2020 rank: 3
Urban gem Congress Park’s leafy streets are populated with well-appointed, single-family Denver Squares, Queen Annes, and bungalows. Bike lanes along East Seventh Avenue Parkway and 12th Avenue, plus numerous bus stops, make commuting easy (Congress Park sits about three miles west of downtown). Plus, Teller Elementary School—one of two schools in the neighborhood—earned top ratings from the district. The compact, namesake green space is the main gathering place, but for a residential, family-friendly district, Congress Park also has plenty of local businesses to support, including the emerging offerings across Colorado Boulevard in the 9th and Colorado development.
Demographics—Get to know your neighbors
Congress Park skews young, with a median age of 34.77 years old. It’s a highly educated community, with 73 percent of the adult (25 and older) population holding a bachelor’s degree or higher. Forty-seven percent of neighborhood commuters report the trip takes between 15 and 30 minutes. When it comes to housing, 55 percent of all units are renter-occupied. Families only comprise about 35 percent of neighborhood households. The average household income is $81,790.
How we got these numbers: We utilized the city’s official list of 78 neighborhoods (only 74 had enough data to be included), and ranked them using four variables: home prices, crime dataschool rankings, and an X factor score that accounts for things like access to open space, proximity to public transportation, and restaurant and shopping options. For more on our methodology, return to the main page.
Eat & Drink
The corner of 12th Avenue and Madison Street is an F&B hotbed, with Detroit-style pies at Blue Pan Pizza, omakase-style sushi at Ronin Congress Park, and the endearing Sweet Cooie’s ice cream parlor. Other worthy spots to satisfy growling stomachs: Tommy’s Oriental Thai-Chinese, Zorba’s, Kitchen Table BBQ, or Annie’s Cafe and Bar (where the French toast never disappoints).
Drinks are plentiful here, too, from Old World–inspired Bar Car to Cerebral Brewing and its enjoyably scientific approach to ale. For a caffeine boost, try Downpours Coffee or Lulu Rose General Store.
Plan A Date
There’s plenty of fun to be had at Congress Park itself thanks to its multitude of tennis and pickleball courts, an outdoor pool, and baseball and softball fields. For more greenery, head just beyond the neighborhood boundaries to enjoy Denver Botanic Gardens or City Park. When the sun sets, catch a local band at Lost Lake or a flick at Sie FilmCenter, home of the nonprofit Denver Film Society and hub for the notable Denver Film Festival (held every November).
It’s easy to lose a couple of hours perusing two Congress Park institutions: Twist & Shout, with its rows upon rows of vinyl and CDs (plus kitschy toys), and, next door, Tattered Cover Book Store, which spreads its wares across two floors and hosts stellar literary events. Inspired by the neighborhood’s green spaces? Pop into Wild Flowers. The 3,000-square-foot gardening store carries everything you need to add some lushness to your everyday and hosts private gardening and terrarium classes.