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Living in Bay Ridge

Rolling hills, attractive brick row houses and traditional Italian eateries characterize Bay Ridge. This secluded Brooklyn neighborhood offers breathtaking views of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and New York Harbor. Its waterfront esplanade, parks and botanical gardens provide ample opportunity for soaking in the scenery. Bay Ridge may feel like a small town on its quiet side streets, but venture onto the main shopping avenues and you'll experience all of the bustling commerce of big-city life. Commuters are well-connected, too: The X27 and X37 express buses make the journey to and from Manhattan in as little as 30 minutes, and the R train shuttles residents to Union Square in 40 minutes.

Bay Ridge real estate

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Bay Ridge real estate is enviably varied. There are condos, apartments and houses for sale here, and many of these provide stunning views of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. Some of the most sought-after Bay Ridge homes are on Shore Road, nicknamed the “Gold Coast” of Brooklyn. This strip is where former residents built their summer homes, and you can still find Gilded Age gabled mansions today. Inland, there’s an attractive blend of housing styles from the early 20th century, with building materials including stucco, limestone and brick. The larger multi-family detached homes offer spacious floor plans, along with basements, garages and backyards. One of the quirkiest Bay Ridge properties is the Gingerbread House, a charming Arts and Crafts–style home designed by James Sarsfield Kennedy in 1917.

Many Bay Ridge apartments are located in authentic Art Deco buildings, although you can also find new condo developments. These co-ops offer all of the latest conveniences, with doormen, elevators and laundry rooms characterizing the newer high-rise developments.

Bay Ridge history

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The Dutch West India Company acquired Brooklyn’s “Gold Coast” from the local Nyack Indians in 1652. They originally named it Yellow Hook because of the color of the clay. However, residents decided to rename it after the yellow fever epidemic of 1849. The name Bay Ridge stems from the area’s bay, as well as the neighborhood’s glacial ridge. It became a popular seaside retreat, with Manhattan’s elite building their stately homes by the water. Numerous waves of immigrants have settled throughout the years, including sizable Italian, Norwegian and Irish communities.

Bay Ridge restaurants

Bay Ridge’s restaurant scene offers every type of cuisine under the sun. You’ll find Middle Eastern, Mexican, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Greek, Chinese and more. From classic New York diners like Stewart’s to rustic Italian restaurants like Tuscany Grill and burger bars like Skinflints, there are plenty of options to cure any craving. Tanoreen, one of the city’s highest-rated Middle Eastern restaurants, featuring the home cooking of owner Rawia Bishara.

Ho’Brah offers tasty tacos and a laid-back atmosphere that wouldn’t be out of place in Southern California. This buzzing eatery also offers a full menu of zesty margaritas to sip on. Locals congregate at Caffe Café for coffee and gossip sessions, while the Paneantico Bakery is a local favorite for its balsamic-glazed sandwiches and authentic cannoli. Pastries are also top-notch at Omonia Café, which dishes up a baklava cheesecake that exemplifies the best of Greek-American cuisine. 

Bay Ridge attractions

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Living in Bay Ridge encourages you to stop and smell the roses — quite literally, when you visit the Narrows Botanical Gardens. The star attractions here are the Old and Modern Rose Gardens, with their vibrant displays of colorful flowers. You may spot turtles, bees and chickens in the Native Meadow Flower Hillside, or learn more about local foliage in the Native Plant Sanctuary. Tended by local volunteers, the gardens offer sweeping views of the Narrows waterway.

Owl’s Head Park is another idyllic spot to take in the Verrazano views and enjoy nature. This well-tended park features gently sloping pathways, a skate park and an extra-long dog run for neighborhood pooches.

The Harbor Defense Museum is a must-see for military history buffs. It’s New York City’s only army museum, hosting a treasure trove of helmets, uniforms and weapons, along with vintage artillery.

Bay Ridge nightlife 

When the sun sets, Bay Ridge’s varied bars, cafes and nightclubs light up. Bay Ridge’s nightlife is unpretentious and welcoming, with hole-in-the-wall pubs alongside craft beer gardens. Lock Yard is relatively new, but it has already become a neighborhood staple. This bohemian beer garden sits in a space that once housed a local locksmith. With Brooklyn-sourced brews on tap and carefully curated bar bites like lobster rolls, Lock Yard draws a crowd throughout the week. Special events include trivia nights, and twinkling lights bedeck the backyard space for a whimsical ambience. 

Live music and DJs take over the Wicked Monk on weekends. This sports bar shows the latest games in a setting reminiscent of a chapel, with stone walls and stained-glass windows. For a traditional Welsh vibe, head to Longbow Pub & Pantry, where you can dine on fish and chips and choose from an extensive collection of local and British brews.

Bay Ridge shopping

The Bay Ridge commercial district is along 86th Street, where you’ll find a cluster of chain stores and bank branches. A long-term shopping destination in the neighborhood is the Century 21 department store, with its deeply discounted designer clothing and stylish housewares. Small, independent boutiques are in abundance in Bay Ridge, including the jumble of vintage stores, gift shops, book vendors and specialty markets lining Fourth and Fifth Avenues. Foodies flock to the Brooklyn Market, which sells a range of fresh organic produce and artisanal condiments. Stock up on butter cookies at Leske’s Bakery or imported olives at A.L.C. Italian Grocery. 

NYC's Best Kept Secret is Out

"Bay Ridge has a charming neighborhood vibe, great restaurants, tons of parks & green spaces, and is just a subway, express bus, or ferry ride away."
Gina Bartnik
Gina                 Bartnik

What's In The Area: Bay Ridge

Driving Walking

Local tips and information for going out in the Bay Ridge from The Corcoran Group. Explore dining, shopping and nightlife.

All Bay Ridge tips




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