Each month, The Hoboken Girl and The Giordano Group will highlight one town in Northern New Jersey to share some of the best places to eat/drink and socialize. We’ll help you understand the different commuting options, and, if you’re starting a family —fun activities for you and the kids to enjoy — while providing you with the necessary facts and critical insight regarding the competitive and hot Northern NJ real estate market. This New Jersey real estate series will showcase what makes each town cool, unique, and vibrant. So while you may not be looking to move, we all know stalking Zillow houses is the best hobby and so The Giordano Group is here to make it that much easier. You’re welcome.
We’re kicking it off with Ridgewood, New Jersey. This NJ town is one of the most desirable and sought-after neighborhoods, located in Bergen County. The town has a bustling downtown, organized community events for all ages, easy commuting options to New York, and beautiful homes. You’ll find a range of different styles of architecture throughout Ridgewood. Most homes here are historic: Tudor, Victorian, and Colonial, according to The Giordano Group. Read on for your guide to Ridgewood, NJ.
About the Giordano Group
Darren Giordano and his team of Realtors have over a decade of experience in Hudson County and Northern New Jersey achieving the Platinum Level of Excellence every year since 2016. They closed over $300,000,000 over the last decade.
To learn more about the market value for homes in Ridgewood — or to assess the current market value of your home in Hudson County, text CMA to 201-723-3300 to get in touch with the Giordano Group or click here.
There are two mass transit options if you need to commute to NYC, or if you just want to escape Hudson County for a taste of this suburban gem.
Train: Door to door the commute is 1 hour 10 minutes. There are services departing from Ridgewood and arriving at New York Penn Station via Frank R Lautenberg Secaucus Upper Level.
Bus: This is approximately 1 hour and 20 mins. Services depart every 20 minutes and operate every day. Line 163 or 164 — direct buses to Manhattan at New York Penn Station departs from Van Neste Square.
Car: Travel times by car depend on how far you take it and the Rt 17 traffic of course. A Park Ride is located on Route 17 for an easy commute. Or you can drive into Hoboken and hop on the PATH.
Where to Eat
Downtown Ridgewood houses a variety of restaurants featuring everything from fine dining to sandwich shops — and everything in between.
Dea European Café | 9 South Broad Street
This spot has European cafe vibes and aims to bring that culture to Ridgewood. Here, you can get pastries, breakfast, lunch, coffee, and all-day breakfast, including options like avocado toast, rainbow cookies, croissants, an Italian sandwich, and more.
Raymond’s | 101 East Ridgewood Avenue
With locations in both Montclair and Ridgewood, Raymond’s serves breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner. The restaurant has classic dishes like buttermilk fried chicken, Raymond’s Classic Hamburger, vegan chili, and more.
Cafe 37 | 37 South Broad Street
Cafe 37 serves Modern American cuisine with seafood, pasta, meat, and seasonal dishes. Choose from options like the Cafe 37 Kale Salad, Herbed Goat Cheese Raviolis, and Cafe 37 Broiled Day Boat Jersey Scallops.
Park West Tavern | 30 Park Street
Park West is a modern tavern that has handcrafted cocktails and contemporary American fare. Choose from a variety of dishes here like raw bar items, a steakhouse wagyu burger, short rib and shells, and more.
Steel Wheel Tavern | 51 North Broad Street
This restaurant has 19th-century origins, up-to-date craft beers, specialty cocktails, and a substantial wine list. The menu includes gluten-free options, along with dishes like crab cakes, roasted butternut squash, and braised beef short ribs.
Scratch and S Egidio | 17 North Broad Street
Italian fare from Scratch and S Egidio has been voted one of the best pizzas in the state by NJ Monthly. In addition to pizza options like Bianca, Toscana, and Margarita, there are also Italian meat boards, pasta, and more available here.
Felina | 18 Prospect Street
Felina is an energetic Italian spot that serves up a fresh perspective on New Jersey Italian food. Pair any of the dishes here with a pick from the extensive wine and spirits list.
Roots Steakhouse | 17 Chestnut Street
Roots is a bustling chophouse that does all the important things well – from steaks and shellfish to “a world-class wine list,” according to Zagat. The espresso martini here is also worth an order.
Sook Pastry | 24 South Broad Street
Sook Pastry is a family-run, Korean pastry shop that’s inspired by the country’s delicacies. The spot has become well known for its French pastries, chocolates, bread, and crepes made right in front of you.
Things to Do
Ridgewood Art Institute
Ridgewood Art Institute (voted as one of the best Art Galleries in the County), The Stable, and the Ridgewood Public Library has year-round events and programs. It also has a large selection of classes for adults, children, and seasoned and aspiring artists in drawing, oil painting, and watercolor. Students young and old feel a sense of welcome, a sense of encouragement, a sense of community, and create lasting friendships here.
Paint + Sip and Other Creative Classes
If you’re looking for other social or interactive family-friendly artistic experiences you can check out Creatively Yours, Pinot’s Palette, and Color Me Mine.
Ridgewood Newcomers Club
Meeting people is hard, and so some locals in Ridgewood realized this — and established the Ridgewood Newcomers Club. Longtime residents of Ridgewood for 20-25 years still credit this group for building their network and making this town a home. This club has special interest groups with regularly scheduled functions — from athletic events to social gatherings like eating out, book discussions, and axe throwing.
Music in the Night
From July 10 to Sept. 4 Ridgewood’s Music in the Night program provides music in 4 locations from selected bands on Saturday nights.
Year-Round Festivals to Check Out
Spring has The Ridgewood International Film Festival.
Summer has Movies Under the Stars, Art in the Park, and Fitness in the Park.
Fall has The Fall Music Fest, Oktoberfest, and Winterfest.
Ridgewood hosts holiday events like its 4th of July Parade downtown, Van Neste Square, and other seasonal festivals.
Public Parks + Recreation
The Graydon pool features an accessibility ramp for entry into the water, a shaded playground and sitting area, water play fountains, shade kits, Adirondack chairs, a picnic area with charcoal grills, a sheltered pavilion, and the Water’s Edge Cafe. Additional amenities include volleyball, basketball, shuffleboard, four-squares, hop-scotch, backgammon, and a lending library.
Ridgewood Parks and Recreation also has a competitive summer swim team, tennis and pickleball memberships, and programs to learn and practice skateboarding.
Where to Shop
Envy | 7 East Ridgewood Avenue
If you’re a RHONJ fan, you know all about Melissa Gorga’s boutique Envy which has its original location in Montclair. Six years into her launching her business, she’s now opened her second and largest location in the heart of Ridgewood.
Apricot Lane | 111 East Ridgewood Avenue
This women-owned boutique carries unique clothing, accessories, and gifts. There are more than 70 Apricot Lane stores nationwide.
La Casita | 158 E Ridgewood Avenue
La Casita is a clothing shop that has one-on-one consultations to amp up your style with designer clothing. All ages from the 20s and up are welcome, and there’s something for everyone here.
Fox’s | 230 Ridgewood Avenue
Fox’s sells clothing jewelry, accessories, shoes, swimwear, and more. There’s also a full resort shop here, and with all of the products at a discount designer price.
Femmebot Clothing | 43-45 Hudson Street
Femmebot has a little bit of everything, with a focus to have each shopper create their own personal style. This being said, there’s a variety of clothing to choose from here – from unique to casual garments.
Bookends | 211 E Ridgewood Avenue
Bookends Bookstore is a nationally-known independent bookstore that hosts over 100 author/sports/celebrity events annually and has been open for over 30 years. There’s a large selection of autographed books both in-store and online for purchase.
Eat Your Spinach Boutique | 42 E Ridgewood Avenue
This children’s clothing store has been operating since 1991 and sells clothes for newborns to age 14.
Ridgewood is known for its top-notch education and with exceptional rankings, awards, and recognitions — named one of the Best Communities for Music Education by the NAMM Foundation in 2021.
Ridgewood is home to five private daycares which have full and part-time care, and the public schools consist of six elementary schools and two middle schools, all feeding into Ridgewood High School.
For more information on where each school is located contact the Giordano Group for an interactive map.
Parks + Playgrounds
Ridgewood’s Wild Duck Pond, known for its famous dog park, is also great for kids too. A large playground is bound to keep them happy and family walks and jogs can be had around the picturesque pond. There are bathrooms with changing tables, and well-maintained grounds for everything from picnics to fishing.
Kids’ Sports, Fitness, + Art
There are tons of sports camps, classes, and lessons in conjunction with the Ridgewood Parks & Recreation — for all ability levels and a range of ages spanning two to adults.
Art in Motion and Arthur Murray Studio host dance classes, and Master Art Studio hosts virtual and in-person instruction for children and adults and hosts parties.
Real Estate Corner via The Giordano Group
The Ridgewood real estate market, like all Northern NJ towns, is on fire. There were 43 sales in Q1, 2022 which was down from 67 same time last year (hello supply and demand). Inventory is the story with only 25 active homes for sale as of April 15th. The average sales price was $973k with 28% of the homes selling for over $1,000,000. There is an opportunity to buy homes under $700k, but be prepared to go over the asking price and waive appraisal and inspection contingencies. Overall, the days on market were 25 days for Q1, but things are selling even faster in the Spring. If you want someone in your corner to navigate the Ridgewood market, give Darren and his team a call or shoot us an email at [email protected].