Russian Tea Time

4.5
316 reviews
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$30 and under
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Russian
Welcome to Russian Tea Time! The restaurant where everyone feels at home and everyone is welcome! Owner and Chef, Klara Muchnik, and her son, Vadim Muchnik, opened Russian Tea Time in 1993. Centrally located in heart of the Chicago’s Downtown, Russian Tea Time has earned the distinction of being one of Chicago’s culinary “landmarks.” Russian Tea Time offers a variety of dishes from the diverse regions of the former Soviet Union Republics. Our guests can indulge in an extensive assortment of vegetarian dishes – Tashkent Carrot salad, Eggplant Orientale, Beet Caviar, and golubtsy (cabbage rolls) to name a few. Some of our signature dishes include Pelmeni (meat dumplings), Borscht (Ukranian soup), Russian Blinis (thick Russian pancakes), wild Game, Caviar, and many more.
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Private dining
Dining Style
Fine Dining
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Cuisines
Russian, Eastern European, Vegetarian / Vegan
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Hours of operation
Sunday - Thursday: 11:00am - 9:00pm; Friday & Saturday: 11:00am - 11:00pm; Afternoon Tea: Daily: 2:30pm - 4:30pm
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Phone number
(312) 360-0000
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Executive chef
Klara Muchnik
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Catering
Full service events to simple deliveries.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Michigan Avenue
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Parking details
Street parking
Additional
Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Late Night, Takeout, Wine

Private Dining

We have two beautiful, warm and cozy rooms in the restaurant that can seat comfortably 60 and 35 guests, respectively. Group menus are available online and we can of course custom-design menu. Our afternoon tea service is elaborate and can be served at any time of the day.

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Specials

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Sun 11:00AM - 8:30PM
Tue - Thu 7:00PM - 8:30PM
Fri - Sat 11:00AM - 3:00PM 7:45PM - 10:00PM

What 316 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.3
service
4.4
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
86% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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j
Chicago
23 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 2

Didn’t enjoy the tea service as much as previously. Food was fine, in particular the savory items. Service was tentative, probably from inexperience. Some dishes were not cleared. Our table was partially in a hallway with view of kitchen and lots of traffic to and from restrooms. Though the tea and food were as good as usual, we missed the ambiance and professional service of earlier visits.

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EB
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A group of my friends enjoys meeting here. The food is excellent and utilizes ingredients and recipes that are not usually found in other restaurants. The location is convenient to parking and attractions in downtown Chicago.

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ND
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food is authentic and flavorful. Definitely a must try! The Russian meal for two is recommended.

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h
Chicago
32 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Enjoyed a their lovely tea service. Canapes and pastry are expertly and authentically prepared and the service is so warm and attentive. My guest and I ordered the ginger-infused vodka to complement the canapes and our server Anna queued us on the perfect Russian toast that included a bit of hearty rye bread and pickles. Charming! It's a visit to Eastern European café society without leaving Chicago. A perfect, old-world respite, especially during the holidays. I'll be returning soon! Na Zdorovie!

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L
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on December 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food and service were excellent. Lovely atmosphere, and best of all, it was possible to have a conversation without raising your voice or competing with your neighbors.

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AB
Chicago
14 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

I’d been wondering about this place for years, so when my friend and I were looking for a place to get together for lunch, we decided to try it out. We both really liked the food and the vodka flight (with all of the instructions and “ceremony” surrounding it). The bread pudding cupcake was delicious too. Our server was efficient although not overly personable, and we were seated in the back room, which lacks the ambiance (and cell service) of the front part of the restaurant.

I will definitely go back, and have told others about it as well.

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V
1 review
Dined on November 30, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

It's an ok place with very decent food, much-much better than fast food, but not a gourmet option...
Don't expect that meals are made in truly "Russian" style, rather some kind of variation of Russian cuisine. Good thing - big portions!

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RA
Indiana
1 review
Dined on November 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This restaurant was so much fun for a late lunch. Was a little envious of fellow diners, though, because they were having a yummy-looking high tea. Must do that the next time I am in Chicago.

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NT
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 3

This has always been a favorite stop for our family, however this last visit was not good. Service was extremely slow and the food was not very good. Carrot salad was the highlight but the dumplings and cabbage salad were just ok. We were celebrating my sister's birthday, which I had alerted them about, but they forgot. We ordered a napoleon that was soggy and pretty awful along with a dish or gelato which was ok. When I mentioned to the server that it was a birthday, she did come back with a apricot pastry but it too was pretty awful. I did not complain as it was a birthday lunch but I will be looking for another restaurant in the future.

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TC
Charlotte
11 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were in town and decided to eat here before seeing Hamilton. We couldn’t be happier with our choice. We enjoy ethnic food of all varieties and this didn’t disappoint. The service was outstanding. Our waitress knew the menu very well and wasn’t hesitant to give an opinion when asked. There were four of us and everything we ordered tasted great. We would go back again anytime we are back in Chicago.

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LA
1 review
Dined on November 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I loce to visit Russian Tea Time whenever I am in Chicago.

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BF
1 review
Dined on November 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Have eaten there several times in the past. Always excellent food and service. We always consider it a special treat to go.

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G
Chicago
34 reviews
Dined on November 19, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Nice place and the food was tasty. While they have a fair number of vegetarian dishes, vegans should be aware that most of them are made with butter. I would encourage the restaurant to add more vegan options.

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EO
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

Service was a bit slow. Greeter was a bit grumpy. It is a nice place to go before or after symphony.
The duck breast was tender. Borscht was good.
Some items changed.

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GC
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Our friends and my husband and I like to have dinner at your place before attending the nearby Chicago Sympathy. Very convenient!

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L
Chicago
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

The whole experience was somewhat confusing. We sat down to browse the menu only to realize we weren't given a non alcoholic beverage menu. Being a tea room, I was excited to try some tea. I asked our waitress about the tea selection, and mostly felt like I was pulling teeth just to get her to bring over a tea menu. The tea service was very elegant and probably the best part of the meal. For the most part, our server stood across the room from us, chatting with another staff member while we waited... and waited... to place our order. I was very excited to try Russian dumplings, therefore highly disappointed when they arrived at our table lukewarm. Overall, the flavor of the food was good, but seemed to be overpriced. We also got beef stroganoff, which was tasty, but the noodle:meat ratio was way off. Also, it was EXTREMELY warm inside. I had to order my tea iced, because I was just too hot to get a hot beverage. It is a unique experience for sure, but not necessarily one that is worth reliving.

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JM
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on November 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Had a wonderful dinner. The food was outstanding and service was appropriately attentive. Had the cavier with warm blinis - delicious! Stroganoff was excellent. Will definitely go back

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G
Los Angeles
51 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Good gluten free options.

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GT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Thumbs up. Loved the Duck. Skip the flight of Vodka.

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b
Chicago
20 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Outstanding location for all events in the Loop. One block from Art Institute and CSO. Very good food reasonably priced. A very busy place that kept waiting staff hopping and a bit delayed in response to individual tables. Nonetheless, our number one choice for convenient, very good eating in the Loop.

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CD
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always delightful and delicious!

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J
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Service and food very good-will be back

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DS
1 review
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Awesome experience! I brought my Belorussian fiance here for a taste of home and they delivered. Menu was eclectic and represented not just Russia, but varying USSR countries. Food was delicious and had a home cooked feel to it. Vodka flights was unique and added to the vibrant evening. The wait staff spoke Russian which added a unique touch to the evening since my fiance was able to speak with them and order in Russian.

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a
Chicago
1 review
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best service I have experienced in the loop in a long while and we'll priced for group assortment on menu. Will definitely be back

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DN
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on October 31, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Russian Tea Room has outstanding food (appetizers are the best), great russian tea and a very attentive staff. The Vodka selection is large but the flights are a bit over the top flavor wise... if you like really spicy, get the Spicy vodka flight. If not, stick with just the regular vodkas that are all excellent. I have never had an entree since the appetizers are so good. Lamb Samsa, Duck Moulard are personal favorites... The Black Bread and pickles with vodka shots are amazing...

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AW
Chicago
18 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

Our table was badly placed. People touching, brushing while trying to walk buy. Close to door, very chilly. Food just OK for me. Will not return.

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FF
Chicago
22 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had the Russian Tea Platter and it was an excellent tasting of multiple menu items. Perfect for 2 people. Vodka flight is fun to try different types of special vodka drinks. and after dinner tea was refreshing. People next to us shared a frozen bottle and it would be great for 4 people to share. We went after Swan Lake and a quick walk after the show.

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M
Chicago
29 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We stoppped on for a light lunch. The cabbage rolls were delicious. A definite must when dining here. The carrot salad was good too. We had asparagus dumplings. They were good as well. Tried the horseradish, pepper, honey vodka flight. Interesting flavors. Loved the horseradish one. The pumpernickel bread was fresh, and flavorful. Looking forward to returning, to try a few other dishes. Nice staff. Clean restaurant.

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OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Food and beverages were excellent! We both had duck and it was flavorful and moist. We loved the infused vodka shots! Service was very slow but gracious.

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Y
Chicago
42 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My oh my... I am "satisfied"!
My spouse and I enjoyed a date night dinner here, sharing the "Russian Tea Time Dinner for Two", and although I can't tell you all the samples we tried, I CAN say that they were all just amazing. The appetizers were enough to make a meal out of alone. Absolutely delicious, so flavorful, the flavors were not overpowering, very delicate, but oh so yummy. The service provided by Marina was top notch. If you want to try something different than your standard "dinner out" fare, you have to try Russian Tea Time. Simply outstanding.

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LS
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

First time there......excellent - everything there was perfect. Love the customer service of the front man. Sorry do not know his name but he was excellent. The duck and cabbage rolls were perfect.

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OT
Chicago
138 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Always great food and service. A little expensive, but the food is unique. The tables are close to each other so you might feel a bit claustophobic, but the meal and service make up for the tight accommodations.

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e
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Excellent food. Everything presented well and tasted great. Lots of healthy food options.

Waitstaff is a little rushed and gruff. They may have been short staffed our night.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As always the service & food were superb!

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FL
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

always dependable, always delicious; always a civilized clientele, so no one loudly proclaiming over a cell phone some personal troubles or sentiments that none of wants to hear.

our waiter this time was a bit "starchier" than in the past, but by no means rude.

this is a gem of a 'go-to' restaurant for delicious, out-of-the ordinary fare in a delightful and relaxing atmosphere.

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JT
Milwaukee
2 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Perfect for supper before the Symphony or a show. Walking distance to all the theatres. Fine dining, with traditional dishes (beef stroganoff, chicken Kiev, caviar, fabulous borscht...) as well as vegetarian options that incorporate the Eastern influences of Russia. The Tashkent carrot salad is not to be missed - unique, refreshing and delicious. And then there’s the vodka! Flight, flavors, brands not usually found in bars or restaurants. The service is lovely, the ambiance is refined and the prices are very reasonable. Be sure to make reservations.

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HR
Phoenix
9 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Good exposure to Russian food. Entry was excellent, appetizer just ok. And no surprise, very good vodka.
It's a nice change of pace.

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S
Chicago
117 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 4

the server was poor (bad attitude,slow in responding) She didnt have that many tables)either.
Ruined the entire experience

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TM
Chicago
18 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Love this Chicago staple for either tea service or a good dinner on a chilly night. The service was good at first but faded toward the end. Must try the tea!

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LG
Chicago
1 review
Dined on September 26, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 2

Unfortunately, we selected the Russian Tea Room for dinner with friends before an event at the Auditorium Theater. Although we had reservations and allowed 1 1/2 hours for a leisurely dinner and a short walk, the food took so long, that we had to eat whatever we could in 15 minutes and run to the theater! We'll be selecting a different restaurant for our next event.

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