Central Austin at its Finest
This wonderful central Austin neighborhood is divided into two sections: Crestview is located between Justin Lane, Anderson Lane, Lamar Boulevard, and Burnet Road, and Brentwood is immediately to the south, bordering Hyde Park and Rosedale. Crestview, with its oversize (average 9000 sq. ft.) lots, beautiful mature trees, and small, charming homes, is the perfect place to raise a family. Brentwood has a similar feel, as most of the houses are smaller 2-1′s build in the 40s and 50s (often for GIs), and proximity to countless local businesses ensures a community of die-hard Austinites.
In recent years, there have been a remarkable number of new builds and remodels in each of these areas, offering modern style and construction in a central Austin setting, but many residents worry about a potential loss of the architectural integrity of the neighborhood. In reality, the increased attention and development has only improved on a good thing: new local businesses and a few larger or restored homes means steady appreciation, high property values, and an influx of new people. The classic centers of commerce in both neighborhoods remain strong, and local businesses that have been a part of the neighborhood for years maintain their loyal following. Like many areas of Austin, this neighborhood is only getting better as more and more people discover all of the amazing things it has to offer.
Because it is located a bit further from UT than Hyde Park or Old Enfield, there are fewer students in this neighborhood; the population consists mostly of families, young and old, with their children. It feels very relaxed, and residents like to enjoy events such as Movies in the Park (sponsored by the Austin Parks and Recreation Department) and neighborhood block parties. Residents can also be found tending to vegetables and flowers at the Austin Community Gardens, a cooperative space for gardening that focuses on sustainable practices and environmental responsibility. This is just one example of the passion and diversity present in the Crestview/Brentwood area; this neighborhood exemplifies Austin’s spirit of maintaining history while embracing change.
What to do
The unofficial center of the neighborhood is definitely the Crestview Market. This shopping center contains the famous Crestview Minimax IGA, the local grocery store of choice, as well as the incredible Little Deli, a local hangout with excellent sandwiches and friendly staff. There’s also a barber shop, beauty parlor, and kids acting studio, and several other local businesses. Crestview residents can always be found moving in and out of these stores, and the nearby park makes this area very kid-friendly. On the eastern border of Crestview is the Crestview Station, a new mixed-use redevelopment of a former chemical plant.
A rapidly changing area on the Brentwood side of the neighborhood is Burnet Road, in which numerous shops and restaurants have come in over the last few years. With a style very inspired by the recent developments on South Congress, many new businesses have become successful overnight. Noteworthy are the Blue Star Cafeteria, which serves home-style cooking and has an excellent wine list, as well as Sampaio’s, a Brazilian restaurant with excellent food and a lovely outdoor patio. Just across the street are two casual Austin favorites: The Pit BBQ, a great spot for a weekday lunch, and The Omelettry, one of Austin’s best spots for breakfast.
Right in the heart of Brentwood is one of Austin’s best neighborhood parks: Brentwood Park and Pool. The pool is open during the Summer months, and the large baseball field and playground attract neighborhood families wanting to get outdoors. Just on the outskirts of Brentwood to the west are some other great hangouts, including Brentwood Tavern, with a huge outdoor patio, live music, and comfort food, and Elsis Restaurant, which serves authentic Mexican food with a Salvadoran influence, and has some of the best breakfast tacos in the city.
Why live here?
For those looking for a quiet, close-knit community that’s focused on staying true to their roots, Brentwood/Crestview is an excellent choice. The wide variety of thriving local businesses, eclectic mix of old and new homes, and the outstanding schools make this an excellent neighborhood for families. Quick access to most major roadways makes for very short drives to Downtown, North Austin, and West Austin.
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