New York’s Best Restaurants with a Tea Twist

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Franchia Vegan Cafe (www.franchia.com)
Manhattan (Murray Hill)

This Asian fusion vegan restaurant elegantly communicates the beauty and simplicity of Korean style. The natural woods, earthy colors, and dark lattice envelop diners in a sense of calm and warmth.

Guests can enjoy lunch or dinner at the restaurant, choosing from an array of vegan menu items. Lunch offerings include Peking buns, vermicelli spring rolls with mango citron sauce, sizzling spinach noodles and kimchi dumplings.

The “Royal Tea Tray” offers a unique experience for tea lovers with its specialization in Korean tea and vegan foods. Choose a first picked Korean wild green tea and then enjoy an appetizer tray which includes dumplings, corn and cilantro pancakes, sushi, and more, followed by two mini desserts.

Franchia’s tea selection is dominated by premium teas from across Asia. In addition to the Korean wild green teas there are jasmine greens, Taiwanese oolongs, white peony, and an extensive assortment of herbals like plum, date paste, and persimmon leaf. In the spring and summer, guests may also choose a fruit juice and tea blend or a “tealatta.”

Open Mon. – Sat. for lunch and dinner. Sunday for dinner only. 12 Park Avenue. (212) 213-1001

Sanctuary T (www.sanctuaryt.com)
Manhattan (SoHo)

Six-year-old Sanctuary T offers a contemporary look at tea cuisine in lower Manhattan, receiving raves from Clean Plates NYC for healthy, tasty dining. Whether breakfast, lunch, dinner, or brunch, diners will have plenty of opportunities to try a dish that pairs beautifully with tea. From chopped kale salad to lemon garlic roasted chicken to truffle mac and cheese, comfort food rules the menu. Guests can choose from more than 80 black teas, green teas, oolongs, whites, herbals, and blooming tea.

The bar menu seems almost as full of tea as the tea menu. Try a Rose Blossom Sangria with white wine, green tea, fruit, and rose petals; a green tea margarita; or the West Broadway with St. Germain, gin, mint, cucumbers, lavender and chamomile. Perhaps you’ll enjoy their tea-infused cocktails so much that you want to take their Monday night mixology class.

Sanctuary T’s Signature Afternoon Tea is offered afternoons from Monday through Thursday with a reservation. Enjoy an unlimited assortment of tea sandwiches, pastries, scones, and tea. Sanctuary T can seat 40 and offers a full bar. You can also try the “Dare2Pair” 5 course tea and food pairing nightly. Reservations are required for this dinner which includes wine, a specialty cocktail, dinner with tea pairings and a tin of tea to take home. Special events like tea and cheese pairings and Chinese tea ceremony demonstrations are regularly promoted through their mailing list.

Open 7 days a week. 337B West Broadway. (212) 941-7832.

Red Rooster (www.redroosterharlem.com)
Manhattan (Harlem)

Award-winning chef Marcus Samuelsson opened this tribute to American comfort food in the heart of Harlem, naming the restaurant after a legendary speakeasy that once hosted luminaries like Nat King Cole and James Baldwin.

Enjoy weekend brunch or weekday lunch or dinner any night of the week. Yummy takes on traditional favorites including fish and grits made with blackened catfish and shrimp grits, shrimp and dirty grits, jerk chicken. Diners have the opportunity to try Samuelsson’s unique tea blends, marketed under his Ambessa brand: Earl of Harlem, Lingonberry Green, Safari Breakfast and Choco Nut Blend. Maybe you’ll enjoy a pot during Gospel Sunday Brunch or choose the Earl of Harlem cocktail (bourbon, Earl Grey tea and spiced coriander syrup) during Latin Night Tuesdays or Soul and R&B Fridays.

Looking for a quicker bite? Visit The Nook for sweets, sandwiches, or tea.

Open 7 days a week. 310 Lenox Avenue. (212) 792-9001.


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