If you weren’t able to make to it to our Total Immersion in Bay Ridge last weekend, there are still opportunities to get to know and explore the neighborhood this summer. Once again, Bay Ridge is holding its annual Summer Stroll on Third Avenue, which allows visitors to walk in traffic-free open streets along one of Bay Ridge’s commercial districts on a Friday during the evening hours. Among the highlights offered are cultural exhibitions, vendors, chess for kids, author signings, and of course food. For this year, the stroll is broken up into two routes for certain dates: from 80th to 90th streets this Friday, and 69th to 80th streets on Aug. 7 and 8.
Speaking as someone who has lived in the neighborhood for many years, it’s fun to walk along 3rd Avenue freely without cars swishing by so you can really soak in the color of Bay Ridge (The only other time you can do this is during the annual Third Avenue Festival, held during the fall.) So if you do happen to be on Third Avenue for the Summer Stroll, or anytime in general, here are a few random spots to check out.
The Book Mark Shoppe (8415 Third Avenue): A book store that offers the latest best sellers and hosts author events.
The Burger Bistro (7217 Third Avenue): A joint that puts some pizazz into your ordinary average burger. Plus the battered-dipped sweet potato fries are not to be missed.
Tanoreen (7523 Third Avenue). The popular Middle Eastern restaurant is a neighborhood institution.
Leo’s Casa Calamari (8602 Third Avenue). This Italian restaurant has been in Bay Ridge for as long as I can remember—and that’s going back many years.
Polonica (7214 Third Avenue): A quaint and intimate Eastern European restaurant that will satisfy your craving for pierogies, borscht and potato pancakes.
The Salty Dog (7509 Third Avenue): The long-running sports bar (it first started out as The Brooklyn Dodger), whose facade resembles a fire house–there’s even a replica vintage fire engine inside. The bar is spacious and features wall-to-wall TVs all over for every sporting event.
Greenhouse Cafe (7717 Third Avenue) A classy restaurant/bar/cafe that’s usually busy for Sunday brunch; it also offers karaoke and other musical entertainment on certain nights.
Windy City Ale House (7915 Third Avenue): Are you Brooklyn transplant from Chicago and feeling homesick for the Cubs and Chicago hot dogs? No worries—this bar caters to Chicagoans with broadcasts of Windy City sporting events (go Stanley Cup champs Blackhawks!) as well as the aforementioned famous hot dogs.
The Brooklyn Market (8102 Third Avenue) Bay Ridge’s own version of Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s, this relatively new supermarket features fresh foods and high-end products. There’s no shortage of pasta, olive oil, or tomato sauce at this place.
Painted Pot (8009 Third Avenue): A studio that offers classes in pottery art; open to all ages.
Brooklyn Beet Company (7205 Third Avenue): Advertising with the tag of ‘farm to table,’ this cozy place offers its flagship Korzo burger along with goulash, schnitzel, wunderweriersu as well as a diverse beer/wine/spirits selection. And, there’s outdoor seating in the back.
Las Margaritas (7206 Third Avenue): This isn’t Taco Bell or Chipotle but a place that serves authentic Mexican food–it recently moved to a larger space across the street. There’s nothing like having two soft tacos with a side of rice and beans for dinner on a Friday night.
Anopoli Family Restaurant (6920 Third Avenue): Anopoli is a throwback to the old-fashioned diners, from the ambiance to the food. A nice place to go to on a Saturday morning for a two-egg platter with home fries and toast.
Summer Stroll on Third Avenue will be held on Friday, 6-10pm, from 80th to 90th streets on 3rd Avenue; and Aug. 7 and 14th 6-10pm, from 69th to 80th streets on 3rd Avenue. Directions: Take the ‘R’ train to either the Bay Ridge Ave., 77th Street, 86th Street, or Bay Ridge-95th Street stations. For information, visit www.summerstrollon3rd.com.