GF Friendly Restaurants, Travel

Candle 79: Another Vegetarian Gem

8 Comments 15 June 2011

Candle 79: Another Vegetarian Gem

Candle 79 has long been on my list of New York City restaurants to try because of their extensive gluten-free menu.  But when we’re in the City we are usually so enamored with the wide availability of incredible gluten-free pizza and pasta dishes that the vegetarian restaurants are pushed to the bottom of the list.

But after our incredible experience at Pure Food and Wine, Candle 79 was hoisted to the very top of my must-try list.  Plus, I felt so great after eating such clean, raw food that another pizza wasn’t even appealing.

But was it fair to compare any vegan restaurant to Pure Food and Wine after falling in love with it the day before?  Could Candle 79 even come close?

We walked the 34 blocks from our hotel to the restaurant, so we were more than ready to find out.

They seated us in the upstairs dining room of the quaint restaurant next to windows that lined the wall providing a few of the city below.

I was thrilled to receive an entire menu of their gluten-free meals.

Not a photocopied menu.

Not a menu with gluten-free options designated with a star.

A real, substantive menu that looked just like the regular menu.

There were so many options that the Husband and I had to compare to see how the two differed.

We started with the Guacamole Timbale which was to die for.  Served with flax chips, this timbale was made with chipotle black beans, caramelized onions, cucumber tomato salsa, and ranchero sauce.  Delicious!

A raw entree caught my eye, and while there were so many other tantalizing options, I had to have one more raw meal before heading home.  I ordered the Live Zucchini Enchiladas.  I wish you could see the enchiladas in this picture, but they’re buried beneath the most tender spinach and baby romaine greens, more cucumber-tomato salsa, creamy guacamole (again), and toasted pumpkin seeds.  When I found the enchiladas I was so excited try them that I forgot to take a picture.  Thin slices of zucchini wrapped cashew cheesy goodness, and with the chipotle-tomato sauce, cashew sour cream, and toppings, it was a fiesta to savor.

I can’t even tell you what the Husband had.  I was too in love with my meal.  And at this point in our trip there was no reason for him to order off the gluten-free menu so I could try a few bites.  When there’s no shortage of amazing gluten-free meals, it’s every man for himself!

Next time you’re in New York City, make a point to try Candle 79.  Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, flexitarian, or just plain hungry, you won’t be disappointed.

But you don’t have to make a special trip to enjoy some of Candle’s delicacies.  Starting this month, Whole Foods will be carrying Candle Cafe Frozen Entrees.

But that won’t stop me from visiting Candle 79 again soon.

What’s your favorite gluten-free or vegan restaurant that you must visit while traveling?

Your Comments

8 Comments so far

  1. Lauren says:

    One of my favorite restaurants in NYC. I’m so glad you tried it. I didn’t know about the frozen meals, wow.

  2. Wow, that meal looks fabulous, dear! (Enchildadas revealed or not. LOL) I love enjoying superb “new to me” restaurants vicariously through others. :-)


  3. Maggie says:

    We visited Candle 79 about six years ago and they had a gluten-free menu then! We were so impressed, and Pete was in heaven. Can’t wait to go back! I am so glad you had such great food on your trip. Raw food is pretty amazing!

    • Heather says:

      The two vegan restaurants really inspired me. There are so many incredible ways to enjoy raw food. Glad you enjoyed your visit. I love that they had a gf menu before it was a fad. :)

  4. Keryl Cryer says:

    Hi, Gluten-Free Cat,

    I like your photo of Candle 79, and I was wondering if The Vegetarian Resource Group could secure permission to print the photo in an upcoming issue of Vegetarian Journal.

    Basically, The Vegetarian Resource Group is a national non-profit organization based in Baltimore, and the Journal is a 36-page, quarterly magazine that it publishes primarily for its members, even though you can find it at some natural foods stores and co-ops. The magazine has a readership of about 15,000, mostly in the U.S. but also a few people in Canada, Europe, etc. You can find out more about the group and the magazine here:

    The Vegetarian Resource Group is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, and one of the articles we’re running is called “Vegan Restaurants Across the USA.” So far, print-quality images of these restaurants have been nearly impossible to come by, and many of the restaurants have been unresponsive. We really can’t afford to pay anything to use the photo, but we would credit the image with your name or the blog, of course! We can also send you copies of the magazine when the article runs in August.

    Anyway, thanks for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you!

    Keryl Cryer
    Senior Editor, Vegetarian Journal


  1. Home for the Holidays: Heather of Gluten-Free Cat with Christmas Breakfast Casserole + Cookbook + Resource Book + Magazine Subscription! | gfe--gluten free easily - 30. Dec, 2011

    […] several months now. She’s been dining at restaurants with raw options (e.g., Pure Food and Wine, Candle 79) and participating in raw potlucks (General, Asian, Mexican, Italian). She’s shared many amazing […]

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A Curious Girl in the Gluten-Free World

I'm a curious girl, wife, teacher, fitness fanatic, gluten-free foodie, high-raw vegan, and Mama Cat living in NYC. I've made the transition from baking and cooking gluten-free to creating raw vegan recipes that are naturally gluten free. My gluten intolerance opened up my diet to a whole new world of nutritious plant-based foods. While I'm not 100% vegan, it's my favorite way to eat, and making and sharing raw foods makes me giddy. Living in the City has its joys and challenges, and I enjoy sharing my experiences with you.

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