Mueller is one of the most interesting neighborhoods in Austin. It gets its name from Robert Mueller Municipal Airport (no, not that Robert Mueller). This Robert was an important commissioner guy who apparently did enough important things to warrant his name on an airport.
Obviously, it is no longer an airport. Instead, there was a giant plot of land (about 700 acres) that needed to be developed. And you know what happens next! Master community development plans!
I cringe when I hear “master planned community”. I think soulless bland sameness. Corporate slogans. Boring suburbia. Overly optimistic renderings. Pretty words like innovative, sustainable, community. All of that stuff.
But with Mueller, it’s different.
Yes, it’s master planned. Yes, it’s full of brand new buildings. It is full of big retail shops.
But, Mueller is actually a wonderful place to live. Maybe one of the best neighborhoods in Austin.
True to the promised ideas, it is innovative. It is a legit community. It is everything it was supposed to be. Walkable. Sustainable. All of it.
Mueller is almost too nice. When you first drive in, you’ll see brand new everything. Apartments, office buildings, townhomes. The trees are pretty and manicured. In the center, there’s a large pond with cute ducks doing duck things. Next to it, you’ll find families lounging around, kids playing, dogs chasing balls. The stores are a mix of big box national chain business, and cool local boutiques.
Mueller is extremely well positioned. The neighborhood itself is small, so if you work nearby, it’s super easy to walk to work. But if you happen to work in Downtown or North Austin, you have easy access Airport blvd and I35. You can get to Downtown in 15 minutes, University of Texas in 10, and to the Domain in 20.
Cost of Rent
Overall, Mueller is more on the expensive side, but it’s much lower than Downtown and a little cheaper than East Austin. With a roommate, it’s a great value.
- Studios: $1300+
- 1 Bedrooms: $1400+
- 2 Bedrooms: $1900+
- 3 Bedrooms: $2500+
Things to do!
Thinkery – This is a really cool kids museum of science. It’s a great place to spend time with the family and get kids all geeked out on science.
Mueller Farmers Market: Every Sunday 9am-2pm. I seriously love this farmer’s market. It’s one of the best I’ve ever been to (and I’ve been to plenty) There’s dozens of people from Farmers, craftsmen, and culinary entrepreneurs showcasing their best stuff. You may even find a goat or two. Families and their doggos play around in the park nearby. Couples picnicking, It’s an amazing way to spend a Sunday. My favorites are Mum Foods (some of the best BBQ in Austin), Pure Luck (the best goat cheese I’ve ever had) and Texas Keeper (delicious cider).
HEB: I think this is the best HEB in Austin. It’s seriously nice.
Xian Sushi & Noodle: Amazing and cheap Chinese food. Their noodle soup and happy hours are the bomb.
Alamo Drafthouse – Needs no introduction. One of the many branches of the coolest theater in Austin. This one is no exception.
Kyoten Sushiko – From what I’ve heard, it’s some of the best sushi in Austin.
Contigo: A little outside Mueller is one of the coolest restaurants in Austin. It’s got a beautiful authentic vibe, and delicious food.
Loca D’Oro: This is one of Austin’s best restaurants. Their brunch is fantastic.
Rebel Cheese: I’m not a vegan, but this place is a super interesting place to try new vegan stuff.
Skylark Lounge – Technically outside Mueller, but it’s one of the coolest music venues in Austin for blues and jazz.
The companies in those giant new office buildings.
- Dell Children’s Medical Center
- Texas Mutual Insurance Company
- University of Texas’ Dell Pediatric Research Institute
Overall Pros & Cons
- Great location
- Best of both worlds when it comes to a quiet suburban feel mixed with a modern city. It’s the perfect balance
- Parks to play in, take kids & pets around
- Close to Downtown
- Close to I35
- Close to East Austin
- Apartments can get expensive, but not as much as Downtown
- May feel a bit too manufactured.
- More of a quiet suburban vibe than an authentic austin feel.
- Local shops are mostly just big commercial chains, useful, but not with much character
What do I think?
I think Mueller is a great neighborhood. It’s a community designed for people, not cars. There a good mix of apartments and houses all in a walkable community. It’s almost too nice. Everything looks straight out of a master planned powerpoint presentation given to sophisticated investors.
But I would be lying if I said I didn’t appreciate it. The farmers market is one of the best I’ve ever been to. I see huge numbers of families and people just strolling around enjoying themselves, and being happy. It’s a Utopian neighborhood for people who want a quiet small town feel while still being near the heart of the city. It’s a great blend. While it doesn’t come with the charm and natural personality of Austin, you can’t go wrong here.