|Median Rent||Median Sqft|
|1 Bed||$1,250||548 sqft|
|2 Beds||$1,550||825 sqft|
|3+ Beds||$3,400||1,518 sqft|
The origins of many neighborhood names can be a mystery, but in other instances, they are purely descriptive and to the point. One prime example: North University. Situated due north of the main campus of the University of Texas at Austin (a.k.a. UT Austin), the North University neighborhood is a bustling enclave that’s home to dozens of older, small-scale apartment buildings and the rare large apartment community. Numerous casual restaurants, lively bars, and retailers cater to an active and social lifestyle. All these features combined make it one of the most popular residential areas in Central Austin for students, staff, and faculty seeking a quick, easy commute to the UT campus. Bounded by 38th Street to the north, Duval Street in the east, West 27th Street in the south, and Guadalupe Street as it curves north to form the eastern border, North University only covers a few square blocks. But its tree-lined streets and well-established homes boasting early 20th-century Tudor Revival, Queen Anne, and Craftsman architecture make it storybook charming and vastly different from the boom of new development in most other parts of Austin. Plus, it flows right into the equally appealing Hyde Park neighborhood to the north and West Campus in the southwest, exponentially increasing the options of things to do and available services.
Because many of the rental apartments in North University exist in smaller, older buildings with as few as a dozen units, amenities are more limited here than in the massive multi-building, multi-acre communities elsewhere in town. Some include small pools and fitness centers, but in general, a shorter list of perks can yield more reasonably priced rent prices on large-square-footage floorplans. North University only has about 5,000 residents, offering a small-town neighborly vibe. Yet it’s also close to Downtown Austin, the city’s bustling urban center, making it a best-of-both-worlds type of neighborhood.
North University is a highly walkable, pedestrian-friendly, and cycling-friendly neighborhood. But for anyone regularly venturing into other parts of Austin, cars, trucks, motorcycles (and E-bikes to a degree) remain a true necessity for convenient and reliable transportation. Accessing other parts of the Austin metro area from here is easy because North University is located mere blocks from Interstate 35E, one of the major north-south thoroughfares through Texas. Bike lanes are readily available in much of this part of Central Austin, and on-demand bike and scooter rentals provide easy access to cycling and non-traditional modes of transport. Capital Metro offers bus stops within North University for quick access to the University of Texas at Austin in only a few minutes. Plus, a dedicated UT shuttle bus also has a stop in North University, making it one of the most convenient and perhaps only free ways to get to campus in a temperature-controlled setting. National rideshare services also have a large presence here, along with several smaller and exclusively local options, including a rideshare business that offers its passengers rides in electric vehicles. Thanks in large part to Tesla’s Austin-based factory, electric cars are seen everywhere, and owners can find charging stations easier than in most other U.S. cities.
The greater Austin region is served by Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, which is only 10 miles away (about 20 minutes by car). Regional, national, and international airlines offer travelers 350 daily flights with nonstop service to more than 70 destinations, making it a gateway to many of the nation’s (and world’s) top cities. Vonlane, a luxe, small-occupancy bus service features only first-class seating, so the buses are never crowded with people. Other perks include free Wi-Fi and on-demand entertainment, and a spacious restroom, plus food and beverage service from a dedicated bus attendant. With multiple trips per day and a handy pickup/drop-off point in nearby Downtown Austin, the service connects people between Austin and Dallas, Houston, or San Antonio at affordable rates while someone else battles traffic for you.
Given its proximity to the UT campus, there’s an abundance bars and restaurants in North University offering nearly every type of cuisine imaginable, and often at super-cheap, student-friendly prices. Popular spots in North University and nearby include Salsa Limón, Torchy’s Tacos, El Patio, Vaquero Taquero, and Taco Joint for every imaginable type of Mexican, Tex-Mex, or Mexican-inspired fare; Cheba Hut for sandwiches to cure the munchies; Arlo’s for vegan; Sip Pho for Vietnamese; Ceviche 7 for Peruvian; Kerbey Lane Café for all-day breakfast and late-night eats; Posse East for burgers and beer; Amy’s Ice Cream for sweet treats; and the self-explanatory Thai Kitchen, Bikkle Jamaican, and Black’s Barbecue.
Of course, a neighborhood’s location near a college campus also yields a higher percentage of bars, many of which also serve awesome food or welcome visiting food trucks to help balance out the booze intake. Among the popular hangouts for locals are Hopfield’s, Thrive Craft House, Dirty Martin’s, Honey Moon Spirit Lounge, Back Lot, Crown & Anchor Pub, and the Ballroom at Spider House. As for coffee, numerous options exist with favorites being Civil Goat Coffee and Pacha Organic Café.
One of the best aspects of North University and its surrounding neighborhoods is the prevalence of independent retailers and long-time, mom-and-pop favorites for everything from unusual finds to everyday needs. Located in North University or very nearby, shops include Pavement Modern & Recycled Clothing, Antone’s Record Shop, Buffalo Exchange, Alleyway Antiques & Artifacts, Clown Dog Bikes, and Waterloo Cycles.
For grocery shopping in North University, most needs can be met at the Wheatsville Food Co-Op, Natural Grocers, and H-E-B, with plenty more options a mile or two in any direction.
Due to the proximity to the UT campus and Downtown Austin, most diversions are found outside of North University. However, you can always meet up with neighbors at The Ballroom @ Spider House for live music, and Arcade UFO for videogaming with a Korean and Japanese spin. Adams-Hemphill Park is a small but lovely greenspace for outdoor exercise. There are also plenty of gyms and fitness facilities in or near North University, including Anytime Fitness and Hyde Park Gym. Also nearby in Hyde Park, the Rosette Theater is a favorite for live music experiences and the home base for Austin Classic Guitar, a nonprofit dedicated to the art of classical guitar in the U.S. This neighborhood also has Game Republik, a business that appeals to gamers with PlayStation, Xbox and PC gaming, with private rooms you can book to challenge your friends and spaces for parties, too.
North University’s namesake, the University of Texas at Austin, is clearly the main higher education institution attended or worked at by North University residents. The sprawling 437-acre University of Texas at Austin, which dwarfs the size of Downtown Austin by 154 acres, is the beating heart of the area, with more than 50,000 students and 3,000 faculty and staff members. Divided into 13 different schools and colleges, it’s only a couple of miles away from any point in North University and the home to some of the most sought-after degrees in higher academia. Austin Community College’s Rio Grande Campus is only a couple of miles further southwest.
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