Sure, John Travolta once strut down the street here with double-folded pizza slices and some platform shoes, but Bay Ridge has more to offer than recreating that scene. Bay Ridge 5th Avenue is a local's neighborhood where most families have lived for generations—and once you visit and get people talking you'll be treated like part of the family. This lively and diverse South Brooklyn neighborhood has been home over the years to immigrants from Norway, Ireland, Greece, Italy, China, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, and Palestine. Just take the R to either Bay Ridge Parkway, 77th or 86th Streets, and you are on your way to discovering Brooklyn’s Best Kept Secret! 

Bay Ridge 5th Avenue is a bit like a “Choose Your Own Adventure" book. Create a Middle Eastern-inspired charcuterie board or host your own baklava challenge. Do an international snack food taste test and find your favorite (Turkish Haribo and Greek Cheetos are a must try). 

Looking for something beyond food?  Within a few blocks one could buy a bike, get a tuxedo, or go to the movies. 5th avenue has the charm of old school New York, so you won’t find chain stores; instead, you will be treated to a diverse selection of family-owned businesses that are always eager to welcome customers and deliver a personal shopping and dining experience. What they may lack in a splashy online presence, they deliver in unique and authentic goods and services.  So wander around and explore, because you never know what gems you will find. Tip: Be sure to wear comfy shoes, and bring cash as some shops will offer discounts if you pay in cash. 

VerrazanoBicycleShop Anna&JordanRathkopf
Verrazano Bicycle Shop (Photo by Anna & Jordan Rathkopf)

How do I get to Brooklyn’s Best Kept Secret, Bay Ridge 5th Avenue?  

The R is where it's at.  At the Bay Ridge Avenue stop take in Katy Fischer’s “Strata” mosaic—no matter which direction you are traveling in, you will be surrounded by these colorful works of art.  And when you reach 5th Avenue you will be in the heart of Little Yemen or Little Palestine.

History lovers should get off at 77th Street, where you can see sections of original tile mosaic work in the station from when it was built in 1915. Then walk over to Bay Ridge’s historic district: Doctor’s Row on Bay Ridge Parkway (78th Street between 4th and 5th avenues).  The district includes 54 row houses constructed between 1906 and 1913 and designed in the Renaissance Revival style with a handful of Colonial Revival elements. 

The R at 86th Street is home to Bay Ridge’s few national chain stores—the block is undergoing a lot of change with the loss of the original Century 21 store.  But keep heading to 5th Avenue, where the adventure begins! 

If you want to take the bus, the B63 goes down 5th Avenue but you can also take the B1, B4, B16, B64, X28 and X38.  And if you are coming from Staten Island, fuhgeddaboudit. (Nah, you can hop on the S53, S79-SBS, or S93.)

Below, a comprehensive guide to help you navigate Bay Ridge during your visit:

Alpine Cinema
Alpine Cinema (Photo Courtesy of Alpine Cinema)
  • Alpine Cinema (6817 5th Avenue) is an independently owned theater featuring the latest movies in a 100-year-old recently renovated movie palace.  Built in 1921, it was the first Loew’s theater anywhere with its entire seating capacity on one floor (the space has since been subdivided for multiple theaters, but the lobby still exists). Today it's home to eight screens complete with Dolby Digital sound to immerse you in the action, and roomy stadium seats with 3-D capabilities.

  • Hookah locations in NYC can be hard to find, but here on 5th Avenue you have several options including Tarboosh Café (7222 5th Ave) and Beit Jeddo Café (6917 5th Ave).

  • Looking to treat yourself? You'll find a number of nail and beauty salons, spas, and even places that specialize in henna arts.  If the last few years of mask-wearing has wreaked havoc on your skin, Sōma Esthética (8023 5th Avenue) can help you refresh.

ART BREAK! While you are out enjoying the avenue be sure to take a photo at one or all of the eleven Arts on the Avenue benches.  Find out about the artists, their inspiration, and get a list of all locations right here (or in the below map).

And now we continue along the avenue:

  • The 5th Avenue Bait and Tackle (6716 5th Ave) sells lures and everything a professional or amateur angler could ever need. 

  • Check out the Indoor-Outdoor Gardner (8223 5th Ave) which for almost 50 years has been a go-to for plants and supplies.  They provide friendly advice and can help keep everything growing and green. 

  • If you would rather spend your time outdoors, Verrazano Bikes (7308 5th Ave) is one of the best bike shops in Brooklyn.  They also offer same day repair service.

Legend's (Photo by Elizabeth Zenteno)
  • Legend's Sports Store (8224 5th Ave) is one of the last sports stores in the area. The store carries everything a sports lover needs from memorabilia to team shirts, baseball gloves and tennis rackets.

  • Grand Prix Dance (7523 5th Ave) is run by former dancers and their mission is that “dancewear must bring forth inspiration for artistic expression without sacrificing comfort."  This store has everything a dancer could need or want. 

If you enjoy bargains, then you're in the right spot. Some of these discount stores are laid out more like a bazaar, where everything is displayed, but it is worth your time to explore and find all the hidden gems.

  • Crazy Brainy Bins (8418 5th Avenue) receives overstock items from places like Target and Walmart once a week. The pricing starts at $10 and drops down each consecutive day after. Honestly, you never know what you will find.

  • Another great store if you are looking for larger items is Closeout Home (7909 5th Avenue) where you'll find everything from air conditioners to surfboards.

  • Down the street at Outlet N More (8006 5th Ave) they specialize more in home goods and carry items such as tagines to tea kettles. 

My Natural Pet
My Natural Pet (Courtesy of My Natural Pet)
  • My Natural Pet (8318 5th Avenue) has a mission to make high quality, healthy pet food available and affordable for all and prides itself on offering human-grade, species appropriate, raw, natural, organic, and humane certified foods.

  • Brooklyn Pet Supply (8403 5th Avenue) has everything fur, feathered or scaled pet parents might need.  They are also one of the few pet stores in Brooklyn that sells live animals (fish, birds, reptiles, and guinea pigs) so when you are walking down 5th stop in and say hello to a bird or hug a guinea pig.  

Urban Modesty
Urban Modesty (Photo by Anna & Jordan Rathkopf)
  • Urban Modesty (7712 5th Ave) was opened by a local Bay Ridge fashion designer and carries the latest in trends for Muslim and modest women.  They sell stylish abayas, maxi dresses, and gowns.

  • Another great option is Sarah Fashion (6749 5th Ave) which has everything from kaftans to quinceañera gowns. 

Jewelry Anna&JordanRathkopf
Taj Sabaa Jewelry (Photo by Anna & Jordan Rathkopf)

If a statement piece or some new jewels are on your mind, then 5th Avenue Bay Ridge is the place to be, it's home to a Little Middle East Gold District, and these stores specialize in exquisitely made intricate jewelry. 

Now that you've got some shopping in, it's time for a bite to eat, and Bay Ridge has a lot to offer--our many food options reflect the diversity the area and you'll find items seldom found anywhere else. These stores have a great assortment of fruits, nuts, spices, ancient grains like bulgur and freekeh. 

Balady Market
Balady Market (Photo by Anna & Jordan Rathkopf)
  • Balady Market (7128 5th Ave) is one of the best and largest halal grocer and butcher markets in Brooklyn. Wandering the aisles packed with imported goods will change the way you think about grocery shopping.  The variety of olive oils alone is worth the trip.  Be sure to try the Mish Cheese, an aged spicy or extra spicy fermented cheese with a very sharp flavor, that dates to the pharaohs.

  • Another favorite is A&S Greek Market (7918 5th Ave), a Greek gourmet grocery and butcher stocked with imported Greek feta and other hard cheeses, olives, olive oils, Greek honey, and more.  We can't leave the store without getting their house made taramsalta and tirrokafteri, a spicy feta dip that is addictive. 

  • Don’t forget to check out Bay Root Meats (7813 5th Ave), a small Lebanese grocer and butcher specializing in items such as imported black seed and fresh cookies made in house.

  • Looking for Turkish spices, breads, and sweets?  Be sure you visit A&D Turkish Market (7921 5th Ave)

  • And don’t overlook the various fruit and vegetable stands as they carry a lot of different and hard to find items when in season like fresh almonds, chickpeas in the pod, and even pomelos. 

Asal Yemen (Photo by Anna & Jordan Rathkopf)

Looking for something sweet? Check out the selection below, but first stop into Asal Yemen (7616 5th Ave), serving Arabica coffee that has been roasted in house and sweetened with honey imported from Yemen--and the lattes here are flavored with cardamon, lavendar, and white chocolate.  

  • Paradise Sweets (6739 5th Ave), one of the largest bakeries, offers dishes like kunafeh, a spun pastry sasoaked in a sugar-based syrup and layered with cheese and nuts.

  • Nablus Sweets (6812 5th Ave) offers desserts like balloria (a sweet like baklava with pistachios or cashews, rose water, and syrup) and ma’moul (date-filled cookies).

  • At Hookah Nuts (7214 5th Ave), this sweet shop sells homemade semolina cakes, baklava, and other desserts.  They also have an excellent selection of Turkish delights, nougat candies, dried fruits, and nuts, and of course, hookahs. 

  • Nuthut (6920 5th Ave) roasts their coffee and nuts in-house (the BBQ flavor is a favorite).  They also sell a wide assortment of the imported chocolate, halal gummies, and Turkish delights. 

Leske's (Photo by Anna & Jordan Rathkopf)

  • Leske’s (7612 5th Ave) is famous for their fresh breads and assorted pastries (don't sleep on their bread and rolls).

  • Hit up Mike’s Donuts (6822 5th Ave), voted Best Donut’s in the Best of Brooklyn.  Since 1976, Mike’s has been making fresh donuts daily with over 35 varieties.

  • Bay Ridge Bakery (7805 5th Ave) carries your classic cookies and cakes. Check out their famous monster chocolate chip cookie and cheesecake!

In the mood for a more substantial meal? 5th Ave's dining scene has got you covered.  

YemenCafe&SchnitzelHaus Anna&JordanRathkopf
Yemen Cafe (Photo by Anna & Jordan Rathkopf)
  • Yemen Café (7317 5th Ave) has been around since the mid-1980s.  The slow-cooked lamb haneeth is roasted for roughly five hours until the meat peels clean off the shank. Between the warming spices, the tiniest hint of rose, and meat so tender a fork easily cuts through, this halal lamb dish is the definition of comfort. 

  • Next door find the Schnitzel Haus (7319 5th Ave) which has been voted best German Restaurant in Brooklyn.  If you are in the mood for authentic German/Austrian cuisine look no further. 

  • Al-Aqsa Bakery & Restaurant (6917 5th Ave) is a small, local favorite Palestinian spot. The falafels are a must-try, and do not forget to grab one of their savory pastries for later (the za’atr cheese is amazing). And if you are not sure which delicious item to purchase, just ask the owners, they are always behind the counter and eager to share their recommendations. 

  • Le Sajj (8221 5th Ave) Lebanese cuisine you can enjoy with belly dancing and live music on select evenings. 

  • Gino’s (7414 5th Ave) is a Bay Ridge classic Italian Restaurant since the 1960s.  This is the type of place you imagine Frank Sinatra and the boys used to hang.  This eatery serves many traditional Italian dishes with generous portions and quality service--you can’t go wrong. 

  • Istakoza (7721 5th Ave) is a no frills seafood restaurant known for their signature BBQ whole branzino with Arabic spices, and their seafood mix taojie with shrimp, calamari, and scallops cooked Egyptian style and served in a clay pot.   

  • The Bean Post Pub (7525 5th Ave) is the place to hear great tunes, meet with friendly locals and have one of the best selection of bar foods imaginable.  Don’t miss out on their huge variety of wings--they can do everything from traditional buffalo style to spirited sauces such as the Bean Post Bayou with Southern Comfort liqueur. 

  • Mussels and More (8001 5th Ave) is a relaxed eatery known for their mussels, sandwiches, pasta, and brick oven pizza.  You can’t go wrong with any menu item. 

  • Skinflints (7902 5th Ave) is a feast for the belly and the eyes. You can find many remnants of a former 100 year old former ice cream shop while cozying up to the bar for a wide selection of food including their famous burger, or the not to be missed chicken scampi over mashed potatoes. 

  • Of course, you can't leave Bay Ridge without a slice of pizza at Bay Ridge Pizza (7704 5th Ave). It has been serving slices at this location for over 40 years and should not be missed. 

Bay Ridge Pizza
Bay Ridge Pizza (Photo by Anna & Jordan Rathkopf)

So come have an adventure and experience old New York right here on 5th Avenue in Bay Ridge. With so much to choose from, you can be sure your first visit to Brooklyn’s best kept secret will not be your last.



2+ minute walk

Plan Trip