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!
Definitely not worth the price.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
Samovar remains one of my favorite restaurants in SF after many years. Try all three locations!
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!
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!
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.
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.
High class veggie for tea connoisseur.
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.
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.