6.4 out of 10

North University

Ranked 34th best neighborhood in Austin
30.2962839299289 -97.7365375600321
Great for
  • Public Transport
  • Eating Out
  • Internet Access
  • Nightlife
  • Shopping Options
Not great for
  • Childcare
  • Pest Free
  • Parking
  • Lack of Traffic
  • Peace & Quiet
Who lives here?
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
  • Singles
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Hipsters

Reviews

4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • 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 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
2yrs+

"Bustling student-centric locale with great places to shop and hang out"

This is a cool, densely populated area. Lots of students live here, and there are great places to shop and hang out as a result. And everything is open LATE. Some areas-- along Guadalupe for example-- are loud and high traffic, but there are lots of residential pockets where you can find peace and quiet.

Spiderhouse is one of my favorite places to hang out here, and always makes a striking impression on out-of-town guests. It is a sprawling, colorful bar/restaurant /coffeehouse, with indoor and outdoor patio seating, wifi, and a venue that hosts various events and music performances.

Just around the corner is Toy Joy—a crazy toy store open until midnight, Buffalo Exchange used clothing store, and Wheatsville Co-op—the only co-operatively owned grocery store in the state. You can get all kinds of organic produce and healthfood store items, and they also have an extensive bulk section.

I stayed in this neighborhood for my first week in Austin with a couchsurfing host, and I found it an ideal location. Public transportation is abundant, it’s easy to ride a bike from here to downtown or campus, and you feel like you’re right in the middle of everything, even though your house might be located on a quiet residential street.
Pros
  • Close to UT
  • Close to nightlife and shopping
  • Quirky stores and hangouts
Cons
  • High concentration of students
  • No parking
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 1/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"The Cool Factor of Austin - North University"

Home to the hipsters, jazz fans, and art students of the University of Texas at Austin, the North University neighborhood is located just north of the college campus. This neighborhood is a mix of single family homes, condos, and apartments. Homes can run from the $200,000 and up range while condominiums run the gauntlet from $120,000 to $180,000. There's plenty to see and do here though this is not the place for a family as it can get rather rowdy on Longhorn games days and the weekends.

It's bordered on the west by Guadalupe Street, which is without a doubt one of the most colorful streets in the city with an eclectic collection of tattoo parlors, diners, shops, and more. There's no need to have a car in this neighborhood, as if you could find a parking spot anyway. Capitol Metro bus and rail lines can quickly and easily take you to most any part of the city. It's also a very hike and bike friendly part of the city and ideal for going out for a night on the town without drinking and driving as there are several excellent taverns and pubs in the area. This is the place for students who love to party.
Pros
  • Close to UT
  • Close to nightlife and shopping
  • Extremely green and clean
  • Quirky stores and hangouts
  • Historic feel
Cons
  • High concentration of students
  • No parking
  • Expensive housing
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • 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 2/5
2yrs+

"Hipster heaven!"

Just north of UT’s campus is the trendy, artsy, youthful hipster haven of the North University neighborhood. Local color abounds in this part of town, which is readily traversed on foot and well-connected to public transit options. Proximity to the University does tend to skew the demographic a bit younger, and more seasoned Austin residents might find this a more enjoyable place to visit than to live in, but there is plenty that’s worth visiting for!

Guadalupe in particular is filled with random shops and stops, and I Luv Video remains one of my personal favorite Austin treasures. This enormous video store prides itself on carrying the most obscure films you could ever want to see, and it’s a pretty much impossible task to leave empty-handed—even if you don’t find what you were looking for, the store is so conducive to lengthy browsing, rediscovering forgotten favorites and finding new ideas, that if you’re anything like me, you’ll wind up going home with as many DVDs as you can carry.

For me, the neighborhood trends a little too hipster-chic to be an ideal place to live, but for people who are down with that vibe—or actively seeking it—there are ample gems to be found. Pricing tends to be pretty on par with similar neighborhoods, and although traffic and parking are often nightmarish, it’s a bike-, pedestrian-, and public transit-friendly part of town.
Pros
  • Close to UT
  • Extremely green and clean
  • Quirky stores and hangouts
Cons
  • High concentration of students
  • No parking
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 5/5
2yrs+

"Oasis near the University of Texas"

As the name describes, the North University neighborhood is located directly north of the University of Texas (UT) campus. This old, historic neighborhood contains many large, older homes on large lots, on wide, tree-lined streets. Because of its proximity to the university, this is a popular neighborhood for faculty and staff of UT. There are also many students who choose to live here in one of the many apartment complexes found in the area. The boundaries include 38th Street to the north, 27th Street to the south, Guadalupe to the west and Duval Street to the east.

The history of the North University neighborhood dates back to the late 1800s, and many of the homes in the area are from the early 1900s. Residents work hard to preserve the historic nature of the area, and even the newly remodeled homes remain consistent with the arts and crafts styled bungalows that dominate the neighborhood.

All this convenience and uniqueness of the homes comes at a steep price. Rents are high and housing prices are among the most expensive in the city. While a modest-sized home in need of remodeling may be found for the low to high $200s, the larger homes range from the high $400s into the high $600s. While the neighborhood is ideal for families, many are priced out of this market. For those that do live here, the area schools include Lee Elementary, Kealing Middle School and McCallum High School.

Obviously, this neighborhood has much to recommend it. Not only is it convenient to the University and downtown, there is quick access to all points of interest in Austin. There are a few neighborhood parks tucked away within the North University boundaries, including Adam-Hemphill Park which has a short greenbelt, Sparky Park, a pocket park on the grounds of a former electric substation, and Eastwoods Park, which includes ball fields, picnic tables and walking trails.
Pros
  • Historic feel
  • Close to UT
  • Close to nightlife and shopping
Cons
  • Expensive housing
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 1/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 1/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Schools 3/5
2yrs+

"Hipster student paradise--nice to visit but maybe not to live"

This was one of my favorite areas to hang out as a student, though I preferred living west of campus. North University is within easy walking distance of campus, and there are so many great places on Guadalupe. There’s Toy Joy and I Luv Video—which has miraculously stayed in business even after the advent of Netflix and Red Box. It’s just too quirky and wonderful to die. There’s also the Buffalo Exchange thrift store and Antone’s Records, another historical relic that’s survived the times. Chango’s Taqueria has the absolute best fish tacos ever, and Thai Kitchen is also a favorite of mine. Wheatsville Food Co-op was the only place I shopped, and I did all my study and down time at the Spider House. Their hot lemon ginger Echinacea got me through many cold and flu seasons. If you live in this area—and there’s no reason to unless you’re a student—you’re going to be relegated to an apartment and probably a crappy landlord who is overcharging thanks to high student housing demands. Parking sucks, but the bus system is great. For the proximity to everything I mentioned above, it would be worth it to live here if you were a student, especially if you didn’t have a car.
Pros
  • Quirky stores and hangouts
  • Close to UT
Cons
  • No parking
  • High concentration of students
Recommended for
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • 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 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 2/5
2yrs+

"A Less Obnoxious Student Neighborhood"

Sandwiched between W. 38th St. and Dean Keaton, North University is much like West campus, but minus the rowdy frat houses and housing meant for big boys and girls. Rather than having apartment complexes stacked and stuffed next to each other, this neighborhood has a mix of small scale apartment complexes and small wooden houses that most often have several students living in them at once. The bars are concentrated along Guadalupe St. and W 30th, but are within easy reach of all residences in the area. There are more bus stops than students will ever need and the tree lined streets are perfect for daily walks and bike rides. The conveniently close distance to the Drag cannot be ignored and students and graduates that live in this neighborhood have access to more trendy eating, drinking and music spits than they can count.

The real estate here is valuable with the selling prices of houses moving onto the more expensive slope, but more than three quarters of residents rent, and splitting the rent with three or four other people makes living in North University affordable for almost any budget. Though there are no shopping centers or medical facilities within this exact neighborhood, those living or staying here are still a short walk or bike ride away from everything they need. The Hancock Shopping Center is just several blocks and all the hospitals on the west side of I-35 are within close reach. The University of Texas is less than eight blocks away from all houses and apartments, and walking and biking in and out of this area will make any local fit from the activity. North University is right by I-35 and close to N. Lamar Blvd., making this community and all access point. The only downside of living here is that some older residents may become tired of the high concentration of students, but many recent graduate choose to stay here until they are able to afford larger housing.
Pros
  • Extremely green and clean
  • Close to UT
  • Close to nightlife and shopping
Cons
  • High concentration of students
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish

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