Candle Cafe

Manhattan, New York City

Reviews


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Candle 79 is one of my favorite restaurants for gluten-free vegetarian meals in New York City. I’ve first visited this restaurant in 2006 and immediately loved it, but selling it to my husband was easier than I thought. He too loves eating at Candle 79. Not too many places back then where you could have a wonderful meal that fitted both dietary needs. The Gal @ ww.TheHealthyDish.com


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Great gluten-free vegan options. I loved the Paradise Casserole and the Sesame Crusted Tofu. The special soup and desserts were great as well. It was super busy during a weekday lunch rush.


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Awesome food. I wish we could have sampled more (like the Seitan Chimichurri that everyone seems to go nuts over), but we were in a rush & not toooo crazy hungry. I had some tropical smoothie that was very good. Expensive ($7), but it was super fresh & we're on the UES, so what do you expect?

For lunch, I got the Tuscan Seitan Parmesan Sandwich (vegan, though that "Parmesan" in the title makes it confusing). Suuuuuper tasty. For $13, I wish it came with chips, fries, fruit salad, or SOMETHING other than the four mixed green leaves, but oh, well. The boyfriend got the Cajun Seitan Sandwich, which was also great. I liked mine more (and so did he - ha!), but they were both delicious.

Service wasn't very friendly, but I have come to expect that about New York. I have been craving that sandwich every day since I ate it last Sunday. I can't wait to go back & try more of the menu!


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I really enjoyed my visit to Candle Cafe. It was one of the best meals we enjoyed while visiting New York and we tried many of the recommended vegetarian hotspots.

Image for Lola

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After a few disappointing visits to Candle 79, I finally decided to try the original Candle Cafe. I have to admit that the Candle Cafe far exceeded my expectations. The service was relatively quick (we were in and out in under an hour, in spite of the fact that we seemed to show up at the start of the lunch rush). The casual atmosphere made Candle Cafe seem like it wasn't trying to pass off its food as haute cuisine, which also helped my opinion of the place.

I began my meal with a plate of focaccia and a side of miso tahini dipping sauce. The miso tahini sauce was unusual but quite addicting. I was disappointed to later discover that the sauce was $8 (twice the cost of the focaccia itself) but I would probably order it again.

For my entree, I decided to try the one of the daily specials - a plate of rosemary nut-encrusted tofu triangles served with broccoli rabe, mashed sweet potatoes and seared brussel sprouts (which were drizzled with a delicious sauce). Every aspect of the entree was amazing. I don't normally eat brussel sprouts, but I made an exception for the ones on this plate.

For dessert, I decided to try a slice of the cheesecake. It came dusted with cinnamon and tasted a little more like tiramisu than cheesecake but it was still pretty good.

I also managed to save the sangria-infused fruit from the bottom of my fall sangria ("a blend of California merlot, apple, pear, pineapple, citrus, cinnamon and agave nectar") until after dessert, which left a wonderful taste in my mouth for the rest of the afternoon.

Image for conde.kedar

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Candle Cafe has great ambience, though it's a small place. The service was attentive and friendly. Their chocolate peanut butter smoothie was too liquidy for my tastes, but their Tuscan lasagna was layered, tasty and filling. Prices are high, sadly.

Image for Gregory

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I was quite disappointed with Candle Cafe. The Porcini Crusted Seitan, although edible, was fairly tasteless beyond the marinated mushroom on top. The Spinach Pie was bland, lacking both salt and spices, and was accompanied with a poorly made gravy and squash puree, which was actually decent. As disappointing as the entrees were, however, it was no comparison to how bad the dessert was. I had the "Decadent Chocolate Cake," which was anything but decadent. It was denser than a brownie, but it was so dry that it made an Oreo look moist. Even if one could put aside the horrible texture, the flavor was quite lacking. I could barely take a few bites of it.

Although, especially given all the positive reviews, I shouldn't generalize from this one experience, I won't be going here again unless someone else is paying and I most certainly would not bring a non-vegan here.


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Rather expensive but wonderful! I ordered some manner of sandwich involving tempeh & sweet potatoes, for dessert there was homemade cinnamon ice cream and cake. All very Delicious, cinnamon ice cream in particular! Go when you're feeling vaguely rich or (better yet) with your parents so as to not sink into some sort of Fifteen-Dollar-Sandwich-Depression (FDSD) unless already taking medication for this disorder...


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I only tried two dishes so I can't give a really thorough review. Friends of mine really like the sandwiches, but I went for a birthday dinner and wound up ordering entrees. The Mexican offerings are filled with cilantro (I don't know anyone on the fence with this herb--most people I know hate it, though others love it)--I ordered the Mexican Burrito and didn't like it at all. It was very large and the waitress told me she would replace it after she asked me why I wasn't eating it. I also tried the lasagna--again, a large serving--but didn't think there was anything special at all about it. Pretty expensive for just standard food.


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I had a really good experience at the candle cafe. I went on a Saturday night, so there was a slight 20 minute wait, but in the meantime I had a really good mocha latte smoothie. I had the excellent porcini-walnut crusted seitan while my dinner partner had the al ceppo pasta. The service was excellent, and the experience overall was definitely very positive.


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This place is pretty good. It's not the cheapest place, but I guess for NY it's relative.
They have a varied menu, all vegan, except for their soy cheese which has casein and is used in a few dishes (it's indicated on the menu).
I had the Paradise Casserole which was delicious and I think one of their specialties. The Chocolate Mousse Pie was also delicious. And, I had to buy a cookie to go, which was great.
They also have an extensive juice bar and just opened a second location a few blocks away that I believe is a little pricier.
All in all, this is a great restaurant and the service and atmosphere are good too.

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