Tea for Two: Relaxing at the Samovar Tea Lounge

Back when I was studying in university, I used to set mini goals when I needed a boost of motivation. For example: check out an interesting cafe if I scored over 90 on a test, buy stationary if I did well on a presentation, etc. It made me excited to study, and I couldn’t wait to see if I did well. So, in the words of Parks & RecreationTreat yo’ self!
It’s definitely important to take some time off to refocus on your work/projects/school!

Speaking of this, my mom was in San Francisco this past Saturday to take a certification exam and I wanted to make a little surprise for her. What better way to relax afterwards than sipping tea and overanalyzing your exam answers? ?

I’ve been to the Samovar lounge in Hayes Valley, but always wanted to check out the one in Yerba Buena. It’s a cozy and beautiful plaza in the middle of SoMa, so off we went…

samovar tea lounge in yerba buenaThe Samovar sign that greets you when you walk up to the cafe

 Samovar is actually a pretty large tea lounge, at least in their SoMa location! They have plenty of seats indoors, and the decor is very boho and earthy. Since it was a nice day, we sat outside. In the photo above, you can see that the seating is sort of on a balcony, and there’s a waterfall a few feet away from the tables.

yerba buena san franciscoOur view!

After picking out Samovar as the place to go, I scrolled through Yelp to get an idea of what was good. The quinoa waffle was mentioned a few times and sounded delicious, so it was the obvious choice :)

samovar tea lounge quinoa waffle and platterDon’t worry, I didn’t bite into my waffle yet. It came like that ;) 

Overall, the waffle was really yummy and filling! It came drizzled with syrup and a swirl of butter, and I think the fruit on top is either apple or pear.
The dish in the back is called the Share Platter and has an assortment of many little snacks that are meant to be shared. From clockwise:
Fig with mint and goat cheese / two types of jam / blue cheese / parmesan cheese / some sort of chicken and basil salad (?) / nut & seed crackers /olive assortment / apples / prosciutto / strawberries / grapes
I loved coming up with different ways to mix the ingredients together– I think my favorite was dipping the apples in the fig jam or smearing some chicken salad onto the crackers.

My mom ordered the Caesar Salad + Wild Smoked Salmon. The dressing was a mix of Caesar and wasabi, which gave it an interesting twist!

Samovar tea lounge caesar salad with salmonCesar Salad & Wild Smoked Salmon

The main attraction was, of course, the tea!
Samovar is actually a Russian word for a metal urn that boils tea; you put the tea concentrate at the top and fill it with water. Once it boils, you turn on the faucet tea comes out. There wasn’t any fancy samovar device here– we got a regular teapot (with the aptly named Tolstoy’s Sip Black Tea)  ?


Finally, I ordered the Jasmine Lemonade to cool off– it had a lovely jasmine fragrance and was delicious with a pinch of sugar!


And that’s it! It’s a little pricy to go regularly, but if you enjoy tea, you’ll definitely love it at Samovar Tea Lounge! You can check out the full menu at the Yerba Buena location here.

See you next time!

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