NYC vegan cafe, sister cafe to Candle 79. Offers farm-to-table dining, daily specials, and uses Daiya vegan cheese. Price: Moderate more-less
Vegan, American, International, Fusion, Organic, Delivery, Catering
1307 3rd Ave (75th St, Upper East Side, Manhattan)
New York City, New York 10021
212-472-0970
Closed now

Mon-Sat 11:30am-10:30pm, Sun 11:30am-9:30pm

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reviews

Reviews

First Review by Poundie
Oscar M
Oscar M
  • vegan
Contributions
+55

Loved it!

5
Posted on 09 / 30 / 2014

This gorgeous cafe has to be one of my favourite vegan places in NYC. I am more of a Lower East Side kind of guy but Candle Cafe is chic without being pretentious. I love the concept of "organic vegan food fresh from farm to table" and compassion for animals among many other things I support plus fantastic food. The crystal rolls, the cajun seitan sandwich and the smoked tempeh & grilled vegetables sandwich were all excellent. The watermelon limonades went great with our lunch and we left completely satisfied although we had to skip dessert because portions were really filling. I got a copy of their cookbook so I can try to make this amazing food back at home in Madrid!

Pros: Excellent food, Gossip Girl like atmosphere
Cons: There isn't one in Madrid
AlexandraC.MacArthur
AlexandraC.MacArthur
  • vegan
Contributions
+18

Good but overrated

3
Posted on 08 / 18 / 2014

I enjoyed my meal at Candle Cafe, but I wasn't blown away. I'm a bit critical of it, not so much because of the establishment itself, but how ignorant New Yorkers who've not eaten vegan food in other places rave about it. I think that Sprig and Vine, in New Hope PA, is a better version of this restaurant.

That being said the atmosphere and service are wonderful. Part of the reason I may not be as crazy about the food is that they don't have as many gluten free options compared to the other options on the menu (though they do have a GF menu). That's an issue for me because I'm allergic to most night shades meaning that I can usually only eat half of most menus (gluten free or otherwise) anyway. But the menu for today looks good so I guess I'll give it another try.
Updated from previous review on Monday August 18, 2014


corinal
corinal
  • vegan
Contributions
+134

Definitely go there!

5
Posted on 08 / 09 / 2014

We had so many things on the menu and they were all good, but our particular favorites are the chocolate mousse pie (SO creamy!!!), the ginger-miso stir fry, and the Indian plate (each flavor was very distinct). The staff are so friendly, greeting you as you enter and exit, and they accommodated our groups during busy lunches even when we were on a time limit.

Pros: Awesome food, Amazing desserts, Really friendly staff

dkinjer
dkinjer
  • mostly-vegetarian
Contributions
+79

Enjoyed very much

5
Posted on 08 / 05 / 2014

We went to two gourmet vegan restaurants in NYC - V-note and this one. This was less fancy as far as the decor, no tablecloths (maybe because it was in the afternoon?) etc., but the food was also very good, though I thought my GRILLED PORTOBELLO STEAK was a bit too salty. Or maybe it was the capers on it. But the sauce was great, the asparagus excellent, and overall I enjoyed the creativity of the dish. My spouse had the CAJUN SEITAN SANDWICH and enjoyed it a lot. We also had tea for me, coffee for him and shared Chocolate Mousse pie, which was super. It was rich, but the chocolate was bitter chocolate and we loved it. Service was good.

Pros: Great food , Great dessert, good service
Cons: could use a little spiffing up the decor
bwolmarans
bwolmarans
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+52

Great But Expensive

3
Posted on 08 / 02 / 2014

You get what you pay for. Oddly enough couldn't agree more with previous reviewer who stated Cajun seitan wasn't spicy enough .. Still I love this place its so warm and social and has a buzz.

Pros: Bacon
Cons: Cajun
JanTheniceoneHirsch
JanTheniceoneHirsch
  • mostly-vegetarian
Contributions
+13

Great Choice

5
Posted on 07 / 27 / 2014

I love the Candle Cafe. The menu has a great selection, and the food is well prepared. The staff is mostly helpful, and friendly. When it is crowded, it is a little noisy, but worth braving the noise.

Pros: Great Food, Knowledgeable Staff, Good Environmental Practices
Cons: Expensive, Noisy Sometimes
kindlizard
kindlizard
  • vegan
Contributions
+621

solid place in NYC

5
Posted on 07 / 09 / 2014

Great food, staff, menu. Go there, be happy.

the frozen food of theirs is nasty, not in my faves. bad try.

Pros: food, staff
Cons: frozen fare
  • kindlizard kindlizard

    This place is so consistent. We go here more than any other place in the city. Seemingly whenever we can go here because they are so consistent and the food always rocks. One of the top 3 in the country, easily.

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Barney Big Ears
Barney Big Ears
  • vegan
Contributions
+65

fine

4
Posted on 05 / 13 / 2014

Staff was friendly. The menu, including daily specials, seemed pretty typical for this type of restaurant - which isn't really a plus or minus in my mind.

Pros: Nice staff
MichaelBeasley
MichaelBeasley
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+23

Good restaurant

4
Posted on 03 / 31 / 2014

I ate at the bar after arriving in town on a late flight. The people were friendly and helpful. The menu looked great, and although the Cajun seitan sandwich was good, it needed salt and could have been spicier. Nonetheless, I would try more from their menu (and ended up going to Candle Cafe West later in my trip)


Soul2Soul Educare
Soul2Soul Educare
  • vegan
Contributions
+121

Quaint but Crowded

4
Posted on 02 / 17 / 2014

Here's a cafe where they have tried to pack in as many tables as they can - so you are literally elbow to elbow with the next guest. At least the restaurant was warm and cozy though. It does have a great menu though and I would have loved to have lunch or dinner because I saw other people's food and it looked and smelled delicious. I went there for coffee and cake and I wasn't disappointed. The desserts were all really good, I had the chocolate peanut butter cake, my husband had the chocolate mousse cake and my friend had the brownie dessert - we also had cappuccinos made with almond milk which were very good. The service was great. It was slightly expensive though. I would definitely recommend this place.

Pros: Extensive Menu
Cons: Crowded and Noisy
ParlaDharma
ParlaDharma
  • vegan
Contributions
+30

Candle Cafe

5
Posted on 02 / 10 / 2014

One of my favorites in Manhattan. I've only been to the one on the Upper East Side. I love the selection of sandwiches an burgers - and they are reasonably priced for the area.


baruchadam
baruchadam
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+48

delicious

4
Posted on 01 / 27 / 2014

If you can put up with the crowded atmosphere, you're in for a real vegetarian treat.

Pros: great menu, good service
Cons: crowded/small space
steveveg
steveveg
  • vegan
Contributions
+166

Always nice

5
Posted on 09 / 01 / 2013

We occasionally eat at Candle Cafe, and have always found it pleasant, the food delectable and the service friendly and attentive. This time we had the Beluga lentil wrap entree special, the BBQ seitan sandwich and the pan-seared seitan au poivre. The seitan au poivre was probably my favorite of the three. We also had the special blueberry bundt cake (with soy ice cream) for dessert - great. An enjoyable visit as usual.

Pros: vegan, reliably good, good service
Yvette Rigby
Yvette Rigby
  • vegan
Contributions
+117

Cozy vegan spot

4
Posted on 07 / 22 / 2013

Candle Cafe is akin to Cafe Blossom in that it is the more moderately priced sibling to an upscale vegan restaurant. Unfortunately, Candle Cafe was still at the upper limit of my budget. The food here is interesting and varied. I ordered a jerk tofu dish with quinoa and plantains - yummy and unusual. For dessert, we shared a slice of berry pie and a rich chocolate moose tart.


YuliyaGuliya8
YuliyaGuliya8
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+33

An amazing meal

4
Posted on 05 / 15 / 2013

This place is rather small but has great ambiance. The waiters were so friendly and accommodating, it was a pleasure to dine there. The food was delicious. We had chipotle grilled tempeh and some sort of delicious mashed potatoes with walnut crusted seitan. So good, mmmm. Would definitely recommend to anyone.

Pros: Ambiance, Location, Food
Cons: A bit small
LisaGabrielle
LisaGabrielle
  • vegan
Contributions
+18

Amazing!

5
Posted on 04 / 18 / 2013

While visiting New York City for the weekend, I was overwhelmed by all the vegan restaurants and wanted to try them all! I went to Candle Cafe on my last day in the city and it was definitely my favourite food destination. The prices are moderate and the quality is 5 star. They have a HUGE selection of food and it took my forever to decide because everything sounded wonderful. I finally went with a chipolte tempeh over quinoa and kale in a mango salsa, and an order of spring rolls to go (for the trip back). Both were delectable. Only con was that the service was slow.

Pros: Great selection, Taste
Cons: Slow service
changoamable
changoamable
  • vegan
Contributions
+51

Cajun Seitan Sandwich and juice.

2
Posted on 03 / 31 / 2013

Really good, big, delicious sandwich!
The quality of the seitan was unpredictable, but it seems they worked it out. Phone folks uneven, too - could be super nice or just nasty.
$16 sandwich and they charge you $2 extra for a tiny container of extra sauce - is there any way to explain that as more than greedy?
Juices are good.
Lots of the main courses are mediocre and way overpriced.

Pros: Cajun Seitan Sandwich, Green Goddess juice
  • kindlizard kindlizard

    they make their own seitan, as do I, and I can tell you it is an inexact science. I'll save you the process details, but their seitan is the best, and if yours was not as good, try something else, perhaps. Their menu is extensive and sure to please anyone!

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njezior
njezior
  • vegan
Contributions
+23

Wonderful food & experience

5
Posted on 12 / 07 / 2012

On a trip to New Jersey, we went into the city to visit Candle Cafe and it did not disappoint! The porcini crusted seitan was awesome, as we're the chimchurri seitan appetizer and the carrot cake for dessert. Being from DC, we have limited options for vegan fare, so this was definitely a fantastic treat.

Pros: Nice staff, Awesome food
Cons: Little bit noisy
angelaxvx
angelaxvx
  • vegan
Contributions
+40

What a dissapointment

2
Posted on 09 / 05 / 2012

I finally convinced my mom to go to an all vegan restaurant and I wish I had chose a different restaurant. The fries came out cold and mushy almost as if they warm them up in the microwave and lacked flavor big time. I also got one of their "shakes" but it was somewhat icee instead. My mom ordered the mac n cheese and it tasted awful. It was almost as if they just took some noodles and warmed some Daiya cheese on top.


Cons: Bland food, Cold fries, Poor services
ladyelaine
ladyelaine
  • vegan
Contributions
+36

Amazing!

5
Posted on 07 / 24 / 2012

The Candle restaurants have consistently been some of my favorite dining options in the city. Everything my friends and I have tasted has been excellent and some of my omnivore friends said they enjoy the food enough to consider becoming veggie- score(!). These restaurants are my first vegan and gluten free experiences in New York City, they have never disappointed and raise the bar high for others to try meet- the perfect dining introduction to NYC. I love that the menu changes seasonally, they support the local farmers and buy organic produce, their menu is inventive and delicious, they are eco conscious and give back, they have a great selection of beverages of all kinds, too. Yummy!

Pros: Amazing, seasonal menu, friendly staff, cater to food-allergies, too
Cons: none
elles_belles
elles_belles
  • vegan
Contributions
+1110

Great food

5
Posted on 03 / 18 / 2012

I love the canjun seitan sandwich. It is the most amazing sandwich in recent memory. Get and you'll be good for the rest of the day.

I've also tried the seitan appetizer. It is good but different than the one served at Candle 79.


andreacarioca
andreacarioca
  • vegan
Contributions
+37

Classics and innovative dishes!

4
Posted on 11 / 19 / 2011

Candle Cafe is one of my favorite restaurants in town. They have tasty and hearty food, affordable, and in a fun/informal place. I specially like going there for brunch, even if I usually just order from the regular menu. The deserts come in large portions (good for sharing) and with beautiful presentation. Most of the people who work there are warm and helpful.
If they have enchilada DO ORDER IT - you won't regret!


The Bubs
The Bubs
  • vegan
Contributions
+20

Downtown food, uptown prices.

2
Posted on 10 / 16 / 2011

In short: The food is very good, but doesn't justify the price---not even close.

In long: Had the Cajun Seitan sandwich and the Tuscan sandwich. Regarding the Cajun Seitan: The side, coleslaw, was weak. Some spices and what looked like precut cabbage with veganaise. The sandwich was actually the best thing we had. The seitan was flavorful and the caramelized onions were a good match. But the Tuscan sandwich was much worse---I'd call it a "vegan pizza burger." They say it's topped with "tapioca cheese," which I'm also certain is a euphemism for Daiya cheese, a way to charge $15 for a small sandwich. The sides for this dish were bizarre: plastic bag french fries (Tuscan?) and a small salad.

Look, the food is good, but not that creative, not that homemade, and not that generous of portions. I would love to pay $7--9 a dish. Unfortunately, they're asking $15-20.

Pros: Pretty good food
Cons: Price
PennsyltuckyVeggie
PennsyltuckyVeggie
  • vegan
Contributions
+335

Upper East Side Gem

5
Posted on 08 / 09 / 2011

I have been to Candle Cafe about 5 times and have never been disappointed in the food. Lack of planning on my part made for a longer wait than I would have liked but it was quality food and service every time.

Love the entrés, juice, salads and side. Love Candle Cafe and even chose it to celebrate after running my first half marathon!

Pros: well crafted menu, taste sensations, fresh and wholesoe food
Cons: cramped
Landry
Landry
  • vegan
Contributions
+33

Not So Impressive...

3
Posted on 06 / 28 / 2011

First of all, the waitresses don't seem to want to be there. They have a blah attitude which made me feel like they didn't care about serving good food, just in it for the money.

Secondly, the food for those high prices is not very good. Sure, it is descent food and well balanced but the quality was not aligned with the price. A little bland too.

Third, it took a long time to get the food. I don't mind waiting for amazing food, of course, but when it is only so so, it makes me wonder what they were doing to take so long.

I am NOT one of those complaining people who always give bad reviews. I was just unimpressed and wanted to share. Hopefully they can raise the quality or lower the prices.

On a positive note, the menu is awesome. They have a great selection of vegan food to suit anyone who goes. Wow, they really love seitan there! They have good juice and tempeh.

Pros: Juice, Good Menu, Tempeh
Cons: Service, Quality/Price, A Little Cramped
nicolehark
nicolehark
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+11

Delicious and Always Changing

4
Posted on 06 / 28 / 2011

I have been to the restaurant twice now and the menu is always changing. The juice bar is amazing and vey welcoming. I sat by myself and read a book. Another time I went with my family and it was delicious from start to finish. I even own the cook book from this restaurant "The Candle Cafe Cookbook" and I use it often. It is a little pricey but hey you are in NYC.

Pros: Welcoming, Delectable , Friendly
Cons: Small, Pricey, Rushed
O-liv
O-liv
  • vegan
Contributions
+60

Best burger in NY!

5
Posted on 05 / 31 / 2011

If you go here, you MUST try the Tuscan Seitan parmesan sandwich (it's vegan), it's simpaly the best burger in NY! The "bread" is made of potatoes and oinion, and their "parmesan" sauce is just amazing!

Cheesecakes were excellent too, and the prices were raisonable. Will go back next time I'm in NY!

Pros: burgers, cheesecake, all food!
Cons: none
LaurenStilphen
LaurenStilphen
  • mostly-vegetarian
Contributions
+19

AMAZING!!

5
Posted on 05 / 12 / 2011

This place is so great. The food is fantastic and the staff was extremely friendly. Although the prices are high, it is totally worth it!! I will be dreaming of the sandwich I had for a long time to come, mmmm so yummy!

Pros: Great Food, nice atmosphere, great staff
Cons: expensive
snowy11480
snowy11480
  • vegan
Contributions
+73

AWESOME Juice, Food, and Prices!!!

5
Posted on 01 / 08 / 2011

I can't say enough about how wonderful this cafe is. We live in PA so when we go, its been a planned visit just so we can eat here. I love their fresh juices and knowing all things are vegan! I have tried some of the green juices with ginger - yum. Hubby usually gets a seitan sandwich of some sort. I have tried various salads - their dressings are wonderful. Last time, I tried the tofu club (very good but i missed my yummy salad). We had our two year old with us on the last visit and he had a 'cheese' pizza - ate every single bite!

Pros: fresh juices, ALL VEGAN, excellent prices
Cons: parking
kokomimi
kokomimi
  • vegan
Contributions
+39

I loved it once upon a time....

3
Posted on 10 / 29 / 2010

It's such a cute and cozy cafe with a menu filled with vegan goodness. The first time I ate here was for lunch with my husband a few years back and we thought the food was delicious!! Couldn't forget the amazing soup and seitan burger. So yummy!! We recently came back to the NY area and stopped by once again, and we were disappointed this time around. The cafe itself hasn't changed in terms of service, atmosphere and having a nice selection on their menu. It was the taste of the food that has changed a bit. The soup and sandwiches this time around were bland and not what we had remembered it to be.
Updated from previous review on Friday October 29, 2010

Pros: Vegan, Great for lunch
Cons: Can get crowded when busy
girlchristie
girlchristie
  • vegan
Contributions
+23

excellent

5
Posted on 10 / 18 / 2010

I went to Candle Cafe for the first time this weekend and it was great! The service was amazing, and the food was incredible. Prices were a little high, but for all vegan, organic food stuffs, worth it. And they had very cute shirts for sale, I couldn't resist buying the one that said KALE on it :)

Pros: tasty, great service, dessert!
Cons: small space, pricey
featherives
featherives
  • vegan
Contributions
+64

Not all it thinks it is

2
Posted on 09 / 29 / 2010

Candle Cafe was a huge disappointment. The service was inattentive, slow, bad. That would have been fine if the food was exceptional, but it wasn't. I dined here four times (once delivery) each time hoping to have a different better experience. All the servers seemed to be preoccupied with themselves and each other. I almost had to refill my water cup after the only good server I had had a shift change and I got the most oblivious server on the planet.

I had a crumble cake that was dry, cold and stale. The tofu in the wraps had no flavor. The best was the delivery meal and my last meal the Tuscan burger. The food is incredibly overpriced.

Pros: location
Cons: overpriced, poor service, bland food
cynthia75
cynthia75
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+25

So close ...

2
Posted on 09 / 04 / 2010

Candle cafe is so close to being great , but alas ther are some problems. It is also so close to my apt but I confess I do not go there too often. The food is generally great but the staff is generally not. The seem completely unprepared for the crowd which is odd because the crowd shows up daily and nightly. And when you come during the off time the staff are happily not being busy and don't seem to appreciate having their leisure time interrupted. It's also a tad overpriced. But, again the food does not disappoint. The atmosphere is also terribly lacking. I suggest going to the sister location Candle 79.

Pros: Great food, Good soups, Very tasty sauces
Cons: Staff, Ambience, Crowd control
sculley
sculley
  • vegan
Contributions
+25

What a great find!

4
Posted on 08 / 16 / 2010

This place was the dining highlight of our entire trip to NYC. Fabulous food and friendly staff. A great selection of food to choose from and made with love!

Pros: Great location, Healthy Cuisine, Good value
Sprout
Sprout
  • vegan
Contributions
+162

enjoyed it!

4
Posted on 05 / 19 / 2010

I had a good experience here and really enjoyed my food. We shared the crystal rolls and grilled focaccia for starters, then I had the Tuscan seitan parmesan sandwich and my friend had the BBQ seitan sandwich. Everything was delicious, but I am glad I ordered the Tuscan seitan, and I highly recommend it. Since we ordered sandwiches instead of entrees, we were able to afford two apps and not break the bank. The staff was also friendly. I also enjoyed the fries served with my meal. Overall, a pleasant dining experience.

Pros: good portions, tasty sandwiches
catzie
catzie
  • vegan
Contributions
+51

hurried service

2
Posted on 05 / 16 / 2010

I went there during lunchtime. The food was excellent. My friend had the Indian plate and I had a noodle dish. The dessert was also delicious. It was worth the price.
What I didnt like was the service. The waitress looked overworked and when we asked for advice she answered very hastily. After we finished the dessert, not even 5 minutes have passed, the check was laid on our table without us even asking for it.
This may be a restaurant with excellent cooking. But the atmosphere was way too hurried and thus felt uncomfortable. It is not the place to have a good talk with your friends and relax. We had barely spent 35 minutes inside just because they wanted to make more money.

Pros: Organic, Food
Cons: Service
veggiegoth
veggiegoth
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+123

yummy!

5
Posted on 03 / 23 / 2010

ok so i finally made it to candle cafe and i must say it was well worth the shlep up to the UES. i went on a saturday afternoon and it was packed. i never sit and eat alone so of course i took it to go which i was quite happy about cause of the crowd. i ordered the cajun seitan sandwich and man it was delicious! it had avacodo and carmelized onions which were great. the sandwich was very filling and i was full pretty much the entire day. i don't know if i would make the trek and eat there being crowded and on the UES(not my favorite hood to say the least) but if i happen to be nearby i would definitly swing by.


bgoodwin17
bgoodwin17
  • vegan
Contributions
+29

Boring food...not very good

2
Posted on 02 / 17 / 2010

After hearing the rave reviews from the local vegans, I was excited to give this place a try. My dad and I went here for brunch on our last day in NYC and were not impressed.

We each got the Green Goddess fresh juice. It was served warm, on the verge of hot. It was gross. I had to ask for ice on the side. Once the ice cooled it down a bit, I was able to get it down.

For meals, I got the breakfast burrito and my dad got an indian dish. My burrito was huge but very plain tasting. I don't even think there was any salt and pepper added to this, nevermind any other seasonings. I could barely even eat it. I tried to be polite and took it home. But it ended up in the trash. My dad's indian dish was pretty good but nothing amazing. He felt that his dish lacked seasoning as well.

Unfortunately, after having a weekend full of delicious vegan food, Candle Cafe was a big disappointment. :-/

Pros: vegan
Cons: bland food
Fallopia Tuba
Fallopia Tuba
  • vegan
Contributions
+38

I love Candle

4
Posted on 12 / 27 / 2009

I go whenever I'm in the neighborhood, and I haven't been disappointed (although I haven't tried the Cajun Seitan sandwich. I think I steer clear of their sandwiches because they're so pricey.) I submitted the third picture, of pan-seared tofu with polenta and greens; I believe on that trip I also got an obscenely huge piece of their chocolate layer cake--their desserts are easily sharable, but I was dining alone--and commented to the waitress that I was totally blissed-out from the meal. I ended up taking home half the piece of cake.

I've never gotten delivery from them, so I can't say anything pro or con about that. They use local produce, and apparently most or all of it comes from Mountain Dell farm, a long-standing organic farm in upstate New York.

Interestingly, they're right next door to a steakhouse; when you walk in, the juice bar is to your left along with an array of cookies and muffins. I usually get one or two muffins or cookies, and this last time, one of the muffins I got was hard, dry, and burnt on the bottom; since I live way downtown from them, I didn't bother to bring it back. Normally their baked goods are great, and this had never happened to me in my several years of going there.

Pros: reasonable for upper east side, friendly staff, big portions
estefinparis
estefinparis
  • vegan
Contributions
+276

Very enjoyable

5
Posted on 12 / 04 / 2009

I made a point of trying out Candle Cafe while in NYC and was not disappointed. The circumstances of my visit were not ideal but the food was so good I forgot about the rest. I had the BBQ tempeh and sweet potato sandwich and simply loved it. I also liked the location and the atmosphere in the restaurant. Wish I had had more time in NYC to try out other items in the menu!


SynthVegan
SynthVegan
  • vegan
Contributions
+2502

Get the Cajun Seitan Sandwich!!!

5
Posted on 09 / 26 / 2009

Candle Cafe was one of my favorite places in NYC. It's a restaurant that's a bit nicer so you can dress up if you'd like or wear something casual (we wore what we walked around in all day). We ordered the Cajun Seitan Sandwich and the Tuscan Seitan Parmesan Sandwich. I highly recommend both; however, the Cajun sandwich was the winner out of the two. The best part of the entree was the Cajun sauce that came with it! I can't wait to move to NYC, this will be a regular eating place for me.


Kell Bell
Kell Bell
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+48

Wasn't Impressed

2
Posted on 09 / 03 / 2009

I had heard so many good things about Candle Cafe, but I wasn't impressed my first time there. I don't think I'll be back - given the fact that there are so many other great vegan restaurants in NY. The place is busy, and the seating is very close to each other. The place was smaller than I expected and definitely a 'cafe' and not a restaurant. The split pea soup we ordered needed salt, and the little pieces of pita or flat bread on the side were tasteless. Not a good way to start out our lunch. Our entrees were definitely lacking something, and neither of us finished our meals. The service was as lackluster as the food...disinterested and too busy to care. Prices run about $14 for a sandwich - which I think is pricey considering that it's a cafe and not a real dining restaurant. I'm bewildered by all the great reviews this place gets.


Cons: Food lacks taste, Overpriced, Crowded
  • Kell Bell Kell Bell

    Dear Kindlizard,

    Thanks for the response to my review.

    If you care to re-read my review of Candle Cafe, you'll see that I am not knocking the fact that it is busy or that tables are very close together. I am merely making an observation of the environment and surroundings. However, what I am knocking is the tasteless food. Split pea soup is one of the easiest vegan dishes you can make. I've had it in countless restaurants - all better than the Candle Café. Our entrees were bland, unoriginal, and after a couple bites, quite boring. It's rare that we ever leave food uneaten on our plate, but it happened at this place. Maybe they were training a new chef, maybe they had a mishap with the seitan, maybe I have just high standards, or maybe, just maybe, I'm opinionated. But isn't that what writing a restaurant review is all about?

    I used to work and live in Manhattan so you shouldn't make judgments about people you don't know. I know a little about cramped quarters... a 375 sq. ft. apartment is luxuriously spacious in NYC. I also managed a busy casual dining/catering joint, so I know all about customer turnover and how it relates to food freshness. However, being busy is no excuse for poor service. We saw our server at Candle only once when she hurriedly took our order. Runners served our food, and a busboy filled our water glasses and cleared our table. We had to flag down another server down to ask for our check. She was clearly in the weeds. Maybe our server was new, maybe they were under-staffed that day, or maybe... you know what, I'm through with making excuses for them. I really wanted to like this place, but the bottom line is that the food wasn't tasty. That's my review, and I'm sticking to it.

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  • kindlizard kindlizard

    you knock all the great places... how much space in NYC should there be? Some cities have all one big table!! You'd really hate that. Being busy is a blessing; you know your food is fresh, doesn't have time to go bad, and you are in NYC!!! You want a room w a view, a room alone, in quiet? Wrong town.

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  • kindlizard kindlizard

    You do knock it for being busy and cramped. Again, not the burbs, NYC is a premium of space especially so, you don't know what you're talking about in that regard. Also, I can see how the Candle CAFE could fool you into believing it would not be a CAFE experience, which you also knock it for being. Many cafes employ an all-hands on deck approach where water is filled by back waiters and so forth. Having read all your reviews it is TASTE I think you lack most however and think if it came to you likely would your appreciation of this and some other pretty good spots. There are some flaws to this CAFE, but not anything you mentioned.

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Lynn
Lynn
  • vegan
Contributions
+23

Nice menu, delicious food

4
Posted on 04 / 19 / 2009

I eat here fairly regularly and always enjoy my meal. It is an excellent menu and the food is always tasty. It is always crowded and I don't think it is cheap at all..... in fact, I think it is rather pricy. That said, I always have a good experience when I am there.

Pros: good food, pleasant service
Cons: crowded, fsairly expensive
justingross
justingross
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+62

Good Solid Place

4
Posted on 04 / 15 / 2009

My friend and I went there last month and enjoyed our dinner. I had heard alot about this place and since I was in the city for a night, I thought we'd make our way there. Nice atomsphere. The tables are a little too close together, but, hey, it's NYC. But the food was really good. I only wish the portions were a bit bigger because the pricing is on the higher side. But I will return. It was an enjoyable night out.

Pros: Flavors, Location, Staff
Cons: pricing
Miamaja
Miamaja
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+24

The best cakes

5
Posted on 01 / 22 / 2009

I had a banana cake and my boyfriend had a chocolate cake. Both the best cakes I have tasted. Had a very tasty burger as well.

Pros: excellent food, friendly staff, nice atmosphere
brainyblonde
brainyblonde
  • raw
Contributions
+108

Incredible food even if they rushed us a bit ;)

4
Posted on 01 / 02 / 2009

So I'd been to another vegan place the night before and was really let down. I was afraid this might be the same, but nope, a total 180.. LOVED it.

I ordered very similar to the night before at the other New York Vegan restaurant... I got a veggie drink (delish) and a fruit smoothie (awesome) and a shot of wheat grass. My friend had a beautiful tofu dish which was on a bed of broccoli (perfect and I barely like it - but not overcooked -really tender and green) with lentils and on the top was the most tasty tofu I'd ever eaten (luckily she shared it!) No it wasn't raw but it was good! I'll definitely be back here. If they hadn't rushed us I'd have had dessert but as luck would have it my other gal friend stopped by with raw desserts from Pure.. What a treat. And then I caught my plane and went home.. feeling happy after my perfect meal...

Pros: excellent food, quick service, ambiance
Cons: felt a bit rushed, a bit crowded, bathrooms lacking a little
driababe
driababe
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+13

Amazing

5
Posted on 11 / 29 / 2008

That's it, just amazing.

Pros: AMAZING Food
Cons: Not enough seating
negnog
negnog
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+25

excellent lunch spot...

4
Posted on 11 / 28 / 2008

food was excellent and fresh...this place was packed and rightfully so...the menu was extensive, creative and staff was friendly...wonderful experience.


fenderprecision
fenderprecision
  • vegan
Contributions
+22

One of the best veg restaurants in the world

5
Posted on 11 / 13 / 2008

We went to NYC last summer for a week. We went to Candle Cafe on our first day there because it was one of the places I wanted to visit the most. By the end of the week my wife was slightly embarrassed that we were such regulars there! You must experience the dishes yourself. The seitan is so tender and delicious and all of the spices are just right. The lasagna was perfect. The hummus plate made a great "on the way back to the hotel" snack at the end of a long day of sight-seeing. This place became our home away from home and I can't wait to return.

Pros: awesome food, friendly staff, large portions
Cons: none
Spiral Diner
Spiral Diner
  • vegan
Contributions
+20

Delicious

5
Posted on 09 / 23 / 2008

Just like Candle 79, the Cafe lives up to the hype. It's a little less expensive but the food is just as amazing. The staff is really friendly and attentive and the presentation is beautiful. Can't wait to go there again when we are in town!

Pros: Food, Service, Atmosphere
msincredible
msincredible
  • vegan
Contributions
+21

Good but crowded

4
Posted on 08 / 16 / 2008

I had a very tasty Asian wrap. Restaurant was crowded but I was able to sit at the bar as I was solo.

Pros: Fresh food, Good variety, Good service
Cons: Crowded, Pricey
emeraldeyes180
emeraldeyes180
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+45

Overall good experience.

4
Posted on 02 / 12 / 2008

Arrived and were seated quickly, service was friendly and upbeat. There was a good menu selection and a good atsmosphere - little crowded :) Ordered the Tofu "BLT" and was pleasantly surprised with the faux bacon. Would recommend and return.

Pros: Good Selection, Friendly Staff, Good Food
Cons: Crowded Dinning
  • kindlizard kindlizard

    "Crowded" as being the only flaw is actually a good thing, I think. Crowded means the food is always fresh. Crowded as a negative though, welcome to NYC!!! Personal space is at a severe premium here and they couldn't afford you the luxury of any more space, or you'd be complaining about waiting outside. Somewhat spacious for some places in NYC.

    more-less
vegantraveler
vegantraveler
  • vegan
Contributions
+102

Great Lunch & Atmosphere!

5
Posted on 01 / 26 / 2008

I had a delicious Vegan BLT Sandwich w/ potato salad it was truly a treat for my first meal in NYC. Also, the Seitan Kebabs were very tastey (also served at Candle 79). The atmosphere was fun as well, I liked observing the Upper East Side culture with all the skinny, wealthy and good looking people..totally different from the mid-west:)


christina824
christina824
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+23

My Favorite Restaurant!

5
Posted on 12 / 30 / 2007

I LOVE Candle Cafe. I used to go there with my boyfriend quite often, but I have been going less since I've been so busy with school. Every time I go there, whatever I order is absolutely delicious. The Tofu Club is great, and so is the BBQ sandwich with sweet potato. Their salads are super fresh, and the dressing is scrumptious. The limonade is very good if you don't mind sour tastes. The only thing I have tried that I did not like was the chocolate peanut butter shake. I was expecting it to taste like a Reese's, but it just tasted like a peanut in liquid form. As for the food, I think it's the best! I would highly recommend this restaurant.

Pros: Amazing Food, Friendly Service, Vegetarian
Cons: Far From Home
jennamichelle1
jennamichelle1
  • vegan
Contributions
+250

You have to try it!

5
Posted on 12 / 16 / 2007

It was our favorite restaurant on our trip to New York. The food was fresh and delicious. We had a group of five friends, only two of us were vegans. Everyone loved the food and we were passing around our dishes for each other to try. I had the best vegan lasagna I've ever had. The only setback was that the restaurant was very crowded, but if you're visiting New York you should definitely try it out.

Pros: Delicious food, friendly waitstaff, great desserts
Cons: small restaurant
gr8vegan
gr8vegan
  • vegan
Contributions
+1641

Great place for a quick vegan lunch

4
Posted on 12 / 05 / 2007

Its a little crammed, but the review below says its affordable, and I wouldn't use those words :) The good thing is you can probably split what ever your getting with your significant other or close friend.


jbuuck
jbuuck
  • vegan
Contributions
+24

great casual food

4
Posted on 11 / 24 / 2007

The food is great and affordable. It is kind of cramped and the blender gets a bit loud, but you'll be pleased once the blended drink lands on your table.

Pros: good prices, generous portions, friendly staff
Cons: noisy , cramped
dinakourda
dinakourda
  • vegan
Contributions
+46

Tasty

4
Posted on 11 / 07 / 2007

I took my mom here for lunch before headed off to the airport. The portions were large enough for left-overs for dinner during the flight. The dining room was a bit crowded; I felt crammed in. It's not cheap, in fact the lunch bill for two was a bit more than dinner (sans the vino) for two at Candle 79. The service was mediocre to good. We were in a hurry to catch a flight and it took a while to get our courses close together and containers for the left-overs. In their defense it was VERY crowded.

Pros: Delicious, Large Portions, Good Service
Cons: Far from Time Square, Crowded, Pricey but worth it
Erin P.
Erin P.
  • vegan
Contributions
+60

Not worth the hype

3
Posted on 10 / 23 / 2007

I ordered their veggie burger. The bun was so dry and dense I had to take it apart and create two mini burgers. Great vegan mayonnaise though! That really made the burger taste good. Their banana cake was awesome. Best part of the meal. My husband got a cajun sandwich that he enjoyed. He agreed that my burger was very dry and bland and you could build a house with that bun. I'm sure the food there is good but I didn't get something good. Avoid the soy burger. Get the dessert.


hootlikeanowl
hootlikeanowl
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+20

Absolutely wonderful

5
Posted on 09 / 01 / 2007

I ate here last year for my friend's birthday and it was amazing. The food was delicious, the menu was very extensive, and the service was cordial and friendly. I had one of the specials, which was an Indian dish of assorted vegetables, beans, and curries; it was so good! Everyone else enjoyed their meals as well. Plus, the restaurant is in a very charming part of the Upper East Side. I will definitely eat here again.

Pros: Delicious food, Great service, Extensive menu
teal_ocean
teal_ocean
  • vegan
Contributions
+69

Great Food

5
Posted on 07 / 25 / 2007

The specials are always exciting and they have HUGE portions for all the food. I enjoy it everytime we go, and always get something new- can't say that for many other places.

It's a must go to if you're in the area.

Pros: Good food, nice staff
myboyfriendisdead
myboyfriendisdead
  • vegan
Contributions
+84

Yummy Food and Wine

5
Posted on 06 / 06 / 2007

Candle cafe is a great place to relax with some friends and grab a bite to eat. The food is always great and they have a wonderful selection of organic wines and beer.

Additionally they also have a bar where you can just sit down and have a snack and a drink if you prefer.


condekedar
condekedar
  • vegan
Contributions
+1106

Solid, simple, honest food

4
Posted on 05 / 29 / 2007

Candle Cafe has great ambiance, 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.

Pros: Taste, Ambience, Service
Cons: Expensive
bullcityveg
bullcityveg
  • vegan
Contributions
+82

The better of the two

5
Posted on 02 / 03 / 2007

The "lower priced" candle cafe, lower priced is relative, but since an entree can run close to twenty dollars it's still alittle pricey. The atmosphere is fine...a little cramped for the cash. My friends like this place best because the food reminds them of "normal" food and they can order burritos, burgers, sandwiches and other things that don't intimidate them. The daily specials are good, and menu changes a little bit seasonally. The vegan rehash of regular foods can get a little tired, but the food is still delicious and runs the gamut from big saucy entrees to snack-y appetizers.

Order: Matzoh Ball soup (so good!), indian plate, macrobiotic plate, tofu club, rice pudding, mezza platter, daily specials

Skip: it's a matter of taste, but I could take or leave the casserole. Also, anything involving cheese actually contains casien (it is marked on the menu) but it eliminates several choices.

Joy and Barry are also really nice, and if you're a NYer who misses traditional Jewish food, you can get some pretty good imitation =)

Pros: "normal" food, tasty as all get out
Cons: price, small space
KelseyApple
KelseyApple
  • vegan
Contributions
+107

Seitan Heaven!

5
Posted on 12 / 27 / 2006

Very casual atmosphere, great service, delicious food. I got seitan kebabs and was not disappointed. Three of us dined, each getting a different meal and sampling the others' and all of them were delicious. Desserts were delicious as well.

Pros: delicious, good value, good atmosphere
Poundie
Poundie
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+290

Great place

5
Posted on 08 / 27 / 2006

I have eaten here many times since it opened, and always love the food here. It is healthy and good tasting. It is less expensive than its cousin Candle 79, though not quite cheap. The place tends to be crowded and cramped. Still, the food makes it worthy a visit.

Pros: Healthy, good taste
Cons: cramped

 

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Last updated: 2011/12/26

 

Added: 2007/08/01

 

Added by: Guest

 

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