231 E 5th St, New York, NY | Directions 1000340.727165 -73.989626
Daily 11 am - 9 pm
Neighborhoods: East Village, Downtown
Tea-flavored ice cream rocks my world – Stopped by this tea place today, and while my friend haggled over a flavor of iced tea I saw a list of ice cream flavors. I wasn't even hungry, but I had to try lavender-lime ice cream (more of an ice than an ice cream). It came in a little gingery cone-cup, and it was like the best OMG summer day licks I could imagine. My friend ordered rose gunpowder ice cream, which was really creamy, tea-flavored, and very rosy. All the flavors are either tea-based or inspired by their iced-tea list, like the lemon verbena ginger. This British girl was happily lapping up Earl Grey ice cream with caramel sauce and whipped cream. I didn't expect to find ice cream there, but it's like my new favorite thing, and I seriously could mainline the lavender lime one. I am craving it right now.
If Podunk was a Girl, I'd Marry Her – I'm in love. I'm ready to commit. This is not my first tea place, but it's about to become my only tea place. My mother raised her children first on liebsfraumilch and then on tea and so I have to have a daily fix, usually at home. The other day I walked past Podunk, which was nearly empty, and then through the screen door. I could hear someone humming and washing dishes, and I was thinking that their security system might need some tweaking, because I think I could have walked off with most of the place while other patrons kept their noses in their books.
Okay, so I waited for all of thirty seconds at the counter, and this lady came out, smiling, and asked what was I up to? and I told her "tea," and after a couple more questions I found myself drinking a pot of blood orange vanilla and eating a warm piece of lemon cake with a sugary glaze. That first day, when I paid, she asked my name and told me hers, and she's remembered it every time I've been in. If I feel bad before I go in, I'm better the minute I step through that door, and if I'm in a good mood (most of the time) it still improves with every minute I spend there.
All exaggeration aside, if I can't marry Podunk, can I at least live there?
Divine Iced Tea on a Hot, Hot Day – I'm going to write a righteous review later, but I just had the best day at this delightful city watering hole. The tea was the best I've had (coconut orange and Earl Gray) and the chocolate chip cookies are to lust after (I am, right now). Loved the place and am taking my mother and father back this weekend--we southerners know TEA and this place, this PODUNK has it. Sweet!
Marvelous! – I went to Podunk with my partner and we were treated with such generosity and grace that I could hardly believe I was in NYC. While not a real fan of tea, myself, the food was savory and delicious. It reminded me of dinners with my Scandinavian grandmother. Way to go, Elspeth Treadwell! I will be back! Shelly
RUDE, RUDE, RUDE!!! – Went to this place on Friday after work, for a farewell party for a dear coworker. This place is very small and there were a few more of us than originally anticipated so we were sitting there trying to decide whether or not to stay there or move on to a bigger space, when a guy (presumably the owner) came out from the back and started screaming on the top of his lungs for us to get out. I was in shock because we weren’t causing any trouble, just sitting there talking quietly and it’s not like the place was packed (we made it packed). I thought it was some kind of joke and I asked him if he was serious, which pretty much sent him into a psychotic fit. It was very embarrassing, especially in front of all my colleagues.
I don’t understand how this place stays in business, the prices are that of a high end bakery and the owner does not even have the civility of a hot dog cart vendor. At least the lady behind the counter seemed nice; I hope he doesn’t abuse her. Cannot say anything about their tea or pastries, as I didn’t get a chance to try them. At least I didn’t get called b*tch as some other reviewers here.
Do not go there!!!
Pure Contentment in New York City – The first time I went into Podunk, six years ago or so, a magnificently self-possessed pug was parked outside, waiting patiently for his tea-drinking owner, I guess, and just inside the door a cadre of young women were cooing over an kicking, smiling infant, held aloft by one of them for all to admire. It was hard not to be smitten at once. A savory scent was in the air, and the sound of cups clinking and silverware tapping and conversation filled the place, which is larger on the inside than it appears on the outside.
I met a friend there, who also took note of the pug outside, and who was similarly pleased by the general atmosphere; actually, it was a very specific atmosphere, and my friend commented that being there was "like being in a room from childhood that you can't quite remember but know you loved." I didn't grow up in a house where there was a lot of baking going on, but I understood the sentiment and felt at home immediately.
We went to the counter and saw the source of the savory scent--a wire rack had a line of tarts on it, and I picked a red-wine carmelized onion one that was covered in cheese. We each picked out a pot of tea from the list, and were handed trays which included my friend's choice of scones (she's a snob about them, having spent time in Ireland and Wales) and jam with cream. The scones were hot and so I had asked for butter, which turned out to be lemony and sweet. We sat back down and began to talk, while all around us other people came and went, sometimes with huge trays of tea sandwiches and little tarts, and sometimes with a pot of tea, milk and sugar. We both remember exclaiming a lot and sharing bites, but what I really remember was how transported I felt.
Podunk is not in my neighborhood, so I don't get there often, but that day, that first visit, is the one I tell friends about whenever they want a recommendation for a tea place. It was like a daydream, where every detail is just what you hoped, and where the pleasantries of tea are not something abstract or from a novel, but right there in front of you. A friend, a little bite of something delicious and real, and transcendent conversation facilitated by said friend and food. I'm writing this now instead of six years ago because I saw some other reviews online and wanted to add my two cents. It's a decent little place, and I love it.
Save Your Time & Money – The decor aims for homey and/or kitchsy but is more reminiscent of a garage sale. It boasts uncomfortable mismatched benches, minuscule tables, myriad dust collectors and hanging ice skates angled to stab diners. (The bruise on my right shoulder is a testament.)
The lack of a restroom may explain why a teapot is only filled with 1.5 cups of water. But there was no apparent explanation for the dry mediocre pastries and slightly stale tea. The menu's pricing and descriptions would seem to indicate more significant portions than the microscopic servings we actually received. Although the flustered woman behind the counter was quite pleasant, she was horribly insufficient to the task at hand, as evidenced by the long wait for some tea and three cold pastries. After spending $68, we had to run to another restaurant to seek satisfaction.
Great Bridal Shower and Iced Tea, too – After a month of awful parties for all my marrying friends I revisited this place and found nothing has changed: Perfect baby cupcakes, wonderful "small plates" of fresh seasonal food (berries in the scones, veggies with a curried dipping sauce for those of us going gluten free), gorgeous cakes (I lapsed, it was worth it), and amazing selections of teas, hot and cold (in tall pitchers with fruit). My very picky foodie friends (including the bride-to-be) pronounced the scones superb and the cream (not clotted, and not supposed to be) delicious.
I think everyone has said everything about this place. I still have fond memories of the bridal shower tea there, and was really impressed by how this tiny tea room handled 35 people without a hostess, wait staff, or sous chef in sight. It couldn't have been more welcoming, and the owner was lovely. We tried to leave a tip with the bill (which broke down, I think, to about $24 per person) but she wouldn't hear of it. It's now my monthly go-to for relaxation and just-baked goodies, as well as the occasional full-on tea splurge. As I said before, loved it.
A damn good cuppa – The scents, sounds and tastes of Podunk all combine into the most peaceful spot in the East Village, if not the whole city. The tea is delicious and wonderfully presented. The food is yummy and comes in decent portions. The price is even reasonable if you consider that you're getting a full meal, plus a beverage, and gratuities are included. I am in LOVE with the owner, she always takes the time to get to know you and is a hoot. This is my new favorite place!
Great place to go with girlfriends or even ALONE – I caught this place while walking back from brunch on E5th street in March. It looked so cute on the outside and I could smell it too so I took a peep inside and fell in love right away. As a student, I saw that the menu was a bit out of my price range so I waited until I had some money to go back. I fell in love again when I finally tried the place out in May. I had the Nibbler which comes with scones, cheddar cookies, almond tea cakes, and dried apricots with blue cheese and an assortment of jams and cream! A recommended kettle of tea is included with the dish and while the place has over 100 teas I go for the food (pastries, haven't tried the tea sandwiches yet) because it is just that good! The teas I have tried are also fab! I love the woman that works there; she makes recommendations and tea substitutions for me and we always seem to make nice small talk. She has even thrown in a couple extra free cookies for me and my friend! I have already been 3 times this August and I plan to take my mom there when she visits next week & return before school starts up again. You are a fool NOT to discover this place! Last time I went I was happy to see a group of 6 girls and I overheard them saying how excited they were to order and try something new. I thought I was the only obsessed fan!
Only con: a bit pricey, although worth every sip & bite
Sign in with Facebook Sign in with Facebook to see what your friends are up to!
Do you have a review of Podunk on your blog? If you include the Citysearch image link (shown below) in your post, we'll automatically link to your review from the business profile page. Here's how our Linkback system works:
The Linkback system is free and automatic. It's really that easy.
To link to our business profile page, copy the html below to your web page.