Moving to a new city is always challenging. And a large part of that challenge is deciding where in that new city to put down roots. There are so many things to consider when weighing your options—neighborhood safety, quality of schools, house styles, convenience of the location—it all can be quite overwhelming.
That’s why we’ve done the research, so you don’t have to. You’ve no doubt seen our Oklahoma City Guide, which includes a short section on a few of Oklahoma City’s most popular neighborhoods.
This list and our “Best Places to Live in Oklahoma City,” “Best Suburbs of Oklahoma City,” and our “Best Neighborhoods for Families in Oklahoma City” lists are more in-depth neighborhood guides meant to examine what it’s like living in each of these highlighted areas, with links to popular destinations, as well as available houses for sale and apartments for rent. (And by way of introduction, we’re Bellhop—movers in Oklahoma and beyond.)
A Little About Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City was settled in 1889, and the greater region became the state of Oklahoma in 1907. Not long after, Oklahoma City became a major center for oil production and experienced a massive boost in its economy. Its population grew, its popularity grew, and the city looked like it would keep moving up.
By the ‘40s, Oklahoma City was described as “mighty pretty to see” in Nat King Cole’s famous jazz song Route 66. And as the civil rights era dawned, Oklahoma City led the charge in major civil rights campaigns, including leading the first sit-in in American history.
By the ’80s, Oklahoma saw a large population decline with the development of residential areas outside city limits. And in 1995, the city endured the traumatic Oklahoma City Bombing.
But residents and city leaders were not ready to give up on their home. They developed a major renovation project, MAPS, which revitalized the city, raising over a billion dollars for improvements like a ballpark, canal, public library, indoor arena, and civic center. Today, Oklahoma City continues to grow, and it’s now a buzzing hub of thriving and diverse residents.
The city features fast-developing neighborhoods, noteworthy attractions, and affordable housing. The historical and cultural roots of the area are still protected, with jazz and blues music venues speckling the city. And the city’s nightlife continues to transform with startup restaurants, hipster cafes, and dozens of breweries.
Below, we’ve listed and described the five neighborhoods that are quickly growing in popularity. Keep reading for our list of OKC’s top five up-and-coming neighborhoods.
PASEO ARTS DISTRICT
This colorful corner of the city sits just a few miles north of the city’s downtown. The area is packed with diverse artists, eclectic galleries, studios, and shops. Paseo Arts District proudly displays its distinct Spanish Revival architecture, with many of its buildings featuring tall arched windows and doorways, pastel stucco, and wave-style roof tiles.
The walkable neighborhood center is bordered by residential areas on all sides. The surrounding historic area was ranked as one of the top 10 great neighborhoods in America by the American Planning Association. The district is filled with diverse residents and is a top pick among locals looking for comfy homes in a vibrant community.
What’s Happening in Paseo Arts District
This eclectic area is one of the best parts of the city to explore on foot. The district is home to over 80 artists and their galleries, shops, and studios. Plus, Paseo Arts District offers several great bars and restaurants, like Rooster Bar, Picasso Cafe, and Scratch.
Paseo Arts District also hosts regular community events. The most popular event brings crowds from throughout the city to Paseo each month. On the first Friday and Saturday of each month, Paseo opens its storefronts for one of the oldest art walks in Oklahoma City. The district hosts art receptions, restaurants and shops offer discounts, and galleries present their finest displays for this community-wide event.
Schools in Paseo Arts District
Schools in the area include David R. Lopez Community School, Bishop John Carroll School, and Harding Fine Arts Academy, among others.
Homes in Paseo Arts District
Paseo offers a wide range of housing options, with single-family homes, historical houses, Spanish architecture, and apartments. Families and young professionals looking for their first home love this area, where single-family homes can be purchased for under $200K.
Bricktown is located just a quick walk from downtown OKC’s many offerings. Filled with hopping restaurants and bars, this nightlife hub has become a top destination for visitors and OKC residents alike. Many young professionals and families are happy to call Bricktown home. And houses don’t stay on the market for very long.
What’s Happening in Bricktown
Locals and visitors enjoy the many nearby activities in Bricktown. From cowboy museums to massive music venues to climbing gyms, theaters, botanical gardens, and zoos, this area offers quite the spread of activities and attractions.
Hop on a water taxi along the Bricktown Canal. Watch the Oklahoma City Dodgers at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. Or enjoy a night out on the town and sample some dishes and drinks at the popular Abuelo’s Mexican Restaurant, Taxadelphia, or Bricktown Brewery.
Schools in Bricktown
Schools in the area include John Rex Elementary School and Oklahoma City Girls Art School, among others.
Homes in Bricktown
Bricktown offers a blend of historical homes and newly constructed, modern houses. Because of its city-central location, Bricktown’s housing is also full of towering apartments, modern condos, and tightly-packed townhomes.
Plaza District is packed with locally owned and retail shops, galleries, performance venues, and neighborhood bars and restaurants. Locals enjoy perusing handmade crafts, vintage clothes, and retro furnishings in the shops scattered throughout the area. Plaza District is also home to several hip salons, tattoo studios, and graphic designers.
Named after the Plaza Theater built in 1935, Plaza District is one of Oklahoma City’s art-filled and up-and-coming hubs. The area has become a popular spot for local artists and a magnet for local businesses. Now, the neighborhood’s historic theater hosts nationally renowned live performances and operates under the name Lyric on the Plaza Theater, making this place a popular spot to live or visit.
What’s Happening in Plaza District
This artsy district hosts regular creative community events. The popular and reoccurring block party “LIVE on the Plaza” happens on the second Friday of each month. This party features artists, local shops, and special events and entertainment. The city also gathers for the Plaza District Festival and the area’s host of other regular community events and activities. In addition to shows, the Lyric Theater offers dance, theater, and painting classes.
Plaza District has a variety of gourmet dining and drinking options. Oak & Ore serves some of the best craft beer in the state with 36 rotating taps and a full food menu. Roxy’s Ice Cream Social and Pie Junkie satisfy the locals’ sweet teeth. And Maples Barbecue by The House OKC has become the top pick for local eats.
Schools in Plaza District
Schools in the area include Gatewood School and Hawthorne School among others.
Homes in Plaza District
Plaza District’s housing options range far and wide. With plenty of apartments, many young professionals have found a happy home here. But the area also appeals to new homeowners, with many charming single-family homes for under $200K. This is a neighborhood you can move to and stay. For families looking to upgrade, Plaza District also offers many beautiful and larger homes to grow into.
The Deep Deuce District is located just north of Bricktown. In the 20s and 30s, this area was the heart of African-American culture in the city. The area was once home to legendary blues and jazz musicians like Jimmy Rushing and Charlie Christian as well as the award-winning American novelist Ralph Ellison. And its rich cultural history is cherished and preserved among residents.
Today, Deep Deuce is still known for its incredible jazz music and vibrant artsy vibes. It has become a popular urban housing location with numerous neighborhood hubs and hangouts. And the vibrant nightlife scene brings together Deep Deuce residents and locals from the surrounding neighborhoods.
What’s Happening in Deep Deuce
Deep Deuce’s hip central area offers whiskey bars, cocktail lounges, music venues, and a range of restaurants from casual hot dog hubs to upscale New American creations. Locals gather for live music at the Deep Deuce Grill. Stag Lounge is a popular spot and serves hundreds of whiskey varieties and different spirits. And Anchor Down serves the neighborhood’s most sought-after grub.
Schools in Deep Deuce
Schools in the area include The Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics and John Rex Elementary School, among others.
Homes in Deep Deuce
This neighborhood has a range of affordable housing options. The lovely homes and apartments in Deep Deuce blend modern with historic. Many of its housing buildings sport stately brick exteriors. And its townhomes show off gorgeous renovated interiors.
The popular and vibrant Midtown sits just north of downtown and is known for its great shops, dining options, events, and nightlife. This area is home to diverse residents, has a welcoming atmosphere, and boasts multiple local and independent businesses. Midtown blends the bustle of downtown with the preserved historic neighborhoods further north. It’s growing rapidly with new residents, businesses, and rehabbed historical buildings.
What’s Happening in Midtown
Midtown is where locals find some of the best restaurants, shops, pubs, and bars in the city. Elemental Coffee starts off many residents’ days. Shopping is a pleasure along the streets of midtown, with beautiful and unique local stores like Barkeep Supply, Chirps and Cheers, Floral and Hardy, and mode.
Local eateries and drinkeries draw Midtown residents and visitors alike. The Bleu Garten serves drinks and rotates a large list of local food trucks. 1492 New World Latin Cuisine serves top-notch street tacos. Thai Kitchen creates authentic Asian dishes. And Ludivine packs huge flavor onto their small plates. This area hosts a ton of local events, some art- and music-themed, some dog-themed, some with bingo and sausages!
Schools in Midtown
Schools in the area include Eugene Field Elementary School, Classen School of Advanced Studies, and Dove Science Academy, among others.
Homes in Midtown
Midtown offers a range of housing options, from affordable apartments to stately historical homes. Here, you’ll find lots of modern structures–even upscale condos with rooftop pools and patios.
There you have it: 5 up-and-coming neighborhoods in Oklahoma City!We hope this was helpful, and if you decide to take the plunge, don’t hesitate to reach out to your friends here at Bellhop. As we said, we coordinate local and long-distance moving services in Oklahoma City, and we would love to help.