Since drinking is pretty much off limits when prego, there were few indulgences I enjoyed more when I was expecting than a proper afternoon tea. I love how everything about it is unapologetically girly, and that I can taste lots of different little things instead of committing to just one big meal (never really fun when dealing with pregnancy nausea). Growing up in New Jersey, you might wonder how I grew accustomed to the tradition of afternoon tea. My grandmother was from Austria, and since she was raised having tea with little sandwiches and sweets after school, she brought that ritual into her daughters’ and then her grandchildren’s lives as well. I’ll never forget her cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut off, with a little cream cheese and salt and pepper.

I’ve been on the hunt for great tea spots in the city since I moved here to help me recreate that tradition from my youth. And while afternoon tea won’t give you that cocktail buzz, it’ll become a guilty pleasure of its very own. Here are my top picks:

Photos courtesy of Elodie T., Shawn R., Ciprian T., Sara B., via yelp.