Forget happy hour -- duck inside somewhere for a cozy, old-fashioned treat: tea time. From high-end hotel high teas to traditional Asian tea ceremonies to the neighborhood cafes with the quaint teapots, New York City is a haven for tea lovers. So get snug, extend that little finger, and sip.
1. Japanese tea at Cha-an Tea House
WHAT Sitting down to a cup of tea at this warm and welcoming East Village teahouse is a calming alternative to trudging the cold streets outside. Reservations can be made for a private room and ceremony, though most choose the a la carte menu of teas and light fare.
WHEN | WHERE Monday-Thursday 2-11 p.m.; Friday-Saturday noon-midnight; Sunday noon-10 p.m. 230 E. Ninth St., second floor.
INFO Teas $5 and up; food including soups, sandwiches and sweets $6 and up; afternoon tea menu $18. 212-228-8030, chaanteahouse.com.
2. Chinese tea ceremony at Radiance Tea House & Books
WHAT The airy dining room at Radiance is an inviting spot for an cup of tea; for a fuller experience, make reservations for a private traditional Chinese tea ceremony with three kinds of tea, plus an assortment of snacks.
WHEN | WHERE Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m.- 10 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m. 158 W. 55th St. between Sixth and Seventh avenues.
INFO Cup of tea $6 and up; Chinese tea ceremony $35 per person. 212-217-0442, radiancetea.com.
3. High tea at the Ritz-Carlton
WHAT Petits fours, mini-sandwiches and a wide variety of infusions are all part of the high tea you'll enjoy in high style at this swanky hotel on the park. Reservations are a must.
INFO $55 per person, 212- 308-9100, ritzcarlton.com
4. Homey tea time at Alice's Tea Cup
WHAT A truly neighborhood feel infuses this beloved Manhattan spot. Nestle in for delicious soups and salads as well as well a traditional tea, including such offerings as finger sandwiches, scones and cakes.
WHERE | WHEN Three locations, open daily 8 a.m.- 8 p.m. 102 W. 73rd St.; 156 E. 64th St.; 220 E. 81st St.
INFO Scones and tea $10; tea with sandwiches, cookies, and other goodies $23-$38. Kids under 10, $15. Upper West Side, 212-799-3006; 64th Street, 212-486-9200; 81st Street, 212-734-4832; alicesteacup.com.
5. Tea, hipster style, at TeaNY
WHAT As much a cozy neighborhood cafe as it is a haven for hip Lower East Side tea sippers, TeaNY, owned in part by musician Moby, is a delightful place to pop in for a cup of hot tea and a bite to eat (vegetarian, of course).
WHERE | WHEN Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-midnight; weekends 9 a.m.-midnight. 90 Rivington St.
INFO Tea and coffee $2-$5; food items $3-$11; afternoon tea menu $22 for one, $38 for two. 212-475-9190, teany.com.