It’s no secret that San Francisco has it all when it comes to niche cafes and restaurants—and tea bars and shops are no exception. Whether you enjoy sipping your afternoon cup at a charming tea service, selecting artisanal loose-leaf to brew in the comfort of your high-rise home or grabbing a boba pick-me-up at a local favorite spot, SoMa and its surrounding neighborhoods are sure to have something that is, well, just your cup of tea. Here are our top picks to elevate your teatime routine.
Somovar Tea Lounge
A chic tea lounge with an exceptional ambiance, Somovar Restaurant and Tea Lounge serves a wide selection of artisanal tea—from matcha bowls to tea cocktails. Just minutes from The Harrison’s front doors, this tea lounge is located within the Yerba Buena Gardens’ beautiful urban sanctuary. Head over for some serious zen time (the menu’s “mindfulness tea” is complimentary if you agree to enjoy the beverage, sans technology, for 60 minutes) or grab a bite for brunch or lunch.
Located minutes from The Harrison, Dartealing Lounge provides a cozy nook perfect for gathering with friends over refreshments and delightfully dainty sandwiches, scones, chocolates and other bites. This quirky and charming space, which resembles that of a homey living room, offers a posh high tea spread that’ll make you want to dress up in your finest tea party hat.
Steep Creamery & Tea
An 11-minute walk from your home at The Harrison, Steep is the place to satisfy your boba craving. From house milk teas to a variety of ceremonial uji matcha, this tea shop offers a selection of specialty refreshments that perfect the perfect caffeine hit. And, if your sweet tooth kicks in, try out the shop’s ever-popular ice-cream rolls.
Sourced from the shade-grown farms of Kyoto, Japan, Stonemill Matcha’s artfully-crafted drinks are not only picture-perfect, but also meticulously prepared in hand-whisked, sparkling and latte varieties. While getting your matcha fix, pair your tea with the cafe’s Japanese and Japanese-inspired pastries, which include favorites such as matcha cream puffs and black sesame strawberry roll cake.
The St. Regis San Francisco
Treat yourself to afternoon tea at The St. Regis San Francisco for a modern take on traditional tea service. Set within the hotel’s lobby lounge, the St. Regis’ “Art of Tea” experience offers a daily afternoon tea menu with a selection of teas from around the world and sweet and savory bites.
Head to Boba Guys to grab the ultimate tea fix. Choose from seasonal and specialty options or customize your beverage entirely to your liking with the build you own drink option. And, along with the option to add boba, an array of unique toppings are available—including almond jelly, chia seeds and egg pudding.
The Ritz-Carlton San Francisco
Known as a longtime favorite when it comes to tea service, The Ritz-Carlton San Francisco’s afternoon tea in the lounge presents a luxurious take on the beloved teatime tradition. Recurring the first Saturday of the month, afternoon tea is accompanied by a live harpist and variety of tea options, gourmet tea sandwiches and decadent sweets. For those looking for a spread fit for a queen, the hotel’s Royal Tea experience presents a glass of Veuve Clicquot Brut ‘Yellow Label,’ accompanied by strawberries and cream.