Franchia is a vegan cafe with a Korean twist. It’s one of my favorite vegan spots in the city. Now, with that said, I’m not in love with everything on the menu as some dishes are far better than others. I won’t critique the dishes I don’t like but, I will say that I feel uncertain about the soy being used. And I am not talking in terms of the quality of the soy (I like to think they use or try to use the best), but rather that sometimes it tastes redundant, like the soy in the curry dish is the same as the soy in the sushi roll and its not re-invented for the sake of the dish. It feels like its thrown, mixed in, and sometimes leaves the dish with a flavor to be desired. If you’re a big soy fan, it may not matter much to you on how it’s prepared or seasoned, but it’s something I’ve noted after the many times I’ve been here. Okay, with that out of the way, here’s what to get when you go.
They have a very, very, nice selection of tea. If you’re a tea person, Franchia will not disappoint. My favorite is the Shissandra tea which they serve iced or hot with bits of almond on top. It’s a little on a sweet side but I loooooove this tea. It’s what brings me here.
The Assorted Mixed Fried Dumplings
A combination of mixed vegetable dumplings, kale dumplings, spicy kimchi dumplings, and soy & grain ‘meat’ dumplings. Excellent starter. The dumplings are nice and crispy, and the veggies marinate nicely inside without feeling overwhelmingly soggy.
Bibimbap & Stone Bowls
It’s kind of what the chain is known for. Not one of my personal faves but my sister orders it every time we come here. Hangawi, which is an upscale equivalent of Franchia, serves the same dish but charges about 30 bucks for it. Yea its organic but…meh. If you can’t get a reservation or table at Hangawi, stop by Franchia. You’ll save 10 bucks.
Chocolate Mocha Cake
Okay, so I saved the best for last. OHMYGAWD this cake…I don’t even like chocolate cake but Franchia/Hangawi take it to another level. First of all, this cake is non-dairy and made with almond flour and almond extract. Every time I order this dessert, I’m baffled on how they get the moist, texture and richness without eggs and butter. Jesus, how do they do it?! Honestly just go for the cake and add the soy vanilla almond ice cream (PLEASE) and you will not be sorry. Order it as soon as you sit down cause it sells out quickly. I’m serious.