6.7 out of 10

Central East Austin

Ranked 29th best neighborhood in Austin
30.2704249862313 -97.7246574946664
Great for
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Public Transport
  • Cost of Living
  • Lack of Traffic
  • Parking
Not great for
  • Gym & Fitness
  • Childcare
  • Medical Facilities
  • Shopping Options
  •  
Who lives here?
  • Singles
  • Students
  • Hipsters
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees

Reviews

3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"A Neighborhood in Transition and On the Rise"

Central East Austin is a neighborhood in transition with a number of older residents, who now find themselves with hip, younger, artistic neighbors. Single family homes here run from $100,000 to $300,000 making it one of the more affordable area of the city. It is a diverse neighborhood with an eclectic mix of ethnic groups and ages and is a relatively safe area that is also quiet and charming. It's also an affordable place to raise a family though poor lighting makes this area seem foreboding at night.

It's easy to get to any part of the city with Capitol Metro bus lines, and it's close to the University of Texas at Austin and all of the great nightlife options available in that part of town. The area is served by the Austin Independent School District and there are private school options close by as well. This is area is also unique in that has a graveyard that dates back to the 19th Century with a number of notable Austin residents buried here. While there are some foreclosed properties in the area and boarded up houses, this does have the look of a neighborhood on the rise.
Pros
  • Close to campus
  • Affordable homes
  • Great culture and history
  • Lots of housing
  • Quiet
Cons
  • Still in transition
  • boarded up houses
  • Modest sized houses
  • Poor street lighting after dark
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 2/5
2yrs+

"Still early into gentrification, with ample affordable housing"

My neighbors in Central East Austin are a diverse group, spanning the spectrum as far as age, race, and status. Many older folks and retirees have held onto their homes and are still living in the neighborhood, even as more and more spaces are rented and sold to a new generation that includes artists, hipsters, singles, and young professionals trying to get a foothold in the city. People are friendly, though, and a quick walk around the block will usually yield a handful of "hello"s from everyone you encounter, whether it's the older man walking his dog, the young single biking to work, or the college students walking their way up to Bennu for a late-night study session.

It's quiet and relatively safe, though walking alone after dark can feel uncomfortable due to generally poor street lighting and the preponderance of boarded-up homes and vacant lots. Traffic is a dream in this part of town, even as you still have quick access to I-35. 6th Street nightlife is a quick walk or trip on the bus, campus is easily accessible, and Capital Metro has a stop on nearly every street corner.

Housing is affordable and widely available. Shopping, gyms, and fine dining will typically require a jaunt to a more well-developed neighborhood, but the central location and light traffic ensures easy enough traveling. While new homeowners are gradually improving some of the more run-down properties, and new businesses are setting up shop fairly regularly, the gentrification process is still in its infancy here--but make no mistake, this is definitely an up-and-coming Austin area.
Pros
  • Convenient to downtown action
  • Great public transit options
  • Close to campus
  • Affordable homes
  • Lots of housing
  • Quiet
Cons
  • Poor street lighting after dark
  • Still in transition
  • boarded up houses
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Beginning Stages of Gentrification"

I ride my bike through this neighborhood every day. The houses are mostly small single family homes set on a neat grid of streets between MLK and E 7th street—bordered by the railroad tracks to the east, and I-35 to the west. Some of the houses are painted crazy bright colors and have repurposed art objects decorating their front yards. Other houses look pretty run-down and weather-beaten, and a couple of the houses along Chestnut Ave are boarded up. But for the most part, houses in this neighborhood are modest, tidy and inconspicuous.

As far as green spaces go, East Central Austin is home to the compact half-acre Chestnut Pocket Park—complete with picnic shelter, barbeque pit, playground equipment and summertime splash pad for neighborhood children, as well as Oakwood cemetery—a historic graveyard dating back to the mid-19th century where several governors of Texas are buried alongside Austin’s founding families and the sole survivor of the Alamo. Despite attention from the parks department, this cemetery has deteriorated somewhat over the years and has been affected by vandalism. On the plus side, it’s a beautiful old cemetery that looks genuinely spooky.

Traditionally, this has been a low income neighborhood, but lately long-time residents are being driven out by rising value of real estate values and consequential increase in property taxes. Subdivisions and condos have also been springing up in recent years.

One of the biggest reasons people from other neighborhoods flock to East Central is Bennu Coffee. Located on MLK—the northern edge of East Central—it’s one of Austin’s only 24 hour coffeehouses, and it’s a very popular spot for UT students and post grads to work on their laptops late into the night.
Pros
  • 24 hour coffeeshop
  • Close to campus
  • Great culture and history
  • Affordable homes
  • Lots of housing
Cons
  • boarded up houses
  • Still in transition
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Hipsters
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Schools 2/5
2yrs+

"Up and Coming East Austin Neighborhood"

For those looking for a diverse neighborhood, close to downtown Austin, the University of Texas, hike and bike trails, great restaurants and some local flavor and color, and affordable housing prices to boot, the Central East Austin neighborhood is the perfect match. So what’s the catch?

This is a neighborhood in transition, having suffered for years from high crime rates and decrepit real estate. But the area’s proximity to the central hubs of the city, along with the increasing need for more affordable housing, have drawn attention to Central East Austin. Historically this area was the center of the area’s African American population. But in recent years the demographics of the neighborhood have been changing, and now one finds recent college graduates, artists and families moving in alongside longtime residents.

Bordered by 7th Street to the south, I-35 to the west, Martin Luther King Boulevard to the north and Northwestern and Rosewood Avenues and Chicon Street to the east, this neighborhood is ideally located for those preferring to be close to Austin’s action. Because it is a neighborhood still in the midst of transformation, it is possible to find a 3-bedroom home for under $200,000. But affordability does come at the price of questionable safety and rundown homes scattered throughout the area. The local schools are not highly regarded, making the neighborhood less attractive to families with school-age children. Still, for those wanting to get in early to what is clearly a soon-to-be an up-and-coming neighborhood, the negatives are worth overlooking.
Pros
  • Affordable homes
  • Strong and close-knit community
  • Close to campus
  • Great culture and history
Cons
  • Still in transition
  • E. 12th and Chicon
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
2yrs+

"Historical and great neighborhood spirit"

Sure, there are some great trendy places here like Uncorked Tasting Room, where you can go and have a really great wine experience. But I love this area most for its historical richness. The George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center is housed in the old Austin Library that used to be known as the “Colored Branch.” The building itself is historically preserved and gorgeous, and its permanent and revolving exhibits provide significant local history of African American Central Texans. If you’re in this neighborhood and want some great food, you have to visit Nubian Queen Lola Cajun Soul Food. Lola is a lovely woman who runs the place all by herself six days a week, closing on Sundays to feed the local homeless. She also won’t turn away a customer down on their luck during the rest of the week, which I think makes her an amazing human being. She was homeless too, once, and she knows how it feels to get a hot meal in your hungry belly. She loves to talk and is quite the character. But comfort food done right takes some time, so don’t expect to swing through here on your lunch half-hour. Meeting people like this who have amazing stories and huge hearts is one of the reasons I love Austin so much.
Pros
  • Great culture and history
  • Close to campus
Cons
  • Modest sized houses
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 5/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"Quiet Yet Active East Side Neighborhood"

Central East Austin is a an area of town perfect for a variety of residents from college students to professionals to families that want a heavy dose of east side charm without the noise of E. 6th Street. Just on the other side of I-35 from the University of Texas, students can enjoy being a short walk away from class while also living in colorful abodes with very affordable rent. The high concentration of public schools, churches and daycare centers make this neighborhood ideal for raising a family while also staying on a budget, should you not mind living in a modest sized house. Going north from E 7th Street, the lanes go uphill and begin to merge or dead end into little hidden avenues, which helps to provide a sense of quiet isolation while at the same time being so close to the activity several blocks south.

Though mostly houses, there are plenty of restaurants to fill a local's stomach concentrated on E. 7th, E. 11th, E. 12th, and E. MLK. Favorites such as the Victory Grill and East Side Pies are within easy reach, as are the various small scale art spaces like the French Litigation Museum and the Austin Film Festival which both host cheap and sometimes free film screenings. Central East Austin is also a center for philanthropy as over a dozen different nonprofit organizations occupy this neighborhood. The E. 12th and Chicon intersection sometimes has a few suspicious looking characters, but there is rarely ever an incident. In all, Central East Austin has the diversity that is suitable for many types of living situations and offers the serenity of being off E. 6th.
Pros
  • Lots of housing
  • Quiet
  • Close to campus
Cons
  • E. 12th and Chicon
  • Modest sized houses
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish

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