Korean Food USA is a new series that showcases Korean and Korean-inspired eateries all around the nation.
The English aren’t the only ones who know their tea. Franchia, a vegan cafe and teahouse, and the sister restaurant of Hangawi, is known for its extensive tea selection served in the traditional Korean manner. The Murray Hill joint doesn’t just have your average repertoire of green and white teas, but an extensive looseleaf and herbal selection that includes unique options such as Korean wild green tea from Mt. Jilee, snow dew and date paste tea.
Tea’s not the only thing the restaurant excels in, and there’s a menu of light vegan cuisine that provides a perfect accompaniment. Franchia offers everything from quick bites to pair with tea, such as sweet corn cilantro pancakes and five different kinds of dumplings, to more solid meal options, such as avocado bibimbap with mountain greens and a hearty tofu steak. Indecisive diners can order the prix fixe meal, which comes with a soup or salad, two appetizers, an entree, and dessert, served with tea, of course.
No meal should conclude without something sweet, and dessert is not to be passed at Franchia. The blueberry coconut cake and banana fritters are said to be divine and, since they’re vegan, almost good for you!
12 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10016
[Photos: JL/thisdishisveg, Franchia's website]