franchia vegan cafe & lula’s sweet apothecary

since moving to new york i had a goal to try every vegan joint in new york city. i don’t go out to eat very often, and when i do i tend to stick to the places i love. last night i met up with my friend melanie again and we tried a place neither of us had been to. franchia vegan cafe had great reviews and what seemed to be an impressive menu of noodles, stone bowls & sushi rolls. they even had an entire dumpling section on the menu. i must have pretty high standards for ethnic vegan food from my time in the bay area. i mean really who can compete with burma superstar, golden lotus & cha ya vegetarian? i was not impressed with franchia. at all. i think wild ginger & dao palate are way better than franchia. the service was sub par and the food didn’t excite me enough to ever come back.

we started with the spicy “chicken” drumsticks and the dumpling sampler. i enjoyed the dumplings. the drumsticks were cold and the texture wasn’t the best. i’ve had drumsticks at golden lotus and pizza plaza in oakland, ca and those were AMAZING. franchia’s drumsticks were eh.

spicy "chicken" drumsticks
dumpling sampler

for the entree we both ordered stone bowls. i ordered the avocado and melanie tried a curry dish with vegan “shrimp”. the food was hot which was nice, but the meal was lacking substance for me. and i’m not so much a fan of hot avocado. i had asked the server for his favorite or the most popular dish but didn’t really get an answer. so after having a disappointing meal we skipped dessert.

avocado stone bowl

we ended up going to lula’s sweet apothecary for ice cream (even though it was 40 degrees out!) what a cute little ice cream shop! we arrived a little past 10 pm and the place was packed. i ordered a sundae with birthday cake + chocolate peanut butter ice creams. topped with hot fudge, caramel & whipped cream. YUM. it was delicious! i love their european shovel spoons! so cute! they also sell my favorite candy bars (mahalo, joker, twilight, etc).

lula's sweet apothecary

such a cute place. i really loved it. too bad it wasn’t 80 degrees out so we could have walked with our ice cream. brrrrrrr. i wish they had some tables but the only 4 seats they had were occupied and it was a bit like a crowded night club in the small space. i’d definitely be a regular if i was staying in new york.

ice cream sundae at lula's

i think i’ll stick to what i know for the next two weeks in new york. i’m looking forward to a return visit to dun-well doughnuts next week. possibly a dinner at caravan of dreams, blossom and pure. i need to give new york city a proper farewell… vegan style. 😉

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