Central Austin gives residents the convenience of the city with the comfort of a smaller community. Rolling hills and oak trees provide the area an especially picturesque feel. Lovers of all things antique and vintage will find great buys in the old neighborhoods and Victorian houses of Central Austin. Central Austin has excellent schools and is located just minutes from Austin’s legendary downtown entertainment district, Lady Bird Lake, and University of Texas college campus. It is very accessible to public transportation, and certain neighborhoods are very pedestrian-friendly. Consider yourself a foodie? Central Austin is home to Central Market, a gourmet grocery that features specialty foods that can’t be purchased anywhere else. Central Austin is bohemian yet sophisticated. The ideal place for those who enjoy a refined artistic sensibility with a hip and mellow vibe.
Location and Boundaries: FM 2222, Allandale, W. Koenig Lane, Town Lake, and I-35 make up Central Austin boundaries.
Neighborhood Zip Codes: 78703 (adjacent to the Hyde Park area) and 78731 (Rosedale, Allandale, and Balcones Park).
Notable Landmarks: University of Texas (one of the country’s major centers for academic research and home to Texas Longhorns), Lady Bird Lake (here you can bat watch, hike, bike, kayak, canoe, stand-up paddleboard, or sip on a glass of wine or beer while enjoying a city cruise), Texas Capitol Building (contains the offices and chambers of Texas Legislature and Office of the Governor), Bob Bullock History Museum (steep yourself in Texas history and experience Cinemagic on one of the many IMAX screens), Blanton Museum of Art (one of the largest university art museums in the U.S. Its permanent collection of 18,000 works is recognized for its European drawings, paintings, and contemporary Latin American and American art), the LBJ Presidential Library (heaven for history buffs, this library offers presidential scholars a chance to delve into the life and times of LBJ and host art exhibits featuring highlights from his presidency).
Industry in the Area: SERVPRO of East Central Austin, Xeris Pharmaceuticals, Midtown Independence Title, and Central Security are just a few of the major employers in Central Austin.
Food: Hyde Park Bar & Grill (comfort food set in a 1920’s home), FoodHeads (no-frills but tasty café with soups, sandwiches, and ice tea), Freebirds World Burrito (casual burrito chain that uses fresh ingredients), Mother’s Café (chill vegetarian eatery), Dirty Martin’s (burgers and beer with an old-school ambience), Uchiko (offshoot of Uchi restaurant with Japanese small plates and upscale sushi in farmhouse-chic space), Cain & Abel’s (pub grub for Longhorn fans), Sao Paulo’s (Brazilian), Central Standard (New American dishes and raw bar at the South Congress Hotel), and The Clay Pit (classic and modern Indian dishes in brick-walled setting).
Drinks and Entertainment: Freedman’s (saloon cocktail lounge with vintage décor), Draught House Pub & Brewery (craft beer brewpub featuring outdoor food truck), Drink.Well (gastropub with creative plates and innovative cocktails), Workhorse Bar (rustic, friendly local bar with burgers and craft beer on tap), Hopfield’s (gastropub with French-inspired fare), Crown & Anchor (watering hole with diverse beer selection and dog-friendly atmosphere), Spider House (full bar and patio with performance space), Midnight Cowboy (reservations-only speakeasy with old-school cocktail menu), and Barfly’s (eclectic jukebox selection and billiards in a saloon-style ambience).
Outdoor Attractions: Mayfield Park and Nature Preserve (peacock paradise with historical cottage and beautiful water lilies), Zilker Park (spacious metropolitan park), Austin Bridge Bats (watch bats come out of hiding at Ann Richards bridge from March to November), and Austin Science and Nature Center (educational exhibits including reptile replicas and dinosaur tracks).
Schools and Family: If you are concerned about schools, Allendale, Crestview, and Brentwood have some of the finest schools in the area. Elsass Academy (pre-school), North Central Elementary, Child Craft Schools, Odyssey School, St. Austin Catholic School, NYOS Charter School, and Thinkery Museum (science museum for families—encourage critical thinking and play at the same time!).
Average Sales Price: $385,000
Notable Neighborhoods and Building Styles: From fixer-uppers to newly-constructed, Central Austin has homes for almost every taste. Those with bigger budgets might consider the Hyde Park area which contains tree-lined streets and old-fashioned porches. It’s one of Austin’s more walkable areas and is very close to downtown Austin. Cheese connoisseurs will delight in being so close to Antonelli’s Cheese Shop, with its unique yet classic selection. Dolce Vita is a gelato lover’s paradise, offering distinct flavors like honey lavender, caramel cookie crunch, and prickly pear sorbet.
North Loop, with its smaller homes and modern complexes, is more affordable. Lovers of all things vintage will love the neighborhood’s clothing, record, and thrift stores. Be sure to check out Big Bertha’s Paradise for 1920s jewelry and apparel or Revival Vintage for retro-inspired housewares, furniture, and apparel. Booze and coffee drinkers will find they can enjoy both in one of North Loop’s many coffee/bar hybrid establishments. North Loop has South Congress’ quirky appeal, but a cheaper price tag.
With homes built in the 1940s and 50s, the Crestview neighborhood has the smallest and oldest houses. One of the best burger joints in the city, Top Notch, is located here and was featured in the movie Dazed & Confused, directed by notable Austin resident Richard Linklater. Crestview is also one of the stops along the Cap Metro commuter rail line and is serviced by Cap Metro buses so residents can leave the car at home and enjoy the benefits of public transportation throughout Austin.
Brentwood is home to structures built in the 1950s and 60s, and the homes are a bit bigger. When people think Brentwood, they think Bungalows because this neighborhood is full of them. A local park and community garden gives residents a chance to expand their social circle by closer interaction with their neighbors.
Allendale has homes built in the 1960s and 70s and has the largest floor plans. In any of these neighborhoods, you can find fixer-uppers, maintained homes, or fully remodeled and expanded homes. Allandale is very close to the upscale shopping of The Domain and a short drive from downtown, south, and east Austin, which makes it an ideal location for different types of residents.[idx-platinum-widget id="17499-20607" ]