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Samovar Tea Lounge - Zen Valley

4.1
36 reviews
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$30 and under
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International
Top Tags:
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Fit for Foodies
  • 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: Daily 8:00am-10:00pm
Lunch: Daily 8:00am-10:00pm
Dinner: Daily 8:00am-10:00pm
Brunch: Daily 8:00am-10:00pm
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Phone number
(415) 861-0303
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Private party facilities
Centrally located, yet nestled in the quiet residential neighborhood just outside Hayes Valley. A roaring fireplace, long communal table, and several nooks for sipping and chatting make up this tranquil gathering space. The Zen Valley Tea Lounge accommodates groups of 1-60. You can reserve a table for $60 per person, or a portion of the Tea Lounge: Entire Back Room: Minimum reservation fee of $2500 Entire Tea Lounge: Minimum reservation fee of $10,000
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Catering
We are happy to do off-site catering, for inquiries please email us.
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Cross street
Laguna
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Public transit
Page and Laguna South Van Ness
Additional
Counter Seating, Gluten-free Menu, High Tea, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch
What 36 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.1based on all time ratings
4.1
food
4.1
service
4.1
ambience
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
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4.0Dined on January 8, 2014

Yes, I am a tea snob, and Samovar has some of the most wonderful teas in the world. What amazes me, though, is their style of service. While they manage to properly serve each different type of tea, they do it without being pompous or hovering over you. Love this place!

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2.0Dined on December 28, 2013

Definitely not worth the price.

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5.0Dined on December 27, 2013

Samovar is for when you want to slow down and just enjoy the good stuff in life. Perfect for chilling or with company that you want to talk to.

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5.0Dined on December 23, 2013

I took a group of friends and family for a light dinner before a performance. The tea service was a bit of theater itself; we each ordered a different tea (and associated meal), and it was fun hearing the server describe the history and characteristics of each. Most of menu options are vegan/veg- which we liked but maybe is not for everyone. Relaxed atmosphere, relaxed service.

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4.0Dined on December 19, 2013

If you enjoy tapas, you'll enjoy the exotic and varied tea ervices and rice bowls offered here. Everything was well-prepared and fresh, service was prompt and accommodating. We arrived later than expected due to traffic, but the food arrived quickly and we made the performance. Hope to revisit when we have more time!

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4.0Dined on December 15, 2013

This place is great for vegetarians. They do not serve your typical high tea snacks. They have unique food options that challenge the taste buds and were delicious. I brought my children here and the staff was extremely friendly towards them.

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5.0Dined on November 24, 2013

My husband and I brought our friends here for their first time, and they loved it. We've been here once before and have been waiting for a good excuse to return. I had the Middle Eastern-themed entree, our friends had the Paleolithic, and my husband enjoyed the English one. We were sharing bites and commenting and how good everything tasted. The presentation is exceptional, also. Go and enjoy your tea with a flair!

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5.0Dined on November 23, 2013

Samovar remains one of my favorite restaurants in SF after many years. Try all three locations!

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4.0Dined on November 23, 2013

Eclectic is my best descriptor for Samovar Tea Lounge. Good food, excellent service, unusual dishes.

We had the Japanese Tea Service (smoked salmon) and the Jook (smoked duck), having only the Japanese green tea that came with the tea service (we shared it). The tea was flavorful, though with a slight bitter aftertaste. The seaweed salad was forgettable, though the other things on the Japanese tea service were wonderful: flavor smoked salmon, a nice ginger carrot soup, kale salad with miso dressing, and very sweet, flavorful squash. We also enjoyed the jook, and both agreed that the smoked duck was the highlight of the main courses.

The true highlight was the pot de crème and the chocolate chunk cookie: ESPECIALLY the cookie!

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5.0Dined on November 2, 2013

It was the entire group's first time coming here on a double date. We were all pleasantly surprised. The food is clean, healthy, well-made with decent proportions. Tea is BOMB. My boyfriend said their mint tea reminded him of his time in Morocco.

Will come here again, and already planning on how to bring more people to this gem!

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4.0Dined on October 23, 2013

The teas were excellent, a tad on the expensive side. My fiancee and I enjoyed her 17 dollar Oolong, but was equally as tasty as the 10 dollar Oolong I had ordered. The food was awesome, I loved the sweet marinade and sauce on the tempeh. Nice ambiance but a bit on the pretentious side, when all the servers were so genuinely down to earth. In short I would go back and planning on it next time in S.F.

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5.0Dined on August 25, 2013

Samovar Tea Lounge is a great place to just be relaxed and enjoy some good food with great tea. I enjoyed my time there and will be back for more later. I recommend it to others if you want a change in scenery and want more of a relaxed atmosphere and hang out with a friend or two.

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2.0Dined on May 29, 2013

High class veggie for tea connoisseur.

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5.0Dined on May 13, 2013

We love Samovar, and Zen Valley is our favorite location. They have a wide variety of unique teas and tea services, with a la carte options that easily suit vegan and gluten-free requirements. This is not your usual tea shop-- the menu leans toward whole grains, fresh vegetables, and a mix of ethnic dishes. Plus, they brew their tea correctly. That's not a small thing.

Samovar is always a great place to slow down, converse, and share quiet reflections. It was even quieter and more mellow at dinner. Our server was, as usual, friendly and helpful without hovering. Of course we will go back. People outside of SF who buy Samovar's tea online beg them to open tea lounges elsewhere, so we consider ourselves lucky to live nearby.

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1.0Dined on May 12, 2013

I really liked the food and the tea complemented the whole meal. I also like the overall decoration of the place. However our waiter, Alexander, rushed us out after we paid the bill. And even mentioned that they needed the table for other customers. (after he got his tip). If you go there and want to take your time make sure to ask for a different waiter.

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4.0Dined on April 25, 2013

This was a fun place to try for something a little out of the ordinary. It was on the expensive side. We ordered the tea and food combinations which included the tea with a good number of items in small amounts which made for a fun tasting experience. Some items were delicious notably the dates with goat cheese and the onion while others were just ok or good. Would go back again but probably not on a regular basis because of the cost. The green tea was wonderful. Lastly, the service was excellent. The servers were friendly, accommodating and knowledgeable.

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4.0Dined on March 25, 2013

I actually prefer the mission/castro location's ambiance, but this place is simple and relaxing. I only had tea at this Samovar, but the service was nice and it was a great environment to catch up with a friend.

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4.0Dined on March 7, 2013

Pretty clear, you come here for the tea, right? But their food is actually quite good. I had the English tea service, the love of my life, had the blood orange tea. We also had the fruit and cheese plate. The honeycomb is awesome. Everything was excellent. Plus, good quiet spot for a date. Definitely will return.

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5.0Dined on February 16, 2013

very nice pre-concert venue. Tasty, good prices. We had fun, thank you!

There is a Japanese-style room up a few steps (we did not sit there) that might be great for a small group

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4.0Dined on January 19, 2013

Service was a little hit and miss, but once we ordered our food it was delivered very fast. Food was very tasty, and the portions were nicely sized. I'd say the prices are a bit steep, but overall a nice place to check out.

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5.0Dined on January 12, 2013

The manager, Jorge, was wonderful :) We were super late for our reservation because of unexpected heavy traffic around the toll plaza (out-of-towners). We called ahead of time that we were running late. When we arrived, we were still accommodated with no problems even though the restaurant was full. In addition to being tardy, I had a problem retrieving my Groupon on my phone, but Jorge didn't give me a hard time about it and he was able to find me on their list. My sister ordered the Japanese tea service and she finished almost the entire plate. I had the Ayurvedic tea service and it was delicious.

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4.0Dined on January 8, 2013

Pleasant place to meet friends and enjoy tea and a light meal.

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5.0Dined on January 5, 2013

Love Samovar! Been there 28 times. Super food, friendly service, and fun atmosphere!

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2.0Dined on December 22, 2012

Was hoping to have a nice tea lunch with my sister before going to see the Nutcracker. However this place was overpriced for what we got and the atmosphere was horrible. They played some odd music that talked about death and suicide the whole time! Do not recommend for a nice experience!

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5.0Dined on December 16, 2012

An out-of-the-ordinary experience. Excellent service.

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3.0Dined on December 13, 2012

Biggest difficulty was finding parking even though our reservation was early but finally I did find a parking place on the alley Lily. Lovely, friendly character inside the restaurant--perfect for 3 friends to get together for the holiday. Tea and food unusual and good, especially the pineapple coconut tea served warm.

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5.0Dined on December 12, 2012

High quality teas, friendly service, delicious food, and thoughtful presentation.

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4.0Dined on November 23, 2012

An oasis slightly uphill from the lively scene in Hayes Valley, but well worth the walk. One can go for just teas or order a combo tea/food mix from 5 or 6 cultures. It's set up primarily for a tea experience with enough food choices to accompany. The food items were lovely and healthy.
Ali in all, a lovely, quiet and restful experience right across from the San Francisco Zen Center.

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4.0Dined on November 19, 2012

My first time here with a Groupon. Lovely, calm decor. Friendly, quick service. The food and tea was delicious. Healthy, fresh an beautiful. My only complaint is the price. It is a bit pricy. $14 for a pot of tea! I know it is a special blend, but too bad. Otherwise I'd come back

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3.0Dined on November 18, 2012

The overall feeling was zen and hip. The menu was really interesting and I was excited to try out two of the dishes with my honey. Unfortunately we were both disappointed when the food came out. The beets tasted like they came from a can and the crackers looked like the same flat bread crackers you pull out of a package. And the presentation was lacking creativity. The kale was over cooked and cold and the butternut squash was dry and also cold. I really wanted to enjoy this place, but more care needs to be placed on the quality of their dishes. The tea service was lovely, as much care and joy should be put into the food they prepare and serve.

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5.0Dined on November 11, 2012

We took over the communal table in the back and it was a wonderful way to celebrate my mother-in-law's birthday

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3.0Dined on November 9, 2012

Always enjoy going to Samovar. The server explained the food/tea service to my friend, who had never been to Samovar. You can always count on great service! I was disappointed though with the tea service this time. I ordered the Japanese meal and my tea came in a glass carafe that quickly got lukewarm. Last time, I received my tea in a traditional Japanese cast-iron pot. My smoked salmon was also on the dry side.

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4.0Dined on October 20, 2012

After hearing about how great Samovar Tea Lounge is from my favorite blog writers Tim Ferriss and Kevin Rose, I decided to take my girlfriend for night out of tea and relaxation. Samovar Tea Lounge was lovely in every area. The Japanese tea service was simple and delicious. Our server recommended the Moorish appetizer platter to accompany our tea service. Needless to say it was very tasty. The only drawback was that the squash dumplings were a bit dry. The warm tea and equally warm & friendly staff made our first visit to Samovar Tea Lounge a fun experience.

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4.0Dined on October 18, 2012

i came with five people after visiting zen center across the street where i am the beekeeper. everyone loved the environment and felt comfortable. everyone enjoyed their lunch dishes (quiche, jook, and others). the one area that we all agreed was off was the honey comb, fruit, and cheese platter. as a raw honey producer and beekeeper in a variety of organic environments my feeling was it was overprices. the small and unattractive piece of honey comb was not right and the very small cheese serving had two offerings that were too dry. flavors were not in any exceptional. our servers were very polite and knowledgable.

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4.0Dined on October 14, 2012

This was the one location I'd not tried. I was meeting someone for Sunday tea and decided to make a reservation because I heard that this location can get very crowded. Much to my surprise it wasn't very crowded. Just a few people here and there. I always order the Japanese tea service plate. (It's not a formal tea service just so you know.) As always, the tea was great and the food was delicious.

The servers at this location were very friendly too. I'm a fan of all three locations.

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4.0Dined on October 9, 2012

have been wanting to try this place for a while, i drive by it a few times a week coming to and from USF. my friend and i tried the salmon wasabi caesar salad, salmon quiche, and cheese plate. all three were really great. the honeycomb in the cheese plate is sooo good and i would definitely go back for the caesar salad. the wasabi gives the dressing a bit of kick, but is not spicy at all. the smoked salmon pairs really well with the flavor of the dressing. both of us decided to try the chai tea and it is the best chai i've ever had, we both got two. definitely worth a try!

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