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Teaism - Penn Quarter
Tea shop and restaurant offer Asian-inspired fare and an alternative to coffee.
Reviewed By Emily Brown
Comments () | Published September 13, 2007

Teaism - Penn Quarter
Address: 400 Eighth St. NW, Washington, DC 20004
Phone: 202-638-6010
Neighborhood: Penn Quarter/Chinatown, Downtown
Cuisines: Pan-Asian, Japanese, Breakfast
Opening Hours: Monday through Friday 7:30 AM - 10:00 PM, Saturday and Sunday 9:30 AM - 9:00 PM
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Kid Friendly: Yes
Nearby Metro Stops: Gallery Place-Chinatown, Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter
Price Range: Inexpensive
Dress: Informal
Noise Level: Intimate
Reservations: Not Accepted
Best Dishes Bento boxes; beef ochazuke; Thai chicken curry; salty-oat and chocolate/salty-oat cookies; ginger/limeade.
Price Details: Small plates $2 to $6.50, bento boxes $8.75, entrées and sandwiches $6 to $8.50.
Special Features:
Wheelchair Accessible, Kid Friendly
The Food: Teaism is an Asian-style tea house which draws influences from Japan, Thailand, and India. For breakfast, try cilantro-scrambled organic eggs and tea-cured salmon, or Irish oatmeal with apricots and raisins. Lunch offerings include wheat-bread sandwiches, noodle bowls, curries, and six different bento boxes ($8.75) with centerpieces such as seared tuna, fried chicken, or teriyaki salmon. Salty-oat cookies are the most popular finish to a meal, but you’ll also find jasmine creme brulee and coconut rice pudding. There’s a selection of hot and cold drinks, Asian-inspired cocktails, sake, looseleaf teas, and tisanes. $20 afternoon tea services are available British-style (scones, tea sandwiches, tartlets) or Asian (tea-cured salmon, mochi, ginger ice cream).

The Scene: If a breeze flowed through the cafe it could be mistaken for an East Asian tropical forest. Simple wooden furniture and plenty of green foliage decorate this location (there are two other Teaisms, one in Dupont Circle, the other in Lafayette Square). Order snacks and bento boxes from the wood counter, then linger at the upstairs tables or by the downstairs koi pond.

What’s Nearby: The U.S. Navy Memorial and National Archives are to the south, as is the Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter Metro stop (green and yellow lines). The Reynolds Center, International Spy Museum, Verizon Center and Ford’s Theatre are all within  four blocks.

Insider Tips: The Teaism Tea Shop is adjacent to the cafe. Teas are packaged to brew at home and teapots, cups and bowls are also for sale.
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Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 09/13/2007 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews