Whether you’re a New York City native or you’re just visiting, Brooklyn’s overlooked neighborhood of Prospect Lefferts Gardens (PLG) feels like home. In the past, historic homes and architecture were the primary draw to this area; but a new wave of trendy cafés and hip bars are beginning to draw more visitors. Here, The Culture Trip heads to Brooklyn to share the 10 best things to see and do in this up and coming neighborhood. .
I.M. Pastry Studio
I.M. Pastry Studio opened its doors in the heart of PLG in 2015. From intricate fondant creations to buttercream cakes and custom corporate dessert tables, this bakery seems to have it all. The storefront location is available for intimate private functions or grab-and-go items like cupcakes, brownies, sandwiches, and drinks. It’s worth a visit alone just to taste their strawberry shortcake – a torte baked daily with vanilla cake, strawberry purée filling, whipped vanilla buttercream and fresh strawberries.
The LeFrak Center at Lakeside is a hidden, local gem that offers roller skating, biking, boating, and a splash pad. Either pack your own meal or pop into the nearby Bluestone Café for lunch. In the evenings, the roller rink turns into ‘Dreamland Roller Disco’ with a different theme every Friday night. Costumes are highly encouraged.
The Brooklyn Greenery is the perfect place for getting your smoothie fix. Brooklynites Jason Young and John Augustin opened the juice bar in January 2015 to give the residents of PLG a healthier, cleaner option. The Brooklyn Greenery comes complete with a book share, utilizing a ‘take a book, leave a book’ policy. The walls are laid with local artists’ work, making this juice bar a place to see and be seen. Be sure to try ‘The Blueprint’, one of their trademark smoothies made with peach, pineapple, blueberry, banana, cashew, cinnamon, wild blueberry flaxseed, granola and almond milk.
Owned by husband and wife duo Annalisa Riodan and Richard Otto, Gratitude Café is the neighborhood’s vegan, gluten-free option with a cozy atmosphere and welcoming vibe. Try the cheddar chive biscuit – their take on the classic bacon, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwich. On a hot summer day, pop in for freshly squeezed lemonade, so delicious that it refreshes your body, mind, and soul. So come on by and stay a while.
The Owl Parlor provides a cosmic, calming, and contemplative atmosphere. Come here and be enveloped by its relaxing vibe – this is the place to unwind and exhale. With live music on Thursdays through Saturdays beginning at 8pm, you’ll hear everything from smooth jazz to folk music.
Store Front | Image Courtesy of Little Mo Wine and Spirits
Owner Mark Schwartz has lived in the neighborhood since 2011, but he opened up shop late last year. Little Mo Wine and Spirits now provides the people of PLG with the quality wines and small batch booze they used to leave the neighborhood to find. Food pairings take place every Friday, so if you need the perfect bottle for your jerk chicken or cheese, they’ve got you covered.
The late founder of Taste of Brooklyn Café grew up in PLG and opened this noshery to create a place for him and his friends to hang out. Come here for brunch or late night libations. Try the chicken and waffles – this waffle is made fresh from carrot cake in-house – and the chicken wings come with special sauces like the ‘Triple H’, made with harissa, hoisin, and honey. The jerk-flavored wings are just right, prepared with a delightful, agreeable spiciness.
The Annual Prospect Lefferts Gardens House and Garden Tour is a one off tour hosted by the Lefferts Manor Association that gives participants the unique opportunity to tour the historical homes of PLG. Be sure to add the upcoming tour to your calendar. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 on the day of the event.
Coffee: a New Yorker’s staple, and no neighborhood is complete without the perfect café. Tip of the Tongue Baked and Brewed has been caffeinating PLG since May 2013, particularly well-known for their chai lattes, infused with whole milk and sugar, which are their bestsellers for a reason. Pair yours with a snickerdoodle cookie or any other in-house baked good, and you are in for a delightful experience.
Nothing short of a landmark in PLG, Allan’s Bakery began in the late 1950s with Mr. and Mrs. Allan and Gloria Smith baking delectable breads at home for their close friends and family. In 1961, they opened shop and now boast the best currant roll in the city – a sweet bread filled with either raisins or coconut. Another specialty is their hardo bread, which needs no accompaniment, but adding butter or honey or turning it into a delicious sandwich makes it even better. The store’s array of baked goods is attributed to the family’s diverse background, which is Vincentian, Trinidadian, and Jamaican. Currently, the shop is managed by their youngest daughter, Sharon Smith, who is keeping the family’s recipes secret.