Teaism – Penn Quarter

Tea shop and restaurant offer Asian-inspired fare and an alternative to coffee.

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.