Welcome to Bay Ridge: Bay Ridge’s melting pot beckons

January 9, 2014 Helen Klein
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The concept of the melting pot is a fitting image for Bay Ridge.

Reflecting the community’s diversity, restaurants from one end of the neighborhood to the other serve up a wide range of ethnic cuisines, making the Ridge something of a moveable feast for residents and visitors.

From pizza to pastitsio, babaghanoush to bagels, cupcakes to coq au vin, the neighborhood has it all, making Bay Ridge, in many ways, one of the best-kept secrets in New York City, with eateries and food shops to satisfy any culinary craving.

Want Middle Eastern food? Tanoreen (7523 Third Avenue), Karam (8519 Fourth Avenue) and La Lune (7406 Third Avenue) are just the beginning.

More in the mood for Italian eats? Head to Giacomo’s (7902 Third Avenue), Areo (8424 Third Avenue), Zio Toto (8407 Third Avenue) or Vicolo (8530 Third Avenue) for starters, though there are many other good Italian restaurants in the nabe.

Or, if someone in your party is craving pasta while someone else has a yen for falafel, try Il Forno di Marco (7604 Third Avenue), which highlights both cuisines.

With so many Greek-American residents, it’s no surprise that Bay Ridge offers up fine Hellenic food. Two standouts are Something Greek (7616 Third Avenue) and Elia (8611 Third Avenue).

Asian food in Bay Ridge runs the gamut from Japanese to Thai, Chinese to Korean to Vietnamese, at such restaurants as Glow Thai (7107 Third Avenue), Shobu Sushi & Grill (9427 Fifth Avenue), Sapporo (7812 Third Avenue) and Lai Yuen (10033 Fourth Avenue).

For Latino savor, the selection is also impressive, including Trace (8814 Third Avenue), Los Pollitos (7215b Third Avenue), Casa Pepe (114 Bay Ridge Avenue) and Chiquitita Mexican Grill (8321 Fifth Avenue). And, if you want your Mexican food with a California twist, there’s Ho’Brah (8618 Third Avenue), where tacos and burritos are served up among surfboards.

That’s not to say that there isn’t a large selection of homegrown American food. Chadwick’s (8822 Third Avenue), The Greenhouse Cafe (7713 Third Avenue), Yellow Hook Grille (7003 Third Avenue) Hinsch’s (8518 Fifth Avenue) and Cebu (8801 Third Avenue) are among the restaurants offering up classic American fare, sometimes with a twist.

And, speaking of American cuisine, two of its staples – steaks and burgers – are the specialty of several restaurants in the neighborhood, including Embers (9519 Third Avenue), Burger Bistro (7217 Third Avenue), and Hunter’s Steak & Ale House (9404 Fourth Avenue).

Many local watering holes – themselves classic destinations in the neighborhood — also serve up fabulous fare focusing on the classics. For some of the best, check out Wicked Monk (9510 Third Avenue), Salty Dog (7509 Third Avenue), Kettle Black (8622 Third Avenue)and Lonestar Bar & Grill (8703 Fifth Avenue).

Then, there are the restaurants that don’t fit neatly into any one category. Among these are Casablanca (484 77th Street), for top-notch Moroccan fare; Owls Head Wine Bar (479 74th Street) for tapas and light eats complemented by carefully curated wine selections; Petit Oven (276 Bay Ridge Avenue) for inspired French food; David’s Brisket House (7721 Fifth Avenue) for Jewish-style deli served up by Yemeni and Israeli partners; India Passage (7407 Third Avenue) for elegant curries and other Indian fare; and Mussels and More (8001 Fifth Avenue), where seafood – specifically mussels – are the main draw.

When it’s time for dessert, Bay Ridge sublimely satisfies. Among the neighborhood’s standout sweet purveyors are Leske’s (7612 Fifth Avenue), Little Cupcake (9102 Third Avenue), Omonia (7612 Third Avenue), Bay Ridge Bakery (7805 Fifth Avenue), Jean Danet French Pastries (7526 Fifth Avenue) and Monaco’s (8511 Third Avenue).

And, if you’re looking for authentic ethnic ingredients or prepared foods to take home, don’t overlook the neighborhood’s many groceries. For Scandinavian specialties, head to Nordic Delicacies (6909 Third Avenue); if it’s Middle Eastern provender you are after, try Balady (7128 Fifth Avenue). Finally, Italian ingredients and prepared foods are top-notch at A.L. Coluccio (8613 Third Avenue); Vinny’s Meat Market (9517 Third Avenue) has fresh meat as well as prepared foods.

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