NYC is filled with lots of unique family-friendly restaurants. One of the restaurants that was on my list for a while was Alice’s Tea Cup. This tea room/restaurant has two (soon again to be three) NYC locations. During our last minute New York City trip with the kids in April, I made sure that it was on our agenda. I wasn’t at all disappointed, and both of my children absolutely loved the experience. It’s a fun spot for a special meal with kids during your New York City trip.
A Visit to Alice’s Tea Cup in NYC
Alice’s Tea Cup, which is themed after Alice in Wonderland, has two Manhattan locations. The one we visited, Alice’s Tea Cup Chapter II, is located on the East Side at 156 East 64th Street (at Lexington Avenue). It was just a short walk from the Central Park Zoo, where we had spent the morning. I pulled up the maps app on my phone, and we walked right to the restaurant from the zoo.
Although the restaurant was busy, our timing was perfect, as we only had to wait 5 minutes for a table for 3. This was midweek however. The restaurant does get busy on weekends and holidays. The restaurant does take reservations from Monday through Friday for parties of less than 6. You will need to make the reservations more than a day in advance, however, as same day reservations are not offered.
The whimsical decor of Alice’s Tea Cup is fun for kids – my children enjoyed seeing all of the different tea cups on the table. Although they didn’t want tea, they did ask to drink their water out of a tea cup. Of course, that’s part of the ambiance as a tea house, and definitely adds to the experience.
Alice’s Tea Cup Menu
The restaurant offers snacks, afternoon tea (served all day), breakfast (only during the week), brunch (on the weekends) and light lunch, as well as a children’s menu. Our server was friendly and helpful, especially when it came to my daughter’s tree nut allergy, and helped us navigate the menu. When my kids each wanted to try the same flavor scone, he recommended that I just start with one for them to share. Gluten-free and vegan menu options are clearly marked on the menu.
The kids menu has lots of great options for children, including grilled cheese, banana bread and jam, peanut butter and jam, and apple slices. They even have pureed baby food for the youngest of visitors to Alice’s Tea Cup. The selection varies by day.
I chose to get the Nibble, a one-person tea service that includes a pot of tea, sandwich, scone, and cookies. Despite the name, it was quite a bit of food, and the server was happy to get me a to-go bag so I could bring the cookies home. Surprisingly, my kids were pretty full after their half-scone each, so they didn’t even order lunch. I appreciated the recommendation to stick with only one scone between the two of them.
Alice’s Tea Cup Locations
Alice’s Tea Cup Chapter 2 is the largest location, and also offers a large tea menu, as well as wines, cocktails, and tea-infused cocktails.
Alice’s Tea Cup Chapter I is smaller, but has a larger shop. It’s located at 102 West 73rd Street (at Columbus Avenue). Like Chapter II, they accept reservations for groups of five and less from Monday through Friday. Reservations need to be made at least 24 hours in advance – same day reservations are not available.
Chapter III (the third location), which was located at 220 East 81st Street, has recently closed. It will soon be reopened in Brooklyn, presumably with a similar decor and menu as the other two locations.
Alice’s Tea Cup has recently instituted a no tipping policy. Tips are now built into the prices that you see on the menu. Keep that in mind as you look at prices.
It’s definitely a fun place for a mother/daughter lunch or snack. Younger kids will really enjoy being able to borrow fairy wings and getting sprinkled with fairy dust (glitter). Sadly, my tween daughter was a bit too old for that, but she would have loved it when she was younger. You can also pick up snacks and to go orders at the counter, but eating there is really part of the experience.
I’d recommend going to whichever location is most convenient to where you happen to be. If at all possible, it’s a good idea to make a reservation. They claim that they only take a limited number of reservations to make it easier for walk ins. So, if you aren’t able to get a reservation (or if it’s a weekend), it’s still worth going. To learn more about Alice’s Tea Cup, visit their website.
Originally published in 2014, updated in 2018