Atlanta, GA Neighborhood guides

North Lamar, Austin: An Affordable Neighborhood With an International Atmosphere

Looking for a friendly community with international appeal? That’s what you’ll find in North Lamar, Austin. In this little community, you can find Mexican, Vietnamese, Nigerian, Pakistani, Chinese and Tawainese food, all within a few short blocks. 

Where is North Lamar, Austin?

The North Lamar neighborhood is located in North Austin, about 9 miles north of downtown. It’s bordered by North Lamar Blvd. to the west and I-35 to the east, Braker Lane to the north and W Rundberg to the south.

North Lamar Austin location

The community is anchored by Chinatown Center on the corner of North Lamar and Kramer Lane. This 180,000 square foot shopping complex includes the MT Supermarket, an Asian grocer and over 40 independent Asian restaurants and shops.

History

North Lamar Blvd has a long and important history for Austin. Once a simple oxcart path, it later became a primary route between the growing city and the farms dotting the rural North Austin landscape. 

As the roadway grew in the mid-1900s, it attracted a vibrant nightlife. Just across the corner from where MT Supermarket stands today, the Skyline Club once welcomed country music legends like Elvis Presley and Hank Williams. In fact, Hank Williams performed his last-ever show at the Skyline in 1953. Just a few days later, he died of heart failure at just 29 years old.

North Lamar, Austin, holds both single-family homes and apartments, and is known for its affordability. 

Living in North Lamar, Austin

North Lamar, Austin holds a large international community and a great variety of small local businesses. You can travel all around the world here — without leaving the neighborhood. 

Things to Do

There are two parks in or near North Lamar. Brownie Neighborhood Park has a small playground, and plans are underway to add a soccer field and walking paths. 

Just south of the neighborhood is the larger Gustavo L. Garcia District Park, which includes a community garden and recreation center with basketball courts, a rock wall, a fitness center and more. 

Bargain hunters can visit Marketplace Austin, an indoor flea market. Or head up to Chinatown Center to explore the many Asian shops, like Hang Fung Chinese Herbs or Happy Foot Spa for a massage! 

North Lamar Austin shopping

When it’s time to grocery shop, residents have plenty of options in North Lamar, Austin. They can visit MT Supermarket — the largest international grocery store in Texas — for essentials and specialty Asian items. There are also a few smaller international markets, like Selam International Mart & Cafe, which sells Ethiopian groceries. And of course, this is Texas. So there’s an HEB grocery store in the neighborhood as well.

Where to Eat and Drink

Get ready for a culinary experience! There really is something for everyone in this diverse neighborhood!

Mexican food fans will find all the enchiladas and margaritas they could want at Maudie’s or Chuy’s — two of Austin’s most beloved Tex-Mex restaurants. 

 

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If you’re craving a big bowl of soup, try Pho Dan for light, aromatic broth and perfectly chewy noodles. 

In Chinatown Center, there are plenty of options. Baguette House & Café serves Vietnamese food, like spring rolls and banh mi sandwiches. Or visit New Fortune Chinese Seafood Restaurant for dim sum, seafood with XO sauce, or whole Peking duck. 

At the other end of the neighborhood is the simply named African Market/Nigerian Restaurant. This low-key spot serves jollof rice, suya (a spicy beef skewer) and fufu (a dough made from cassava and green plantains). 

Moving to North Lamar, Austin

Real Estate Snapshot 

North Lamar is a renter-dominated neighborhood, with 62% of its residents leasing their homes. If you want to move here, you’ll find plenty of affordable places near shops and restaurants.

North Lamar Austin real estate

It’s also the most inexpensive of Austin’s most popular neighborhoods for renters, with apartments in North Lamar going for $1,105 on average.

Transportation

The North Lamar, Austin, neighborhood is bordered to the east by I-35, which is one of Austin’s primary north/south roadways. This makes transportation into and out of the neighborhood simple. North Lamar is a very busy road, so most people drive around the area rather than walk. 

The MetroBus #1 route comes down Lamar through this area, with stops at both Rundberg and Braker. This bus will take commuters right downtown. Residents can also make a short drive west on Kramer Road to catch the MetroRail, the commuter rail line. This train runs from downtown Austin all the way north to the suburb of Leander.

Schools & Employment

Most elementary school students in North Lamar, Austin, will attend Walnut Creek Elementary School, which is part of the Northeast Austin Communities for Educational Readiness (NACER). NACER schools feed into Northeast Early College High School.

Some students in the southern part of the neighborhood will attend the newer Guerrero Thompson Elementary, which has a modern computer lab and promotes language proficiency. Dobie Middle School serves the area’s students as well, and has a strong fine arts program. It’s also a NACER school. 

High school students may attend Navarro Early College High School or Northeast Early College High School. Both schools focus on college prep, and Northeast has a partnership with Austin Community College to let high school students earn college credits. 

The North Lamar neighborhood is home to many independent local businesses, with owners who also live in the area. A short drive south is the Highland Campus of Austin Community College, which is a large local employer. And to the west is Flextronics factory, which is a global electronics manufacturer.

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About the author

Irina Lupa

Irina Lupa is a creative writer for RENTCafé, where she covers market trends and topics relevant to today’s renters. Before developing a passion for real estate, she focused on fields ranging from automotive electronics to digital business development, digging into tech news from a critical perspective. Irina holds a B.S. in Journalism and Mass Communication. You can connect with Irina via email.

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