Posted by: Kelly | December 6, 2012

New York City Eats

Several weeks ago I took a day trip up to NYC to see Wicked!  I have been wanting to see that musical for years and it did not disappoint.  And of course while I was up there I had to take advantage of the many vegan options the city has to offer and try out some new (to me) spots.  On previous trips I had already been to Blossom Du Jour, Dun-Well Doughnuts, Lula’s Sweet Apothocary, Soy and Sake, and Atlas Cafe.  This time around, we were a little limited time-wise as what we could get to that was a reasonable distance from the theater and bus location.

For lunch, after a quick stroll through Central Park,  I was very excited to try Candle Cafe in the Upper West Side.

My memory is already starting to fail me, but we ordered two sandwiches, one with seitan and the other was tempeh with sweet potato and kale.

The mac and cheese.

Maybe our mistake was ordering sandwiches because some of the entrees I saw going to other tables looked good, but sadly I was pretty disappointed with the food 😦  For a restaurant that usually gets such great reviews, I was surprised with how underwhelming everything was.  Don’t get me wrong, the sandwiches were decent, but at about $15 each I expected much better.  I can get better sandwiches for half the price here in Philly at Hip City Veg or Blackbird.  And then there was the mac and cheese.  It was almost not worth even eating.  It just tasted…off.  I’ve tried the Candle Cafe frozen mac and cheese dinner that they sell at Whole Foods and that microwave meal version was actually way better than what we got served in the restaurant.  I don’t get it.  I haven’t given up on the Candle franchise, however, and I hope to make it to Candle 79 one day for a fancy pants dinner.  Has anyone else had good/bad experiences with Candle Cafe?

For dinner we had to go someplace pretty close to the bus stop, so we went with Loving Hut.  Normally I would not have picked this place because when there used to be one on South Street in Philly it never interested me enough to want to try it.  Convenience won out in this case.  We tried 3 dishes- the thai curry noodle bowl, mushroom quesadillas, and (to compare to Candle’s version) a side of mac and cheese.

I had pretty low expectations, but was pleasantly surprised at how good all three dishes were.  It feels blasphemous to say, but Loving Hut’s mac and cheese was much better than Candle Cafe’s!  Shocker!

And to leave you with something cute, here are a couple of pictures of Swatch, of Project Runway fame,  that I took when we stopped to be tourists at Mood!



  1. You saw Swatch! Jealous! I went to Candle Cafe on the upper east side when I was there a few months ago and got the Good Food plate, which is four sides. I found everything to be a little bland, but almost in a good, comforting way. I liked the mac, so maybe they were having an off day, or maybe it was a better foil for my veggies than it was for your sandwiches?

    • Good to hear the mac was tasty when you went. Maybe it was just an off day, because really it was pretty terrible. And Swatch was adorable 🙂

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