Bay Ridge, Brooklyn is where you’ll find the southern-most stop on the R train, which begins at the Bay Ridge-95th St./Fourth Ave. station a half-mile from the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and New York Harbor. The bridge looms over this beautiful nabe, which features a waterfront promenade that’s an ideal destination this time of year. If you visit, here’s where to grab good eats en route.
The playground for little ones is impressive at the sun-lit cafe called The Coop. It features both a protected indoor playpen loaded with toys and a dedicated patio for tots and their parents.
But adults can find joy here too, and not just because there’s beer on the menu. For starters, you’ll find brilliantly flavored waffles (lemon ricotta is $7; jalapeno-cheddar-corn is $6; chocolate-banana-crunch is $7), rainbow latte art for your coffee, plus many flavors of kombucha.
There are also grilled cheeses on white with sharp cheddar ($5), eggy breakfasts, and of course avocado toasts, which despite their ubiquity are both easy on the eyes and enjoyable to eat. Here, the basic — it’s called The Smash ($8) — comes showered like a salad with scallions, tomatoes, spicy purple microgreens and pale green hemp seeds.
You might also be tempted by the “chick menu” — aka for the little kids that hang out here — with bites like “sunbutter and jelly” (sunflower seed butter and house-made jam, $3) or one egg, toast and fruit for $4.
The Coop: 9504 Fourth Ave., near 95th St., Brooklyn; (718) 680-0269
Neatly dressed in red, white and green, as it has been for decades, Espresso Pizzeria is a simple spot with no pretension, just good pizza.
The owner says he’s been selling pies (a plain slice is $2.50) in this spot for 35 years, and has never, ever advertised. It’s only the perfect New York City pizzas — thin, covered from crust to tip with sweet sauce and a mottled layer of melted cheese — that keep a constant flow of customers coming through the doors. Not to mention the old-fashioned classics like heroes, parms and pastas.