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Anyone who thinks the Midwest doesn’t have authentic Chinese food is in serious need of a pilgrimage to Tea House. Luckily, this genre-defining restaurant is eager to educate. Located near the University of Minnesota, it primarily serves the exacting standards of an international student population seeking a taste of home—and China’s a massive country, so that’s actually quite difficult to deliver. Tea House rises to the challenge with a menu that pays homage to home-style cuisines as diverse as the far-reaching cities it encompasses. There are those tear-inducing Szechuan sensations, hand-pulled noodles drenched in red-hot chili oil and peppercorns, Yangtze riverside variations on walleye, Xinjiang lamb seasoned with Middle Eastern spices, and red bean Cantonese desserts. It’s both a wonderful restaurant to visit if you’re lucky enough to have friends who enjoy pigging out together, and a surprisingly underrated date spot.
Best Chinese Restaurant - 2019

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Szechuan: Tea House (TeaHouseUMN.com) has some of the most true-to-form, authentic Szechuan dishes in town, the fish filet with pickled vegetables being a prime example, but it hides its greatness beneath a veneer of Minnesota nice buffet choices.
August 2011, Mpls St. Paul Magazine, Page 61

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If you're looking to add a little spice to your culinary life, try Tea House, with locations in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Plymouth, as well as a new site on the University of Minnesota campus. With its authentic Szechuan menu, Tea House is not for the faint of heart. But if your Scandinavian palate can't handle the spicy bamboo tips or the house spicy beef, you don't have to be a hero. There's plenty to choose from, including the standard (read: Americanized) sesame or sweet-and-sour chicken, tea-smoked duck, and mu shu pork. Although if you dare, the spicy pork belly, pork ear in Szechuan spicy sauce, and the restaurant's signature juicy buns are worth the risk.
Best Chinese Restaurant - 2011

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With a new outpost by the U of M, the critically acclaimed Tea House is becoming a northern Chinese restaurant dynasty. Just a block from TCF Bank Stadium, the new spot is the most ambitious of the three.
September 2010, Mpls St. Paul Magazine, Page 158

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Walls with transforming colors, kissing booths and private rooms fill the fourth and most intricate location of the Tea House restaurant.

Located one block southeast of TCF Bank Stadium, the new Chinese restaurant will host its grand opening Monday.
Full Article, April 14, 2010

Minnesota Daily

Fish with pickled vegetables at Tea House. If there is a better Chinese dish in town, I haven’t eaten it. New!
Andrew Zimmern's food & dining blog, January 1, 2010

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IF YOU'RE ACCUSTOMED TO CHAIN-STANDARD, Minnesota-does-Chinese-food fare, you'll find a welcome reprieve in Plymouth's Tea House Chinese Restaurant. In fact, you might be overwhelmed by the dual menus, six-plus pages of authentic Szechuan specialties and knowledgeable staff. But if you crave atmosphere and an authentic dish, we recommend the nondescript little shop off Nathan Lane. ...
October, 2009, Plymouth Magazine, Page 10 to 11

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The restaurant, which has three other locations in the Twin Cities, will offer traditional Chinese dishes, a large selection of noodle soups and perhaps the city’s first ever half-Chinese, half-American breakfast. Given its proximity to a hotel, the owners decided offering American breakfast was a necessity, and hired a local chef to prepare it, co-owner Yolanda Wang said. ...
Full Article, September 9, 2009

Minnesota Daily

When the "juicy buns" finally arrived at our table, glistening in their stainless steamer, I got reckless.

The Shanghai soup dumplings - steamed pastry filled with meat and hot soup - are tricky to eat. You're supposed to bite a hole in the bottom and let the juice drain into a soupspoon so it can cool while you eat the rest of the dumpling. But it's hard to wait for something so delicious.

So after carefully picking one up with my chopsticks and dipping it into the black vinegar and ginger, I stuck the whole thing in my mouth, praying the exploding contents wouldn't burn me. They did, of course.

But it was worth it.
Full Article, January 3, 2008

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On the other hand, there are ample reasons to dine in at Tea House, not least of which is the elegant room itself—or perhaps I should say the shockingly, jarringly, head-shakingly elegant room, which is all hand-carved wood, blood-red walls, and smartly backlit ornate wooden screens, tucked in the corner of a strip mall that has about as much panache as a runover shoe. Once you're seated on a pretty, hand-carved Chinese chair, be sure to order the restaurant's signature juicy buns ...
Full Article, July 11, 2007

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The opening of the second Tea House in St. Paul last month brings Szechuan cuisine and a Shanghai Dim Sum restaurant to the east metro. The new Tea House is in a strip mall at 1676 Suburban Avenue, just off the White Bear Avenue exit on I-94 in St. Paul.

The plain strip mall setting gives way to a beautiful restaurant interior. The design begins with dark wood screens that line the walls, with intricate carvings, awnings and backlighting to create a relaxing atmosphere. The high back wooden chairs and tables are a more contemporary décor.
May 24, 2007, Asian American Press

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Then, there's the restaurant that opened in a strip mall behind the Target off White Bear Avenue. Tea House, or T2, is an offspring of Tea House in Plymouth.

The owners completely renovated the room, painting the walls the color of raspberry puree and adding screens with backdrop lighting, which add a certain Zen touch.

Anyone who has eaten at the original Tea House will instantly recognize the menu of Szechuan and Chinese favorites - minced chicken lettuce cups, ma po to fu, dan-dan noodles and crab buns. But this place also offers weekend dim sum Shanghai-style (no carts). And, boy, does everything taste good ...
April 19, 2007, Pioneer Press

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At Tea House, if you ask for the special menu you will dine on some of the best Sichuan food in the Twin Cities.
Full Article, April 2006

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The other thing to know about Tea House is that the Szechuan menu is far more interesting than the regular menu.
May 18, 2005, Star Tribune

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Craving Chinese food? Give you taste buds a treat and head over to the Tea House Chinese Restaurant in Plymouth.
April 2005, Plymouth Magazine, Page 16 to 17

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At Tea House, you will find the best Sichuan food in the state.
March 2005, Mpls St. Paul Magazine, Page 173

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Of course, there is no Chinese food, just as there is no Chinese phone number - there are lots of them. It's a big country. But if you want Sichuan, or Szechuan, food, there is only one choice in Minnesota, and that’s the wonderful Tea House, the Chinese restaurant with the special (ask for it!) Sichuan menu.
July 28, 2004, City Pages

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Best Chinese 2019

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Address: 2425 University Avenue SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414 * Phone: (612) 331-8866 * Email: info@TeaHouseUMN.com