Afternoon Tea in Santa Barbara

Elevate your afternoon in Santa Barbara with a delightful array of refined high tea experiences. From the timeless elegance of garden settings to the intimate charm of local bakeries, let your taste buds dance with flavorful finger sandwiches, luscious pastries and aromatic teas. Don’t settle for the ordinary—indulge in the extraordinary with these unforgettable afternoon tea experiences in Santa Barbara.

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San Ysidro Ranch

Experience the epitome of elegance at San Ysidro Ranch in Montecito with afternoon tea in the gardens. Taste tea sandwiches, seasonal scones and house-made pastries, meticulously crafted to perfection alongside the resort’s wide selection of 14 different kinds of teas. For a touch of opulence, accompany your treats with bubbles with options like Charles Heidsieck brut reserve or a half dozen Beausoleil oysters on the half shell. To partake in this luxurious experience, be sure to call ahead and reserve your spot.

Photo courtesy of San Ysidro Ranch

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Simpson House Inn

A visit to Santa Barbara’s serene Simpson House Inn is worth the stop. Monday through Thursday, by appointment only, this cozy inn offers high tea that will transport you to late 19th century Santa Barbara. The building itself, constructed in 1874, is a historic landmark that offers an intimate setting unique to the area—and one of only two English oak trees in Santa Barbara County! (Just imagine sipping your tea underneath the shade of this nearly 180-year-old tree on a sunny afternoon.) Snack on tea sandwiches, savory plates and a vast assortment of teas for a one-of-a-kind afternoon in this secluded garden oasis just steps from the hustle and bustle of downtown Santa Barbara.

Photo credit: @simpsonhouseinn via Instagram

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Alessia Pâtisserie & Café

Enjoy enticing high tea offerings at Alessia Pâtisserie & Cafe, where signature pastries, quiche tartlets and tea sandwiches await. This popular bakery in the Presidio neighborhood offers an experience much like one you’d find overseas, with the aroma of freshly baked goods wafting from the kitchen and cappuccinos made to perfection. During your high tea reservation, snack on fan-favorites like cucumber and herb cream cheese or smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwiches and wash it all down with assorted teas and sparkling drinks—a treat for every taste bud.

Photo credit: Silas Fallstich (@fullframefoodie), courtesy of Alessia Pâtisserie & Café

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Delight in an exquisite afternoon sipping tea at Lokum in Santa Barbara, where the allure of Turkish coffee and tea awaits. Sip on the aromatic Bergamot Turkish tea or savor the robust Karadeniz Export tea as part of your afternoon indulgence. With every sip, the vibrant yet cozy ambiance of Lokum will transport you on a Turkish journey, right in the heart of State Street.

Photo courtesy of Lokum

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Andersen's Danish Bakery & Restaurant

A State Street staple that’s been around for over 40 years, family-owned Andersen’s Danish Bakery & Restaurant is a must-visit for high tea. The menu consists of delectable pastries like apple strudel and petit fours, alongside savory sandwiches featuring cucumber and cream cheese or smoked Scottish salmon. Enjoy a complimentary bottle of champagne to make your visit extra memorable while you savor a variety of teas amidst the cozy, European-style atmosphere.

Photo credit: @valelolaboss via Instagram

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El Encanto, a Belmond Hotel

A luxurious afternoon awaits at El Encanto, a Belmond Hotel‘s Botanica Afternoon Tea experience. Guests are treated to a seasonal selection of savory snacks like cucumber tea sandwiches and a smoked salmon mousse, freshly baked seasonal scones and an assortment of delectable desserts like cheesecake, tarts and macarons. An added element of sophistication at this particular experience are the teas from Magic Hour, custom-blended to align with your sun sign, all amidst the charming ambiance of El Encanto’s serene surroundings on The American Riviera®.

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Find other sips in Santa Barbara with this guide to cocktails or these top coffee shops.