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“Great comfort food”

Carry on Tea & Sympathy
Ranked #445 of 683 Coffee & Tea in New York City
Price range: $10 - $30
Cuisines: Cafe
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner
Neighborhood: West Village
Description: British comfort food in a cozy Greenwich Village location. The Scene Decked out like an exaggerated version of a suburban British living room--tacky wallpaper, an extensive teapot collection, lots of ceramic figures, Vera Lynne on the stereo--Tea & Sympathy serves as a cozy home away from home for expats. Sometimes it's a little too cozy, in fact; space is limited, and you can expect to be moved around during your meal to make room for other diners. The friendly but no-nonsense waitstaff is always ready with a smile and a comeback line. The Food The menu offers perfect renditions of such Brit classics as Welsh rarebit (thick bread with melted cheese, tomato and mustard), steak and kidney pie, Scotch egg (hard-boiled egg, deep-fried in pastry), tweed kettle pie (trout and cod wrapped in bacon and served in a pie) and bangers and mash (sausages and mashed potato). Any one of these will fill you up for the day; for those on a diet or just faint-hearted, there are lighter sandwiches and salads, too.
Reviewed January 23, 2012

It's a reliable neighborhood spot that just smells like comfort when you walk in. Warm and cozy, all of the food makes you feel comforted. If you're ever jonesing for some tasty British staples, I'd recommend.

1  Thank ajs1707
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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34 - 38 of 52 reviews

Reviewed January 18, 2012

My daughter and I have a deep love of many British things. I had seen an interview on the news around the time of the wedding of William and Catherine last year with the Tea & Sympathy staff. I looked it up online and my daughter and I both agreed we would make it a point to go their when next we were in NYC.

It was a rainy, chilly day when we visited and we ordered tea for two. We received a lovely assortment of finger sandwiches, scones, clotted cream and jam, pudding, tarts and cakes. We also had two pots of tea. They have a huge assortment of teas.

Although not rude, I was not overly impressed by the waitstaff. They did not stop by the table to ask if anything was needed or how things were. I had to flag them down to get additional water for the tea. There were only a few people in the restaurant - so it wasn't like they were so busy.

The scones were especially delicious and the decor of the tiny restaurant was very campy and fun. Mismatched china and floral tablecloths added to the charm.

It was a bit pricey - but they did bring out a lot of food - more than two people could possibly eat! We both agreed it was fun to go there and if we are in the neighborhood would stop by again - but get something a bit smaller.

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3  Thank TundraPup
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 8, 2011

I know this place has gotten rave reviews and my friend and I were really looking forward to lunch here. Upon arriving, we noticed a list of 'Nicky's Rules' that laid out what was to be expected of the patron before stepping foot in their establishment. I'm sure they have their reasons for having to post such things, but I found it tacky and insulting. I don't need a sign to tell me that the staff is always right, tips are expected, and there is a minimum $9.50 charge per person. We took our business down to Pastis which was fabulous and highly recommended, especially if you are a fan of Balthazar. Thanks Nicky!

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4  Thank kdpezz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 19, 2011

I have been going to Tea & Sympathy for years and although I have move out of the NYC area, whenever I am in Manhatten I make it a priority to have dinner there. Located on an interesting Greenwich Village street, this tiny establishment (maximum 22 people) dishes out the best English food I have ever had in the states (and beats many of the places I have eaten in the UK as well). The British expats that inhabit the place and take orders and deliver the food are helpful, friendly and right out of what you would expect from a workingman's carvery or pub in England. The shepards pie is incredibly good (I prefer the beef version but there is also lamb) and the scones with raspberry jam and double clotted cream are to die for. My last visit there my anglophile colleague I was introducing to the place rated the bangers and mash the best he had ever had on either side of the pond. The place often has expats eating there and last time I was there there was a girl just off the plane from the UK with her luggage still in hand having a home-cooked meal.

As I mentioned, the restaurant is tiny and the staff may move you to another table during your meal to accomodate another party. Nicki's girls as the staff is called have rules and they are posted on the tiny door outside, please be polite and observe them. I haven't seen the original owner Nikci for some years but her presence is still there. On the daily typed-up specials for the day, at the bottom of the sheet are the words 'God save the Queen" and there are no truer words spoken about the special nature of this place.

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3  Thank max k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 30, 2011

This place might not be "the place" for some horizontally challenged people since tables are pretty crowded and chairs are small, eh, politically correct term "European Chairs." But I do not think there is another place in the USA to have authentic British food including imported tea, scones, Shepherd's pie etc. Don't forget to check the store next door. It carry all British food, candy, chocolate.

Service is okay but there are limited space available and once all tables are filled, you may only have to order take out food and thus miss the opportunity of idling with a cup of tea or street watching.

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3  Thank bigboy61455
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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