Ridgewood's restaurant scene offers Chinese, Vietnamese, Polish, Italian and many other ethnic cuisines. Restaurants stretch across the whole neighborhood, although most sit on either Myrtle or Seneca Avenue.
Bun-Ker Vietnamese serves banh mi and entrees in a relaxed atmosphere with cool Vietnamese decorations and lots of bamboo. Try the crab spring rolls or pork rolls, both fantastic and fried for a perfect flakiness and crispiness. Around lunch time, the restaurant gets really crowded, so be prepared to wait a bit to sit down.
For some of the most interesting and delicious pizza in town, visit Houdini Kitchen Laboratory on Decatur Street. Try one of its popular menu items, like the Habanera pizza with habanero sauce and cured spicy pork loin. Locals rave about the Houdini Green Pizza, featuring zucchini, eggplant, shallots and escarole. All pizzas are made in a wood fire grill, and they pair perfectly with the restaurant's salads, which are just as eclectic as their pizzas.
For a good family eatery, Fajitas Sunrise serves Mexican food and has a great weekend atmosphere with live music. The most popular house fajita comes filled with meat, including steak, chicken, pork, sausage and scallion. Appetizers range from empanadas to ceviche Cancun.
The Ridgewood area also has lots of great spots to drink and have a fun night out on a date or with some friends. Zum Stammtisch's German Beer Hall offers something for all beer fans, including over 20 beers, from domestic breweries to German imports.
For more of a nightclub feel, Bossa Nova Civic Club on Myrtle Avenue delivers a really trendy nightspot for drinking cocktails. A live and fun atmosphere is accentuated by DJs playing dance music.
Ridgewood was originally part of a Dutch settlement but was later incorporated into what is now Brooklyn, N.Y. Retail and residential areas grew once modes of public transportation developed in the mid-19th century. Ridgewood flourished under the emergence of breweries and factories, and many of the houses built in the early 1900s still stand today. After World War I, the neighborhood’s population increased from many European immigrants settling in the area.
The City Reliquary houses rotating exhibits of community collections to help showcase the past and present artistic history of New York. Ridgewood hosts an annual Taste of Ridgewood every April, where over 25 restaurants serve food for attendants to taste. A huge beer garden is on tap to complement the food and live music throughout the day.
The neighborhood is very walkable, and many roads feature bike lanes, but Ridgewood also has great public transportation options. The M train runs straight through Ridgewood, and it connects to the L train on Myrtle Ave. At the Ridgewood Terminal, 10 different bus lines pick up and drop off commuters. Uber and Lyft both operate in the area, as well, which comes in handy, since most local cabs hang around nearby airports.
For commuting in a car, Interstate 495 borders the north end of Ridgewood, making it simple to get to Manhattan or New York City. Parking here can be very difficult with the amount of renters in the area. Unfortunately, the neighborhood has no parking garages, but residents can purchase spots on the street, although these typically run on the pricey side.
Living in Ridgewood can be a little expensive, and the cost of living typically sits around 3 percent higher than the average in New York City. The average one-bedroom in Ridgewood costs $1,250, slightly above the New York City average of $1,170 and the New York state average of $1,060.
To get to the center of the city through public transportation, fare will typically run between $4 and $7. Gas prices in the area typically stay within 1 percent of prices in the city, although this usually sits around 16 percent above the national average. To grab a pint at a pub in Ridgewood, domestics cost from $6 to $8, and imports and craft beers run between $7 and $9.
Two free parks sit in the greater Ridgewood area in Joseph F. Mafera Park and Grover Cleveland Playground. Joseph F. Mafera Park serves as the most popular recreation spot in Ridgewood, mostly due to its expansive amenities. With a skate park, baseball field, football field and both basketball and handball courts, residents have a place to play a variety of sports. The park is also home to play areas for both kids and dogs, so young kids can swing and slide, while dogs enjoy a wide field for walking.
Grover Cleveland Playground on the opposite side of Ridgewood houses several recreation fields and courts as well with areas for baseball, basketball and handball. Another kid- and dog-friendly option, this park offers a small wading pool and playground for younger attendees.
Most of the area's shops stretch across Myrtle Avenue and Fresh Pond Road, although shops also rest along Metropolitan Avenue, Forest Avenue and Seneca Avenue.
On Myrtle Avenue, Chic Couture Boutique specializes in all types of dresses, including casual dresses and gowns for proms or weddings. The owner is very friendly as well and will assist with anything from alterations to custom orders.
Also on Myrtle Avenue, Diego Fashion Boutique offers a huge selection of women’s clothing, including tops, skirts, dresses and denim. The denim collection draws in most of the store's customers, who enjoy the largest variety of designer brands in town.
For grocery shopping in the neighborhood, both Manna Deli and Grocery and Hana Natural Corporation sit within the neighborhood and stock organic groceries as well as a large selection of ethnic foods. The Ridgewood Farm Market also provides a great place to shop for fresh produce and other groceries, and it is conveniently open 24 hours a day.