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Samovar Tea Lounge - Yerba Buena Gardens

4.1
99 reviews
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$30 and under
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International
Top Tags:
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Great for Lunch

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About

Here at Samovar Tea Lounge, it’s never simply business as usual. For us, serving highest quality teas and sumptuous complementary cuisine is an art and a vehicle for the greater good. Making people feel good, feel healthy and attain happiness is our bottom line. And, challenging as it is, seeing our guests beam with joy and express their heartfelt gratitude is worth all the effort. What we do is an expression of our values, the high ideals and essence of the tea experience, and we thank you for joining us.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
International
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Hours of operation

Breakfast: Su-W 10:00am-8:00pm;Th-Sa 10:00am-9:00pm Lunch: Su-Wed 10:00am-8:00pm; Th-Sa 10:00am-9:00pm
Dinner: Su-W 10:00am-8:00pm;Th-Sa 10:00am-9:00pm
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Phone number
(415) 227-9400
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Catering
We are happy to do off-site catering, for inquiries please email us.
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Cross street
4th Street
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Public transit
Muni J,K,L,M, N at Powell St
Additional
Cafe, Gluten-free Menu, High Tea, Outdoor dining, Takeout, Weekend Brunch
What 99 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.1based on all time ratings
4.0
food
3.8
service
4.2
ambience
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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4.0Dined on January 19, 2014

On a recent visit to SF for a conference, I decided to try the Samovar Tea Lounge and take advantage of the unusually warm weather and dine outdoors. Such a treat ! I chose the Moorish Service and was very surprised by the delicious tea which complimented the meal beautifully - an extra pot of hot water and there was enough for the entire meal. The dinner was well-seasoned and a nice mix of flavors.
This was nothing fancy, but it was lovely and done well. My only disappointment was a mediocre rice pudding. The service was cheerful but not patronizing and the evening view with the lights of the surrounding buildings over the Yerba Buena park was lovely. This will be a nice spot to come back to....

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5.0Dined on January 6, 2014

Getting to the restaurant was a little challenging, but once we were there it was great. The tea lounge itself was not large, but the terrace outside and the extra large windows made it seem grand.
Inside it felt welcoming, from the friendy staff to the beautiful Asian atmosphere.
We ordered a green tea with ginger, peppermint and black pepper....very good,and the pot of tea worked for two.
The food,a rice bowl, beautifully prepared, and quiche were yummy!
Sometimes it's hard to get to a happy place, but it's always worth it!

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3.0Dined on January 3, 2014

Usually, I love this place and find it to be a wonderfully relaxing experience. This time though, my friend and I were seated at a smaller table and we found ourselves annoyed with how cramped a pair of tea services felt here, particularly with her English service that included a three-tier plate rack that made it challenging to see each other through conversation. Also, the salad on my Moroccan plate was rather wilted. I sure wish they'd do something with couscous to make it more authentic rather than keep serving a boring salad with an otherwise delish plate. However, I love the view here and its still a relaxing space...

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2.0Dined on January 3, 2014

I met a friend for brunch--the food was overpriced and oversalty.

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4.0Dined on December 30, 2013

This was a pleasant surprise. Contemporary Asian in design decor in a great setting. Teas were paired with food to match from around the world. Healthy - fresh made. My preteen kids were excited to see what we were going to get and we were pleasantly surprised. a great place for a special casual meal.

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5.0Dined on December 26, 2013

Everything was fantastic. The food was delicious and so beautifully presented. The tea lounge itself is lovely and comfortable - it's a perfect spot for a relaxing, delicious lunch in the City!

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4.0Dined on December 20, 2013

Food is pretty but you go there for the stimulating variety of teas and warm atmosphere.
Conversation works there as its not noisy but still feels active because of the music.

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1.0Dined on December 18, 2013

We had a reservation, but after being seated, we waited 15 minutes without being visited by a server. It was not crowded. The menu looks great; I had been looking forward to it, but sadly I'll probably never be back--not when there's an awesome place like B right next door with great food and drinks and even better service. Unnoticed even as we were walking out, we finally left Samovar and went to B.

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2.0Dined on December 16, 2013

This looks like it would be a lovely spot, and since I love a nice, leisurely tea I was pretty excited. Unfortunately, we went on a Sunday afternoon when it was jam-packed. The server didn't check us in properly (although the manager was very understanding about fixing it later), they were out of almost everything and didn't tell us until we tried to order it, and service was excruciatingly slow. The egg salad sandwich we finally got was okay, but something we could get at a Starbucks for half the price. Really, I was very disappointed, especially given all the other great reviews!

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4.0Dined on December 15, 2013

We have been coming to Samovar Tea Lounge Yerba Buena to meet our clients for years now. The ambience, great tea is par excellence. This is a place where you can relax in an intimate atmosphere. The organic food is a plus but not our main reason for being here.

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3.0Dined on December 13, 2013

Made a reservation but it took 5 min to be seated then we were told that we only had an hour because a big party was coming in and needed our table. Took too long to order our food and get our check. Food and tea were good but the service was not.

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5.0Dined on November 28, 2013

Great food and service. Wonderful choices of tea styles.

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3.0Dined on November 21, 2013

Samovar is lovely. The food and drinks are always wonderful and the inside/outside dining options are both nice. On this particular occasion with Dreamforce in town, the staff were a little overwhelmed but it's still at the top of my list for a casual dining experience!

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5.0Dined on November 21, 2013

This is such an Oasis!!!! I must come back!

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5.0Dined on November 19, 2013

As far as tea lounges in San Francisco go, this one is one of the best. Their selection of teas are excellent, and that's where your money is going. Their paired tea services are often excellent, excellent.

I've been dining here for years, and it can get pricy if you're the type to go a little wild with all the stuff they have (like me) but you can have a good meal here without putting a serious dent in your wallet. The service staff have always been friendly, knowledgeable, and accommodating, so I'm happy to dine there.

I highly recommend the ginger quinoa waffles, and I would say the only two things on the menu that I personally do not like are the new Russian Tea Service and the Tea Soup.

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4.0Dined on November 15, 2013

The sublime setting here makes you feel as if you're vacationing in a different city in the middle of the work day. The menu is unique and the execution quite nice. Highly recommended.

A great place to catch up with that friend you haven't seen in a while.

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3.0Dined on November 12, 2013

Their menu is very eclectic, yet tasty. The main draw is the tea, obviously, and they have a wide selection including pu-erh tea. I had white tea and curried egg salad sandwich which came with side salad. Both were delicious but expensive, as is the rest of their menu. The service is attentive and quick. They have plenty of outdoor seating if it's a nice day outside, with great views over Yerba Buena Gardens.

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5.0Dined on November 9, 2013

Great location and our lunch was excellent. I had the turkey basil sandwich and my associate had the vegetarian quiche. Both outstanding! Many types of tea we could have tried but went with a refreshing lemonade ice tea. I noticed lots of local folks there on a Saturday for lunch and tea. Great spot to relax, hang out, enjoy your tea and take in the view and sun. I will come back next time I'm at the Moscone Center.

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5.0Dined on October 30, 2013

not a huge amount of food but still did not finish. great ambiance, calming. had Tea and a meal Peaceful! All the food choices seemed healthy

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3.0Dined on October 14, 2013

While the food and tea servicel were delightful, the service appeared very disorganized and was slow.

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5.0Dined on October 13, 2013

Never in my life have I had a tea paired so well with the food (Moorish mint tea, hummus, eggplant dip, Greek Yogurt, etc). The views are also great.

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4.0Dined on October 12, 2013

We could try different teas and main courses and overall was pretty good.

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5.0Dined on October 11, 2013

Samovar has become one of my favorite places to eat lunch while working downtown. The food is high quality, healthy and delicious! My personal favorite: the Japanese Tea Service and a side of Mochi (if you've never had the *SAVORY* kind, these are a must have!!!

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5.0Dined on October 8, 2013

This place was so beautiful that I decided to propose to my fiancé here! The tea was amazing and food went very well with RT selection. I will definitely go back again!

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4.0Dined on October 4, 2013

I was attending a conference at the Moscone center and had lunch here with a friend. It's a great location in the gardens with some outdoor seating. The tea selection is nice and the food tasty even if a little pricey.

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5.0Dined on September 24, 2013

I scheduled a lunch for four people at Samovar, and we were all pleased. Of course the selection of international teas is wonderfully unique, but the restaurant also has more traditional drinks and luncheon food for those looking for a more normal selection. We sat indoors but right by a large open door, so we had a pleasant breeze and view of the outdoors while still having the protection of a roof. Very nice experience overall.

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5.0Dined on September 13, 2013

What a wonderful place tucked alongside the highrises and skyscrapers...surrounded by the different parks and green areas and tons of water. A friend who frequents this location often took me on a tour of all the different gardens inside the area. The sound and low of the water cascading in and through all the different water features is magical. And then you have the direct view over to Old St. Mary's Church which makes it spiritual...peaceful, very meditative. I'll return often. And the very special Tumeric tea with the herbs floating @ the bottom will cure whatever ails you. Service is great. Food is wonderful...very fresh. I'll try something different each time I return.

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5.0Dined on September 1, 2013

I love this restaurant for so many reasons! The tea and the food are always delicious. The staff friendly and super accomodating. The location is beautiful, especially on a warm sunny day. I also love that they invite your to sit a savor you experience. I never feel rushed or like they are trying to turn my table which typically means I order and enjoy more of their wonderful offerings. I'll definitely be back. Oh and the waffle is to die for!!!

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5.0Dined on August 29, 2013

I had lunch here with a friend I hadn't seen in more than 40 years. We sat outside, and we could hear the music that was being performed in the park below us, but it was still quiet enough for us to talk and catch up. The food was superb. I'm a vegetarian, and there were plenty of menu choices for me. It looked like there was plenty to satisfy meat-eaters as well. I had the squash dumplings and the jasmine tea lemonade, both of which I enjoyed thoroughly. My friend had the quiche, which he said was very good as well. We shared the Dandelion chocolate trio for dessert, which was heavenly. I would go back here any time there's an opportunity, and I will definitely recommend it to my friends.

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4.0Dined on August 23, 2013

My husband and I came here for dinner, after my previous visit with a girl friend for lunch. I had a tempeh/kale/squash/beet salad, and he had the "mini moorish" platter. The cheese filled dates are delicious! We ended up buying the Moorish Mint tea to take home with us, which is mint with a peppery kick, and a bit of green tea mixed in. The server was sweet and knowledgable, and the food came out quickly which was great as we were going to a movie at the Metreon next door after dinner.

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3.0Dined on August 22, 2013

The ambiance was great and so was the view with the backdrop of the Thursday music in the park. The food needs work although some in the party enjoyed it.

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2.0Dined on August 21, 2013

I have been a big fan of Samovar Tea Lounge for quite awhile but honestly this last lunch may be it for me.
I ordered my regular favorite dish and it was so different from normal and not in a good way I asked the wait staff about this and they weren't very concerned about my question saying the kitchen was busy with an "event"....

Oh well - I guess I'll have to search for a replacement but will miss the better times for this unique restaurant.

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5.0Dined on August 17, 2013

Fantastic place. Don't miss out. So many gluten free, vegan options.

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5.0Dined on August 13, 2013

Tea selection is marvelous. Food menu is tasty too.

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5.0Dined on August 4, 2013

Love Samovar, great tea, great food, great atmosphere, great staff. Always a favorite when we want a special place to go for a treat.

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2.0Dined on July 24, 2013

I ordered a tea plate which was very disappointing: dry tempah, a huge pile of kale, unseason chunks of beet and unseasoned roasted squash. A dipping sauce. Terrible. for $21. But the oolong tea was excellent.
I would try the place again, but order a sandwich and see if it is any better..

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4.0Dined on July 6, 2013

This is good spot for a business lunch or nice chat with a friend or colleague. Convenient and quiet downtown location. The food is always good and interesting. Not the same old stuff you find everywhere else. Good selection for vegetarians too.

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4.0Dined on June 27, 2013

Great outdoor spot on a nice day! Enjoy the view across Yerba Buena Gardens park and the exotic teas, snacks and entrees at Samovar. Beware the birds of Yerba Buena - they are aggressive. One landed on our table and tried to make off with a bite of scone!

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4.0Dined on June 23, 2013

I brought my daughter and her friends here for lunch and was impressed with the tea service selections...it took out the need to guess what went well with which. My favorite was definitely the Japanese Tea Service with salmon and its lovely presentation. It was busy that day so I think the service was a bit off....but over all was it was good..I will definitely visit again.

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3.0Dined on June 22, 2013

Three of us went for lunch before attending the Ethnic Dance Festival. The tea was delicious, but for $10+ each, not the best we've ever had. The food was fine, but the small round table way too small for our teas and lunches. The server and presentation were very nice. It was a pleasant experience that I would recommend to my wealthy friends, but probably will not go back myself.

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