2019 rank: 46
During the past few years, Westwood was named a Colorado Creative District and Morrison Road, which cross cuts the neighborhood, became a focal point for development and pedestrian-minded improvements. Suddenly, the Spanish-speaking, working-class neighborhood on Denver’s western border became a place of interest for buyers seeking entrée into the city’s red-hot market. Today marks Westwood’s inaugural appearance in the top 25, and it also earns the title of the least expensive neighborhood on our list, with average home prices under $350,000. As you can probably guess, gentrification is a major concern here. But efforts to maintain its historic and contemporary Hispanic and Latino heritage are underway. KIPP Sunshine Peak Elementary recently opened in the neighborhood with a biliteracy model, and a neighborhood recreation center is in the works.
Demographics—Get to know your neighbors
Westwood is one of the most youthful neighborhoods in Denver, with a median age of 28.7 years old; in fact, 35 percent of residents are younger than 18. One-quarter of the adult (25 and older) population holds a bachelor’s degree or higher; 84 percent graduated high school or earned the equivalent. Seventy-four percent of neighborhood commuters report the trip takes 15 to 45 minutes. When it comes to housing, renters make up the majority: 61 percent of all units are renter-occupied. Families account for 75 percent of area households. The average household income is $40,241.
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
As you might expect, Mexican and Latin American eats are abundant here: Start your tour with Kahlo’s Restaurant (decorated with art by Frida Kahlo), X’Tabai Yucateco (a food truck focused on Mayan recipes), and the bakery at Contreras Market.
There are also a number of reliable Asian eateries, including Pho Duy and Lao Wang Noodle House. Chef Andrea Murdoch shares her Indigenous heritage through specialized dining experiences via Four Directions Cuisine. And you can only get your hands on Matt Dulin’s tasty sourdough and baked treats via delivery or pre-ordered pickup, but it’s worth the effort for a bite of whatever Getright’s Bakery is cooking.
Cabrona Coffee, which is currently operating out of a pop-up location due to the pandemic, serves Mexican-inspired drinks. Cultura Craft Chocolate is a Latina-owned bean-to-bar sweet maker (try a bite of the whiskey and nibs creation).
Will Walk For Art
Westwood is known for its brightly painted buildings and dense concentration of murals, many of which celebrate Latino culture. One of the most recent was painted by Juan Fuentes in October 2020; extending the full block, it depicts faces from the community.
If You Do One Thing…
…Cross your fingers that Westwood Chile Fest returns in September 2021. The free, annual event, postponed last year due to the pandemic, is a celebration of Hispanic culture through food, art, and music.