2020 rank: 15
A decade ago, Five Points—which encompasses the micro-neighborhoods Denverites know as Ballpark, River North (RiNo), and Curtis Park—was barely a blip on would-be homeowners’ radars. The one-time “Harlem of the West” was packed with warehouses and artist studios…and not much else. Today, it’s one of the most energetic areas of the city. Home sale prices aren’t notching the same explosive growth they were a few years back, but they continue to rise and drive ongoing conversations about gentrification. Two of the neighborhood’s three schools have high marks, though Five Points remains one of highest crime areas in the city. Construction is still rampant (hello, new apartment buildings); the good news is that all the ongoing work is bringing improved sidewalks, additional bike lanes, and a new park to the district. In Five Points, it’s really the accoutrements—the abundance of galleries, restaurants, bars, live music venues, and more—that entice people to stay a while.
Demographics—Get to know your neighbors
The median age of residents in Five Points is 33.2 years old. Around 57 percent of the adult (25 and older) population holds a bachelor’s degree or higher. Sixty-six percent of neighborhood commuters report the trip takes less than 30 minutes. When it comes to housing, most of your neighbors will be renters (70 percent of all units are renter-occupied). Seventy-two percent of neighborhood households are made up of singles; just over one-fourth are families. The average household income is $70,971.
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
Five Points is home to some of Denver’s most enticing and exciting food. Many area restaurants are mainstays on our top 25 restaurants list (which took a hiatus in 2020), including globe-spanning venues like Safta and Hop Alley. Plenty of other eateries deserve attention, too, from the East Coast subs at Lou’s Italian Specialties to the original location of breakfast all-star Snooze to soul food at Welton Street Cafe Home of Mona’s. Grab a friend to hit up Denver Central Market or Zeppelin Station, food halls where everyone can order just what they like.
Cafes such as TeaLee’s Teahouse and Bookstore and DC/AM (inside the Ramble Hotel) are reliable favorites for meetings and catch-ups—or a to-go cup of caffeine. As the sun goes down, tipple-seekers can choose their own adventures: Attimo for wine. Rita’s Law for cocktails on the patio. British Bulldog Pub for a pint and football. Or any of the myriad breweries—like sour beer specialists Goed Zuur—for another pint.
Have Some Fun
There are plenty of ways to pass the time in Five Points that don’t involve massive amounts of calories. Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies, sits on the neighborhood’s southwestern edge, alongside the new McGregor Square for pre- or post-game fun. (Tip: Rockpile tickets, a special section above center field, go for under $10.) If you’d rather be part of the action, swim at Mestizo/Curtis Park’s public pool or lace up for one of the regular roller skating parties at Exdo Event Center (when the site resumes regularly scheduled programming, that is).
Live performance venues are also prevalent. Experience an array of genres at Mercury Cafe; jam to live music (finally!) at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom or Larimer Lounge; or enjoy dinner and a show—and a game of volleyball—at Number Thirty Eight. Better yet: Step into the role of lead singer at Voicebox karaoke bar.
If You Do One Thing…
…Take a stroll. Five Points is the heart of Denver’s street art scene. New works pop up monthly thanks to the RiNo Mural Program. Every September, Crush Walls celebrates the area’s vibrant creativity by adding new works to the walls, alleys, and pavement. As you walk, don’t overlook the galleries and studios that pepper the area’s blocks; the RiNo Art District is home to dozens upon dozens of creatives.