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NYC Metro Area Vegan Restaurant Guide

Candle 79

Food: 4.754.75
Atmosphere: 4.814.81
Service: 4.364.36

(39 customer reviews. Leave your own!)

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154 East 79th Street
New York   NY 10021
(212) 537-7179
Fax: (212) 472-7169
Candle 79 website

Veg level:

100% Vegan

Price Range:

$$$$$ (Average entree cost: $15-$20)

Accepted Payments:

  • Visa
  • ·
  • Mastercard
  • ·
  • American Express

Hours:

Mon-Sat: Lunch 12:00pm- 3:30pm and Dinner 5:30pm-10:30pm; Sun: Brunch 12:00pm-4:00pm and Dinner 5:00pm-10:00pm

Directions:

6 train to 77th St. Just off Lexington Avenue.

Delivery notes:

Candle 79 does not deliver.

Notes:

Fancy smancy.

Bookmark and Share The information on this page was last updated on November 15, 2010.

User Reviews of Candle 79

Averaged user ratings:

(1 star = lousy; 5 stars = great)
Food: 4.754.75
Atmosphere: 4.814.81
Service: 4.364.36
  • Review by vautrin on March 4, 2011:

  • Fuck, the food here is amazing - I've only been twice, but have had my mind blown by my food each time. Both were among the top 5 dining experiences of my life. Both times I went dinner with appetizers and a drink ran around $150 for two people. Super expensive, but definitely worth saving up for. Only complaint is that one of the times I went i had been running around all day and my hair was a bit mussed and the hostess snubbed and basically ignored me and my boyfriend, while being really friendly and outgoing towards all the more wealthy looking guests (our waitress was quite nice, though).
  • Food: 55
    Atmosphere: 55
    Service: 33
  • Review by justine on December 30, 2010:

  • As a long time patron of both Candles, I must say that I feel like 79 is starting to slip up. The food is still good, but it used to be great. It had more flavor and wasn't as oily as it is now. Also, the staff has a bit of an attitude at times which is getting kind of old. It's still one of the best vegan spots in town, just wish they were as good as they used to be.
  • Food: 33
    Atmosphere: 44
    Service: 33
  • Review by foodie on November 15, 2010:

  • We have been eating at Candle 79 for about 3 years now. We have NEVER had a bad meal. They are consistent and what Angel does with Tofu and Seitan is absolutely amazing. No eggs, no milk, cream NO DAIRY! Fantastic place. Service is great and now they have a liquor license as well.
  • Food: 55
    Atmosphere: 55
    Service: 55
  • Review by Maxi on October 31, 2010:

  • The place is great but the meals are very high in price and when there was a problem with one othe four dinners our party ordered we were a bit shocked be the poor service and being rude by the waiter we shall find better vegan stops
  • Food: 33
    Atmosphere: 44
    Service: 11
  • Review by sleepdawg on October 20, 2010:

  • A very nice restaurant. Imaginative menu, professional service and elegant atmosphere.

    I think they do a particularly good job with seitan dishes, and are able to properly season which is important in vegetarian fare.

    Also, a nice wine list without too much sacrifice to the organic-at-all-costs crowd.

    Definitely worth regular visits.
  • Food: 44
    Atmosphere: 44
    Service: 44
  • Review by JanetG on September 8, 2010:

  • If I had all the money in the world I wouldn't live in a bigger apartment or a fancier neighborhood, but I would eat here every night. Or, since they don't deliver, I'd send a limo to pick up my seitan piccata.
  • Food: 55
    Atmosphere: 55
    Service: 55
  • Review by juls on August 6, 2010:

  • so good.....want.....more.....
  • Food: 55
    Atmosphere: 55
    Service: 55
  • Review by slp on June 25, 2010:

  • This has to be one of the best, most innovative, tastiest, and best-value vegetarian dining experiences in the COUNTRY. Probably not suitable for everyday dining- though its sister restaurant, Candle Cafe, is designed for just that- but is wonderful for dinner with friends, special occasion or not. Wine list is also excellent. Beautifully designed space. Truly elevates animal-friendly eating from coy posturing that imitates a meat-based palate to a fine cuisine in its own right. You will not leave hungry but you will leave happy.
  • Food: 55
    Atmosphere: 55
    Service: 55
  • Review by quarrygirl on January 8, 2010:

  • candle 79 has excellent food and a great atmosphere, and while the place is a tad pricey i think it's definitely worth it. when i went i got the nachos (with daiya cheese), plus a crusted tofu dish and a steak-style seitan entree. everything was amazing and beautifully presented, i really can't fault it.

    the only bad thing i have to say about candle 79 is, sometimes the service can be off. i went once and ended up walking out because they were so rude. however, they did make up for it the next time by giving me free dessert.

    overall, this is probably one of the very best restaurants in the country....so be sure to give it a try.
  • Food: 55
    Atmosphere: 55
    Service: 44
  • Review by beanmail on November 23, 2009:

  • I had to update my old review to note that C79 completely rocks and officially deserves to be VegNews' Restaurant of the Year.

    Went for brunch this weekend and was treated to a divine, upscale, and wholly non-pretentious experience.

    They don't skimp on a thing. EXCELLENT SERVICE coupled with exquisite food (French toast, tempeh bacon, savory crepe, polenta fries, CANNOLIS) and a beautiful restaurant = terrific. With prices all over the city rising, Candle 79 is worth every penny...
  • Food: 55
    Atmosphere: 55
    Service: 55
  • Review by seagull on September 14, 2009:

  • Probably the best gourmet vegan restaurant in NYC. The food is amazing. The atmosphere is elegant and high scale but still inviting and cozy.
  • Food: 55
    Atmosphere: 55
    Service: 55
  • Review by IainG on July 28, 2009:

  • We went here on the last night of our honeymoon and it was the ideal way to end our trip. It is great to have a smart vegan restaurant with well-crafted food, a great wine list & lovely atmosphere. We can only hope the sterling exchange rate is a bit kinder next time we're over ;-)
  • Food: 55
    Atmosphere: 55
    Service: 55
  • Review by Boston on June 27, 2009:

  • This place is amazing. I had heard and read great reviews on it for years, and finally visited myself...and was not disappointed. Service, atmosphere, food and drink...all divine! In fact, it was so great, we went back the next day for lunch - and was again elated at the food and service. This kind of vegan fine dining is hard to find!
  • Food: 55
    Atmosphere: 55
    Service: 55
  • Review by Dianne Rochenski on April 8, 2009:

  • I was just reading the reviews and came upon a review which spoke about glue traps. How can a vegan restaurant have glue traps. I'm a vegan ONLY because of the animals. Not health reasons. Mice and rats are God's creatures as well. I won't be going to Candle because of this.
  • Review by happie kamper on February 10, 2009:

  • I had the porcini-crusted tofu and it was so delicious! They also had NSA wine, which i almost exclusively drink. We had a reservation and arrived early to find that our table was already ready. It was a bit spendy but perfect for my birthday. I give the service 4 stars because our server was a bit awkward, however pleasant. I canít wait to go back.
  • Food: 55
    Atmosphere: 55
    Service: 44
  • Review by JamesR on February 3, 2009:

  • Wonderful place, not much to add that hasn't already been said. I have been to the Cafe, but always avoided Candle 79. I went here for my birthday dinner, and it was absolutely phenomenal. The seitan starter was delicious, the seitan main that we had was excellent, and although the paella was a little bland for my taste, it was still very good.

    The only complaint that I have, was that my girlfriend made a reservation for 7:30 PM, and when we were seated, the host told us that they would be closing at 8pm for a holiday party, so we had to be sure that our order was in asap. Huh?!? If you are closing at 8pm, don't book reservations for 7:30.

    That aside, great experience, we will be back!
  • Food: 55
    Atmosphere: 55
    Service: 33
  • Review by beanmail on February 3, 2009:

  • QUITE pricy, but delicious. I'd recommend having Sassy's Sliders for dinner and then splurging here for coffee drinks & one of everything on the dessert menu.
  • Food: 44
    Atmosphere: 55
    Service: 44
  • Review by Vegan_Noodle on January 16, 2009:

  • Delicious! I had the seitan special for the evening and was not disappointed. The brownie sundae was amazing. This is the perfect place for a special dinner...
  • Food: 55
    Atmosphere: 55
    Service: 55
  • Review by PlomeekSoup on December 3, 2008:

  • It's hard to top what has already been said about Candle 79, but this is my favorite fancy pants restaurant in NYC, and has been my choice for two wedding anniversary dinners so far. The look, feel, service, menu options, portions, kick-in-the-pants house made ginger ale: I love it all!
  • Food: 55
    Atmosphere: 55
    Service: 55
  • Review by kerstycakes on November 20, 2008:

  • I love this place so I am really sad to report what I just learned, but I think that people should know: I've heard from a reliable source, who has witnessed this first-hand, that Candle 79 & Cafe use GLUE TRAPS to deal with their rodent issues.
    This has got to be one of the most inhumane ways to trap mice/rats. I guess they've never heard of have-a-heart traps??
    http://www.havahart.com/store/live-animal-traps?gclid=CNyfqfqLhJcCFRJexwodxU8gcw

    I am shocked and disappointed :(
  • Review by veggie_chick on August 15, 2008:

  • Great space and top-notch service from the management on down. Even though it was only my second time there, I was greeted like a friend. I used to not like seitan until I tried theirs. Order the chimichurri and seitan piccata; you won't be disappointed. The wild mushroom salad is also divine. All the wines are vegan here, unlike Counter (shame on them).
  • Food: 55
    Atmosphere: 55
    Service: 55
  • Review by 9astroman9 on July 9, 2008:

  • This restaurant is amazing. The staff was incredible. Some guests at my table were totally at a loss with the menu and she described each dish to a t. She told us that the majority of the guests who dine there are not vegetarian let alone vegan so if they ask you if you know what seitan is don't get offended because most people who go in don't.

    I love the new menu. Mushroom app and grilled seitan entree are a must!
  • Food: 55
    Atmosphere: 55
    Service: 55
  • Review by chrischrischris on June 25, 2008:

  • The BBQ seitan skewers are really good! I get them everytime I go. The only down-side of candle 79 are the prices... but Candle Cafe only a few blocks away has the same menu but everything is cheaper
  • Food: 55
    Atmosphere: 55
    Service: 44
  • Review by kalibrena on June 12, 2008:

  • Loved this place! It's fancy, and my friend and I spent $76 dollars on lunch, but it was sooo worth it. The seitan chimichurri was AMAZING. As were the polenta fries with chipotle ketchup. I will definitely be back the next time I visit New York!
  • Food: 55
    Atmosphere: 55
    Service: 33
  • Review by tgw on May 23, 2008:

  • The Taj Mahal of vegan dining.

    Seitan picccata, the risotto, seitan chimichurri, polenta fries, the radicchio salad....DIVINE. Not that there's anything on the menu that you can go wrong with. They even have organic beers and wines. Th servers are great, too, and they now their stuff!

    Expensive, but worth it.
  • Food: 55
    Atmosphere: 55
    Service: 55
  • Review by jennlynskey on May 21, 2008:

  • Loved it! Seitan picatta rules. I recommend the cookbook which is available at the restaurant.
  • Food: 55
    Atmosphere: 55
    Service: 55
  • Review by kerstycakes on May 8, 2008:

  • Best vegan restaurant ever. I always judge other veg places against Candle 79 (and very few come close).

    I have taken hardcore meat-eaters here and they loved it so much they actually requested to come back on their next visit to town!

    Especially wonderful: seitan chimichurri, seitan piccata, polenta fries, ice cream sampler.
  • Food: 55
    Atmosphere: 55
    Service: 55
  • Review by the_food_prude on February 4, 2008:

  • i think this is my favorite nyc restaurant ever. the service is great, as is the food and wine. they know their seitan and i LOVE there manicotti appetizer. its costly but personally think its worth the quality.
  • Food: 55
    Atmosphere: 55
    Service: 55
  • Review by Andrew Phillip Tipton on November 1, 2007:

  • Five close friends and myself went to Candle 79 for my birthday a few days ago...after hearing some good things.

    All six of us left full and very happy. I had the black pepper seitan which was amazing, and came with wonderful green beans and whipped potatoes. My boyfriend had a special which was seitan, I think, and was maybe the best thing I have ever tasted. Two friends had the chickpea cake, and one had the cauliflower risotto...both of which were delightful.

    Dessert was amazing...I had the phyllo tower.

    The waitress was super friendly and very well versed in vegan food. (if I am a harsh critic of anything, it's waitstaff!) But she was great.
  • Food: 55
    Atmosphere: 55
    Service: 55
  • Review by missbuddha on October 22, 2007:

  • I absolutley loved it here! My non-vegan boyfriend took me here for our 1 year anniversary and we were in heaven. From start to finish. The quality of the dishes is superb. It is definately an incredible place to go for an upscale dinner. I took delight in every course and the wine list is excellent as well.

    We sat upstairs, which is lovely, very cozy and high class, makes your non-vegan friends feel like they are at a "proper restaurant", excellent atmosphere.
  • Food: 55
    Atmosphere: 55
    Service: 44
  • Review by knuckles on September 18, 2007:

  • This is the one expensive vegan restaurant in NYC that is worth it. My only problem is that the staff clearly aren't vegan and sort of talk to the patrons like they are children who don't know what vegan food is. I know what seitan is, thanks anyway! Speaking of seitan, theirs is awesome.
  • Food: 55
    Atmosphere: 55
    Service: 33
  • Review by elizabet on May 14, 2007:

  • FANTASTIC!
    If you want to impress a non-vegan TAKE THEM HERE!
    Excellent, excellent, excellent and save room for dessert!!!
  • Food: 55
    Atmosphere: 55
    Service: 55
  • Review by champurrado on May 9, 2007:

  • I'm in love with Candle 79! It's my fav vegan restaurant in NYC. They have an amazing prix fixe Thanksgiving menu (and I would assume Christmas and Valentine's Day also). In the summer, their sake mojitos cannot be beat. For brunch, everyone should try their waffles with fresh fruit, candied pecans, and strawberry butter or their seitan breakfast burrito. One last thing, unlike most restaurants (veg and otherwise) in NYC, this place has great atmosphere. I prefer sitting upstairs, because it feels less cramped but both are beautiful.
  • Food: 55
    Atmosphere: 55
    Service: 44
  • Review by BANU on May 1, 2007:

  • HOLY S**T. This place is amazing. Really amazing. Really expensive, but worth it (well, once a year). The specials are good times, you get a way bigger plate for the same price. The walnut crusted seitan is incredible. I wasn't a fan of the chocolate mousse, but the chocolate cake with a big scoop of mocha "ice cream" was awesome. It definitely seemed "upscale," but leaning more towards snooty than actually so - if that makes any sense.
  • Food: 55
    Atmosphere: 44
    Service: 44
  • Review by ariela on January 31, 2007:

  • I went here a few weeks ago & I wasn't too impressed. I don't mind paying a bit extra if the food is amazing but to me the food was nothing special at all & the portions were REALLY small. The Guacamole Timbale appetizer as someone else mentioned on here was quite good though! the rest was nothing to talk about. I tried my friends apple cranberry pie for dessert & it was quite good as well but this is a place I probably wouldn't go back to.
  • Food: 22
    Atmosphere: 44
    Service: 44
  • Review by Olivia Lane on December 8, 2006:

  • Jessica and I went here to celebrate our domestic partnering. Whoo! The food was great. I could eat the Timbale appetizer everyday. The service was very friendly and helpful. When I'm a gazillionaire I plan to hire elves to scurry discreet packages of the food from this restuarant into my secret lair.
  • Food: 55
    Atmosphere: 55
    Service: 55
  • Review by veganfriendly on September 10, 2006:

  • Candle 79 is AMAZING, if a bit pricey. We went recently and got a couple of awesome Seitan dishes and a fantastic dessert. The Onion-Merlot Seitan is great as is the Fruit Tart dessert with Dulche De Leche ice cream! Every vegan in NYC (and everywhere else) should try Candle 79 at least once.

    Read our full review (whith photos!!) here.
  • Review by dustinbuster on July 19, 2006:

  • Surely, this is the best vegan (mostly) restaurant in NYC? The food, from start to finish, is culinary perfection. I recently took two non-vegan friends who were blwon away by the food: one of those experiences when you talk about your dining experience hours after leaving the restaurant.

    My one complaint would be the service, which was little cool and aloof for my personal taste---sort of that "I'm doing you a favor by being here" attitude (and maybe I just had a crappy waiter!).

    The other thing: It cost almost $200 for me and three other friends to eat here (and that was with sharing only one dessert!). The price point is misleading with the $15-$20 entrees. Sure, that's what they cost, but appetizers are equally expensive, and the entrees don't come with any side dishes (which add another $5 dollars or so per side). But the food is out of this world, and I couldn't recommend this place more highly.

    PS: Why isn't this place classified as vegan? I ate there less than two weeks ago, and there was no soy cheese on the menu, and as far as I could tell, everything was vegan---the waiter even said so. What's up?
  • Food: 55
    Atmosphere: 44
    Service: 55
  • Review by lizette on May 25, 2006:

  • This is a great "special occasion" restaurant. My omnivorous significant other took me there for my birthday, and even he was really impressed by the food.

    The wild mushroom spinach pate (appetizer) was delicious, as were our entrees (seitan piccata and a portobello steak). The service was wonderful - the waiters all seemed rather friendly and knowledgeable about the menu and the wine list.
  • Food: 55
    Atmosphere: 44
    Service: 55

Restaurant reviews are temporarily closed. We look forward to accepting your reviews again soon!

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