Best afternoon tea in Chicago area? Fancy hotels or small tea shops.
You can get a list of 47 places serving tea from Metromix by clicking on "Tea" under "Meals served": http://metromix.chicagotribune.com/di... Hotels which pop up include the Ritz-Carlton, the Peninsula, the Four Seasons, and the Drake.
However, I'm not sure what constitutes "best". Best tasting tea? Best price? Best pastry accompaniments? Best atmosphere? Best place for an eight-year-old girl to have tea? (That last question, probably American Girl Cafe. :smile: )
On my brief visit to Chicago in April, Mom and I had tea at the Ritz-Carlton. I really liked the space, but the tea itself (beverage and food) was not terribly impressive. Not bad, but no better than what I have regularly here in NC... actually, not as good as.
Our Chicago Greeter advised us that she and friends have had tea at several of the options in the city, and ranked the Peninsula at the top of the list. We weren't up to changing our reservations (same day), but I would try it before I'd return to the Ritz-Carlton (someday...)
I recommend tea at the Atwood Cafe. My mom and I do an annual holiday tea and we have tried the Drake and Four Seasons. I recommend the Atwood over both of these places. It was easier on the pocketbook and I thought that the food was better and I perferred the dining room over the hotel options.
Walnut Room of the Old Marshall Field's on State Street (I refuse to call it 'Macy's'!!) Make sure you arrive for high-tea and enjoy as many scones as possible! Quite likely the best scones you'll ever eat!