Ridgewood is one of Queen’s’ most eclectic neighborhoods. It’s absorbed some of bordering Bushwick’s trendy artistic scene while remaining true to the cultural roots of the eastern European immigrants that built it.
Neighborhood Guide: Ridgewood
There are a few ways to get to and from Ridgewood. Hop off the L train at Jefferson Street and walk north toward Woodward Avenue for access to one of the area’s landmarks. The Onderdonk House serves as the headquarters for the Ridgewood Historical Society, as well as the venue for concerts, art shows, and performances throughout the year.
Walk around oldest Dutch Colonial still standing in NYC to experience some of the neighborhood’s rich history. Afterwards, check out what’s happening at the Knockdown Center on Flushing Avenue. It may be billed as an art gallery, but it’s also been transformed into an indoor forest, and it once served as a stage for DeadMau5.
The M train will get you to several points in Ridgewood, so take this route for optimal neighborhood access. Stop at Seneca Avenue and get some shopping done on Myrtle Avenue. Gotham Thrift Shop is the best place around to source second hand steals, and Ridgewood Coins and Collectibles on the corner of 71st Avenue may have the perfect gift for your favorite hobbyist. Up the block on 60th Street, Vaya Bags provides cyclist-friendly totes and messengers that perfect every bike ride.
Get off at the Forest Avenue M stop and take your pick from the plethora of Ridgewood restaurants within walking distance. Head southeast on Woodward Avenue and settle down with a coffee and a copy of your favorite novel at Topos Bookstore Café.
If booze is more your cup of tea, get a glass or a pint at Julia’s Beer and Wine Bar down the block. You can scarf down some of the best sandwiches in Queens at Norma’s Corner Shoppe on Catalpa Avenue, and then you can get a linzer tart at Rudy’s Bakery for dessert.
The Fresh Pond Road M train stop is surrounded by more Ridgewood eats. Head north towards Palmetto Street and find delicious international dishes, like Koshary at Little Egypt or Borscht at Krolewskie Jadlo. Vegetarians will have something to celebrate here, too – Coco Lin on the corner of Linden Street specializes in meatless Thai entrees that will even have anti-vegans licking their lips.
Ridgewood has some great drinking holes. Off the Forest Avenue stop, Onderdonk and Sons has an excellent selection of draft beers and cocktails. Gottscheer Hall serves up authentic German brews and food like Spätzle, Bratwurst, and Sauerbraten. The hall also hosts the Ridgewood Market, featuring vendors selling clothing, art, snack, and even hot sauce.
You can check out more local artists at Valentine Gallery on Woodward Avenue. If you really want to make a day of it (or have access to a car), make the trek to the Finback Brewery on 77th Avenue. Sit down for a tasting at this Queens-born brewery before taking a 20-minute tour of the facilities. Craft beer is having a moment right now; cheers to the opportunity to impress your friends when they order a Finback ale by saying you met the guy that made it.
So concludes our Neighborhood Guide: Ridgewood. Don’t forget to check out our other guides: