With two locations in NYC, one on the Upper East Side and one on the Upper West, Candle Café is dedicated to serving healthy vegan food that not only benefits your health but also the environment.
The Food: The feel is very nouveau American with fusion cuisine that isn’t lacking in any sort of creativity (and to cook vegan, you need creativity). The menu consists of mouth watering tofu, seitan, tempeh, and creative vegetable options served up with Asian and Hispanic-influenced sauces and seasonings. Whenever possible they cook with local produce and the ingredients are almost entirely organic. If you’re looking for a good healthy vegan bite in NYC, this is the place you’ll want to visit.
Eco-Friendly Practices: The restaurant was the very first certified green restaurant in NYC and has been leading the way ever since. Not only do they use local organic food as much as possible, but they also maintain their restaurant using eco-friendly techniques. Non-toxic environmentally friendly cleaners & sanitizers are used to clean. They also recycle, compost, purchase recycled materials when possible (napkins, bath tissue, etc.), and use energy efficient cooking appliances. Eating here you can feel good about what’s put into the making of your food and the food itself – now what tastes better than that?
The Experience: The environment itself is clean, peaceful, and that of an upscale restaurant with a touch of at-home rustic. Fresh sunlight pours in through the front windows onto a tiled wall, while an elegant bar swoops around and is flanked with beautiful towering flowers.
Stopping by for a bite, I first grabbed a refreshing Seasonal Chia Fresca drink made with chia seeds, aloe, agave, sparking water & seasonal fruit for hydrating energy. It was subtle in flavor, and full of sprouted chia seeds which are chocked with beneficial nutrients like calcium, iron, omega-3’s (1 gram has 175.5mg) and protein (1 gram has 156.2mg).
I then followed it up with a Cajun Seitan Sandwich made with pan-seared seitan, steamed greens, caramelized onions, and avocado, served on toasted focaccia with ancho chili aioli and coleslaw. An amazing-sounding seitan sandwich? I couldn’t stay away. It was everything I wanted it to be, perfectly smoky seitan with a touch of spice, and greens that tasted too good to have been grown far away using any sort of chemical. I had been traveling all day, and this was the sustenance I needed. There was nothing lacking in flavor nor fullness.