History of Bay Ridge
Bay Ridge is tucked away in the southwest corner of Brooklyn between Sunset Park and Dyker Heights. The neighborhood was once a summer getaway for Manhattanites in the early 19th century. It was rural until the current subway lines were installed around the turn of the century.
With increased access to the area, people flooded in and a period of rapid growth began. This new development brought multi-family homes and apartments to the neighborhood, but many single-family homes with driveways and yards still dot the landscape.
The neighborhood’s most iconic feature, the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, was completed in 1964 and connects Brooklyn to Staten Island.
The Vibe of Bay Ridge
Like other Brooklyn neighborhoods, Bay Ridge can be described as a small town within NYC. What sets this neighborhood apart is its close-knit, community-oriented spirit—almost 100 community organizations exist in Bay Ridge!
Scenic waterside walks and quick access to parks encourage locals to enjoy the outdoors and to slow down from the pace of the city. Long-standing local businesses operate along Third and Fifth Avenue, giving the area a lived-in and unique feel.
Unique Features of Bay Ridge
The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge is visible from almost everywhere in the neighborhood and stands as a dramatic backdrop to the calm streets here.
The bridge connects Brooklyn to Staten Island, and although you can’t walk across the bridge, you can walk nearby in Shore Park. Shore Park runs the entire length of Bay Ridge and offers a space for residents to relax, bring their dogs, or to enjoy the sunset over the bridge.
Things To Do in Bay Ridge
Residents of Bay Ridge have ample opportunity to enjoy life at a slower pace than the rest of the city. You could fill a day with walks through historic brownstone blocks, watching one of the many local parades, or browsing the Bay Ridge Greenmarket. We narrowed down our list to a few quintessential Bay Ridge activities.
- Narrows Botanical Gardens: New York City’s largest all-volunteer gardening organization, the Gardens is a stunning display of native plant and animal life. We recommend visiting the rose garden, the willow grove, and the turtle sanctuary on a quiet weekend morning.
- 69th Street Pier: Also known as the American Veterans Memorial Pier, the 69th Street Pier is a local favorite for fishers. Enjoy the views of the Verrazano Bridge and Manhattan skyline as you take it slow and relax.
- Third and Fifth Avenue: These two avenues are the commercial centers of Bay Ridge. Here you’ll find local boutiques, toy stores, art shops, cafes, and bars, as well as quick access to convenient chain stores.
Top Food Choices in Bay Ridge
Bay Ridge is bursting with cuisines from around the world, reflecting its own multicultural history. There is something for everyone in this neighborhood packed with options. Here are some of our favorites.
- Tanoreen: A true favorite of locals, this Middle Eastern restaurant is run by a mother and daughter team who bring years of home cooking experience to their Bay Ridge neighbors.
- Gino’s Restaurant: Gino’s has been a cornerstone of Bay Ridge nightlife since it opened in 1964. Always lively and friendly, this classic casual Italian restaurant serves up generous portions for a reasonable price.
- Elia: Be prepared to have the best Greek food you’ve had in NYC at this traditional yet innovative spot. Plenty of outdoor seating in the tranquil garden deck will transport you out of the city.
Top Three Things We Love About Bay Ridge
- Community: Residents of Bay Ridge take pride in their community and want the best for their neighborhood.
- Small Town Feel: If you’re ready to slip away from the commotion of the city, Bay Ridge is a top choice for you.
- Waterfront: All of Bay Ridge is moments away from the peaceful Narrows waterfront and adjacent parks where you can enjoy stunning sunsets.