- September 8, 2021

A Guide to Life On East Riverside


With just a short drive to downtown Austin, East Riverside is a neighborhood in Austin, located just Southeast of the city’s core in downtown. East Riverside, Parker Lane, and Pleasant Valley come together to form the East Riverside/ Oltorf neighborhood that has great parks, outdoor recreation, restaurants, and more. 

It’s a great spot to live, it’s close to everything – including the water! Smart City can help you find a great spot on Riverside. Smart City is a totally free, hyper-personalized apartment locating service. You tell them what you want in an apartment, and they’ll give you a custom list of places that tick your boxes. Once you land on that perfect spot, they’ll help you navigate the leasing process and connect you with utility, internet, renter’s insurance, and other services once you move in.

Still on the fence about living in Riverside? We broke down all the best things to do, see, eat, drink, and experience in Riverside!

Here’s everything you need to know about life on Riverside.

Eat and Drink:

East Riverside features unsuspectingly delicious restaurants and bars that won’t be crazy packed like most downtown restaurants. If you’re in the mood for tasty Asian cuisine, check out 1618 Asian Fusion and 888 Pan Asian Restaurant. Both eateries feature large menus with a diverse array of cuisine and are open late. For authentic Mexican food, Pueblo Viejo and La Tunita 512 are the best. Pro tip: La Tunita 512 usually sells out by 1 to 2p.m., so be sure to order early! 

Photo courtesy of @1618asianfusion

For a cold beverage, head to Longhorn Daiquiris for a frozen slushy including flavors like Miami Vice, Hurricanes, and Pina Colada. Locally owned, Austin staple, The Jackalope South Shore, is a great place to grab a burger and a beer on their patio. 

Photo courtesy of @longhorndaiquiris

For a pick me up, The Buzz Mill and Cafe Creme are great spots for coffee. The Buzz Mill features tons of vegan options (food and drink) while Cafe Creme makes one heck of a kolache. 

Outdoor Activities:

Mabel Davis District Park is one of our favorite parks in the East Riverside area. The park is home to Austin’s first 12,000 square foot concrete skate park, this park also offers a seasonal pool, basketballs courts, playground, and walking trails. If you’re interested in water activities, EpicSUP and Live Love Paddle are both water sports equipment rental service company that sit right on the lake. Rent single or double kayaks or stand up paddle boards and take an afternoon in the sun on the lake. 

Photo courtesy of @epicsup

Keep It Local:

Peace Point at Lady Bird Lake Metropolitan Park is a great park to walk, hike, bike, kayak, picnic, take in the beautiful scenery, and more. Just a short drive under I-35 is the Travis Heights Mural. This public art mural overlooks East Riverside and the Colorado River. In need of a good book? Check out the Ruiz Branch of the Austin Public Library. With plenty of comfy chairs to relax in, you can dive into a new book for the afternoon. 

Catch a Show:

One of the coolest music venues in Austin is Emo’s. Located in the heart of East Riverside, this venue isn’t huge so you get more of an intimate feel with the performing band. Staff is friendly, bathrooms are clean, sound is great – what more could you want from a concert? Pro tip – if you plan on driving, get there early. Emo’s parking lot is small and will fill up fast.

Housing Market:

Renting an apartment in the Riverside area is as close as one can get to Downtown before having to pay a serious location premium. Living in Riverside means you’re 5-10 minutes from almost every Austin hotspot imaginable: Rainey St., The Eastside, South Congress, Downtown, Sixth Street, UT Campus and more. The immediate neighborhood is easily navigated via bike, scooter, or public transit — making it a perfect spot for those who don’t want to rely on a vehicle to get around. This area is home to both older and newer apartment complexes, making it a great location for renters of all budgets.

If new and shiny is your renting preference, there are tons of apartment complexes built in the last 3 years starting at around $1500 for a studio or 1 bed. While more expensive, these apartments will offer gated parking garages, W/D in-unit, stainless steel appliances, enclosed breezeways, impressive shared gyms/pools, and modern amenity spaces. Expect to pay higher parking and amenity fees due to the cost needed to maintain these desirable features.

Older apartment complexes in Riverside can start as low as $900 for a studio or 1 bedroom and will have dated finishes (think popcorn ceilings and carpeted floors), shared laundry facilities, open parking, and limited amenities. Fortunately, one will have lower amenity fees and no parking fees at an older complex. Want to meet somewhere in the middle? Riverside has that, too. There are many apartment complexes built in the 90’s/early 2000’s that have been recently renovated to provide a more modern look while staying around $1200 for a studio or 1 bedroom.

If you’re looking for an apartment in Austin and want to get a taste of it all, Riverside may be the perfect fit. Connect with Smart City today to get started on your apartment search!

More News About East Riverside:

There’s a HUGE development planned for the East Riverside neighborhood. In 2019, the city approved a “Domain on Riverside” type development. The 97-acre project will include housing, retail, restaurants, and offices and will be located at Riverside Drive and Pleasant Valley Boulevard. The project will be built in phases over the next two decades. If you really want to dig into the details, you can read about the East Riverside Corridor Master Plan here.

Featured photo via @southshoreATX on Instagram.

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