Considering a move to Albany? Though it’s significantly smaller than the New York City metro, Nippertown is one of the most affordable places to live in New York and ranked among the best places to live in the Empire State. If you’re a young professional looking to relocate, here are five Albany neighborhoods to consider!
- Home Price: $183,600 median purchase price; $1,084 median monthly rent
- Crime Rate: Safer than 33% of Albany neighborhoods
Located between the bustling Empire State Plaza and landscaped Washington Park, Center Square is a charming Albany neighborhood perfect for young adults. Preserved 1800s rowhomes and Brownstones complement the historic cobblestone street intersections—giving this neighborhood a village-like atmosphere. The Center Square Association helps keep the community closely knit, sponsoring neighborhood clean-up days and social events at local establishments. Plus, residents can find plenty of local shops and restaurants on trendy Lark Street—sometimes called the “Greenwich Village” of the Capital Region. Lark Street is also the site of LarkFest, an annual Albany festival that draws almost 50,000 attendees to experience live music, art displays, delicious food, local vendors, and much more!
Things to Do in Center Square
Tour the grand 19th-century architecture of the Empire State’s governmental seat at the New York State Capitol. Get lost in New York’s rich history while exploring exhibits like Beneath the City: An Archaeological Perspective of Albany at the New York State Museum. Enjoy sophisticated acoustics and lighting during live music, theatre, or comedy performances at historical Lark Hall. Head to Washington Park to wander tree-lined paths, observe the King Memorial Fountain, see a summer play outdoors at the Park Playhouse, or grind the rails at Albany Blue Banks Skatepark. Order hot or iced coffee drinks paired with Alice In Wonderland-themed brunch options like the Gryphon sandwich or Cheshire flatbread at Stacks Espresso Bar. Dig into authentic Mexican cuisine like the Ancho-Chipotle Chicken Burrito, Tamales con Puerco, or Spinach & Portobello Mushroom Quesadillas at El Loco Mexican Cafe. Sample a diverse range of scratch-made meals like the Chimichurri Steak, Street Corn Mac & Cheese, or Brooklyn Pub Burger at Savoy Taproom. Or fill up on a variety of specialty sushi rolls like the Lobster Tempura, Pandora’s Box, or the Beauty and Beast rolls from Shogun.
- Home Price: $206,800 median purchase price; $1,180 median monthly rent
- Crime Rate: Safer than 67% of Albany neighborhoods
If you’re looking for a suburban atmosphere nestled within the urban sprawl of New York’s capital, look no further than Helderberg! Just a ten-minute drive from Downtown Albany, this residential neighborhood offers a low-key vibe while still having easy access to big-city amenities that young professionals love—including bars, cafes, shops, and more! Yet, young adults can also benefit from the small-town atmosphere of the area, thanks to the Helderberg Neighborhood Association‘s sponsorship of Helderberg events like movie nights, picnics, and community clean-ups for residents to bond over. To top it off, this Albany neighborhood is great for those commuting to nearby Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Maria College, and Russell Sage College.
Things to Do in Helderberg
Hone your creative skills by enrolling in adult pottery classes at the colorful Albany Art Room. Book a tee time and swing through 18 holes at Capital Hills at Albany Golf Course. Read amidst the backdrop of the scenic Story Garden, or stop by for knitting and crocheting, book club, board games, and more at the Bach Branch of the Albany Public Library. Take a leisurely stroll or bike ride around the wooded expanse of Buckingham Lake Park. Start your day off right with a Bumbles Breakfast Sando, Supreme Avocado Toast, or The Albany Cardinal Sandwich from Mr Bumbles Cafe. Try the Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza, Ultimate Fountain Burger, or Eggplant Parmigiana served at The Fountain Restaurant—one of Albany’s best family restaurants. Savor “globally flavored” dishes like the Mushroom Swiss Smashburger, Crispy Baja Tacos, or Grilled Jamaican Jerk Chicken Specialty Sandwich at Restaurant 605. Or munch on some fried Moose Sticks before setting into a Bullwinkle burger paired with a Sloop No Pumpkin IPA or Moosehead Lager from Tipsy Moose Tap & Tavern.
- Home Price: $215,000 median purchase price; $939 median monthly rent
- Crime Rate: Safer than 21% of Albany neighborhoods
If you want to relocate to a community steeped in history, architecture, and fantastic nightlife options, consider the Mansion Historic District! Tucked between Lincoln Park and Empire State Plaza, this Albany neighborhood is named for its location near the New York State Executive Mansion. Mansion’s elegant charm is characterized by its historical homes and buildings in styles like Gothic Revival, Greek Revival, and Italianate rowhomes, some of which were built in the 1800s. The area also offers affordable apartments for renters. Plus, with so many businesses in and around Mansion, residents can walk to work or to some of the best bars, live music venues, restaurants, and nightlife hotspots in Albany.
Things to Do in Mansion
Go for a swim in the outdoor pool or play a tennis match with friends at Lincoln Park. Tour the Georgian home of Revolutionary War Major General and U.S. Senator, Phillip J. Schuyler, at the Schuyler Mansion State Historic Site. Catch concerts, college basketball games, comedy tours, and more at Empire State Plaza’s MVP Arena—or see live shows from big names like Andy Grammer, Seth Meyers, and Pete Davidson at uniquely-designed performing arts center The Egg! Embark on a guided tour aboard a surviving WWII Destroyer Escort ship and learn about the naval strategies used in that period at the USS Slater Museum. Fuel up for the day with a breakfast of the Country Fried Steak and Eggs, Feta Cheese Omelet, or Betty’s Italian Omelet at Betty Boop Diner. Chow down the Honey Mustard BBQ Chicken Wrap, Grilled Reuben, or the Cajun Burger served at Hill Street Cafe. Stop in for a Gyro Salad, Philly Cheesesteak, or the six-piece Hot “Zings” chicken wings at Pearl’s Fried Chicken. Reserve a table for a date night in an intimate setting to sample Italian cuisine like Puttanesca, Eggplant with Four Cheeses, Tiramisu, and more at Cafe Capriccio.
- Home Price: $208,533 median purchase price; $1,060 median monthly rent
- Crime Rate: Safer than 88% of Albany neighborhoods
Melrose is a quiet, residential Albany neighborhood lined with oak trees that tower over spacious bungalows, Colonials, Dutch Colonials, and brick ranches. Its prime location near major streets like Washington Ave and Manning Boulevard provides residents with convenient routes for work, school, and pleasure—with Downtown Albany, University at Albany, and Crossgates Mall all mere minutes away! There are also shops, bars, parks, and restaurants located within walking distance of Melrose, helping make it one of the best neighborhoods in Albany for singles and young professionals.
Things to Do in Melrose
Go for a walk or invite your friends for a casual game of basketball, tennis, or baseball at Rosemont Park. Bring your pup out for a day of exercise and socialization among the shady trees found at Westland Hills Dog Park. Take your friends out for a day of fun ice skating at the Swinburne Park Ice Rink from December to March. Catch an Albany Twilight League baseball game at the league’s home field and multipurpose sports complex, Bleecker Stadium. Stop in with friends for a revolving menu of drinks and pub fare like the Swiss Patty Melt, Fish Fry Sandwich, or the Buffalo Chicken Wrap at Lynn’s Uptown Tavern. Sit down in a relaxed environment to enjoy authentic Chinese cuisine like the Szechuan Spicy Chicken, Salt & Pepper Squid, or Singapore Rice Noodles at Northeast Bistro. Get your seafood fix with premium dishes like the Hibachi Lobster Tail, Shrimp Noodles, or Fried Tilapia from Union Seafood. Set aside a night for fine dining in an elegant atmosphere with Italian cuisine like Fettucine Basilico, Spaghetti Amatriciana, and Pollo Arrostito at Grappa ’72.
- Home Price: $203,500 median purchase price; $1,080 median monthly rent
- Crime Rate: Safer than 50% of Albany neighborhoods
Looking for a quiet, safe, and affordable neighborhood in Albany? Check out the Pine Hills neighborhood, named for the pine trees that once dotted the landscape. Pine Hills offers a vibrant, youthful culture that draws young professionals and students—thanks in large part to its proximity to local restaurants, bars, nightlife, and college campus amenities. The area features Colonial Revival, Queen Anne, and Folk Victorian homes—as well as duplexes and apartments for rent. Students can take advantage of the area’s walkability for travel to The College of Saint Rose, or take a five-minute drive to Russell Sage College or The Downtown Campus of the University at Albany.
Things to Do in Pine Hills
Catch screenings of upcoming blockbusters at the only dine-in theatre in Upstate New York, the Madison Theatre. Play a game of baseball or tennis with friends, or join the Albany Tennis Club at Ridgefield Park. Rent a boat and spend a serene afternoon on the water while you fish at Washington Park Lake. Find your next read, explore professionally-curated art throughout the building, center yourself with Tai Chi sessions, or take part in other adult programs at Albany Public Library’s Pine Hills Branch. Satisfy your brunch cravings with a Wild Mushroom Omelette, Nashville Hot Breakfast Burrito, or the Grilled Cheese Beni at Cafe Madison. Dine on authentic Colombian dishes like Maduros con Queso, Chorizo y Arepa con Queso, and Steak Tacos at Moliendo Cafe. Tuck into Southern-style comfort foods like the Fried Green Tomatoes, Spicy Truffle Chicken Sandwich, or Hot Chick Soul Bowl at The Cuckoo’s Nest. Or grab a slice of homemade specialty pies like the White Tomato Bacon, Italian Stallion, or the Brooklyn Cob from Paesan’s Pizza & Restaurant.
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Neighborhood statistics from AreaVibes.