The Curbed Cup, our annual award for the neighborhood of the year, is kicking off with 8 neighborhoods vying for the prestigious (fake) trophy. We’ll reveal each of the neighborhoods this week, and polls will be open for 24 hours so you can cast your vote as to which ones should advance. Let the eliminations commence!
Although the area between South Lamar Boulevard between Oltorf Street and Highway 290 has been booming continuously with the rest of Austin, the South Lamar neighborhood (it eastern border is the rail line separating it from Galindo) has maintained a healthy mix of old Austin institutions such as Strait Music Company, Kerbey Lane, Matt’s El Rancho, a Wheatsville Co-op location, and the Broken Spoke and new but unpretentious, affordable local restaurants, auto shops, and affordable national chain stores. It also has a fair amount of multifamily housing in the form of apartments, townhouses, condos, and duplexes, as well as a new and older single-family homes, concentrated in its semi-forested center. The neighborhood’s well-kept Tom Lasseter Park offers additional greenery and community space.
Located in the area just east of I-35, across from the UT campus, Cherrywood was farmland and hunting grounds until the 1940s, and its pastoral nature remains. Trees and greenery, rather than large homes and buildings, dominate visually. For many years long attracted students and twentysomething renters due to its then-low rent, it’s charming assortment of 1940s and ‘50s bungalows, and its and proximity to UT and Conrcordia University, local restaurants and bars, and grocery shopping. Over the years, the level of home ownership has climbed steadily, but there are still some choice rentals in the area. There are also more dining and entertainment options, with Cherrywood Coffeehouse to the north and a whole slew of restaurants and bars (including stalwarts Eastside Cafe and Mi Madre’s) along Manor Road to the south.