Relaxing place, great food. I love the food and ambiance of this Samovar location. It's not as scenic as the Yerba Buena location, but easily accessible by the J line in the Castro. Try the Japanese service!
Unique food. who needs chain cafes when you've got authenticity like this? great food and tea and fridnly service too. we have come here about once a month for years.
my new favorite tea place. This was more than mere tea, it was an experience. The food I agree is overpriced and the portions are tiny, but I have to admit it's very good. I love the atmosphere. My only complaint was the noise. When it's busy, it's way too noisy. The service was way too slow. I ended up being there for like 2 hours. I ordered the Russian tea which came with wonderful black tea, 3 tiny salmon-filled crepes, a bergamot-flavored bread pudding, and a deviled egg with caviar (which was my favorite part!). That cost me $15, and I was still hungry after so I ordered an egg salad sandwich. Spending $25 for lunch including tip was WAY more than I wanted to spend. They have an amazingly diverse menu though.
Pre-Valentines Tea Sippin'. As a reader of countless Citysearch restaurant reviews, I have finally decided to put in my .02$ on Samovar, a genuinely enchanting tea lounge, perfectly suited for a casual romantic occasion. Admittedly, this is my first official encounter at a tea house and I had second thoughts about the seemingly unrealistic claims of robust flavor and delicate aromas, so I cheated and ordered a Moroccan mint tea (a tea I was already familiar with, allowing it to act as a benchmark). Said tea is a close to a liquid nectar as one will taste this side of the Milky Way galaxy. In addition to the marvelous tea and morsels, our server was equally sweet and pleasant.
Try the Tea Tasting Event. We ate there last night and were blown away by the food and tea pairings. Great service, 6 courses takes quite some time but it was a lovely experience overall. The cuisine was sophisticated and perfect timing from the servers.
Sunny corner teahouse offers ample sips and Asian-inflected plates.. Woven mats cover the floors, a Buddha holds court in a corner, and gold curtains frame tall windows at this elegant, low-key lounge. Staff here takes tea seriously -- the extensive menu offers rare picks like 1993 cultivated menghal select leaves -- but service is as friendly and unpretentious as it comes. Light bites include tea-infused dishes like ginger tofu tea soup and green tea mousse along with curry egg salad sandwiches, edamame with toasted seaweed and rice bowls.
I just read the previous poster's posting. I don't know if I agree with that. I have to admit that I'm prejudiced and like Samover a lot (I was one of the people who discovered it, just after they opened). As somebody who has been to many restaurants and cofes and have to wait to get a seat, I appreciate the staff clearing tables moving on those people who just sit there for ages and use their laptop or take up a table.
If you go there during the week or in the morning, it;s definately more quiet and you can sit there all day.
No rushing allowed. Don't come into Samovar if you want to grab a cuppa joe and run. They'll think you're speaking an obscure Manhattenese dialect. It's a lounge, and that means relaxation. And while coffee addicts need to get their fix elsewhere, you'd be surprised at the pleasant caffeine buzz you'll get off a few of those teas. Just ask; the staff is really well-informed. Oh, and the food is suprisingly good, especially the baked goods.
I am originally from a country where tea is the most common drink on a daily life. With this background I can tell yo that tea at Samovar is the best. The people running the place and the ambient is also great; one of a kind.
I'm a die-hard tea drinker so I'm biased in favor of tea-ists. Why has it taken this city so long to come up with a place serving decent tea?
The Samovar guys have done an incredible job renovating the space and I saw a lot of jaw-dropping. The design is unlike anything I've seen and is cool yet comfortable. The teas, however, are what it's all about - it's a very big selection but the staff take the time to explain about the different kinds of tea including aged (!) teas.
The food is good, original and tasty.
There's also entertainment - a sax player when I was there and big windows for people watching.
Tea is not cheap but you're getting really high quality tea in a very cool environment so you get what you pay for. There are also some less expensive teas available.
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