Best Neighborhoods in Denver for Young Professionals

Posted on Feb 10 2016 - 9:29pm by Extra Space Storage

With Denver being listed as the top city for business and careers by Forbes, it comes as no surprise that young professionals are flocking to the area. If you’re a young professional living in Denver or are considering a move to the Mile-High City to pursue a career, it’s important to find the neighborhood that best matches your lifestyle and budget needs. Learn more about where young professionals are living in Denver, and find a neighborhood that suits your needs below!

LODO: THE ULTIMATE DOWNTOWN LOCATION

Union Station in Denver, CO

Photo by Dan Lurie

Quick Facts:

  • Median Rent: $1,198 (38% higher than Denver average)
  • Cost of Living: 25% higher than Denver average, 34.3% higher than national average
  • Unemployment Rate: 5.7%
  • Crime Rate: 60% lower than Denver average

LoDo is the oldest neighborhood in Denver and has all of the character you’d expect from an area with a rich history. Located right in the heart of the city, LoDo is an area where young professionals can both work and play.

Advantages of Living in LoDo

Downtown Location

As the name suggests, LoDo (Lower Downtown) is part of Downtown Denver and all of the happenings in the heart of Denver are within walking distance. LoDo is close to food and drink, shopping, art and museums, and sports venues, including Coors Field in the nearby Ballpark neighborhood and the Pepsi Center, home of the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche. It’s also about as close as you can possibly be to Denver’s Central Business District, making it a convenient location for anyone who works downtown. Need to get around the city? Union Station, Denver’s transportation hub, is also located in LoDo.

Food

If an overwhelming abundance of great restaurants would make a neighborhood desirable to you, then you’ll love LoDo. Want a mind-blowing burger? Head to hopdoddy Burger Bar and make sure to get the truffle fries as a side—many reviews say so!

Terlingua Burger at Hopdoddy Burger Bar in Denver

The Terlingua Burger is one of the most popular choices on the menu at hopdoddy Burger Bar.

Looking for something a bit more upscale for a romantic night out? Rioja is a great option with their locally-sourced Mediterranean dishes and wines. And then there’s Vesta Dipping Grill, which offers creative American dishes coupled with dipping sauces. Although their menu changes throughout the year, a few staples include grilled beef tenderloin, garlic grilled scallops, and madras grilled venison. Each dish has multiple chef-recommended sauces ranging in spice level with 3* being the spiciest. But this is only the tip of the iceberg. Living in LoDo means you’re always within walking distance of a myriad of Denver’s best restaurants.

Drink

If you love great, local craft beer, you’re going to dig LoDo’s Wynkoop Brewing Co., which has been in the area since 1988. On your first visit to Wynkoop Brewing Co., you have to try the Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout. According to the Wynkoop team, “it’s as Colorado as beers come.”

Wynkoop Brewery in Denver, CO

Wynkoop Brewery recommends the Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout, which they say is as Colorado as beer comes!

Looking for a place that offers a massive beer menu? Then you’ll want to go to Freshcraft. They have over 125 canned and bottled beers in addition to a strong selection of beers on tap. How about an arcade bar? LoDo has that as well! The 1up has everything from classic arcade games and pinball to Skee-Ball and Giant Jenga. While there are countless options to grab a drink in Denver, these are among the many awesome places you’ll live near.

Shopping

Easy access to great shopping is another benefit of living in LoDo. With both Larimer Square and 16th Street Mall within walking distance, you can shop to your heart’s content.

Should You Live in LoDo?

If your goal is to be close to it all, LoDo might be for you. This neighborhood is significantly more expensive to live in than other areas of Denver, so that is a factor to take into consideration. If you work in the area, some of the cost could be balanced out if you don’t own a car, though.

 

CAPITOL HILL/UPTOWN: A MORE AFFORDABLE ALTERNATIVE TO LODO

Denver Capitol Building

Photo by Ken Lund

Quick Facts:

  • Median Rent: $772 (10% lower than Denver average)
  • Cost of Living: 1% higher than Denver average, 8.9% higher than national average
  • Unemployment Rate: 4.4%
  • Crime Rate: 22% lower than Denver average

If living in the downtown area is important to you, but you want a more affordable alternative to LoDo, look no further than Capitol Hill and Uptown.

Advantages of Living in Capitol Hill/Uptown

Near Downtown Location

Capitol Hill is where the Colorado State Capitol building is located and just southeast from Downtown Denver’s Central Business District and the aforementioned LoDo. According to Google Maps, it’s just over 1.5 miles from the Central Business District and slightly less than 2.5 miles from Lower Downtown. For those living in North Capitol Hill (Uptown), those distances would be even shorter. The location makes Capitol Hill a popular place for young professionals. Because it is slightly removed from the main downtown area, rental prices and overall cost of living are more manageable, but you still can easily access Downtown Denver via bicycle, car, or bus.

Food

Potager is a local favorite in Capitol Hill. They describe their theme as being “immensely satisfying, locally sourced, and seasonally driven. The food at Potager is driven by what local farmers have available, so their organic menu changes from season to season. Looking for a vegetarian/vegan-friendly restaurant in Cap Hill? City, O’ City is a great place for exactly that! Just slightly farther north, Uptown has great restaurants of its own. Steuben’s is a retro-style diner that provides American classics like mac n’ cheese, fried chicken, burgers, and more. Can’t get enough sweets? D Bar Denver has a ridiculously awesome dessert menu to satisfy your sweet tooth. The Cake and Shake—a 3-layer chocolate cake with Madagascar chocolate frosting paired with a vanilla, chocolate, or raspberry milkshake—is among the favorites that you’ll have to try.

Drink

Residents can always make the short trip downtown to meet friends, but that won’t always be necessary because Capitol Hill and Uptown have some great places of their own to grab a drink. Need a place to watch your favorite team? Tavern Uptown has great food, drink, and TVs galore.

Tavern Uptown in Denver, CO

Love yourself a classic cocktail? Grab an old fashioned or a martini at Prohibition. Or looking for a great happy hour? The Irish Snug has not one but two of them and is one of the most popular bars in the Capitol Hill area.

Lower Cost of Living

Though the Capitol Hill/Uptown area isn’t cheap by any means, it’s much more affordable than living directly in Downtown Denver. Single bedroom apartments can be found for under $1k and two bedrooms can be found for under $2k. These apartments don’t provide a ton of space, but are way more appealing for price-conscious young professionals than studio rates that start closer to $1.5k in Downtown Denver.

Should You Live in Capitol Hill or Uptown?

If you work downtown or just want to live near all of the amenities and entertainment of Downtown Denver, but don’t want to pay full price for living there, then Capitol Hill or Uptown is a great option. Of course, the more affordable, near-downtown location does have some disadvantages such as parking and being a little crowded, but that’s to be expected.

 

PLATT PARK: RESIDENTIAL FEEL WITH PLENTY TO DO

Kaos Pizzeria in Platt Park, Denver, CO

Photo provided by Kaos Pizzeria

Quick Facts:

  • Average Home Price: $481,000
  • Cost of Living: 2% lower than Denver average, 12% higher than national average
  • Unemployment Rate: 6.9%

Not necessarily looking to live in or near Downtown Denver? There are plenty of incredible options a little further out. Platt Park falls into this category and provides benefits that the other neighborhoods on this list can’t. Less traffic, lower home prices, and easy parking are a few of the benefits of moving outside of the downtown area, but Platt Park still has plenty of amenities available despite being a little distanced from Downtown Denver.

Advantages of Living in Platt Park

Home Prices

According to 5280.com, the average home price in Platt Park is $481,000. Other neighborhoods nearby, such as Cherry Creek and Washington Park, range from $850,000 to over $1 million averages. Current listings range from $300,000 to $755,000 at the time this article was written according to Zillow.com, so you can find more affordable homes in the area. Is Platt Park the most affordable place to buy a home in Denver? No, but Platt Park’s amenities and suburbia feel combined with relative affordability compared to other neighborhoods make it a great place for young professionals looking to own a home.

It’s Not Downtown

For those who enjoy a more quiet environment where finding parking isn’t a daily struggle, Platt Park is perfect. Being close to Washington Park is another advantage for those who enjoy the outdoors. If you’d like to make quick trips to Downtown Denver, Platt Park really isn’t that far away. So if you still have to travel downtown for work or plan to meet with friends on a regular basis, Platt Park is only 6.3 miles away via I-25.

Still Plenty to Do

Just head down South Pearl Street, and you’ll find that Platt Park has plenty of food, drink, and shopping for young professionals to enjoy. If you’re a pizza lover, you’re going to adore Kaos Pizzeria and their delicious wood-fired true Southern Italian Naples-style traditional pizzas. If you enjoy patio seating, you’ll love it even more. Kaos Pizzeria is a regular on “Denver’s Best Restaurant Patio” lists. And if you’re a locavore, you’ll be happy to know that all of their food is farm-to-table and garden-to-plate, as they only buy ingredients from local farmers.

Pizza from Kaos Pizzeria in Platt Park, Denver

Kaos Pizzeria’s “Are You Figgin Kidding Me” seasonal pizza, made when figs are in season!

How about sushi? Platt Park’s Sushi Den is not only a neighborhood favorite, but also considered one of the best sushi restaurants in all of Denver. If you love wine, The Village Cork, a wine bistro with an expansive selection, is located in the heart of Platt Park on South Pearl Street. Looking for a fun bar environment? Dive Inn will pique your interest. Drinks, great Tex-Mex, ping pong and pool tables, and four-player Pacman all add up to a great time. In addition to the food and drink available in Platt Park, there are some great shops ranging from clothing, accessories, and jewelry boutiques like 5 Green Boxes to Greentree Cyclery with their new, used, and collectible bicycles.

Should You Live in Platt Park?

If you want to live in an area with plenty to do but prefer not to deal with the noise, traffic, and parking challenges, Platt Park could be a great option for you. In addition, if you’d rather buy instead of rent, Platt Park is a relatively affordable option compared to many of the alternatives in Denver. Though this probably won’t be a possibility for a recent college graduate, there is the opportunity to buy for young professionals who have had a little time to get established.

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Are you a young professional living in Denver? What neighborhood do you live in and what do you like about living there? While making the exciting transition of a move, Extra Space Storage is here to help with any storage needs. View our selection of Denver storage units today!

All quick facts provided by Areavibes.com and 5820.com.

All images have either been provided by a listed organization or are licensed under Creative Commons.