Girls Afternoon Out: High Tea at Crown & Crumpet, San Francisco, California

So this past weekend I went to high tea at Crown & Crumpet in the Japantown area of San Francisco. It’s a cute little British teahouse popular amongst women to grab tea and treats. They also have a room for private events, which is where I was for a baby shower.

{Getting There}

Crown & Crumpet is in the Free People Building across from Hotel Kabuki and the Japan Center Parking Garage. If it weren’t for the parking garage finding parking would be really difficult here. And there’s no BART to this area of town so your choices are to walk, drive, or take a bus.

The main restaurant is actually in the lobby of the Free People Building which, in my opinion made it feel like a themed Starbuck’s rather than a quiet, cozy teahouse. The tables are pretty scrunched together.

They also have a private room at the top of the stairs, for private events for groups of 8 or more. As expected the venue is well decorated to give it a very cute feel. Vintage clocks and china with British symbols galore. To be honest I felt like I walked into Professor Dolores Umbridge’s office at Hogwarts.

Professor Umbridge’s Office at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry
Crown & Crumpet, private event room, SF

The staff was friendly and our private event had a dedicated server who was very nice. I think for non-vegetarians and non-vegans this is a fun girlie outing. I say that because while everyone else was served an assortment of delicious sweet puffs and pastries, they gave me chocolate covered strawberries and a sliced pear. Yeah, a sliced pear…

And Crown & Crumpet advertises that they accommodate dietary restrictions. It’s not like they had to accommodate me on the spot. We responded to their request for dietary restrictions per their deadline. And I guess technically they did accommodate my dietary needs, but this goes back to the “rabbit” mentality that I faced in the 80s and 90s where vegetarians would literally be served a plate of steamed vegetables.

And it’s pretty surprising in this day as currently…right now plant-based and vegan diets are exploding, especially in progressive cities like San Francisco. They just didn’t make an effort and I didn’t appreciate that.

My top layer
Everyone else’s top layer

And it’s not like I paid less. This private event had a pre-fixe menu which was $48++ per person. For their latest prices and menu’s click here. I totally understand that you’re paying for the experience and ambience. And I’m glad I tried something new and different.

But for me this was a total miss. Definitely not somewhere I’d take my vegan and vegetarian friends who visit SF. I’d much rather get warm chai and hot pakoras at Chaat Corner for two or more, and pay a lot less than what I paid at Crown & Crumpet.

Legit chai

{High Tea Attire}

So “proper” high tea attire is considered classy dresses and how fancy you get depends on where and who you’re meeting. Since I was at a baby shower so I dressed up, but otherwise I would’ve been perfectly appropriate in jeans and booties or even sneakers here. And if you’re backpacking, you’re probably not going to have a formal dress with you anyway. No need to worry about that here.

For private events they distribute goodie bags which I liked. It had some delicious chocolates and packet of tea, which I enjoyed.


In this article I reviewed going to high tea with some girlfriends at Crown & Crumpet in San Francisco, California. Afternoon high tea makes for a fun activity with your girlfriends. My personal opinion is that this establishment is best suited for  tea lovers as well as non-vegetarians as they really don’t cater to vegans and vegetarians. The main restaurant is in the lobby of the Free People Building in Japantown and the private room for larger groups (8 or more) is tucked away upstairs.

I thought it was pricey for what you get. Their private event pre-fixe menu is $48++ per person and the regular menu starts at $32 ++ per person. San Francisco is a pricey city so I’m not surprised by their pricing but personally have other restaurants where I can get better tea and better food for less.

Driving or walking are the best ways to get there as there’s no BART that operates in this area. The Japan Center Parking Garage is across from the restaurant so that made driving convenient. Parking was $3.50 per hour on weekends.


{About PassportPages}

I created the PassportPages travel blog, to provide nuanced, detailed travel advice, tips, and hacks for traveling all over the world — from a unique and different perspective than the other popular travel blogs. There aren’t as many travel blogs geared towards:

  • nuanced, detailed travel tips and advice
  • vegetarians/vegan travelers
  • ethnic Americans, Canadians, and others
  • women, especially petite women

{About Samta}

When I’m not traveling and/or adventuring (and even when I am), I operate my tech startup, ShaadiShop. ShaadiShop is a marketplace for Indian-friendly wedding venues in California.

During undergrad I decided to study abroad which triggered my travel passion. I lived in Adelaide, Australia for a year and after that, for the next 10 years I spent 1-2 months each year, traveling to various destinations around the globe, on my own while I managed my direct marketing company.

I think traveling solo, prepared me to become an entrepreneur – journeying into new experiences, figuring it out as I went, self-reliance, facing your fears head on, trying new things, and so much more!

Then I decided to get a Masters in Business Administration in southern California, and I met my husband. Now we travel around the globe together and often. I love backpacks, vegetarian and vegan cooking and of course planning our next trip. I’m also kinda addicted to blueberries. =p

Check in on the blog or better yet follow PassportPages to get travel info from around the world. And definitely post your questions and comments. I love hearing from our readers! Cheers!

Samta, Founder, PassportPages


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