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John Ortiz's Favorite Street

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Bagel Boy

Bagel Boy has, in my opinion, the best bagels in Brooklyn, if not the world,” Ortiz says of his favorite bagel joint. “And it’s family-operated. My kid was a really picky eater, and bagels were the one thing we could both eat.”

8002 Third Ave.

Shore Parkway Greenway
“From Shore Parkway Greenway you have views of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, Lower Manhattan and the Statue [of Liberty]. It’s a cool, inspiring place to people-watch, because you see all these amazing people from all walks of life.”

Tanoreen is a great restaurant owned by Rawia Bishara, who is super-passionate about her food—when you walk in there, you see and feel that immediately,” Ortiz says. “They have the best hummus and this appetizer I love called Eggplant Napoleon.”

7523 Third Ave.

Bay Ridge Bicycle World

Ortiz says he buys his bicycles from Bay Ridge Bicycle World, another independent business on Third Avenue. “The owner was Patrice Capo. After she passed away, her son kind of took it over, which is cool.”

8916 Third Ave.


“When it comes to pizza, you can’t go wrong on this stretch,” he says, with Nino’s, Peppino’s and Casa Calamari topping his list. “Nino’s is this tiny spot where you literally have to walk in and out sideways. It’s my favorite place for a traditional slice.”

9110 Third Ave.

Caffe Café

“Caffe Café is a little coffee place that’s really slow-paced,” Ortiz says. “If you’re in a rush, you’ll probably think it has the worst service.”

8401 Third Ave.

Little Cupcake Bakeshop

“The Little Cupcake Bakeshop is where my wife’s and my red velvet addiction started,” Ortiz says. Even his picky son loves the cupcakes there—even if it’s just for the frosting.

9102 Third Ave.

John Ortiz has played everyone from a mobster in Public Enemies to Othello off-Broadway. He and Philip Seymour Hoffman were co-artistic directors of the LAByrinth Theater Company in New York City for eight years. And this year Ortiz appears in HBO’s critically acclaimed new series Luck, about the mercurial world of horse racing, along with heavyweights Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte. Ortiz now lives in Los Angeles, but he spent part of his childhood in Brooklyn and recently lived with his family in Bay Ridge. With his young son in tow, Ortiz says, he often went biking or strolling down Third Avenue—home to cozy mom-and-pop cafés and restaurants. “I’m a bit nostalgic,” he says, “And I’m kind of missing home a little bit.” Someday, he adds, he’d like to move back there and open a Puerto Rican restaurant.—Sarah Elbert

Photos by Evan Sung

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