Candela
Candela

Candela

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.candelarestaurant.com/
  • Phone: 9545638088x
  • 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, Cuban, Tapas / Small Plates
  • 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 9545638088x
  • 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 WinnerFit for Foodies
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeigborhood Gem
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMediterranean
Candela reviews from OpenTable diners
38 reviews since June 27, 2014
Overall Rating4.2
  • Food4.5
    Service4.2
  • Ambiance3.7
    Noise LevelModerate
89% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (29)neighborhood gem (27)good for groups (13)special occasion (12)romantic (10)notable wine list (7)late-night find (3)hot spot (1)Show More
  • it was only okay
    FLLfoodieVIP
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    Saw this restaurant on a local television show, and it sounded pretty good. When we got there and were seated, it was 10 minutes before anyone in the dining room spoke to us, and, even then, it was when I snagged a bus-boy and asked for some water. A few minutes later, the waitress came over. The food was okay; we started off with some yucca fries, then some calamari. I had a seafood paella for the main course. The food was okay but did not jump out and would not drive a return. The service was very disorganized and inattentive. They tried to serve us the yucca fries 3 times (guess that's better than not serving at all), and the waitress admonished the bus people publicly in the dining room. ok but would not travel far.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Passion
    MariaC
    Dined on 10/7/2014
    It was a pleasure to see and talk to the chef. He came to the table and explained his dishes, the creation and the area where the inspiration came from. Chef Armand has passion and pleasure on what he does and that is reflected on his food. Dishes were absolutely to die for. The best octopus I ever eat in my life. My husband and I had a few tapas. Good enough to share and one better than the other. Flan at the end was EXCELENT. I will definitely go back many many times.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Glad to be back!!
    JJSATNYVIP
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    Was happy when my wife suggested going back. Second time here and again we were not disappointed. Food from appetizers to entrees was so fresh and flavorful. We took home the leftovers and actually ate them the next day, that doesn't happen very often. A true family restaurant feel with everyone pitching in to provide excellent service. Can't wait to go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Authentic tapas
    PashminaGirl
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    Visited for a birthday. Questionable from the outside.. So FL strip mall. But pleasantly surprised with the charming interior. Our table was waiting for us. Hostess was lovely and served us. The waiters seemed new. Not a negative per se. The food was delicious. We started with chorizo in wine and sardines. Both wonderful. Pork with blue cheese sauce a hit. Seafood with pasta ordered by two in our party. Another had the lamb chops. I had the steak with garlic potatoes. Everything was delicious. A slice of almond cake for dessert (a member of our party is from Spain and said the cake was authentic...as were the tapas). The chef is friendly and sat with us for a while. We will absolutely go back to this restaurant.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • An excellent dinner
    LDOnFLLVIP
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    We very much enjoy this restaurant. We shared the artichoke and Serrano ham appetizer. Surprising, it came out warm with a very garlic infused oil at the bottom of the plate. That oil was PERFECT for dipping the bread. We almost couldn't stop. But as the portions are big in this restaurant, we knew we had to refrain from overeating the bread! For dinner, we each selected the lamb. It was perfectly cooked (medium rare) and is accompanied by chickpeas. They make a perfect flavor and texture combination. The Moroccan chicken is another favorite here. We shared a pitcher of sangria. Dinner, tax and tip was just over $100 for two people.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A must!
    Thel
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    This often overlooked gem is a constant source of surprise to new visitors. The menu is quite varied, very creative and the freshly prepared food a delight! Once you have eaten at this restaurant you will keep returning over and over again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Delish
    Accountant
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    Once again we had a fabulous night at Candela. We drive crosstown to eat here as often as possible. Started with fresh Burrata cheese app, stuffed piquita peppers, and roasted beet salad. We order whenever available. The special was steak that chef cooks (mysteriously) for 2 days. It was perfectly done (medium) and tender as butter. Roasted potatoes came with, crispy and salted just right to go with the steak. The wusses in the group drank a lovely Sangria in Candela's new customized pitchers and remainder had some wonderful Malbec wine. We were early enough that Chef Armando came out and entertained us with his stories, from where he sources his food and wine to how he cooked it. This is always a special treat!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent Food and Service FOODIES
    JDEATSVIP
    Dined on 9/25/2014
    This restaurant is not to be missed! We were blown away by the food and service. Armando and his wife Yudaris (spelling) treated us like family but further like honored guests. The experience of closeness, information, and recommendations is well balanced by there desire to give you a full dining experience that seems to have service appear exactly when needed. Listen to their recommendations, you won't be disappointed. Also it is worth noting that this restaurant is very much budget affordable.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Truly unexpected!
    Pamplemousse
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    The other reviewers don't lie when they say to not be put off by the location. The food is truly outstanding and we didn't experience any untimely delays and we were there on a Saturday night. The chef regularly appears in the dining room and was concerned when my partner didn't finish the lasagna; it was just too much food! You won't be disappointed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful restaurant
    lovelyrita
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    Love this restaurant! The food is amazing for the price. The staff & chef are just wonderful. Ft. Lauderdale has way too many ho hum, expensive restaurants. Candela is an absolute gem in the landscape.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • candela a real find
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Highly recommended- best lasagne ever- chef is hands on- visits each table- 2nd visit- will be a regular.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Owner YELLS, Poor food,poor service
    upnadam
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    The wine is a a 3 ounce pour.The owner/chef coming to the table and yelling across the restaurant at his staff – more water, more bread etc. Throughout the meal we counted he came by our table (always holding his own glass of wine) 17 times. What a way to interrupt our dinner.I mean YELL. Initial bread sent back-very hard and cold –the second batch was just as bad – cold and very oily. Dinner was unremarkable – the 2 Moroccan Chicken dishes were spicy but were overcooked, tough and stringy. The snapper tasted frozen, lacked flavor, the edges looked freezer burnt and had a plastic taste; the grouper looked more like a soup than a fish dish with a sauce. If you like lack luster food with a side of YELLING -then this is your place.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Definitely worth it....
    eh33301
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    Staff was extremely personable. The chef came out to make suggestions to our table. Food was fantastic!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Second Time Here
    Edward
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    We came back here a second time and, as usual, were extremely pleased. The joy of coming here, is not only the food, but the discussions with the owner, about food, new things he's thinking of for the menu. Culinary education along with an amazing meal. For what more could you ask!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent food and service....
    Foodie2nightVIP
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Love this place! The menu changes often. Not to worry - always excellent choices. We had some fabulous tapas to start. Garlicky shrimp, jamon and cheese platter, croquettes, gorbonzo beans and chorizo - all excellent. We had paella, crispy macaroni in squid ink w/calamari and squid - don't miss this. We have been going to this restaurant for a year or so and it has been consistently good.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Candela First Visit
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    The tapas were unbelievably good. The main course dishes were fair. One person had to send theirs back as it was way over cooked. Still very pleased with overall experience. We will go back!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ludie13
    Love2EatGreatFood
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    The owner is amazingly friendly, food is out of this world! Service is impeccable and staff is knowledgeable and friendly. We will return many times!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Yum Yum Yummy
    Roma
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    An eclectic combination of Mediterranian and Spanish. Haven't been disappointed yet.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Hidden Jem
    dhoch
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    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
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    we went and had 5 tapas, all were great. met the owners and were wonderful
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Dining with a Dysfunctional Family
    TTLBLVIP
    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.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Amazing Surprise
    bergmanteamVIP
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing find!
    foodiefav
    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!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food was amazing location was iffy
    Eryn
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • good food unusual location
    Dave
    Dined on 7/2/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 13 ratings-only reviews submitted since June 27, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.4
    • Food4.7
    • Ambiance3.9
    • Service4.3
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 92 reviews are from the Candela reviews archive.
  • BikeLadyVIP
    Dined on 6/19/2014
    Very friendly. Interesting assortment of tapas and main dishes. Definitely worth a return visit.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Interesting dish selections
    SFfoodies
    Dined on 6/12/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Strip mall surprise
    OpenTableReviewerFLL
    Dined on 6/6/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Such great food
    MediaMer
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Unusual menu
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    Many special dishes with outstanding sauces and flavors. Staff is willing to please requests. Excellent place.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • What a Delightful Experience
    Edward
    Dined on 5/29/2014
    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,
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Best dining while in Ft. L
    NCfan
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Neighborhood Gem
    Falco
    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++
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • DrLeeVIP
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Two very enthusiastic thumbs up!
    Awesome
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Consistently Good
    FLLdinerVIP
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Cocina perfecta!
    MarcTVIP
    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!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great local experience
    JonathanVIP
    Dined on 5/7/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great place to dine.
    RaftermansWords
    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.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Consistently excellent & enjoyable
    LDOnFLLVIP
    Dined on 5/3/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate