Bursting at the seams with breakfast tacos, live music, high-tech jobs and vibrant youth culture, Austin has been topping best-of lists for decades.
While old-timers strive to “keep it weird,” the constant influx of new residents has introduced a flourishing restaurant, bar and hospitality element to many of the best neighborhoods in Austin.
In a place known for friendliness and fun, no matter where you land, you’re sure to find your groove. There really isn’t a bad part of town, which can make it hard to choose a neighborhood. Never fear, the following list will help you find your feet in this quirky capital.
Source: Rent.com / Midtown Commons at Crestview Station
Crestview is known for being family-friendly. It’s a quaint older neighborhood filled with bungalows and ranch-style homes boasting tidy, well-kept yards. The tight-knit district enjoys proximity to community gardens, parks and top-rated schools.
In recent years, younger professionals have moved into the area, and a flurry of hip eateries and boutique retail have popped up in response. The local dive bar Lala’s Little Nugget is a crowd-pleaser, and an enclave of Asian groceries and restaurants infuse some delicious diversity along Lamar. With a combination of old and new housing, there is something in Crestview for everyone.
The flashiest area code in town by far, this neighborhood is immediately recognizable for its towering glass high rises. Vibrating with life day and night, this is truly the epicenter of the city. Unlike downtowns in neighboring big cities, Austin’s downtown offers a healthy work/life balance.
This neighborhood is nestled against Ladybird Lake and the greenbelt, so fresh air and nature are never far away. You’re also within walking distance to live music at Moody Theater and a luxury spa day at Milk & Honey. The price tag is steep, but the payoff is worth it for singles and professionals who want to be where the action is.
Source: Rent.com / Su Casa Apartments
Central to everything, Hyde Park is an Austin original. This enclave is hands-down the most well-preserved historic neighborhood in town and features a stunning collection of Victorian homes, mid-century bungalows and clapboard carriage houses.
The area offers chic and practical shopping and dining, including upscale Italian at Asti and local cheese from Antonelli’s. A mix of families and students keep Hyde Park diverse, and the small-town feel makes it one of the most sought-after ZIP codes.
Source: Rent.com / Mosaic at Mueller
The former home of the original Austin airport, Mueller is now the largest mixed-use development in the city. With an Alamo Theater within walking distance from kiddo paradise The Exploratorium, this area is ideal for singles, families, professionals and even seniors.
With ample park space, a farmer’s market and multiple public pools, this neighborhood is as engaging as it is convenient. You’ll find every type of housing at every price point.
Source: Rent.com / Flora Apartments
A quaint neighborhood brimming with vintage homes from the 1950s, North Loop is home to a nice slice of old Austin and a meaty helping of newcomers, too. A thriving local business scene is central to the area, with Epoch Coffeehouse and The Parlor pizzeria at its core.
Local bars and restaurants run the gamut from high-end to lowbrow, and there are plenty of boutique shops. Proximity to the University of Texas at Austin makes the neighborhood attractive to students, but the safety and local amenities also draw families and young professionals.
Source: Rent.com / Venue on Guadalupe
Also known as North Campus, North University is quieter and more diverse than UT’s rowdy West Campus with its Greek societies. This neighborhood is extremely bike-friendly. And, its tree-lined streets are home to a mix of students, faculty, young professionals, families and retirees.
Local dining options range from funky hometown favorites like Torchy’s Tacos and Thundercloud Subs to eclectic Ethiopian and Japanese options. Housing ranges from duplexes to upscale condos, making this a comfortable landing spot for anyone looking to call Austin home.
Source: Rent.com / The Breakers on the Lake
This community has affordable neighborhoods with easy access to Downtown. Just south of the river, Riverside features a mix of housing and wide-ranging demographics. Many young professionals have moved into the new, modern riverfront condos, while students live in large apartment complexes further east.
Expect a blend of ethnic and budget shopping, along with bars, clubs and riverfront outdoor activities like stand-up paddleboarding and boating. Emos host raucous live indoor shows and the boardwalk trail at Ladybird Lake gives a unique vantage point of Downtown.
Source: Rent.com / Thornton Flats
Trendy, hip and happening, South Lamar was once a humdrum part of town known best for used car lots. Now, it’s one of the most vibrant parts of the city, where singles, artists and creatives flock for inspiration, recreation and affordable living.
From two-stepping at the Broken Spoke to award-winning sushi at Uchi, there’s plenty for everyone here. If you don’t mind the traffic and noise, South Lamar serves up live music, bars, boutiques and local food better than anywhere else in town.
Source: Rent.com / 4704 Sunset Trail
Westgate is a small, classic Austin neighborhood that offers diversity, green space and plenty of shopping. This little pocket of the city is home to a community of families and empty-nesters.
With modest and rustic homes sitting beneath ancient oak trees, the proximity to schools, a sports complex and amenities galore attract residents who want access to the city without the noise and crowds. Meanwhile, foodies flock to Central Market, and Cavender’s Boot is fun to visit, even if you’re not in the market for cowboy duds.
In the rolling hills of Austin, just outside of the hustle and bustle of the nearby park of the same name, Zilker is an enclave of quiet and calm encased in greenspace.
While shopping, nightlife and dining are all a stone’s throw away, this community also attracts residents who love Barton Springs Pool, hiking the greenbelt and enjoying the nearby bike trails. Anyone who can afford the entry price is lucky to live in this verdant neighborhood in the hills.
Find the best Austin neighborhood for you
Despite a reputation as a party town, Austin is a complex city filled with every type of neighborhood you could imagine. Finding the right fit for you may take a bit of research, but whether you’re seeking a peaceful hideaway or a hipster hotspot, you can find it in the capital of Texas.