An Insider’s Guide to Living in Bay Ridge

Are you thinking of calling Bay Ridge in Brooklyn home? We’re here to answer all your questions about living in Bay Ridge so you can decide if it’s the perfect Brooklyn neighborhood for you.

Where is Bay Ridge?

Bay Ridge is nestled in the southwest corner of Brooklyn. Sunset Park is to the north, Dyker Heights is to the east, and Belt Parkway is on the west of this well-known neighborhood.

To the south, you’ll find Fort Hamilton Army Base and the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge. The neighborhood provides an ideal balance of residential streets, lush green spaces, and waterfront access.

Who lives in Bay Ridge Brooklyn?

Bay Ridge is incredibly diverse. The neighborhood’s residents are eclectic and add to the area’s rich culture. Bay Ridge is home to just over 77,000 residents with a median age of 40.3. Just over 40% of the population are families with young children. The rest of the community consists of retired residents, many of whom have lived their entire life in Bay Ridge, and young professionals attracted to Bay Ridge’s nightlife.

Known for its pure Scandinavian roots, Bay Ridge is much more diverse today. The area is home to residents of Irish, Greek, and Italian descent. Additionally, there are inhabitants with roots in Russia, Poland, and China. Bay Ridge is also known for its heavy concentration of Middle Eastern immigrants, who share their culture with the neighborhood through restaurants and stores.

How far is Bay Ridge from the action?

Bay Ridge’s location isn’t just scenic, it’s also convenient. The R train will get you to Midtown in about an hour. If you take one of the express buses, you can get to Manhattan in about 30 to 45 minutes. There is also a Ferry that launches from South Brooklyn with a stop in Bay Ridge.

Grand Central can be reached in 55 minutes by train and 30 minutes by car. Wall Street can be reached by train in 38 minutes and 21 minutes by car.

For some, the commute to Manhattan is a bit much. But if it’s not a daily destination for you, Bay Ridge’s location could be ideal.

if you end up living in Bay Ridge Brooklyn this is probably the train you'll take into manhattan

What is the housing like?

Whatever your architectural taste, you’re likely to find something to fit the bill in Bay Ridge. The neighborhood offers single and multi-family row houses, apartments, and condos. Though there are some historic or oversized homes with price tags to match, Bay Ridge pricing is lower than most Brooklyn neighborhood averages.

How much does it cost to live in Bay Ridge?

Like any Brooklyn neighborhood, you won’t find too many bargains hidden in Bay Ridge when looking for a home to rent or buy. But compared to other parts of the country, Bay Ridge is a buyers’ market.

According to Zillow, the median home value in Bay Ridge is $945,500. Home values have increased 5.1% over the past year and are expected to continue to rise over the next 12 months. The median list price per square foot in Bay Ridge is $647, making a 1,000 square foot home come in at just under $650,000.

Choosing to rent is often the more affordable choice. The average monthly rent in Bay Ridge is $1,800, more than $1,000 cheaper than the New York average.

Are the schools reputable?

Bay Ridge has a high concentration of private schools, catering to school years ranging from Pre-K to high school. These schools aren’t rated on national databases and will therefore need to be personally reviewed when being considered. One advantage to note about these schools is that they do have a favorable student-to-teacher ratio, with some as low as five students per teacher.

There are so many reputable schools in Bay Ridge Brooklyn, here are some kids learning in a science lab

The public schools have favorable student-to-teacher ratios as well with the highest being 20 students per teacher. The elementary and middle schools have above average reviews while the high schools have lower than average. Bay Ridge schools are part of NYC Geog District #20, which has an overall rating of 6 and enrolls 85% of the Bay Ridge school-aged population.

What’s the shopping like?

Shopping in Bay Ridge can feel like a scene out of the past. The lack of gentrification in the area means that more family-owned businesses have survived than in other areas of Brooklyn. You’ll find fun mom-and-pop type stores, a bicycle shop, bookstores, and clothing stores, including chain stores like the Banana Republic and T.J. Maxx.

The demographics of the area lead to a variety of grocery and food options, including several Italian and Middle Eastern grocers.

How’s the nightlife?

The nightlife in Bay Ridge isn’t exactly comparable to Manhattan’s nightclubs and hangouts. But you will find a variety of restaurants and dishes, including sushi, pizza, steak, seafood, pasta, Greek, and Middle Eastern fare.

If you’re set on going out with your friends for drinks and want to remain local, there is a selection of bars and sports lounges to explore.

Are there any family-friendly activities in Bay Ridge?

Bay Ridge is an ideal family neighborhood and offers a wide variety of family-friendly activities. There are several great outdoor areas, including Shore Road Park, which offers playgrounds, basketball courts, baseball fields, and plenty of biking lanes. You can also head to Narrows Botanical Gardens within Shore Road Park that offers free educational programs and fun family events like outdoor movie nights.

Bay Ridge is famous for Owl’s Head Park, home to the area’s annual Halloween Haunted Walk & Fairytale Forest. There are 24 acres to explore, including sledding hills, a skatepark, and a dog run.

If your family prefers to remain indoors, there are plenty of restaurants, shopping opportunities, and a cinema.

Should I move to Bay Ridge?

If you’re looking for a more affordable version of Manhattan, Bay Ridge won’t live up to your expectations.

you'll see a lot of the Brooklyn bridge if you end up moving to Bay Ridge Brooklyn

But if you’re looking for a neighborhood with outstanding waterfront views, plenty of space to play, and a diverse and culturally rich community, living in Bay Ridge should be highly considered.

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