The United States of Afternoon Tea, 2021 Snapshot

Since 2018, Destination Tea has been tracking the afternoon tea industry from coast to coast in the United States, using the data we collect in our afternoon tea directories to see how the American afternoon tea scene is growing and changing. Today, we release the top U.S. cities and states for afternoon tea as of 2021’s year end. Here’s hoping you live in or near one!

Afternoon Tea Bounces Back

Tearooms fared slightly better than the overall restaurant industry, which reportedly suffered upwards of 10% of businesses closing due to the pandemic. Our directories saw about 8% of afternoon tea venues close their doors by the end of 2020. With heavy hearts, we reached out to wish former owners well on their next chapter. Still, we remained hopeful and on the lookout for new tearoom openings…and 2021 did not disappoint.

One year later, we have seen the number of afternoon tea venues begin to rise again. In 2019, the U.S. had 1,400 tearooms, which dropped to 1,280 by end of 2020, and is now growing again, at 1,290 nationwide afternoon tea venues.

There’s more good news too: many tearooms that began offering takeout afternoon teas to help keep their business afloat during lockdowns have kept this to-go tea service on the menu. Combine these with our Virtual Tea Party downloads to enjoy a virtual tea party with friends or family when you cannot gather.

Move to the Southeast if You Love Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea by U.S. Regions

Okay, that’s a joke, mostly. While there is a concentration of top states for afternoon tea across the North from the East Coast to the Midwest, the Southeastern region takes the cake with several big afternoon tea loving states like Texas, Florida, Georgia and Virginia.

U.S. States Where Afternoon Tea Abounds

Predictably, the most highly populated states are also home to the greatest number of afternoon tea venues. The one outlier is Colorado, which has a high number of afternoon tea venues with respect to its population ranking. Conversely, we would also expect Arizona and North Carolina to have made the 25-and-over club due to how populated they are. Each does have more than 20 afternoon tea venues, and we will hope to see those numbers rise. The more afternoon tea services, the better!

2021 the United States of Afternoon Tea

Plan A Tea Tour to one of America’s Top Afternoon Tea Cities

We think it’s useful to know which American cities have the highest number of afternoon tea venues, to help form your bucket list for future destination tea tour roadtrips. Or any vacation, really. We’d be lying if we said checking Destination Tea’s directories for nearby afternoon tea venues isn’t the first thing we do when planning a trip inside the U.S.

Destination Tea Online Directories for all U.S. States

Please note that we only capture tearooms with an address within the city proper, so if you’re wondering about a city not listed here, we encourage you to check it out! Your city may have many choices within a 15- or 20-minute drive, still making it an excellent location for a tea extravaganza. Here’s our current list of top American cities for afternoon tea (with 5 or more afternoon tea venues, from most to least):

  • Houston
  • Austin
  • Charleston
  • Philadelphia
  • Los Angeles
  • Phoenix
  • Savannah
  • Orlando
  • Albuquerque
  • Cincinnati
  • Fort Worth
  • Portland
  • Pittsburgh
  • Pasadena
  • Seattle

Happy New Year, dear readers. Please remember to tag us when you go to afternoon tea or throw a tea party (#destinationtea), so we can like and share your lovely experiences.

Tea Voyageuse, discovering the world of afternoon tea, based in Atlanta, Georgia.

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