HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >


Relaxed lounge-y places for tea?

for anyone who's familiar with LA, i'd love to find someplace similar to the now-closed elixir on melrose. priorities are good selection of teas and comfy seating - couches, armchairs, etc.

suggestions for all neighborhoods welcome.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I don't think you'll find something like Elixir in NY. NY seems to be more of a coffee city. There are a few tea places but tend not to be loungey -- more like small hard seats. I wish somebody would open up an Elixir here.

    I think your best bet would be to find a loungey coffee place that has a moderate selection of teas -- nothing like Elixir but generally would have your standard black, green and some herbal selections. Or perhaps a day spa may have something.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Miss Needle

      loungey coffee place with decent tea sounds good to me. any faves you can recommend?

      btw, considering that elixir didn't make it in LA - which is more of a tea town - somehow i doubt we'll be seeing anything like it in NY anytime soon. what a great little spot that was. i miss it!

      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        agreed with miss needle. NY real estate doesn't condone a lot of relaxing-for-hours loungey spots compared to spacious LA. Elixir was truly one of a kind but to get that kind of atmosphere you'd have to go to a hotel or spa.

        *Wishing that Argo Tea would make it's way over here.... *

    2. I had to admit up front that I never visited elixir. However, I would like to recommend Gramstand on Avenue A at 13th Street. They have a fabulous selection of tea that they brew there and most of their staff is very knowledgeable. It is a comfortable spot with upstairs and downstairs seating. Lots of students and freelancers tend to be there as the free internet is great.

      Check it out: http://www.gramstand.com/

      3 Replies
      1. re: newfoodie

        That looks good. Have to check it out.

        GHG, a few coffee places to get you started (nothing like Elixir, mind you) are Grounded and Think Coffee. Madeline Patisserie (is in process of moving now) used to have a decent tea selection with couches. They also have pretty good macarons, which I believe are gluten-free.

        I know this may be of a stretch, but how about a hotel lounge and ordering tea there? I've only done it when I'm staying at that hotel, but I know people who hold meetings there (where they are not guests). I kind of think it's a bit ballsy, but they're not kicked out.

        1. re: Miss Needle

          Madeline Patisserie is moving??? where to?

          1. re: Miss Needle

            I love Think but I don't think it's particularly comfy/loungey there.

        2. T Salon http://www.tsalon.com/
          I've only been to Chelsea Market location, not sure/don't think the other planned locations are open yet. You can get tea and tea/liquor cocktails. Store has a lounge in the back.

          1. Others are right, lounging for a price of a cup of tea is a luxury in NYC. Think Coffee is one place - although I don't like their coffee, never tried their tea. There is a place exactly like you are looking for, called Tea Lounge, but that's in Park Slope, Brooklyn

              1. re: pacz

                Casablanca Tea Room seems to have closed ... http://newyork.citysearch.com/review/...

                Phone's disconnected, Web site's gone.

              2. Think Coffee (3rd and Mercer), mentioned above, has pretty good tea and pastries, and well-made, strong coffee. A caveat, though; they tend to run out of food and get taken over by students and freelancers in the afternoon. Like, no chance of a table, thus not very loungey. So, go in the morning.

                1. sanctuaryT on w broadway
                  arium in meatpacking
                  alices teacup on uws (though not if you, like me, have issues with the cracked cups and teapots)
                  grounded in w vill (think someone mentioned it already)

                  1. hey ghg, you might try caffe reggio in the village.

                    there's also a tea place on macdougal just north of 3rd IIRC that im blanking on the name. it's not loungey but there are tables, and tea is served in pots and mugs.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Emme

                      The place on Macdougal is probably Tea Spot (unless you're thinking La Lanterna di Vittorio, which is also good).

                      TeaNY, Moby's little establishment in the EV, is a nice place to sit.

                    2. I really love Cha'an on 9th street btwn 2nd 3rd avenue. Its a Japanese teahouse that also serves food and desserts. There are no armchairs or couches but the atmosphere is very pleasant and calm.

                      1. Here are my recs: They're all worth considering! I will '*' the ones w/ the most relaxing atmospheres... Do you like Japanese tea? If so, Tafu is the best one! Nobody on the previous thread mentioned the shop b/c it just premiered in US from Japan w/in the last 8/10 months. It's located inside the Doubletree Hotel on 51st & Lex, but has its own side entrance on 51st St. Closed on Suns. but open everyday 'till 8:00 pm. You have to try their Daifuku rice cakes imported from Japan! Of course, Lady Mendl's is superb. I also fancy Green Tea Cafe; *Podunk; *Sanctuary T; *Subtletea; *Teany; Amai Tea & Bake House; Tea & Sympathy & *T Salon. Tea Box Cafe at Takashimaya; The Adore & Sympathy for the Kettle all have great teas, but the people (including owners!) are rude and to me drinking tea is supposed to be a relaxing experience! Hope this helps!

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: laurennycfoodie

                          I always think hotels are loungy, try the Waldorf, the St. Regis or Carlyle for a relaxed tea.

                          1. re: laurennycfoodie

                            I forgot about Amai. Their tea cakes and cookies are lovely, and the service is excellent.