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Nov 22, 2006 04:34 PM

Afternoon tea/coffee and pastries in Mpls???

My friend and I want to have a proper afternoon tea w/ pastries in Minneapolis area and can't think of a suitable setting.

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  1. Check out the St Paul Hotel in downtown St Paul - they had something like that on a regular basis.

    1. If you're open to St. Paul, I've heard good things about both the St. Paul Hotel and Cafe Latte. I've never been to either myself.

      Here are links:

      5 Replies
      1. re: diesel

        Hey, I never knew that about Cafe Latte! Interesting indeed. I hope someone tries it and reports back--either that, or I will be forced to take that task on myself. :)

        Isn't there a cute little Russian tea-house on University Avenue in St. Paul? I've been curious, but have never been. I've heard the hours are complicated. Do they do a proper tea?


        1. re: The Dairy Queen

          Yes, there is a place called Russian Tea Room on University next to Wendy's (at Fairview I think). They do serve tea there as well as outstanding food. I have no idea what a "proper tea" is but I suspect this place is not it (although it is one of my favorite places in MSP). Also perhaps "improper" but when I lived in Mac Groveland pre-kids, I used to love to while away a weekend morning deep in a comfy chair with a newspaper, sipping tea and eating shortbread cookies at Tea Source on Cleveland Ave. Ah...those were the days.

          Also, what about Patrick's in the Bachman's building? I see tea sipping ladies at their tables in the greenhouse all the time.

          1. re: MSPD

            Yeah, the Russian Tea Room isn't the sort of place you'd have "proper tea" It is a good place for grab and go food, but it isn't the multi-course formal affair that "proper tea" is.

            1. re: Danny

              It's not the Russian Tea Room, it's the Russian Tea House. Danny's right - it's not the place to go for "a proper tea".

              The Russian Tea House is a tiny restaurant serving borshcht, "unrolled" cabbage rolls, and piroshki (meat-filled buns) with fast-food speed and slow-food quality. They also have potato-beet salad, and those cookies covered in powdered sugar.
              The tea, cider, or coffee is served in styrofoam cups. On Fridays, they have potato dumplings with a tangy meat sauce (they call it beef stroganoff, and it's yummy and filling). And that's the whole menu.

              Most of the business is take-out, but they have tables and chairs upstairs. The food is great, and it's one of my favorite places in the Twin Cities. I recommend it, just not for afternoon tea.

              Russian Tea House
              1758 University Ave, St. Paul
              (651) 646-4144
              Open for lunch only Tuesday-Friday.


              1. re: AnneInMpls

                Anne, thanks for the correction and address -- I got too lazy to flip open my business card books to find it. (Now that I have, I'll add their hours: 11-3 Tuesday to Friday.)

                For those of the particular persuasion, the pierogi (potato dumplings) can be served without the meat sauce. Just butter, sauteed onions and sour cream. The chocolate chip/poppy rolls are also amazing when warm, although you could hollow one out and hold NFL football games in there. They're big.

      2. The tea and pastries at Cafe Latte are very nice. You choose from several different types of loose leaf tea and one of their fudge cakes or tarts. Your choices also come with basil/tomato cream cheese sandwiches, a small scone (with stuff like lemon curd), a shortbread cookie and a few chocolates. The setting is good for talking with a few friends since it is usually not so crowded in the back of Latte during the early/mid afternoon, but is not at all formal and therefore may not fit into your definition of "proper afternoon tea".

        1. As others have mentioned, the St. Paul Hotel does a proper, five course afternoon tea. ( ) They also offer etiquette classes, that should give you an idea of their "formal tea" credibility. :)

          Another one I've seen signs for while eating at Muffuletta, is Lady Elegant's Tea (They're in the same complex as Muffuletta.

          Occasionally, there is an afternoon tea at the Como Park Conservatory - that's another one to look into.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Danny

            Sounds fabulous! I think I heard of a place that serves tea in the back of a polo shop. The question is: was that in SF? Or, is that here in the Twin Cities, and, if so, is it still a good place to go.


            1. re: Danny

              Purely heresay, but my teenage daughter and her friends love to have tea service at Lady Elegant's in our neighborhood. (Sadly for my overworked kitchen, I often have to concoct scones to correspond to the most recent offerings.) I will say this from experience, though: the tea service the girls have experienced has very positively affected their manners at the table. It seems to be a nice, cozy place for an afternoon tea. And a lovely setting, neighborhood-wise, to boot.

            2. Check out the Tea Guide for a list of tea rooms in the Twin Cities. I'm not sure how current the information is, but it's very extensive.


              I've heard that tea at the Minnesota Arboretum is very nice.


              1 Reply
              1. re: AnneInMpls

                my mom works at the arb-- don't think they've done their teas for quite a few years, as their foodservice has gone from the independant group i worked for as a teenager to U of M dining services, and they don't have time or interest in such things anymore. maybe they still have formal teas for very special occasions