Avenue H and Duval Street are the main drags in town for shopping. You’ll find hip cafes like Dolce Vita Gelato and Espresso Bar, where you can get some work done or take a date for drinks and dessert. Antonelli’s Cheese Shop next door provides some of the finest and most unique artisan cheeses and charcuterie—but be prepared, because this goodness doesn’t come cheap.
Hyde Park also caters to vegans and vegetarians at restaurants like The Vegan Nom and Mother’s Café & Garden, with dishes so inventive you won’t miss the meat. You can even get tasty vegan frozen desserts at Sweet Ritual. You can buy your own healthy food to make at home from neighborhood staple Fresh Plus Grocery for times when you want to get in and out more quickly than at the HEB.
With so much delicious food in the neighborhood, it’s not surprising that people want to get some exercise. But even the exercise is laid-back here, and you’ll find a lot of people getting fit at Shipe Park. The park offers something for everyone, with 1.75 acres that include swimming pools, basketball courts, and lushly wooded picnic areas.
You’ll also see a lot of people jogging around the streets of Hyde Park. As a historic district, Hyde Park doesn’t have a lot of sidewalks, but that doesn’t stop those truly dedicated to the activity. The occasionally rocky terrain of Hyde Park is just a better workout for your legs! Many jogging routes will take you past the Hancock Golf Course, the oldest golf course in Texas.
Unfortunately, such a historic neighborhood doesn’t have much in the way of parking. You can drive a car here, but it can be very challenging to find parking. If you rent an apartment in Hyde Park, make sure you carefully check your lease to determine whether the apartment comes with designated parking.
There’s a lot of history in the buildings in Hyde Park. Although it’s a pretty densely packed neighborhood, the buildings still pay homage to their historic origins. Unlike many Texas neighborhoods where strip malls and new construction rule the day, Hyde Park works hard to preserve the past. The Elisabet Ney Museum is a beautiful castle-like estate that honors the works of one of Texas’ most famous sculptors.
You won’t find cookie-cutter homes or gleaming skyscrapers here. There’s a great mix of large, well-maintained old Victorian houses, charming bungalows and duplexes, and a few apartment complexes scattered throughout the neighborhood. The Hyde Park Neighborhood Association works hard to keep the area’s character intact, by restricting the development of new buildings. Hyde Park is also very renter-friendly, with a much lower than average percentage of homeowners. But a lot of the renters have been here for a long time and care about maintaining the neighborhood’s welcoming spirit.
Hyde Park has an excellent location, within just a couple miles of both the University of Texas and downtown Austin. But a neighborhood with this much convenience and character is also in high demand, so be prepared that it may take a while to find an apartment for rent. Be prepared to put in an application right away because there’s so much competition for available units. While landlords are unlikely to offer any discounts, you should be able to find pet-friendly apartments that allow your furry friends—though additional deposits and rent may be required.
Even though downtown Austin is just a couple miles away, Hyde Park feels like a quaint village from the past. The people milling about the streets and bringing their dogs to café patios seems almost like you’re in a different country. Make yourself at home in Hyde Park!