Local Explorer: Tea Time

Being a local Chicagoan of almost 12 years, I have my go to places for just about everything.  However, starting my tourism photography business (Wallflower Studios: Capture Chicago), motivated me to start exploring other places.  What better way to start than with something I’ve never experienced before.

Afternoon tea continues to be a cherished tradition for a lot of people.  With teapots full of exotic teas and tiered serving plates filled with scones and finger sandwiches, this is surely an experience you should have at least once.

I called up my girlfriends at had them meet me for high tea at Russian Tea Time.  Tucked away just across the street from The Art Institute of Chicago, this place is a hidden gem.  If you ask most Chicagoans about afternoon tea, they are sure to point you to The Drake, The Four Seasons, or a number of other high end places where you will surely pay a pretty penny.  I hear wonderful things about these places, so I would certainly never discourage anyone from going to them, but I wanted to try something a little different. 

With a fairly dated awning outside, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  However when I walked in, the restaurant was beautifully decorated with mahogany wood and brass finishes.  While the restaurant is not very old, walking in makes you feel like you are walking into a part of history.  For a very reasonably priced $30 per person, my girlfriends and I enjoyed the wide variety of teas to choose from, along with the anticipated scones, finger sandwiches, and desserts.  The tea was excellent and the food was delicious.  I personally have an affinity for bite sized foods, so this style of dining was right up my alley.   

I would definitely recommend Russian Tea Time as an afternoon stop on your trip to Chicago, especially if you are planning on visiting The Art Institute.  What makes you feel more fancy than a morning of art and an afternoon of tea and scones?

Serving afternoon tea service from 2-4:30pm everyday, you can book your reservation online at www.russianteatime.com.

While you’re in the area, check out our Millennium & Grant Park routes for a fun photoshoot around this beautiful part of the city.