Taste Test: Teaism

When I decided what to write about this month, I thought that reviewing a new restaurant or coffee shop in the city would be both fun and a good incentive to get out and explore. For this post, I decided to visit Teaism.

Teaism is described on Google Maps as a “relaxed space for tea & Asian-style eats.” There are a few locations in the city. I had actually been to one for lunch several years ago, but couldn’t remember much about it, so I thought I’d visit a different location and try it out again near Dupont Circle.

First of all, it was an adorable townhouse-style place. It was pretty crowded when I got there, and it was not a typical meal time either (I think I got there around 3 pm). Seating downstairs was somewhat limited, but they did appear to have a second level, which I did not get the chance to explore. I liked the casual setting; customers order at the counter and then wait until their number is called.

The menu (which you can find here for the location I visited) was varied and interesting, and I think the prices were reasonable for a “treat yourself” kind of meal. (It wasn’t extremely expensive, but I maybe wouldn’t go there every single day for lunch.)

I loved how they had options for both vegans and non-vegans; that is sometimes difficult to find, and I think it is a good way to introduce non-vegans to plant-based recipes that they might actually like without requiring them to take the initiative to visit a completely vegan restaurant.

I ended up going with the vegan cheeseburger; since it appears to be the signature vegan item on their menu, I wanted to try it out and see how that was. It came with a side of broccoli with sumac vinaigrette. I thought the cheeseburger was great. Whatever cheese they used (Chao, perhaps?) was a really good imitation cheese. The burger did not taste identical to a beef burger (although there are some really good imitation burgers out there nowadays!)– it was just a veggie burger that was made with beets and Tempeh. I did think it was delicious! But not the kind of thing you see as a “substitute” for a regular burger, more of an alternative. The broccoli was actually one of the most interesting things I have tried in a long time, which is funny considering how simple it was. Perhaps I just haven’t tried this type of vinaigrette before, but it had a very vibrant and fresh flavor while simultaneously seeming to lack flavor. Don’t get me wrong, I would totally order it again. It was good, in a weird way.

Usually around this time of day, I would go for an iced coffee beverage. I suffer from horrible afternoon slumps. However, this time I decided to try tea. Obviously. I went with their iced matcha sweet green tea, which I also thought was great. I’ve tried a lot of not so good matcha teas, but theirs was lovely, which I guess is to be expected! I also enjoyed the cute little green garden with benches in front of the restaurant.

Overall, I would definitely visit Teaism again. Maybe I would try a different location, as the menus seem to vary. I would also be interested to try many of their sides, or possibly breakfast.

Although I ordered food during my visit to get the full experience, I think this would also be a nice place to visit if you like the coffee shop vibe while doing some work on the computer or writing! I could certainly see myself spending hours there and trying several of the hot teas.

Have you been to Teaism before? Also, does this “taste test” concept interest you? Let me know, and if so I will be sure to make it a series on my blog!

-AK