If you want to be close to downtown without all the noise and hustle of living downtown, then Bouldin may be just the place you’re looking for. Nestled between Travis Heights and Zilker, Bouldin is a unique, eclectic neighborhood with a rich history. (In fact, it’s one of Austin’s oldest neighborhoods!)
With quick access to South Congress and downtown, it’s no surprise that this is one of Austin’s most popular neighborhoods. It’s close to the best of everything that Austin has to offer and is highly walkable!
In this neighborhood guide, you’ll discover what makes Bouldin so unique and why everyone wants to live here.
Classic Austin Bungalows, Mid-Century Modern, Contemporary New Builds
As one of Austin’s oldest, most diverse, and most popular neighborhoods, there’s a LOT to love about Bouldin. The neighborhood is eclectic in its population and architecture, offering a distinct feel that’s uniquely Austin. It’s close to the best of everything Austin has to offer. Plus, you can access most of the neighborhood attractions and restaurants without getting in your car.
Before you start looking for your dream home in Bouldin, here’s what you should know about the neighborhood and its real estate.
Despite its closeness to downtown, Bouldin remains a fairly quiet neighborhood. It’s got a suburban-urban feel that offers the peacefulness of the suburbs with close proximity to all that Austin has to offer. The neighborhood’s history also gives a certain charm that’s unique to Bouldin.
Unlike what most people think of when they hear “suburb,” Bouldin is in no way boring or uniform. There’s a mix of people—from long-time eclectic Austinites who have lived there for 50+ years to young people just moving to Austin. You’ll also find a mix of architecture, giving each home a distinct personality.
Bouldin offers a diverse blend of architectural styles, from modern compounds to charming bungalows from the 1920s and 30s to Mid-Century marvels. The lots tend to be smaller with higher density than other areas of Austin. Many of the older homes have been restored over time, allowing them to retain their historic charm while featuring updated accommodations.
The average home closing price in Bouldin is $1,058,000 or an average of $775 per square foot.
Bouldin has a Walk Score of 85, meaning it’s very walkable. It also has a bike score of 73, suggesting it’s fairly convenient for most biking trips. Residents often walk to the library and area parks, restaurants, venues, and other recreational activities.
Bouldin hosts some of the most highly rated schools in Austin. The neighborhood is part of the Austin Independent School District (AISD) and is zoned for Becker Elementary School, Lively Middle School, and Travis High School.
The area is also home to Texas School for the Deaf. Established in 1856, it is the oldest continually operating public school in the state. This historic institution sits on 65 acres in Bouldin and serves as a primary and secondary school for deaf children.
Featured Property in the Neighborhood
Whether you’re looking for a place to grab some quick takeout or you want to sit down and celebrate a special occasion with a bottle of wine, Bouldin hosts some of our favorite restaurants in Austin.
Housed in a refurbished South Austin bungalow, Uchi, meaning “house” in Japanese, was founded by James Beard Award-winning Chef Tyson Cole. Serving up non-traditional Japanese cuisine in a stylish, sophisticated setting, Uchi is a treat for anyone who loves sushi and seasonal omakase.
Cole is one of the few American sushi masters, having spent more than a decade training in Tokyo and Austin under different sushi masters. Needless to say, the food is divine. Or, as Vanessa puts it, “The Gyutoro is the single most delicious piece of food I’ve ever eaten.”
Bringing together two of Austin’s finest (and James Beard Award-winning) chefs, Loro is an Asian smokehouse with a Texas BBQ twist. Chef Tyson Cole of Uchi and Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue have put together a menu that gives you the best of both worlds. (And if you don’t believe us, try the Peach-Yuzu Cobbler!)
The Austin location has a rustic vibe with a giant patio that has misting fans to keep you cool during the warmer months. When you go, be sure to bring a friend because the restaurant offers family-style plates that are meant to share. Also, don’t forget to try the frozen gin and tonic. Since Loro is a popular spot, you might have to wait, but it’s well worth it.
Eberly is another restaurant with an interesting history. Created in an old print shop on South Lamar and named after Angelina Eberly (who stood up to Sam Houston to preserve Austin as the capital of Texas), this is one of the most beautiful restaurants in the city. With a swanky dining room, welcoming study, and large rooftop event area, it’s worth a visit for the space alone.
…But it also happens to have a very tasty brunch menu. Be sure to stop by the bar to lay your eyes on the historic Cedar Tavern bar of Greenwich Village in NYC. (Yes, it’s the actual bar. The owners had it deconstructed and rebuilt when the tavern shut down for good.)
Got a vegetarian or vegan in the family? Bouldin Creek Café has excellent vegetarian options that even meat eaters will love. (You’ve got to try the Renedict!) In fact, it’s been voted best vegan/vegetarian restaurant in The Austin Chronicle’s Best of Austin awards. And that’s a lot, given the number of delicious meat-free options in Austin.
Bouldin Creek Café sources products and ingredients from other small Austin businesses, which means you’re not just supporting the café when you eat there. They’ve got a large menu of breakfast and lunch options as well as a killer coffee shop.
Salsa bar. Margarita pitchers. Need we say more? Polvos South serves up authentic Interior Mexican food in a fun, brightly colored space that’s got a distinctly Austin vibe. With a breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu, you can very easily enjoy Mexican for every meal of the day.
Now, let’s talk about this salsa bar. It’s a beautiful spread of tasty signature salsas that are all you can eat. Get ready to go back and forth a few times. And don’t forget to try the pickled veggie salsa. It may be weird, but it’s also ridiculously good.
While Austinites may not agree on how to pronounce Fresa’s, we can all agree that it’s tasty. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for dine-in or take-out, this Fresa’s location has a full bar and often hosts on-site events. The menu offers a variety of wood-grilled Mexican food and tasty cocktails.
This brightly colored restaurant has a great outdoor patio space if you’re dining al fresco. It also has a takeaway window, making it quick and easy to get your food and get home to your delicious Chimichurri Skirt Steak. It’s a great spot for a laid-back Austin brunch or casual happy hour. Our mandatory appetizer at this spot: check out the flautas with poblano ranch.
Named for the hardy grape growing all over the Texas Hill Country, Lenoir pays homage to Central Texas with their menu filled with the spice, heat, and robust flavors that the area is known for. The menu is seasonal, featuring Texas ingredients that are in season. The space also has an excellent wine bar with a nice selection.
Don’t be fooled by its understated appearance from the street. Lenoir offers a beautiful atmosphere for dining. With a gorgeous patio garden featuring ambient lighting perfect for outdoor dining, Lenoir is ideal for an outdoor meal in fall or spring. Lenoir also has an intimate indoor dining area for those that want to beat the Texas heat in the summer.
Formerly Green Pastures, Mattie’s has a lot of history. Opening its doors to the public in 1946 in a remodeled farmhouse, Green Pastures was open to all people during a time of segregation in the south. Today, Mattie’s pays tribute to the original homeowners and restaurant, offering elevated southern comfort food in a chic vintage space.
Mattie’s is nestled on a sprawling estate situated in the heart of Bouldin. Its sophisticated southern charm is apparent the moment you walk up. It doesn’t hurt that the estate has free-roaming peacocks, which you can spot while sipping a cocktail on the patio.
With a rotating menu with food and drinks created from local ingredients, Odd Duck is truly an Austin gem. Originally a farm-to-table food truck serving food sourced from local Austin farms, it’s come a long way from its humble beginnings. With a contemporary, upscale setting, Odd Duck is perfect for a special night out or to impress your family and friends when they visit.
Odd Duck offers New American cuisine and cocktails that are certainly memorable. The food is served family-style with plates that are meant to be shared with the table. We recommend making a reservation because this spot is popular year-round.
Austin Beer Garden Brewing Company, known as ABGB to locals, is a popular local brewery. Their motto is that they only brew what they love. With 6 “always” brews on tap with a rotating lineup of “sometimes” beers, there’s a nice selection to choose from.
With its beer garden and a weekly lineup of live music, ABGB is a popular gathering spot for Austinites who want to enjoy some local tunes in a large outdoor space. The brewery also serves pizza, which is made from locally-sourced ingredients.
While Bouldin does offer easy access to downtown, there’s also plenty to keep you busy right in the neighborhood.
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