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A bartender pours alcohol out of a jigger into a white ceramic teapot with orange flowers on the side.
A little booze can upgrade the tea experience.
Garrett Sweet/Eater Chicago

Ten Posh Spots For Boozy Tea Service in Chicago

Read those tea leaves with cute sandwiches and dainty sweets

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A little booze can upgrade the tea experience.
| Garrett Sweet/Eater Chicago

The tradition of afternoon tea started in 19th century Britain as a way to provide fuel until a late dinner in the form of miniature sandwiches and cake with a spot of caffeine. Americans have embraced it as a luxury, especially around the holiday season, and made it even more decadent by pairing the towers of sweet and savory bites with not just tea but champagne and cocktails. If you’re looking for some festive fun, check out this list of the best places in Chicago for boozy tea.

As of August 20, the city has mandated that everyone wear facial coverings while indoors. For updated information on coronavirus cases, please visit the city of Chicago’s COVID-19 dashboard. Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; the latest data about the delta variant indicates that it may pose a low-to-moderate risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

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Palm Court at the Drake Hotel

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The Gold Coast spot’s holiday tea offered from through Jan. 9 includes cucumber sandwiches, yule log, apple cider tea cakes and other bites to pair with your tea. You can add on a glass for sparkling wine, a mimosa, a bellini, or a full bottle of red or white wine.

Social Lounge at Four Seasons Hotel Chicago

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The festive tea at the brand new lounge includes your choice of more than 25 varieties of tea, sweets from pastry chef Juan Gutierrez, savory bites from executive chef Tristan Barker and a glass of champagne or unlimited sparkling cider. Make a reservation via Tock.

The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago

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A glass of sparkling wine is included in the afternoon holiday tea running weekends through Dec. 26, which also features truffle chicken salad sandwiches, a peppermint bark brownie, potato leek quiche and spiced fruit scones with housemade lemon curd. Make a reservation via Tock.

The Peninsula Chicago

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Sit beneath the hotel’s 20-foot Christmas tree for a festive afternoon tea offered through Jan. 9 that includes a glass of champagne, cranberry chicken salad sandwiches, scones with housemade preserves and seasonal pastries. Vegan and gluten-free options are available. Make a reservation via Tock.

Brindille

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Try a French spin on the tradition in River North with champagne, scones, crumpets with jam, finger sandwiches and other pastries available Dec. 10-11 and 17-18. The River North restaurant offers a takeaway version on Dec. 19. Make a reservation via OpenTable.

Kostali at the Gwen Hotel

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The Tipsy Tea Party features bottomless tea cocktails such as We’re All Mad Here, a blend of scotch, peach liqueur, mango tea, sugar and lemon, and Spill the Tea Sis, made with chai vanilla bourbon tea, cardamom, cognac, orgeat and lemon. You can also get unlimited prosecco for the same price. Make a reservation via Tock.

A set of dishes, cups, and pots for afternoon tea. Garrett Sweet/Eater Chicago

Pavilion at the Langham, Chicago

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Sip a glass of Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label while snacking on seasonal treats like curry pumpkin cheesecake, cranberry and raisin scones and eggnog custard during the hotel’s holiday afternoon tea. Make a reservation through Jan. 9 via Tock.

Bridges Lobby Bar at LondonHouse

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Add a mimosa, bloody mary, or glass or bottle of wine to your drinks from Rare Tea Cellar while you take in views of the Chicago River and nibble peking duck spring rolls, apple cider donuts and apple crumble scones. Make a reservation via Tock.

LondonHouse’s tea service
LondonHouse/Amy Ulivieri

Bar Pendry Chicago

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Enjoy live music while indulging in a Sunday boozy tea service featuring punch bowl-style cocktails and other tea-infused drinks accompanied by towers of snacks such as crab salad and brown butter chai scones. Make a reservation via OpenTable.

Russian Tea Time Restaurant

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Order a glass or bottle of champagne to accompany the Loop restaurant’s afternoon tea service, which includes raisin scones with cream and jam, tea sandwiches and sweets. If you have a group of three or more, you can get your tea served in a traditional Russian samovar.

Palm Court at the Drake Hotel

The Gold Coast spot’s holiday tea offered from through Jan. 9 includes cucumber sandwiches, yule log, apple cider tea cakes and other bites to pair with your tea. You can add on a glass for sparkling wine, a mimosa, a bellini, or a full bottle of red or white wine.

Social Lounge at Four Seasons Hotel Chicago

The festive tea at the brand new lounge includes your choice of more than 25 varieties of tea, sweets from pastry chef Juan Gutierrez, savory bites from executive chef Tristan Barker and a glass of champagne or unlimited sparkling cider. Make a reservation via Tock.

The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago

A glass of sparkling wine is included in the afternoon holiday tea running weekends through Dec. 26, which also features truffle chicken salad sandwiches, a peppermint bark brownie, potato leek quiche and spiced fruit scones with housemade lemon curd. Make a reservation via Tock.

The Peninsula Chicago

Sit beneath the hotel’s 20-foot Christmas tree for a festive afternoon tea offered through Jan. 9 that includes a glass of champagne, cranberry chicken salad sandwiches, scones with housemade preserves and seasonal pastries. Vegan and gluten-free options are available. Make a reservation via Tock.

Brindille

Try a French spin on the tradition in River North with champagne, scones, crumpets with jam, finger sandwiches and other pastries available Dec. 10-11 and 17-18. The River North restaurant offers a takeaway version on Dec. 19. Make a reservation via OpenTable.

Kostali at the Gwen Hotel

A set of dishes, cups, and pots for afternoon tea. Garrett Sweet/Eater Chicago

The Tipsy Tea Party features bottomless tea cocktails such as We’re All Mad Here, a blend of scotch, peach liqueur, mango tea, sugar and lemon, and Spill the Tea Sis, made with chai vanilla bourbon tea, cardamom, cognac, orgeat and lemon. You can also get unlimited prosecco for the same price. Make a reservation via Tock.

A set of dishes, cups, and pots for afternoon tea. Garrett Sweet/Eater Chicago

Pavilion at the Langham, Chicago

Sip a glass of Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label while snacking on seasonal treats like curry pumpkin cheesecake, cranberry and raisin scones and eggnog custard during the hotel’s holiday afternoon tea. Make a reservation through Jan. 9 via Tock.

Bridges Lobby Bar at LondonHouse

LondonHouse’s tea service
LondonHouse/Amy Ulivieri

Add a mimosa, bloody mary, or glass or bottle of wine to your drinks from Rare Tea Cellar while you take in views of the Chicago River and nibble peking duck spring rolls, apple cider donuts and apple crumble scones. Make a reservation via Tock.

LondonHouse’s tea service
LondonHouse/Amy Ulivieri

Bar Pendry Chicago

Enjoy live music while indulging in a Sunday boozy tea service featuring punch bowl-style cocktails and other tea-infused drinks accompanied by towers of snacks such as crab salad and brown butter chai scones. Make a reservation via OpenTable.

Russian Tea Time Restaurant

Order a glass or bottle of champagne to accompany the Loop restaurant’s afternoon tea service, which includes raisin scones with cream and jam, tea sandwiches and sweets. If you have a group of three or more, you can get your tea served in a traditional Russian samovar.

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