The conversation of “up and coming” neighborhoods invariably swings back and forth from touting the benefits of an influx of new restaurants to the highlighting the woes of gentrification and its culturally cheapening effects. Regardless of your stance on particular places and their ever-changing waves of community and identity, there’s often a golden hour for neighborhoods—somewhere in between the frequent 911 calls and the $16 hamburgers.

Read on to see why now is the time to check out these five “up and coming” neighborhoods across the United States.

Somerville, Massachusetts


image via flickr

Somerville has been on the rise for a few years now, with standout restaurants like Painted Burro reminding Bostonians that good food extends further beyond the Charles River than Harvard Square. A recent increase in upscale penthouse apartments and new buildings is adding even more  chic to an area dense with duplexes and old townhouses. The cultural hub of Union Square is and has been fun with hip drinking spots like Backbar, and international fare at Casa B. Visit the famously happy neighborhood before Boston’s Green Line extends to it, bringing with it those gentrifying, Ray Ban-wearing crowds.

Long Island City, New York

Gantry Plaza State Park in Long Island City, Queens

image via flickr

They say Queens is the new Brooklyn, and nowhere is that more evident than in Long Island City, where a collection of high rises adjacent to Manhattan, Long Island City has been attracting creatives and young professionals fleeing the skyrocketing rents in Williamsburg and the East Village for a few years. An influx of properties like the incoming Dream Hotel alongside an already-existing collection of cultural destinations like restaurant-comedy-club The Creek and the Cave, keep LIC in an attractive balance of emergence and charming roots.

Downtown LA


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A definite oddity, the highrises and streets of Downtown Los Angeles have long been left desolate for nine-to-five corporate employees and tragic communities on Skid Row. An enclave of affordable living, the city has become a destination of sorts for up-and-coming residents and new cultural institutions over the last several years. The recent installment of Downtown Modernism, a trendy outdoor flea market, along with the re-discovery of classic treasures like the Figueroa Hotel Veranda and bloody marys at La Cita make the area feel cooler by the day.

Edgewood, Atlanta


image via flickr

Following an “up and coming” trend, Edgewood’s resurgence from a neighborhood filled with forgotten-about industrial warehouses is largely rooted in the reopening of the Edgewood Avenue Bridge and other new public transportation connections in the works. One of the main reasons people want to get to this area is the food. Staple spots like Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room and Ping-Pong Emporium and Ammazza have set the stage for a new wave of beer gardens, cafes, and bars.

Midtown Detroit


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Exceptionally affordable housing has been drawing artists and entrepreneurs to a recently abandoned neighborhood of Midtown Detroit. New sushi, bagels, Thai, and fusion restaurants have popped up left and right. Locals enjoy craft beer and young culture at Hopcat Detroit and progressive cuisine like the ratatouille burgers at Addison Eatery. This recent New York Times article elaborates on why Detroit is a land of opportunity.