Welcome to San Diego Blog | February 9, 2012

Candelas Restaurant – Coronado and Downtown San Diego

Candelas on the Bay, an upscale Mexican restaurant in Coronado, combines excellent service, romantic atmosphere, stunning views and distinctive Mexican cuisine. From the moment my family and I walked into the restaurant and set eyes on the multitude of lighted candles and spectacular skyline views of downtown San Diego, we immediately knew we picked the right place to celebrate my birthday.

Upon entering, we found a warm, inviting ambiance and were greeted by a hostess who seated us by the window, although every table in the restaurant has the same expansive bay and city views though floor-to-ceiling windows. Candelas has a casually elegant atmosphere with mellow house music and a full bar that includes an extensive wine list as well as their ever-popular white and red Sangrias chocked full of colorful fruit.

Our friendly server provided detailed, mouth-watering descriptions of menu selections and did not hesitate to offer recommendations based on our comments and questions.

The aptly-named Candelas (Spanish for candles) offers Mexico City-style haute cuisine made from the freshest ingredients — not your typical American-Mexican fare loaded with cheese, rice and beans.

We started with an appetizer called Estructura de Aguacate, a delicious ceviche made with avocado, shrimp, scallops, crab, mango and parsley, topped with a chili-mango-basil vinaigrette. My favorite was the Crema de Cuatro Quesos, a hot, creamy cheese soup with a dollop of mashed potatoes and one plump shrimp. The combination is divine; I highly recommend it! My family enjoyed a savory Chicken Mole, Aca las Quesadillas (a gourmet version with peppers) and Tacos de Carnitas – all scrumptious.

Candelas opened its first restaurant in downtown San Diego’s Gaslamp district at 3rd Avenue and J Street. The downtown location has a Spanish-influenced décor with old-world charm and furnishings that more closely resemble a Mexican restaurant than its Coronado counterpart.

Coronado Candelas is next to the Ferry Landing, where passengers board the San Diego-Coronado ferry for the 15-minute trip across the bay. If you like people-watching, go to Coronado Candelas for lunch or happy hour, where you’ll have a front-row seat of the beach and the boardwalk with an endless stream of walkers, runners, skaters, bicyclists, and beachgoers enjoying the sun and the sand.

For more information, questions or comments, please call (619) 246-8400.

Written by: Dannecker & Associates

Categories: Downtown San Diego, Gaslamp, Marina District, Restaurant

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