Samovar Tea Lounge
Tribes: Who likes this place?
What the scores mean:
These scores tell you how well-liked a place is in each Tribe. Gogobot Tribes are groups who share a certain travel style, like Family Travelers or History Buffs.
Which Gogobot Tribe do you belong to? Join now
- 81%Local Culture
- 66%Luxury Travelers
- 66%Budget Travelers
- 65%Art & Design Lovers
Member Reviews (33)Write a review
- Samovar Tea LoungeMember ofLocal CultureBudget TravelersBusiness Travelers+ 6Jul 15, 2014
If you find yourself exploring the SOMA area (“South of Market”) in San Francisco, Samovar Tea Lounge will lure you in with its floor to ceiling glass walls, bamboo partitions and appreciation for tea culture. From the Japanese tea service to their signature spicy-sweet masala chai, Samovar offers a worldly selection of artisan teas. There is a distinct ‘zen,’ yet cosmopolitan feel to Samovar that makes it an ideal place to wind down with friends after a long work day. Even if you can’t make it to the SOMA location, there are two other lounges located around the city. Take your pick!Recommended for:
- Samovar Tea LoungeMember ofLocal CultureBudget TravelersBusiness Travelers+ 7Apr 11, 2014
I love this spot, period. The setting is amazing; set in the middle of the Yerba buena Gardens with an unobstructed view of the city skyline,
Samovar tea lounge is a great place to have a delicious cup of tea (there is a plethora of tea types for tea connoisseurs). Add in some great service, tasty food and a fantastic location make this place a winner.Recommended for:
- Samovar Tea LoungeMember ofBudget TravelersFoodiesNightlife LoversMar 04, 2014
The English tea service is great, but they also offer other types of tea service as well, ranging from Chinese to Moorish. It's best to get a reservation and take in the modern ambience.Recommended for:
- Samovar Tea LoungeMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsFoodies+ 4Nov 28, 2013
I haven't tried the food but the tea selection here is excellent. Seats are comfortable and the staff are friendly. Atmosphere is half Moroccan hookah lounge / half Chinese opium den. One of the few places I've gone to that has yerba mate. Would be better if they had free wi-fi.Recommended for:
- Samovar Tea LoungeMember ofOutdoor EnthusiastsAdventure TravelersOct 18, 2013
With a fantastic selection of teas and nosh, and a wonderfully relaxed lounge vibe, Samovar is a great place to crash out for a leisurely breakfast or afternoon tea with finger sandwiches. The themed tea-service menu is a highlight, pairing quality cuppas like brown rice green tea with smoked salmon maki (Japanese Set) or black tea with milk and sugar with scones and clotted cream (English Set). Several locations, though I'm most fond of the one on the Mission-Castro border.Recommended for:
- Samovar Tea LoungeMember ofBudget TravelersBusiness TravelersFoodies+ 4Sep 16, 2013
If it's a warm and sunny day, I recommend sitting outside at the Samovar Tea Lounge to soak in the beautiful view of gardens and water fountains with a cup of delicious tea. If you're solo, it is definitely a great place to relax, catch up on work, or chit-chat with the friendly staff. Every time I go to Samovar, rain or shine, I'm always greeted with a bright smile, and the ambiance is so soothing and comfortable that it is hard to leave. My favorite food dish here is the Grilled Cheese with Sun-dried Tomatoes & Pesto sandwich. What's impressive about it is that, especially for a tea lounge, that sandwich was the best grilled cheese sandwich I have ever had. So after a movie or a stroll around Yerba Buena gardens, pay Samovar a visit!Recommended for:
- Samovar Tea LoungeMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsFoodies+ 5Sep 13, 2013
Samovar is perched above Yerba Buena Gardens making it a tranquil and a beautiful spot to take in the lovely SF skyline. With the waterfall cascading down the edge of the terrace and the garden down below, you feel as if you're in a sanctuary. There is an outdoor seating area perfect for sunny afternoons. The lounge inside is modern and zen-like with warm wood tables and colorful cushioned benches.
My lunch companion and I both had the cultural tea service - I had the Chinese set and he had the Moorish set. The tea and food were nicely presented, and looked better than it actually tasted. If there's one thing to get here besides the tea, it's their chocolate chip bread pudding. It's worth the wait - it comes out so warm and moist!
It was certainly a treat to have lunch here - it came out to about $20 per person.
- Samovar Tea LoungeMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsBusiness Travelers+ 3Feb 07, 2013
I don't drink tea so for me, this place is all about location. Set above the urban tranquility of Yerba Buena, Samovar is really well-situated. The food is pretty good too though.
- Samovar Tea LoungeCommunity ManagerMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsFoodies+ 2Nov 19, 2012
What a delightful, fun and eclectic lunch experience! Each meal choice represents a different part of the world with a signature tea. I chose the Moroccan feast and enjoyed every bite, sitting outdoors on a lovely day, and the spicy and flavorful tea.
- Samovar Tea LoungeMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsBudget Travelers+ 2Sep 28, 2012
My favorite place to get a cup of tea and relax. The location at Yerba Buena garden is the best. A glass house gives a full view of the scenery outside and yet shield you from all the elements outside. They offer a full range of tea served in very cute tea wares. My go to drink has always been the masala tea. I also like to enjoy a light meal here. They have some delicious Asian fusion choices made from fresh ingredients. You should give the duck tea soup a try.
- Samovar Tea LoungeMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsBudget Travelers+ 11Jul 05, 2012
This restaurant has a nice, earthy, San Francisco feel to it. Its carved out of a Victorian building on a corner, and has an elevated rear seating area, where you feel compelled to take off your shoes like a traditional Japanese tatami room, but there is a footwell, so you can leave your shoes on. Plus, it isn't that Japanese!
Actually, they have teas from all over. Supposedly, from small, sustainable tea farmers. I guess that is why they cost more than normal?
The vibe is relaxed, the staff is friendly. The food is generally healthy.
I had the Japanese inspired Maki dish, which was brown rice, a small slice of smoked Salmon, a lentil cup of soup with Chinese-like veggies, and veggies in a sort of bento box. This was paired with a pot of roasted green tea. (Combo was $17) It was pretty good, but not all that.
I had the small fudge wedges and macha mouse for dessert, with a ginger tea. Also not bad. I love ginger. Fudge is ok.
On certain nites there is a Tarot reader, offering yes/no type readings for $1 a minute. He used the Toth deck, which my sister's friends use on friends like me when I visit on the holidays. I don't relate to that deck too much, though. Blame the old skeptic in me.
Turns out, actually, I have learned to do a little fortune telling from this exposure. I use another deck with my friends, one based on Chinese symbols and philisophy. But I don't charge anything, being that it is a hobby of mine to excersize my own intuition in a pragmatic world, as much as it is helping the listener. Sort of food for the soul, which, I guess is what Samovar is trying to be.
My friends know that with my readings, the old addage may apply.
"You get what you pay for"
- Samovar Tea LoungeMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsBudget Travelers+ 12Jul 05, 2012
A tranquil space to relax and enjoy a cup of tea (or two!). They do an amazing job of describing the their teas - I wanted to try every single one of them! I do, however, think their drinks and food are overpriced so I consider Samovar as a special occasion spot; not a place to splurge on a daily basis.
- Samovar Tea LoungeCommunity ManagerAmbassadorMember ofLocal CultureFoodiesBackpackers+ 4Jul 04, 2012
I really love Samovar, though I don't love their prices. Everything I've had here, from the tea to the food items, were delicious. It's the price alone that keeps me coming back often. If you love tea and wholesome food, Samovar will satisfy.
This particular location benefits from an expansive view from the top of Yerba Buena Gardens.
- Samovar Tea LoungeMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsFoodies+ 2Jul 04, 2012
It is easy to forget you are in the heart of the city when lounging at this serene tea house overlooking a beautiful garden. Samovar is located on the upper level of the Yerba Buena, away from the hustle and bustle of the crowd.
You don't have to be a tea lover to enjoy this place. Although you might find it challenging to find beverage on the menu other than tea. They have a good variety of tea from different origins but not specialized in any particular type. You can find English Earl Grey Black, Chinese Pu-erh to Japanese White on their menu. Consider this a tasting affair for the advanced tea novice. Those who are into particular type of tea might find the menu rather limited. (No Green Spiral or Dragon Well. But they do have Japanese Gyokuro. At $29 per pot here I am a bit skeptical to try though. Not even sure if they serve the loose leaves or just the cheaper broken version)
The food and sweet pairing could really use some work. The quality of the food weren't that great. Tried the Egg Bowl with Duck and Squash Dumplings. Both look very pretty but neither tasted that good. Sauce was overwhelming. I am utterly disappointed with the sweets menu. Fudge Brownie to go with sencha? Seriously? I just want my wagashi. At least they got the scones and cookies pairing right. Okay. I know I am not having tea ceremony or high tea here. Must set my expectations straight.
Bottomline - good service, romantic ambiance with a spectacular view. Bring your date here on a summer evening to watch the skyline changes color as the sun slowly disappear.