tea Cellar, and guests can choose from five hot and two iced tea options daily. Think samurai chai (sencha tea with popped rice and chai), and sakura Kyoto cherry blossom tea (Japanese green tea with cherry blossom and wild rose).

950 W Lake St
Chicago, IL 60607

12. Kumiko

630 W Lake St, Chicago, IL 60661
A woman pouring matcha into a bowl.
Kumiko’s matcha service.
Sammy Faze Photograhpy

It’s no surprise that Julia Momose’s Japanese cocktail den in the West Loop, Kumiko, is big into tea. Momose is sourcing all of her teas from a single, family-owned plantation in Hoshinomura, a village located in Fukuoka’s Yame District (an area famous for green tea production). Flavors include gyokuro, kukicha, oolong, hojicha, and kodemari matcha. The latter of which she’s also using in a warm dessert cocktail, the “Matcha Miruku,” with shochu, cashew nut milk, and honey. Those looking to go caffeine-free can choose from tisanes such as red chai and emperor’s chamomile.

630 W Lake St
Chicago, IL 60661

13. Virgin Hotels Chicago

203 N Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60601
Commons Club has an array teas with or without alcohol
Virgin Hotels Chicago [Official Photo]

The Commons Club within Virgin Hotel Chicago takes a more alcohol-fueled approach to high tea. Running Saturdays from 2 to 5 p.m., Upside Down Tea Service ($35 for booze-free tea; the hard stuff begins at $45) includes warm, booze-spiked tea drinks (using Jenwey Tea Co.) and Champagne, in addition to regular brewed tea options, plus sweet and savory tea bites. 

203 N Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60601

14. Chicago Athletic Association

12 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603
Tea cocktails at Cindy’s.
Chicago Athletic Association Hotel [Official Photo]

With its fireplace and living room feel, Drawing Room at the Chicago Athletic Association hotel is one of the city’s coziest places to sip tea during colder months. Here, the team worked with Rare Tea Cellar to draft a menu of unique and seasonal teas, and right now guests can pick from options like emperor’s house chai, magnolia blossom oolong, and royal chamomile mint. Meanwhile, Cindy’s atop the hotel also sources its teas via Rare Tea Cellar, and those brews flavor drinks both boozy and alcohol-free. The ‘What’s The Tea’ cocktail calls for sweet peach noir in the form of a bright and fruity cordial. For those less interested in a buzz, the ‘Lads and Lassies’ infuses in lapsang souchong for a smokey, spirit-free cocktail libation.

12 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60603

15. Lockwood Restaurant & Bar

17 E Monroe St, Chicago, IL 60603
Tea cakes and tea.
Tea service at Lockwood Restaurant & Bar.
Lockwood Restaurant & Bar [Official Photo]

At Palmer House’s American eatery Lockwood Restaurant & Bar downtown, afternoon tea ($55) is a must. Swing by for elegant tea service Monday through Sunday, from 2 to 4 p.m., in which guests can choose from teas like darjeeling, wild strawberry, and green. Tea-friendly sweet and savory bites will accompany.

 

17 E Monroe St
Chicago, IL 60603

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