The Franklin Café
May 11, 2018
Opened back in 1996 by chef David Dubois and bar tender Maureen McLaughlin, the Franklin Café is a cult, late-night neighbourhood café bar deep in South End where local chefs and waiters go to wind down after a night at the coalface – so it obviously has quality too. Despite billing itself as ‘Boston’s neighbourhood restaurant’, it’s has the feel more of a hip bar than cosy restaurant but that suits our nature, and we like their take on fresh fruit martinis, mojitos and whiskey cocktails, although they do dozens of beers and wines too, with an emphasis on supporting small and/or local wineries and micro-breweries. Off the extensive cocktail menu we’d probably go for the Spiced Pear Gimlet or the refreshing Cucumber Collins, though the St Germain Prosecco cocktail would also hit the spot we do like a bit of fizz. The food is hearty, gourmet-standard modern American, everything from meatloaf to delicious salmon and tuna; try the house-made lobster ravioli or the house-cured corn beef and cabbage. The ambience is friendly and unpretentious, attracting a laid back crowd, and the staff are welcoming and always happy to help you get the feeling that the people care here, and it shows. Warning: just because they serve late don’t leave it late to arrive, because it gets so crowded on weekends long queues are common. It’s perhaps little surprise that this place has been so successful it has not only won a host of awards, but it’s also now a mini chain, with the Franklin Southie and Franklin Cape Anne spreading the magic.