Here at Red Tricycle NY, we’re always excited to spread the word about new kid-friendly cafés and restaurants. That’s why we were especially jazzed when we heard of a new cozy outpost from the brains behind Ditmas Park area parent favorite (and Red Tricycle Totally Awesome Award winner) Lark. Just steps from Prospect Park, ELK is serving up food and drink fireside and is home to an outdoor space just waiting for the spring thaw.

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photo: ELK Café

Where & What

Located in Brooklyn neighborhood Windsor Terrace on Prospect Park Southwest (in the former home of bike shop/café Juice Pedelar), ELK offers a small but tasty menu of sandwiches and snacks that caters to the palates of both kids and adults. Owner Kari Browne has recruited beloved local gourmet food shop Brancaccio’s to create a sandwich selection exclusive to ELK (ham and fontina, smoked salmon with onion and capers, and roasted eggplant among them), while other Brooklyn faves supply sweets and baked goods.

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Sweets & Sips

You’ll find pies from Gowanus’ Four & Twenty Blackbirds; pastry from Colson Patisserie in Park Slope; Ovenly of Greenpoint’s gluten-free baked goods and Megpie’s artisan tarts. Wash it all down with Stumptown coffee, a hot chocolate or one of the café’s smoothies. (Plans to offer beer and wine are in the works, too.)

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For the Kids

Like its cousin Lark, ELK hosts kid-friendly happenings. Currently, Lucy Kalantari hosts a ukulele singalong on Thursdays ($5 suggested donation), but space inside the café is limited, so programming for younger patrons won’t kick into high gear until warm weather returns. Come April, a large outdoor space will be outfitted with umbrella tables and more, and ELK’s seating area will quadruple in size.

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In addition to providing some outside crawling space for little ones, Browne plans to convert the property’s former bike shed (located at the far end of the lot) into a playhouse. Outdoor activities for kids ages two and up will range from story times to singalongs to kiddie science classes.

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photo: ELK Café

When we dropped by on a snowy weekend day, a cup of hot chocolate by the fire did the trick before we headed back out into the cold. Come spring and summer, Browne hopes to fuel park-bound visitors with food and drink, whether they choose to stay and relax a bit or grab and go.

ELK
154 Prospect Park SW
8 a.m.-6 p.m.
718-853-5500
Online: elkcoffee.com

Did a new kid-friendly spot open near you? Tell us about it in the comments!

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—Mimi O’Connor