Vegan friendly restaurant
Tea Here Now - Oakland, California
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Tea Here Now is one of the finest tea shops I've been to in the United States. It's elegant, friendly and accessible, and it offers a fine, nicely cultivated selection of loose-leaf teas from around the world. It also has a bunch of delicious vegan baked goods from Fat Bottom Bakery (try the shortbread).
Unlike other tea shops, this is a place to sit, relax and savor what you order; you're not affronted by gimmicky sales tactics like the tea shops in San Francisco's Chinatown, and you're not overwhelmed with a dizzying (and unnecessary) array of mostly mediocre teas that other shops offer. At Tea Here Now everything they serve is carefully selected and finely presented.
I love the two Kenyan black teas and the floral, vibrant earl grey (this isn't the industrial-grade earl grey you find at the grocery store or Starbucks). You can't go wrong with any of the baked goods or the salads, either.
The owner is a lovely person, and I've had some great conversations there, both with the staff and with other patrons. This is a rare, beautiful, community-focused business that happens to also offer cutting-edge and high-quality food and drink. I'll be back often.
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