Alice’s Tea Cup

Before I get too excited writing about this wonderful establishment, let me just say this: Alice’s Tea Cup is my favorite! And that’s an understatement. I love this place. It’s the kind of restaurant that you walk into and it feels like you’re somewhere special, magical. Needless to say, Alice’s Tea Cup is based on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,and the restaurants (there are a few in New York) are tea party-themed, from the atmosphere to the food itself. The restaurant is decked out with lovely Alice in Wonderland decor and merchandise up at the front counter (where you can buy tea and scones to go) and you can even opt to be sprinkled with fairy dust (although that’s usually reserved for little kids…)!

Alice’s Tea Cup on 73rd and Columbus (photo from

It can get very crowded (especially on weekends) and there’s usually a long wait– so make reservations in advance (they don’t take same-day reservations). It’s also a bit expensive, so I only go there with friends every once in a while when I’m back home. They have a ridiculously large tea list that I’m slowly making my way through, and a regular menu full of scones (flavors change daily), sandwiches, and other breakfast/brunch foods. You can also choose from an assortment of different combinations of tea, scones, mini sandwiches, cookies, etc. If I’m willing to drop a lot of money, it’s fun to get tiers of bite-size treats with your tea… it makes me feel fancy.

This time, I went with my friend Amanda. Alice’s Tea Cup is a small tradition for us– we always go together and try to get groups of friends to come along. It was just us this time, but it was a nice time to catch up and have some tea and scones. We had to wait for 30 minutes because we hadn’t made a reservation, but the wait is usually worth it because once you’re inside, you can spend a long time just hanging out and having tea there.

I usually get the Small Pot of Tea & Two Scones ($12). The scones are my favorite items here– they come with raspberry preserves and clotted cream for spreading. This time, I got a strawberry lemon poppyseed scone and a pumpkin scone with a pot of Summer Peach tea. I also like to get the Birthday Tea here, which is a blend of black teas with tropical fruits and flowers. Amanda got a chocolatey chai tea (which I can’t find on their online tea list), which was great as well. She also got a strawberry banana scone and a goat cheese basil scone. The scones are always moist and flavorful, and although they have great flavors every day, the plain scones are always great with the preserves and cream.

Scones (photo by Caleb Ferguson for the Wall Street Journal)

The pumpkin scone was great, but a little sweet due to the glaze that was put on top of it, but it went really well with the clotted cream. The strawberry lemon poppyseed scone was delicious and the flavor of the strawberry came out strongly as a nice addition to a lemon poppyseed scone. I tried some of Amanda’s scones and the goat cheese scone was delicious! The strawberry banana was also great, but sometimes a savory scone is the way to go!




Alice’s Tea Cup:

  • 102 West 73rd St. (at Columbus Ave.)
  • 156 East 64th St. (b/w Lexington and 3rd Aves)
  • 220 East 81st St. (b/w 2nd and 3rd Aves)

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