2019 rank: 10
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 in the neighborhood) earned top marks from the district. The small 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.
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 data, school 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 a hot spot, with Detroit-style pies at Blue Pan Pizza, creative patties at Tag Burger Bar, and the endearing Sweet Cooie’s ice cream parlor. On the northern edge of the neighborhood, satisfy growling stomachs at Tommy’s Oriental Thai-Chinese, Mezcal, or diner-style Annie’s Cafe and Bar (the French toast never disappoints). Drinks are plentiful here, too, from contemporary-chic Bar Max 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 many 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 in 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.