Three years after we named Astoria, Queens as one of the coolest neighborhoods in the world, we’ve returned to Queens to crown Ridgewood as the fourth coolest neighborhood on the globe for 2022.
The designation is part of our annual Time Out Index survey, in which more than 20,000 global city residents nominate their city’s coolest neighborhoods. To come up with the final ranking, our global network of local editors narrowed down the selections. Ridgewood landed the top spot as the coolest neighborhood in NYC and the fourth coolest in the world (out of 51).
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Ridgewood came in behind Colonia Americana in Guadalajara, Mexico (No. 1), Cais do Sodré in Lisbon, Portugal (No. 2), and Wat Bo Village in Siem Reap, Cambodia (No. 3).
So, what makes a neighborhood “cool?” It’s certainly subjective, but in our minds, it’s a neighborhood that has its own distinctive flavor that’s accessible with great food and drink, has a flourishing community, and while easy to walk across, could be explored across an entire day or more. Plus, it’s a neighborhood that is great for people to live, visit and stay and mixes up the best of old and new schools.
Ridgewood certainly fits this bill—it has the diversity and local vibes of Queens and the hip offerings of Brooklyn, specifically neighboring Bushwick. It’s old-school-meets-trendy with a mix of landmark staples, like Rudy’s Bakery and Gottscheer Hall, and buzzy new bars and restaurants like The Acre, Evil Twin and Café Plein Air. Yes, it’s changing like all NYC neighborhoods, but it’s kept its history intact with a whopping 10 historic districts and its enduring mom-and-pop stores.
We’ve delved deeper into how to spend the perfect day in Ridgewood with our neighborhood guide, which includes some of the best restaurants, shops and spots to hit there.
But in case you want a brief summary:
Wake up to sunlight pouring through the windows at this nearby Bushwick Airbnb and grab a bagel and coffee at Norma’s Corner Shoppe. From there, you’ll want to scan the racks and shelves at OPC Buy Sell Trade, Forever Vintage, Topos Bookstore and Tiny Arts Supply. Grab lunch and a flight at Evil Twin Brewing or a bite from the iconic Rolo’s. Stroll along The Central Ridgewood Historic District (Madison Street down to 71st Ave and from Fresh Pond Road over to Onderdonk Avenue) and do dinner at Porcelain and drinks at Julia’s.
Don’t miss the weekly Mister Sunday parties at Nowadays: a 16,000-square-foot space that acts as both a charming backyard with hammocks and picnic tables and a nightlife hotspot with dancing and a solid selection of beer.
Find out which cities made the list here and start planning your next trip!