Thinking about living in Newark? New Jersey’s largest city has several neighborhoods with budget-friendly housing, low crime rates, convenient amenities, and fun things to do. If you’re moving to Newark, here are five safe, affordable neighborhoods you should consider!
- Central Business District
- Forest Hill
- North Ironbound
- University Heights
Central Business District
- Home Price: $129,883 median purchase price; $889 median monthly rent
- Crime Rate: Safer than 60% of Newark neighborhoods
- Perfect For: Singles, young professionals
As Newark’s downtown area, the Central Business District is home to an abundance of arts, entertainment, and affordable apartments and condos. Young professionals can find job opportunities close to home with Fortune 500 companies like Prudent 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 traveling in and out of the neighborhood to the rest of Newark—or even to NYC—is fast and convenient.
Things to Do in Central Business District
Check out world-class dance, music, theatre performances, 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, thought-provoking, and innovative works of art from around the world at Newark Museum of Art. Listen to live music or listen to hilarious comedy sets at Kilkenny Alehouse, where you can enjoy 13 rotating on-tap beers, as well as late-night snacks like Burger Sliders. Keep it casual and grab Tex-Mex favorites like the Chicken Quesadilla at Dario’s Restaurant. Savor Slow-Simmered Oxtail, Curry Goat, and other savory entrees at Downtown Caribbean Eats. Or come hungry to Dinosaur Bar-B-Que—the Creole Deviled Eggs, Chopped Brisket, and Dino Poutine are all must-tries!
- Home Price: $210,724 median purchase price; $929 median monthly rent
- Crime Rate: Safer than 75% of Newark neighborhoods
- Perfect For: Families, retirees
Just 30 minutes outside of New York City, Forest Hill is a popular spot for families in particular. Its Colonial Revival, Beaux-Arts, and Victorian houses tend to be larger than their more modern counterparts, giving residents plenty of space to grow. 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
See the largest collection of cherry blossom trees in the U.S. as they bloom every spring at the Annual Cherry Blossom Festival or go jogging by the lake at Branch Brook Park. Play a round of tennis, then take a break to admire the statue of the court’s namesake at the Althea Gibson Tennis Court. Visit the Sydenham House, a Salt-box style home built under British rule at the turn of the 18th century. Order a classic Sicilian Pizza or customize a pie with your choice of toppings at Frank’s Pizzeria. Sample authentic Peruvian dishes like Lomo Saltado and some Parrillada at Polleria Parrilladas Hiros. Take your tastebuds to Puerto Rico with a plate of Salmon Relleno con Tostones at Taino’s Kitchen. Fill up with an order of Wings and Waffles or try a Pepper Steak Sandwich for lunch at Omar’s Cafe. Treat your sweet tooth to Joey’s Famous Black and White Cookies at Joey’s Fine Foods. Or grab a Belly Buster Dog on-the-go from J&J’s Hotdog Food Truck.
- 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
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. The area is also renowned for its incredible food scene, which features a wide range of international cuisine, particularly from Spain and Latin America. North Ironbound’s diverse culture can even be experienced through local cultural events like the annual Portugal Day festival!
Things to Do in North Ironbound
Marvel at stunning street art at The Allery, an outdoor gallery where pieces are always changing. Rent a kayak to take out onto the Passaic River, take a walk by the water, or do some outdoor yoga at Riverbank Park. Cheer on the New York Red Bulls (MLS) at Red Bull Arena. Head to Iberia Peninsula Restaurant to taste their signature Rodizio, and make sure to complement your meal with a glass of Spanish wine. Pull up a chair at Newark’s first Gastropub Bello’s Pub & Grill and enjoy the laid-back atmosphere, expansive beer menu, and house specialties like Momma’s Meatball Parm Sandwich. Dine on authentic Spanish dishes like Mariscada Fornos and Pez Espada 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.
- Home Price: $146,370 median purchase price; $910 median monthly rent
- Crime Rate: Safer than 40% of Newark neighborhoods
- Perfect For: Students, singles, young professionals
Though it’s home to local universities like Rutgers University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, and Essex County College, University Heights is more than just a neighborhood for college students. Its budget-friendly housing and quick access into Downtown Newark make it one of the best neighborhoods for singles and young professionals as well. Not to mention, health care 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 the Feigenspan Mansion to see one of the last surviving examples of Second Renaissance Revival architecture in Newark. Set your sights to the stars with fascinating exhibits and dazzling celestial shows at Dreyfuss Planetarium. Experience New Jersey’s take on Southern comfort food like Mac n’ Cheese, Collard Greens, and Vonda’s Famous Famous Bean Dip at Vonda’s Kitchen. Turn up the heat with some BBQ Jamaican Jerk Jumbo Chicken Wings on the patio at Resa Grill. Grab a table at BQN Grill for some flavorful Puerto Rican fare like Pollo Guisado or Shrimp Mofongo. Or dig into a bowl of Shoyu Ramen and order an Avocado Roll from Ramen Gami.
- Home Price: $188,375 median purchase price; $1,027 median monthly rent
- Crime Rate: Safer than 80% of Newark neighborhoods
- Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees
With abundant green space, affordable apartments and single-family homes, and quick access to I-78 and Newark Liberty International Airport, Weequahic is among Newark’s best neighborhoods for all lifestyles. Additionally, Weequahic is about 30 minutes outside of New York City, so residents can take advantage of the Big Apple’s arts and entertainment, career opportunities, and nightlife when they want to get away!
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 Weequahic Golf Course, Newark’s first public golf course. Take a dip in the pool or shoot some hoops at the Marquis Porter Sports Complex. Dig in to a Pastrami on Rye or a Beef Brisket Sandwich and enjoy the family-friendly atmosphere at Bragman’s Delicatessen. Order unique takes on classic Italian favorites like Chicken Parmigiana Pizza or tried-and-true dishes like an Old-Fashioned Sicilian Pie at Napoli Pizza. Try everything from California Cheeseburgers to Egg Foo Young at Aishah’s Chinese Halal Restaurant. Or satisfy your sugar craving with Lemon Pound Cake and Coconut Custard Pie at Level One Bakery!
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Neighborhood statistics from AreaVibes