East Riverside-Oltorf is the Austin neighborhood just south of Lady Bird Lake, East of I-35, west of Grove Boulevard and north of Ben White/Texas State Highway 71. Thanks to the city's East Riverside Corridor Plan, which aims to make Riverside Drive, already an important commercial corridor between downtown and the airport, into a transit-oriented and walkable road with lots of housing options for people from all income levels, this area is seeing a lot of development.
This neighborhood is already more than two times as dense as the city average. There are 6,504 people per square mile in this area, compared to the Austin average of 2,610. There is a plethora of apartments in the area, resulting in 83% of the area's residents being renters. The large number of apartments in the area were originally built for University of Texas Students. St. Edward's University and an Austin Community College Branch area also nearby. However, a lot of families and young professionals have moved into the area, lured by low rents.
Average rents in the area range from $385 for one of the student-focused rentals where you rent by the bedroom, to $1,100 for a conventional two bedroom, two bathroom unit. There are also new luxury apartments going up on the lake on Riverside, like Amli Southshore, where rents range from $1,250 to $2,174. Overall, though, rents here tend to be very affordable, especially when you consider that you are less than 5 minutes from downtown, South Congress and, depending on where you live, mere steps from Lady Bird Lake and the Hike and Bike Trail.
Emo's, the iconic Austin music venue, recently shuttered its 6th Street Location and moved to Riverside Drive, taking over the old location of the Backroom, a defunct heavy metal club. Emo's East, as this new location is called, is located at the corner of Riverside and Burton, and continues to rock with alternative acts both local and touring. Plus the occasional odd ball show like Geto Boys, the infamous 90's rappers from Houston.
Shortly after Emo's East came home to Riverside to roost, the Beauty Bar said goodbye to its 7th Street location and followed Emo's to Austin's new hip address: 78741. Beauty Ballroom is on the other end of the strip mall Emo's East sits in, at Riverside Drive and Royal Crest. They also feature touring and local acts, and have more of a lounge feel for nights where you just want to relax with friends over a cocktail.
Speaking of cocktails, the newest edition to Riverside's amazing transformation from gritty hood rat to glittering hipster prom queen, is The Buzz Mill. This brand new coffee house and bar is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, AND feature a huge patio where you can buy pancakes and barbecue! Did you even know those foods went together? Well this is Texas, barbecue goes with everything! The Buzz Mill is right across Riverside from Emo's, on Town Creek Drive, chilling in the shadow of the scores of brand new apartments going up.
If tacos are more your speed, well have you come to the right place! East Riverside and Oltorf are a taco-lover's dream, with more taco trailers serving authentic, cheap Mexican food than you can shake a tamale at. Rico's Tacos, located in the parking lot of the Oltorf Food Mart at the corner of East Oltorf and Douglas, serves delicious super cheap tacos with a smile. Check out their breakfast tacos for just $1.00 or $1.50 for you late risers (after 11am).
Looking for a grocery store shopping experience that's a touch exotic? HEB Riverside has an aquas fresca stand in the store, a meat area that's modeled on a Spanish carnicería (meat market), and of course all the usual stuff you'd expect from an HEB. It's also an HEB Plus, so you can buy dog beds, baby clothes, furniture, and all kinds of assorted treasures you usually don't find at your local grocery store.
To keep in shape, the East Riverside-Oltorf Neighborhood offers the Hike and Bike Trail along Lady Bird Lake, which will soon be connected to the west side of the trail without leaving the shore via the amazing boardwalk, currently being built. Paddle Zen is located behind Amli South Shore on Lake Bird Lake and offers stand up paddle boarding, so you can experience the beauty of the lake while keeping in shape!
Welcome to the '41, your new home!