Cocina Candela

4.6
139 reviews
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$30 and under
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Puerto Rican
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About

Puerto Rican cuisine in Montclair made with local ingredients. All of our meat is hormone free. We can't wait for you to visit!
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Puerto Rican, Latin American, Caribbean
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Hours of operation
Tuesday- Friday: 12:00pm - 9:00pm
Saturday & Sunday: 11:00am - 9:00pm
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Phone number
(973) 707-7174
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Business Casual
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Catering
Full catering menu available. Call for information.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Mountain Ave.
Additional
BYO Liquor, BYO Wine, Gluten-free Menu, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch
What 139 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.6based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.7
service
4.2
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
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1
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RI
1 review
Dined on June 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Food and service were great
One negative was room tempature
With 85 degrees that day , A/C was not on , we were hot and uncomfortable. A/C was turned on after our request , but by that time it was too late

d
New York Area
39 reviews
Dined on June 19, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

I want to like Cocina Candela, which has an elegant ambience and food artfully arranged on the plates, but the flavor's missing: The octopus salad is awash in bland oil, the red snapper rests on a bed of sweet potato puree that doesn't help anything, and the mofongo was rubbery rather than chewy, with cubes of chicken that tasted like lunchroom chicken a la king. The rice with shrimp was nothing much but those two ingredients. The churrasco was pretty good, thank goodness, and as rare as we ordered it. But the tres leches for dessert was disappointing, and that dessert is always a winner elsewhere. My theory: In an attempt to be upscale (nothing wrong with that), Cocina Candela has edited out the bold flavors that I like when I eat Puerto Rican cuisine.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 2

The food was good, but the music was aggressively loud for brunch. I went there for Father's and the whole experience wasn't pleasant because we could barely hear eachother over the music. We asked the server to turn it down 4 times and each time it was barely turned down. Finally, my dad had to get up and complain to the manager and their answer was "the owner likes it loud" Completely unacceptable, especially when your're trying to spend quality family time for brunch on father's day. Will not go back for that reason.

OT
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent Brunch!
We went for Brunch on Father's Day. Going out on a holiday is usually iffy but we were not disappointed. We had a reservation which we arrived right on time for and we were seated right away.
The wait staff was very good and attentive even though it was busy. The place is small but we were comfortable. It was nice outside so the doors and windows were open so there was a really nice breeze.
We had corn fritters and empanadas as appetizers. Very good!
For brunch we chose Puerto Rican Benedict, a Cuban Sandwich, Lobster Omelette and Chirrasco con Huevos. All were very good!
We enjoyed our meal and the atmosphere. We will definitely be back! And now that I know it's BYOB, I'll bring champagne for Mimosas next time!

LM
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food is fresh, delicious and authentic. Atmosphere is comfortable and relaxed with perfect salsa music to accompany the flavors. Service was pleasant and efficient. Will be back!

LJ
New York Area
71 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 2

Even though we had a reservation we were given a tiny table right next to the entrance door. It was
unpleasant to have a constant stream of people pushing past the table. The waitress was friendly and
attentive and did the best she could. The food was mediocre. The portions were large.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is my 3rd time here. Food is always great and exceptional service

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent food! Great empanadas!

n
New York Area
23 reviews
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

First time dining at this gem
Of a restaurant. Small and cozy space with friendly helpful service and delicious food.

PS
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Great place. Our 2nd time there - food has been very good both times. Service outstanding. Easy parking. Priced appropriately. Will certainly return

SG
1 review
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 3

Overall a good place, what is being served, “gourmet Puerto Rican food” should be part of how the place is advertised at first glance. When you search the restaurant, it is described as a Puerto Rican restaurant which automatically makes you think it will be typical Puerto Rican food, not the gourmet food that is served. In hind sight, if I would have know right from the beginning, without having to do much research that I was going to a farm to table, gourmet restaurant, I would have had a different experience. I just wasn’t served what I was expecting & I could tell that the people around me felt the same way, especially with the “brunch until 3pm clause” which was never mentioned to me when I made the reservation. As a person from the Caribbean I totally support what the restaurant owner is doing with such a delicious cuisine, it just should have been advertised better.

OT
1 review
Dined on March 17, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Food was delicious and fresh I just wished there was more of it. The service was excellent.

JJ
1 review
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was excellent. Perfect portion size. Great service. We will be back!

AC
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Their surrollitos and the pernil are great. The "arroz & gandules" is ok and the service is really good. The only issue is that the seating is a little tight, especially the table for two in the far corner. Overall, would return.

OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on March 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food is absolutely delicious!!!

VV
1 review
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Puerto Rican Benedict is delicious, I’ve had it twice; pernil & mofongo, sooo good. I’ve also had the scallops Benedict also very good.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 4

The pork chop was so over done and almost burnt. The manager said he didn’t believe us and basically too bad so sad , it was horrible. He then had our poor waitress do all of his communicating for him and wouldn’t even come speak to us himself until we basically had to demand to see him . Willl never go back there again

JR
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

Food was bland and dry. Service was very slow. Restaurant was MUCH too loud, could not even hear the wait staff when they were explaining the very slow service. That all could have been forgiven if the food was good, but, alas it was below average. I would not recommend or return.

LR
New York Area
16 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

The food is consistently wonderful and the service overall is very good. Have eaten here several times and always look forward to going back. The only reason this is not a full 5 stars is that the restaurant is extremely loud. There are usually big parties and the acoustics are just not good. We just accept this as part of the experience and go enjoy a wonderful dinner.

DC
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was very good. Quick service. Nice low lights. Would definitely suggest trying this restaurant.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

The food was wonderful and the service was great but there were children and they were particularly noisy and screaming.

KV
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

The food was excellent. I extremely enjoyed the mofongo with trifongo. The maduros were amazing too!

AS
New England
5 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Food and service were great - would go back anytime. Music could be lower for my taste - but I’d be happy to go there again - Definitely another plus for Montclair.

OT
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Went to Cocina Candela for Valentine’s Day and it was amazing. Not packed, no rush. Amazing food and amazing dessert. Third time coming and can’t wait to go back!

OT
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 4

Left pretty disappointed...My husband had the steak and it was good but part of my meal was not even edible which is why I would rate the experience as fair. The monfongo had so much garlic I couldn’t even eat it and when I brought it up to the server I just got an I’m sorry with no resolution. What’s the point of asking getting an honest answer and then nothing is done. The shrimp that came with the meal were great so that saved me but I was still hungry so I ordered dessert. It took over 20 min to bring out a slice of cake so by that point I was just annoyed and wanted to go home. Unfortunately I had high hopes for this place but have no plans to return.

j
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Made reservation and seated quickly. Order soup and app. Chicken was tasty but could have used a little more chicken. Entrees were very good and tasty. Would definitely revisit. Its BYOB so the bill was pretty affordable for 2.

GM
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on January 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was delicious. I didn’t realize they did not serve liquor. They do have a service you can call for delivery, but it’s not the same.

d
New York Area
29 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

My first visit here was a little disappointing last year, but I gave them another chance because the food was so good. I have been back at least three or four times with my wife or with family or friends. The food is excellent as is the service. It is also BYOB making it even better. Highly recommend.

BE
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and service. Authentic ambiance and friendly atmosphere.

OT
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Friendly staff

PS
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Overall great experience. Very good food, good value and great service

r
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome service (Olga :), friendly people... Awesome interpretations on classical Latin food alongside the traditional. The chef's plantain game is strong! 2nd visit in a week...I need help...lol.

I'm getting another order of a dozen empanadas to go... To help with my new condition.


Love your food.

G
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Neighborhood gem for sure! This "in the cut" restaurant has the best food. They even have vegan options which was extremely exciting for me. I have been here several times and have never been disappointed. If you like atmosphere, good service and flavor, you'll love Cocina Candela.

g
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on November 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Nice love the people great well go again in again 😘

CZ
New Orleans
2 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place was fantastic. I took my foodie sister for her birthday and she spent the evening raving about it.

OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Service was great as usual! The food here is so comforting and delicious

RM
1 review
Dined on September 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 4

Very good service and food. I would recommend. The only complaint is the waitress is Too attentive with interruptions.

FD
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2018
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 2

Great food, understaffed they ran out of drinking glasses and we had to wait over an hour for our food. When it finally came it was cold 🙄

V
New York Area
13 reviews
Dined on September 15, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 1

Extremely loud. Had to text my husband in front of me. Food was ok, definitely not worth the price. Service was awful. It took us half way in to the meal to actually get cups to drink in. Seating - let’s just say my elbow was touching the guy next to us. They Did not acknowledge request for my husbands birthday. Would not go back!

JC
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on September 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

the service was amazing Nd the food was impeccable !

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