Where to eat & what to do in Ridgewood, Queens

By now you’ve heard — likely ad nauseam — of the exploding commercialization and gentrification of Brooklyn neighborhoods such as Williamsburg, Bushwick and Greenpoint. But just east of those meccas of trend sits unassuming Ridgewood.

This Queens neighborhood has resisted corporate exploitation for at least 40 years, local business owner Toni Binanti said. Binanti has been part of the Rudy’s Pastry Shop family for decades and said Ridgewood-ians take pride in their community and fend off developers when they inevitably come through looking to buy up properties. The result: a charming and diverse area just off the beaten path.

“The neighborhood never really got that big,” Binanti said. “It was always a great neighborhood. It’s just never been explored the same” as nearby Bushwick.

An art scene has also taken root in Ridgewood. Superchief Gallery co-founder Ed Zipco said artists are drawn to the community feel.

“Our artists have been part of a community for a long time. These people have been coming up together.”

So if you get a chance to check out this delightful Queens neighborhood before it gets too cool, here are a few things you shouldn’t miss out on.

Colter Hettich