Neighborhood Watch

Columbia Daily Spectator

If you’re seeking adventure this weekend, this family-friendly neighborhood in southwest Brooklyn probably isn’t at the top of your list. It may be less sexy—and less seedy—than your favorite string of abandoned warehouses in Williamsburg, but Bay Ridge is anything but boring. With a growing Middle Eastern community and a deep connection to old Brooklyn history, this neighborhood highlights the best of old and new. The atmosphere is easy-going, the businesses are family-owned, and the Brooklyn accents are thick and inescapable. And the food? Fuhgeddaboudit!

Bay Ridge

Locations
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The HÔM Store

I personally don’t have the space for a mahogany buffet table in my 110-square-foot single, but at HÔM, you can definitely find a tchotchke or two to fill that empty space in your heart and on your shelf. Specializing in imported décor of South Asia and East Asia, this furniture store hosts a great selection of incense, pottery, and unique artisanal goods. But I’m sure you’re wondering, “Wouldn’t I work up quite the appetite searching for the perfect imported treasure?” Have no fear. This boutique has a small café set up in the back where you can satisfy your munchies. The comedic chef cooks everything on his wholesome menu in an open kitchen right next to the seating area. There’s good karma all around. 

8806 3rd Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11209

Shore Promenade

It’s true what they say (or maybe I just say it), but the best views of New York are those taken from Brooklyn. Beginning at the 69th Street Pier, this waterfront stretch offers incredible sights of the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty. Even Staten Island looks idyllic from this pathway. And if weather permits, a long stroll alongside the bustling Belt Parkway can bring you right below the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. The longest suspension bridge in the United States, the Verrazano is a must-see, especially if you’re not often on this side of the borough. 

1 69th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11209

Tanoreen

With a menu packed with Middle Eastern classics, Tanoreen has garnered local and citywide attention in recent years. Many have even dubbed it the best Middle Eastern restaurant in New York City. It is a family business, and the service and atmosphere is warm and comfortable—perfect for a relaxed dinner. If you’re tight on time, grab some falafel or baklava from the storefront next door. And an additional note: Read the menu carefully if you have a nut allergy. Don’t make the same mistake I did...

7523 3rd Avenue
Brookyln, NY 11209

Pizza Wagon

In Brooklyn, people know their pizza, and they like it simple and no-nonsense. Even among the dozens of pizzerias in the neighborhood, Pizza Wagon stands out as the local favorite. Natives of Bay Ridge are down for a slice regardless of the time or place—I’ve seen it smuggled into bars, movie theaters, and even other pizzerias. The obsession is well-placed: The pizza is classically made, it’s cheap, it’s inexplicably delicious, and you can eat it with your hands. Doesn’t get much better than that.

8610 5th Avenue
Brookyln, NY 11209

Lamoza

Bay Ridge is becoming the go-to spot for traditional Middle Eastern food and entertainment, but oftentimes, restaurants might sacrifice authenticity for commercial appeal. Not Lamoza. At this hookah bar, there’s a place for the curious among the regulars, with a decently priced food menu and a slew of hookah flavors from melon to piña colada. With dim lighting and unassuming furniture, Lamoza is the perfect place for the unexperienced hookah smoker to try some new things—without being intimidated by cost or theatrics.

7704 3rd Avenue
Brookyln, NY 11209