Ever since I wrote the article “7 Unusual Date Ideas in Vancouver”, I have been thinking about doing a follow-up article on the best afternoon tea or high tea restaurants in Vancouver. High tea is one of my favourite things! I love everything about the experience of it, from selecting a delicious smelling tea, to heaping Devonshire cream on your scones, to the tiny petit fours you COULD eat in one bite but prefer to draw it out to at least two! The only thing I sometimes don’t love about it is the price.
It can be a very expensive meal, which may be appropriate for special occasions, but is not so great when you just have a craving for some afternoon tea! With that in mind, I have compiled a list of my favourite high tea restaurants in Vancouver. I have tried to include places with a range of prices. All have, of course, been personally tested by yours truly (more than once in most cases!). I have chosen a few restaurants and placed them into price categories, because often the quality of the food is not the ONLY consideration when choosing a restaurant!
Special Occasion ($30+ per person):
Fairmont Hotel Vancouver ($49 per adult)
I’m not sure why the Fairmont suddenly started to offer afternoon tea in all of their hotels, but I’m certainly not complaining! To my mind, the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver is still the classic high tea place in Vancouver… for a reason! But beware, service comes with a matching price tag!
The whole experience here is decadent. Before your high tea arrives, you are served champagne and strawberries, a sausage roll and a warm asparagus tart (the strawberries and champagne comes first...). Their sandwiches are modern takes on classics (curried chicken salad for example) and their scones are delicious and served warm. The tastiest part of the meal, in my humble opinion, comes at the end: the desserts. Though I suppose you could always eat them first! The lemon curd and charred meringue tart is my favourite. If you’re a lemon lover like me it’s divine. And of course, it’s all accompanied by endless cups of tea.
For a non-traditional, even more decadent experience, you can upgrade to enjoy bubbles with the service (for a real celebration!).
Urban Tea Merchant ($28-$58 per person)
The Urban Tea Merchant is an awesome place for afternoon tea in Vancouver. It’s great because it has so many choices of service, priced from just under $30 to just under $60. The UTF also adds and removes services throughout the year for holidays and changing seasons (Valentine's Day for example). The food is very tasty (especially their miso maple glazed sablefish as part of the West Coast Tea Service), but if you're into tea this is the place. They have an incredibly extensive list of tea and you can smell anything your heart desires. The staff is also knowledgeable about the teas and can make good recommendations.
Something to note about their tea list is that you get a $8 tea credit with any high tea service. So if you order a tea that is $15, you are paying that extra $7. It makes some sense when you consider that they have $50+ teas on their menu.
Weekend Brunch Date ($20-$30 per person)
The Last Crumb ($24.95 per person)
The Last Crumb is an awesome choice for afternoon tea. It's located on Main Street and not downtown, which might be a plus for some people! The place itself is bright and airy, a true cafe feel. The food is great and plentiful! Even if you are hungry you might end up taking leftovers home.
TLC is known for its delicious scones. They even use them to make their sandwiches (or sconewiches), so if you love scones this is the place for you. Probably partly why it's such a filling service! They're a cafe and bakery, so their sweets are excellent as well. A great more casual choice if you're not into the price and formality of the Special Occasion restaurants.
Urban Tea Merchant (petit service $20/$28 per person)
I won't say too much about this one as I've already written about UTF. Just a note that they do have a cheaper service called "Petit Tea Service". It's smaller but still a good amount of food for lunch and you can get it for $20 if you go between Monday-Friday at 11am-12:30pm.
Casual Lunch (under $20 per person)
Truffles Fine Foods at Van Dusen – ($35 for 2 people/$60 for 4 people)
Truffles Fine Foods is located in one of Vancouver's most beautiful spots, Van Dusen Gardens. It's got an inside restaurant with a great patio facing out onto the garden. Their tea service is awesome for a casual (and reasonably priced!) lunch. Do not expect a Fairmont tea service! These are two very different experiences. But for a casual afternoon tea in the garden, Truffles is perfect.
The service itself consists of one of their sandwiches cut in two (for two people) or two split sandwiches (for 4). Scones and a one of their pastries (croissant, chocolate croissant etc) with delicious raspberry jam and whipped cream are on the second tier. And, as always, the top tier is filled with treats! The creamy hazelnut truffle was my favourite. There are a few tea choices and there is enough tea in the service for two for about 3 cups each (more than enough for me!).
Truffles is a great option for casual lunch, which is reflected in the price, especially if coupled with a visit to the garden.
As this was my most recent afternoon tea visit, I do have some pictures:
Thanks for reading and I hope you check out one or two of these awesome places for a delicious afternoon tea! Please leave a comment below if you have any other suggestions for great high tea restaurants in Vancouver! And as always, you can connect with me over social media on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.