Samovar Tea Lounge – San Francisco – Review

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My friends Charlotte and Vienna and I try to go out to tea once a month or so. We’ve been doing this for years, so by now we’ve visited most of the tea houses in San Francisco and the western part of the East Bay. However, Vienna had not been able to come with us when we visited Samovar a few years ago, so it was time for a re-visit. We chose the Yerba Buena location as it’s the most convenient to BART and headed there last Sunday.
The Yerba Buena Samovar location is quite nice. It features a small tea room, stylish and modern and a terrace overlooking the main grounds. It was a bit chilly on Sunday so we had tea inside.
Samovar offers a relatively small, but varied, assortment of teas, and a variety of food items. It’s expensive – plan to spend $20 (plus tax & tip) for a pot of tea and some goodies. Probably the best deals are the set teas (English, Moroccan, Russian & Indian, I think) which include a pot of tea and sweet & savory offerings for about $19. Both Vienna and I had the English Breakfast tea while Lotty went for the Moroccan.
The tea comes in a smallish (2-mug size) wide glass pitcher – it looks relatively nice but it lets the tea cool very quickly, not really what you want for your tea. The cups are little mugs with no handles, cute enough but a bit too small for me. Milk and brown sugar are available. I found the English Breakfast tea to be perfectly fine, no complaints (other than the temperature).
The service came with a huge quiche (mushroom or salmon), a smallish cherry oat scone with Devonshire cream & jam, a few greens with a vinaigrette and a few slices of fruit. I always thought I wouldn’t like quiche given that I don’t really like eggs (though I love flan), but this time I thought I’d give it a try. I’m glad I did because it was delicious – smooth and flavorful and not eggy at all 🙂 The scone was pretty good as well. I cannot complain about the quantity of the food 🙂
Service was very friendly – we stayed late as the place was filling up and at no point we were made to feel we should leave.
In all it was a very nice, if expensive, experience:
Samovar Tea Lounge
730 Howard Street
(above the waterfall in Yerba Buena Gardens)
San Francisco, CA
(415) 227-9400
http://samovarlife.com/
Su – W 10am – 8 pm
Th – Sa 10am – 9 pm
Marga’s Tea Room Reviews
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samovarmoroccan.jpg
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