The 8 Most Popular Hipster Cities Where Young People Are Calling Home

by Bobbie PrestonJune 11, 2015

It’s Hip to Be Where?

Hipsterism is an odd cultural phenomenon, in that one of the prerequisites for membership in the club is to vehemently deny said membership. So, how can you find out which cities are the most “hipster?” You can’t conduct a hipster survey, as legit hipsters would never deign to participate in such a thing.

Instead, you have to comb the data for telltale signs of hipsterdom: things like a young, college educated populace; robust arts and music scenes; and a high per-capita concentration of independent coffee shops, yoga studios, record stores, microbreweries, and farmer’s markets. It’s also a good idea to find out where recent college grads are planning on moving.

So which cities in the country are known for being the hippest?

Seattle, Washington

Seattle has been hipster since hipster was grunge. OK, you could argue that the two are not the same thing, and you’d be right, but there’s definitely more than a little ‘90s influence in the average hipster ensemble. Seattle has it all: great coffee, a youthful and highly educated populace, an inspired culinary scene, and an artistic community that’s been keeping it weird since 1985.

Denver, Colorado

On the surface, Denver doesn’t look like a hipster enclave. But check out neighborhoods like LoHi, South Broadway, and River North, and you’ll get the picture pretty quickly. There are plenty of cool little enclaves in the Mile High City, not to mention legal marijuana, left-of-center politics, and facial hair… lots of it.

Austin, Texas

Austin, Texas is home to the annual SXSW festival, one of the coolest music, film, and interactive extravaganzas in the country. There are more quirky food trucks than you can shake a stick at, and perhaps more importantly, it seems like everyone in Austin is some type of artist. Don’t be surprised if you hear things like “Well, I’m a doctor, but that’s just my day job. I’m really more of a collage artist.”

Asheville, North Carolina

Like Seattle, Asheville is a place with hipster street cred that dates back to the mid ‘80s. It’s full of independent bookshops, vintage clothiers, and brewpubs. It’s not trying to be cool; it just is cool. Asheville seems a bit like Austin’s little brother, smaller but less self-conscious.

Oakland, California

We all know San Francisco is cool – it was basically the birthplace of the whole counterculture movement. It’s also become one of the most expensive places to live, which is why savvy hipsters have been relocating to Oakland now for years. What’s not to like? Oakland has some of the best farm-to-fork food in the country, and there are plenty of art galleries, live music venues, and old-fashioned barbershops. It’s kind of like the Brooklyn of the West.

Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon has long been known as a hipster enclave, but it’s really blown up over the past ten years. Some locals say that’s not necessarily a good thing, as formerly affordable blue-collar neighborhoods are razed to make way for high-rent condos every week, it seems. Still, there’s plenty to love about PDX: There’s a lush, beautiful park on nearly every corner. The city is chock full of iconoclastic artists, teeming with trendy nightlife hotspots, and has more heralded microbreweries than any other city in the U.S.

Hoboken, New Jersey

Hoboken downtownWe realize that’s downtown Jersey City, and not Hoboken. Mislabeled stock photos strike again!

This is the spot on the list where you’d normally see Brooklyn. Here’s the thing: Brooklyn is getting too expensive for many recent graduates. Not only that, but many are getting weary of Brooklyn’s overexposure and fast-paced development. You can get a stylish condo in Hoboken for less than half the price, and you’re still close enough where you can visit Brooklyn whenever you want. Then again, why would you need to when you live here?

Louisville, Kentucky

Amateur hipsters drink PBR, but to go pro, you have to graduate to bourbon. As the bourbon capital of the world, Louisville would automatically make this list. Of course, the city’s wealth of locally produced liquid courage isn’t the only thing that makes it such a hip place to call home. There’s also a healthy indie rock scene, miles of bike trails, and a wide array of independent, mom ’n’ pop businesses.

Did we miss your hipster city? Where do you call home?

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About The Author
Bobbie Preston