There are some people that only care about having an “N” in their address. Those people tend to discount Hilltop as somewhere they wouldn’t want to explore and consider living in. Well- they’re missing out. Hilltop has a lot going for it, including historic character, New York Times Reviewed Neighborhood Bars, and affordability. I’ve lived all over town, including on Hilltop.
Like every neighborhood I’ve ever lived in there are good and bad things about living in Hilltop. I remember the best parts being how close I was to downtown and the freeway. If you are a buyer looking for a mortgage payment that is under $1,100/month that is close to downtown, Hilltop is one of several fantastic choices in Tacoma.
Government leaders, neighborhood advocates, and business leaders are focused like a laser on the Hilltop. In recent years they’ve been pumping millions of redevelopment dollars into the area.
Let’s Get Real, Tacoma
What I Like Best: I love that there are so many historic homes in Hilltop. Not only are so many affordable options, but there are lots of great Victorians and Craftsman houses with character. You can get a LOT of house for the money, and you can get something money can’t buy: character. Located just above Downtown, Hilltop has a great location for getting around the city and has easy freeway access, too— a big bonus for those who commute to other cities for work. Hilltop really has a vibe all on its own and is one of the best kept secrets in town. The Hilltop is quickly becoming the place to be, following Downtown Tacoma and the 6th Ave Neighborhood for best nightlife in town.
What I Like Least: While more and more businesses are opening here everyday, the business district of this area still has a long way to go. But luckily, the city has recently decided to extend the Link up through Hilltop and down through MLK Way. This will link Hilltop to Downtown Tacoma, and that pretty much ensures that investment and development in Hilltop will begin to pick up more pace over the next decade. It’s a great place to get in early. I’m not trying to soften Hilltop’s edges, it has some, make sure to check out the crime data on any street you will be moving to. Walk around and meet the neighbors, even. But don’t be put off by a reputation that is 30 years out of date.
Central Tacoma Neighborhood Council
New Tacoma Neighborhood Council
Hilltop Business Association
Hilltop Action Coalition
Enjoying Local Flavor
Restaurants: So, who knew the greatest vegan restaurant in Pierce County would be in Hilltop?! Quickie Too offers a menu that truly has to be experienced to be believed— it’s a must for vegans, (and vegetarians, and those who are doing the Gluten Free thing) and a delicious experience for everyone else, too! For Thai food, I definitely recommend Lele; they have a great, Eastern-inspired atmosphere and everyone seems to just love it. Hilltop is also home to Pho King (yes, a hilarious double entendre), a fantastic place for cheap, yummy Vietnamese pho soup.
Grabbing A Drink: Peterson Brothers 1111 is a great local place to grab a beer and some food with your friends— it has a very convivial atmosphere perfect after a long day at work. 1022 South is another Tacoma staple with a great patio and a top-tier selection of classic drinks along with a whole menu of craft cocktails with homemade ingredients. And then there’s also Hilltop Kitchen, a new, quickly growing favorite. They have the best cocktails in Tacoma, scrumptious eats and very flattering lighting!
What my #1 Clients in Hilltop are Saying:
I moved to the Hilltop because I was looking for a diverse community that was affordable and provided a quiet neighborhood feel- but also one that was a stones throw from downtown. That’s exactly what I got. I moved here in 2009 and I haven’t looked back since. -Justin L.