Home » FOOD AND DINING » Tea Time in the Windy City

Tea Time in the Windy City

Get your pinkies up and ready for simply delicious sips


Tea time is slowly becoming a lost art, but luckily, there are some Chicago spots that still take the relaxing afternoon experience seriously. It’s the perfect activity when relatives are in town, for when you want to have a leisurely afternoon, or if you’re looking to upgrade your girl’s day out. These Chicago spots are doing tea time right, so don’t miss out!

Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel

For a contemporary spin on traditional afternoon tea, Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel {221 North Columbus Drive, Chicago; 312.565.5258}, hosts a modern take on tea time. The hotel’s culinary team has produced a menu of unique small bites, including hamachi with pickled ginger on a sesame wonton, Mexican chocolate truffles, and Italian smoked meats with creamy manchego cheese. Guests can also choose from a selection of Rishi Teas curated to complement the small bites throughout the afternoons on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

“Afternoon tea is a wonderful, age-old tradition that we offer with our own contemporary twist, which is reflective of the style of our hotel,” says General Manager Robert Shelley. “Today the ritual of tea time has evolved from a standard meal to a period of relaxation, pleasure, and indulgence. We wanted our tea experience to reflect all those things so we’ve incorporated the most enticing bites into our seasonal tea menus.”

JW Marriott Chicago

The daily Afternoon High Tea at the JW Marriot Chicago {151 West Adams Street, Chicago; 312.660.8200} is truly an experience. With hand selected artisan Dammann teas paired with seasonal delights like the blood orange and almond biscotti trifle, chocolate eggnog éclair, or even a turkey and dill cream sandwich on polenta toast, elevate every bite beyond the usual expectation. Guests can choose from a variety of tea sandwiches and more, all presented in a Dammann tea box. For a bubbly afternoon, add the Taittinger Brut Champagne available by the glass or the bottle.

“At JW Marriott Chicago we strive to not only serve great tea and food but to truly educate our guests and blow them away with the afternoon tea experience. The servers and managers of the hotel went through extensive training on the teas and food that we chose to be served, to speak to the pairing of these items,” explains Executive Chef Michael Reich. “The first intent in creating the food selection was to taste the teas from a chef perspective to identify what items would pair perfectly with each of the teas. Similar to serving a great food dish that pairs with a great glass of fine wine.”


Daily offerings of afternoon tea and delicious delights is what you’ll find at Brindille {534 North Clark Street, Chicago; 312.595.1616}. Pair one of their varieties of teas with a Parisian-inspired dessert including Madeleines, Macarons, and Financiers, or go all in with their “Bittersweet Chocolate Delice” crafted with salted caramel ice cream, black tea, and orange marmalade.

“I had the idea to have a refined, fun and extremely stylish French-inspired Afternoon Tea on a past trip to Paris,” explains Co-Owner/Chef, Carrie Nahabedian. “It’s such a great way to spend an afternoon and the design of Brindille is the perfect ambiance for this very guilty American pleasure.”

By Kaleigh Glaza, Online Editor