I have had my photo studio in downtown Ridgewood for 3 1/2 years and absolutely love being right on East Ridgewood Avenue. Ridgewood is such a fun destination and a great place to spend an afternoon. So many of my clients make a day out of it when they come to my studio for their photo session whether they are local or coming from a distance. Many of my clients are outside of the Bergen county area (from NYC, Montclair, Westfield and even Central NJ) so when they come to Ridgewood for their session they don’t always want to just turn around and go back home. They stay for lunch and shopping or go to the movies or even to paint pottery. Even for newborn sessions, many parents spend some time downtown before heading home and they always are asking for recommendations. It’s a great time to get out of the house and some fresh air after being cooped up. I’ve put together a little guide of some of my favorite places in town; feel free to leave a comment if there are other gems in town that you’d like share.
Heidis Finest Bakery: Right below my studio, this is my favorite place to get a bite to eat. The owners are from Germany and have imported everything (even the stove) from their home country. I have eaten just about everything there and many times during a photo shoot either mom or dad will go downstairs and come back with a bag of treats for us to share. Their pastries are all amazing but they also have healthy lunch options too.
Sook Pastry: You must try their Nutella crepe. Once you have it once, you will need to go back (often)!
Raymonds: A great kid-friendly place for any meal. My husband and I moved up to this area from Montclair and have been fans of Raymonds for many years. I am so happy that they added a location only half a block away from my studio. I love their omelets and quiche!
Cravings: I was so excited when this bistro opened up after seeing their “coming soon” sign everyday on my way to my studio. I’ve been to dinner there with my husband as well as with a group of girlfriends and can’t wait to go back. The food is delicious. I love their flatbread pizza, empanadas and homemade hummus.
The Couture Baby: I adore this shop across the street from my studio. I have gotten countless items from here–things such as headbands, tutus and diaper covers. So many of my clients come in with their children dressed in outfits purchased there. It certainly has come in handy to have a shop this amazing right across the street. I’ve had newborn sessions where the dad goes across the street to pick something up while we are shooting.
Alex and Ani: I recently attended a fundraising event here and bought my first bangle. I will be back and will bring my girls next time!
Ridgewood Running Company– The only place I go for my sneakers. I love the personal attention the staff provides every time I go there.
Bookends: I love that this shop exists; I still only read actual books rather than on a tablet. I once stood outside the bookshop on a line with my husband while 8 months pregnant to get a book signed by David Sedaris.
Moxie: This salon is right below my studio and is a great option to get a blowout before a photo session.
Araya Rebirth: I love this spa and they do a fabulous job with make-up application so it’s a wonderful place to visit before your photo shoot.
Creatively Yours: This paint your own pottery place is fun for kids and adults. My girls have loved going to birthday parties here and I have gone with some girlfriends for a night out.
Sweet & Sassy: This is the place to go if your daughter wants a salon/spa experience. I have taken my daughters here for manicures and pedicures and they love this special treat!
I love to support small local businesses, but I do also like how convenient it is that we have a Gap, Gymboree and Kate Spade all right on East Ridgewood Ave!