• vegan in nyc: we love candle cafe

    May 11th, 2011quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), NYC

    if you’re a longtime reader of this blog, you may remember that candle 79 in NYC is one of our favorite restaurants ever. well as it turns out, the fancy uptown restaurant has a casual little brother located just a few blocks away called candle cafe. we visited the 3rd avenue eatery on our most recent trip to manhattan, and found that while ambiance is a bit dressed down compared to candle 79, the food is incredible and indistinguishable.

    seitan chimichurri: citrus herb marinated seitan skewers. $8

    we started with an order of the seitan chimichurri, which was absolutely phenomenal. i’ll never look at seitan the same way again after eating this dish—i swear, the candle crew has re-invented wheat meat. it was flaky and crisp on the outside but perfectly moist and meaty in the middle, with a touch of citrus flavor that was refreshing yet not overwhelming.

    candle cafe special with grilled seitan, guacamole, qunoa and black beans

    candle cafe has a rotating menu of specials, and my husband ordered what was on offer that day. i don’t remember exactly what it was called, but it was an impressive mound of quinoa, greens, black beans, and avocado all topped off with a helping of char-grilled seitan. OMFG—AMAZING! this seitan was even better than the skewers, because it was spicily seasoned. i wish i could remember the name of this thing, because it was honestly one of the greatest dishes i’ve ever eaten.

    for my main meal, i went with the tofu club (pictured at the top of the post), but here’s a better look…

    tofu club: Grilled tofu, tempeh bacon, lettuce and tomato on mixed grain toast with coleslaw, pickles and vegan mayo. $13

    this club was the bomb, but to be honest, i had major lunch envy after trying my husband’s awesome entree. as much as i loved this sandwich, i couldn’t stop thinking about his grilled seitan. the best bit of the club would have to be the tempeh bacon—thick and juicy, but not overly sweet which i often find fake bacon to be. the coleslaw was on point as well, every little detail of our meal was high quality and delicious.

    inside candle cafe is sleek yet casual, with a long bar, a large front window, and small tables lining the walls. we arrived right when they opened and easily got a seat, but i hear this place can be be packed during the lunch and dinner rush. service was fast and friendly, and while the food was expensive, it was well worth it. i can’t think of a reason i’d ever go to nyc again and not visit candle cafe.

    candle cafe
    1307 3rd Avenue
    New York, NY 10021-3301
    (212) 472-0970
    Open Mon-Sat 11:30am-10:30pm; Sun 11:30am-9:30pm

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15 responses to “vegan in nyc: we love candle cafe” RSS icon

  • It’s nice that the atmosphere is casual and that they have a gluten-free menu, but wow, the place is EXTREMELY OVERPRICED!

  • trust me, the food was so amazing, it was worth it!

  • I was just there last week with my little boy and we loved our food! We love their kids menu & wish more vegan restaurants would follow their lead. I can only think of 2 places where my veg kid has choices: Native Foods and Candle Cafe. And I live in Portland! Vegan kids are the future! What gives?

  • Love this place. Food is a bit pricey, but well worth it. NYC is calling to me just to eat at Candle!

  • It’s all about the onion rings … drooooooool

  • Gauri Radha गौरी राधा

    That special with guacamole looks so good.

  • Your food looks great. I love Candle 79. I like Candle Cafe BUT I’ve only been there once and perhaps the dish I ordered just wasn’t “it”. I really love the vibe of CC, though. Super casual and nothing makes me happier than a juicer AND a bottle of behind the bar. I love both 😉

  • I eat at Candle Cafe all the time! the Seitan skeweres are my absolute FAVORITE, they are just incredible!! The tofu club is also yummy. You should try to Grilled Seitan Burger as well equally as amazing!!!

  • this place is amazing, and trust me, to the peeps complaining about the prices, this place is downright cheap for nyc

  • While the food looks amazing, I love that T-shirt with the hot dog and MURDER on it. Must find.

  • Yeah I found it last night and was crushed. CRUSHED!

  • Really? I kinda figured as much, but didn’t know for sure since I don’t live there and haven’t visited the city in decades. Thanks for this confirmation of what I already suspected. So glad we don’t live in NYC!

  • Try their cookbook! It has so many of their best dishes and desserts.

  • Could you post a full pic of the murder/hotdog shirt?

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