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Safe, Affordable Neighborhoods in Newark in 2024

Living in Newark? New Jersey’s largest city has several diverse neighborhoods with budget-friendly housing, low crime rates, convenient amenities, and more. If you’re moving to Newark, here are five safe, affordable neighborhoods in Newark to consider!

Central Business District

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  • Home Price: $129,883 median purchase price; $889 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 55% of Newark neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families

As Newark’s downtown area, the Central Business District (CBD) is home to an abundance of arts, entertainment, affordable apartments, and condos. Singles and young professionals can find job opportunities close to home with Fortune 500 companies like Prudential Financial or other employers in any of the city’s top industries, which include insurance, banking, and education. Newark Penn Station and I-280 are also nearby, so commuting in and out of the neighborhood to the rest of Newark—or even to New York City—is fast and convenient. This Newark neighborhood also offers diverse dining and entertainment options along Market St. and Broad St. And because CBD is the city center, you can find professionals gathering to mingle and unwind at the lively bars and pubs spread around the area during lunchtime and after work.

Things to Do in Central Business District

Check out music artists like Marisa Monte and Patti Labelle, comedians like Hannah Berner and Tom Papa, world-class dance, and more at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. See artists like Bon Jovi and Janet Jackson perform or watch an exciting hockey match at Prudential Center. Gaze at inspiring works of art from around the world in exhibits like Innovators in Southwestern Jewelry and Saya Woolfolk: Tumbling into Landscape at the Newark Museum of Art. Learn about Harriet Tubman’s life, her contributions to the abolitionist movement, and her work as a conductor on the Underground Railroad at Harriet Tubman Square. Keep it casual and grab Tex-Mex favorites like the Chicken Quesadilla, Big Soft Taco, or Taco Salad at Dario’s Restaurant. Savor slow-simmered Oxtail, Curry Goat, or the G.O.A.T at Downtown Caribbean Eats. Come hungry and try the Fried Chicken Meals, Fried Fish Meals, or Chicken & Waffles at Cornbread Newark. Or get your fill of delicious Italian dishes like a Chicken Parm wood oven pizza, Penne Vodka, or Toscana at Ellie’s Bistro.

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Forest Hill

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  • Home Price: $210,724 median purchase price; $929 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 85% of Newark neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals families, retirees

Forest Hill is a popular spot for families, as well as singles and young professionals in particular—thanks to the Newark neighborhood’s close-knit feel and unique community events like PorchFest (organized by the Forest Hill Community Association). Forest Hill is primarily a residential area with quiet streets, picturesque parks, and inviting green spaces where you can enjoy outdoor activities with your neighbors and family. This Newark neighborhood’s Colonial Revival, Beaux-Arts, and Victorian-style homes tend to be larger than their more modern counterparts, giving residents plenty of space to grow while also getting to enjoy the historical architecture. To top it off, the area also has great schools like the high-performing Robert Treat Academy and Park Elementary School, making it one of the best Newark neighborhoods to raise a family!

Things to Do in Forest Hill

Jog by the lake or walk through the most extensive collection of cherry blossom trees in the U.S. during the Annual Cherry Blossom Festival, attracting about 7,000 people each year at Branch Brook Park. Play a round of tennis, then take a break to view the statue of the court’s namesake at the Althea Gibson Tennis Court. Admire the oldest home in Newark at Sydenham House—a saltbox-style abode built under British rule during the 18th century. Order a classic Sicilian Pizza, Vodka Sauce Pizza, Manicotti, or Baked Ziti at Frank’s Pizzeria. Sample authentic Puerto Rican and Caribbean food like Mofongos con Carne, Bistec en Salsa Criolla, or Chicharron de Pollo at Taino’s Kitchen. Treat your sweet tooth to Joey’s Famous Black and White Cookies, Linzer Tarts, or Whoopie Pies at Joey’s Fine Foods. Or grab hot dogs like the Signature Hot Onion, Chili Cheese and Potato, or Mac n’ Cheese at Chris’ Red Hots.

North Ironbound

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  • Home Price: $220,131 median purchase price; $1,052 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 90% of Newark neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

Bordering the Passaic River is North Ironbound, a diverse neighborhood with a thriving food scene. Due to its outstanding eating options—particularly from Spain and Latin America—North Ironbound has been recognized as “Newark’s Culinary Gem” and has become a top choice to live. With 170 restaurants, markets, and stores, you’re sure to find something to fill your stomach! North Ironbound’s diverse culture can be experienced through annual events like the Portugal Day festival. With low crime rates and affordable housing options—including condos, apartments, single-family homes, and more—North Ironbound is a favorite Newark neighborhood among young professionals and families alike.

Things to Do in North Ironbound

Rent a kayak and explore the Passaic River, take a walk by the water, or do some outdoor yoga at Riverbank Park. Support your local community by getting your fresh produce and baked goods from the farmers market at Down Bottom Farms. Take a short trip across the river and cheer on the New York Red Bulls (MLS) at Red Bull Arena. Play a friendly game of basketball, bring your little ones to the playground, or take a walk at the 13-acre Independence Park. Enjoy the laid-back atmosphere, expansive beer menu, and house specialties like the Cajun Burger, Chicken Parmigiana Sandwich, and Jamaican Jerk Chicken at “Newark’s first gastropub”, Bello’s Pub & Grill. Dine on authentic Spanish dishes like Mariscada Fornos, Pella Valenciana, or Lechon Asado amid elegant, Old World charm at Forno’s of Spain. Or enjoy Korean-Mexican fusion cuisine like Bulgogi Quesadillas or Galbi Tacos at Takorea BBQ.

University Heights

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  • Home Price: $146,370 median purchase price; $910 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 35% of Newark neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Students, singles, young professionals, families

Though it’s home to local universities like Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, New Jersey Institute of Technology, and Essex County College, University Heights is more than just a neighborhood for college students. Along with its great walkability, residents of University Heights have easy access to NJ Transit public transportation like Newark Light Rail or buses to get around. Its budget-friendly apartments and condos, and quick access into Downtown Newark also make it one of the best neighborhoods for singles and young professionals! And healthcare professionals looking for jobs close by can find opportunities with major employers like University Hospital and Saint Michael’s Medical Center!

Things to Do in University Heights

Go for a morning stroll or jog at Veterans Memorial Park. Visit one of the last surviving examples of Second Renaissance Revival architecture in Newark at the Feigenspan Mansion. Set your sights on the stars with fascinating exhibits and dazzling celestial shows at the Dreyfuss Planetarium. Visit the Ballantine House, a stunning restored Victorian mansion—or immerse yourself in exhibits like Arts of Global Africa at The Newark Museum of Art. Start your day tasting New Jersey’s take on Southern comfort breakfast foods like a Classic Egg Panini, Fish & Grits, or Kitchen Omelet at Vonda’s Kitchen. Get your caffeine fix with an Iced Dirty Chai Latte, Macchiato, or Kanela Latte at Kanela. Turn up the heat with a Dublin sandwich, Resa Ruben sandwich, or a St. Gerard pizza on the patio at Resa Grill. Satisfy your hunger with a taste of Japan with dishes like Chicken Teriyaki, Salmon Don Combo, or a Miami roll at Sakura Japan.

Weequahic

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  • Home Price: $188,375 median purchase price; $1,027 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 75% of Newark neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

Weequahic was once a parcel of farmland—now, this Newark neighborhood is 311 acres of parkland with affordable apartments, single-family homes, and diverse culinary scene. While this neighborhood is perfect for everyone, it’s especially great for young professionals looking for an affordable Newark neighborhood. With quick access to I-78 and proximity to Newark Liberty International Airport, professionals are able to commute more easily.

Things to Do in Weequahic

Take part in outdoor festivals, have a picnic by the 80-acre Weequahic Lake, or go jogging at Weequahic Park. Tee off for an 18-hole game at Newark’s first public golf course, Weequahic Golf Course. Plan a play date and take your children to the splash pad at Saint Peter’s Park. Dip in the pool or shoot some hoops at the Marquis Porter Sports Complex. Indulge in African favorites like Jollof Rice with Turkey, Efo Riro with Pando, and Tilapia Fish Pepper Soup at African Pot with Temmy. Try the California Cheeseburger, Egg Foo Young, or Crispy Jumbo Shrimp at Aishah’s Chinese Halal Restaurant. Or satisfy your sugar craving with an Apple Turnover, Blueberry Muffin with Butter, or Pound Cake at Level One Bakery!

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Neighborhood statistics from AreaVibes

Pinterest Graphic: Living in Newark, NJ: 5 Safe, Affordable Neighborhoods

About Mike Beutler

Mike Beutler is a writer and digital content specialist who transitioned to self storage in 2020 after several years in the airline industry. His travels cultivated a passion for exploring cities across the U.S. and abroad and inspired him to learn more about practical insights for urban living. With 14 moves under his belt, both locally and cross-country, he also has a passion for minimalism and organization, and sharing tips to help others make any space feel like home while staying organized.