Atlanta is hands down one of the best food cities in the country right now. It’s also a fabulous place to enjoy the tradition of afternoon tea. While you’ll find traditional English treats like scones and clotted cream on tea house menus across the city, you’ll also find wonderful Southern influences and global flavors. Atlanta afternoons should be spent drinking tea, and these are the five best places to enjoy it right now.
1. The St. Regis Atlanta
This opulent hotel is worth a stay if you want to experience its plush rooms, gorgeous pool, and excellent restaurant, Atlas. But even if you stop by Astor Court for afternoon tea on Saturday or Sunday, you’ll still get to enjoy the property’s culinary delights and impeccable service. The room is named after Caroline Astor, who made afternoon tea popular in the 1800s as a way to socialize and relieve hunger pains between lunch and dinner. To help you choose a tea, the staff presents a box of selections so you can smell the leaves and learn more about each one. After your tea and a glass of bubbly arrive, a beautiful tower of scrumptious bites follows. The curried chicken salad finger sandwich is a St. Regis specialty. The savory delights are followed by seasonal sweets like a chestnut eclair and squash bread pudding.
2. Tipple + Rose Tea Parlor and Apothecary
Housed in a pretty, light-filled room, this tea house and apothecary is the kind of place where you’ll want to spend a whole afternoon. Tipple + Rose features a tea sniffing bar where you can explore more than 140 teas and tisanes to find the perfect brew. It also serves drinks like turmeric chai lattes, kombucha, and boba tea. You can order snacks like crumpets and sandwiches à la carte, and there is also a variety of high tea menus from which to choose. You can go with a traditional high tea experience, or opt for Tipple + Rose’s Southern version that features bites like pimento cheese finger sandwiches and red velvet macarons. Keep an eye out for special themed events, and pick up gifts like small batch bath products and tea-making accessories before you go.
3. Waldorf Astoria Atlanta Buckhead
The Waldorf Astoria offers another glamorous take on afternoon tea. The Buckhead hotel serves its version in the cafe’s gorgeous marble rotunda, bar, or patio overlooking the garden, so you can set the scene for your experience. The staff will leave you with a box of tea leaves to help you decide which variety you’d like to try. After settling in with a warm cup and a glass of champagne, the nibbles begin to arrive. Try the orange and apricot scones with clotted cream, deviled eggs, Waldorf chicken salad on a buttermilk biscuit, peach cobbler, and decadent red velvet cake. Keep an eye out for festive seasonal happenings like tea with Santa.
4. Tea House Formosa
This Taiwanese tea house is a great place to visit if you want to sip brews with a global influence. While there are plenty of loose leaf teas to try, Tea House Formosa also serves specialties like milk tea, cold teas topped with cream, tea floats, matcha lattes, and even bottles of house cold brew. It also serves delicious bites like bao buns, rice burgers, chicken nuggets, and takoyaki, a wheat-flour ball that’s filled with octopus. Save room for sweet treats because the oolong tea cheesecake and s’mores brick toast are must-orders.
5. Dr. Bombay’s Underwater Tea Party
Not only is Dr. Bombay’s Underwater Tea Party one of the best places to enjoy afternoon tea in Atlanta, but supporting this business means giving to a good cause. A portion of every sale goes to The Learning Tea, an organization founded by Dr. Bombay owner Katrell Christie that offers housing, education, and empowerment opportunities to young women in Darjeeling, India. At $17.50 per person, high tea here is one of the best deals in town. Choose from more than 70 tea varieties and enjoy a tower of snacks like homemade scones, quiche, finger sandwiches, and baked goods. Try an order of samosas and curl into one of the cozy corners with a good book.