Looking for the best romantic High Tea in Toronto?
Our guide to Toronto High Tea features detailed descriptions on all of the city’s top afternoon tea menus. Enjoy a midday loose leaf tea indulgence paired with a three-tiered service featuring scones, tiny finger sandwiches and petite sweets.
The most popular occasions to enjoy High Tea in Toronto is during Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Easter and Christmas. The popular British culinary tradition is popular for those looking to celebrate a birthday, anniversary, honeymoon, bachelorette party or baby & wedding shower.
It is best to contact each business directly to confirm their Toronto High Tea program is currently being offered. Some businesses may have paused afternoon tea service due to Covid-19 or adjusted their hours. Many are offering Toronto High Tea takeout to enjoy at home with friends and family. Some only offer a Toronto afternoon tea menu during special holidays like Christmas, Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day. Thanks for supporting local restaurants in Toronto!
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Toronto High Tea History
High Tea, also known as Afternoon Tea, is a royal ritual, introduced in Britain in the early 1840s. The culinary tradition evolved into a mini meal to help stave off hunger pains before the evening meal at 8pm.
British High Tea was initially launched as a private social event for ladies looking to climb the echelons of high society. It wasn’t until Queen Victoria embraced the Afternoon Tea ritual that it became a more well known, larger scale “tea reception.” These historic receptions often included over two hundred guests who would drop in between the hours of 4pm and 7pm.
Throughout England, Scotland and Wales today, Afternoon Tea is typically enjoyed on special occasions. It’s a posh indulgence for piping hot tea or iced tea lovers looking to celebrate a birthday, baby shower, pre-wedding party, Christmas or Mother’s Day.
We’ve traveled around the world in search of the best high tea. Here are some of our favourite Afternoon Tea experiences outside of Toronto:
- High Tea at Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh
- High Tea at Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai
- High Tea at Cliff House Hotel in Ireland
- High Tea at Fairmont Chateau Laurier in Ottawa
- High Tea at Prince of Wales in Niagara on the Lake
- High Tea at Langham Hotel in Chicago
- High Tea at Four Seasons Resort in Koh Samui
- High Tea at Langdon Hall in Cambridge
- High Tea at Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire in England
- High Tea at Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Hong Kong
- High Tea at The Plaza Hotel in New York City
- High Tea at The Strand Hotel in Yangon
- High Tea at St Regis Resort in Bali
- High Tea at Urban Tea Merchant in Vancouver
- High Tea at The Bermuda Perfumery
Best High Tea in Toronto
Afternoon Tea enthusiasts are spoilt for choice as many luxury hotels in Toronto offer elegant surroundings and Instagram-worthy pastries. Outside of the city’s hotel circuit, visitors can also enjoy loose leaf, crustless sandwiches and scones at dedicated tea lounges and cafes.
So how does one determine the best high tea in Toronto? It really depends on your tastes and budget. If you’re looking to splurge on a special occasion we suggest booking High Tea at one of Toronto’s luxury hotels. St. Regis, Shangri-La, Fairmont Royal York, Ritz-Carlton and Windsor Arms all have a tradition of serving exquisite afternoon tea.
We suggest contacting your preferred Toronto High Tea venue regarding their current rates. Many hotel’s offer discounted prices during weekdays, with premium rates on weekends. Prices for High Tea in Toronto can also rise during special occasions like Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day.
18 St Thomas St, 416-971-9666
One of the most famous places to enjoy High Tea in Toronto is the Windsor Arms Hotel in Yorkville.
Windsor Arms Hotel High Tea can be enjoyed in elegant tea salons. The main Tea Room is painted a rich purple, featuring a cozy fireplace and mantel. The historic fireplace was part part of the Windsor Arms original design from the 1920s and in the winter still keeps guests warm. The lush purple room is actually the romantic space where Richard Burton proposed, for the second time, to Elizabeth Taylor in 1967.
If you’re keen to support a good cause, ask your server about Windsor Arms High Tea Fancy Hat Program. Inside the Tea Lounge you’ll find a selection of colourful, fancy hats, which you can rent in support of Look Good Feel Better. Your $5.00 contribution support programs at Look Good Feel Better, a charity that offers free hands-on cosmetic and hair alternative workshops for women with cancer. So grab a feather adorned cap, pull up your sleeves and point your pinky at the chandelier above.
Since 1927, High Tea at the Windsor Arms Hotel has been the destination for discerning guests keen to take part in the indulgent British culinary tradition. Traditional afternoon tea service includes hand-crafted pastries, traditional tea sandwiches and English scones slathered in preserves and clotted cream.
If you’re in a celebratory mood you can upgrade your High Tea Toronto experience with a glass of Prosecco, Sherry, Chardonnay or Rose. Gluten-free menus are available with 24 hours notice.
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37 King St E, 416-863-9700
Built in 1903 by Toronto’s wealthiest developer at the time, George Gooderham, the Omni King Edward Hotel set a standard for luxury hotels across Canada.
Guests can enjoy High Tea in Toronto at one of the city’s most historic hotels at the Omni King Edward. Afternoon tea service is offered inside the hotel’s spacious lobby, just outside of Victoria Cafe.
If you’re making a reservation for a special celebration, ask to be seated by the fireplace under a massive portrait of King Eddy.
Omni King Edward Hotel offers a selection of Sloane Fine Tea Merchants loose leaf. Each guest enjoys a pot of tea while nibbling through sandwiches, scones and sweet treats.
The pastry team does a great job at showcasing their creative flare. Flavour pairings for their crustless sandwiches include Goat Cheese with Candied Nut Brittle, Butternut Squash Waldorf and Mushroom Quinoa Duxelle.
Petite pastries offer a surprising flare and include Matcha Tea & Adzuki Bean Verrine, Clementine Cremeux Cakelet and Chocolate Earl Grey Pave. Scones are offered as classic cream and currant, slathered with clotted cream, orange curd and strawberry jam.
If you’re looking for family-friendly High Tea in Toronto, Omni King Edward Hotel offers a special Jester’s Tea menu for children under 12 years old.
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188 University Ave, 647-788-8888
Rotate through the revolving doors at the Shangri-La Hotel in Toronto and you’ll immediately find yourself in the city’s most luxurious living room.
Shangri-La Hotel’s Asian roots are obvious as its High Tea program is managed by certified tea sommeliers. Cozy up at one of the Lobby Lounge’s booming fireplaces and enjoy romantic music played on a grand piano while sipping high quality loose leaf.
The Lobby Lounge offers 24 premium teas sourced from around the globe. High Tea is presented to guests in a traditional 3-tiered service. The pastry team produces some of the city’s finest tea cakes, dainty sandwiches and scones.
Shangri-La Hotel Toronto’s Executive Chef Malcolm Webster shared, “I like my high tea program to be fresh, seasonal, and innovative. We follow a traditional format with 4 sandwiches, 2 varieties of scones, 3 cakes and 3 fine pastries, but we recreate them every 2-3 months, this gives our guests the perfect excuse to come back and enjoy tea with us on a regular basis.”
Shangri-La Toronto now serves its tea sweets and scones in a whimsical bird cage tea stand, which hangs from an elegant four-foot tall stand embellished with delicate gold birds and leaves.
During the holiday season the Shangri-La Hotel Toronto partners with the National Ballet (located across the street at the Four Seasons Centre) to offer a festive Christmas-inspired Nutcracker High Tea. The perfect treat for dance fans!
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181 Wellington St W, 416-585-2500
One of the best places to enjoy High Tea in downtown Toronto is at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in the Financial District.
If it’s your first visit to the Ritz-Carlton in Toronto, be sure to to visit Ritz Bar or DEQ for a cocktail and a fine dining feast at Toca Restaurant. The hotel’s award winning Italian restaurant offers one of the best brunch buffets in Toronto.
The luxury hotel serves its High Tea service at DEQ Terrace and Lounge. It’s one of the only High Tea menus in Toronto offered on an outdoor patio. In the summer we suggest booking a reservation on the outdoor terrace, which overlooks Simcoe Park.
The Ritz-Carlton’s Simplici’Tea Experience offers guests sips from Sloane Teas and an array of sweet and savoury bites.
Sandwiches include Cucumber & Whipped Brie, Coronation Chicken on Milk Bun, Smoked Salmon on Charcoal Bread and Roast Beef with Red Onion Cardamom Jam.
Pretty pastries rotate throughout the year to reflect the seasons and often include Date & Banana Cake, Pecan Tart, Mandarin Orange Dome with Mousse and Caramel Ganache Cake with Poached Pear.
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100 Front St W, 416-368-2511
Toronto’s most iconic hotel sits perched over Union Station in the heart of downtown. Fairmont Royal York has followed the time-honoured tradition of serving High Tea since its opening in 1929.
Guests can enjoy High Tea in Toronto’s historic Royal York Hotel at the luxurious CLOCKWORK. Those looking to add a splash of celebration to their afternoon tea experience can add a flute of sparkling wine or champagne.
Fairmont Royal York’s traditional afternoon tea features quality loose leaf, dainty sandwiches, slathered scones and eye-popping pastries.
Sandwiches include Smoked Steelhead Gravlax, Sage Derby Cheese, Coronation Chicken Salad, Shaved Roast Beef and Jam Toonies.
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St. Regis Toronto
325 Bay St, 416-306-5800
High Tea at The St. Regis dates back to the early 1900s when Caroline Astor, the founder’s mother and grande dame of New York society, introduced it in the Fifth Avenue luxury hotel.
Afternoon Tea is now served in every St. Regis across the globe, with each property infusing the ritual with a local taste of place.
Like many of Toronto’s top High Tea services, the St Regis Hotel sources loose leaf from the city’s own Sloane Fine Tea Merchants. The team at Sloane have even crafted a bespoke blend for the luxury hotel, named Midnight Blossom.
High Tea is served on weekends at the St. Regis Hotel’s luxurious Astor Lounge, located on the lobby level.
Considered one of the most luxurious High Tea’s in Toronto, guests enjoy a flute of Prosecco Fidora or Laurent Perrier Chamapagne at the St Regis. Enjoy a celebratory glass of sparkling wine while slathering classic and current scones with clotted cream and citrus marmalade.
Meticulously hand-crafted pastries evolve throughout the year and often include fresh fruit tartlets, strawberry trifle, almond financier, pistachio opera cake and salted caramel eclair.
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Old Mill Toronto Hotel
9 Old Mill Rd, 416-232-3703
Old Mill Toronto is a heritage boutique hotel offering 57 luxurious rooms and suites. The historic property in Etobicoke also feature a romantic spa and 200-seat restaurant, which has been in operation for over 100 years.
The Old Mill Hotel’s unique high tea experience is served in a beautiful Terrace Room, overlooking a scenic courtyard. Toronto’s own Sloane Tea Merchants has partnered with Old Mill too craft 12 signature teas that best represent the hotel’s English roots.
Old Mill’s High Tea in Toronto offers both sweet and savoury scones: sun-dried cranberry or aged cheddar cheese & chive. Guests can slather Devonshire Cream or Niagara’s own Greaves Jams.
Savoury snacks include Smoked Chicken and Apple Salad, Norwegian Salmon Gravlax on Pumpernickel Bread and Fresh Cucumber & Spinach Spread on Mini Bagel.
Fine French pastries typically include Blackout Chocolate Cupcake, Petite Lemon Meringue Tartlet, Belgian Dark Chocolate Dipped Strawberry and crunchy Macaron.
The hotel’s Afternoon Tea offers a unique menu for those with food allergies. Guests can choose from gluten free, dairy free and vegan alternatives.
Old Mill Toronto donates a portion of the proceeds from its Afternoon Tea service annually to the charity Women’s Habitat.
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3401 Dufferin St at Yorkdale Mall, 416-629-2391
Ladurée Cafe first opened its doors in Toronto’s Yorkdale Mall in December, 2017.
The French cafe was originally established in 1862 in Paris. Pierre Desfontaines famously invented the macaron at the trendy tea room, quickly popularizing the brightly coloured almond pastries.
Step inside Ladurée Cafe at Yorkdale Mall and you’ll feel as though you’ve slipped into a princesses’s dream doll house. The bright and inviting interior features crystal chandeliers and is decorated in splashes of teal, pistachio and pink.
Ladurée Cafe offers a Parisian High Tea experience featuring a selection of 3 macarons, 3 petits fours, 3 savoury tartlets, 2 finger sandwiches and a seasonal fruit salad. Traditional scones are replaced by madeleines and financiers, traditional French biscuits.
The popular French cafe offers a selection of 25 teas from China, Sri Lanka and India. The shops signature blend, Melange Special Ladurée, offers an elegant combination of Chinese black tea, citrus fruits, floral notes, light spices and vanilla.
50 Bloor St W, 416-355-2832
Skip inside Holt Renfrew on Bloor Street, sashay past fashion-forward mannequin’s dressed to the nines and find a cozy corner at the newly launched Holts Cafe.
Canada’s finest luxury department store recently gave its restaurant concept a refresh. The reimagined Holts Cafe was designed by Alexander Cochrane Architects.
New 20-foot-high floor-to-ceiling windows bring a splash of natural light into the space, giving guests unprecedented views over bustling Bloor Street. A palette of white oak, rosewood, off-white terrazzo, and rich brass provides a timeless framework to the striking vibrant blue, red, yellow, and green jewel-toned accents in the furniture and design features.
Holts Cafe in Yorkville launched a new menu when it unveiled itself to the public in January, 2020. Those fatigued from a fashion shopping spree in Yorkville can now relax and refresh over dainty High Tea.
Executive Chef Benjamin Lillico shared, “We offer a modern twist on traditional High Tea. We want to break the mold of formal High Tea service by showcasing warm and inviting options that are fresh and exciting.”
The High Tea menu in Toronto changes seasonally and is driven by locally sourced ingredients. Chef Lillico continued, “Our curated High Tea program paired with our elevated service allows us to continuously share a top notch, wholesome experience with our guests.”
Guests can select from 9 loose leaf teas, which are paired with a 3-tier service features scones, sandwiches and sweet confections.
Holts Cafe’s freshly made scones offer plenty of flavour combinations such as Lemon & Vanilla, Blueberry & Cane Sugar and Aged Cheddar & Chives. Steaming scones are slathered in house-made preserves, clotted cream and maple butter.
On the savoury side of things, guests can expect sandwiches dressed to impress. Highlights include Ricotta & Pear on Toast, Crab & Shrimp Salad, Smoked Salmon Blini and Gruyere & Ham Croissant.
Enjoy a sweet finish by sampling Icewine Jellies, Chai Mousse Parfait, Lemon & Lavender Tart and Cherry Whipped Chevre Macaron.
1414 Dundas St W, 647-926-9711
Kitten and the Bear is a tea room in Toronto’s Dundas West neighbourhood. Owners Sophie Kaftal and Bobby Zielinski designed the west-end restaurant to look like a cottage in the English countryside.
Kitten and the Bear’s bright pastel-coloured interior features exposed brick walls, vintage chandeliers, bright green potted plants and a display of multi-coloured vintage china tea cups and saucers.
Kitten and the Bear offers a collection of hand-crafted jams, marmalades, freshly baked buttermilk scones and assorted pastries. Visitors can also purchase artisan cheese, pantry goods and homewares.
Wag your finger down Kitten and the Bear’s menu and you’ll find a la carte treats and a special Jam & Tea Service. This Toronto High Tea menu features a flight of seasonal preserves, buttermilk scone, clotted cream and bottomless tea or coffee.
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201 Harbord St, 416-537-5959
Bampot is located on Harbord Street and is Toronto’s first bohemian tea house, board game and hookah lounge.
The owners have created a special community space, which they refer to as their public living room, perfect for date night, post yoga sips or late night hookah chats.
The owners of Bampot were inspired by the Czech tea houses in Prague, a tradition that was started by a group of committed tea enthusiasts who continued to illegally import, brew and sample tea during the communist era.
After the Velvet Revolution they opened up shops in Prague, and their passion for tea and its surrounding culture sparked what is now a major industry in Czech Republic. Today, the country, which is less than 1/10th the size of the province of Ontario, is home to more than 300 tea houses.
Stroll through the Toronto tea house and you’ll find warm lighting, walls covered in the work of local artists and many nooks that feature carpeted floors and plush pillows. Bampot features a plethora of teas, board games to play, tobacco-free hookah to smoke and a vegetarian & vegan menu.
If you’re looking for a vegan or vegetarian High Tea in Toronto Bampot’s Bohemian High Tea is the best option. Bampot’s afternoon tea service is served on three tiers and includes two pots of tea. Guests are served a Veggie Deluxe 3 Cheese Pizza, scone, fruit & nuts and a two slices of cake.
3343 Yonge St, 647-352-3624
T-Buds is a tea lounge and creperie located in North York. The popular High Tea in uptown Toronto launched on the day of Prince William and Kate’s wedding.
The 28-seat dining room features an interior design that is equal parts chic and cozy. The informal setting offers Toronto High Tea enthusiasts a mix of lounge and dining chairs.
Owner Ifthikar Hassen shared, “We offer a blend of international and traditional English afternoon tea cuisine including perennial favourites such as cucumber & watercress and salmon & dill with cream cheese. Our scones are available in five varieties and were voted the ‘perfect scones’ by Chef Mark McEwan.”
T-Buds signature High Tea service items include an empanada-style pastry with chocolate mole sauce in a savoury vegetarian filling and a curried butter chicken with hot mango chutney and green apples.
T-Buds Afternoon Tea menu includes a pot of tea, warm quiche, seasonal canape, six tea sandwiches, 2 scones, petit fours and fresh fruit. Guests at T-Buds can choose from over 40 different teas sourced from China, Taiwan, India and Japan.
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