Since entering the vegan food blogging world, I've read great things about Franchia Teahouse & Restaurant. I've been interested in trying it out because it's owned by the same folks who own Hangawi, one of my favorite vegan restaurants in NYC.
Once again I found myself spending a day in Manhattan for a day-long conference and the meeting location was three blocks from Franchia. Yes!
I entered the restaurant and immediately noticed the wonderful contrast of dark wood and bright walls and lighting. A great atmosphere for a warm lunch on a cold day.
There are three levels. I sat on the second level, which was a great way to watch the activity below and here the murmur of conversations above.
The menu offers so much. Tea (obviously) and wine to start and hot dishes, cold wraps and sushi. I decided to try the Half Wrap & Soup selection. The soup of the day was a Hot and Sour soup.
The soup was very fresh, the vegetables were slightly crunchy (I love that in a soup) and filled with chunks of tofu.
Oops, I didn't know I was getting tofu in my soup when I ordered the Crispy Tofu Sticks and I'm glad I didn't because these were delicious. I tasted a slight hint of miso in the peanut sauce, which was really terrific.
After enjoying the soup and crispy tofu, my half wrap arrived.
Pretty generous portions for "half!" This rice wrap was filled with vegetables and a plum sauce. It was very good.
As I was finishing my lunch two men sitting next to me couldn't help but notice that I was taking pictures of my food. When their appetizers arrived, one of the men asked if I wanted to take a picture of his food. I laughed...and said, "Yes!" Sadly, I didn't have the flash up and felt it would have been rude to keep him from digging into his hot plate. But since they opened up a conversation I asked, "Are you two vegan?" To which they replied, "No." "Are you vegetarian?" I asked. "No." I then asked, "Is this your first time here?" Nope, they eat at Frachia all the time. Because they love the food. Well I couldn't agree with them more. The food is outstanding.
As I walked out I noticed a great opportunity for last-minute holiday gifts.
One glass of wine, Crispy Tofu Sticks and a Half Wrap & Soup was about $27. Skip the wine and the appetizer and you can eat for well under $20.
Franchia Teahouse & Restaurant
12 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10016
Photo credit: Franchia Teahouse & Restaurant, JL