Now let’s get something straight: coffee is a big deal in Bay Ridge. Here, you have Italian and Arab communities that adore their espressos. The people at the The Coop do a pretty good job at combining farm-to-table options with some terrific house-brewed Joe. The breakfast here, though, is out of this world. Deviled egg smash and avocado toast will most undoubtedly awaken your taste buds.
With the Verrazano Narrows Bridge as the backdrop, the views from Owl’s Head Park are magnificent. But views are not the only gorgeous thing here. Hovering the Belt Parkway, the park has a state-of-the-art skate rink and the peaceful hiking trails over the bay area. The sloping hills make this a prime location for sledding. The coolest little tidbit about Owl’s Head? It is home to Brooklyn’s first concrete skatepark.
Just down the road from Owl’s Head, you’ll encounter one of the hidden Brooklyn gems, the Narrows Botanical Garden. With very few people around, the beauty within these confines is unmatched, which, in New York City, says a lot. For those who have discovered it, the garden is a reminder of how vast and gorgeous the city is. You will be enthralled by its flowers, turtles and birds, butterfly and bee houses, a Zen garden and alpine mini fountains.
When you live so close to the waterfront, you are naturally drawn to its serenity. The visuals at 69th Street Pier capture some of most iconic views of the Manhattan skyline, with the Freedom Tower dominating the scenery. Locals have turned their neighborhood pier into a fishing retreat, the most popular of fishing destinations in the city. The celebrated waterway is also known as “The Bay Ridge Anchorage.”
As you many have noticed, the art scene isn’t as prevalent in Bay Ridge as it is elsewhere in Brooklyn. The Art Room makes up for the slack. The place differentiates their offer from others in their strong focus on children artists. Art galleries here are curated by children, and art classes and programs are geared to the little ones. You’ll find yourself marveling the artwork made by local kids, the smallest of artists ranging in age from 2 to 12 years old. I found some of the artwork borderline genius. But then, I am not an art critic.
There’s no way you could pass up your first day in Bay Ridge without experiencing Skinflints. The vintage ice cream shop-turned-pub, located at 7902 5th Avenue, is considered the oldest still-existing restaurant in the city. The stained-glass ceilings accent the exposed brick and give off that sense of the old New York. The glorious history aside, food won’t disappoint either. Hence, probably, the Skinflints’ longevity. The pub serves famed burgers on English muffin.
Time to let loose a bit. The scenery at Lock Yard will do just the job. The American watering hole is part dive bar, part sports and part gastropub. The pub food is on point with choices of artisanal sausages and hot dogs. And then of course there are… the beers. The Lock Yard carries a very impressive collection of craft brews like Anchor Steam Breckle’s Brown and Boulder Shake Chocolate Porter Nitro.