Tea Ceremonies Around The World

September 8, often sweetened with raw sugar cubes and spiked with lemon, is most prevalent in Russia, though green tea is gaining in popularity.

The ceremony: The Russian tea ceremony is more symbolic than technical, as it’s not drunk at a particular time of day; rather tea is the drink of choice throughout the day and a symbol of friendship. Thanks to a treaty with China where tea was traded for furs, tea has now become the national drink of Russia, often served in fine bone china cups or glass tea holders (calledpodstakannik), along with cookies (pryaniks), mini bagels (sushki), Blini (crepes), sandwiches with fish, caviar, meat and cheese, cakes and jam.

Where to find it here: Named for the sharing of tea among friends and family, Russian Tea Time in Chicago offers an authentic tea presentation throughout the day, plus an Afternoon Tea Time daily (2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.), where guests can choose a tea to be served with a tier of savory mini sandwiches, crepes and desserts.

Where Can You Eat Around Chicago

December 1, 2015 – The

Afternoon Tea is a popular custom around the world, so see how Russia has their tea at the popular downtown tea house Russian Tea Time.

The complete service is another affordable afternoon tea experience for those of you who want the luxury but at an accessible price.

Where You Can Have Afternoon Tea in Chicago

36 Hours in Chicago
January 1, 2014 – New York Times

Russian Tea Time is the kind of classic, white-tablecloth restaurant that helps old cities age gracefully. There’s nothing new here, just wonderful Ukrainian-style borscht ($6), Russian herring ($13.50) and Moldavian, Uzbek and Azerbaijani specialties on a busy downtown street. The tea service ($29.95) includes over 30 teas and a spread of sweets and savories such as Pozharski croquettes and rugelach, while the vodka flights feature house-flavored black currant, horseradish and ginger spirits. Just across Michigan Avenue, get a taste of the Art Institute of Chicago’s dizzying scope by dropping into one of its catch-it-while-you-can exhibitions, like “Art and Appetite: American Painting, Culture and Cuisine,” which surveys “the historical art of eating” through Jan. 27.

Russian Tea Time a respite from the cold
December 25, 2013

Klara Muchnik is the owner of Russian Tea Time, the cozy, old-fashioned restaurant that seems as if it has been serving said Stroganoff (along with many other dishes from the former Soviet Union) around the corner from the Art Institute of Chicago since before Czar Nicholas had his little run-in with the Red Guard.

Picasso, Russian Fare & Magic!
March 6, 2013 – Concierge Preferred

Karen Farmer, concierge at the Four Seasons Chicago, is this week’s correspondent and offers up her top three things to do around town.

At Russian Tea Time, Vegetarian Surprises
May 17, 2012 – The Chicago Tribune

The menu offers a surprising assortment of vegetarian — even vegan — options with delicately spiced and cooked vegetables creating colorful sides and entrees. Dishes originated in different countries with different flavors that once comprised the former Soviet Union. The owner, Klara Muchnik, a former caterer from Uzbekistan, understands how to infuse her foods with Russian, Slavic and Central Asian influences.

Russian Tea Time Review

Another spot that’s popular with Chicago Symphony Orchestra patrons and musicians, Russian Tea Time is far from being the simple cafe that its name implies. Reading through this family-owned restaurant’s extensive menu is like taking a tour through the cuisine of czarist Russia and the former Soviet republics. (For Russian neophytes, all the dishes are well described.)

Russian Tea Time Restaurant Review

This is about the only Russian game in town, so if you have a taste for borscht, caviar and blinis, dumplings, stroganoff and stuffed cabbage, this is your place. Looking for a back-in-the-day dining experience? You’ll find that here, too. The dining rooms are old-world comfortable. As for the menu, the platters for two are a bountiful bargain.

Best Eastern European Afternoon Snack
June 20, 2012 – The Reader

The potato dumplings—vareniky—are almost as good as the ones my grandmother made, and the vodka’s more interesting than what my grandfather drank. The vareniky are boiled and buttered, and served with sour cream, a yogurt sauce, and a carrot salad. The three one-ounce shots in the Molotov Cocktail flight—Absolut Peppar, house pepper-honey, and, especially, the house horseradish—scald the nose; do not exhale near an open flame. Best to drink before eating so you can also catch a later flight. And then it’s back to work.


Cold Climate Christmas: Exploring Exciting Chicago:


The restaurants of Chicago offer everything from hot dogs and pizza to gourmet ethnic fare. Among my favorites is Russian Tea Time around the corner from the Palmer House and half a block away from the Art Institute on West Adams. The décor is rich in elegant reds, and the slightly-dimmed lights and soft balalaika music create an intimate atmosphere. Russian wait staff with names like Natasha and Dimitri provide attentive service with traditional Russian, Ukranian and Jewish dishes of wild game, poultry, specialty meat dishes as well as vegetarian fare. If we can’t decide which dish to choose, we order the combination plates. Appetizers include potato piroshki (mini turnovers), blinchiki (crepes), latkes (potato pancakes), vareniky (potato, pumpkin or asparagus dumplings) and caviar. It’s important to eat slowly because the food tends to be a little heavy. Entrees come with the flavorful Tashkent carrot salad seasoned with coriander and garlic vinaigrette and the borscht is unbelievably good. Then there’s the vodka, which constitutes a very special, if not hallowed, ceremony. The waiter teaches guests the bona fide way of drinking vodka, a good ritual to take home to dazzle friends with — and keep warm in the winter. Nastroviah! Russian Tea Time also features a full and an a la carte afternoon tea service of oolong, green and black teas with raisin scones — with whipping cream and marmalade, of course — tea sandwiches and “mini-sweets” of Napoleons, cookies and apple pie.


Russian Tea Time Review
Check, Please!

Started by a Russian immigrant who found barely any familiar cuisine in a new country, Russian Tea Time westernizes Russian dishes to offer authentic courses that extended to all the meals of the day – not just tea time.

Day 175: Russian Food, The Ultimate Tasting at Russian Tea Time in Chicago
Brooke Vs. The World

Before heading to Chicago, I caught wind of a restaurant that serves up Russian food — one that is also run by an Uzbek chef. Uhm… Central Asian influenced Russian food? Pat knew this was immediately going to be on our itinerary. And he was right.

Russian Tea Time: A Festive Loop Oasis
December 16, 2006 – Crain’s Chicago Business

Russian tea — a blend of Darjeeling, Ceylon and black currant, served with cubes of white or brown sugar and thick slices of lemon — is only one of the many pleasures during a meal at this Loop jewel. The rest of the menu is a balance of the familiar (smoked salmon club sandwich) and the exotic (blinchiki, vareniky, golubtsi). Don’t worry: Dishes are carefully described and live up to, or surpass, expectations.

The Borscht Belt: Russian Tea Cafe Takes One in the Chops
June 11, 1995 – The Chicago Tribune

Get Pumped Up for All Year Pumpkin Treats
November 27, 2008 – The Chicago Tribune

Pumpkin vareniky at Russian Tea Time: There are two kinds of pumpkin dishes. No.1: Inventive pumpkin dishes casting the pumpkin in quirky supporting roles–the remarkable apple-star anise-clove tea poured into a hollow pumpkin at Lockwood, for instance. And No. 2: Straightup pumpkin comfort dishes. In the latter category, we have pumpkin vereniky ($8.95) at this 14-year-old Loop staple. Vareniky are dumplings, filled with whatever. Russian Tea Time’s finest whatever is its soft doughy half-moons filled with a mash of pumpkin and bright spots of farm cheese, slick with cinnamon butter. It gets better: At the center of the plate is a sweet swirl of Tashkent carrot salad, spiked with coriander. Russian Tea Time, 77 E. Adams St.; 312-360-0000,