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  • Candela

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Candela Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.candelarestaurant.com
  • Phone: (954) 563-8088
  • Hours of Operation:

    Monday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm

    Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm

    Closed Sundays
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean, Tapas / Small Plates, Cuban
  • Executive Chef: Armando Vega
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Beer, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Smoking Area, Smoking Area (patio only), Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Private Party Contact: Armando Vega (954) 563-8088
  • Entertainment: Thursdays and Saturdays, Live Music

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Okland Park Blvd
  • Parking: Private Lot
A word from Candela
Candela blends authentic Spanish, Italian and Cuban cuisines with inspiring results... Chef Armando Vega meticulously minds each dish, occasionally emerging from the kitchen to chat with his clientele... The pace of the service here is attentive but leisurely, geared toward a lengthy sit for wine and conversation.Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMediterranean
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
Diner Reviews
  • "Hidden in a small shopping center far from the rest of the Wilton Manors scene is this gem. Chef Aramando does an original take on many dishes, all are done well. He hails from Cuba, and there is some Spanish influence,But some of his great dishes include Lasagna, eggplant parm,' squid. Paella and fish dishes are great. As you are eating he often makes the rounds of the tables, he will modify dishes if you want something changed with a dish on the menu Just a great place"
    Dined on 8/16/2014
  • "we went and had 5 tapas, all were great. met the owners and were wonderful"
    Dined on 8/2/2014
  • "Food was good , but listening to chef/owners reprimands of staff reminded us of a dysfunctional family. At first the Chef's presence in the dining room was charming , but as the restaurant became busier it was like listening to a controlling parent disciplining his children. We were embarrassed for the staff. In the restroom you could hear the chef yelling at the kitchen staff as well . Needless to say it was not relaxing and the atmosphere was so distracting that the dining experience was ruined."
    Dined on 8/2/2014
  • "This is one of those restaurants that I can't wait to go back to. Small, intimate and the food was FANTASTIC. You can taste the love and passion of the chef-owner in every bit. Once you get past the drab look of the shopping center and store front and enter the restaurant you should prepare yourself for a gastronomic adventure. We had the Tabla de Charcuteria and a stuffed peppers with shrimp that was out of this world. Looking forward to me next visit."
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "Don't let the strip mall location fool you. Although, in a spotty area Candela turned out to be a delicious find. The restaurant had charming Spanish interior decor that was quite inviting once inside. The food was mainly Spanish influenced with a tasty Cuban flare. All the tapas dishes were great especially, the Garbanzos con Chorizo and Croquetas de Bacalao. Our main dishes were all SOOOOO good. We highly recommend you try the Pollo Morroqui, Paella de Pescadores and the Churrasco a la Plancha!"
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "Food was seriously so good it was the location that was odd. Chef was there and offering suggestions which was amazing and of course everything vibes perfectly. We will definitely be back!"
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "The food here is very good. Loved that the chef stopped by the table and was very happy we enjoyed his creations. Location might not seem great but it's a great find."
    Dined on 7/2/2014
  • "Very friendly. Interesting assortment of tapas and main dishes. Definitely worth a return visit."
    Dined on 6/19/2014
  • "Candela was recommended to my husband and me as a nice place for our anniversary celebration. And we were happy we took the recommendation. We found exceptional Spanish style food at reasonable prices with lovely ambience. Our selections were the recommended Carpaccio for a starter, then Zarzuela and Romance de Mero y Gambas. All dishes were well prepared and delicious. We found a nice selection of wine (mostly Spanish) by the glass and by the bottle at very reasonable prices. I had a glass of the Rose which was nice and dry and went well with the meal. We were visiting from the San Francisco Bay Area and will be back next time we are in town."
    Dined on 6/12/2014
  • "This restaurant is located in a nondescript strip mall, just off Oakland Park Boulevard. The draw is the passionate and colorful chef, who visits tables often, and loves to describe his food preparation techniques. The menu includes some delicious tapas, as well as entrees. Some of the dishes lean saltier or more vinegary than my taste, but most are delicious. The wines are good, too, though the list is not extensive."
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "Really amazing food. I've yet to try a bad dish (I take that back; you can skip the almond cake dessert). The location in a run down strip mall near Oakland park makes this an evening better surprise. Very attentive service, great wine list, and a wonderful variety of seafood and meats on both the small plates and entrees. We did have a funny experience on our last visit. In true embodiment of their title (Candela means fiery in Spanish) - the chef went on a very public, very loud tirade in he dining room. He shouted at the wait staff for forgetting bread on one diner's table. The scene lasted a good 10 minutes - but perhaps it added to the charm that is Candela even more. Would hesitate to recommend this place."
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "Many special dishes with outstanding sauces and flavors. Staff is willing to please requests. Excellent place. "
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "What a delightful experience! The food was great--presentation was excellent,from appetizers to entree. The delight of the evening was spending time chatting with the owner-chef for a good part of the evening. I think we closed the place. Highly recommend this spot, "
    Dined on 5/29/2014
  • "Everything we had to eat at Candela was excellent. The Paella, ropa vieja and a shrimp dish was out of this world. The waitress was attentive and the owner called a cab for us! I'll be back!"
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "Every time we go to Candela we are never disappointed!! Chef Alex and his wife make you feel right at home. The wine list is excellent and the food is always fantastic. A++"
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "When we're in south Florida, we go here for dinner, it's that essential. The menu is imaginative and so well carried out. Service is attentive and correct. The location, as everyone notes, is very briefly off-putting (a small old-ish strip mall) but the restaurant itself is terrific. Go. It's hard to find better anywhere."
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "This is truly a great find. The Chef called me back to confirm reservation. We arrived and as expected, it really didn't look like much. However, once we walked in the door, we were greeted by the Chef and the wait staff. We got an awesome table. The Chef came over and described the specials. We all ordered specials and were very impressed with our selections. We ordered a great bottle of wine for $27 and the dessert was amazing as well. All in all, the perfect experience. I've already recommended this restaurant to four friends!"
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "Great food. Chef is the owner and as long as we have been coming the food is consistently prepared and of excellent quality. We love it!"
    Dined on 5/10/2014
  • "Candela is our favorite restaurant in Fort Lauderdale. We live in Atlanta and never miss an opportunity to have a delicious, authentic Mediterranean dinner at Candela when visiting Fort Lauderdale. Everything is cooked to perfection, the service is the best and prices are reasonable. We are looking forward to our next visit and another memorable dinner!"
    Dined on 5/10/2014
  • "Went on a first date and had a great experience. The food is fantastic and I loved the fact that the husband and wife team that own the restaurant are very active in the dining room passing by to say hello to everyone. Their menu is quite extensive and has lots of rich flavors. Our service was impeccable. I subtract points if I ever have to ask for a refill on water, but the staff is always nearby and keeping a quiet eye over the needs of the guests. Perhaps the only inconvenience was when we were sat at a table right next to another couple. The dining room was still empty at the time and it would have been more comfortable to set with at least a table's distance between us. Very minor inconvenience."
    Dined on 5/7/2014
  • "I would walk a mile over hot coals to eat here again if I needed. The food, wine and service are outstanding. Armando is a wonderful host. We will eat there many times again in the future. Carpaccio is THE BEST I have ever had. "
    Dined on 5/7/2014
  • "This family owned restaurant quickly became one of our favorites when we moved to Florida. The owner/chef will likely check on your table and his wife not only works the dining room but also makes the flan and the sangria. They're lovely, and the food is excellent. Whether we feel like Moroccan chicken, rack of lamb, or churrasco, they offer different flavors that fit your mood. The portions are generous, and I think dinner there offers an excellent value especially since the food is great."
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "Would drive right by this place if I wasn't looking for it. Glad we found it! Great place for a romantic dinner. Food was amazing and so was the service. Definitely going back"
    Dined on 5/2/2014
  • "Our first time here. Have heard about this place and wanted to try it. We were certainly not disappointed. Food was fantastic, very reasonably priced and service couldn't have been more attentive. We will absolutely return. As a disclaimer do not read this book by it's cover. In a small, somewhat dingy strip center but once inside it is tops."
    Dined on 4/25/2014
  • "Very pleased, surprised, to find this gem in a strip mall. Food was outstanding as was the wine. Highly recommend this place."
    Dined on 4/24/2014
  • "My friend and I did not know about Candela before I found it on the Open Table site. We ate on a quiet Wednesday evening when a reservation was not necessary. The service was very pleasant and efficient with the chef / owner even coming to the table eager to be sure our experience was good. The menu selections lean toward Mediterranean fare which is great - a real diversion from many of the Italian, "new American", or seafood places in Ft. Lauderdale. Our entrees were very good - chicken dish and the sea bass entree. With two appetizers and two glasses of wine, the bill was very reasonable - under $60. Overall, this is a worthy restaurant only a few short walking blocks from the center of Wilton Manors."
    Dined on 4/23/2014
  • "Driven by it at least a dozen times and never even knew it was there. Found it on OT and have rairly been so pleased! Food was excellent and service was very homey and nice. Prices were also fantastic. Wife and I had an appetizer, two special entries and shared a bottle of Malbec. Total was at $75 w/o tip! "
    Dined on 4/19/2014
  • "My friend and I enjoyed a very nice dinner at Candela. Wait staff was gracious and welcoming. Menu includes a cross section of latin/spanish foods. We enjoyed the croquetas bacalao (nice balance of potato and codfish) and the sardines vinaigrette ... was fun to find something different. We both had seafood dishes (the small mussels in my seafood stew being the only negative to the evening). Go, try something different and enjoy"
    Dined on 4/18/2014
  • "Really amazing food and atmosphere, and great staff! They were incredibly attentive and really friendly. Love it here! "
    Dined on 4/16/2014
  • "We love Candela and especially taking friends who have never dined there. Everything is delicious from the bread, to the salad with beets & goat cheese to Shrimp with plantains for app. Main courses suit the meat or fish eater. Excellent wine. First time we tried the Sangria, which was lovely. Others drank it, leaving the entire bottle of Malbec for me! Armando the chef comes out to chat with the guests. No dessert this visit but we have loved the almond torte or chocolate desserts in prior visits. Don't be afraid of the shopping center - it keeps the rent down and prices reasonable. Highly recommend this place and with summer coming, snowbirds leaving, it is easier to get in."
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "I can't believe this place has been in Fort Lauderdale for 7 years. Happened to try as a fluke after reading the reviews on Open Table. Everything was fantastic. Ambience , Service, and Food were great. Will definitely be back. Would like to try everything on the menu!!!!!!"
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "Friendly family run restaurant serving a nice selection of tapas and other dishes. Don't let the strip mall location fool you, some of the best ethnic restaurants are in these places"
    Dined on 4/10/2014
  • "IInsidetely adore this place. I take all my out of town guests and foodie friends to this place. It is beautiful Inside , the portions are proportionate to price and appetite, and the foid is nreathtakng and the wine is intetesting and beautifully matched. The chef is passionate and extremely talented. I cant wait to go back, again and again"
    Dined on 4/8/2014
  • "Candela, situated between a pawn shop and a storefront Catholic Church...(seriously, you cant make this stuff up!) is one of the best neighborhood gems in Fort Lauderdale! the wine is good, the food devine! We had the spicy moraccan chicken...and the pork tenderloin with gorganzola sauce....off the chart great!"
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "This is not an expensive restaurant, yet the food is exceptional and the portions are generous. It's very easy to take home a snack for the next day. I loved my beef carpaccio appetizer, and the Morrocan chicken entree was flavorful and different. The nice thing about the restaurant is that there are so many different flavors offered. Depending on your mood or what you recently had, you can always find something a little different here. The restaurant does not offer liquor but has a nice wine selection. Most importantly, we love the friendly owners. One of them will usually be working in the dining room, and they are very in touch with customer satisfaction."
    Dined on 3/19/2014
  • "The staff was excellent, their wine list was good specifically for the Spanish and Chilean wine list, they even offer a fantastic rose. The appetizer's we ordered for a table of 4 person's came at different times which I like, the cod croquettes & Garbanzos con chorizo both were exceptional in flavor. The main courses we ordered the special char grilled octopus, ( not chewy at all) prepared with great seasoning, chicken Serrano & manchego had great flavor, pork dish ( cerdo Asada) was exceptional with the lemon mojo and last the "Ropa veija" was the best I have ever had in my life. Overall a fabulous restaurant I would recommend reservations on the weekend."
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "My fiance's grandmother turned me on to this place. I'm not even quite sure how she found out about it. The chef/owner is adorable, so personable and caring. All of the staff are so attentive. I've been here large group outings as well as intimate 2 person dinners and both are fabulous. The wine list is impressive, the sangria divine, and the food is heavenly. The food is a wonderful mix of mediterranean meets cuban. There's a huge variety of tapas and large plates, everyone can find something. Please do yourself a favor and try this place out."
    Dined on 3/13/2014
  • "Had been wanting to go here forever...the food was great although portions were small...the service was absolutely ghastly...so disappointed....we were greeted by a child at the door, sat for about 20 minutes before I flagged down a waitress from another table to please bring us a couple of glasses of wine...while we were eating, another waitress kept coming over and trying to take our plates away....super annoying. The food was nice, authentic, creative....best thing was chef came out to say hi and move our plates around a little...a bit pricey for what it was. I would, however, go back at some point to give them another chance."
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "It was my moms 80 th birthday and what a fantastic place the food was so good that we will be seen once a week here! My mom said if this was her last meal she would die happy (lol) thank you candela's for the great memory until next week when we do it again!"
    Dined on 3/4/2014
  • "You won't be disappointed--as we weren't--at Candela. Don't let the exterior (next to a check-cashing shop!) fool you. Candela is authentic, upscale, and delicious."
    Dined on 3/1/2014