6.0 out of 10

Manchaca

Ranked 38th best neighborhood in Austin
30.219447187595 -97.783795601788
Great for
  • Internet Access
  • Public Transport
  • Medical Facilities
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Peace & Quiet
Not great for
  • Nightlife
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Eating Out
  • Pest Free
  • Shopping Options
Who lives here?
  • Singles
  • Students
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian

Reviews

3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Great South Austin neighborhood with a lot of local color"

Manchaca is a great South Austin neighborhood with a lot of local color.

The biggest tourist attraction in this neighborhood is definitely the Cathedral of Junk. Essentially, the Cathedral is a giant, 3-story fort constructed entirely out of junk, scraps and salvage, located in a private backyard. It’s located in a normal residential neighborhood. To visit the Cathedral, you simply call ahead to make an appointment or knock on the front door, and the friendly Junk King (he has his name tattooed on his knuckles), will invite you back to play around inside his creation.

Manchaca is also home to Strangebrew Coffee, one of Austin’s only 24 hour coffeeshops, and Live Oak Market—a kind of mom and pop hippie general store where you can find things like paninis, sarsaparilla in glass bottles, and goat milk ice cream.

As far as fitness, you have plenty of options in Manchaca. Here you’ll find everything from pole dancing to martial arts to boxing, to traditional gyms, fitness studios, and personal trainers.

St. David South Austin Hospital is located here, along with many other doctors’ offices and medical facilities.
Pros
  • Cathedral of Junk
  • 24 hour coffeeshop
  • Lots of fitness options
  • Cheap real estate
  • Close to SoCo
  • Peace and quiet
Cons
  • Far from downtown
  • Some traffic from 71
  • Some crime
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"A South Austin Neighborhood with Pros and Cons"

Bordered to the north by Ben White Boulevard, the Manchaca neighborhood is located south of Downtown Austin and there is a lot to be said for this affordable area. It is convenient, it's located just southwest of St. Edwards University, a short drive or Capitol Metro bus ride to downtown or Town Lake, and has easy access to Interstate 35. Single family homes here that are of the older 1970's era range in price from $100,000 to $200,000, and several new homes are going up in the area, which is serving to up the property values of the area. There are still some homes here in disrepair and this is not the safest Austin neighborhood as there is some criminal elements in the area, robbery being the most common crime, but it is also far from the worst neighborhood.

It's close to rail and bus lines of the Capitol Metro public transportation system and the area is served by the Austin Independent School District. There are also a few private school options that are within a reasonable distance. It's also close to South Congress Street, known by the locals as SoCo, and all of the quirky shops and dining options it has to offer.
Pros
  • Cheap real estate
  • Close to SoCo
  • Peace and quiet
  • Diverse neighborhood
Cons
  • Some traffic from 71
  • Some crime
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • 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+

"The beating heart of south Austin"

This neighborhood is going to be an all around win if you are looking to live in South Austin. Not as newly developed as some of the other places to live down south, it instead offers the benefit of a more central location. Traffic can create some choke points during peak hours, but with so many important streets it's pretty easy to find a solid work around no matter which way you're headed.

Pricing isn't too exclusive, and considering the incredible convenience of the location and the general charm of the area, it's a pretty serious value. There aren't a whole lot of downsides to consider if you want to choose this neighborhood to settle down into. It's scenic without being too secluded, central to south Austin, and a short distance away from downtown.

There is a lot of value to be found around Manchaca, and it's just an all around good bet if you are looking for a place south of the river. Even without a car, the bus service should be all you need to get anywhere you want to go without too many problems. If you are looking for a home, this is a good place to start your search.
Pros
  • Cheap real estate
  • Close to SoCo
  • Peace and quiet
Cons
  • Some traffic from 71
  • Some crime
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
3/5
2yrs+

"Convenience and potential"

One of the first things those new to Austin need to learn about this neighborhood is how to correctly pronounce it and sound like a local. For reasons unknown to most Austinites, the street and neighborhood of Manchaca is pronounced “man-shack.” If one says it the way it is spelled “man-chak-ka” everyone will know what you are talking about, but they’ll give you that look that says, “You’re not from ‘round here, are you?”

Once one gets past this peculiarity of the Manchaca neighborhood, there is much that this area has to offer. Bordered by Ben White Boulevard (Highway 290) to the north, Stassney Lane to the south, Manchaca to the west and S. 1st Street to the east, this neighborhood is located in south Austin, but not too far south. While only a 15-minute drive to downtown, and a short distance from trendy and hip South Congress Avenue, being located south of Ben White Boulevard means housing is a bit more affordable here.

Housing prices average in the low $200s for a small to medium-sized home. Most were built between the 1970s and 1990s, making them established homes, but not old. Neighborhood schools include Joslin and Odom Elementary Schools, Covington and Bedicheck Middle Schools, and Crockett and Travis High Schools. Many families choose to live here due to its affordability and convenience. There are some less attractive, somewhat run-down homes to be found scattered in the South Manchaca area, but the trend is toward upgrading existing homes and new development.
This would be the neighborhood for those who need less expensive housing while still having convenient access to Austin’s core. It is also for those who want a neighborhood that carries some Austin flavor and character. In other words, not a sterile suburb. Taco joints are plentiful along Hwy 71/290, and shopping and restaurants are plentiful, if not particularly unique.
Pros
  • Diverse neighborhood
  • Cheap real estate
Cons
  • Some crime
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"How to tell a local from a newbie..."

Strangely, this is pronounced by the locals as either “Man-check” or “Man-shack.” Not sure why. It’s probably the fault of the same people who pronounce it “Guadadoop” and pronounce the J in “San Jacinto.” Anyway… you’ll be close to Conan’s Pizza, which is great stuff and the place is designed just like the name implies, as in Conan the Barbarian. Strange Brew right next to it is South Austin’s only 24-hour coffee shop, so it’s great for those late-night study sessions. It’s in a pretty run-down looking strip mall, but it’s really nice inside and serves cheap coffee. Houses around this area are usually priced around the mid to high $100Ks, but there are some that get up in the twos and threes. The yards are by no means lush, and many homes have fallen into disrepair, but many of the streets have really nice old trees. The population is mostly 20 and 30-year old white collar workers with the majority of household incomes ranging in the $60K-75K area. The highest crime in this area is robbery, so you’ll want to keep your home and car locked and watch your back, which you should really be doing anyway wherever you live.
Pros
  • Close to SoCo
  • Peace and quiet
Cons
  • Some traffic from 71
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 5/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"Low Key and Close to the Good Stuff"

As much as it pains many to admit, straying away from the trendy neighborhoods can save a renter or home buyer some pretty pennies. Manchaca provides a more neighborly, low key alternative to the expensive hustle and bustle places, but its still within close range to many o the popular spots like Downtown, Zilker Park and South Congress. It is filled mostly with moderate sized single family homes, but the prices at which they are listed are a steal, making this neighborhood one of the smartest financial investments one could make when choosing a place to live.

Given that Manchaca is three or four miles from the downtown area, there is no issue with parking as it so often is in other parts of the city where it seems that half your day is spent looking for a spot to keep you four wheels. Some rush hour traffic feed into the area from Hwy 71, but that is the height of any congestion. A surprisingly high percentage of young college graduates live in this community and they coexist well with the resident families who live there for the affordable real estate and high quality public schools and the easy access to the St. David South Austin Hospital. Should you decide to live here and have the inkling to hang out in some trendy eating spots and party it up within Austin nightlife, a quick drive or bus ride north will put you in the middle of it all.
Pros
  • Cheap real estate
  • Peace and quiet
  • Close to SoCo
Cons
  • Some traffic from 71
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish

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