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Candle 79

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 96 reviews )
Contact 212-537-7179

154 East 79th St (at Lexington, Upper East Side, Manhattan), New York City, New York, USA, 10021

Upscale sister restaurant to Candle Café. All vegan, organic cuisine presented in a two-floor dining oasis with an organic wine and sake bar. Brunch on Sunday. Open Mon-Sat 12:00pm-3:30pm, Mon-Sat 5:30pm-10:30pm, Sun 12:00pm-4:00pm, Sun 5:00pm-10:00pm.

Category: Vegan, American, Organic, Beer/Wine, Take-out, Catering, Gourmet

Reviews (96)

First Review by Poundie

expensive - Edit

We got the fixed menu for Thanksgiving and the dishes were hit or miss. Everything was at least decent, but I feel like the bar is raised when you're paying over $100 (w/tip and tax) for vegetables. We were also crammed into a corner next to a large group. The wait staff was amazing, and the overall experience was fine, just not worth the price tag.

Pros: wait staff, good food

Cons: price

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This is the vegan restaurant of my dreams - Edit

I have longed for an upscale vegan restaurant for ages. I found it. We went there for a weekend brunch and a weekday dinner, and both times we got in quickly without a reservation. Service is excellent and attentive. The only downside is that the upstairs tends to be on the warm side.

The food is amazing, freshly made, and flavorful. It ranges from fancy upscale stacks of food to chowing down on a messy burger. And don't go without getting dessert; I've never had vegan cannoli before but the taste and texture was perfect. This will be a frequent stop whenever I go to New York City!

Pros: Amazing food, Attentive service

Cons: A little on the warm side upstairs

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great food, off staff - Edit

Classic vegan food, done well, with seasonal menu options. Pricey. The wait staff young man who seated us seemed unhappy, but our waitress was awesome! She had fine suggestions and really made us feel like she sincerely cared despite it being a busy night. We were not rushed, cake/dessert was exquisite. We even got a complimentary appetizer! Would go to again--nothing life changing, but definitely a nice meal.

Pros: seasonal, all vegan, relaxed, raw options

Cons: expensive, tense staff

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Fantastic for a special occasion with vegans and non-vegans - Edit

We came here for a special occasion dinner and it was definitely the right choice. The service was quite a change from the usual casual restaurants and we thoroughly enjoyed treating ourselves to this experience. This does reflect in the prices, but we ended up with around $100 for two people, which is still pretty alright given the quality and the experience. We shared an appetizer - the fried dumplings - that we both loved. I was particularly into the gingery sauce. We each had an entree, I had the chimichurri seitan, and shared a side of polenta fries. The portion sizes of the entrees are definitely on the smaller side, which I appreciate. The polenta fries were a good size as a side for two people; definitely too much for one person alone. They were tasty, but bland in comparison to the rest of the food. Nothing I'd get again. I really liked my entree, especially the plantains, that just had the right amount of sweetness to them. The seitan may have been the most tender and least chewy I have ever had - I wonder what their secret is. Afterwards, we shared the chocolate-peanut butter bliss. It may seem like a small serving, but it is incredibly rich and delicious and was clearly enough for both of us. I enjoyed it a lot and would go back again on another special occasion.

Pros: upscale service, great and quiet atmosphere, high-end dishes

Cons: pricey - special occasion only

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The BEST! - Edit

Mind blowing and delicious. I had the black bean pumpkin seed burger with the unbelievable heavenly polenta fries and my sister had the seitan piccata and she loved it. We shared the peach galette and peanut butter mousse and were super impressed. The cocktails were great too. Our favorite was the berry long engagement. Perfect late lunch spot.

Pros: delicious food, quick service, great location

Cons: pricey

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great service OK food - Edit

I seen a few reviews calling this restaurant The Best Vegan Fine Dining in Manhattan ...No lol This is a casual dinner place with nice food.The staff are brilliant and atmosphere was relaxed family vibe...not a date night place.

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What an amazing dinning experience! The food is incredible and not overly rich and filling which was nice. Lots of wonderful flavours and the service was also great! Would recommend the chickpea cake and the Mexican chocolate cake soooo good!

Pros: nice ambiance , good service , amazing food

Cons: tightly spaced

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Delicious vegan food in a nice ambience. - Edit

After a long day of traveling by plane, subway trains and buses for hours and hours I was treated to dinner in this restaurant followed by a walk through Central Park... both things were lovely, even with jet-lag!

I had an Indian dish of well-spiced carbs and curry on a bed of perfectly cooked (i.e. not overcooked at all) green beans and broccoli with nut slivers on top. It was a great combination. My cousin had meatballs!

Since I was taken out for dinner I can't tell you about value for money, but it's one of the most delicious meals I have had in months... and we cook yummy food at home!

Pros: Delicious food., Good size portion., Nice vibe.

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so good - Edit

Good atmosphere, perfect for a nice date, quick lunch, or drinks with friends. The food is amazing, I just want to eat everything on the menu.. The specials are always cool too.. So don't forget about them. I've gone to both locations and they are both so good, I love this place and you will too!!

Pros: food , service , drinks

Cons: sometimes there's a small wait, but it's NYC what , reservations book up fast

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Worth it!!! - Edit

Amazing experience! We made reservations before arriving in NYC and were not disappointed! The staff was very helpful but not overly pushy to order! The raw lasagna with cashew cheese was my first cashew cheese experience and my boyfriend had the Setian piccata and it was delicious as well! Go for the deserts too, you won't be disappointed!!

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Divine - Edit

Candle 79 is always the first place I want to eat when I visit NYC. Their nut cheeses are divine, their gluten-free mains amazing, their desserts to die for. If you go to just one vegan resto in NY (and I hope you get to go to lots), make it Candle 79. Beautiful, upscale spot, well worth the price.

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SO GOOD - Edit

This is my favorite restaurant to go to in the city. I've been back a handful of times and I've gotten something different every visit and have never been disappointed.
My boyfriend surprised me with a reservation here New Year's Day and he requested they get me flowers and they did it! They were waiting on the table for me when I got there.
The drinks here are fantastic as well. I've gotten their peach lemonade that tasted like sunshine in a glass.
I love this place.

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vegan fine dining! - Edit

I went with my meat-loving sister and her meat-loving boyfriend and they were quite pleased overall! we loved the appetizer special we got (empanadas). the moroccan chickpea spice cake was great & the seitan wheatballs were amazing! from someone who is 2 years vegan and a former lover of spaghetti and meatballs....this made me so happy. we got the wheatballs as a side, not a main dish with the spaghetti*. the steamed dumplings were okay, but i wish they just had veggies in them and not seitan. the zucchini fries were not that good and we usually love zucchini fries. for dessert, we got the cannoli and the brownie which were both fantastic but the brownie was a bit dry. overall, 3 people shared 2 appetizers, 1 entree, 2 sides, and 2 desserts. they also got a beer and the treehugger cocktail. i think we hit all bases but can't wait for my next trip!

Pros: all vegan, classy, wide range of cuisine choices

Cons: expensive, busy on saturday night

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Vegan upscale dining in Gotham - Edit

Candle 79 dining more than lives up to its reputation of vegan fine dining. Excellent food, friendly service, fine ambience, and the best polenta fries outside my own kitchen. Their cookbooks and prepared frozen foods available in many natural food grocers allow for continuing the Candle dining experience outside the restaurant.

Pros: Excellent all vegan food, Friendly, knowledgeable staff, Vegan fine dining

Cons: Expensive

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Good food, great desserts, expensive - Edit

Very nice Vegan restaurant, amazing service, decent food and excellent desserts. The warm apple and cranberry pie with a scoop of ice cream was the best dessert I've ever had. Expensive place.

Pros: Best dessert I've ever had, Amazing service, Creative menu, plenty of options

Cons: The food is far from being amazing, it's decent, Very expensive place

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Delicious and reasonable at lunch! - Edit

I visited with two friends and my teenage daughter. We all ordered from the fixed price menu. We started with complimentary mini-muffins from the kitchen. Then our choice of smoothie or fresh squeezed fruit juice, entree and dessert for only $32. It was a great deal for the quality of the food and the location.

I saw previous reviews saying the staff was racist and that made me wary about visiting, however, our server was a little stiff but efficient and we got pleasantries on our way out. No problems there! I would love to go back next time I'm in town!

Pros: great food, reasonably priced lunch menu

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best vegan food in the city! - Edit

We came for a visit and our local non-vegan friends took us there for a double date.
The place is very romantic (but too dark to take good pictures!)
And the food was a-m-a-z-i-n-g!
I've ordered the tamale and that was the best vegan dish I ate in town.
The starters we've ordered was also good.
Highly recommended.

Pros: great food, nice staff, romantic

Cons: not cheap (worth it though), juices are meh

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Try the Seitan Piccata! - Edit

My husband and I went to Candle 79 for my birthday dinner. Luckily they were able to fit us in last second without a reservation but I would recommend calling ahead because the dining area is small and they fill up quickly. My husband ordered the pasta special with cashew cream sauce, which was good and I ordered the seitan piccata, which we both agreed was amazing. We also went for a brownie Sunday for dessert, which was good but a bit small.

OVERALL, the food was very good. The portions were about average. I would consider it on the pricey side BUT this is NYC and I live here so I know that everything is pricey. For the quality of food and flavor the money is well worth it.

Pros: Delicioso! , Nice Location, Friendly Staff

Cons: Pricey Drinks/Desserts

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Don't get the portobello - Edit

Candle 79 was an ok vegan experience. The host was a little standoffish but we had a very polite server. The chef brought out a free (!) taster of some kind of tabouli-flavored dish.

I ordered the portobello off of the gluten-free menu and was not even close to being impressed. I ordered the chocolate-peanut butter bliss for dessert and it was BLISS! It was so good.

I was visiting NY.. probably would try out other restaurants if I returned rather than trying out Candle 79 again.

Pros: Vegan, Gluten-Free, Ambiance

Cons: Flavor, Snobby, Expensive

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Pretty good - Edit

I really enjoyed my meal at Candle Cafe. I got the Seitan Piccatta for dinner. I also sampled my friends Lasanga which was good too. For dessert I got the Cannoli which was delicious! I also tried the Chocolate Peanut Butter Bliss, which was good, but not quite as good. The restaurant itself was underwhelming. There was a plastic banner hanging with the restaurant name. The tables were foldable and very close together. The servers took FORVER to pour us water. We watched so many servers walk to the other tables before they came to us. I would go again, but I expected a little more.
Updated from previous review on Monday August 27, 2012

Pros: food is great

Cons: service

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Wholesome, familiar, creative meals - Edit

Delicious, wholesome food in a fancy, fine-dining setting. I had a yummy juice, nori rolls to start and the Moroccan chickpea cake with veggies which had creative and yummy flavours. Their take on traditional meals is incredibly inspiring. Even non vegans would find a meal that they would feel comfortable eating. You have to have the Mexican chocolate brownie and the cannoli. INCREDIBLE! I would recommend this place without a doubt.

Pros: Desserts , Familiar meals, childhood favourites, Comfortable setting

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Amazing food and service - Edit

We had a series of appetizers and a large plate to split, which the waiter handled very well. The seitan skewers were divine, as well as the cornmeal poppers and the kale salad. As our main dish, we had the special seitan dish, which was pan fried and served with mashed potatoes and asparagus. This was also amazing, and would've been the perfect size dish for one person. We finished the meal with desserts: ice cream, peanut butter chocolate mousse cake, and cannolis. The cannolis stood out as the best to me, but all three were delicious. All in all, one of the best vegan meals I've had.

Pros: good for sharing, skilled waiters/waitresses, amazing food

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Upscale Vegan Oasis - Edit

Candle 79 was truly the innovator in upscale vegetarian and vegan dining - it paved the way for restaurants like V Note, Blossom and Dirt Candy that followed. The food there is truly excellent - my favorites include the seitan skewers and seitan piccata. The cannoli dessert is not to be missed. It is best to make a reservation when going on a weekend evening. The prices are high, so this is a good restaurant to go to for special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries.

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Great food - Edit

This food is so good. I cant even tell you how good. Its like orgasms in your mouth I need your secrets all of them especially for the toasted almond cocktail!!!

Pros: Order everything Go ahead..

Cons: None

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Quality - Edit

I would certainly recommend trying to eat here. The menu is varied and interesting and the quality of the food is second to none.

It's not cheap, but considering the location, the quality of service I've encountered and the overall experience, it's well worth a try.

Pros: Haute cuisine

Cons: Haute cuisine

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Racism experienced, won't go back - Edit

While attempting to dine here recently, my girlfriend and a friend of hers were the only 2 non-white people in the restaurant. This is what happened:

Despite having a reservation, the girl at the front door kept telling them that the restaurant is "very expensive" and was quite surprised they even had a reservation at such a "nice restaurant". I should add that they were wearing nice clothes, just like other people, so the only difference was their brown skin.

The girl at the door never sat them down at a table. 40 minutes after the time for the reservation, numerous other people had gotten a table, even though they arrived later. When my girlfriend asked when they would get a table, the girl at the door acted like she didn't hear them.

They also received dirty looks from employees and kept receiving comments about how "nice" and "expensive" the restaurant is--an obvious implication that the staff didn't think these 2 non-white people could afford to eat here.

After waiting more than 40 minutes and realizing that everyone but them was getting a table, my girlfriend and her friend gave up and left. They never got a table, despite their reservation, and never tried any food.

I've been vegan for over 10 years, and this is the first vegan business I've ever refused to support. I won't ever go here.

Cons: Racism

3 Responses

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vegan_ryan MyVeganJoy - 1. If you took the time to look at how many reviews I have on this site, you'd realize that I don't post fake reviews, so think before you question a "fake review." 2. You basically asserted that racism doesn't exist in NYC, which would be laughable, if it wasn't doing so much to entrench the racism many people in NYC face on a daily basis, despite being a melting pot. 3. You may have had good experiences. This is a review site. Other experiences vary. Sad that other people's experiences seem to be less valid than yours; check your privilege.

Nice for dinner conversation - Edit

The food is excellent, and this is the perfect place for dinner conversation, because it is much quieter than its sister restaurant, The Candle Cafe. The only problem is that it is more expensive, and that the menu has fewer selections. I am obsessed with the seitan chimichurris!

Pros: Great Food, Quiet Atmoshpere, Seitan Chimichurris!

Cons: Expensive, Less selection than cafe

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This place was amazing - Edit

We love this place so much that we ate at it twice on our four-day trip.
It is a nice upscale restaurant to go out on a date with your loved one.
The staff was awesome and the food is out of this world. Some of the yummiest vegan food I've ever had.

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Nice but expensive - Edit

I visited here for lunch. The food was nice but not exceptional for the prices. I felt the staff wanted us out quite quickly. Many establishments of equivalent quality for a better price and experience are available in New York. Suitable perhaps for taking non-veg friends and family.

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A Favorite - Edit

Candle 79 is one of my favorite restaurants. The food and service are dependably great. The menu always has many tempting options, plus the daily specials offer surprises. On our most recent visit, we had a grilled artichoke special appetizer and cornmeal poppers, which were superb. For entrees we had the special seitan, chanterelle crusted tofu, and fall vegetable & wild mushroom fricasee. All were quite good. For dessert we had a delicately flavored pumpkin flan, plus a delicious special caramelized fig. We thoroughly enjoyed this visit, as we have other times.

Pros: great food, great service, dependable

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  Contributions +34

Candle 79 New York - Edit

just so nice and friendle, wonderful vegan food,

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Candle 79 - Edit

I was taken to Candle 79 for my birthday in June. Based on most reviews of this place, we had pretty high expectations. While the food was good, it wasn't anything extraordinary. The prices are also out of alignment with the taste of their food as well as service provided.

The Food:
- Live Heirloom Tomato Tartare: This was good, but nothing special
- Grilled Seitan Chimichurri: These were impressive, flavored and cooked well
- Moroccan Spiced Chick Pea Cake: Disgusting, we sent this dish back
- Seitan Picatta: Good, but too sour
- Spaghetti and Wheat Balls: Not bad, likely the best entree they have
- Polenta Fries: Average
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Bliss: Does not live up to all the hype, I'd never order this again.

The Service:
The main reason Candle gets 1 star (HC doesn't allow less than 2 stars for vegan places) is the AWEFUL service (which deserves 0 stars). We were there for 2.5 hours because our server was awkward, rude, slow, and highly inattentive. We had to get up several times to ask for things. The worst was when we were trying to leave we waited forever for him to come back to the table, after asking him for the check we waited another 15 minutes, and at that point I got up and asked him for the check (he was lollygagging in the back after I clearly asked him for the check). When we FINALLY left we complained to the manager, who did absolutely nothing about it. Definitely won't be back.

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upscale vegan - Edit

We knew we had to try Candle 79 during our trip to NYC as it seems to be the most famous of vegan restaurants. We were not disappointed. We arrived for lunch when they opened at noon. As we had reservations, we were seated upstairs by the window. The service is impeccable from the waitress, manager, bus boys, everyone. The decor is nice as well. We started with a razzle dazzle cocktail and an iced mochaccino along with the seitan chimichurri. Yummy. Since it's famous for the seitan piccata, we ordered that with the summer fricassee. Both lovely and tasty. For dessert, we got the peanut butter bliss. It was bliss. Everything was. It was a pricey lunch, but very enjoyable.

Pros: lovely food, nice decor, impeccable service

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A Highlight - Edit

Okay, the price might put off some people and get their guards up right away. If you want a special night and price is no matter, consider Candle 79.

They have a really good (and unique) wine selection, a menu that makes obvious the creativity and talent of their chef. The decor isn't incredibly upscale but they create an upscale ambiance through the professionalism and attention to service of the staff, the presentation of the dishes and, of course, the taste.

Back to price, which is the major gripe of most - the food isn't quite as good as the price would have you believe. For me, Candle 79 did enough to make up for that one knock against them.

My wife and I enjoyed our wine, meals and dessert thoroughly. I believe we had the Pumpkin Seed - Crusted Tempeh and Walnut Crusted Seitan. The carrot cake for dessert was transcendent.

If you can foot the bill, it's worth a try.

Pros: Wonderful menu, Good service

Cons: Cost of entrees

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Gourmet Vegan Culinary Experience - Edit

Candle 79 is a must for vegans that only the best will do. If you go and you can eat gluten, I suggest their signature dish the Seitan Piccata. If you can't afford Candle 79, you can buy their cookbook and try some of their recipes at home.

Pros: Amazing Food, Nice Vibe, Food Presentation

Cons: Expensive

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Food good but could be healthier - Edit

I was excited to come here as the place seems to be quite famous.
The service was excellent.
The food was also not bad though I found the entree too boring (2 big burritos with the same taste throughout) and too big. But that's personal. But the burrito had a lot of fake (fake meat plus fake cheeses) stuff and was heavy, not what I'm used to. Salad yummy but I would have loved more greens in it. Overall the food was good, the ginger lemonade outstanding, and the ice cream like heaven.
What I could not accepted: The place is not small and there was only one bathroom for ladies (and the queue stood directly in front of the kitchen door).

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overpriced and plane food - Edit

The place is nice, but too expensive for the size and quality of food. Service is fine. Nice cocktail menu if you don't drink alcohol. Overall I was not impressed at all. The only thing i like about this place is that it is absolutely vegan and you don't need to ask questions about each ingredient. Won't go there in future...

Pros: service, environment

Cons: high prices, plain food

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Just perfect...... - Edit

Having eaten there twice, I find this the perfect place for lunch. Correct portion sizes and you feel right when you walk out! And of course the food is delicious....you really can't go wrong with anything on the menu....

Pros: Healthy, Delicious, Correct portion size

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Nothing comes close to Candle 79 - Edit

Candle 79 is the place to be in NYC. The chefs and staff are top notch, catering to all palates and preferences. If something goes uneaten on your plate they'll make sure they didn't mess up and take that into account on your following dishes (example, I'm not an avocado fan, they noticed and it was wiped from all following courses!) It really seemed like everyone from the bus boys, manager, waiters were keeping a close eye on the plates and communicating back to the kitchen to create a top notch experience beyond compare. I was treated to an amazing oil-free vegan birthday dinner here a week ago and I have to say it was the best birthday dinner I've ever had. The courses were custom created in the kitchen, from starters to dessert the produce was amazingly fresh, the seiten incredibly juicy and bursting with flavor, fruit and a special ice cream made just for me... I don't know where else in the world to get that level of service in a vegan restaurant. No trip to NYC is complete with out visiting Candle 79.
Updated from previous review on Wednesday December 05, 2007

Pros: service, accommodating, oil-free with advanced notice

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Get the Grilled Seitan Chimichurri - Edit

The Grilled Seitan Chimichurri appetizer ($10) may be the best thing I've ever eaten. I wish they would make this an entree and serve these skewers of divine-tasting delights over rice.

The Grilled Kale salad is heavenly. Almost a meal in itself.

Note that the Tomato-Zuchini Lasagna is a raw lasagna. Nothing wrong with that, just that the menu does not state it is raw. I saw 'cashew cheese' was on it and assumed it was a hot dish. Nope.

The Spaghetti and Wheat Balls are wonderful. This may be a good dish for any meat eaters in your group who need to ease in to the world of vegan cuisine.

Located on the Upper East Side. They don't have valet parking but there is a parking garage around the corner at 80th Street between 3rd & 2nd Aves if you need it. Or if you're taking public transportation, I found the New York City MTA Trip Planner to be very cool: http://tripplanner.mta.info/MyTrip/ui_web/customplanner/tripplanner.aspx

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Delicious food! - Edit

I went here twice for dinner in a 3 day period. The food is unbelievable. Make sure to get the Seitan Piccata it is mind blowing. It doesn't have that normal squishy textured; it's cooked like actual chicken. The cannoli also rocks! Wonderful place overall

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Amazing modern vegan cuisine and organic wine - Edit

I wanted to visit Candle 79 for many years before finally making it on a trip from Australia to New York City a couple of years ago and it was so worth it! I love the fresh, modern vegan cuisine with thoughtful food combinations, delicious desserts and a great organic wine selection! I enjoyed lunch there with three omnivores and they all loved the food - win/win! The seitan piccata is to die for, try it!

Pros: Modern, thoughtful cuisine, Beautiful restaurant, Organic wine

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Wonderful! - Edit

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: Fantastic, seasonal menu, caters to allergies, great atmosphere

Cons: none

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Fabulous Place - Edit

I go to this great restaurant every time I am in NYC and each time I am blown away by the great food, service, presentation - just everything. I have taken my carnivorous husband, grandsons and friends and all are really amazed by the great food. I never have to ask twice if they want to eat there. It is really soooo nice to be able to order anything on the menu and know that it will be vegan and delicious.

Pros: Excellent food, Great value, Friendly Staff

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Excellent - Edit

I am used to Vege and Vegan restaurants in Europe. i.e often pathetic, second rate, religion based, etc.
So . . . fantastic to dine at a restaurant which is both vege and quality too. Marvellous.
We also loved Blossom.

Pros: Very high quality, Varied menu, Vegan too

Cons: Bit pricey

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  Contributions +49

Very good! - Edit

Delicious food, great atmosphere, and super nice and friendly staff. It's a rare thing to find a fancy vegan restaurant whereas most of them seem to be cafes. I got the limeade drink with spaghetti and wheat balls(which I HIGHLY recommend), and the cannolis for dessert(the ice cream on top was a little gross though). The price added up to $125 dollars! Don't get the beer it adds up. It was a great place though, I highly recommend it.

Pros: Good atmosphere, Friendly and nice staff, Wonderful food

Cons: Small portions, High price

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Just as good as expected - Edit

My BF and I came here on a Monday night. Place was quiet at first but filled up pretty fast. We ordered the spinach ravioli for starter, the chickpea cakes and the grilled tempeh for entrees, a side of polenta fries, the brownie off the dessert special and the house-made ice cream/sorbet trio. Everything was excellent, except for the ravioli (a little bland) and the ice cream/sorbet sampler (too soft and tiny portion). Decor was very intimate and romantic. Very friendly service.

With all the hype around this place it's only understandable that one walks in with high expectations. Certainly it didn't disappoint in the least bit, but we weren't blown away either. It's just everything you would expect it to be, and I am not sure what that missing something might be. Even so, their recognition is without a doubt well-deserved.

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Not my favorite high end restaurant - Edit

My husband and I went there on Christmas eve. Everything was delicious, though we especially loved the entrees and the desserts. Candle 79 is definitely up there as far as restaurants go, they have superior chefs, their staff was great, and the atmosphere was lovely. It is on par with other high end vegan restaurants we have visited, and thus I am going to give it a 5/5. However, I would say it is our least favorite high end restaurant that we have visited.

Pros: Good for a night out

Cons: Expensive, Food isn't amazing

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Excellent food, excellent service - Edit

The food was fabulous but the service was even better! Our waiter reccomended local bars for us to check out and the bus boy did the Dougie for us (after a bit of heckling from us girls). It was great!

Pros: Food , service

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Yum Yum Yum - Edit

Went here on a Saturday evening for my birthday on a recent trip to NYC. The service and atmosphere were excellent very 1930's ish, loved it.

All the food was amazing, tastes were perfect as were the portion sizes. Would defiantly go again if i had the opportunity.

Pros: Food, Portion size, Location/atmosphere

Cons: none

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Number one! - Edit

This is the fanciest vegan restaurant in NYC, in my opinion. The house-made desserts are SO good, I know the meal "should" start with the savory dishes, but if you go there you want to save some space for them. The food is very tasty, the dishes are elaborated, and the presentation is gorgeous. This is my favorite place for special celebrations, with fun and polite staff. It is not cheap, but the value is fair with what you will get - success in every dish!

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Excellent - Edit

I had been wanting to eat at Candle 79 almost since I became a vegetarian, as it must be one of the best known veg restaurants in the world. Finally, while on holiday in the US, we got the chance to eat here and the food was everything I had hoped for: elaborate, tasty, well presented, interesting. We had the steamed dumplings and roasted hummus (so good!), as well as the spaghetti and wheat balls (my least favorite), burrito 79 (very generous portion) and grilled kale salad. After all these treats we couldn't resist trying out dessert and had the chocolate peanut butter mousse with berry coulis, which was a great ending to our lunch. All this came to around 100 USD, with a couple of non-alcoholic drinks. Not a small lunch, either!! I hope I will get the chance to eat here again soon, in the meantime I would recommend it to anyone who has the opportunity to eat here.

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Great experience - Edit

We had booked a table at 8 pm, but came at 7, guided by earlier experience that vegetarian restaurants are rarely so full that it is not possible to get an early table. However Candle 79 was packed, so we had a drink by the bar whilst waiting. It was so full that some were actually having their meal at the bar, which did not seem ideal, but obviously that's how popular this place was. We enjoyed watching the bartender make drinks and the hour we had to wait (by no fault of the restaurant of course) flew by. We were then escorted to a great table by the window.

My partner and I shared a starter, a wonderful hummus with a delicious pita bread. As a main course I had the seitan piccata. Despite my aversion to capers and citrus in main courses I really enjoyed it, but then I am an avid seitan lover.. My partner had the paella, which I found rather bland, but which he enjoyed. For dessert we shared a Mexican chocolate brownie which was lovely. The service was good, but not outstanding. A really nice touch however was that when the waitress screwed up how to serve a particular type of beer, making it overflow, they gave it to us on the house rather than pouring it out.

We did not find it expensive, totally worth the price. Beautiful restaurant, good atmosphere, delicious food.. Nothing to complain about! Definitely worth a visit. However, if you have not made a reservation and can't be bothered to wait, V Note is not far away and is equally good in my opinion.

Pros: Nice place, Great food, Good beer list

Cons: Packed

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my go-to place on the upper east side - Edit

my whole non-veg family is obsessed with this place! it's a classy vegan restaurant on the upper east side. the food is outstanding. the desserts are delicious. the vibe is great. nice people. my grandma is 80 years old and was a bit hesitant to try a "vegan" restaurant, but she's still talking about this place!

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Candle 79 - Edit

My friends and I ate lunch here on a recent trip to New York. I left with a severe case of buyer's remorse, and feeling like I had just been conned. While the food was good, it was certainly not worth the price. I find the inflated prices unforgivable. I understand that it's New York, and that for some reason businesses there get away with charging ridiculously high prices for average food and drinks, but 15 dollars for a bland black bean burger is shameful. Seriously, there is a better burger at the bar down there street from my apartment, do not order it. I had the Pealla, which was good, but nowhere near worth 23 dollars. Yes, 23 dollars for a small portion of rice, veggies, and a few strips of seitan. [edit by staff - see ToS] I don't care if it's a vegan restaurant, I just think of it as another overpriced eatery that uses its undeserved reputation to take advantage of its customers.

Pros: good food, friendly service

Cons: prices, service can be slow, small portions

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Great experience if you make good choices - Edit

While I really enjoyed my experience here, I think it is fair to point out that some of the menu items are far more interesting and flavourful than others- which would explain why some reviews mention bland food. I highly recommend asking the servers here for recommendations- they appear to have tried most of the menu items, and will direct you to the tastiest choices, or those best suited to your likes, so that you get dishes that are worth what they cost.

Pros: Unique dishes, Lovely atmosphere, Great service

Cons: Expensive, Some dishes less flavourful

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Great food and ambiance - Edit

The food and ambiance are very nice. I've been several times and have never had a bad meal. I've ordered the chimichurri, the mezze plate and the porcini crusted seitan on several different occasions because they're so good.

Pros: food, ambiance

Cons: price

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Best Vegan Meal I've Had! - Edit

I must say - this was the best vegan meal I've had thus far. Where to begin? I've only been once so this entire review will be based on my 30th birthday dinner there! We had our reservation and were promptly seated with no waiting. After receiving our drinks, a manager stopped by to ask if we had dined there before. After finding out it was our first time, we received a complimentary appetizer - such a nice gesture and delicious too!

For our main course - husband ordered the seitan piccata and loved it!! such flavor;) I had the moroccan spiced chickpea cake and liked it even more than hubbys. he loved it too. Our service was perfect - not too rushed but not too slow either.

For dessert - we ordered some sort of spiced chocolate brownie - can't remember the exact name. After learning it was my 30th bday, they also sent out a bday extra that was an apple dessert of some sort. Both were amazingly yummy, especially that brownie!

On a last note - I thought the restaurant was very fairly priced for a upscale dining experience in new york. I couldn't have been happier with the entire experience! And while we dined - who walked in but Kris Carr. I got to meet her too! amazing night:)

Pros: Wonderful Management, Fresh Vegan Food, Affordable Dinner!

Cons: NONE!

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great dining experience in NYC - Edit

If we ever have the chance to be back in NYC, we will definitely go to this place again.
Great atmosphere. Great dining experience. We were sat upstairs at the window. Very nice and friendly service.
Fine food and wine.
yes, a bit expensive, but we thought all in all it was well worth it!

Pros: atmosphere, fine dining

Cons: on the expensive side

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Biggest disappointment - Edit

The biggest disappointment in a long time: Yes, the place is posh and great to bring a date to, but the food was tasteless and actually kinda gross. I mean, who would wanna deep-fry seitan? Seriously, don't deep-fry seitan!! Just don't! We paid $120 for food that tasted like it cost $12. Super cool and friendly service though.

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Enjoyable experience - Edit

Unlike the cafe, Candle 79 was a delight.

Although, what I ordered seemed like something I could make myself at home, it was still very pleasing. I think great service really helped me to enjoy the experience even more. I was prepared for an overrated experience since Candle Cafe had been such a disappointment, but Candle Cafe was nice for lunch. I also saw Woody Harrelson there, so that was cool.

It may even be a more awesome experience for dinner.

Pros: service, environment

Cons: expensive

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Excellent Restaurant - Edit

I have been a vegan for 25 years and consider myself something of a vegan tourist. To date, this is the best vegan restaurant I have visited. The appetizers and entrees were excellent. The service was friendly. Vegan beer and wine is on offer. I highly recommend Candle 79. This restaurant serves cannoli!

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disappointed - Edit

I was really looking forward to eating at Candle 79. I had heard of it as the best veg restaurant in NY with a huge following. Because I eat gluten free there weren't as many options for me. I don't even remember what I had, but it was not very good at all. But the wine was delicious, the starter of oyster mushrooms was yummy, the service was very good, and it is a lovely spot.
Let me know if you can recommend a good GF main dish!

Pros: Wine, Atmosphere, Service

Cons: GF Main Dish

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Even the skeptics were pleased! - Edit

I went there for a late lunch to celebrate my grandmother's 82nd bday with all the family. I'm the only veggie-saurus so everyone else was hesistant, to say the least. However, we ordered a couple of appetizers to share and sampled each others entrees and desserts. Even my younger siblings and nephew cleaned their plates! I only wish that I still lived in NY so that I could frequent Candle79 more often.

Pros: great food, friendly staff, menu that non-vegans love

Cons: close between lunch and dinner

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Awesome! - Edit

After walking 40 blocks to get here I figured I could splurge on the calories a bit! I had the cajon seiten sandwich with aoli for my entree and it was amazing! I would've liked the seiten to be at least a little spicy, but it was great. For desert I had the Vegan vanilla cheesecake. It had a raspberry topping and chocolate flakes on top. The staff was very friendly and helpful.

Pros: great food , friendly staff, quick service

Cons: pricy

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Fantastic - Higly Recommend For Special Night Out - Edit

This is my fav vegie restaurant. I am so glad we got into this place on our visit to NYC, if I lived in NY I'd go here often. This is the perfect romantic venue with delicious vegie food. The food was delicious and this is a special place. My entree raviloi was delicious. My only criticism would be my pre-dinner cocktail which was a little too sweet. Definatley give this place a go for a fancy night out. Please open a restaurant in Sydney!!!!

Pros: Special place, Great food, Extensive menu


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Wonderful Experience - Edit

My husband and I went here for a special dinner on our recent trip to NYC. We were not disappointed! We had a bottle of amazing biodynamic wine and an absolutely delicious dinner, followed by one of the best vegan desserts I have ever had. The ambiance is quiet and intimate and the staff was exceptional. Everything from the hummus appetizer to the peanut butter and chocolate dessert was delectable. I look forward to going back!

Pros: Delicious food, Great staff, Wonderful atmosphere

Cons: Expensive

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I can't wait to go back! - Edit

I was extremely excited to try Candle 79 during a short trip to NYC with my dad. And I must say, it was great to have the dining experience of an all vegan, upscale restaurant. The restaurant was warm and inviting and the staff was great.

First off, I must mention their homemade ginger ale. I saw this on the menu and was so intrigued that I decided to pass on the organic wine and go for this non-alcoholic beverage instead. It was a great choice!! The pungent but delicious flavors worked great together. I am definitely going to try to duplicate this for my at-home enjoyment. :-)

For appetizers we got the butternut squash & wild mushroom-spinach ravioli and the smoked hummus. The ravioli's may have been the best thing I have ever tasted in my entire life. I couldn't get enough!! The hummus was also delicious and was served with an entire bulb of roasted garlic (yumm). After eating both appetizers I was certain the entree would be equally as delicious.

Unfortunately, I didn't find the entree's as tasty as the appetizers (this is the reason for 4 cows). Don't get me wrong, they were good but I did expect a lot more after eating the delicious apps. Also, this restaurant isn't cheap so I expected a little more for the money. I got the seitan piccata and my dad got the special that night for pistachio encrusted seitan with garlic mashed, veggies and gravy. Both were good, but not great.

Desserts were a hit. The cannolis were amazing and the mexican chocolate brownie was rich but very tasty.

Overall the experience was a great one. I am going back to Candle 79 for my birthday weekend in March. If I get a better entree, I will make sure to update my review to 5 cows.

Pros: delicious food, delicious drinks, upscale and ALL vegan

Cons: expensive

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Simply Amazing - Edit

The food here is absolutely wonderful. I was prepared ahead of time for it to be pricey, so that didn't bother me (my fiance and I were in NY for Valentine's Day), and we were far from being disappointed. We split the butternut squash and wild mushroom, spinach ravioli (one of the best things I have ever eaten). I had the hot special seitan piccata (different sauce and slightly different veggies than the standard menu item), and we split a cannoli for dessert (amazing...).
This place is great for special occasions. I would not be able to afford it regularly, but if I could, I would go there often.

Pros: Beautiful Presentation, Atmosphere, Delicious, Creative Food

Cons: Pricey

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Hands Down the Best Vegetarian Meal I Ever Had! - Edit

Honestly, the best vegetarian meal I ever had, really says it all. We were blown away by the food, the atmosphere, even the smell when you walk in the door was amazing! Highly recommended!

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very good food - Edit

candle 79 was probably the best vegetarian restaurant in New York City. They offer dishes that most other vegetarian restaurants dont and strive to make consistently great dishes.

If you go, you must get the seitan skewars. Its the best $8 you will ever spend. The seitan avacado sandwich is my favorite thing to order there.

The food at candle 79 is excellent but the atmosphere isnt. You're cramped side by side into tables, sometimes sitting at the same table as strangers.

Pros: delicious food, healthy cusine, seitan skewars

Cons: small portions, expensive, slow service

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Simply the best - Edit

We've been trying for two years to make it here, only to be stymied each time we were in NYC. Finally ate here and it lived up to its reputation. First, I'm amused by people calling it bland or too crowded or pricey? Are they from Iowa or someplace? This is NOT expensive for NY. And the table are not really crowded at all. And it's only bland if you are used to oversalted processed food.
Our seitan chimuchurri appetizer was sublime. We couldn't believe how good it was. Almost the same for the yummy Arancini, a treat I've missed since being veg. We both had a seitan dish for dinner. Absolutely delicious and unique sauces. Good sides like mashed potatoes and green beans included. We thought the portions were more than adequate. We didn't get any dessert as we were meeting friends downtown for dessert. The options looked OK, nothing thrilling. I will say one thing: my entree came and it wasn't hot. I have a thing about hot food. But when I told the waitress, she got a suitably horrified look on her face; not like "you're a fussy pain in the ass". And she got me a hot re-done plate as quick as she could. So we will most def be back!

Pros: FOOD, Great staff, View from 2nd floor

Cons: $10 beers?

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not good enough - Edit

I went for dinner last week. Service: great; ambiance: great; food presentation: great; prices: Through the frickin roof; food: disappointing.

This was my second time there. The first was much better so perhaps I just ordered wrong. But frankly, the food was somewhat dry, poorly seasoned, and uninspired. And yes, the portions are on the small side, but that's ok - we're not supposed to be stuffing our gullets. But in my opinion, you pay largely for the ambiance and the fancy food presentation as much as for the food. I will go back, but cautiously. I'm rating it "excellent" because it is, but it really should be better AND CHEAPER.

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kindlizard I can't help disagree not only w the content, but your tone. First thing anyone should know about eating out in general, let alone NYC: if you can't afford it, don't do it. This is a high end place. They have a less expensive cafe too. There are other options in the Cty too. If you can't afford to go to a nice place, don't go. If you can afford it, don't later complain, especially on your second time, you should know the cost.
Secondly, the cost is because they only serve the freshest ingredients, and last I checked, was all, if not mostly OG, a premium in life. The food is always expertly prepared. It is never dry or bland. That is just unfair.

Candle 79 & Candle Cafe - Can't Be Beat!!! - Edit

I went on my 1st trip to NYC with my sweetheart for our anniversary and the first thing we did as a vegan couple in a new city is look at the vegetarian restaurant listings. I liked the name so we went to Candle 79, a vegan restaurant (with the exception of their cheese which has casein) with raw food options, a juice bar, and a seasonal menu. We had a little bit of sticker shock - meals were $20, drinks were $10, dessert was $10, and by the end of the night we had a $100 restaurant bill. But boy, was it worth it!!! First we sat down and ordered a chocolate chip shake... mmmmmmm!!! Eyeing the menu, I was sort of lost - I considered myself (at that point in my life) to be a "simple" vegan. Tofu, vegetables and fruit, pasta, rice, beans, etc. I asked the waiter for his recommendation, and he immediately recommended the house favorite rosemary peppered seitan. I had not yet had seitan so I thought, why not! The waiter brought out a little plate of complimentary appetizers, all of which were delicious. Then came the meal, so elegantly arranged on the plate. Rosemary peppered seitan in thinly shaved slices with a side of creamy pureed leeks. BEST. MEAL. EVER. Then came dessert, a delicious peanut butter chocolate torte. My mouth waters just thinking about it again! My boyfriend and I went back the next night, and then the day after that we went to try Candle Cafe - also fantabulous!!! Thank goodness the trip was only 3 days or else I'd be broke!!! I highly recommend this restaurant to couples as it is very romantic, and if you're looking for a slightly cheaper and more cafe-like place to eat with all of the quality of Candle 79 try their original Candle Cafe!

Pros: Best food, Fine dining atmosphere, Helpful wait staff

Cons: Pricey, Busy, Somewhat small

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Best meal I have ever had! - Edit

I've been to vegan restaurants across America and Candle 79 is the best. Vegans get used to those nice little cafes like the Chicago Diner or Vita in Portland, and those are all great, but what if you're looking for a romantic dinner with your wife? Look no further. This is the ultimate vegetarian restaurant. I don't remember what I had as it was last summer and I've just found this review site, but I wanted to add my 2 cents. Everything about this restaurant is perfect. It's also inspiring to think of this restaurant as the future of American eating. I hope that is what it will be.

Pros: best food ever, amazing staff, atmosphere

Cons: none

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Amazing! - Edit

Candle 79 lives up to all the hype. We ate there 2 times when we were in town and every single thing we ordered was perfect and beautifully presented. We can't wait to get back there next time we are in NYC. Candle Cafe is equally as delicious.

Pros: Food, Service, Presentaion

Cons: Expensive

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The service was friendly and outstanding. I couldn't believe there was actually a nice and competient server out there. They are so few and far between.

The food?? Amazing. This is my new favorite restaurant. I had the guacamole to start, then had a balsamic seitan dish. If only I could cook like this at home.

Pros: Excellent Flavors, Great Service, Great Music

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Love it... - Edit

This is our favorite place. Lovely uptown dining. Always go for the specials, they work with no fail. I heard brunch is particularly wonderful. We had this brown rice salad with avocado, it was to die for! As insignificant as it is, the hummus was amazing as well. Every time I'm in the area, I have to catch a meal here.

Pros: Great menu, Delicious!, Great service

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Great food - Edit

I had an arugula salad, a black bean pumpkin seed burger, house made sorbet and a strawberry lemonade. It was all very good, but also expensive (for a student like me).
Service was excellent.

Pros: excellent food, friendly staff

Cons: price

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Great food, small portions - Edit

We really enjoyed our meal and I loved the unique dishes served. Our server was very friendly. The only negatives were the small portions and the large bill. I wouldn't mind the price if a little more food had been included.

Pros: Atmosphere, Unique dishes

Cons: Small portions, Expensive

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Seriously? - Edit

After reading such wonderful reviews on Candle 79 - and being such a fan of Candle Cafe - I was really excited to try out Candle 79.

I was thoroughly disappointed. The service is slow, the restaurant is cramped, and there is no privacy.

Now on to the food. Uneventful options that were so mildly flavored, my husband and I couldn't figure out what type of cuisine we were eating. Also, the portions are terribly small. To add insult to hunger, we were still hungry after a significantly expensive meal ($100) and we didn't even drink!

I would highly recommend trying another place out - even if it might not be close by to you. Spend that extra dough on the cab fare to someplace better.

Pros: Can't think of one.

Cons: too expensive, not exciting, cramped

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Tasty and Pricey - Edit

My fiance' took me here for my birthday back in November. The atmosphere here is great - very intimate (You will find it hard not to hear the conversations the next table over) and dimly lit.

We had a drink each, appetizer, main course, and desserts, and the check was over $150 for the two of us.

The fall sangria I had was delicious and the dishes were good, but I wouldn't say great. A little bland for our liking.

If you happen to be a thousand miles away in Ft. Lauderdale, Sublime is a much better meal and cheaper too.

Pros: Atmosphere, Service, Variety

Cons: Cost, A little Bland, Small

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yummie is all i have to say - Edit

ok it was my first time in new york cause im actualy from germany.and we went to candle 79 and it was mindblowing.the atmosphere was great and the food delicious.i cant wait till im back in ny to be there again.one of the best vegan restaurants on this planet.if you have the chance check it out.and get their cookbook it's awesome.

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Fine Dining - Edit

I took my mom here before a Broadway Show (Duran Duran). It re-opens at 5:30 pm so we had to eat a little quickly. The server was very understanding and accommodating. But had dessert and made it to the show on time. I will definitely come back here. I went to Candle Cafe the next day for lunch and the check was slightly more. Don't be intimidated by its fanciness.

Pros: Food & Service, Close to a subway station, Atmosphere

Cons: Price, Far from the Action

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Slight let-down - Edit

I went to Candle 79 with high expectations. Ultimately, I found most of my meal to be bland and uninspired, especially considering the price of the place. The avocado-black bean salsa appetizer was heavy and dull; the main dish, a fava bean puree with tempeh and morel mushrooms, was bland and unsubtle. Finally, the ice cream sampler, while tasty, came in a tiny portion (and cost $8). The service, while friendly, was slow and inattentive. Decor and ambiance don't make up for bland food, high prices and poor service. Go to their sister joint, The Candle Cafe, instead.

Pros: Good for dates, Location, Decor

Cons: Bland food, Expensive, Slow service

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Simply the Best! - Edit

Candle 79 is my all time favorite vegan restaurant! The service is wonderful and the food is simply amazing! The presentations of each dish are an artistic masterpiece. The ever changing seasonal menu always features a wonderful tempe or setan dish that is both hearty and elegant.

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The classiest vegan place - Edit

Want to impress a vegan with four star dining? This is the only place that even comes close. The decor is fine dining, as is the presentation. The food is artfully arranged and tastes great...but for the prices, I wish you got a little more food. I guess you're paying for the atmosphere, which makes a couple of young people like my friends and I a little uncomfortable. Either way, it *is* undoubtedly fine dining, and unequivocally delicious.

Try: seitan chimmichurri, the guacamole appetizer, seitan piccata

skip: raw entree. it wasn't the strongest thing I've tried.

Pros: fine dining/upscale, great food

Cons: fine dining/upscale

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World class - Edit

I have eaten at vegatarian restaurants all over the East Coast of the US and Europe, and this is one of the best. Along with Hangawai and Gobo, it is the best in NYC (with Franchia and Candle Cafe--its sister restaurant--close behind). The restaurant is extremely classy and the food is very healthy, fresh, excellent tasting, and all vegan. The portions are not huge, but they are a nice size. Anybody who has a 3-course meal with side dish and a drink should be satisfied. Unfortunately, you will also be broke--such a dinner for 2 could cost you well over $100, even without wine. On the other hand, a brunch could cost $30-$50 for two, as could a single course dinner without drinks. If you are concerned about the price, go to Candle Cafe around the corner (which is not cheap, but is nonetheless less dear than this place).
Located on the Upper East Side near the Whitney Museum and Metropolitan Museum, close to subways and bus lines.

Pros: top-notch food, classy decor, healthy

Cons: expensive!

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