If you want to be at the center of it all, there is no better place to live than downtown Austin. The trendy, tech-savvy heart of the city is where many of its residents work and play. From CEOs and entrepreneurs to foodies and live music lovers, everyone will find something that speaks to them downtown.
Whether you want to cut down on your work commute, live your best life in a high-end condo with gorgeous views of Lady Bird Lake, or be close to the best restaurants, bars, and music venues (or all three!)—downtown is the place to be.
In this Downtown Austin neighborhood guide, we’ll show you why people love living in the heart of the capital city.
Average Home Price*
High-rise, High-end Condominiums and Apartments
Est Off-Market Transactions
*Based on 2022 Sold data for Downtown Austin.
Texas is a non-disclosure state. This means that the sales price of real property is not recorded and made available through the public record. The majority of properties are sold as off-market transactions. These transactions also often include an NDA to protect both the buyer and seller. The financial details of these transactions are not public record and are not reflected in ABoR’s MLS data.
Between the lively bar and restaurant scene on Rainey Street, live music venues along the Red River Cultural District, quirky bars on Sixth Street and the theatres, clubs, and LGBTQ+ bars in the Warehouse District, there’s a little something for everyone in downtown Austin.
Before you start looking for your new home in Downtown Austin, here’s everything you should know about the neighborhood and its real estate.
Some downtown areas of major cities have a less personal vibe because most of the buildings are businesses and corporate offices. But downtown Austin is different. People don’t just come downtown to work. People actually enjoy living here, making it more friendly and inviting than your average downtown area.
The downtown Austin neighborhood is lively and busy. With so much to do and see, there is never a dull moment when you live in the heart of the capital city. Not only does it hold some of the best restaurants in town, but it also hosts some of Austin’s most iconic music venues. It’s also close to many of the beautiful green spaces in the city. All of this makes it a great space for people who live an active lifestyle.
Downtown is home to high-rises with high-end condos and apartments. Think iconic residential skyscrapers with the amenities to match.
Single-family homes are the outlier in downtown Austin with residents trading backyards and long commutes for luxury amenities and closer proximity to work and play. Some of the most notable residential buildings in the area are The Austonian, The Independent, The Proper, and The W.
The average home closing price in downtown Austin is $1,054,959 or an average of $815 per square foot.
It probably comes as no surprise that downtown Austin is the most walkable neighborhood in the city. With a Walk Score of 92 (out of 100), the downtown area is often filled with people walking to and from work, home, shops, restaurants, gyms, museums, and more.
Downtown Austin is zoned for schools in the Austin Independent School DIstrict. These include Lee, Bryker Woods, Matthews, and Pease elementary schools as well as Kealing Middle, O Henry Middle, McCallum High, and Austin High School. The University of Texas at Austin High School is another public school that’s available to students in the area.
Downtown Austin also hosts highly-rated private and charter schools, including The Austin School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Cathedral School of Saint Mary, Headwaters School, and Austin International Academy.
Featured Property in the Neighborhood
There’s no question that Austin is a city for foodies. And downtown Austin provides plenty of places to satisfy your appetite and expand your palette in the capital city.
Hestia is an all-natural, wood-fired gastronomic experience. The industrial-style restaurant offers creative wood-fired dishes as well as chef-driven tasting menus and wine pairings. The restaurant aims to highlight the role of fire in food by showcasing unique techniques.
Wine lovers will enjoy Hestia’s wine menu featuring over 250 selections. They also offer an amazing curated wine pairing for the tasting menu that will make you think about wine and food differently.
Olamaie offers a unique southern dining experience rooted in love and tradition. With southern fare that’s elevated by its farm-fresh ingredients and modern platings, this restaurant allows you to experience five generations of southern food in a soothing atmosphere.
Located in an elegantly refurbished home, Olamaie serves southern favorites, like butter beans, hushpuppies, and buttermilk biscuits, with a modern twist. The menu changes based on seasonality and market availability. And yes, they have complimentary valet parking so you don’t have to worry about driving around for a parking spot.
Red Ash has some of the best Italian fare in the city. With craft dishes inspired by the culinary traditions of Northern and Southern Italy, this restaurant offers everything from wood-fired specialties to housemade pastas.
Red Ash has two levels of seating with a rustic modern feel. And while you may be full on pasta, don’t forget to try one of their delectable cocktails and desserts. They have a solid espresso martini, and the hot cream-filled doughnuts will change your life.
Located on the second floor of the Van Zandt hotel, Geraldine’s is a great place to grab a cocktail and catch some live music. They’re open for dinner and brunch, serving new American cuisine that’s as delicious as it is beautifully plated.
The restaurant offers gorgeous views of Lady Bird Lake and Downtown. It also offers a rooftop lounge with outdoor seating, including private cabanas. The restaurant offers music nightly, so be sure to check out the calendar before you visit.
Comedor is a modern Mexican restaurant serving up a dinner and brunch menu curated by popular chef, Philip Speer. The menu features Mexican-inspired dishes with a modern, elevated twist. (We love the bone marrow tacos!) Mezcal fans will also enjoy their extensive menu, including some unique selections such as ensambles, pechugas, and Tepextates.
Aside from the food, the space itself is unique and beautiful. Designed by architect Tom Kundig, the restaurant features high ceilings and simple yet modern and elegant decor.
While you may not think “sexy” when you think about barbecue joints, all of that will change when you visit Lambert’s. This old Austin staple offers fancy barbecue and other meaty fare. Located in a refurbished historic general store, Lambert’s has an intimate, fun, laid back, and sexy atmosphere that’s perfect for date night or even a girl’s night out.
If you plan on imbibing, Lambert’s also has a full menu of local Texas beers, classic cocktails, and new world wines. Don’t forget to visit the second floor bar and lounge, which frequently hosts live music.
Lin’s specializes in Asian home cooking and dim sum. Chef Ling, who traveled to the U.S. from Fuzhou City, Fujian Province as a child, learned the art of Chinese cuisine in Chinatown restaurants in New York City before opening her own space. Her focus on healthy and local ingredients sets her apart.
Going to Lin’s without trying the soup dumplings is certainly a sin (and you will be judged for it.) Dim sum is only available on the weekends, so if you stop in on a weekday for lunch or dinner, be sure to come back for brunch when you can.
Even if you have never had the food at El Arroyo, there’s a good chance you’ve seen a photo of their signs online. Well known for the fun, quirky, and sometimes saucy phrases on the restaurant’s sign out front, El Arroyo is the stuff memes are made of.
But this long-time local spot is worth a visit for more than just an Instagram photo. They serve a killer taco (including “Yankee tacos” like the Green Chile Chicken Sandwich or Bowling Alley Burger tacos) alongside classic Mexican and Tex-Mex plates. We also recommend trying a signature margarita, which you can have served in an engraved Yeti cup for an extra fee.
While you can certainly spend all of your time eating your way through downtown Austin, there are also plenty of historic and iconic places to visit as well. Not to mention, downtown is often home to some of the largest community events in the city.
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