This is a restaurant we went to twice while in Hiroshima – once for dinner and once for brunch. First of all, the location is great. It is located at the end of a mall close to the Atomic Bomb Dome (great place to end the day after looking at all the memorials). It’s on the second floor up some narrow stairs beside the entrance to the business downstairs. If you are like Ried and I, and enjoy people watching, I recommend grabbing a seat by the window as it provides a great view of the street below.
The atmosphere of Art Café Elk is a bit similar to Little Bird Café in Tokyo. A bit hippy, earthy, and laid back. The service was good and the staff all seemed to understand gluten free very well. There are also vegan options so this restaurant caters to a few different dietary needs.
Not everything on the menu is gluten free so make sure you check in with the staff who will show you what is safe. For dinner I had the Japanese platter set which came with miso soup, rice balls, karaage (Japanese fried chicken), and vegetables. The meal left me comfortable but not stuffed. The food was quite good and I really enjoyed the chicken and the chance to have miso soup while in Japan.
The great part about not being stuffed was that I had room for dessert! Art Café ELK serves gluten free pancakes which are quite tasty. They have a variety of options to accompany your pancake such as strawberries, banana and chocolate, and maple syrup. For dessert I chose the banana and chocolate. The pancakes here definitely rank higher than the ones I had in Kyoto at CHOICE restaurant (which I plan to review at a later date!). They were so good I made Ried come back with me on our last day in Hiroshima for brunch so I could have some more – this time I opted for the maple syrup which was my favorite.
I would definitely recommend making a stop at Art Café ELK if you’re in Hiroshima. It’s another great opportunity to try traditional Japanese food safely. If I went back I would definitely have to try the rice flour tempura as that sounded quite tasty! If you do go and try it, let me know how it is!
Note: If I had realized Ried and I would be starting this blog I would have taken more pictures at the time. So unfortunately I have none from our trip to Art Café Elk 😦