Podunk

★★★★☆
  • 231 E 5th St

    New York, NY 10003

    Cross street: Between 2nd adn 3rd Avenues

    Map & Directions
  • 212-677-7722

About Podunk

Hours
Daily 11 am - 9 pm

Food

Food
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Stopped by this tea place today, and while my friend haggled over a flavor of iced tea I saw a list of ice cream flavors. I wasn't even hungry, but I had to try lavender-lime ice cream (more of an ice than an ice cream). It came in a little gingery cone-cup, and it was like the best OMG summer day licks I could imagine. My friend ordered rose gunpowder ice cream, which was really creamy, tea-flavored, and very rosy. All the flavors are either tea-based or inspired by their iced-tea list, like the lemon verbena ginger. This British girl was happily lapping up Earl Grey ice cream with caramel sauce and whipped cream. I didn't expect to find ice cream there, but it's like my new favorite thing, and I seriously could mainline the lavender lime one. I am craving it right now.

2
★★★★★

Stopped by this tea place today, and while my friend haggled over a flavor of iced tea I saw a list of ice cream flavors. I wasn't even hungry, but I had to try lavender-lime ice cream (more of an ice than an ice cream). It came in a little gingery cone-cup, and it was like the best OMG summer day licks I could imagine. My friend ordered rose gunpowder ice cream, which was really creamy, tea-flavored, and very rosy. All the flavors are either tea-based or inspired by their iced-tea list, like the lemon verbena ginger. This British girl was happily lapping up Earl Grey ice cream with caramel sauce and whipped cream. I didn't expect to find ice cream there, but it's like my new favorite thing, and I seriously could mainline the lavender lime one. I am craving it right now.

Pros: Really refreshing flavors I'd never heard of

Cons: The portions are appropriate, but I could down a quart

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I'm in love. I'm ready to commit. This is not my first tea place, but it's about to become my only tea place. My mother raised her children first on liebsfraumilch and then on tea and so I have to have a daily fix, usually at home. The other day I walked past Podunk, which was nearly empty, and then through the screen door. I could hear someone humming and washing dishes, and I was thinking that their security system might need some tweaking, because I think I could have walked off with most of the place while other patrons kept their noses in their books.

Okay, so I waited for all of thirty seconds at the counter, and this lady came out, smiling, and asked what was I up to? and I told her "tea," and after a couple more questions I found myself drinking a pot of blood orange vanilla and eating a warm piece of lemon cake with a sugary glaze. That first day, when I paid, she asked my name and told me hers, and she's remembered it every time I've been in. If I feel bad before I go in, I'm better the minute I step through that door, and if I'm in a good mood (most of the time) it still improves with every minute I spend there.

All exaggeration aside, if I can't marry Podunk, can I at least live there?

2
★★★★★

I'm in love. I'm ready to commit. This is not my first tea place, but it's about to become my only tea place. My mother raised her children first on liebsfraumilch and then on tea and so I have to have a daily fix, usually at home. The other day I walked past Podunk, which was nearly empty, and then through the screen door. I could hear someone humming and washing dishes, and I was thinking that their security system might need some tweaking, because I think I could have walked off with most of the place while other patrons kept their noses in their books.

Okay, so I waited for all of thirty seconds at the counter, and this lady came out, smiling, and asked what was I up to? and I told her "tea," and after a couple more questions I found myself drinking a pot of blood orange vanilla and eating a warm piece of lemon cake with a sugary glaze. That first day, when I paid, she asked my name and told me hers, and she's remembered it every time I've been in. If I feel bad before I go in, I'm better the minute I step through that door, and if I'm in a good mood (most of the time) it still improves with every minute I spend there.

All exaggeration aside, if I can't marry Podunk, can I at least live there?

Pros: Long list of teas, amiable atmosphere

Cons: That it's not closer to my home?

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I'm going to write a righteous review later, but I just had the best day at this delightful city watering hole. The tea was the best I've had (coconut orange and Earl Gray) and the chocolate chip cookies are to lust after (I am, right now). Loved the place and am taking my mother and father back this weekend--we southerners know TEA and this place, this PODUNK has it. Sweet!

2
★★★★★

I'm going to write a righteous review later, but I just had the best day at this delightful city watering hole. The tea was the best I've had (coconut orange and Earl Gray) and the chocolate chip cookies are to lust after (I am, right now). Loved the place and am taking my mother and father back this weekend--we southerners know TEA and this place, this PODUNK has it. Sweet!

Pros: Lovely service, delicious food

Cons: No AC, but breezy and homey

.

I went to Podunk with my partner and we were treated with such generosity and grace that I could hardly believe I was in NYC. While not a real fan of tea, myself, the food was savory and delicious. It reminded me of dinners with my Scandinavian grandmother. Way to go, Elspeth Treadwell! I will be back! Shelly

2
★★★★★

I went to Podunk with my partner and we were treated with such generosity and grace that I could hardly believe I was in NYC. While not a real fan of tea, myself, the food was savory and delicious. It reminded me of dinners with my Scandinavian grandmother. Way to go, Elspeth Treadwell! I will be back! Shelly

.

Went to this place on Friday after work, for a farewell party for a dear coworker. This place is very small and there were a few more of us than originally anticipated so we were sitting there trying to decide whether or not to stay there or move on to a bigger space, when a guy (presumably the owner) came out from the back and started screaming on the top of his lungs for us to get out. I was in shock because we weren??t causing any trouble, just sitting there talking quietly and it??s not like the place was packed (we made it packed). I thought it was some kind of joke and I asked him if he was serious, which pretty much sent him into a psychotic fit. It was very embarrassing, especially in front of all my colleagues.

I don??t understand how this place stays in business, the prices are that of a high end bakery and the owner does not even have the civility of a hot dog cart vendor. At least the lady behind the counter seemed nice; I hope he doesn??t abuse her. Cannot say anything about their tea or pastries, as I didn??t get a chance to try them. At least I didn??t get called b*tch as some other reviewers here.

Do not go there!!!

0
★☆☆☆☆

Went to this place on Friday after work, for a farewell party for a dear coworker. This place is very small and there were a few more of us than originally anticipated so we were sitting there trying to decide whether or not to stay there or move on to a bigger space, when a guy (presumably the owner) came out from the back and started screaming on the top of his lungs for us to get out. I was in shock because we weren??t causing any trouble, just sitting there talking quietly and it??s not like the place was packed (we made it packed). I thought it was some kind of joke and I asked him if he was serious, which pretty much sent him into a psychotic fit. It was very embarrassing, especially in front of all my colleagues.

I don??t understand how this place stays in business, the prices are that of a high end bakery and the owner does not even have the civility of a hot dog cart vendor. At least the lady behind the counter seemed nice; I hope he doesn??t abuse her. Cannot say anything about their tea or pastries, as I didn??t get a chance to try them. At least I didn??t get called b*tch as some other reviewers here.

Do not go there!!!

Pros: Cutesey

Cons: Nazi of an owner

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The first time I went into Podunk, six years ago or so, a magnificently self-possessed pug was parked outside, waiting patiently for his tea-drinking owner, I guess, and just inside the door a cadre of young women were cooing over an kicking, smiling infant, held aloft by one of them for all to admire. It was hard not to be smitten at once. A savory scent was in the air, and the sound of cups clinking and silverware tapping and conversation filled the place, which is larger on the inside than it appears on the outside.

I met a friend there, who also took note of the pug outside, and who was similarly pleased by the general atmosphere; actually, it was a very specific atmosphere, and my friend commented that being there was "like being in a room from childhood that you can't quite remember but know you loved." I didn't grow up in a house where there was a lot of baking going on, but I understood the sentiment and felt at home immediately.

We went to the counter and saw the source of the savory scent--a wire rack had a line of tarts on it, and I picked a red-wine carmelized onion one that was covered in cheese. We each picked out a pot of tea from the list, and were handed trays which included my friend's choice of scones (she's a snob about them, having spent time in Ireland and Wales) and jam with cream. The scones were hot and so I had asked for butter, which turned out to be lemony and sweet. We sat back down and began to talk, while all around us other people came and went, sometimes with huge trays of tea sandwiches and little tarts, and sometimes with a pot of tea, milk and sugar. We both remember exclaiming a lot and sharing bites, but what I really remember was how transported I felt.

Podunk is not in my neighborhood, so I don't get there often, but that day, that first visit, is the one I tell friends about whenever they want a recommendation for a tea place. It was like a daydream, where every detail is just what you hoped, and where the pleasantries of tea are not something abstract or from a novel, but right there in front of you. A friend, a little bite of something delicious and real, and transcendent conversation facilitated by said friend and food. I'm writing this now instead of six years ago because I saw some other reviews online and wanted to add my two cents. It's a decent little place, and I love it.

2
★★★★★

The first time I went into Podunk, six years ago or so, a magnificently self-possessed pug was parked outside, waiting patiently for his tea-drinking owner, I guess, and just inside the door a cadre of young women were cooing over an kicking, smiling infant, held aloft by one of them for all to admire. It was hard not to be smitten at once. A savory scent was in the air, and the sound of cups clinking and silverware tapping and conversation filled the place, which is larger on the inside than it appears on the outside.

I met a friend there, who also took note of the pug outside, and who was similarly pleased by the general atmosphere; actually, it was a very specific atmosphere, and my friend commented that being there was "like being in a room from childhood that you can't quite remember but know you loved." I didn't grow up in a house where there was a lot of baking going on, but I understood the sentiment and felt at home immediately.

We went to the counter and saw the source of the savory scent--a wire rack had a line of tarts on it, and I picked a red-wine carmelized onion one that was covered in cheese. We each picked out a pot of tea from the list, and were handed trays which included my friend's choice of scones (she's a snob about them, having spent time in Ireland and Wales) and jam with cream. The scones were hot and so I had asked for butter, which turned out to be lemony and sweet. We sat back down and began to talk, while all around us other people came and went, sometimes with huge trays of tea sandwiches and little tarts, and sometimes with a pot of tea, milk and sugar. We both remember exclaiming a lot and sharing bites, but what I really remember was how transported I felt.

Podunk is not in my neighborhood, so I don't get there often, but that day, that first visit, is the one I tell friends about whenever they want a recommendation for a tea place. It was like a daydream, where every detail is just what you hoped, and where the pleasantries of tea are not something abstract or from a novel, but right there in front of you. A friend, a little bite of something delicious and real, and transcendent conversation facilitated by said friend and food. I'm writing this now instead of six years ago because I saw some other reviews online and wanted to add my two cents. It's a decent little place, and I love it.

Pros: Great tea and food, good atmosphere

.

The decor aims for homey and/or kitchsy but is more reminiscent of a garage sale. It boasts uncomfortable mismatched benches, minuscule tables, myriad dust collectors and hanging ice skates angled to stab diners. (The bruise on my right shoulder is a testament.)

The lack of a restroom may explain why a teapot is only filled with 1.5 cups of water. But there was no apparent explanation for the dry mediocre pastries and slightly stale tea. The menu's pricing and descriptions would seem to indicate more significant portions than the microscopic servings we actually received. Although the flustered woman behind the counter was quite pleasant, she was horribly insufficient to the task at hand, as evidenced by the long wait for some tea and three cold pastries. After spending $68, we had to run to another restaurant to seek satisfaction.

1
★★☆☆☆

The decor aims for homey and/or kitchsy but is more reminiscent of a garage sale. It boasts uncomfortable mismatched benches, minuscule tables, myriad dust collectors and hanging ice skates angled to stab diners. (The bruise on my right shoulder is a testament.)

The lack of a restroom may explain why a teapot is only filled with 1.5 cups of water. But there was no apparent explanation for the dry mediocre pastries and slightly stale tea. The menu's pricing and descriptions would seem to indicate more significant portions than the microscopic servings we actually received. Although the flustered woman behind the counter was quite pleasant, she was horribly insufficient to the task at hand, as evidenced by the long wait for some tea and three cold pastries. After spending $68, we had to run to another restaurant to seek satisfaction.

Pros: Teahouse concept

Cons: Decor, food quality and value.

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After a month of awful parties for all my marrying friends I revisited this place and found nothing has changed: Perfect baby cupcakes, wonderful "small plates" of fresh seasonal food (berries in the scones, veggies with a curried dipping sauce for those of us going gluten free), gorgeous cakes (I lapsed, it was worth it), and amazing selections of teas, hot and cold (in tall pitchers with fruit). My very picky foodie friends (including the bride-to-be) pronounced the scones superb and the cream (not clotted, and not supposed to be) delicious.

I think everyone has said everything about this place. I still have fond memories of the bridal shower tea there, and was really impressed by how this tiny tea room handled 35 people without a hostess, wait staff, or sous chef in sight. It couldn't have been more welcoming, and the owner was lovely. We tried to leave a tip with the bill (which broke down, I think, to about $24 per person) but she wouldn't hear of it. It's now my monthly go-to for relaxation and just-baked goodies, as well as the occasional full-on tea splurge. As I said before, loved it.

2
★★★★★

After a month of awful parties for all my marrying friends I revisited this place and found nothing has changed: Perfect baby cupcakes, wonderful "small plates" of fresh seasonal food (berries in the scones, veggies with a curried dipping sauce for those of us going gluten free), gorgeous cakes (I lapsed, it was worth it), and amazing selections of teas, hot and cold (in tall pitchers with fruit). My very picky foodie friends (including the bride-to-be) pronounced the scones superb and the cream (not clotted, and not supposed to be) delicious.

I think everyone has said everything about this place. I still have fond memories of the bridal shower tea there, and was really impressed by how this tiny tea room handled 35 people without a hostess, wait staff, or sous chef in sight. It couldn't have been more welcoming, and the owner was lovely. We tried to leave a tip with the bill (which broke down, I think, to about $24 per person) but she wouldn't hear of it. It's now my monthly go-to for relaxation and just-baked goodies, as well as the occasional full-on tea splurge. As I said before, loved it.

Pros: Small endearing tea room with good food

Cons: Lots of quirkiness to embrace, if you can

.

The scents, sounds and tastes of Podunk all combine into the most peaceful spot in the East Village, if not the whole city. The tea is delicious and wonderfully presented. The food is yummy and comes in decent portions. The price is even reasonable if you consider that you're getting a full meal, plus a beverage, and gratuities are included. I am in LOVE with the owner, she always takes the time to get to know you and is a hoot. This is my new favorite place!

2
★★★★★

The scents, sounds and tastes of Podunk all combine into the most peaceful spot in the East Village, if not the whole city. The tea is delicious and wonderfully presented. The food is yummy and comes in decent portions. The price is even reasonable if you consider that you're getting a full meal, plus a beverage, and gratuities are included. I am in LOVE with the owner, she always takes the time to get to know you and is a hoot. This is my new favorite place!

Pros: Wonderful owner, delicious tea and food (seriously yummy), good sized portions

Cons: Maybe the price, but it's not that bad

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It's a really charming little place. It is a bit pricey, but the tea and service make up for the money. There is a huge variety of tea, which come in cute pots that you take on a tray. There are a lot of baked goods as well. The owner is really nice and friendly and knows exactly what you want. It is also a good place to get away from the city and just read. It is very homey and cozy.

4
★★★★☆

It's a really charming little place. It is a bit pricey, but the tea and service make up for the money. There is a huge variety of tea, which come in cute pots that you take on a tray. There are a lot of baked goods as well. The owner is really nice and friendly and knows exactly what you want. It is also a good place to get away from the city and just read. It is very homey and cozy.

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I caught this place while walking back from brunch on E5th street in March. It looked so cute on the outside and I could smell it too so I took a peep inside and fell in love right away. As a student, I saw that the menu was a bit out of my price range so I waited until I had some money to go back. I fell in love again when I finally tried the place out in May. I had the Nibbler which comes with scones, cheddar cookies, almond tea cakes, and dried apricots with blue cheese and an assortment of jams and cream! A recommended kettle of tea is included with the dish and while the place has over 100 teas I go for the food (pastries, haven't tried the tea sandwiches yet) because it is just that good! The teas I have tried are also fab! I love the woman that works there; she makes recommendations and tea substitutions for me and we always seem to make nice small talk. She has even thrown in a couple extra free cookies for me and my friend! I have already been 3 times this August and I plan to take my mom there when she visits next week & return before school starts up again. You are a fool NOT to discover this place! Last time I went I was happy to see a group of 6 girls and I overheard them saying how excited they were to order and try something new. I thought I was the only obsessed fan!

Only con: a bit pricey, although worth every sip & bite

2
★★★★★

I caught this place while walking back from brunch on E5th street in March. It looked so cute on the outside and I could smell it too so I took a peep inside and fell in love right away. As a student, I saw that the menu was a bit out of my price range so I waited until I had some money to go back. I fell in love again when I finally tried the place out in May. I had the Nibbler which comes with scones, cheddar cookies, almond tea cakes, and dried apricots with blue cheese and an assortment of jams and cream! A recommended kettle of tea is included with the dish and while the place has over 100 teas I go for the food (pastries, haven't tried the tea sandwiches yet) because it is just that good! The teas I have tried are also fab! I love the woman that works there; she makes recommendations and tea substitutions for me and we always seem to make nice small talk. She has even thrown in a couple extra free cookies for me and my friend! I have already been 3 times this August and I plan to take my mom there when she visits next week & return before school starts up again. You are a fool NOT to discover this place! Last time I went I was happy to see a group of 6 girls and I overheard them saying how excited they were to order and try something new. I thought I was the only obsessed fan!

Only con: a bit pricey, although worth every sip & bite

Pros: Delicous! Comfortable atmosphere. Friendly service! Feels like you're drinking tea and eating pastries at home!

Cons: For me, a bit pricey but again...worth every bite!

.

After a sweaty day in NYC I needed a cuppa and Podunk came to the rescue. Down what appears to be a residential street lies this bizarre and wonderful tea room. Furnished with assorted garden tables and chairs, giving it a little junk shop chic, the owner bakes up a storm and serves a wonderful tea (you choose from a list of over 100 blends). The day I went the place was filled with the scent of freshly baked cinnamon apple cake (which tasted as good as it smelt). My daughter and I sat and had a quiet cup of tea and cake and it was lovely.

As for the moaners below, may I suggest you stick to the usual suspects and leave Podunk to those of us who truly appreciate the peace and tranquility of one of New York's gems?

2
★★★★★

After a sweaty day in NYC I needed a cuppa and Podunk came to the rescue. Down what appears to be a residential street lies this bizarre and wonderful tea room. Furnished with assorted garden tables and chairs, giving it a little junk shop chic, the owner bakes up a storm and serves a wonderful tea (you choose from a list of over 100 blends). The day I went the place was filled with the scent of freshly baked cinnamon apple cake (which tasted as good as it smelt). My daughter and I sat and had a quiet cup of tea and cake and it was lovely.

As for the moaners below, may I suggest you stick to the usual suspects and leave Podunk to those of us who truly appreciate the peace and tranquility of one of New York's gems?

Pros: quiet, wacky, delicious food

Cons: no loos, but now you know, it's not a problem

.

My best friend introduced me to Podunk a month after it first opened. Now, 6 years later, I still find this haven to be my home away from home. I go in atleast once a month and, against some reviewers' opinions, have never had an experience less than excellent. Elsbeth (the owner) takes great pride in her 'shop' and even more pride in her patrons. Beyond the never failing tea recommendations, amazing cupcakes, and that really yummy coconut and chocolate thing that I can never remember the name of, I always find Podunk the perfect place to catch up with a new-old friend (Elsbeth) and spend some time alone reading or writing. If you are looking for a starbucks type environment where you can linger without buying anything or talk loundly on your phone or click away at the laptop or email incessantly on your blackberry, this place isn't for you. If you are looking for a sweetly quiet oasis without the "typical NY hubbub" this is your place!

2
★★★★★

My best friend introduced me to Podunk a month after it first opened. Now, 6 years later, I still find this haven to be my home away from home. I go in atleast once a month and, against some reviewers' opinions, have never had an experience less than excellent. Elsbeth (the owner) takes great pride in her 'shop' and even more pride in her patrons. Beyond the never failing tea recommendations, amazing cupcakes, and that really yummy coconut and chocolate thing that I can never remember the name of, I always find Podunk the perfect place to catch up with a new-old friend (Elsbeth) and spend some time alone reading or writing. If you are looking for a starbucks type environment where you can linger without buying anything or talk loundly on your phone or click away at the laptop or email incessantly on your blackberry, this place isn't for you. If you are looking for a sweetly quiet oasis without the "typical NY hubbub" this is your place!

.

The owner of this store is wonderful. She is so sweet and the food/tea are excellent! The prices are a lot lower than most tea places. Seats aren't terribly comfortable, and there is no bathroom! Also, cash only!

2
★★★★★

The owner of this store is wonderful. She is so sweet and the food/tea are excellent! The prices are a lot lower than most tea places. Seats aren't terribly comfortable, and there is no bathroom! Also, cash only!

.

Do I have this right? You were in a place that, duh, everyone loves, left to go to the bathroom, still came back for tea, had an hour and a half to enjoy the tea and conduct your lesson and when they asked for the table they gave you FREE tea. And this is the worst thing that's ever happened to you in eighteen years? You are one seriously lucky teacher (Mind YOU, your composition skills are sadly lacking.) Also, I'm not sure why Saturday between 2 and 4, a time when Podunk is notoriously packed (since many people associate that time with High Tea Time) struck you as a good time for teaching in a tearoom. Have you considered a Classroom? Maybe your own office?

2
★★★★★

Do I have this right? You were in a place that, duh, everyone loves, left to go to the bathroom, still came back for tea, had an hour and a half to enjoy the tea and conduct your lesson and when they asked for the table they gave you FREE tea. And this is the worst thing that's ever happened to you in eighteen years? You are one seriously lucky teacher (Mind YOU, your composition skills are sadly lacking.) Also, I'm not sure why Saturday between 2 and 4, a time when Podunk is notoriously packed (since many people associate that time with High Tea Time) struck you as a good time for teaching in a tearoom. Have you considered a Classroom? Maybe your own office?

.

I went into Podunk on Sat. afternoon at 2 pm to meet my student to conduct a private English conversation class. I ordered tea for 2 . When asked to use the bathroom, we were told the there are no bathrooms. We had to go to the Moonstruck diner across the street. About an hour and half later, this gentleman who works in the tea shop rudely came over to my table to take my tea tray away. I told him I wasn't done which he replied to me that I have been here long enough. Then minutes later, the woman with the bonnet and spectacles rudely walked over to my table and told me to leave without even paying for the tea.. She said she needed the tables and that I have been in her shop too long taking up space. Mind you, the tables were not all occupied. I have never been treated soo rude after my 18 years of living in NYC. I am disgusted by the service of this shop. How can a food establishment not allow people to use the bathroom. Why have a tea salon if there is a time frame for how long one is allowed to spend in a shop. I warn anyone who steps foot into this establishment of these nasty owners who dress up pretending to look like humble nursery rhyme characters who then turn into ugly evil witches!

0
★☆☆☆☆

I went into Podunk on Sat. afternoon at 2 pm to meet my student to conduct a private English conversation class. I ordered tea for 2 . When asked to use the bathroom, we were told the there are no bathrooms. We had to go to the Moonstruck diner across the street. About an hour and half later, this gentleman who works in the tea shop rudely came over to my table to take my tea tray away. I told him I wasn't done which he replied to me that I have been here long enough. Then minutes later, the woman with the bonnet and spectacles rudely walked over to my table and told me to leave without even paying for the tea.. She said she needed the tables and that I have been in her shop too long taking up space. Mind you, the tables were not all occupied. I have never been treated soo rude after my 18 years of living in NYC. I am disgusted by the service of this shop. How can a food establishment not allow people to use the bathroom. Why have a tea salon if there is a time frame for how long one is allowed to spend in a shop. I warn anyone who steps foot into this establishment of these nasty owners who dress up pretending to look like humble nursery rhyme characters who then turn into ugly evil witches!

.

Once a month or so, I leave my midtown office (I work in television) for a quiet street in the East Village where I have a ladies' luncheon tea at Podunk. Six buttered cucumber sandwiches bracket a beautiful platter of fresh veggies and greens, and cake or scones and cream finish my meal. I sometimes order bite-size tea pies instead of the sandwiches, when I want something hot. Going to Podunk is like taking a mini-vacation, as others have noticed; the room is usually quiet enough for reading or reflection, even when there are conversations going on at other tables. I've even come to recognize other customers who deeply love the place--I think we all believe we're "in" on something special. Everyone I've brought to the tiny tearoom likes it enormously, and the owner has been unfailingly courteous at the minimum and at best, warmly welcoming. So I'm not sure why she's gotten the negative press, or what provoked her, or why people who in their reviews admit that they weren't even paying customers are allowed to comment here. It's not exactly a community center, no matter how welcome you feel there--it's a business. That old adage about the customer is always right only kicks in if, duh, you're actually a customer.

2
★★★★★

Once a month or so, I leave my midtown office (I work in television) for a quiet street in the East Village where I have a ladies' luncheon tea at Podunk. Six buttered cucumber sandwiches bracket a beautiful platter of fresh veggies and greens, and cake or scones and cream finish my meal. I sometimes order bite-size tea pies instead of the sandwiches, when I want something hot. Going to Podunk is like taking a mini-vacation, as others have noticed; the room is usually quiet enough for reading or reflection, even when there are conversations going on at other tables. I've even come to recognize other customers who deeply love the place--I think we all believe we're "in" on something special. Everyone I've brought to the tiny tearoom likes it enormously, and the owner has been unfailingly courteous at the minimum and at best, warmly welcoming. So I'm not sure why she's gotten the negative press, or what provoked her, or why people who in their reviews admit that they weren't even paying customers are allowed to comment here. It's not exactly a community center, no matter how welcome you feel there--it's a business. That old adage about the customer is always right only kicks in if, duh, you're actually a customer.

Pros: Great place to read or bring friends

.

The first time I walked into Podunk--two weeks ago--I was speechless. Every table was full (except a round picnic table in the back--I took it over). The lights are so bright and the place is so clean and cute that I just started smiling as I approached the counter. A woman behind the counter--she looked like a Mrs. Beasley doll--was arranging little buttons on plates--no, they were cookies--and another plate had small dishes of jam in jewel-bright colors, and scones about the same size as the jam dishes. She asked me what was on my mind, and I asked for the tea list. She said, "Make yourself at home, and holler when you know what you'd like." HOLLER. I ordered a cream tea--that was the jam and scones, and when I was done I said, "What kind of tea is this?" I meant the country of origin of this kind of tea service. She said it was just how she liked to have tea and she hoped others would too. Well, others do--that's me. And the room was so noisy with people enjoying their tea, too, and they seemed to share my point of view.
OH. I did see her ask two girls to leave--they said they were waiting for someone but even after I had my tea, they still hadn't ordered. Maybe she needs one of those snooty waiters to manage the room. All I can say is Podunk made me very happy. I will return there soon.

2
★★★★★

The first time I walked into Podunk--two weeks ago--I was speechless. Every table was full (except a round picnic table in the back--I took it over). The lights are so bright and the place is so clean and cute that I just started smiling as I approached the counter. A woman behind the counter--she looked like a Mrs. Beasley doll--was arranging little buttons on plates--no, they were cookies--and another plate had small dishes of jam in jewel-bright colors, and scones about the same size as the jam dishes. She asked me what was on my mind, and I asked for the tea list. She said, "Make yourself at home, and holler when you know what you'd like." HOLLER. I ordered a cream tea--that was the jam and scones, and when I was done I said, "What kind of tea is this?" I meant the country of origin of this kind of tea service. She said it was just how she liked to have tea and she hoped others would too. Well, others do--that's me. And the room was so noisy with people enjoying their tea, too, and they seemed to share my point of view.
OH. I did see her ask two girls to leave--they said they were waiting for someone but even after I had my tea, they still hadn't ordered. Maybe she needs one of those snooty waiters to manage the room. All I can say is Podunk made me very happy. I will return there soon.

Pros: Great tea and food!

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I *do not* recommend this establishment.

Yesterday my friend and I met here. He purchased a specialty tea. The table was small, I arrived after him, and our time was limited; I did not. As we left, a man who seemed to be the owner stood behind the counter and yelled violently at me. He called me a b*tch several times, kept repeating that it was not a "f*ing mcDonald's" and said he never wanted to see my prissy b*tch face again. My friend and I stood there aghast as the owner continued ranting for 2-3 minutes. We just stared at him and left.

I caution against management with such uncontrolled, visceral anger. It would have been far more effective for this owner to kindly suggest that I purchase some [jasmine, etc] tea when I next return.

I thought it was curious that the place was mostly-deserted. Now I am not surprised.

The reviews above indicate that this is not uncommon behavior for this couple.

0
★☆☆☆☆

I *do not* recommend this establishment.

Yesterday my friend and I met here. He purchased a specialty tea. The table was small, I arrived after him, and our time was limited; I did not. As we left, a man who seemed to be the owner stood behind the counter and yelled violently at me. He called me a b*tch several times, kept repeating that it was not a "f*ing mcDonald's" and said he never wanted to see my prissy b*tch face again. My friend and I stood there aghast as the owner continued ranting for 2-3 minutes. We just stared at him and left.

I caution against management with such uncontrolled, visceral anger. It would have been far more effective for this owner to kindly suggest that I purchase some [jasmine, etc] tea when I next return.

I thought it was curious that the place was mostly-deserted. Now I am not surprised.

The reviews above indicate that this is not uncommon behavior for this couple.

.

As a regular at Podunk, it is my second home. Sometimes wanting to camp out and waking up to the wonderful aromas of Elspeth's baked goodies. The environment is friendly, relaxing and quite. It's rare to find a place like Podunk , it's my oasis from the busy city. The decor of antiques and vintage furniture draws you in and you fall in love with the place. Then you have the habit of coming back every week and becoming a regular. The selection of teas are vast and impressive. I recommend the toasted coconut It's one of my favorites. All of Elspeth's baked goodies are praise worthy. I recommend trying everything because I love all her baked goods. If I had to recommend a baked goodie on the first visit, it would be the cardamon cake. Just keep going back till you've tried it all.
All the negative feedback on Podunk is a bunch of crock. I'm sure the people who had bad comments on Podunk were rude and being inconsiderate. There are policies that aren't blatantly written: like no cell phones and laptops, So what !!! Be respectful and be considerate to Elspeth other people. Plus people came to enjoy their tea peacefully. I only have good recommendations for Podunk. By the way Elspeth is the sweetest and nicest person. She is AWESOME!!!!

2
★★★★★

As a regular at Podunk, it is my second home. Sometimes wanting to camp out and waking up to the wonderful aromas of Elspeth's baked goodies. The environment is friendly, relaxing and quite. It's rare to find a place like Podunk , it's my oasis from the busy city. The decor of antiques and vintage furniture draws you in and you fall in love with the place. Then you have the habit of coming back every week and becoming a regular. The selection of teas are vast and impressive. I recommend the toasted coconut It's one of my favorites. All of Elspeth's baked goodies are praise worthy. I recommend trying everything because I love all her baked goods. If I had to recommend a baked goodie on the first visit, it would be the cardamon cake. Just keep going back till you've tried it all.
All the negative feedback on Podunk is a bunch of crock. I'm sure the people who had bad comments on Podunk were rude and being inconsiderate. There are policies that aren't blatantly written: like no cell phones and laptops, So what !!! Be respectful and be considerate to Elspeth other people. Plus people came to enjoy their tea peacefully. I only have good recommendations for Podunk. By the way Elspeth is the sweetest and nicest person. She is AWESOME!!!!

Pros: ambience and baked goods

Cons: can't get enough

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I love podunk very much. The scones are fluffy and the cookies are tasty. There are many teas, hot and cold.
the lavender lime iced tea is very nice on the yellow table they have outside when it's warm and in the cold
hot tea like vanilla or mint is with a book or friend is nice and relaxing. I love the Cream Tea with, scones with jam and cream and fruit compote. It's a great place to go when you want to read alone or when you need something new to try, or to take your friends to. The owner is very nice and helped me pick out tea when it was my first time. I would recommend it to anybody.

2
★★★★★

I love podunk very much. The scones are fluffy and the cookies are tasty. There are many teas, hot and cold.
the lavender lime iced tea is very nice on the yellow table they have outside when it's warm and in the cold
hot tea like vanilla or mint is with a book or friend is nice and relaxing. I love the Cream Tea with, scones with jam and cream and fruit compote. It's a great place to go when you want to read alone or when you need something new to try, or to take your friends to. The owner is very nice and helped me pick out tea when it was my first time. I would recommend it to anybody.

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I stopped by podunk, which appears to be a charming little tea shop one day, and as I approached the counter, the woman behind it began immediately acting strange and exasperated by my presence. I looked through the tea selection, and decided that instead of having a whole teapot for $14 (you cant just get a cup of tea, you have to buy a whole teapot), my boyfriend and I would each purchase some pastries and sit at their table outside. Upon informing the woman of this, she was very rude and informed me that I had to buy a teapot of tea to stay- If I didnt buy tea, I had to leave with my pastries. I was astonished and replied "You mean you're forcing me to buy tea or leave?' to which she claimed she was enforcing some 'backroom policies'. It was simultaneously humiliating and infuriating, and I left wondering what had just happened. I would never go back there again, as I found it to be the most unwelcoming establishment I've ever been in, and, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

0
★☆☆☆☆

I stopped by podunk, which appears to be a charming little tea shop one day, and as I approached the counter, the woman behind it began immediately acting strange and exasperated by my presence. I looked through the tea selection, and decided that instead of having a whole teapot for $14 (you cant just get a cup of tea, you have to buy a whole teapot), my boyfriend and I would each purchase some pastries and sit at their table outside. Upon informing the woman of this, she was very rude and informed me that I had to buy a teapot of tea to stay- If I didnt buy tea, I had to leave with my pastries. I was astonished and replied "You mean you're forcing me to buy tea or leave?' to which she claimed she was enforcing some 'backroom policies'. It was simultaneously humiliating and infuriating, and I left wondering what had just happened. I would never go back there again, as I found it to be the most unwelcoming establishment I've ever been in, and, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

Pros: Charming appearance

Cons: incredibly rude counter service

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Podunk is place I love to go to with friends, or on my own. The tea is refreashing the cookies are delightful, and may people can't see to see what a gem this place really is. All I hear in the negitive reviews are people whining because this place was something they didn't expect. Podunk isn't a place to park yourself it's a place to enjoy yourself and your company.

2
★★★★★

Podunk is place I love to go to with friends, or on my own. The tea is refreashing the cookies are delightful, and may people can't see to see what a gem this place really is. All I hear in the negitive reviews are people whining because this place was something they didn't expect. Podunk isn't a place to park yourself it's a place to enjoy yourself and your company.

Pros: Everything

Cons: people don't always get it

.

After hearing about Podunk from a friend who billed it as "mom friendly", I decided to take my mother, visiting from out of state, for afternoon tea. We arrived in the late afternoon on Thursday to the small, cute establishment on E. 5th. We easily located a table in the near-empty establishment and the propietor instructed us to read the menus at the table and then return to the counter to place our order. We scoured the menu for any basic tea/scone/sandwich combo and were hard-pressed to located anything for less than $40. We finally settled on the "Ladies Luncheon" ($35 + $3 ice tea surcharge)... and proceeded to wait nearly 30 minutes for anything to arrive. When I went to the counter during the wait to inquire as to the whereabouts of the bathroom, the schoolmarm-esque owner replied that it was their "achile's heel" -- they had no toilet. I asked her if there might be a sink I could use to wash my dirty hands. She walked away and returned minutes later with a two brown paper towels: one was moist with soap, she told me; the second was drenched in water. She offered this elementary school solution to me in all seriousness, while simultaneously feigning sympathy for my predicament. I returned to my table, aghast, and waited with my mom for our tea to arrive. The owner yelled for me to pick up the heavy tray of tea & food when it was ready, and watched me to struggle to carry it across the place.

The salad was tasty if not tiny, strawberry scone was average at best, and yellow cake with chocolate frosting was ordinary, bordering on the dry. All in all, the lady is clueless when it comes to customer service and everything is overpriced for what you get. Were the owner polite and sweet, I could overlook the overpriced food (I live in New York, after all). But truthfully, the experience was so negative I don't know how this woman plans to stay in business. Don't indulge her fantasies -- stay away from Podunk.

1
★★☆☆☆

After hearing about Podunk from a friend who billed it as "mom friendly", I decided to take my mother, visiting from out of state, for afternoon tea. We arrived in the late afternoon on Thursday to the small, cute establishment on E. 5th. We easily located a table in the near-empty establishment and the propietor instructed us to read the menus at the table and then return to the counter to place our order. We scoured the menu for any basic tea/scone/sandwich combo and were hard-pressed to located anything for less than $40. We finally settled on the "Ladies Luncheon" ($35 + $3 ice tea surcharge)... and proceeded to wait nearly 30 minutes for anything to arrive. When I went to the counter during the wait to inquire as to the whereabouts of the bathroom, the schoolmarm-esque owner replied that it was their "achile's heel" -- they had no toilet. I asked her if there might be a sink I could use to wash my dirty hands. She walked away and returned minutes later with a two brown paper towels: one was moist with soap, she told me; the second was drenched in water. She offered this elementary school solution to me in all seriousness, while simultaneously feigning sympathy for my predicament. I returned to my table, aghast, and waited with my mom for our tea to arrive. The owner yelled for me to pick up the heavy tray of tea & food when it was ready, and watched me to struggle to carry it across the place.

The salad was tasty if not tiny, strawberry scone was average at best, and yellow cake with chocolate frosting was ordinary, bordering on the dry. All in all, the lady is clueless when it comes to customer service and everything is overpriced for what you get. Were the owner polite and sweet, I could overlook the overpriced food (I live in New York, after all). But truthfully, the experience was so negative I don't know how this woman plans to stay in business. Don't indulge her fantasies -- stay away from Podunk.

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This is a lovely calm oasis in the middle of a bustling city. I went there recently to have tea with a friend. After being happily overwhelmed by the tea selections, we each chose a special Podunk blend. I had orange mint sencha and the mint was fresh, making for a truely fragrant cup of tea. My friend had a chai blend which she loved. We both also really enjoyed the cupcakes with fluffy pink icing. The decor is whimsical and charming and the woman who runs the place was very kind and cheerful--just who you'd want running a tea shop. Don't miss this place.

2
★★★★★

This is a lovely calm oasis in the middle of a bustling city. I went there recently to have tea with a friend. After being happily overwhelmed by the tea selections, we each chose a special Podunk blend. I had orange mint sencha and the mint was fresh, making for a truely fragrant cup of tea. My friend had a chai blend which she loved. We both also really enjoyed the cupcakes with fluffy pink icing. The decor is whimsical and charming and the woman who runs the place was very kind and cheerful--just who you'd want running a tea shop. Don't miss this place.

Pros: Tea, Food, Ambiance

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Today was my second time to try Podunk and I live on the block. I had had an unpleasnat experience there once before because the women who owns it was super rude and jumped on us to order or get out before we could even get our coats off.
Then today, she proceeded to tell us no laptops as I was meeting old friends and wanted to show them some photos. She said "Good thing I have not put your order in, since you are not allowed to have laptops in here and you should find another place" That is just what we did. The biscuits are not worth the price or the aggrevation. This lady needs to chill out. I will never go back again and I hope you do not go there either.

0
★☆☆☆☆

Today was my second time to try Podunk and I live on the block. I had had an unpleasnat experience there once before because the women who owns it was super rude and jumped on us to order or get out before we could even get our coats off.
Then today, she proceeded to tell us no laptops as I was meeting old friends and wanted to show them some photos. She said "Good thing I have not put your order in, since you are not allowed to have laptops in here and you should find another place" That is just what we did. The biscuits are not worth the price or the aggrevation. This lady needs to chill out. I will never go back again and I hope you do not go there either.

Cons: expensive, rude

.

I want to recommend Podunk, but after a recent negative experience I must qualify the unequivocally positive reviews it's received! I've been a few times and loved the baked goods -- delicious and truly unique. However, the owner has been frightfully moody and possessive of her space. I stopped by recently with a friend. When we noticed it was empty we opted to go for a walk instead. I apologized and we left having not ordered anything. She shouted after us never to come back! I don't know how our decision not to eat there on this particular day qualifies as offensive (particularly since I've been a good customer in the past) but I regard her reaction as totally unacceptable. She also has a no cell phone policy (which I can respect) but enforces it, while letting obnoxious, LOUD patrons yap away at nearby tables.

1
★★★☆☆

I want to recommend Podunk, but after a recent negative experience I must qualify the unequivocally positive reviews it's received! I've been a few times and loved the baked goods -- delicious and truly unique. However, the owner has been frightfully moody and possessive of her space. I stopped by recently with a friend. When we noticed it was empty we opted to go for a walk instead. I apologized and we left having not ordered anything. She shouted after us never to come back! I don't know how our decision not to eat there on this particular day qualifies as offensive (particularly since I've been a good customer in the past) but I regard her reaction as totally unacceptable. She also has a no cell phone policy (which I can respect) but enforces it, while letting obnoxious, LOUD patrons yap away at nearby tables.

Pros: Food, Uniqueness

Cons: Moody Owner, Inconsistent service, Pricey

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Amazing baked goods prepared by the charming owner. Perfect place for tea along with sweet or savory scones. My friends and I are looking forward to going back.

2
★★★★★

Amazing baked goods prepared by the charming owner. Perfect place for tea along with sweet or savory scones. My friends and I are looking forward to going back.

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wow, what can i say about this little haven? it's totally charming and cute and unpretentious. and the owner is simply lovely and friendly. the teas are great and all the sweets are homemade. i love it here!

2
★★★★★

wow, what can i say about this little haven? it's totally charming and cute and unpretentious. and the owner is simply lovely and friendly. the teas are great and all the sweets are homemade. i love it here!

Pros: cozy, chill, friendly

.

This is the kind of gem you don't find often in Manhattan: an honest business based on providing the highest quality service and products without any attitude or strings attached. The savory and sweet scones are melt-in-your-mouth amazing. The cookies are way better than the ones you get in the fancy bakeries. Long list of teas to choose from. The service is efficient and cheerful. And they refuse tips! This place has tons more class than any fancy hotel's high tea. They'll even let you have the whole place for showers or private parties.

2
★★★★★

This is the kind of gem you don't find often in Manhattan: an honest business based on providing the highest quality service and products without any attitude or strings attached. The savory and sweet scones are melt-in-your-mouth amazing. The cookies are way better than the ones you get in the fancy bakeries. Long list of teas to choose from. The service is efficient and cheerful. And they refuse tips! This place has tons more class than any fancy hotel's high tea. They'll even let you have the whole place for showers or private parties.

.

This is one of those little gems you stumble upon and keep coming back. It's a tiny quaint tea salon with a super friendly owner that serves delicious fresh baked goods. The kind you wish you could still get from your neighborhood bake sale. Scones are perfectly sweet, chocolate cake is so moist it doesn't need frosting. And the cupcakes were great. I only hope they make they with chocolate frosting every day (instead of once in a while!)

2
★★★★★

This is one of those little gems you stumble upon and keep coming back. It's a tiny quaint tea salon with a super friendly owner that serves delicious fresh baked goods. The kind you wish you could still get from your neighborhood bake sale. Scones are perfectly sweet, chocolate cake is so moist it doesn't need frosting. And the cupcakes were great. I only hope they make they with chocolate frosting every day (instead of once in a while!)

Pros: Great sweets, Tiny, cute location

.

Cute and cozy with excellent coffee and tea. Went there today and received excellent service from Espeth the owner. (believe that's how she spells her name). Also had a nice little chat with her. If you're looking for a place to meet and chill, while snacking and drinking some great coffee and tea, plus EXCELLENT service, this is the place. Note that it's closed on Mondays.

2
★★★★★

Cute and cozy with excellent coffee and tea. Went there today and received excellent service from Espeth the owner. (believe that's how she spells her name). Also had a nice little chat with her. If you're looking for a place to meet and chill, while snacking and drinking some great coffee and tea, plus EXCELLENT service, this is the place. Note that it's closed on Mondays.

Pros: friendly service, large tea variety, fresh coffee

Cons: closed Mondays

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There seems to be a small tea boom in the East Village, New York. Several tea houses poppped up almost simultaneously. Since I personally prefer tea over coffee, it is a welcome trend. There are a few others that I haven't tried yet, but I recommend Podunk highly. Ambience is probably the most important aspect of cafes, since what drives us to cafes isn't so much what we consume there, but the quality time with our friends or by ourselves. Podunk is very cozy, warm, and friendly. My Jasmine tea and a sticky bun were exeptionally good. It is a kind of cafe that you wish you had on your block.

2
★★★★☆

There seems to be a small tea boom in the East Village, New York. Several tea houses poppped up almost simultaneously. Since I personally prefer tea over coffee, it is a welcome trend. There are a few others that I haven't tried yet, but I recommend Podunk highly. Ambience is probably the most important aspect of cafes, since what drives us to cafes isn't so much what we consume there, but the quality time with our friends or by ourselves. Podunk is very cozy, warm, and friendly. My Jasmine tea and a sticky bun were exeptionally good. It is a kind of cafe that you wish you had on your block.

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My Podunk experience is limited to one perfect, pink-frosted cupcake to go...but that's enough to sound my approval. The incredibly nice woman behind the counter (and the pink frosting) will ensure I come back.

2
★★★★★

My Podunk experience is limited to one perfect, pink-frosted cupcake to go...but that's enough to sound my approval. The incredibly nice woman behind the counter (and the pink frosting) will ensure I come back.

 

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