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13 Places to Get Afternoon Tea Service in San Diego

Our list of the top must-try tea houses for a royally good time filled with mini sandwiches, pastries, and chic China
High tea at the Westage Hotel tearoom in downtown San Diego
Courtesy of the Westgate Hotel

San Diego boasts a diverse tea house scene, from trendy urban spots to elegant hotel lobbies. I can’t say no to a pastry or a good cup of tea, so I recently started exploring the popular spots around town. 

Whether you’re a tea aficionado or just looking to chill in a charming spot with a kettle and crumpets, our city’s tea culture has something for everyone. Nothing beats dressing up and feeling like the queen of England, so here’s our list of 13 must-try tea houses for a royally good time.

California English

Sorrento Valley

This restaurant in Sorrento Valley marries the tastes of London and California. Its tea time offers a great deal: $52 for two people gets you a scrumptious tea tower stacked with pastries and sandwiches, plus two pots of tea so you and your tablemate can sample different types. If you’re extra hungry, additional sandwiches can be added à la carte, but the tower should suffice, and you’ll likely take leftover pastries home. 

The Grand Tea Room


This charming and cozy space in downtown Escondido wins in the variety category, with an eclectic mix of more than 40 loose-leaf teas served in elegant teacups and lacy décor straight out of a Pinterest board. Get the Cream Tea with fruit, a lemon pastry, and freshly steeped tea, or the two-hour Grand Tea, which includes soup, sandwiches, pastries, and tea. Prices range from $17 to $42, so your tea party won’t break the bank, either. 

Exterior of the Coral Tree Tea House in Old Town, San Diego a popular spot for high tea and pastries
Courtesy of Coral Tree Tea House

Coral Tree Tea House

Old Town

This quaint historic house in Balboa Park offers three fancy tea services: the Queen’s High Tea ($50) includes the most food, but the $40 Afternoon Tea will still set you up with sandwiches, desserts, and scones served with Devonshire cream and lemon curd. The $23 Princess and Prince Tea involves smaller portions for little ones ages 5 to 8.

Interior of the Aubrey Rose Tea Room in La Mesa featuring a cozy, decorated interior featuring teacups and teapots on a table
Courtesy of Aubrey Rose Tea Room

Aubrey Rose Tea Room

La Mesa

Aubrey Rose’s fine china game is on point, turning your average tea time into an upscale affair without the pretentious price tag. Nestled in La Mesa, this quaint spot serves afternoon tea for $43 per person, including a seasonal soup, an accompanying savory, a three-tiered tray, and loose-leaf tea. Your pinky finger may lift itself out of sheer delight, and you’ll leave feeling fancy without your wallet shedding a tear.

Three women wearing afternoon tea attire and sitting at a table outside of Marlene's Tea & Cakes teahouse in Black Mountain Ranch, San Diego
Courtesy of Marlene’s Tea & Cakes

Marlene’s Tea & Cakes

Black Mountain Ranch

The décor here resembles the home of your grandma’s chic, artsy friend—cozy yet strangely sophisticated. Bonus points, too, for the relaxing vibes and adorably Lilliputian portions. $35 per adult gets you savories, scones, fruit, and tea inspired by European tradition but fit for Southern Californians

The Britannia Tea Rooms

Point Loma

The experiences seem endless at Britannia Tea Rooms. Available only to private parties, the colorful and fabulously eccentric Mad Hatter’s tea room is basically an Instagram filter brought to life. If you’re not looking to throw a full-scale tea party of your very own, book the afternoon tea for $53 per person and munch on a starter, sandwiches, and sweets. Also check out their rotating themed teas inspired by holidays and beloved movies, shows, and books.

Interior of PARU Tea in Point Loma featuring the owner standing at a white table with his tea making pots and glass equipment
Courtesy of PARU Tea


Point Loma

A departure from the British sipping experience, Paru offers Japanese tea services. The shop hosts tea sessions, or mini tea tastings, where you can sample the monthly rotating specialty teas, including loose leaf and matcha options, for only $20 per person. The shop is a digital-free zone, eliminating the temptation to let your phone drink first.

Soufflé Pancakes with syrup on top from popular brunch restaurant Morning Glory in Little Italy also known for their tea
Courtesy of Morning Glory

Morning Glory

Little Italy

A hidden gem at this maximalist brunch spot, the afternoon tea service is one of the best deals is town. Skip the two-hour brunch line in the morning and instead enjoy tea, deviled eggs, pastries, and finger sandwiches for only $15 per person.

Extraordinary Desserts

Little Italy

Tea is best paired with desserts. This modern twist on tea time includes tantalizing toasts, decadent desserts, and the option to add a bubbly sidekick, making it the sweetest sip experience in town. Extrordinary Desserts’ high tea is available only on weekdays from 2:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. for $45 per person. 

A table full of decorated tea pots, pitchers, pastries, and sweets from the Westgate Hotel's high tea in San Diego
Courtesy of Westgate Hotel

Westgate Hotel


Afternoon tea at the Westgate Hotel is a timeless and elegant experience, complete with opulent surrounds that aren’t too far off from a castle. For $55 per person, you can nibble on finger sandwiches, pastries, and macarons. Get dressed up and spend your weekend living like a noble.

Two trays of sweets and pastries to accompany high or afternoon tea at La Valencia Hotel overlooking the ocean in La Jolla, San Diego
Courtesy of La Valencia Hotel

La Valencia

La Jolla

Daytime tea with a view of the ocean comes at a price. The Mediterranean Room at La Valencia asks $89 per adult or $65 per child—but they throw in a complimentary glass of Champagne, because nothing says “fancy tea time” like bubbles with your scones and quiche.

Woman pouring tea from a teapot into a mug featuring a tray of pastries by her side from the Fairmont Grand Del Mar lobby lounge in San Diego
Courtesy of Fairmount Grand Del Mar

Grand Del Mar

Del Mar

Another tea time with fab vistas. Sip some chamomile from the lobby lounge while taking in the Grand Del Mar’s spectacular canyon environs. The $89 price tag covers table and bar service, live music on weekends, and a tea sommelier to help you discover your perfect cup. 

Two women sitting at an antique tea table surrounded by teapots at Julian Tea & Cottage Arts in Julian, San Diego
Courtesy of the Julian Chamber of Commerce

Julian Tea & Cottage Arts


While the drive to Julian might be longer than your typical tea break, the charming countryside escape and epic tea selection make up for the trek. Choose from an array of options, including a four-course tea with soup, scones, sandwiches, savories, and desserts or a much simpler spread of assorted cookies and a bottomless pot of tea.

By Molly Delmore

Molly Delmore is a freelance writer and content creator from San Diego. When she’s not checking out San Diego’s newest restaurants, bars, and shops, she’s planning her next trip to the mountains to snowboard or a new country to explore. Her work has been featured in San Diego Magazine, Mashed, and Tasting Table.

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