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Samovar Tea Lounge - Yerba Buena Gardens

  • Veg-friendly
    ( 5 reviews )
Contact 415-227-9400
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730 Howard St (at Meteortron/AMC movie theater), San Francisco, California, USA, 94103

Serves meat, vegan options available. Modern teahouse with large windows looking out to water fountain. Extensive tea list priced per brewed pot from $9 to 29 (expensive). The food menu includes several veggie dishes, marked (moderate prices).

Category: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo, American, International, Non-veg

Reviews (5)

First Review by Chia

vegan food needs flavor - Edit

I tried this place while at a conference nearby. I chose it based on the healthy vegan options I saw on the menu. I ordered the tempeh rice bowl, which comes with a green tea you pour over the rice to create a sort of soup. I loved the idea and the food was visually beautiful, but had no flavor, unfortunately. The brown rice was the main flavor I tasted, and the tempeh wasn't seasoned at all. It's a shame because I loved the idea of this place, but they didn't use enough spices to make this vegan dish flavorful.

Pros: lovely ambience

Cons: bland food, moderately expensive


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Not just tea -- wonderful food for lunch! - Edit

I'd lived in SF for a few years before ever going to Samovar because I thought "sure, I like tea, but not enough to go to a fancy tea lounge, whatever that is". What a mistake! A visit to Samovar is definitely a treat (~$25-30/person for a meal with tea), it's a lovely treat with good tea and really excellent food.

I went for a weekday lunch and was surprised that we almost didn't get a seat without a reservation. On good-weather days there's a good amount of seating outside so they can accommodate more people. Looking onto lovely Yerba Buena gardens is very nice, and so is their minimalist, tranquil indoor dining room.

The staff was very relaxed and nice. What an oasis. They have a large tea menu and 7 set meals that come with tea. Two of them are vegan and you can actually substitute whichever tea you'd like to accompany your food. Those seemed like a better value than choosing tea and food separately.

I accidentally chose a meal with beets, which I hate. But you know what? The food was perfectly balanced, fresh whole foods goodness with just the right light sauces. I'm sure you can guess.. I metaphorically licked the plate clean. (to avoid confusion, the literal version wouldn't be appropriate in this sort of establishment).

I definitely recommend Samovar and their set menu for a lovely treat.

This location is in city center so if you drive you'll have to pay for an expensive parking garage, better to take public transit -- it's near Bart and many Muni lines.

Pros: Healthy, Tasty, Nice ambiance

Cons: Expensive, Limited food selection


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Great veggie and vegan choices - Edit

Have eaten here on my last three trips to SF. Food always good and satisfying, with numerous vegan options available. Location is fantastic and service good. Only downside is how crowded this place gets at lunchtime on a sunny day. Sit outside if you can.

Pros: Choice of quality veggie food, Good service, Location

Cons: Can get very busy


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Samovar Tea Lounge - Edit

Samovar Tea Lounge was very close to my hotel, and I recently developed a liking for tea, so this was a no-brainer. The location was beautiful (as noted in detail by the prior reviewer) and the prices were quite high. I wasn't hungry, but I was certainly thirsty for tea. I believe I got the breakfast blend, it was good.

I think this is a great place to meet someone for tea, or just to have tea by yourself. I would certainly go here again.


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Maybe more for tourist - Edit

I had read about this place on happycow and decided to give it a try. Was here in October 2012 and here's my Samovar review (well, actually just a commentary). It's a bit hidden due to it being on the second floor and in a courtyard hidden from street view. Once you get up to the courtyard you see a grand and gorgeous long water fountain. The tea lounge is just right there in front of the fountain.
You also see skyscrapers surround you, it's quite a lovely view.

The tea lounge looks very modern but not too relaxed inside; however there is outside seating which is totally relaxed. I perused the menu but was shocked to see how expensive the brewed hot teas were. The cheapest started at $9 per pot and the rates go up to $29 for a pot of tea; most were around $10-15. Unprepared to pay so much for hot tea, I decided to just sit awhile in front of the fountain and then go on my way. Too bad.

The food seemed okay, some veg.

I think this place may cater to more tourists and young professionals with more disposable income. It's has a more upscale feel.


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