The Pennsylvania Afternoon Tea Bucket List

Fancy a cuppa? For a deeply cozy — and sometimes, even rather fancy — experience, there’s nothing quite like afternoon tea. While there are plenty of coffee shops where you can find nice cup of tea, we’re talking about the whole affair: high tea with a china tea pot, fancy sandwiches and dainty pastries. This leisurely ritual might seem like a lost art, but there are actually so many proper tea houses across Pennsylvania offering full tea service, both for the public on regular occasions, and for private events.

The next time you need to take a break from the hustle of modern life, or you’re looking for a fun way to spend time with friends, pay a visit to one of these lovely spots for a relaxing afternoon tea in Pennsylvania:

North Central, NEPA & the Lehigh Valley

Rose Cottage: Anywhere that has a section of the menu dedicated to “Elevensies” is going to be good in our book! This gorgeous pink circa-1865 Carpenter Gothic home is Rose Cottage, serving afternoon tea in the American Victorian style. Elevensies is the 11 a.m. seating, which includes tea, savories (tea sandwiches and things), scones and sweets. Afternoon tea is four courses, and includes a soup, as well as cake. Note: Rose Cottage closes for the winter each year, and reopens for Mother’s Day in May. 197 Lincoln Ave., Montrose; (607) 351-1781.

tea rooms in PA

The Tea Room & Lounge at SoulWorks Collective: Tucked into this yoga and wellness center, find a cafe-style tea room serving Harney & Sons Tea, Queen of Tarts Pastries and tea sandwiches. The owner, Finn Malakin, says their goal is to create a modernized, more casual high tea experience, with customers welcome to sit in front of the fireplace with a book or with a friend, and enjoy tea from a real tea pot alongside light bites. 454 Cemetery Rd., Hamlin; (570) 510-2548.

tea houses in PA

The Talking Teacup: Set in a charming home filled with shabby chic-style decor, The Talking Teacup offers lunch and High Tea every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Reservations are always required! Each tea experience lasts for 90 minutes with everything served on fine china and pretty linens. Most of the menu options include tea scones with Devonshire cream, and various assortments of freshly made sweet and savory bites. Note: The Talking Teacup is on winter break until February 2, 2024. 301 W. Butler Ave., Chalfont; (215) 997-8441.’

The Strawberry Tree: This combination gift shop/tea house is open Wednesday through Saturday for tea service and light fare. Though guests are welcome to order sandwiches and sweets a la carte, we suggest going for the seasonal sampler, an assortment of treats served on a two-tiered plate in true afternoon tea style (savories on the bottom, sweets on top). Walk-ins are welcome, though reservations are recommended. 578 State St., Curwensville; (814) 236-8328.

tea houses in PA

The Tria Prima: This comfy shop specializes in dried teas and herbs, and also has a few casual tables where you can decompress with a cup of hot tea and indulge in one of the in-house bakery’s many artisanal vegan, gluten-free goodies, like scones, donuts and focaccia bread. 6 W. 4th St., Williamsport; (570) 360-5016.

Southeastern PA

The Painted Tea Cup: High tea is serious business at this handsome tea room and boutique in Delaware County. It holds hours on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, with high tea reservations usually available between 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Each tea party includes a selection of imported teas served in beautiful china, as well as a variety of fresh-made sandwiches and seasonal desserts. In warmer weather, guests can enjoy casual a la carte service on the outdoor patio. The boutique includes a wide assortment of teas and tea accessories, of course, as well as decor, jewelry, gourmet food goods, candles and more. 220 S. State Rd., Upper Darby; (610) 352-2334.

Mary Cassatt Tea Room & Garden: For extra-special occasions, consider splurging on this posh tea service in the Rittenhouse Hotel. Tea time is held Thursday through Sunday from noon to 3 p..m, and ranges from $70 to $275 per person, so do note that it’s not a cheap day out! However, in exchange for a hefty chunk of change, every detail, big and small, will be perfection, from the ambiance and decor — three of Cassatt’s sketches from her personal collection are on display — to the exquisite leaf teas and tisanes to the over-the-top food selections (try the feta and dill scones). Reservations are recommended. 210 W. Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia; (215) 546-9000.

Prince Tea House: This Chinatown spot is part of a small chain, with other locations mostly in New York. Each afternoon tea, which is a two-hour engagement, includes assorted mini pastries, scones, finger sandwiches and tea. 203 N. 9th St., Philadelphia; (215) 560-8912.

tea houses in PA

The Gifford-Risley House: While this quaint 1877 Gothic Revival-Chalet home in Media mostly functions as a bed-and-breakfast, it offers afternoon tea to the public on Sundays from 2 to 4 p.m. The classic-style service includes assorted tea sandwiches and sweets with a variety of herbal or fruity teas in the elegant Victorian-inspired dining room. Porch-side seating is available on a seasonal basis. Call ahead to reserve your spot for Sunday tea. 430 N. Monroe St., Media; (610) 565-4817.

A Taste of Britain: For over 30 years, A Taste of Britain has been providing fabulous tea to the Main Line community. In addition to a more casual tea shop, with full food and beverage menus, and boutique, it hosts special afternoon tea services throughout the year, complete with all the trimmings: creative savouries (think: wild mushroom, bacon and gruyere quiche), scones and decadent sweets. Keep an eye on A Taste of Britain’s Facebook page for upcoming special tea events. 503 W. Lancaster Ave., Wayne; (610) 971-0390.

The Village Tea House: This 127-year-old Victorian home has transformed into a sweet and elegant tearoom, laden with character and elegance. There is a variety of “tea meals” to choose from for afternoon tea; the most lavish is Margaret’s Full Tea Meal, Village Style, which includes soup or quiche du jour, a house salad, a fresh scone with seasonal curd and Devonshire cream, assorted tea sandwiches and petite sweets, as well as your choice of tea (there are dozens and dozens to choose from). Reservations are required. 1919 W. Point Pike, West Point; (215) 699-1800.

Orchard Tea Room at Rose Hip Barn: One Friday and Saturday per month, this antique furniture shop transforms into a cozy tea room with afternoon tea served between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. It also hosts tea classes, tea tastings and tea and food pairing workshops! 371 Glen Mills Rd., Thornton; (610) 800-9597.

Central PA

Tea Trolley: This stately tea house can trace its roots back to the mid-1800s and is on the National Register of Historic Places! The current owner, Rachael Cox, who is originally from London, purchased the home in 2008 and renovated/restored it, and opened it to the public as a cafe. It holds hours Wednesday to Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a few different tea services to choose from, including The Royal Afternoon Tea, Light Afternoon Tea and Savory Tea. Reservations are recommended. 104 Main St., Delta; (717) 303-5182.

Sugarplums & Teas: Just about four miles from downtown Lancaster, find Sugarplums & Teas, a perfectly classic tea house serving a la carte breakfast, lunch and sweets. Its Courtyard Tea (high tea) is just $25 per person and includes a pot of tea and three tempting courses; lighter options are also available. The space is also home to a tea shop with over 100 varieties of tea from around the world, plus tea accessories and gifts. 403 Bank Barn Ln., Lancaster; (717) 394-9166.

A Tea Affair Tea Room: There’s not 1, but 5, ways to enjoy exceptional tea service at this adorable tea room/tea shop! Choose from Luncheon Tea, Garden Tea, Children’s Tea, Dessert Tea, or go all out with the full Afternoon High Tea, complete with tea and scones, salad with quiche or the soup du jour, tea sandwiches, French-style creme brulee and pastries! Dairy-free, gluten-free and vegan tea options are also available. 8 Sturgis Ln., Lititz; (717) 627-1776.

The Old House Tea Room: A farmhouse decked out in Victorian-era decor and ambiance? Sounds like the perfect place for an afternoon tea. Open Wednesday through Sunday, stop by to shop for antique treasures and baked goods, or reserve a seat at one of the expertly-scaped tables for a relaxed afternoon tea. 7027 Lincoln Hwy., Thomasville; (717) 225-0451.

Higinbotham’s Bed & Breakfast and Tea Room: Take a break from antiquing (New Oxford, PA is considered the antiques capital of South Central PA) at this quaint, historic bed and breakfast, where a five-course tea in served in the sun room, library or by the fireplace in the dining room. Tea service is available Thursday through Sunday afternoons and evenings, by reservation only. 102 Lincolnway West, New Oxford; 717-624-1866.

Front Porch Tea Room & Gathering Place: In the center of the small town of Hallam, PA, find Front Porch Tea Room, a respite from the business of modern life in a circa-1869 log home with a welcoming front porch. High tea is served here a few times a week: at noon, Wednesday to Friday (occasionally also at 6 p.m. on Fridays), and 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Saturday. Five courses await, including salad, scones, soup, sandwiches and desserts. Reservations are required. 25 W. Market St., Hallam; (717) 755-7510.

Manchester Tea & Tarts: Primarily a catering company, Manchester Tea & Tarts does host semi-frequent high tea pop-ups, often held at the Coble House. These gatherings include unlimited tea and lots of dainty bites, like five cheese and Branston pickle finger sandwiches and Bakewell tarts. Keep an eye on its Facebook page for upcoming events. 33 E. High St., Elizabethtown; (717) 874-0518.

Western PA

tea houses in PA

Crumpets Tea Shop: This sweet little shop offers not only 150+ loose leaf teas, tea accessories and gifts, but also daily tea and crumpets with various toppings service in its homey, living room-esque space. 201 E Main St., Ligonier; (724) 238-2029.

The Victorian Lady of Academy Hill: Pinkies up! The Victorian Lady of Academy Hill is a “tea parlor” in a Queen Anne-style home built circa 1884. Come in your best finery to enjoy afternoon tea, served in the traditional English style on a three-tiered tray. After, take some time to shop in the Victorian Lady boutique for  fine loose leaf teas, teapots and teacups, tea accouterments, books, gifts and more. 356 N. Main St. Greensburg; (724) 832-8255.

Serendipity Tea Room & Cafe: The charm factor is high at Serendipity Tea Room, where high tea is served Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in a pale pink dining room. The full high tea experience is a five-course affair; the Lite Tea menu is one less course. Reservations are suggested. 127 Speer St., Belle Vernon; (724) 483-3041. 

The Steeping Leaf Tea Bistro: Tea and gelato? There is an inspired combination! Both are on offer at The Steeping Leaf, which operates as a casual cafe, and also serves Afternoon Tea every last Friday and Saturday of the month between 4 and 6 p.m. It includes an endless pot of tea, with your choice of sachets from its in-house tea brand, Teehuesli Tea, as well as finger sandwiches, scones and pastries. Reservations are required. 536 Millers Run Rd., Morgan; (412) 726-0487.

Dobra Tea Pittsburgh: While this Bohemian-style tea room is a departure from the frills and pomp of traditional afternoon, it’s such a unique spot with so many incredible teas from around the world, that we had to include it on our Bucket List! In its colorful Tea Room, all teas are served in traditional vessels or handmade pottery from the country of origin, alongside an eclectic food menu, featuring Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine. The food menu includes a selection of small sweet and savory bites (including stuffed grape leaves, mixed nuts, French meringues and tea cookies), so you can put together a lovely spread for afternoon tea, if you wish.

The Johnston House: Steeped in Old World luxury, afternoon tea at The Johnston House’s beautiful tea room is quite an experience: we’re talking a full staff, white tablecloths, fine china and silver and exquisite food. These teas, which are 90 minutes in length, are only offered once per month, and reservations are required (the space regularly operates as a private events venue). 7041 Crider Rd., Ste. A, Mars; (724) 625-2636.

The Tea Room on Main: Find a seat in the sun-drenched, whimsically decorated dining room here and settle in for quite a pleasant afternoon tea! Each seasonal menu features satisfying savories, gourmet scones and gorgeous sweets. Fancy dress is not expected, but is encouraged! Reservations are required on weekends and recommended on weekdays. Note: The Tea Room on Main is transferring ownership in early 2024 and will be back open on January 17, 2024. 225 W. Main St., Saxonburg; (724) 524-1299.

Love a great cup of tea? Check out our story about tea growers and artisans in PA!

  • Feature photo: The Tria Prima
  • All other photos: Courtesy of their respective businesses

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