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“Ethnic delight”
Review of Russian Tea Time

Russian Tea Time
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Ranked #179 of 9,548 Restaurants in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $20 - $30
Cuisines: Russian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Business meetings, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Lunch, Late Night, Reservations
Neighborhood: Downtown / The Loop
Description: Welcome to Russian Tea Time! The restaurant where everyone feels at home and everyone is welcome!Owner and Chef, Klara Muchnik, and her son, Vadim Muchnik, opened Russian Tea Time in 1993. Centrally located in heart of the Chicago’s Downtown, Russian Tea Time has earned the distinction of being one of Chicago’s culinary “landmarks.”Russian Tea Time patrons enjoy neighboring attractions such as the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Millennium Park and many local theaters. We are delighted to host long-time regulars, tourists, dignitaries, celebrities and fellow Chicagoans who wish to enjoy the exceptional food, house-blended tea and warm ambiance Russian Tea Time offers.Russian Tea Time offers a variety of dishes from the diverse regions of the former Soviet Union Republics. Our guests can indulge in an extensive assortment of vegetarian dishes – Tashkent Carrot salad, Eggplant Orientale, Beet Caviar, and golubtsy (cabbage rolls) to name a few. Some of our signature dishes include Pelmeni (meat dumplings), Borscht (Ukranian soup), Russian Blinis (thick Russian pancakes), wild Game, Caviar, and many more.Experience our Afternoon Tea Service, offered daily from 2:30–4:30 p.m., with our hospitable staff and cozy environment. Indulge in Russian Tea Time’s homemade, delicious, and savory desserts!Rich mahogany and birch wood finishes, brass samovars, heart-warming balalaika music and impeccable service create a uniquely warm atmosphere that is perfect for celebrating any special occasion or just enjoying one of Chicago’s treasures!We look forward to hosting you at your next visit!Thank You! Спасибо (Spasibo)!
Auburn, New York
Level Contributor
271 reviews
171 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“Ethnic delight”
Reviewed July 14, 2013

I don't think I've had genuine Russian food before so I may not be an expert but I loved the food. We has dinner at this place recently. It is just down the street from the Art Institute. They have an extensive food menu as well as set "platter" meals. Since we wanted to try as many different items as we could and there were only two of us we got one of the platter choices. We ordered a vodka flight each; they offer three different assortments. The vodka flights are one shot each of three different flavors. The meal started with a generous mixed green salad compliments of the restaurant. A basket of pumpernickel bread was delivered to the table. The first couse was a plate of hot and cold salads: beets, carrots, dumplings, hummus and tabbouleh Russian style. The second couse was main dishes: Moldovan meatballs, stuffed cabbage, chicked skewer, beef stroganoff, some other ground meatloaf! Plenty of food! We also ordered a bottle of Moldovian sparkling wine that was quite sweet. All in all we were glad we were able to eat at the restaurant. Our Ukrainian waiter was attentive and the food arrived promptly. And our bus person kept our water glasses filled and supplied us with fresh tableware as needed. The restauant was not crowded when we were there so it was nice. I'm sure it can get noisy because the tables were close together.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank dese2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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471 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
19 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“One of my favorites!”
Reviewed July 9, 2013

We have always loved it here. The staff and decor is interesting. Love all the dishes. Don't be shy to try a Russian wine. We were surprised how excellent they were.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank JohnL4792
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sullivan, Illinois, United States
Level Contributor
162 reviews
94 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“Nice Change of Pace”
Reviewed July 7, 2013

I had incredibly high expectations going here and was not disappointed. The borscht and the barley soups exceeded my expectations. I think my friend and I could have happily eaten three or four bowls of each. The borscht was the better of the two and had a very nice balance of flavor with a great bit of zing. The potato vareniky (sp?) wasn't bad, but I won't order the pumpkin piroshky (sp?) if I go back. Some flavors just don't work for every palate, and the pumpkin just didn't work for us. The food was well-prepared and nicely presented. Even the pre-meal bread was tasty. The service was ok at best...not really friendly and not rude. The atmosphere was awesome - although it would have felt pretty tight if we had been there when they were busy. Nice part about the menu is that many items can be ordered in an appetizer version. This allows for more sampling and keeps costs reasonable. I'd go there again for the borscht alone.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Becky L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stamford, CT
Level Contributor
37 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“A Taste of Russia in Chicago”
Reviewed July 4, 2013

After several days of convention food, it was a pleasure to go with friends to Russian Tea Time for our last dinner in Chicago.

The menu had many items that seemed intriguing from all over the area...in fact I ordered a Moldavian dish. There were many vegetarian options, which I noted since my husband is a vegetarian.
When we were seated we were given a free green salad and a basket of very authentic hearty pumpernickel bread. One friend ordered the Russian tea, which came in a glass within an ornate and lovely filigreed holder. Sugar cubes, not packet, came with the tea. She said it was delicious, and her cup was refilled several times throughout the evening. I ordered one of the many decaf teas on the menu, and, as someone who can't have caffeine, I was pleased to see so many choices.

My friend wanted to try one of the dumpling varieties...she got the potato, which she said were delicious. She also had the Uzbek "Layer" stew (Domlama). She enjoyed it but couldn't finish it. The portions are quite large, and entrees come with sides like diced beets, shredded carrot salad or sauerkraut. I got the Moldavian meatballs made of chicken, served over barley. Yummy, but more than I could eat (4 large meatballs). The third person in our party had the cold vegetarian assortment platter, which had a sampling of about a dozen items. She said the oriental beet salad was especially surprising and wonderful.

There were interesting dessert options which we didn't try. If I'm back in Chicago, I would definitely go there again. There are many other things on the menu I'd want to sample.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank klipmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh, PA
Level Contributor
118 reviews
74 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Interesting food”
Reviewed July 3, 2013

Dinner business meeting with about 20 people and seated in the first dining room. It was a little cramped and stuffy. The food was interesting, delicious. The waiter didn't crack a smile but the service was efficient. Wish I had had time to go back for the afternoon tea....next time.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Elizabeth E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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