2019 rank: 8
A decade ago, Five Points—which encompasses the micro-’hoods 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 but not a whole lot else. Today, it’s one of the most energetic areas of the city. Though home sale prices aren’t notching the same explosive growth (explaining the seven-spot drop in this year’s rankings) and gentrification is still a concern, the area’s school score did improve slightly. Construction is rampant (hello, new apartment buildings), but the ongoing work is bringing improved sidewalks and additional bike lanes to the district, so we can’t complain (too much). In Five Points, though, it’s really the accoutrements—the abundance of galleries, restaurants, bars, live music venues, and more—that draw people in and entice them to stay.
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
Looking for proof that Five Points is home to some of Denver’s most tempting food? Eight of 5280’s top 25 restaurants of 2019 are located in the neighborhood—Dio Mio and Beckon, among them. Plenty of other eateries deserve attention, too, from the crispy chicken at Birdcall to the original location of breakfast all-star Snooze to shared plates at the always-hopping Work & Class. Grab a friend for a visit to Denver Central Market so you can try more of the food hall’s 11 dining options.
Cafes such as TeaLee’s Teahouse and Bookstore and Stowaway Kitchen & Coffee are reliable favorites for meetings and catch-ups. As the sun goes down, tipple-seekers can choose their own adventures: Attimo for wine. Rita’s Law for cocktails on the patio. The British Bulldog for a pint and football. Or any of the myriad breweries—like Great Divide Brewing Co., one of Denver’s first, which has two locations here.
Have Some Fun
There are plenty of ways to pass the time in Five Points that don’t involve multiplying calories. Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies, sits on the neighborhood’s southwestern edge. (Tip: Rockpile tickets, a special section above center field, retail for under $10.) If you’d rather be part of the action, go for a swim at Mestizo/Curtis Park’s public pool or lace up for one of the regular roller-skating parties at Exdo Event Center.
Live music venues are also prevalent. Enjoy dinner and a show at the funky Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox; experience an array of genres at Mercury Cafe; or jam to indie rock at Larimer Lounge. Or, 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. 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 of creatives.