To a tea - Recommended teahouses in St. Petersburg

Tea may be as much of a Russian tradition as vodka, but it's taken a while for St. Petersburg's culinary revolution to extend to the provision of good-quality tea to the populace. There are, however, a handful of outlets in the city that won't disappoint tea connoisseurs.

The traditional Russian method of making and consuming tea - brewing a thick black stew in the teapot and then diluting it in the cup with boiling water from the samovar - doesn't translate easily to a commercial setting, so perhaps its no surprise that getting a good cup of tea out in St. Petersburg can take some effort.

Look hard enough, however, and you'll find a tempting selection of gourmet teas served in outlets that draw on Russia's southern neighbors for inspiration, the pick of which are listed below.

Selected teahouses in St. Petersburg:

Teahouse Grand
Tea, European, Indian, Fish $$
A centrally located cafe-restaurant with an Oriental theme that lives up to its name, serving a huge range of quality teas as well as light meals and a hookah selection.
Tea, European, Indian, Asian $$
This luridly decorated cafe-bar on popular Ulitsa Rubinshteina may not look the most refined venue, but its extensive tea menu is expertly compiled, offering quality teas to suit every taste.
Tea, Indian, Vegetarian $$
Located just off Palace Square, this cozy, bohemian cafe serves authentic Indian cuisine at bargain prices, as well as a fine selection of teas including a superb masala chai.
Tea, Italian, Indian, Middle Eastern $$
A popular destination for all things eastern, Rubai serves a great selection of teas, as well as Sri Lankan cuisine and hookah, and has a busy calendar of live music and other events.
A specialty store selling a wide range of teas from all over the world, Tea Studio allows you to sample the wares in the shop, and also offers different traditional tea ceremonies appropriate to the various strains.