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Candle Cafe

A more affordable version of Candle 71, the well-known vegan fine dining restaurant. Prices are typical of brunch places. We tried the sandwiches and found them delicious and satisfying. I’d love to return for the desserts some time.


CAJUN SEITAN SANDWICH Cajun crusted seitan, steamed greens, caramelized onions and avocado. Served on toasted focaccia with ancho chili aioli and coleslaw 16.00

I enjoyed the combination of the seitan with its crispy, slightly spicy ‘skin’ and the creamy richness of the avocado. The coleslaw had a light crunch and refreshing taste.


SMOKED TEMPEH & GRILLED VEGETABLE SANDWICH Grilled tempeh, zucchini, roasted red peppers, arugula and sundried tomato pesto on toasted multi-grain bread. Served with a side of basil aioli and potato salad 15.00

I’m not sure if this is the dish because what we got was slightly different. The smoky, salty, nutty flavor of the tempeh went well with the sweet potato.

Banh Mi Saigon

CHINATOWN/ LITTLE ITALY: 198 Grand St New York, NY 10013

My sis introduced me to this sandwich which consists of pickled vegetables on a baguette, a hybrid dish stemming from French colonialism in Vietnam.  


BANH MI DO CHAY Mixed Vegetable Sandwich 3.25

Not shown: BANH MI CHAY Vegetarian Sandwich (baby corn, mushroom and tofu) 5.00

I liked the tart crispness of the pickled vegetables and the toasted, crusty hot baguette. A tasty and super affordable lunch (hard to come by in NYC!)

Leng Thai

ASTORIA: 33-09 Broadway NY 11106

I was pleasantly surprised by the decor of this nondescript-looking restaurant situated near the Broadway subway stop in Queens. The outdoor dining patio looks like a nice spot for cooler summer nights.

P1010355 P1010353 P1010345 P1010350THAI SALAD Lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, bean sprouts, tofu etc. with peanut dressing 6.00

The slightly sweet, creamy peanut dressing added oomph to the fresh vegetables for a winning salad. I also tried the Pad Thai (not vegan- contains shrimp and egg) which struck the right balance of sweetness from the sauce and tartness from the freshly-squeezed lime.