Tea Garden

Twin Cities, Minnesota


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Tea Garden has a great atmosphere, parking (which is a rarity in Uptown Minneapolis), free wi-fi and vegan options! Their tea lattes are vegan upon request (replace the lactose-free milk whey product with soy milk) and so delicious! The staff is very understanding and accommodating, so it's one of those places you don't have to feel self-conscious about asking, "is this vegan?" I'm pretty sure I would live here.

One thing -- I didn't know there was a vegan menu until I read here. I wish they made that a little more public and known, but perhaps I just didn't see it.

Image for conde.kedar

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I give this place kudos for having a separate vegan menu (albeit only containing drinks, not food) and for having a decent array of loose-leaf teas. I also like that they have pre-packaged vegan cookies (though freshly baked ones are better).

However, I don't like the ambience in there. It's a bit too spartan and unwelcoming, in my view. And it doesn't fall into the hip, retro-modern look, either. It just looks plain, with a slight twinge of grime, the likes that accumulates when tables aren't cleaned off regularly.

Their worst offense, by far, is that they don't have mugs or in-house cups. Everything comes in paper cups, with those cardboard holders, and un-recyclable lids. This is inexcusable given that they're in the eco-mecca of Uptown, and that almost every other independent cafe in the Twin Cities offers re-usable cups and utensils. Tea Garden has a long way to go in terms of being eco-friendly.

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I want a bubble tea to be the last thing I have before I die. That's how great it is.

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update: they are much more vegan friendly now - there's a special 'vegan menu' with vegan items marked on it, ask to see it if you'd like. The tapioca pearls have honey in them, but the jellies do not, for those who care. They also have ABC cookies now, which is nice. The staff is way more on their game as far as veganism goes, and the service was awesome.

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It rawks!

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I love this place, is awesome. I went there a couple times and the staff already know what I'd like to order. And about the DJ; it is a little bit loud, but it's great.

Image for Dave Rolsky

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I love their teas, but I'd give it a higher rating if it was quieter. On the weekends, they often have a DJ, and it is so freaking loud that if I go their with friends I have to scream at them. As a consequence, I no longer go there on weekends.

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