About Us

Owner and Chef, Klara Muchnik, and her son, Vadim Muchnik, opened Russian Tea Time in 1993. Centrally located in heart of the Chicago’s Downtown, Russian Tea Time has earned the distinction of being one of Chicago’s culinary “landmarks.”

Russian Tea Time patrons enjoy neighboring attractions such as the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Millennium Park and many local theaters. We are delighted to host long-time regulars, tourists, dignitaries, celebrities and fellow Chicagoans who wish to enjoy the exceptional food, house-blended tea, and warm ambiance Russian Tea Time offers.

Russian Tea Time offers a variety of dishes from the diverse regions of the former Soviet Union Republics. Our guests can indulge in an extensive assortment of vegetarian dishes – Tashkent Carrot salad, Eggplant Orientale, Beet Caviar, and golubtsy (cabbage rolls) to name a few. Some of our signature dishes include Pelmeni (meat dumplings), Borscht (Ukrainian soup), Russian Blinis (thick Russian pancakes), wild Game, Caviar, and many more.

Experience our Afternoon Tea Service offered daily from 2:00–4:30 p.m., with our hospitable staff and cozy environment. Indulge in Russian Tea Time’s homemade, delicious, and savory desserts!

Rich mahogany and birch wood finishes, brass samovars, heart-warming balalaika music, and impeccable service create a uniquely warm atmosphere that is perfect for celebrating any special occasion or just enjoying one of Chicago’s treasures!

 

Our Story

The story behind Russian Tea Time Restaurant is unconventional and in many ways, unique. Russian Tea Time opened its doors to customers in September of 1993.

Owner and Chef, Klara Muchnik, was born and raised in Ukraine. In 1967, Klara moved to Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and began her career as a surgical nurse. However, since Klara was a young girl, she had a passion for cooking and baking. She would collect old family recipes and began creating her own in the kitchen. In order to make extra money during harsh economic conditions of the former Soviet Union, Klara pursued her creative talents and began catering weddings, birthdays, and private parties in Tashkent. Her popularity grew overnight, as her delicious, innovative, and honest approach to her craft, made her business grow. While Klara’s cooking was well known throughout Tashkent, she and her family wanted to leave Uzbekistan in search of a better life.

 

In 1990, Klara and her family immigrated to the U.S. and settled in Chicago. The Muchnik’s were determined to build a new home in the U.S. Klara dreamt of opening a restaurant that combined her Russian roots with the rich culinary flavors of the former Soviet Republics, which heavily influenced her fare.

This dream began the inception of Russian Tea Time, as Klara’s son, Vadim, helped transform her vision into a reality, by applying his savvy business and interpersonal skills. Thanks to Vadim’s networking and hard work, the restaurant had already gained popularity across Chicago through word-of-mouth, prior to the grand opening. The mother and son team created a collaborative partnership, which turned into Russian Tea Time.

 

From our family to yours – we appreciate and welcome you to our home!