This homegrown teahouse enterprise currently has three D.C. locations, each similar in their menus of bento boxes, aromatic teas, savory sandwiches, and sweets, though they differ in appearance. This one, in Dupont Circle, is the original, a homey, two-level restaurant and shop tucked inside a century-old building with French windows that overlook the tree-lined street. The Penn Quarter’s Teaism is busier, as you might expect from the neighborhood, and its tea shop is situated separately, one storefront away from the restaurant. No matter the Teaism, you’ll find these are casual eateries, where you order from a menu that might include curried chicken, udon noodle soup, Korean beef brisket sandwiches, and a constantly updated inventory of about 36 teas. The menus change seasonally. All three teahouses serve an afternoon tea of savories and sweets, from 2:30 to 5:30pm, for $25 person ($30 with alcohol).
Visit at its other locations, too: Teaism Lafayette Square, 800 Connecticut Ave. NW (tel. 202/835-2233), near the White House; Teaism Penn Quarter 400 8th St. NW (tel. 202/638-6010), which is the only branch that serves beer, wine, and cocktails; and Teaism Old Town at 682 N. Asaph St. (tel. 703/684-7777).
- Elise Hartman Ford