If you’re a millennial relocating to Dallas, get ready for tons of exciting surprises. Dallas is a fun city with so much to do, see and learn as a young professional, student or job seeker. However, choosing the right neighborhood can be tricky, especially if you’re a newcomer.
With millennials in mind, we narrowed down the best five neighborhoods for 20-somethings to live, work and play in Dallas. These neighborhoods promise plenty of opportunities for unique and memorable experiences.
Who Qualifies As a Millennial?
But before we get started — what does being a millennial mean exactly?
The Pew Research Center defines millennials as anyone born between 1981 and 1996. Labeling a generation is not a science, and you may not identify with any millennial characteristics. However, millennials tend to have certain priorities and values that differ from older generations. Despite what your parents or grandparents might say, this is not a bad thing.
So, what do millennials value? You may or may not agree, but here are some of the things many 20-somethings care about, and most of them do not revolve around Snapchat:
- Meaningful work
- Real friends
- Personal growth
- Staying connected
- Work-life balance
Millennials are a pretty cool generation. They are driven to accomplish their dreams and make the world a better place. They value new experiences, and they appreciate differences. And unlike what the older generations might claim, millennials do work hard.
Thanks to millennial open-mindedness, the world is becoming a better place. Sure, most millennials will agree they cannot live without the internet, but so what? We’re using it to improve our lives and the world.
The Best Places to Live in Dallas for Millennials
How does this translate to finding the perfect neighborhood in Dallas? We’ve considered the following factors:
- Opportunities for fun and one-of-a-kind experiences
- Chances to socialize with other young professionals
- Proximity to nature trails and downtown
Here are the top five neighborhoods where millennials can play, work, grow and experience the spontaneous and friendly fun Dallas has to offer.
Located north of downtown Dallas, Uptown wasn’t always the happening place it is today. During the 1980s, Uptown struggled to find its identity but has since become the most desirable neighborhood in Dallas.
With over 200 restaurants and over 100 shops in Uptown, there’s so much to do and explore. Plus, millennials aren’t too far from downtown, making a morning commute a lot less painful. For those who’d rather ditch their car, a trolley ride is just a short stroll away. Rent in Uptown runs over $1,000 a month, but for the 20-something professional, it’s worth being in the heart of art, culture and Big D excitement.
Uptown has a population of over 20,000, many of them millennials, and is the most walkable hood in the city. Niche.com ranks Uptown as the number one neighborhood for millennials. We agree — Uptown is the perfect location to have it all. Here are just a few Uptown favorites:
- Magnolia Theatre: Cinema buffs will be within walking distance to this cozy and hip film venue. Showcasing wide variety of films from independent and foreign movies to Hollywood hits, the Magnolia allows you to lounge on a couch and enjoy gourmet snacks and the company of like-minded filmgoers.
- Katy Trail: Uptown millennials have easy access to Dallas’ premier hiking and biking trail — the Katy Trail. Formerly the spot of an old railroad, this gorgeous greenbelt runs all along the border of Uptown.
- Katy Trail Ice House: And what’s good health without a little eat, drink and be merry? Cool down with a frosty one in the casual beer garden, eat some yummy Texas barbecue and socialize with friends before hitting the trail or after a jog.
- The Trophy Room: Uptown residents get the pleasure of regular electric bull rides at the Trophy Room. Hey, we all need to play after a long work week, right?
- Tacos and Tequila: Street taco buffet on Tuesday. ‘Nuff said.
- The Social House: With 100 beers on tap and 28 televisions, this place is all about getting social.
- Mutts Canine Cantina: Want to go on doggie date but can’t find a place that welcomes your furry friend? Well, if you live in Uptown, that possibility is close to home at this dog-friendly restaurant. Millennials love their pups, because, well, dogs are great. Mutts features a dog-friendly patio and a dog park so you can relax with your best friend nearby.
- Museum of Geometric and MADI Art: Lovers of abstract art will be pleased to live close to this museum. MADI is an art movement that originated in the 1940s and involves colorful geometric shapes and alternating forms. Featuring art from all over the world, the Museum of Geometric and MADI Art is just one example of the many unique perspectives you’ll find in Uptown.
- Two Corks and a Bottle: This place is all about welcoming wine lovers of all levels, educating visitors about wine and of course sharing great wine. During their happy hour, you can enjoy a whopping 25 percent off its best wines. It also features live music some days of the week for optimal relaxation.
2. Deep Ellum
Musical millennials will be happy to call this edgy, vibrant hood their home. Deep Ellum is known for its array of entertainment and live music venues, colorful building murals and plenty of places to eat, drink and celebrate.
Located east of downtown, Deep Ellum was established in 1873 and was originally called Deep Elm. Local pronunciation led to its current name of Deep Ellum. Although this hood was important for business and manufacturing, it was quickly established as the center of Dallas’ live music scene. Deep Ellum was the place to be in the 1920s to see jazz and blues and remains a haven for music lovers today.
However, Deep Ellum is not just about fox-trotting with friends. Many galleries, tattoo parlors, recording studios and artists call this hood home.
With rent typically a bit lower than Uptown, and public transportation close by, Deep Ellum might be a more affordable option without sacrificing access to a rich art scene. This place is perfect for a night on the town with friends or to try out a new eatery. A few Deep Ellum highlights include:
- Trees: The most famous music venue in Dallas, Trees opened its doors in 1990 and has featured acts such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Erykah Badu. This is the top place to see names big and small and could be right within walking distance of your home.
- Bomb Factory: Another leading music venue, the Bomb Factory was first used for automobile manufacturing and then bomb production during World War II. In the 1990s, it became a hip music venue for bands like Sonic Youth and Nine Inch Nails. Now, this 50,000 square-foot-venue is the perfect place to watch the Dallas music scene detonate.
- Lula B’s Antique Mall: Find the perfect vintage painting for your new loft or have fun simply browsing the quirky antique treasures at Lula B’s.
- Braindead Brewing: Only a five-minute walk from Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), this Deep Ellum brewery lets you kick back with super tasty brews. With the slogan “In beer we trust,” what’s not to love? Choose from a wide variety of beers from stouts to saisons, explore a menu to die for and enjoy a comfortable, friendly atmosphere. What would you prefer with your Coma Burger – the Party Pooper ale or Memory Hole barleywine?
- Anvil Pub: What’s a better cure for a hangover? How about a trip to the Anvil Pub for brunch and cocktails. This Irish pub is a Deep Ellum hot spot for crazy brunchtime cocktails like the Mimosa, which features a breakfast sandwich and cinnamon roll garnish, or the Bloody Mary complete with a bacon cheeseburger slider.
- Dallas Comedy House: Laugh the night away five days a week if you wish, or practice your own improv skills with comedy classes, workshops and storytelling practice.
- Emporium Pies: End an amazing evening, or start the day, with an unbeatable slice of pie at this specialty pie shop. What more reason do you need to move to Deep Ellum than a slice of Smooth Operator, which features French silk chocolate and a pretzel crust?
3. Lower Greenville
With a population of over 9,000 and a bit above Uptown rent-wise, Lower Greenville is still known by many as Dallas’ top spot for bars and restaurants. Living here puts you within walking distance of tons of foodie options and bars. Millennials love the walkability of Lower Greenville and the seemingly endless opportunities to be entertained, shop and drink in this east Dallas hood. Some favorite spots include:
- Granada Theater: This Hollywood-glam, art deco theater has been entertaining residents since 1946. Since then, it has won several awards for being the best live music venue in Dallas and has featured big names from Bob Dylan to Adele.
- The Grape Restaurant: Voted as having one of the best burgers in the entire country by Zagat, the Grape has been serving hungry Texans since 1972. Although burgers are only available twice a week, it’s well worth the wait. In fact, burger-loving millennials might just want to move to Lower Greenville.
- Gloria’s Latin Cuisine: Tex-Mex or Salvadorian? How about Salvatex instead? You can try a variety of fine Latin dishes at Gloria’s, a Lower Greenville classic. Here you’ll find a range of flavorful appetizers, entrees, desserts and margaritas, and you might consider taking a date to Gloria’s for a romantic evening of dancing. Check out the dress code first.
- Dubliner: Pull up a chair, have a drink and share good times with friends in this inviting wood-paneled establishment. This genuine Dublin-inspired bar in Lower Greenville has been rated as one of the best bars in Dallas and the United States. As a Lower Greenville resident, you can enjoy the warm atmosphere, a plate of curry fries and an Irish whiskey in your new hood.
- Good Records: Millennials are an unpredictable bunch, and you never know what gets us hyped. Some may take great joy in collecting vinyl, for example, and if so, they’ll love a trip to Good Records. Plus, this record store has a happy hour, where you can shop while you drink beer and enjoy discounted record prices. So cool.
- Steel City Pops: Inspired by a trip to a Mexican sweet shop in Nashville, Steel City Pops brings refreshing and healthy gourmet popsicles to your palate in Lower Greenville. Made from all-natural, organic ingredients, the yummy creamy flavors range from peanut butter pie or avocado to equally intriguing fruity flavors like mango habanero or lavender lemonade — the perfect treats for a hot day.
4. Oak Lawn
Oak Lawn is one of the larger neighborhoods on our list with a population of over 30,000. Located northwest of downtown, this hood is the center of Dallas’s LGBTQ community, features luxury living and has a vibrant nightlife scene. Oak Lawn is the perfect place for progressive-minded millennials who love to celebrate diversity and surround themselves with the counterculture.
This highly walkable area also features tons of green space and may also appeal to nature-loving millennials. Some Oak Lawn highlights include:
- Turtle Creek Parkway Park: Situated between Oak Lawn and Uptown, this park is a gorgeous green space and ideal for a stroll, picnic or gathering with friends. Enjoy wildlife viewing or hop on the Katy Trail to explore other neighborhoods.
- EatZi’s Market and Bakery: Try something new and unexpected at this European eatery in Oak Lawn. You can enjoy everything from European specialty meats and cheeses to scrumptious pastries. There are dozens of ways to treat your taste buds and spend an afternoon at EatZi’s. Raspberry Pistachio Tartelette, anyone?
- Round-Up Saloon: From line dance lessons to the Yellow Rose of Texas Pageant, this country-western bar is one of Dallas’ prime spots for fun, friends and great times in the gay community.
- JR’s Bar and Grill: An Oak Lawn icon, JR’s Bar and Grill has been a happening club since the 1980s with regular drag shows, entertainment, cheap drinks and a welcoming crowd.
- Uchi: Foodie millennials looking for a global experience will fall in love with Uchi. Uchi offers innovative and fresh Japanese cuisine, making every trip a unique experience. Uchi also provides a creative vegetarian menu for an array of refreshing dishes.
- Chocolate Secrets: Would it not be amazing to live within walking distance of a place called Chocolate Secrets? If you are not a chocolate lover, you can skip this section, but if you are — welcome home. At Chocolate Secrets, you can indulge in artisan truffles, bonbons, pair chocolate with wine and enjoy to-die-for beverages like beer floats and champagne and sorbet floats. They have ice cream, too. And cool events like live music, French lessons and chocolate-making classes. Did you pack your bags yet?
5. Bishop Arts District
For millennials looking for affordable housing, the Bishop Arts District wins first place. Part of north Oak Cliff, this area is quickly transforming into its own entity. With a more small-town feel than other hoods on our list, the Bishop Arts District included a busy trolley station in the 1930s. Now, this hood features over 60 boutiques, tons of dining options, galleries and bars. Just a few highlights from this up-and-coming area include:
- Green Pet: Treat your pooch to an all-natural healthy and delicious snack or toy at this independent pet food shop. They serve only the best for your pup or cat, and they also deliver in case you feel like staying in and binge-watching Netflix with your furriest friend.
- The Wild Detectives: A bookstore plus bar is sure to attract thinking millennials. They not only have books, beer and affordable snacks like breakfast tacos, but they also offer a rich variety of events, including readings, live music and more. The Wild Detectives are on a mission to inspire.
- Espumoso Caffe: Empanadas, acai bowls and flan — if that’s not enough to make you move to the Bishop Arts District, then we don’t know what is. How about free WiFi? Or patio seating for lunch on a sunny afternoon? We’ll meet you there.
- Dude, Sweet Chocolate: To give you an idea of how much you’ll love this place, here are some of the items on the menu — Hippie Crack, Tub of Love and Chocolate “Salami.” To clarify, you can purchase everything from dark chocolate barks to a chocolate potion or whatever the chef feels like whipping up to serve you a chocolate fix. If you adore sweet with salty flavors, you’ll be very happy here.
- Dallas Grilled Cheese Co.: You probably have fond memories of grilled cheese sandwiches growing up. This gooey comfort food is a favorite of many, and thankfully Dallas Grilled Cheese Co. exists in the Bishop Arts District. Choose from delicious soups, salads, sweets, appetizers and of course satisfying grilled cheese sandwiches at this cheesy eatery. They even have the Elvis, which is grilled brioche, peanut butter, banana slices, marshmallows and hazelnut spread. So yum. Did we also mention they have 23 taps, wine and specialty cocktails?
- The Texas Theatre: You don’t have to travel to a pricier neighborhood to enjoy a night of cinema. However, this theater may give you the chills because the Texas Theatre specializes in presenting horror films and classics. It’s also the location of Lee Harvey Oswald’s arrest.
Contact Smart City to Find Best Neighborhoods in Dallas for Millennials
Although we gave you the rundown of the top millennial-friendly hoods in Dallas, we totally get it if you’re still struggling to decide which one you like best. After all, Dallas is a fun, friendly city as a whole, and there are tons of areas we didn’t get the chance to cover. But have no worries — we’re here to assist.
Smart City Locating loves to help people find a home that suits their budget, preferences and personalities. And best of all, our service is free of charge. That’s right, we find the perfect place for you and ask for nothing in return except maybe lunch at Chocolate Secrets — just kidding.
In all seriousness, our service is free because we are paid from a property’s advertising budget. This means it’s free for you, and everyone gets to go home happy. Especially you, because we find you the best home ever.
So, if you’re thinking of moving to Dallas or already on your way, rest assured. No matter which neighborhood you choose, Dallas is a rocking place to live. In this town, millennials can enjoy time with friends, eat mind-blowing food, and have something new, exciting and unique to experience every day.
We get that millennials are hardworking and appreciate a good time. Dallas is one of the best cities in the world for millennials to launch careers, connect with other young professionals and let their creative, open-minded spirits soar. We are stoked to help you build your nest.
Whether you want to live in uptown, downtown or somewhere outside the city, we can’t wait to work with you and welcome you home. Fill out our apartment search form and get started today.