Vegan Manhattan: Candle 79

Eating Sustainably in New York City

Informed that we had reservations at Candle 79 on the Upper East Side in Manhattan, the Brawny Sherpa, a very committed carnivore, could be heard muttering, “Here we go; it’s going to be $200 for broccoli.” Even as he was not quite as enthused about the wheatballs accompanying his spaghetti as I was, he did appreciate the lentil soup he started with and the cornmeal poppers he opted for instead of a sweet after dinner.

spaghetti and wheatballs at Candle 79

The Brawny Sherpa enjoys lentil soup at Candle 79, a vegan restaurant in New York City.
Photo credit: L. Tripoli

I chose the housemade live cheese plate featuring cheese made from nuts and followed it with a sweet potato Napoleon and, later, chocolate-peanut butter bliss. I still ponder how it tasted like actual mousse. We washed all of this down first with prosecco and after with espresso. Not a bite of broccoli presented itself on our plates. The bill was significantly less than $200.

vegan cheese at Candle 79

The vegan cheese plate at Candle 79 in Manhattan is enough for two. Photo credit: L. Tripoli

I try to eat vegan as much as I can, a challenge in so many restaurants. What I like about Candle 79 is its straightforwardness: if the people here are trying to push a lifestyle on diners, they keep quiet about it. Food is sourced locally where it can be, the place is a Certified Green Restaurant, and the food is animal-free, but no one is making a political statement about it. It’s just good food with a vegetable bent. I’d go here again in a heartbeat, but, more importantly, so would the Brawny Sherpa.

Candle 79, 154 East 79 Street (at Lexington Ave.), Manhattan

—Lori Tripoli

Chocolate peanut butter mousse at Candle 79 in Manhattan

Chocolate peanut butter mousse at Candle 79 in Manhattan
Photo credit: L. Tripoli

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