Afternoon tea at the Ritz Cafe (Toronto)

Afternoon tea conjures up images of flowers, frilly hats, and plate tiers holding two-bite delights. Alas, it also reminds me of stuffy traditions, odd eating times, and long periods of sitting. Hence, I was intrigued about the casual weekday option at the Ritz Café ($28 per person) – noon reservations are allowed, there’s no dress code, and you’re given a decent amount of food that could work as a lunch without leaving you stuffed. 

The tea selection includes six Sloan Leaf options. While the Signature Black isn’t the most aromatic, it’s a strong full-bodied tea, which I find is required to hold up against all the sweets.

In lieu of the tiered plate tower, a decorative holder arrives instead. While pretty to look at, it’s difficult to use as you need to keep swiveling it to the side (on a small packed table) to extract food. For anyone who’s clumsy, I’d approach removing the middle items carefully.

I’m always partial to the tea sandwiches. Ritz Café offers four with the afternoon tea: a traditional cucumber and dill cream cheese that’s open faced and incorporates strong dill flavours; smoked salmon with pickled onion stuff in a croissant; a ham and cheddar in a bun that’s way too hard; and the best of the bunch, a mustardy egg salad enhanced with celery seeds.

Of course, it’s not tea without scones. While, I personally prefer one large one to two small scones (so there’s more of the fluffy innards), Ritz’s scones were warm and thankfully didn’t contain any fruit to allow the Devonshire cream and selection of Graves preserves to flavour the biscuit.

To end the meal off on a sweet note, a selection of desserts including a creamy lemon cheese cake; a really chocolatey and overly sweet macaron; and a tasty raspberry tart that had a light crispy shortbread crust.

For anyone who enjoys afternoon tea amongst a casual atmosphere at an affordable price point, the Ritz Café’s weekday menu is a great option to get your fix of all the traditional aspects of tea, without the pomp and fuss. 

Overall mark - 7 out of 10

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 181 Wellington Street West

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more -
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!

Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:

DEQ Terrace & Lounge - The Ritz-Carlton Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato