Welcome to The Taco Street Apartment Guide to Downtown Austin!
Why should you trust our guides?
We’ve toured hundreds of apartments, and helped tons of people find places to live.We’ve seen a lot, and our clients tell us a lot. This is a totally different perspective that you’ll get from Google or Yelp.
But we do have our limitations. We haven’t lived at every apartment complex (because that would take hundreds of years). We’ve been to most apartments, but not all. We’d be lying if we said our guides were objective. They aren’t. Our tastes & opinions may vary from yours, but we hope that we can give you the best insight possible before choosing a place to live.
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Our business is to help people find apartments to live in. The goal is to provide so much f(#*$ing value as possible that you’ll reach out to us to help you find your next apartment. We’re 100% free to work with. Soooo……squid pro row?
What to expect when renting in Downtown Austin
Close your eyes and think of a typical modern city Downtown apartment. That’s basically what you’ll get here. You’re not going to find that charming walkup house with charm, or that cool wide open artist’s loft place you dreamed about when watching your favorite New York City themed sitcom. You’re going to find new buildings with cookie cutter type consistency. To not be too much of a downer, you’re also going to find amazing units with spectacular Downtown and Hill Country views that you can’t get anywhere else.
1 Bedrooms: $1900+
2 Bedrooms $2700+
3 Bedrooms $4000+ (rare to find)
Parking: $75-$150 per car.
Types of Apartments
You’re going to find three types of apartments in Austin. Modern Mid-rise. Highrise, and older Mid-rise.
The Ultimate Apartment List!
Modern Mid Rise Apartments
- Brand new building
- Great walkable part of Downtown, just West of Lamar.
- Beautiful interior
- The freight train is literally right next to the building which is super loud.
It’s a beautiful new mid rise building just west of Lamar. While it’s much nicer than the nearby buildings, 5th Street Commons, and Pressler, the freight train is a big problem right nearby. Rent costs are similar to larger high rise buildings in the interior of Downtown as well. I would consider this building if you prefer a quieter part of Downtown, and can find a unit away from the freight train noise.
5th Street Commons
- Better value than living actually in Downtown
- Some local boutique shops with expensive things
- Close to Mopac, so good if you commute north or South
- Usually has good prices compared to other Downtown properties
- Cheap parking for the area
- A little further outside Downtown compared to the others. The area is not as walkable.
5th Street is a usually a great value to be right near Downtown. It’s probably the best deal out of any building in the area. Even the nearby Pressler tends to be much more expensive. Generally, my clients who are interested in this type of building also wind up looking in East Austin.
- Part of Pressler feels like a quieter residential neighborhood
- Good location. A close to walk to the interior of Downtown.
- The neighborhood is very cute and charmy.
- Some really good spacious floor plans
- Very ugly interiors. I’m not sure who approved of all this, but I’m stunned!
- Prices are usually pretty high here.
- The main street nearby can be loud during busy times.
Pressler is a good overall building, but not great. It’s a mid rise so you’re not getting any spectacular views, but you do get more of a cozy neighborhood feel nearby. Prices tend to be high, which puts you in the category of other buildings nearby in Downtown, which I would argue are better. The interiors are really really ugly which is a shame.
- It’s Downtown
- Pretty much everything else
- The building is ugly
- The amenities are lackluster
- Prices are high for the quality of building
- The nearby freight train is very loud
Surprise! I’m not a fan of this building. It’s dated, expensive, next to the freight train. At these prices, you can get a much better building pretty much anywhere else.
- It’s Downtown!
- It’s got lot’s of live music!
- Kinda close to UT Campus
- Red River is a very loud party and music street on the weekends.
- High prices for the quality of the building
- Interiors aren’t anything special
I usually skip this place. Even though it’s a decent overall building, it’s prices are high for the location, and it’s located on a loud and busy party street. For the same prices you can get much better quality buildings and a better neighborhood in East Austin, just a few blocks down.
Gables Park Plaza
- Another very nice building, right next to Park Tower
- Great amenities like the pool and communal work/lounge area
- Movie theater inside!
- Calm courtyards in the interior
- Great location next to the river and running trails.
- Interior facing units are insulated from a lot of noise
- Lot’s of floor plan variety
- Walk to Trader Joes and everything else in the Seaholm district!
- Like Park Tower next door, it suffers from the same loud train problems
- Many units are also next to Lamar, which gets very congested during rush hour
Gables Park Plaza is a very nice building and community. I like it a lot. But it’s location near the train and Lamar are problematic for noise. I would try to get an interior facing unit here. Otherwise the loud units may be a solid deal-breaker
Swanky Luxury High Rise
AMLI on Second
- It’s a beautiful building
- Great location central in Downtown, and close to the river
- Great River views if you have a southern facing unit
- Great pool and amenity area
- Like many AMLI properties, interiors look outdated
- If you’re going for that high end swanky feel, this isn’t your spot
AMLI on Second will be on your radar if you’re looking for a nice high end building in Downtown. In terms of overall quality and style, I think it ranks comparatively low, but for the right price, it’s hard to ignore.
- Seven is a very nice building
- Amazing pool & amenities
- Very high end interiors with some floor to ceiling windows
- The north building feels like it’s located in a reasonably low key residential neighborhood
- West 6th location. West 6th is a crazy party scene on the weekends. I would hate to have that outside my window every weekend
Seven can be a great building if you’re not facing West 6th. But unfortunately, most of the building does. For the price and quality, I usually learn towards buildings that don’t have a crazy party scene just right outside.
- Great downtown location. Walkable to everything
- Big floor plans! Great for roommates
- Cool industrial loft feel
- Like most AMLI properties, it’s got poor interior design
- Amenities aren’t anything to be excited about
AMLI Downtown can be a great property, especially if you want a larger floor plan with roommates. For what you’ll be paying, you’ll feel like you should be getting more. The quality of the interior feels dated and bland. Worth considering for the right price, but overall there is better quality elsewhere.
Gables Park Tower
- One of the most beautiful buildings in Austin
- Fantastic amenities, and an amazing pool area
- Feels like a high end luxury hotel
- Interiors equipped with bluetooth speakers
- Spectacular views of South Austin and the river
- Awesome location right along the river and running trails. Great if you’re outdoorsy
- Walk to Trader Joes and everything else in the Seaholm district!
- That damned train! It’s the Achilles heel of this building. The freight train comes by multiple times a day, and it’s loud. Very loud. Even the well insulated building still lets through the loud hum of the train.
You’ll have to visit to see if the train noise would be too problematic for you. They do have a cancellation policy where if you can’t handle the noise, you can end the lease early. Otherwise I really like this building. If you’re aiming for high end swankiness, this is a top contender.
Gables Republic Square
- This place is super unique. It’s connected to Hotel Zaza, a big swanky hotel
- Super nice brand new apartment building
- Classy old brick look
- You get to access all of the amazing hotel amenities like the bar, pool, and restaurants
- Outrageously nice interior design
- Very very expensive. It’s aimed at the top of the market where the competition is very high
Since the building just opened up, I don’t have full thoughts on it yet. From what I can see, it’s a fantastically swanky building with an equally beautiful hotel attached. The prices are very very high which isn’t a shocker. My current feeling is that other local high end buildings may be a better overall value.
Camden Rainey Street
- Beautiful modern building
- Awesome rooftop pool and amenities
- Rainey street has a ton of things to do
- Located right on Rainey street which gets super loud on the weekends
Even though it’s a really good building with great amenities, I generally avoid this place. The noise from Rainey Street on the weekends make it really hard to justify. You can get a similar quality building in East Austin at lower prices. There are some quieter parts of the building, but not by much. Unless you’re totally ok with being in the middle of an active party and nightlife zone, I would skip it.
- One of the best rooftop amenity collections in Austin. Rooftop pool, gym, hang out space
- Rainey Street location, nearby the river and all the bars of fun stuff
- Some units have amazing views of Downtown, the river, and East Austin
- Very expensive.
- Known for being a…..festive building
- Very restrictive pool rules make it hard to host friends
- Parking is in a separate building from the main one
Skyhouse is a solid building on the non-party side of Rainey Street. My friends who have lived there tells me it hard a strong party vibe for obvious reasons. It’s pricey, but offers you amazing views of the city, and offers quick access to the river. If you can afford it, it’s worth a peek.
- One of the swankiest buildings in Austin
- Big floor plans with floor to ceiling windows
- Beautiful amenities
- One of the most expensive places to live in Austin
I honestly don’t have many thoughts on the Ashton. While I’ve had many clients in Downtown, none have had a budget capacity for this building. It’s on a different level. For those without a budget, it’s one of the most spectacular buildings in the city. The pool area, the floor to ceiling window-ed units.
- Swanky highrise building
- Great studio floor plans
- Some units have great downtown views
- Feels like a high end hotel
- Feels a bit too much like a corporate hotel rather than a residential apartment
- There’s no real sense of living in Austin when you’re here
- This side of Downtown is known more for commerce than living
- Pool and amenities are underwhelming compared to the other buildings in this category
Whitley usually doesn’t make the cut with my clients. For it’s price point, other buildings offer more. More style, more of an Austin feel, better location, and better amenities. There is nothing inherently bad about this building, but it falls short of the competition.
- One of my personal favorites in Austin!
- Extremely cool style
- Rooftop pool! It’s one of the highest pools in the entire state of Texas
- All the main amenities are on the rooftop. The pool, gym, and community space. It’s a fantastic place to host people, hang out, and enjoy the views
- There’s even a mid-level dog park so you don’t have to leave the building
- Some spectacular floor to ceiling units with amazing views of Downtown and West Austin.
- Right next to Trader Joes & Whole Foods
- Gas stoves! I think it’s the only building with gas stoves
- During the summer, it’s known to have some big pool parties. So it’s definitely more of a festive atmosphere
- Many units are a bit small
I really like the Bowie. It has one of the most interesting and distinct styles of any apartment I know in Austin. The prices are competitive in its category. It has some of the most spectacular amenities in the city. If you’ve got a good budget and are aiming for style, this will be one of your top 5 choices. Very popular with my clients.
- Some of the biggest floor plans in Downtown
- Lots of great retail nearby like Trader Joes and Whole foods
- Some units have amazing downtown views
- Often has competitive pricing
- Huge balconies!
- Lackluster amenities. Gym is decent, but the pool is on the ground floor under-looking the Bowie
- Interior feels dated
- Parking is in a separate building
- Some views are blocked by the Bowie next door
- Floor plans can be a little weird with bedroom location on the inside of the unit without window access
- Feels too much like a hotel
- They don’t seem to have figured out package lockers
Monarch is a beautiful property in a great location. But in it’s category, it’s main benefits are price and floor plan size. It’s lackluster amenities are starkly contrasted by other buildings like Bowie and Northshore. If you’re in this price range, definitely check it out.
- Beautiful amenities and tree-lined pool overlooking the river
- Stunning building inside and out
- Extremely high end style and design
- Amazing pool area lined with trees, and has a very close view of the river
- Lot’s of co-working & community space
- A great place to host guests
- Very expensive
- Some units don’t have a balcony
- Some units face the nearby building, so no view
- May feel a bit too much like a high end hotel
Northshore is the cream of the crop. The big whale in the room. It’s the top of the line. In almost every category, it’s the best quality apartment in Austin. From the ridiculously nice amenities, big floor plans, boutique style, everything. It’s fantastic. It’s also super pricey. This will be near or at the top of your search if you have a big budget and want a beautiful downtown building. It’s main competition is usually the Bowie, but Gables Republic Square may be a close third.
- Stunning hotel style apartment building
- The rooftop lounge is one of the nicest rooftop areas in the entire city
- Some beautiful floor to ceiling window’d units
- Not actually in Downtown
- Pool is kind of meh
I put the Catherine on this list even though it’s technically in South Austin. It’s more of a Downtown Property. It’s a beautiful high rise that compares well to the high-rises in Downtown in terms of price and quality. It sky lounge is one of the coolest amenities of any building in Austin, let alone apartments. It’s absolutely stunning. The rooms are beautifully modern. The pool is kind of lack-luster, but it’s a great building overall. While it’s not in Downtown, it’s a must see if you’re aiming for high rise swankiness.
Windsor on the Lake
- On the quiet side of Rainey Street
- Right next to the river and running trails. Amazing for outdoorsy people
- Beautiful building
- Some very large floor plans
- The interior feels notably older compared to other buildings.
- Rarely has any availability since people usually stay here
- Really lame pool area
Windsor on the Lake is a beautiful property located right next to the water. While It’s on Rainey Street, it’s far enough away from the crazy activities. Compared to neighboring Skyhouse, it’s much more relaxed and quiet. It’s main downside is that it rarely has availability since most residents stay. It’s pool area is kind of crappy too, but oh well.
Older Mid rise
404 Rio Grande
- Great location in the heart of Downtown. Super walkable
- Right along the riverwalk which is kind of cool
- Usually has decent prices for Downtown
- One of the oldest apartments in Downtown
- Ugly building
- Cheap parking
- Units feel and look old
- Depressingly small gym and tiny pool
I’m not a big fan 404 Rio Grand. While the location is good, the building is sub-par in mostly every other category. For the prices you’ll be paying here, you can get much better quality in South or East Austin. I would only consider this place if you absolutely need to be Downtown, and you’re on a relatively tight budget.
Gables West Ave
- Tons of different floor plans
- Cheap parking
- Right next to Trader Joes & the Seaholm district.
- Really disappointing amenities
- Some floor plans don’t come with washer/dryers included
I would only live Gables West Ave if being downtown is an absolute must, and you want to be on the lower budget side for the region. Otherwise you should look to South or East Austin for much better quality apartments. The location is great, but it doesn’t offer much else.
So there we have it folks!! We’ve arrived at our conclusion! Now we’re best friends and now a proficient expert in all things Downtown Austin. Huzzah! Aren’t you pumped to live here?
I hope now you’re all like, “Damn! This guide was badass!” “I’m definitely going to hire them to help me find my next spot”