I know everyone likes coffee more than tea. But does that really mean that tea doesn't matter? Like most substances requiring subtlety, patience, and a highly rarefied intellect, tea is not for the average man. I for one hardly ever bother with it. But my betters adore it, and seek out those few places in New York where tea is taken as seriously as any coffee.
Very small but very cozy, with oodles of personality, this West Village standard represents everything people love about the neighborhood's quaint character.
There is no more ladylike place to be than the formal tea service at the Plaza, as generations of debutantes can attest.
Calm, clean, and dainty, this urban oasis is the perfect place to take your elderly mother -- or to go to yourself when stressed out.
Alice's, as its name implies, is a beloved tea parlor on the upper east side, but more people go there for muffins these days than tea. (Not that the tea isn't good.)
There's a certain kind of tea enthusiast that loves the stuff, but is too young and cool to repair to dainty salons like Lady Mendl's. Their place is Podunk.
A high-class tea boutique on the Upper East Side, this shop is the destination of choice for specialty teas, particularly Chinese ones.
Hidden away in Chinatown, this small but lovely shop is Mecca for tea lovers.
There is no place more Japanese, even in the Japan-crazed east village, than this upstairs tea parlor, where English is barely spoken and tea is taken with the utmost seriousness.
This downtown tea boutique is the go-to destination for SoHo shoppers after the best tea in town.