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General Info
British comfort food in a cozy Greenwich Village location. The Scene Decked out like an exaggerated version of a suburban British living room--tacky wallpaper, an extensive teapot collection, lots of ceramic figures, Vera Lynne on the stereo--Tea & Sympathy serves as a cozy home away from home for expats. Sometimes it's a little too cozy, in fact; space is limited, and you can expect to be moved around during your meal to make room for other diners. The friendly but no-nonsense waitstaff is always ready with a smile and a comeback line. The Food The menu offers perfect renditions of such Brit classics as Welsh rarebit (thick bread with melted cheese, tomato and mustard), steak and kidney pie, Scotch egg (hard-boiled egg, deep-fried in pastry), tweed kettle pie (trout and cod wrapped in bacon and served in a pie) and bangers and mash (sausages and mashed potato). Any one of these will fill you up for the day; for those on a diet or just faint-hearted, there are lighter sandwiches and salads, too.

Regular Hours

Extra Phones

Phone: (212) 352-0779

Phone: (212) 807-8329

Phone: (347) 604-0538

Fax: (212) 352-0779

  • British Food Products
Payment method
Price Range
Downtown Manhattan, West Village

Carry On Tea & Sympathy

Tea and Sympathy Inc

Tea and Sympathy

Tea & Sympathy Inc

Other Information

Parking: Street

Wi-Fi: No

Bike Parking: Yes

Wheelchair Accessible: No

Price Range : Average


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George F.



My kids love it here and drinking milk tea here has been my family's bonding. I guess there's nothing more important than a quality time for the family???



Provided by Citysearch - 
One of my long time favorites

Despite being incredibly small and cramped, Tea & Sympathy is one of my faves in the neighborhood. Some of the food e.g breakfast is better then you'll find in some parts of England. The only drawback is the amount of families that come in. Don't get me wrong, I like kids. The problem is the space doesn't make it easy for them, and the result is they don't make it easy for you.



Provided by Citysearch - 

Went here once ... crowded ... rude staff ... and I've had better teas at danal in the east village and la bergamote in chelsea ... even sara beth's in the chelsea market would be a much better choice. This place is strictly for the tourist trade who are taken in by the pleasant setting. I don't give up easy and went a second time ... it was even worse.
Avoid this place as well as the fish 'n chips shop next door. They are owned by the same management. Soggy fish and chips for an overblown price once again served with the same insolence.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Cozy little tea shop with very good food

Go here if you're not in a rush because the limited seating likely means you'll be waiting for a table. The food itself was delicious, and traditionally British. We had a great chicken pie and the Sunday roast with beef. Bring your appetite because the portions are huge, and decidedly butter-ific.

The two negatives: kitchen ventilation is not great so we smelled like the restaurant for the rest of the day, and the wait list for a table is not organized at all. It's basically the honor system -- you ask for a table, wait, and they come outside and ask for who's next. Could be a source of conflict depending on the crowd.



Provided by Citysearch - 
nice tea and interesting cakes

So Saturday morning, I was excited to have scouted out a new lunch spot to explore. My sister happened to be visiting, and she is vegetarian... and I'm pretty much a walking dictionary for dining, unless you are one of my vegetarian friends, in which case, you're SOL. I peeked at the food menu, and thought, hey, this place could work for vegetarians! Albeit the menu did seem a little small, but we went anyway.

As everyone else has said, this IS an oasis in Midtown. Sitting here feels like you're at the Japanese version of Borders... but with lots of tea. Any maybe not that many books (I think the idea is that you bring your own books?) So maybe Borders is a bad analogy, but you get the idea.

Let's get to the food part. EVERYTHING is handmade, which means it's DELICIOUS, but also takes an eternity to make. Handmade dumplings? Delicious. Miso soup from scratch? Delicious. Rice balls? Yes, please. Unforunately, I've already covered pretty much half of the food menu. It is a small menu, indeed. In fact, that is the sole reason I am docking a star.

If you are a tea connoisseur, you MUST try this place. I'm pretty sure the tea menu is larger than the dinner and lunch menu. Now that I think about it, I've been here 3 times, and I've never even ordered tea... is that weird?



Provided by Citysearch - 

fantasic breakfast at weekends, friendly, a true gem.

sunday roast average, but everything else tip top

keep up the good work

rule brittania.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Rudest . . . staff . . . anywhere

Sullen, lumpen, potato-faced girls that must have come to the States thinking they could get work as au pairs, and ended up here. They think they?re posh, but they?re all East Enders and Liverpudlians ? and it shows. And it?s obvious they take their cue from the owner. Never polite, she?s long since gone over the edge into psychosis, shrieking at everyone who dares set foot in her establishmentment. It used to be good food with rude service. Now, it's as though she only keeps the place going so she can have a steady stream of people to scream at. Does ANYbody really need a plate of mushy peas THAT badly?



Provided by Citysearch - 
Cozy up at Tea&Sympathy

There's something about Tea & Sympathy! That's is all I'd like to say. But wait, Citysearch wants me to say more. That's okay, I understand Citysearch. But alas, I've said what I needed to say. Shall I use loremipsumnow?



Provided by Citysearch - 
Best brunch in the city

If I could give Tea & Sympathy 6 stars, I would. The tea is the best in New York and the food is equally delicious. The waitstaff are always friendly and helpful, even when the place is packed. Be sure to try the crumpets and scones, they're to die for. The quality of the food is well worth the wait, which can be more than an hour on weekends.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Tea and UNsympathy!

Excuse the title, but this was one of the most insane and grossly disappointing experiences I've had in my 10+ years here in NYC.
Yes, I understand quirky charms, and I completely agree with policies to ensure that small dining establishments can seat diners fairly, like not seating your party until everyone is present.
But this place has gone off the deep end.
I met a friend of mine who was not feeling well for lunch at 1.30pm on a weekday. I was not planning on eating, and she was already seated. I walked in, having dined there several times before, and the place was more than half empty.
As soon as I sat down I was accosted by a nervous waitress who kept stuttering something about RULES, rules, rules, and how I can not join an existing party that has already been seated. According to these rules, we either have to be seated together when we come in or I have to sit separately, I guess? I was told to go next door and ask the owner ""PERMISSION"" to sit with my friend. Seriously.
So, being a polite guest and respectful of bizarre rules, I comply, only to encounter more rudeness by the owner who barely took a moment to listen to me, and just said ""these are the rules and they're not meant to be broken by anyone!""
Walked back next door, hysterically laughing, told my friend that I can't sit with her. (is this grade school?). And so we walked out, just as the food was being brought out to the table.

We were chased for 3 blocks by an angry screaming brit about how we have committed a theft of service.

Tea & Sympathy: If you choose to have these bizarre rules and decide to exercise your rights to decline service based on these rules, then deal with people respectfully leaving your establishment.

Buyer beware: If you like being treated like a grade school student at a boarding school, then you'll love Tea & Sympathy. Otherwise, there is no shortage of incredible places to eat in NY with incredible service.




Provided by Citysearch - 
A little bit of old world England

I've seen a lot of complaints of rudeness, something that I have never experienced. Nikki the owner, can be gruff at times, but is usually very charming and the waitstaff have always been lovely. The food is a bit overpriced, but I've never ordered anything that I didn't enjoy immensely and the tea is brewed perfectly. Make sure that you don't leave without have the Sticky toffee pudding, it's to die for!



Provided by Citysearch - 
Horrific service, rude, mediocre food - DO NOT COME HERE

The management and waitstaff is the rudest I have ever encountered in a restaurant, and the food is mediocre at best -- very bland, not tasty. The waitstaff was utterly impolite. Most shocking, we told them when we sat down that we would have three people. When the third person showed up, the manager began yelling at us, literally phsychotically screaming before we had a chance to say anything, that their policy is that you cannot add guests to your table once you sit down -- despite the fact that we told the waitress we were three people. The restaurant was completely empty at the time. Do not ever come to a restaurant like this -- there is sooo much better in New York.



Tea For Two

I took my aunt to New York for a Christmas tour and shopping. We went in this quaint little shop where the atmosphere was so "English". The service was excellent. The hot tea, scones, sandwiches, etc. was more than enough to equal a good lunch and oh so very tasty! Would highly recommend.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Tea for Two

After reading some negative reviews, I was not sure whether to go here for tea on a recent trip to New York. But, my aunt loves her hot tea (I'm a coffee girl) and we were hungry for lunch. The waitresses were kind, took our pictures, and most agreeable to our needs. The room is VERY small, but we thought that added to the atmosphere and just enjoyed briefly chatting with our neighbors.
We ordered the tea service for two which was way more than we could eat even though we had not eaten any lunch. It was about 3:00pm, half full of folks and it seemed they seated us at the smallest table. A little crowded, but oh so fun for two old southern ladies on a big NYC Christmas trip.
We also went next door to buy a teapot and met the owner, Nickky. She was most helpful and nice. She knew we were tourists and took a good bit of time while I made up my mind on what to buy. I would highly recommend a visit.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Terrible! They treat you like dirt

I use to like this place but now there fame has made them all act like they are special. The staff here are some of the worst in NYC with the owner leading by example. i remember when she was a nice lady but now I see her treating people like she is better then them. Its a real shame as the english grub is good and worth trying but watching people being treated like dirt puts me of my food



Provided by Citysearch - 
Too expensive for the quality

While I didn't have the same experience of rude service, as some of the other reviewers, I did find this place to be extremely overpriced for the quality. The scones are nothing more original than regular Bisquick and small at that for the price of 2 for $6. The house salad wasn't bad and, thankfully, the vegetables were fresh. The chicken salad, however, was dreadful. There was virtually no celery or crunchiness, too much mayo, and the chicken was undoubtedly from a can.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Tea and Sympathy be warned, but also be delighted

Good stuff. They really need a bit more table space, I suggest combining the store next door with the restaurant, but I understand their policies of 'no holding a table' and 'sit where you're told'.

If you can time it right, and know your companions well enough that an elbow under a neighbor's chin is okay, you'll love the tea (expertly prepared) and food. I'm vegetarian and selection is good.

Next door, however, they seemed to have long ago dropped their clotted cream fudge and had no explanation.



Provided by Citysearch - 
This is England circa 1957!

Cor Blimey, Guvnor! Its like a little piece of old England upped sticks and moved to the West Village.
Its a bit pricey for what it is, but the Welsh Rarebit was so good I didn't mind parting with my dollars and would definitely go back for more. Scones with jam and cream for pudding were melt in the mouth delicious. This is carb laden UK comfort food at its best, one of these meals should cover calorie requirements for a couple of days!

When we visited the service was great, the rules on the door are a bit off-putting at first but given the tiny space it makes sense to regulate table usage, and there is something 'oh so English' about following rules just for the sake of having a rule to follow, that and queue formation when its not strictly necessary.

The caff and its neighbouring shop are theatrical in their Englishness, a parody of an England that has disappeared but definitely worth a visit. It is charming in a rude English sort of way, which seems to be the point.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Tea and Antipathy

The food is mediocre, but that pales in comparison to the hostile, rude service. I have never had a meal so ruined by the staff of a restaurant. The owner, who seemed friendly at first, was ultimately loud and intrusive. First, her staff seated the three of us at a TINY table. When my friend asked if we might move to one of the empty tables in the room, she was brusquely told that those (empty) tables had to be held in case a party of four came in. When my friend dared to question her, the waitress said ""Well if you don't like it you're welcome to leave."" Stunned, my friend started to respond when the waitress cut her off: ""Really, go on and leave. I don't mind."" Moments later, a young man came and sat at another table. The waitress asked him what he'd like and he indicated that a friend was on his way, and that he needed to wait to order. The staff freaked out, yelling that only full parties were to be seated. ""I'm sorry,"" he said. ""I've never been here before, and I'm never coming back."" With that, he put on his coat and stormed out. I wish I had followed him. My salad was uninspired, and the soup was straight out of a can. The biggest irony is that the owner is spearheading an idiotic campaign to designate Greenwich Avenue ""Little Britain"" in order to attract more people-- as though she and her staff know the first thing about hospitality! No manners, and no more business from me.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Perpetually satisfying.

I go for the pies. They're fantastic, probably better than they need to be, really, and good and hot. I see other diners have commented on the rudeness of the staff. I've never experienced this, nor have I ever been anything other than happy with my interactions. Perhaps being pleasant-looking and polite helps. Dessert, too, (esp. the bread-and-butter pudding) is essential, if you can fit it.

Would be even better if they served beer.

I've never been for tea, but the teas themselves are nice, if you like that sort of thing.

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