THE 10 BEST Neighborhoods In Houston, TX For 2020

We used science and data to determine which neighborhoods in Houston are the best of the best.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the best neighborhoods to live in Houston.
Best Neighborhoods In Houston
Source: Public domain

Everything is bigger and better in Texas; but if you want to live in one of Houston's best neighborhoods, you're going to have to make that cheddar.

Just how much cheddar, you ask? Well, you're going to have to take a look below at HomeSnacks' list of the best neighborhoods in The Space City for 2020 to see what it's going to take to live in Houston's best of the best.

It is going to take a decent income to live comfortably in most of Houston's best neighborhoods; but don't get it twisted, these are not the richest neighborhoods by any means: we'll just leave that list right here. But hey, what Houston's best neighborhoods don't make up in wealth, they make up in boatloads of H-Town fun.

We know that when people are searching for the best neighborhood they are also looking for things like nice looking homes, great parks, and friendly neighbors; and folks, Houston's best neighborhoods have all that and then some. In order to rank the best, however, we had to give each neighborhood an actual concrete score: we call this a neighborhood's overall 'Snackability'. To get this score, we looked at the latest data on income levels, unemployment rates, crime, and home prices for 26 Houston neighborhoods with over 6,000 residents. Incidentally, this is our sixth time ranking Houston's best neighborhoods, so trust us when we say that these are the best of the best.

So, want to know where Houston's best neighborhoods are located? You're going to have to keep reading.

If you choose to live in one of Houston's best neighborhoods, you could be front and center at Montrose's next Greek Festival and/or taking a daily bike tour of the Historic Heights neighborhood. And if you play your cards right, you could just become a permanent resident of Houston's number one, best neighborhood.

So, what's the best neighborhood in Houston for 2020? The best neighborhood in Houston would be West University according to the most recent data.

To see how your favorite Houston neighborhoods compared, take a look at the list below; and if you don't see it there, head to the bottom.

For more Texas reading, check out:

The 10 Best Neighborhoods To Live In Houston

West University Houston, TX

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 34,360
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $759,119 (Second best)
Median Income: $165,516 (First best)
More on West University: Homes For Sale | Data

West University Place is surrounded by the cities of Bellaire, Houston, and Southside Place.

As of 2011, West University Place has the fifth highest fraction of households with incomes $150,000 or greater.

Almost all street names in West University Place are allusions to universities, colleges, and poets.

Greater Memorial Houston, TX

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 35,799
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $850,504 (First best)
Median Income: $143,470 (Second best)
More on Greater Memorial: Homes For Sale | Data

The Memorial area is well-known for its forested neighborhoods that straddle Buffalo Bayou, which feature a rich variety of residential architecture. The area is also home to a number of dense mixed-use districts, including Memorial City, Town & Country Village, and CityCentre. A large portion of the Energy Corridor, a major business district populated by many energy corporations, overlaps with west Memorial along Eldridge Parkway. Memorial takes its name from Memorial Drive, a major east-west thoroughfare which bisects the area.

Rice Houston, TX

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 16,664
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $600,800 (Fourth best)
Median Income: $131,929 (Third best)
More on Rice: Homes For Sale | Data

Rice Village is a shopping district in Houston, Texas, United States.

Rice Village is a collection of shops, restaurants and pubs, situated about a half-mile west of the center of Rice University's 300-acre campus. The core "Rice Village" extends over several city blocks, bounded by University Boulevard, Kirby Drive, Tangley Street, Morningside Drive, Rice Boulevard, and Greenbriar Drive, though spillover has expanded the retail area to encompass businesses as far north as Bissonnet Street.

Rice Military Houston, TX

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 23,452
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $382,779 (Sixth best)
Median Income: $118,360 (Fifth best)
More on Rice Military: Homes For Sale | Data

The community is in proximity to Memorial Park and River Oaks. David Walter, a Rice Military resident quoted in the Houston Chronicle, said that one could travel to Downtown Houston from Rice Military in five minutes. The boundaries of the Rice Military neighborhood are Washington Avenue on the north, Memorial Drive on the south, Shepherd Drive on the east, and Westcott Street on the west.

As of 2008 Rice Military proper had 391 houses. Karen Derr, the owner of the real estate firm Karen Derr & Associates, said that many area realtors also associate houses in neighboring subdivisions and label them as being in "Rice Military". The wider Rice Military area has around 1,300 houses.

Galleria-Uptown Houston, TX

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 67,996
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $406,118 (Fifth best)
Median Income: $90,760 (Eighth best)
More on Galleria-Uptown: Homes For Sale | Data

Uptown is a business district in Houston, located 6.2 miles west of Downtown and is centered along Post Oak Boulevard and Westheimer Road. The Uptown District is roughly bounded by Woodway Drive to the north, the I-610 to the east, Richmond Avenue to the south, and Yorktown Street to the west. It covers 1,010 acres.

At 23.6 million square feet of office space, the Uptown District is the 17th-largest business district in the United States, comparable in size to the downtowns of Denver and Pittsburgh. The district is home to approximately 2,000 companies and represents more than 11 percent of Houston's total office space.

Midtown Houston, TX

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,409
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $230,220 (Ninth best)
Median Income: $80,524 (11th best)
More on Midtown: Homes For Sale | Data

Midtown is a central neighborhood of Houston, located west-southwest of Downtown. Separated from Downtown by an elevated section of Interstate 45, Midtown is characterized by a continuation of Downtown's square grid street plan, anchored by Main Street and the METRORail Red Line. Midtown is bordered by Neartown to the west, the Museum District to the south, and Interstate 69 to the east. Midtown's 325 blocks cover 1.24 square miles and contained an estimated population of nearly 8,600 in 2015.

River Oaks Houston, TX

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 31,337
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $623,948 (Third best)
Median Income: $130,337 (Fourth best)
More on River Oaks: Homes For Sale | Data

River Oaks is a residential community located in the center of Houston, Texas, United States. Located within the 610 Loop and between Downtown and Uptown, the community spans 1,100 acres. Established in the 1920s by brothers William and Michael Hogg, the community became a well-publicized national model for community planning. Real estate values in the community range from $1 million to over $20 million. River Oaks was also named the most expensive neighborhood in Houston in 2013. The community is home to River Oaks Country Club, which includes a golf course designed by architect Donald Ross and redesigned in 2015 by Tom Fazio.

Downtown Houston, TX

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 10,089
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $63,900 (25th best)
Median Income: $114,810 (Sixth best)
More on Downtown: Homes For Sale | Data

Downtown is the largest business district in Houston, Texas, located near the geographic center of the metropolitan area at the confluence of Interstate 10, Interstate 45, and Interstate 69. The 1.84-square-mile district, enclosed by the aforementioned highways, contains the original townsite of Houston at the confluence of Buffalo Bayou and White Oak Bayou, a point known as Allen's Landing. Downtown has been the city's preeminent commercial district since its founding in 1836.

Montrose Houston, TX

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 35,723
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 6)
Median Home Value: $378,377 (Seventh best)
Median Income: $85,791 (Tenth best)
More on Montrose: Homes For Sale | Data

Montrose is a primarily residential neighborhood located in the Neartown area of Houston, Texas, United States. Established in 1911, the neighborhood is a demographically diverse area with renovated mansions, bungalows with wide porches, and cottages located along tree-lined boulevards.

Montrose has been called the "Heart of Houston," the "strangest neighborhood east of the Pecos," and was named one of the "ten great neighborhoods in America" in 2009.

Greater Heights Houston, TX

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 57,943
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $362,028 (Eighth best)
Median Income: $95,610 (Seventh best)
More on Greater Heights: Homes For Sale | Data

Houston Heights is a community in northwest-central Houston, Texas, United States. "The Heights" is often referred to colloquially to describe a larger collection of neighborhoods next to and including the actual Houston Heights. However, Houston Heights has its own history, distinct from Norhill and Woodland Heights.

How We Determined The Best Houston, TX Neighborhoods In 2020

In order to rank the best neighborhoods in Houston, we had to determine what criteria defines a "best".

Using crime, census, and extrapolated BLS data, we arrived at the following set of criteria:

  • High incomes
  • Low unemployment rates
  • Low crime
  • High home prices
  • High population densities (A proxy for things to do)

We then ranked each neighborhood with scores from 1 to 26 in each category, where 1 was the best.

Next, we averaged the rankings for each neighborhood to create a best neighborhood index.

And finally, we crowned the neighborhood with the lowest best neighborhood index the "Best City Neighborhood In Houston." We're lookin' at you, West University.

Read on below to learn more about what it's like to live in the best places Houston, Texas has to offer. Or skip to the end to see the list of all the neighborhoods in the city from best to worst.

Putting A Bow On Our Analysis Of The Best Neighborhoods In Houston

If you're measuring the neighborhoods in Houston where crime is low and everyone wants to live, this is an accurate list.

As we mentioned earlier, the neighborhoods in Houston aren't all good. Far North takes the title of the worst neighborhood to live in Houston.

We ranked the neighborhoods from best to worst in the chart below.

For more Texas reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Neighborhoods To Live In Houston For 2020

Rank Neighborhood Population Home Value Median Income
1 West University 34,360 $759,119 $165,516
2 Greater Memorial 35,799 $850,504 $143,470
3 Rice 16,664 $600,800 $131,929
4 Rice Military 23,452 $382,779 $118,360
5 Galleria-Uptown 67,996 $406,118 $90,760
6 Midtown 6,409 $230,220 $80,524
7 River Oaks 31,337 $623,948 $130,337
8 Downtown 10,089 $63,900 $114,810
9 Montrose 35,723 $378,377 $85,791
10 Greater Heights 57,943 $362,028 $95,610
11 Bellaire 186,971 $153,867 $55,830
12 Meyerland 69,368 $194,318 $73,349
13 Far Northeast 90,207 $191,832 $90,179
14 West Houston 139,738 $223,615 $79,271
15 Westchase 71,050 $131,521 $51,899
16 Medical 44,356 $216,310 $71,233
17 Spring Branch 143,332 $215,498 $59,660
18 Pasadina 143,203 $121,525 $64,381
19 Northwest 138,832 $132,124 $48,919
20 Sugarland 125,992 $83,472 $42,634
21 Southwest 108,921 $102,760 $48,850
22 North 119,685 $88,419 $34,255
23 East End 87,359 $102,414 $37,480
24 Southeast 261,757 $97,556 $41,297
25 Northeast 129,659 $66,156 $32,777
26 Far North 59,742 $52,586 $30,316

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.