It’s no secret that I’m a huge Gossip Girl fan.  Was this the reason I pushed so hard for a visit to Candle 79 on the Upper East Side over a vegan restaurant anywhere else?  Unlike Gossip Girl, I’ll never tell.

What I will spill is what we found there.  Still a little grumpy that the sub-zero NYC street winds had prevented me from dressing like Blair Waldorf (we caught the subway not a limo, dammit reality), I was quickly cheered up by the beautiful decor, soft lighting and soothing music inside.  Ever so elegant.  Ever so Upper East Side, darling.

In Perth there are just a handful of vegan places and all of them are über casual.  Most of the time I dig that, but it was nice to be in such beautiful surrounds with my tofu for a change.  As the sunlight streamed in through the nearby window, waiters repeatedly refilled our water glasses and diners all around us spoke in subdued tones.  It was a gorgeous, cozy haven that felt a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

If I hadn’t been so busy trying to catch a glimpse of a Gossip Girl celeb  people watching, I would have loved to have flicked through the Candle 79 cookbooks on offer.  If you can’t make it to the restaurant, Amazon will post them to you, YAY!  Click to check them out.


We started with the Stuffed Avocado – baby greens, quinoa, jicama, cucumber, radishes,cranberry beans, toasted pumpkin seeds, grape tomatoes and chipotle-avocado dressing, $16.  Oh so fresh and incredibly tasty, our only complaint was that there wasn’t more of it.

Candle 79


Next up I chose the Burrito 79 – chili-herb grilled seitan, caramelized onions, sautéed greens, chipotle black beans, brown rice, “mozzarella”, guacamole, tofu sour cream and guajillo-chipotle salsa. $18.  This was the very first time I’d ever tried seitan!  I must admit that I prefer tempeh and I might get thrown out of the vegan club for saying that wasn’t too keen on kale in my burrito, but other than that, this was really good.

Burrito 79


Dom ordered the Chili-Grilled Tempeh Sandwich – roasted sweet potato, portobello mushroom, red onions, garlic aioli and mesclun salad, $15.  He loved it!  Check out those amazing man-sized slices.

Candle 79


The best part?  The ohhhh so incredible Mexican Chocolate Brownie – caramelized bananas, french vanilla ice cream, candied pecans and chocolate-ancho sauce, $13.  This was hands down the best vegan dessert I have ever had and it was about this time that I announced I would only be eating dessert for the rest of the trip!  Just the right amount of richness and sweetness, topped with a sensational fudge sauce and banana and incredible candied pecans.  I’m drooling on my keyboard…

Candle 79


Herbal tea came in individual teapots like this cutie-pie:

Herbal Tea


Afterwards we walked through Central Park, took Instagrams and tried to spot Gossip Girl celebs mused over the beautiful winter weather and how we could recreate that amazing brownie.

Candle 79 Central Park

Candle 79 on Urbanspoon

Can you believe there won’t be a Season 7???  *SOB!*


11 Comments on NYC Vegan – Candle 79, Upper East Side

  1. Sophie
    December 21, 2012 at 8:04 pm (12 years ago)

    Oooh lucky you!! The food look all at their best & ooh so appetizing too, Bex! Thanks so much for sharing your vegan adventures in NY!!

    • * Vegan Sparkles *
      January 2, 2013 at 3:35 pm (12 years ago)

      My pleasure, Sophie! Those NYC vegans know where it’s at! 🙂

  2. Somer
    December 24, 2012 at 2:57 am (12 years ago)

    Sparkles! You’re back! I’m not getting your updates! I only found out you’re still kicking through Kristy’s cookie exchange. I tried to re-subscribe but it says I’m all ready subscribed. Wah! I want Sparkles in my inbox 🙁

    • * Vegan Sparkles *
      December 24, 2012 at 11:41 am (12 years ago)

      Somer! I missed you!!! I’m still trying to get my routine on since I got back but the weekly newsletter will be up and running again super soon, promise! 🙂

  3. Alaine @ My GF & DF Living
    December 24, 2012 at 7:41 am (12 years ago)

    I am obsessed with Gossip Girl too. I can’t believe it’s over, but I loved the series finale! Crazy, crazy! I am glad you had a great trip! 🙂

    • * Vegan Sparkles *
      December 24, 2012 at 11:39 am (12 years ago)

      Thanks Alaine! I still haven’t watched the finale and I’m dying to know who GG is! Hopefully no-one tells me before I watch it. 🙂

  4. elizabeth
    December 26, 2012 at 10:52 pm (12 years ago)

    Next time try the original Candle Cafe–it’s more bistro casual style and is one of my favorite restaurants! And yes, they do make AMAZING vegan desserts there. 🙂

    • * Vegan Sparkles *
      January 2, 2013 at 3:36 pm (12 years ago)

      Ohhhh I’m so sad I missed the Candle Cafes. Next time for sure! 🙂

  5. Kristy
    January 1, 2013 at 2:47 am (12 years ago)

    Welcome home! I’m now more eager than ever to get to NYC and try Candle 79. Definitely having that brownie… 🙂

    • * Vegan Sparkles *
      January 2, 2013 at 3:31 pm (12 years ago)

      You must, you MUST!! Maybe even two?? 🙂

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