The 13 coolest neighborhoods in America
Cassidy Hopkins : INSIDER : July 1, 2016
What’s considered cool keeps changing, but what makes a cool neighborhood always remains the same: great restaurants, cool bars, hip shops, and even hipper locals.
Global real estate firm Cushman and Wakefield recently published a report on the coolest urban areas in North America, ranking them by livability, retail, and demographics — in other words, low rent, cool bars, restaurants and shops, and plenty of hip millennials.
Hipsters better head to these 13 cool neighborhoods in the US before they turn mainstream.
Just north of Downtown Denver, River North District, aka RiNo, has become the center of the city’s arts and music scene. The former industrial neighborhood sports the slogan “Where art is made,” and features tons of creative businesses — from designers to distilleries — as well as an art walk every first Friday of the month in which dozens of galleries stay open late. And with live venues sprinkled across it, you’ll be hard pressed not to find a show on any given night.
North Loop, Minneapolis
As many as 60 warehouses have been converted into high-end residential lofts, bars, and independent businesses in Minneapolis’ North Loop, the city’s fastest-growing neighborhood. While many claim to be “the next Brooklyn,” North Loopers truly believe it. And it’s no wonder, as the area exudes and artsy vibe — from the Traffic Zone Center for Visual Art to the many stylish storefronts that line the streets.
Wynwood is possibly the most Instagrammable place on Earth, as it is literally covered in stunning graffiti. The neighborhood’s colorful streets are home to 70 art galleries and countless murals, as developers of the neighborhood encouraged street art and graffiti early on. As a result, Wynwood is quickly becoming a hub for the arts, but also chock-full of super cool restaurants, cafés, and bars.
Silver Lake, Los Angeles
Over-the-Rhine, aka OTR, is Cincinnati’s oldest neighborhood. As such, streets are lined with beautiful houses and old-school architecture. It’s also home to craft breweries and unique eateries, which even caught the attention of Guy Fieri, who featured the local gem Taste of Belgium on his show “Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives.”
Logan Square, Chicago
Logan Square has been cool since the 1990s, when Chicago’s independent music and art scene migrated over from Wicker Park due to lower rent. But unlike the popular kid that peaks in high school, Logan Square has managed to simply get better with age, as it sprouts restaurants and bars on the regular.
Jackson Square, San Francisco
Step aside Union Square, Jackson Square is the new hot spot for the millennials of San Francisco’s Silicon Valley. Jackson Square, one of the oldest commercial neighborhoods in San Francisco, manages to have old-school charm while being on the cutting edge of design, with sleek galleries and fancy restaurants. Sandwiched between North Beach, Chinatown, and the Financial District, this neighborhood is prime real estate for Bay Area hipsters.
Roosevelt Row, Phoenix
Roosevelt Row, or RoRo, is a newly flourishing neighborhood thanks to numerous urban renewal projects. In fact, these projects garnered it the title of “Great Places in America” by the American Planning Association (APA). The super walk-able neighborhood now features tons of open studio and gallery spaces, as well as award-winning restaurants, boutiques, and music venues.
Sunset Park, Brooklyn
The quick rise of Williamsburg also came with the quick rise of rent, making it unaffordable to the cool, creative types that made it so popular in the first place. Millennials have since turned their attention to Sunset Park on Brooklyn’s western waterfront, which is teeming with ethnic restaurants, new retail spaces, and Industry City, a massive, 6 million-square-foot complex that features hundreds of startups, artist studios, retail spaces, and eateries.
Delmar Loop, St. Louis
The old Delmar Boulevard streetcar once connected this neighborhood to Downtown St. Louis, giving it its name, though locals simply call it “The Loop.” Washington University sits nearby, so the hip hood attracts droves of students thanks to its many boutiques, thrift stores, record shops, bars, and music venues, which are especially concentrated along Delmar Boulevard.
East Village, San Diego
New York City isn’t the only city with a hip East Village. This neighborhood in San Diego spans 130 blocks and features over 700 businesses like restaurants, bars, and galleries. While the area has truly come to life in recent years, it shows no signs of slowing down, as a new football stadium expansion for the San Diego Chargers is in the works there.
Bursting with locally owned boutiques and in-demand restaurants, Carytown is dubbed “The Mile of Style,” and was voted “Best Shopping in Virginia” by Southern Living magazine. The historic neighborhood is also home to the oldest outdoor shopping center on the East Coast, and the Byrd Theater, a 1928 movie palace and iconic Richmond institution.
Shaw, Washington D.C.
Full of historic Victorian houses, Shaw is anything but outdated. While its gentrification took a lot longer than it did in other DC nabes, Shaw is now quickly becoming a coveted hotspot thanks to a bustling nightlife and trendy eateries. The rent is skyrocketing as demand grows, so catch it before it gets too hot.