An affordable ($11-30) vegetarian / vegan restaurant with gluten-free, naturally-sweetened, vegetarian, & vegan options in (Upper East Side) with critics pick, delivery, brunch, fast food, & vegetarian offerings.
Mon-Sat: 11:30am-10:30pm Sun: 11:30am-9:30pm
The twin Candle Cafes are old-school in the best way. The original East Side location has been a vegan hot spot since 1994. The square wooden tables and casual vibe make this a take-your-mom-to-lunch-and-show-her-vegan food-is-tasty sort of place.
Those stopping in for a drink and a snack should indulge in a satisfyingly buttery-tasting tahini-based dip for focaccia, or a hearty, tasty “Aztec” salad topped with sticks of grilled tempeh and punched up with corn, beans and a mélange of greens. If nothing else, stop in for a slice of chocolate mousse pie. The chocolate treat is absolutely decadent; tofu and coconut oil are whipped into a silky mousse that’s decidedly un-tofulike, with a crumbly, chocolatey spelt crust that tastes nothing like spelt.
Candle 79 is a posh elder sister; it offers a greatest-hits list of all-organic, vegan fare. The fancier, split-level spot is a romantic go-to with a wine list featuring several biodynamic options.
Candle Cafe was funded by money won in a Take 5 lottery on a Friday the 13th!
If you want to take Candle Cafe home, try the restaurant’s line of foods available at Whole Foods.