Candelas
Candelas
Reviews Coming Soon

Candelas

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.candelas-sd.com/
  • Phone: 6197024455
  • Hours of Operation:
    Dinner:
    Monday - Sunday 5:00pm-10:30pm

    Breakfast and Lunch:
    Saturday & Sunday 8:30am-2:30pm

    Lounge (House Music):
    Friday and Saturday 10:00pm-2:00am

    Happy Hour:
    Sunday-Friday 5:00-7:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Mexican / Southwestern
  • Executive Chef: Eduardo Baeza
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Chef's Table, Dancing, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: For details please contact the Restaurant.
  • Private Party Facilities: Brick Room - sitting capacity 80 and standing 160. Royal Room - sitting capacity 16 and standing 30. Mirror Room - sitting capacity 65 and standing 124.
  • Private Party Contact: Conrado A. 6197024455
  • Entertainment: Candelas Lounge is open seven nights a week. Entrainment is offered Thursday thru Saturday with the intent of providing a unique sound rarely heard in San Diego. For a list of performers please contact the Restaurant.
  • Special Events: Every Wednesday from 5pm to 11pm half off on any bottle on wine from our wine list, come choose from 130 bottles from different regions.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: J Street
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Valet parking Friday and Saturday from 6:00pm-12:00am Public parking on the corner of Second ave and J street
A word from Candelas
It's our goal at Candelas SD to share the most sophisticated Mexican cuisine that the city of San Diego has to offer. Providing and unparalleled culinary experience to our guests utilizing the freshness quality in local ingredients along with some of the most innovated cooking techniques the industry has to offer.
Continued
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Candelas reviews from OpenTable diners
  • Alta Mexicana con precios altos
    travelinwillbury
    Dined on 10/8/2013
    Candela's bills itself as Mexican haute cuisine, and their dishes certainly live up to that aspiration. But in a city with so many excellent dining choices, including other high-end Mexican options, it doesn't offer good value for money.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Wrong choise
    Calilover
    Dined on 8/3/2013
    The food was bad and the wine was worst. Would not recommend and not coming back ever!
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Happy Hour!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 7/5/2013
    We go back for Happy Hour in the bar over and over. Old bar, new bar. Does not get as busy as Gaslamp places, just one block off. Rarely go for dinner anymore, but maybe that is just us. Food is well prepared, prices as most of San Diego, and sometimes food delivery a bit slow for hungry visitors. Good gelato and dessert place down the block.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Presentation over taste
    bobbypVIP
    Dined on 6/25/2013
    Sorry to report that the food looked better than it tasted. They tried hard but food had little taste. The empty restaurant on a Tuesday night should have been a clue.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Not as great as the past
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 6/14/2013
    I hope Candela's- returns to it's past....amazing food ans service. We has an average dinner and service the last visit.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Food is good but pricey. Indoor
    keiko
    Dined on 4/26/2013
    Food is good but pricey. Indoor dining not preferred due to noise and a lot of traffic.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • our attendanace went from
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 3/20/2013
    our attendanace went from 8 to 11 last minute and Candela did EVERYTHING they could to accomodate and we were extremely grateful! We loved our large round table seating so everyone could feel included. We ordered 3 different appetizers and they were excellent. My Carne Tanpiquenos? was excellent and done perfectly tender. Most everyone at our table had the lobster/filet special .....everyone seemed to like it..but wasn't sure if they were OVERLY impressed. housemade margaritas were deadly and excellent. i would recommend this place in a heartbeat!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I am an accomplished cook
    Riverwalk1
    Dined on 2/13/2013
    I am an accomplished cook and for years Candelas has been my favorite restaurant. Their menu and execution of their offerings is the best I have found in San Diego County. With many unique menu items and preparation that reflects their chef's commitment to excellence, I would not hestitate to recommend them.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Overpriced unimaginative and
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012VIP
    Dined on 1/27/2013
    Overpriced unimaginative and disappointing. The place should be busy but we were the only diners. I can not recommend this restaurant.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Weird. And tasteless...
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 1/21/2013
    We sat outside. Outdoor seating isn't the best. Service was just weird. We had two servers: a waiter and a waitress. They were pleasant enough, but slow and the girl seemed like she'd never set foot in the place or waited tables before that night. The restaurant inside was completely dead. Not a single soul save one person sitting at one of the bars. The chips and guac were good, but the dinners we had were AWFUL.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • This place serves mediocre
    BeltonVIP
    Dined on 1/5/2013
    This place serves mediocre food in a dismal environment with uncaring service. Moreover, the management is disdainful of patrons who might want a decent list of beers. NO locally produced craft beers. Only mediocre Mexican watered-down brews except for Sam Adams, which the waiter informed us was not chilled. The wine list and wines actually available must come from different universes. . My steak was competently prepared, but the so-called enchiladas served on the side were tough as rubber. One of my dining companions ordered lamb shank with "chocolate sauce", which I presume is supposed to be a take on mole--but as I feared the sauce tasted more like Hershey's syrup than a competent mole.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The menu seemed amazing..
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 12/8/2012
    The menu seemed amazing.. However, the appetizers were OK but the main courses were not. The fish plates were not good the fish and the chicken plate was salty.. On a Saturday night it was almost empty. The service was not good and the evening was desapointing. We had a large group and it seemed not to go well.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We used the Travelzoo voucher
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 11/7/2012
    We used the Travelzoo voucher to get Ahi Tuna Tartare, Seafood Linguini, and Flat Iron Steak dinner plates and ended with Flan for dessert. Both our dishes were excellent and very tasty. We will eat here again. This was the best tasting sauce with great mix of seafood that I've had in San Diego.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Front dining room was uncomfortably
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 11/3/2012
    Front dining room was uncomfortably warm. Guests were fanning themselves. I asked for the a.c. to be turned up. They moved us to a different dining room. Kitchen was disorganized. There seemed to have been a problem serving a large party. Food and drink service was very slow. Waiter was pleasant and slow kitchen wasn't his fault. 1.5 hrs to get our entrees. Food quality and prep were good. SIgnature margaritas were very weak. Did seem however that there was not enough waiter staffing for a higher end restaurant. I wrote a pleasant letter of complaint to management and they have not responded. This used to be one of our preferred dining spots but it is doubtful we will return again.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Favourite place to eat in
    NewNicknameVIP
    Dined on 11/3/2012
    Favourite place to eat in San Diego...was there the last time I visited and ate there twice on this visit...this time we got to sit in the Wine Cellar. I had to return to try more of the menu...will definitely be back!!! Yummy!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food...needs an "owners" eye.
    GaslampVIP
    Dined on 11/3/2012
    Always great food...sadly, they weren't prepared or staffed to support outdoor tables...we ordered and waited, and waited....and waited! 1 1/2 hours just for appetizers and a bottle of wine...not good. Love this place...next time, will go find manager...
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The bar is great, and so are
    Trixi
    Dined on 11/2/2012
    The bar is great, and so are the cocktails! I love this place in general, but the dinners are somewhat over priced. The food is very good, but not sure the prices are justified.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • This was a "must return to"
    NewNicknameVIP
    Dined on 10/31/2012
    This was a "must return to" after dining there a couple of years ago (the last time I was in San Diego). Wow! My memory did not fail me. Service was exceptional and the food was amazing...so good we returned again a couple of nights later (our last night in San Diego).
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointing
    smja
    Dined on 10/20/2012
    My brother, a local and formerly in the restaurant business recommended this place. The service staff was huge. There was actually more wait staff than customers and they were quick to care for you and kept busy polishing a cleaning things. The only down side to service was when we heard another server tell a customer about the specials, which we were not told of. And they sounded good. The food was average at best. My grilled shrimp was over cooked but my girlfriend's crepes were very good. I would not recommend this restaurant.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A pretentious restaurant that
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 10/20/2012
    A pretentious restaurant that claims to have "modern mexican cuisine". The chef simply doesen't know how to cook. Keep distance!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • very deceptive Travelzoo special
    1234VIP
    Dined on 10/19/2012
    Went there using a Travelzoo voucher for dinner for two. However, we were given a limited "special" menu which limited our choices of food. Very upsetting because there were only 2-3 choices; which weren't that good. Very deceptive way to get business by advertising through Travelzoo for what seemed like a regular meal only to be told your choices are limited.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The key to a great dining
    RVAFoodEVIP
    Dined on 10/16/2012
    The key to a great dining experience for our group of five was our server Hector. Great guidance on apps for the table and entrees to fit everyone's taste. The winners for the night were the duck and the chili and coffe rubbed shrimp.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Everything was fantastic.
    Sandy
    Dined on 10/9/2012
    Everything was fantastic. My dining companion was late due to traffic. I advised the host and it was not a problem. We were seated in the main dining area (there is another very large room to accommodate large groups or any 'overflow'). Our waiter was attentive, knowledgeable, efficient, timely. Our meals were cooked to order and delicious. Also, I sat in the bar area awaiting my friend's arrival. The bartender was friendly and made an excellent margarita. Our waiter was Hector. Bartender was Paris.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • We felt like we were at a
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 9/28/2012
    We felt like we were at a Top Chef showdown. Everything we ate was outstanding. Delicate flavors so beautifully combined.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Still nice, but...
    Bails
    Dined on 8/25/2012
    We have enjoyed this restaurant several times before, usually for a birthday or anniversary. The food is still tasty, although why they eliminated the jalapeno bread, everyone's favorite, is beyond me. Dinner was excellent, desert not so much. Our waiter Hector was fabulous, as usual. The problem is really the ambiance. The decor is very so-so. Not nice enough for a place that isn't cheap. They have never recovered from the loss of their beautiful melted candles. They tell us they had to take them down due to fire codes or something. I don't know. Unlit candles are a hazard? Regardless, there are many other options now, including beautiful electric candles. Come on, people! It's called Candelas! Figure something out!
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Sorry guys but, I was expecting
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 8/3/2012
    Sorry guys but, I was expecting more from the food. It was just fair, lacked imagination, flair and taste! I came away disappointed it was also my birthday that I was celebrating with my wife and friend. Escargot were really bad and had to return to the kitchen and the chilean sea bass, was just ok before it used to be great and would wow you. Also you used to serve a bigger portion, what's going on. Did you change Chefs again! I cannot say that I will be back soon..
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • We LOVED the food....very
    Gourmet11VIP
    Dined on 8/1/2012
    We LOVED the food....very gourmet. And the margaritas were terrific. I would definitely come back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful experience from
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 7/1/2012
    Wonderful experience from top to bottom. The food and service was incredible. We were seated in the private wine cellar area which was encased with an iron gate and candles. Very romantic and secluded. By far the best dinner that we had while visiting San Diego. We can’t wait to return and Candelas will be number one on our list.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Chef Martin San Roman does
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004
    Dined on 6/21/2012
    Chef Martin San Roman does not disappoint! His menu is superb!! The oysters and pate are incredible.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Everything about Candelas
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 6/9/2012
    Everything about Candelas was outstanding - the food, the wine, the atmosphere, the service. Amir was awesome!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • the restaurant is beautiful
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 6/2/2012
    the restaurant is beautiful and the food is delicious. I highly recommend it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, late-night find, romantic, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A gem in the Gas Lamp district
    TOL1VIP
    Dined on 5/20/2012
    A gem in the Gas Lamp district of San Diego. Went there for dinner while in San Diego for national meetings. Unique cuisine of Mexican/French fusion - it works.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Not so great
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 5/12/2012
    I was disappointed with our recent dinner at Candelas. I had the black bean soup and all it seemed like was pureed black beans. It said it was made with dark Mexican beer but I didn't taste any of that. Then I had the duo of mignons which were OK but nothing special. My guest had the lamb shank which was also OK but had a large portion of hard inedible meat. Both meats needed seasoning. Without the sauces the dishes had no flavor. For some general notes; the restaurant feels very old school with waiters in white coats and large chargers on the tables. Also, the general impression of the menu isn't Mexican at all so don't make the mistake of coming here for any Mexican flavors. Truthfully we only ate here because someone gave us a giftcard.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointed in an old favorite!
    foodnwinelvrVIP
    Dined on 4/30/2012
    I am disappointed by our latest visit to Candelas. We have dined here for years, but the recent chef change has me wishing for more Mexican/latin influences. The food tasted like French to me. No spice, and all my favorites were gone! The jalapeño cheese-stuffed bread was gone, replaced with sourdough and olive rolls. The poblano soup was gone, too. We ordered a house-cured salmon that was supposed to have three different chills. It was so sweet, too much sauce, and there was almost no heat. I added a couple of drops of lime juice that helped balance the sweetness, but still it wasn't balanced. I ordered the corbina fish special. The fish was perfectly cooked and the 'pimento' sauce was good, but once again, no latin influence.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Expensive and not tasty
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 4/28/2012
    I didn't like the Pollo a la champagne dish I ordered. It was greasy and salty. It didn't have any unique flavor. It was expensive and not tasty. The place is so so. The only thing I liked was the tamarind Margarita just because it had the tasty chilli pepper and the dish my husband got steak medallions seemed to be better. A few years ago we came but the sea bass was delicious and my husband was happy with his dish.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Simply fantastic. When I
    BarbinDC
    Dined on 4/27/2012
    Simply fantastic. When I go to San Diego this is a definite place for a meal!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Food is always quite good.
    Local3FANVIP
    Dined on 4/14/2012
    Food is always quite good. Very upscale Mexican/French. New chef. Still miss some of the former offerings like the poblano cream soup and the dinner rolls (the new ones are good but we loved the variety in the past). We had the seafood and avocado "estructura" - simply delicous and a very nice portion. I had the duck for the first time - very flavorful and not greasy at all. The hit of the evening was the sea bass special dusted with capuccino - it was very tasty. Also noteworthy was the filet with escargot sauce. We passed on dessert - the crepe and chocolate cake looked intriguing - maybe next time.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Candela's - either one - is
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 4/11/2012
    Candela's - either one - is consistently excellent. The servers are very attentive and offer personal interactions that add to the dining experience. I would stick with the seafood - the lamb shank was fatty and a bit dry.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Pleasant setting, but the
    PsdlnVIP
    Dined on 4/4/2012
    Pleasant setting, but the menu too heavy on creams and sauces for my taste. A lamb shank in chocolate and wine sauce was unusual, but not memorable. Chicken breast in a cream sauce looked better than it turned out to be. Prices are high in relation to quality. Other than vegetarian dishes (two by my count), there were few entrees priced at less than $30. The featured rib eye was $42. Wine prices were stunningly high. A few bottles were priced in the mid-thirties range, but nearly all were over $40, many well over. I ordered the least expensive wine, a Malbec at $32, which was ok, but one needed to really search the extensive wine list for reasonable choices. Overall, a quiet place to chat, but not a place that I would rush back to.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A lovely, somewhat unusual
    SandyrkVIP
    Dined on 3/24/2012
    A lovely, somewhat unusual restaurant, with a combination of interesting Mexican and French inspired foods. We made up a taps menu out of appetizers--excellent. Loved the avocado and seafood, pate, and oysters. Very attentive service and nice tequila!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate