Best Of 2013: Spot for Spot of Tea
When I was a kid in Portland, Ore., my mother and I used to walk to breakfast on Sunday mornings. Our favorite spot was very tiny and very wallpapered. It looked like it had been furnished by rummaging through old ladies' attics. I always ordered the tea, which came in a small china pot with a teacup and saucer and made me feel like a proper lady in a Brontë novel. The first time I walked into Montague's, it was like entering a portal into the past. There, once again, was the wallpaper, the teapots, the gabbing bunches of gray-haired ladies, even the cakes under glass domes. Montague's emphasizes its large selection of teas, but it also offers coffee drinks, baked goods (including a gluten-free selection) and a menu that features sandwiches and soups. No wonder it's won this category four years in a row. Mom would approve. — J. Adrian Stanley
Yes, it's got comfy chairs, high-back antiques with the kind of charm that lends well to the cozy space, with people chatting over cute pots holding an array of fine teas. Enjoy them with stuffed French toast, turkey pot pie and/or large-enough-to-share pieces of cake.