Where to find Afternoon Tea in the Twin Cities

April 22, 2024
Three-tiered tea tower with scones, finger sandwiches, and pastries
The Lynhall, Edina

If you read British period fiction or watch historical dramas, you're familiar with the ritual of afternoon tea.  Traditionally, the miniature meal of sandwiches, scones, and sweets was served in the mid-afternoon and was intended to tide the upper classes over until dinner, which was served quite late in the evening in fashionable society.  (High tea is actually something totally different—it's a hearty, early evening meal enjoyed by middle and working class folks.)

Today, afternoon tea is fun treat, with fancy china, tiered trays of beautiful desserts, and often, a unique, historic setting.  Ready to settle in for an afternoon of tea, treats, and conversation?  Here's where you can find afternoon tea in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and the Twin Cities suburbs.

China plate with three finger sandwiches
Saint Paul Hotel, St. Paul


Brit's Pub & Eating Establishment (Minneapolis)

If you're looking for a more casual tea in a traditional pub setting, downtown Minneapolis' Brit's Pub serves afternoon tea Monday through Friday.  Seatings are 90-minutes and are available in 15-minute increments from 2:00-3:30 p.m.  Enjoy an assortment of finger sandwiches, baked goods, fruit, cheese, and tea for $32.95 per guest plus tax and gratuity.  Gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, and vegan tea menus are available.  Children 12 and younger can opt for the "Lads and Lassies Tea" for $15.95 per guest, with kid-friendly items like a strawberry jam and Nutella sandwich and chocolate chip cookie.  Reservations are required and can be made online.

1110 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612-332-3908; britspub.com

Nicollet Island Inn (Minneapolis)

Nicollet Island Inn regularly hosts afternoon teas in their elegant main dining room with views of the Mississippi River.  Each two-hour tea features a seasonal multi-course tasting menu paired with custom-blended tea.  Contact the restaurant in advance if you have any dietary restrictions. Details about upcoming teas and reservations are available online.

95 Merriam Street, Minneapolis; 612-331-1800; nicolletislandinn.com

Three-tiered tea tower with scones, miniature desserts, nuts, and dried fruit
Saint Paul Hotel, St. Paul

St. Paul

Saint Paul Hotel (St. Paul)

The Saint Paul Hotel has hosted presidents, royalty, movie stars, and gangsters since 1910, and today guests can appreciate some of that history with afternoon tea in the hotel lobby.  A two-hour afternoon tea is served most Saturdays and Sundays at 1:00 p.m.  Prepaid reservations are required, with prices ranging from $60-$70 per person (including tax and gratuity), depending on the specific date.  Note any dietary restrictions when you're making your reservation.  Upcoming tea dates are listed online.

I think the Saint Paul Hotel is the fanciest option in the Twin Cities, thanks to the upscale surroundings—there's even a pianist who performs throughout tea.  The menu changes seasonally and includes a first course of savory tea sandwiches and a second course tier of dried fruit, nuts, cheese, scones, and sweets, paired with the Saint Paul Hotel's custom-blended black currant tea.

350 Market Street, St. Paul; 651-228-3860; saintpaulhotel.com

China plate with several miniature pastries
The Lynhall, Edina

Twin Cities Suburbs

The Lynhall (Edina)

Edina's The Lynhall offers a stylish afternoon tea in an airy, contemporary setting.  Afternoon tea is served Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 3:00 p.m. and costs $55 per guest and $35 per child 10 and under, with special pricing for holiday teas (tax and gratuity not included).  Vegetarian, nut-free, and gluten-free menus are available (the gluten-free menu is $65 per adult and and $40 per child).  Reservations are required; make reservations by noon the day prior, with four days advance notice needed for the gluten-free menu.  Reservations can be made online.

The afternoon tea menu changes seasonally, and includes tea sandwiches, pastries, and desserts, as well as your choice of an assortment of teas.  The Lynhall is known for their artisanal baked goods, and the tea menu is no exception—think finger sandwiches served on miniature housemade croissants. 

3945 Market Street, Edina; 612-870-2640; thelynhall.com

Lowell Inn (Stillwater)

With a stately dining room modeled on 18th century Williamsburg, tea at Stillwater's Lowell Inn transports guests to another place and time.  Afternoon tea is served Tuesday through Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  The four-course tea menu is $24 per guest plus tax and gratuity and includes a warm scone, a cup of the Lowell Inn's signature cream of mushroom soup, canapes, and assorted mini desserts.  Reservations are required at least 24 hours in advance and can be made by calling 651-439-1100.

102 North 2nd Street, Stillwater; 651-439-1100; lowellinn.com

Three-tiered tea tower with scones, finger sandwiches, and miniature desserts
Mad Hatter Restaurant & Tea House, Anoka

Mad Hatter Restaurant & Tea House (Anoka)

Located inside the mid-19th century historic Woodbury House, Anoka's Mad Hatter Restaurant & Tea House has a cozy, welcoming atmosphere.  Afternoon tea is available Thursday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; allow at least 90 minutes.  The Queen of Hearts tea menu is $42 per guest plus tax and gratuity, and a children's tea is available for $30 for guests 10 and under.  Vegetarian, nut-free, and gluten-friendly options are available by advance request (the gluten-friendly menu is $52 per guest).  Reservations are required at least 24 hours in advance and can be made online.

The Queen of Hearts tea menu includes scones, several tea sandwiches, miniature desserts, and unlimited tea.  If you like to try unique teas, this is the spot for you—there are over two dozen house-blended black, green, and herbal teas to choose from, and you can try a different flavor with each pot.  There's also a gift shop where you can purchase loose leaf tea and tea accessories.

1632 Ferry Street, Anoka; 763-422-4164; madhatteranoka.com

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Photo of a tea tower with desserts and scones and text reading "Where to find Afternoon Tea in the Twin Cities"