Where to Live in Austin: A Guide to Each Neighborhood

by Molly Moltzen | Feb 3, 2022 | Austin, Austin Apartment Search

Living in Austin

Welcome to Austin! Or, as people often call it, “The Live Music Capital of the World,” or the place that likes to “keep it weird.” Whatever you end up calling the city, know that friends will arrive non-stop to visit your pad in this bustling, growing metropolis, and for good reason. Between the plentiful green space, booming tech economy, internally-acclaimed music festivals and, of course, the breakfast tacos, it’s love at first sight (or first bite of migas) for many who travel to this spot deep in the heart of Texas. 

Austin truly contains the best of city living, as well as the opportunity to get out in nature on a daily basis. It’s the type of place where you can dress up and hit cocktail bars in Downtown one night, then wake up and kayak the Colorado River the next morning — all within a few miles of each other. You’ll also enjoy an endless summer when it comes to the weather, with temperatures rarely hitting below the level where a dip in the pool becomes undoable. Overall, you can experience everything the Southwest has to offer in a hip, fun atmosphere — with endless brisket to boot. 

After you choose your preferred list of neighborhoods to rent in, read up on life as a resident in Austin, and then reach out to AptAmigo so that we can find you the perfect apartment!

Related: Best Luxury Apartments in East Austin

Where to Live in Austin: A Summary of Each Neighborhood


Central Austin

You’ve now entered Longhorns territory — the University of Texas at Austin dominates Central Austin’s landscape. From the spreads at the game-day tailgates at DKR Texas Memorial Stadium, to nights on the strip of popular restaurants and bars affectionately called “The Drag,” this neighborhood screams fun. And that goes for everyone — the beautiful architecture of the Hyde Park area and the sizable outdoor area at the Hancock Conservancy make it desirable for those of all ages. Not to mention, there’s no better way to spend a Sunday morning than grabbing a pastry from Quacks 43rd Street Bakery and then taking in the cultural treasures at the Harry Ransom Center, both located in this neighborhood. 

Some Favorite Spots:

Quacks 43rd Street Bakery

Harry Ransom Center

Hancock Conservancy

Honeymoon Spirit Lounge

The Hole in the Wall

Downtown Austin

Downtown embodies the version of Austin most people imagine when picturing the city: streets full of dive bars, music venues, and fantastic restaurants — all with the outline of the gigantic dome of the Texas Capital building looming overhead. And, for those looking for an urban lifestyle, Downtown certainly lives up to the hype. You can spend a night grabbing cocktails at speakeasy-style bar, The Roosevelt Room, before hitting up the famous Moody Theater for a taping of the longest-running music series in American television history, Austin City Limits. Moreover, the footwear residents sport in this eminently walkable neighborhood is distinctively more designer shoes than cowboy boots. But, the high-rise apartment buildings that dominate the landscape offer such great views of the impressive waterway known as Lady Bird Lake, you might just forget you’re in the city for a minute or two. 

Some Favorite Spots: 

​​The Roosevelt Room

The Moody Theater

Wu Chow

The Paramount Theatre

The Driskill


Clarksville feels like stepping back in time to a 1950s neighborhood where trees line the immaculate sidewalks and folks wave to each other on the way to grab their morning coffees from Medici Roasting. However, Clarksville offers an added bonus many adorable suburban hideaways lack — such a close proximity to the urban area of Downtown Austin that one can literally get there in a couple of blocks. However, with its sweet bungalows, flower-lined gardens, and families pushing strollers on Saturday morning, it feels like a world away from the bustling cityscape. Not to mention, the food scene here is anything but pedestrian — Clarksville contains some of the city’s best restaurants, like high-end steakhouse, Jefferys, and dim sum paradise, Qi Austin. 

Some Favorite Spots: 

Waterloo Records

Qi Austin

Clark’s Oyster Bar

Mary Frances Baylor Park


North Central Austin

At first glance, North Central Austin may not seem like a particularly vibrant area, but despite its deceiving appearance, the neighborhood contains a variety of cultural experiences found nowhere else in the city. Its numerous underrated dining, drinking, and shopping gems will make visitors ask, “how did you find this great place?” Two of these hidden gems include the Austin Film Society, an arthouse cinema owned by Dazed and Confused director, Richard Linklater, and hot pot hotspot, DipDipDip Tatsu-Ya. However, those who desire plentiful green space alongside the spot they call home may want to pass on North Austin, both its landscape, as well as its residents, find their joy within buildings, as opposed to outside them. 

Some Favorite Spots: 

Austin Film Society

DipDipDip Tatsu-Ya

Little Deli

Easy Tiger

Nervous Charlie’s

Old West Austin

If you’re looking for an upscale, residential area with drool-worthy houses, look no further than Old West Austin. While it might not serve as any Austinite’s go-to spot for a night out on the town, it certainly gives them a place to gawk at their dream homes. In addition to the gorgeous, tree-lined streets, the nearby, recently-renovated Pease District Park provides further opportunities for a pleasant midday stroll with your pup. If that doesn’t make you want to stay there forever, one bite of the legendary pancakes at Austin institution, Kerbey Lane Cafe, most certainly will.

Some Favorite Spots: 

Pease District Park

Austin Flower Co.

Kerbey Lane Cafe

Spread & Co.

Pease Mansion


Ask any long-term Austin resident their thoughts on Tarrytown, and they will most likely recall the controversy that erupted there in the 1990s when the new owner of Tarrytown Shopping Center banned the sale of animal products, or products deemed harmful to animals. That concern for their community, as well as the world in general, is a trademark of those who live in this eco-forward area. Despite the neighborhood’s progressive personality, however, its landscape emits a more traditional, old-school vibe. Its tree-lined streets, plentiful sidewalks, and multiple caution signs reminding drivers to stop make you feel like you walked into the set of Leave it to Beaver. That is, until you walk into the gastropub and you realize the burger you’re eating is entirely vegan. 

Some Favorite Spots: 

The Beer Plant

Austin Pets Alive!’s Tarrytown Dog Adoption Center


The Contemporary Austin at Laguna Gloria

Hula Hut


East Austin

East Austin is the city’s answer to neighborhoods like Williamsburg in New York and Silverlake in Los Angeles. In other words, this spot functions as trendy central — complete with man buns, tattoo sleeves, and music blasting through the doors of every venue on a nightly basis. Not only does this area bustle with the city’s best nightlife, it also boasts an outstanding food scene. We’re talking brisket ramen and duck confit tacos, to name just a few. The apartments here are just as modern as the residents, decked out in eco-friendly technology and brand new appliances. 

Some Favorite Spots: 

Kemuri Tatsu-Ya

The White Horse

Nixta Taqueria

Kinda Tropical

Kitty Cohen’s

East Riverside

Of all the neighborhoods in the city of Austin, East Riverside has had the most rapid transformation in the past few years. While its old reputation may have been that of strip malls and late-70s apartment buildings, the new-build apartments here now give the area a much needed breath of fresh air (not to mention, brand-new dishwashers and washer/dryers). East Riverside’s proximity to Lady Bird Lake makes getting on the water as simple as saying, “grab the kayaks!” And, with one of Austin’s most famous music venues, Emo’s, located here as well, you can rock all night before grabbing the best pork and pineapple tacos at nearby Rosita’s Al Pastor. 

Some Favorite Spots: 


Rosita’s Al Pastor

Lady Bird Lake

1618 Asian Fusion

Live Love Paddle


The convenience of Mueller is unbeatable — within walking distance of any house in the neighborhood, sits a grocery store, children’s museum, park, movie theater, coffeeshop, and, most important of all, an Irish bar. This accessibility attracts loads of new residents, and, with more plans in place to expand, this trend will only continue. The styles of houses and apartments here truly offer something for everyone, from rustic-chic condos to classic townhouses to modern rental buildings, and everything in between. With the best pasta in the city at Italian restaurant, L’Oca d’Oro, vegan charcuterie boards at Rebel Cheese, and fresh produce galore at their Farmer’s Market every Sunday, the under-the-radar food treasures here will make any foodie lick their plate. 

Some Favorite Spots: 

L’Oca d’Oro

Alamo Drafthouse Mueller

Rebel Cheese




North Austin

North Austin truly preserves the “keep it weird” spirit that the city is known for, meaning it’s a little bit hippie, a little bit cultural, and a little bit Texas. The facades here may look like normal strip malls and bland warehouses, but they contain some of the most exciting flavors and experiences found in the whole city. For example, Chinatown Center, with its long list of restaurants that specialize in all forms of Asian cuisine, or the various breweries, like Circle Brewing Company, that sell pints from their warehouse-based locations, will delight your taste buds. The recent addition of Q2 Stadium, home to the city’s only professional sports team, the Austin Football Club, guarantees you’ll be sporting green and cheering “Verde! Listos!” from the moment you arrive. 

Some Favorite Spots: 

​​Circle Brewing Company

Q2 Stadium

Smokin Beauty

Walnut Creek Park

Chinatown Center

The Domain

If the thought of living at the mall appeals to you now as much as it did when you were a teenager, The Domain is calling your name. This area is named after the mega-outdoor shopping and entertainment center that dominates the landscape, boasting not only your standard classic stores, but also designer boutiques, exciting restaurants and bars, out-of-the-ordinary experiences (Museum of Ice Cream anyone?), and its own nightclub. It exudes less of a “keep it weird” vibe than other areas of Austin, but, with the ability to walk to a Whole Foods, a cafe, or even a Chanel, the trade might be worth it. Also, the apartment buildings here, all new-builds, contain fancy amenities that give them a distinct advantage over many other parts of the city. 

Some Favorite Spots: 

​​Plank Seafood Provisions

Kung Fu Saloon

The Museum of Ice Cream

Houndstooth Coffee

Blue Sushi Sake Grill



Nature lovers will find their ideal home in the Zilker neighborhood, which takes its name from Zilker Park, a 350-acre plot of land that plays host to the Austin City Limits music festival every year. At any other time of year, however, Zilker serves as a green space playground, with volleyball courts, hiking trails, off-leash areas, and the famous Barton Springs, a three-acre public pool filled naturally with water from underground springs with a temperature that always sits around 68 degrees. It’s no wonder then that Zilker is such a go-to area not just for the residents of the neighborhood, but for all Austinites who, between walks on the Greenbelt trail, can grab a fresh smoothie at Juiceland or enjoy a local, craft cider at Austin Eastsiders. The housing options here run the gamut — from recently built single-person apartments, to classic, oak-tree-lined family homes. 

Some Favorite Spots: 

Zilker Park


Austin Eastciders

Barton Springs Saloon

Biscuits + Groovy

South Austin

Those who moved to Texas on the promise of wide open spaces and plenty of backyard land for their pups to roam around on should look to South Austin. The vibe here is distinctly white-picket-fence suburban, yet it sits only a few minutes away from some of Austin’s best hot spots, like South Congress, allowing you to get the best of both worlds. In recent years, the offerings in this part of town have expanded with a newly built entertainment complex, the Armadillo Den, which features an expansive bar, food trucks, live music, and an off-leash dog park. The charming older apartments here come with balconies and tons of green space — not to mention, the price point works perfectly for those looking to dip their feet into the Austin waters without a ton of commitment (or money spent). 

Some Favorite Spots:

​​Armadillo Den

The Hive

The Far Out Lounge & Stage

Moontower Saloon

Casita Nicole Antojitos Mexicanos

Cost of Living in Austin

The cost of living in Austin depends on what area of the city you live in and how much space you need. In terms of a standard price, however, the average for a one-bedroom apartment in Austin is about $1480, while the average for a two-bedroom is around $1600. You’ll want to consider your budget as you decide where to live in Austin.

Do You Know Where to Live in Austin Now?

Now that you know where to live in Austin, let AptAmigo take care of the rest. Tell us which neighborhoods you want to live in, and we will curate a list of apartments you’ll love, schedule tours of them, and even arrange Ubers or Lyfts to get you there. Did we mention it’s completely free?

Next Up: Delis with the Best Sandwiches

About Us

AptAmigo has a simple goal: to make finding an apartment easy and maybe even a little fun. With concierge-level care and an expert understanding of the local rental market, we’re more than your average apartment website. We’re perfecting done-for-you apartment searching, and we’re doing it all for free. Reach out to us today and start your VIP apartment search.

About the Author
Molly Moltzen

Molly Moltzen is freelance writer with deep knowledge of Austin, TX.

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About Us

AptAmigo has a simple goal: to make finding an apartment easy and maybe even a little fun. With concierge-level care and an expert understanding of the local rental market, we’re more than your average apartment website. We’re perfecting done-for-you apartment searching, and we’re doing it all for free. Reach out to us today and start your VIP apartment search.

About the Author
Molly Moltzen

Molly Moltzen is freelance writer with deep knowledge of Austin, TX.