Tea and Sympathy is this quaint little café in the West Village that seems like it doesn’t really want you to come inside.

It’s tiny and cramped and always packed with people.

You know, the kind of place where the windows are always sweating?

Whenever I walk by, I try to guess exactly how hot it is and my answers are often over 120 degrees.

On top of that, there are some intimidating rules posted hastily on the front door (dubbed “Nicky’s Rules – they’re also printed on your menu) that give off the vibe that perhaps you’re intruding somewhere you don’t belong.

Basically, even though the place is called Tea and Sympathy, you can’t just order tea.

If you do, they will have zero sympathy for you.

And so will I, because I just warned you.

But once you get passed the rules, temperature and spatial limitations, the overall experience is still charming and the food (at least what we ordered) was delicious.

They have your typical British fare (shepherd’s pie, beans on toast, bangers & mash) but I think the thing to order is the Selection of Tea Sandwiches.

For about $15 you are presented with a huge assortment of coffin shaped sandwiches and they are all winners! The usual types are included; egg salad, chicken salad and cucumber cream cheese.

I ordered the sausage roll entrée (with mash and beans, $15.95) and it was enjoyable but not as good as the tea sandwiches.

I do think no matter what you order here, you’ll walk away satisfied.

As long as you haven’t broken any of Nicky’s Rules, that is.

I mean, they’re not too bad. Just basically reminding you that the waitstaff is always right, you must order $12.50 worth of food/drink per person and remember that tipping is customary in the US.

Basically, just reminding you how to eat at a restaurant like a human.

108 Greenwich Ave
New York, NY 10011 b/t Jane St & 12th St
West Village

(212) 989-9735