What was once an isolated, rural summer resort town in the late 19th century, Bay Ridge, formerly known back then as “Yellow Hook,” is a neighborhood that continues to exude a small-town feel while still being part of a much larger city.

With an overall estimated population of 2.6 million, approximately 87,000 are residents of Bay Ridge, an area that is bounded by Sunset Park on the north, Dyker Heights on the east, the Narrows and Belt Parkway on the west, and Fort Hamilton Army Terminal and the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, visible from almost everywhere in this neighborhood on the south.

Renamed in 1853 to avoid any negative connotations with what was an outbreak of yellow fever, wealthy residents were drawn to the area’s natural beauty and built country homes along Shore Road, overlooking the water. Today, luxurious homes line this waterfront stretch between 80th and 83rd Street.

Bay Ridge is home to a mixture of co-ops, condos, and rentals, but is well-known for its single and multi-family homes. As a result of neighborhoods located closer to Manhattan (i.e. Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Bed-Stuy) becoming almost as expensive as the city itself, residents have been traveling a bit more south to look at property in Bay Ridge.

“Brooklyn residential real estate continues to evolve as we see the popularity of neighborhoods change each year,” says Rich Schulhoff, CEO of Brooklyn MLS.

Although the commute to Manhattan is a bit longer, potential home buyers who want to reside in Brooklyn are finding a substantial savings over the other areas, making Bay Ridge a bit more affordable.

Named in 2010 as the 12th most livable neighborhood in NYC by New York Magazine, what sets Bay Ridge apart from some of the other areas in the borough is not only more affordable prices, but the chance to be a part of a close-knit community.

Interesting fact – Almost 100 community organizations exist in Bay Ridge

Between Fourth and Fifth avenues is “Doctors’ Row,” the neighborhood’s first historic district consisting of 54 row houses on Bay Ridge Parkway. Dating back to the mid-20th century, doctors moved to the block and practiced medicine in their basements. Many long standing Brooklynites can recall traveling to the area when they were younger for a doctor visit.

Today, “Doctors’ Row” continues to be a hub for medical professionals, maintaining that long-standing tradition occupying the area.

The neighborhood’s main drag runs along 86th Street where shoppers can find both big chain stores like Century 21, TJ Maxx, and the Gap, along with smaller mom-and-pop shops.


When it comes to dining out, you can find just about anything you want in Bay Ridge as the borough has some of the best restaurants and bars. With so many options to choose from, you’ll never be at a loss on where to go. Some must-have spots include:

Gino’s – The Italian eatery first opened in 1964 and has been a staple amongst the locals ever since. (7414 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11209)

Tuscany Grill – Serving contemporary Tuscan food, this cozy Italian restaurant serves up a comfortable vibe. (8620 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11209)

Tanoreen – Considered by many to be the best Middle Eastern eatery in the city, patrons will find a blend of classic Palestinian and Middle Eastern home-style cooking. (7523 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11209)

Elia – When you step inside you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported to a Greek village tavern, serving up some of the finest Greek dishes with the chef’s modern day interpretations. (8611 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11209)

Positano – This upbeat Italian restaurant features an outdoor dining area, perfect for when the weather is warmer. (10018 4th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11209)

BaciAuthentic Italian cuisine with a classic modern twist in the heart of Bay Ridge. (8424 Third Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11209)

Ponte Vecchio A staple in Bay Ridge for over 35 years, this authentic Italian restaurant offers a large variety of options for even the pickiest of eaters. (8810 4th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11209)

Paneantico – This bakery cafe has been serving family inspired recipes from Italy for the past 20 years. Along with a selection of pastries and desserts, breads, and coffee, diners can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner options as well. (9124 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11209)

Vesuvio Restaurant & Pizzeria – Established in 1953, this family-owned restaurant in the heart of Bay Ridge serves up Neapolitan home-style cooking. They also have a private party room and specialize in off-site catering.


Whether you’re looking to grab a sweet treat after dinner, or something to bring to family and friends, the following spots are a must if you’re in the neighborhood:

Little Cupcake Bake Shop – A neighborhood staple, the bakery specializes in wholesome traditional American desserts, and uses only the freshest, sustainable ingredients, which are locally sourced and made on-site every day. The “Brooklyn Blackout Cake” has been hailed by Food and Wine as the “Best Chocolate Cake in America.” (9102 Third Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11209)

Mike’s Donuts & Coffee – Serving Bay Ridge for over 30 years, this neighborhood staple is a family affair. With around 35 different kinds of donuts, baked fresh twice a day on premise, customers can grab a cup of coffee and a real “New York tasting donut.”


Along with excellent food, Bay Ridge is widely known for their bars, with over 40 different watering holes to choose from. Some of the popular spots include:

The Pour House – A bar with a real neighborhood vibe, patrons can choose from a variety of different beers and whisky while catching up with friends or making new ones. (7901 Third Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11209)

The Wicked Monk – An authentic Irish pub, offering live music on the weekends. Once you walk through the door, you’ll immediately feel as if you’ve been transported back to a Gothic Irish Monastery. (9510 Third Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11209)

Lock Yard – The 1300 square foot heated beer garden is the perfect spot to hang out with friends. (9221 5th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY  11209)

The Kettle Black -Serving up some of the best wings in town, Kettle Black was named by Food and Wine magazine as “One of The Top 5 Wing Joints in America.” (8622 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11209)

Salty Dog – This renovated fire station is a popular neighborhood hangout. You’ll find a vintage firetruck displayed inside this full service bar and restaurant. (7509 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn, NY11209)

The Owl’s Head – Named after a local park, this intimate bar offers up a curated wine and beer list along with small bites. (479 74th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11209)


When it comes to finding things to do in Bay Ridge, any one of these options is a great choice to explore:

Owls Head Park – Bay Ridge’s version of a mini Prospect Park, Owl’s Head is a great spot for a picnic or BBQ with family and friends. Dog owners can also bring their four-legged friend for a run in the dog park.

69th Street Pier, aka American Veteran’s Memorial Pier – This spot is a fisherman’s delight and the benches that line the pier are make it a great location to watch the sun set.

John Paul Jones Park, aka “Cannonball Park” – A landmark dedicated to Revolutionary War patriot John Paul Jones, the park received its nickname from the 58-ton Civil War Cannon that’s on display.

The Belt Parkway Promenade – The area measures approximately 4.5 miles along the Belt Parkway from 69th Street pier to Bensonhurst Park. The paths are wide enough for a bike ride, a run, or even a nice long walk. Along the way you can see Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty, and some of the most beautiful sunsets.


Bay Ridge still remains home to many lifelong residents who have grown up in this “small-town” neighborhood along with attracting a new generation of homebuyers looking to plant roots in the borough.

The Red Hook Grain Terminal in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York.

What was once one of the busiest and most important shipping town’s in all of New York, Red Hook has gone through many changes since first being discovered.

Founded in 1635 by the Dutch, the waterfront  community was given the name Roode Hoek because of the color of the soil and the shape of the landmass. But even before the Dutch established this Brooklyn neighborhood, it was populated with the Lenape people, the original native New Yorker’s who lived along the marshy waterfront.

It is also a neighborhood steeped in history. The Battle of Brooklyn took place here in 1776 during the American Revolution, and many years later, this tough section of Brooklyn was the place where legendary mobster Al Capone got his start as a criminal.

As the years have progressed, this once battered section of Brooklyn has begun to see new life while still holding on to some of that “old world charm.”

Rich Schulhoff, CEO of the Brooklyn MLS, points out the beauty this waterfront neighborhood offers residents and tourists alike.

“Red Hook has great, close-up views of the Statue of Liberty and Brooklyn’s west coast,” says Schulhoff.

Coupled with these fabulous views of New York City are cobblestone streets, vacant warehouses which have become sought after locations for up-and-coming artists, and a flourishing hot spot for millennials and hipsters alike.

“It’s a neighborhood that also survived the likes of Hurricane Sandy,” Schulhoff points out.

While Red Hook remains a quiet neighborhood, it is also a neighborhood that’s growing, and this hidden treasure may not stay hidden for long. It still holds that industrial feel, but is now home to some of the top names in the industry (IKEA, Fairway) along with cafes, restaurants, and places of interest that are making Red Hook a sought after destination.


For foodies in search of a great meal, Red Hook offers up an array of choices. Next time you’re in the neighborhood check out some of the following:

Fort DefianceThis charming downtown restaurant serves up breakfast, lunch, and dinner along with weekend brunch and great cocktails daily. (365 Van Brunt Street, Brooklyn NY 1123

Hometown Bar-B-Que – Specializing in authentic pit-smoked meats. (454 Van Brunt Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231)

The Good Fork – A cozy restaurant / bar serving seasonal New American fare. Run by a husband and wife team, The Good Fork is a true neighborhood mom and pop establishment. (391 Van Brunt Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231)

Red Hook Lobster Pound – A restaurant that promises it’s customer the best crustacean in the nation, its here you can experience delicious lobster rolls along with other kinds of seafood strait from the coast of Maine. The menu also includes non-seafood options as well. (284 Van Brunt Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231)

Brooklyn Crab – Built on two decks overlooking the New York Harbor, this famous Brooklyn crab shack offers the freshest seafood, a variety of cocktails, and games, making it the perfect spot to eat and hang out. (24 Reed Street, Brooklyn, NY  11231)

Defontes Sandwich Shop – A true old-school Italian sandwich shop tucked away in the sleepy back-end of Red Hook, Defontes has been serving large Italian heroes to residents and tourists alike since 1922. (379 Columbia Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231)


We can’t forget dessert! These locations in Red Hook offer some of the best:

Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pie – Steve’s Authentic has the best, fresh squeezed key lime pie this side of Florida. (185 Van Dyke Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231)

Ample Hills Brooklyn Ice cream Company – The ice cream company consists of a factory, museum, and store. Not only can you get ice cream, this location allows customers to see how it’s made, and the interactive free museum includes a 22-foot wide map of Brooklyn, and a model trolley car to a climb through tunnel and flavor smell station, all while learning the story behind Ample Hills. (421 Van Brunt Street, Brooklyn, NY  11231)

Baked This bakery and cafe is not only home to the most delicious cookies and other sweet treats, but they also offer a savory breakfast and lunch. (359 van Brunt Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231)

Cacao Prieto – From beans to bar, the chocolate bars and cacao based rums and liquors are made fresh daily using the finest organic cacao beans, straight from founder and owner Daniel Prieto Preston’s family’s farm. (218 Conover Street, Brooklyn NY 11231)

Raaka Chocolate – Raaka offers delicious chocolate made from scratch as well as classes and tours which are available several times a week. (64 Seabring Street, Brooklyn NY 11231)


If it’s a a cocktail you’re looking for, these neighborhood spots are a great place to meet up with friends:

Brooklyn Ice House – Here you’ll find an extensive beer selection (there’s over 50 different ones to choose from) along with a complete bar menu and a big backyard, fire pit and all, to hang out with friends. (318 Van Brunt Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231)

Sunny’s Bar – Operating since the 1890’s, this neighborhood relic once catered to the shipbuilders who worked nearby. These days, this family-owned business offers live music and drinks making any night here a good night to meet up with friends. (253 Conover Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231)

Rocky’s Sullivan’s – An Irish Pub offering live music and entertainment daily, including pub quiz on Thursday nights. The laid back atmosphere leaves patrons feeling right at home. (42 Beard Street, Brooklyn, NY  11231)

Red Hook Tavern – The classic American fare menu pays homage to the time honored old school taverns of New York City. (329 Van Brunt Street, Brooklyn, NY  11231)

Looking for something fun to do? Check out the following:

Red Hook Winery – Highlighting the best vineyards in New York State, Red Hook Winery produces all of it’s wine on site and offers daily tastings at The Tasting Room. (175 van Dyke Street Pier 41, Brooklyn, NY 11231)

Van Brunt Stillhouse – Producing farmhouse style whisky since 2012, the local distillery includes a tasting room and offers tours of the whisky making process. (6 Bay Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231)

Widow Jane Distillery Founded in 2012, this local whisky distillery is owned and housed inside Cacao Preito. Open seven days a week, private tours are available weekdays by appointment and weekends are open to the public.

Valentino Pier – A reminder of the shipping industry that once was, the Valentino Pier offers magnificent views and the best photo opportunities of the Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor. (Coffey Street & Ferris Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231)

Waterfront Museum and Showboat Barge – The historic vessel serves as a museum and performance space. Visitors can immerse themselves in the history of Red Hook as well as partake in scheduled events and activities. (290 Conover Street, Brooklyn, NY  11231)


Despite the fact that the neighborhood remains surrounded by water and not that easily accessible by public transportation, it remains a neighborhood rich in history and a deep sense of community. Ask anyone who lives here and they will tell you, there is no place like Red Hook.