My friend introduced me to Alice's Tea Cup for brunch and afternoon tea.
It is a theme café, probably one of the only theme cafes in NYC, conveniently located on the Upper West Side, near Central Park.
I took my Korean friend here one day for brunch. She was so excited! The décor of the shop is so cute and thought out quite well. There is usually a wait on weekends and you cannot make reservations. You should go there and get your name on the list and then take the wait time to check out the neighborhood. When we went, we had about a 40 minute wait, so we just wandered around the Upper West Side, looking at shops.
When you go, you must try the scones. They are baked fresh daily. Alice's Tea Cup has a rotating schedule of scone flavors. There is a mix of sweet and savory scones. I typically order savory scones because they match my flavor preferences more, but I have tried a little of some of the fruit scones and they are also quite good. There are also seasonal scone flavors.
I highly recommend the goat cheese and basil scone. This day we ordered the ham and cheese scone. It was served warm with a side of butter. Honestly, I don't think you need the butter, but that may just be me.
We ordered the Alice's Curious French Toast ($11), too. It was very visually appealing since they baked it like bread pudding. They cut little fingers of fresh brioche bread, soaked them in apricot brandy tea, and baked them. The bread was very fluffy and fresh, but the sweetness was very overwhelming for me. They top the French toast with a raspberry couli, syrup, and French vanilla crème anglaise, so it is understandably sweet. I was very excited that they did serve it with fresh berries, which add lightness to an overall heavy dish.
Luckily for me, we also ordered a savory dish. We ordered the Scones Benedict meal ($13). I would feel like brunch was incomplete without some egg dish. We got to choose which flavor of scone we wanted and we chose the goat cheese and basil scone. This was probably the best choice of the day. The scones complimented the other flavors on the plate perfectly. The goat cheese added an extra flavor dimension to the plate. The hollandaise sauce had rosemary in it, too. The basil in the scone and the rosemary in the hollandaise were a great combination. The scones benedict was served with a side of potatoes. These were cooked perfectly and seasoned very well.
The tea list is expansive. There are green teas, black teas, white teas, herbal teas.
You can order a pot of tea and 2 scones for $12.
If your party wans to have a morning tea set, that is also an option for $22 and $8 for each additional person (you get an extra pot of tea and an extra scone). You get a pot of tea and a three-tiered food set (one scone, granola, and poached eggs).
The teapots are adorable. I can't find my picture at the moment, but I am going to continue looking. They have a little kitty perched on the lid.
I have had the Alice's famous granola ($10) and it is very good. They make it in-house. The granola is infused with tea and served with a bunch of berries...like I was surprised by how many berries were served in it. You can choose to have it served with plain or vanilla yogurt or else with milk.
The décor is very cute. There are about 40 seats available. It is a great place for children! They have books and toys for children and also do a cute scene for them with glitter.
The plates do not match, adding to the charm and eclectic atmosphere.
In the front of the store, you can buy bulk loose tea, scones and baked goods, and also themed knick knacks and fairytale items. They also sell tea items like tea balls, teapots, tea cups, etc.
If you're looking for a cute, themed café, I highly recommend Alice's Tea Cup. It is a little expensive, but it has a great atmosphere, delicious scones, and a wide variety of teas.
Location: 102 W 73rd St. (at Columbus Ave)
Subway: 72 St (1, 2, 3); 72 St (B, C)
If you want to make the scones at home, buy their cookbook either at their store or on Amazon: Alice's Tea Cup: Delectable Recipes for Scones, Cakes, Sandwiches, and More from New York's Most Whimsical Tea Spot!