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Historic red brick architecture and modern glass skyscrapers share the streets of downtown Hartford, also known as the Insurance Capitol of the World. Downtown has experienced something of a resurgence, adding new restaurants and almost doubling its residential population, while a comprehensive local bus system services the entire metro area. Residents crowd the streets running errands and walking dogs, and thousands turn up every summer to hear Hartford's old vanguard of jazz musicians play in Bushnell Park, the oldest public park in the United States.

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Rent Trends

As of August 2017, the average apartment rent in Hartford, CT is $1,189 for a studio, $1,393 for one bedroom, and $1,928 for two bedrooms. Apartment rent in Hartford has decreased by -2.3% in the past year.

Beds
Avg Sq Ft
Avg Rent
Studio
530
$1,189
1 BR
796
$1,393
2 BR
1,157
$1,928
Beds
Avg Sq Ft
Avg Rent

Ratings

90 Walk Score® Walker's Paradise
84 Transit Score® Excellent Transit
74 Bike Score® Very Bikeable

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Restaurants

Downtown Hartford hosts a diverse array of restaurants, running from New American and Creole to ethnic eats such as Turkish, Vietnamese and Italian, with an especially wide selection near Asylum and Main Streets. In addition to upscale choices, the area has budget picks ranging from French sandwich shops to food trucks and hot dog bars, along with pizzerias, Mexican taquerias and burger joints. Diners come to Salute to sample Italian classics with a modern flair, from calamari served with lemon ailoi to a ragu Bolognese made with beef, pork and veal. The popular restaurant manages to be upscale yet relaxed in both decor and cost, with upper mid-range prices and tufted leather seats seated beneath the coffered ceiling. Standouts for date night or a family celebration include sweet potato ravioli, buttery garlic cheese bread and the house favorite rose pasta, a cheese tortellini with sweet sausage and mushrooms served in a tomato cream sauce.

For casual nights out with friends and family, Bear's Smokehouse serves up Hartford's favorite barbecue. Regulars praise the fatty and tender burnt ends and the moink balls, a slow-smoked, bacon-wrapped meatball. There's no wait service, and the cavernous dining room, decorated with raw wood paneling and corrugated metal, adds an edgy, industrial atmosphere.

After the weekend pub crawl, diners line up at Aladdin Halal for pizza slices and warm pitas stuffed with falafel. Regulars say that while the crispy pies are good, the spit-fired shawarma grinders are better, particularly the flavorful chicken. Customers order at the counter, but a clean, modern dining room provides plenty of tables to enjoy lunch or a late night feast with friends.

Downtown quiets down after business hours, when the after-dark action moves to Asylum Street just east of Union Station. Laid-back crowds like the City Steam Brewery Cafe for sampling the brewery's house-made craft beers, from smooth oatmeal stout to the spicy amber ale Naughty Nurse. The spacious bar has a relaxed, old-school spirit with wood floors, vintage-inspired posters and plenty of tables, making it good for big groups. The wait staff delivers better-than average bar food, including burgers, pizzas and munchies, and parties can opt to sit in the upstairs dining room. Regulars come early for the Happy Hour discounts on pints and stick around for weekly evenings of comedy and live music.

At Max Downtown, bartenders shake up classic martinis and mixology-style cocktails, lit by a modern colored glass mosaic on the ceiling. Live piano music fills the space, and customers can enjoy the New American menu right at the bar. The curated list of wines and scotch will impress dates or important clients, but weekday specials make it possible for even ordinary plebes to drink here, if only until the end of Happy Hour.

Regulars admit that the Pigs Eye Pub is a dive, but it has all the ingredients for a fun night, including cheap beers on tap, pool tables and an outdoor patio where live bands play during the summer. The crowds here are young and the tunes loud, but no one argues with Friday night free pizza and wings.

For dancing, the NIXS Hartford transforms after 10:00 pm from a trendy eatery to a dance party, with diverse beats by live DJs and bottle service at the tables. The establishment enforces a club hours dress code that nixes sneakers and hoodies, but crowds still pack in for the upscale club atmosphere and fruity cocktails.

History

The Hartford area was once home to the native Saukiog tribes. Dutch fur traders arrived in 1623, followed a decade later by English settlers. Hartford's founder, Reverend Thomas Hooker, envisioned a government rooted in "the free consent of the people" in contrast to Boston's explicitly Puritan model. After New York's Great Fire of 1835, Hartford earned its moniker as the insurance capital when its firms paid out claims that bankrupted others. The fiercely abolitionist city was home to Harriet Beecher Stowe and Mark Twain, who both lived nearby in Asylum Hill. Today, downtown visitors can view 19th and 20th century paintings at the Wadsworth Atheneum or catch Broadway tours at the Bushnell Performing Arts Center. The Hartford Stage performs Shakespeare and other classic dramas, and TheaterWorks stages contemporary plays. Every summer, crowds pack Riverfront Plaza to feast on jerk chicken and watch carnival-costumed dancers at the free Taste of Caribbean Festival.

Transportation

Downtown's mix of historic buildings and glass office towers creates a busy but breathable cityscape. Residents here can run errands on foot, walk to work or take a weekend stroll to parks and museums. Though you won't find cabs crowding the streets like in New York, visitors can hail a taxi at Union Station or use Uber, which services the area along with cab companies. Local buses provide service as far out the towns of Cromwell and Manchester, and residents find major bus hubs along Main Street at Gold Street and at Asylum Avenue, as well as Constitution Plaza.

Despite the solid public transit and comfortably walkable scale, the majority of residents here drive. Major interstates I-91 and I-84 criss-cross Hartford, passing through downtown for a quick exit from the city. However, traffic jams slow down commutes, and many Hartford locals feel that the highways isolate downtown from the surrounding neighborhoods. Parking can pose a problem during weekday business hours, when the metered street spaces sometimes fill up, but municipal garages on Church Street and Chapel Street provide a backup plan at reasonable rates.

Despite downtown's relative lack of biking infrastructure, a cycling resurgence has put more riders on the flat streets, and the biking community takes the spotlight every fall during the Connecticut Cycling Festival. For leisurely rides, cyclists head to the trails in Bushnell Park and along the riverfront, and more bike-friendly turf can be found next door in Asylum Hill and the West End.

Cost

Downtown's convenient location comes at a cost, and apartments here rent for considerably more than other Hartford neighborhoods. The area has limited housing stock, much of it in large, upscale buildings, which pushes the price of the average one-bedroom apartment up to $1,620. A beer at the pub costs under $4, and an upscale cocktail runs about $10. Gas prices typically cost 10 percent more than the national average, and a one-way fare on the bus goes for $1.50, with reduced fares if you buy multiple passes.

Shopping

Downtown Hartford has a limited shopping scene, with a few clothing boutiques and jewelry shops mixed among the pharmacies and liquor stores. Local holdout Stackpole Moore Tryon Tuesday's has been selling high-end business clothing to men and women for decades. The quality-made threads don't come cheap, but this store has a reputation of beating the competition's price, and the staff comes across as helpful without being pushy. Women like the selection of upscale dresses and accessories, while men can purchase made-to-measure suits and slacks from the in-store tailor.

Behind the rows of top shelf Dominican cigars, a smoking lounge lined with red leather couches welcomes regulars to The Tobacco Shop, which sells high-end pipe tobacco and cigars, along with humidors and Davidoff lighters. Admission to the back room includes cigar cuttings, and regulars say the place still retains the spirit of a bygone gentleman's club, with an open atmosphere and easy conversation. Plus, the owners don't mind if you bring along a bottle of scotch.

Downtown has few grocery stores, but residents can shop at the Save-A-Lot supermarket. Every Thursday, residents can walk a few blocks into Frog Hollow for Hartford's largest farmers market. Vendors at the year-round Farmers' Market at Billings Forge sell fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as dairy and eggs, baked goods, coffee and flowers. Live bands sometimes play under the tents, and locally made Italian ices keep kids happy.

Parks

Downtown Hartford has many small parks and scenic squares, but the large, lush Bushnell Park wins the hearts of locals. Bushnell is the oldest public park in the nation, with old-growth shade trees, ornamental sculpture fountains, a koi pond and the Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Arch, a 19th century structure whose turrets stand above the tree canopy like a fairy tale castle. Families picnic on the grassy lawns, and dog owners can bring leashed pups to explore the trails, which they share with runners and cyclists. Kids can ride the 100-year old carousel or skate for free in the winter. Summertime brings food trucks and free summer movies, along with a number of festivals. Music fans especially love the Hartford Festival of Jazz, when big names like David Sanborn and Manuel Valera play free to the crowds and food vendors serve up homemade kettle corn and po'boy sandwiches.

For quick escapes, parents can bring kids to the playscape at Pulaski Mall, a narrow strip of green with a paved path shaded by trees. Teenagers get a place of their own at Heaven, a skateboard park with smooth, paved ramps and open walls for graffiti artists. On warm days, art fans can stroll across the Burr Mall beside the Wadsworth Atheneum to see the red Stegosaurus sculpture by Calder, or walk along the river in the Lincoln Financial Sculpture Walk for over a dozen works by contemporary artists.

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Downtown Hartford Apartments For Rent

235 Apartments Available

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777 Main Street
777 Main St, Hartford, CT 06103
1 / 51
6 hrs
$1,325 - 2,380 Studio - 2 Bed Available Now
781-218-7168
360 Main Street Associates
360 Main St, Hartford, CT 06106
1 / 38
1 day
$950 - 1,250 Studio - 2 Bed Available Now
844-547-4339
Hartford 21
221 Trumbull St, Hartford, CT 06103
1 / 59
6 hrs
$1,460 - 3,240 1-2 Bed Available Now
877-465-3609
250 MAIN Apartments
250 Main St, Hartford, CT 06106
1 / 27
2 days
$965 - 1,105 1-2 Bed Available Now
860-986-7826
Trumbull on the Park
100 Trumbull St, Hartford, CT 06103
1 / 42
2 wks
$1,246 - 2,500 Studio - 2 Bed Available Now
844-879-5026
The Lofts at Main & Temple
21 Temple St, Hartford, CT 06103
6 hrs
$1,400 - 2,715 Studio - 2 Bed Available Now
860-956-5240
Great River Lofts
50 Morgan St, Hartford, CT 06120
1 wk
$1,200 - 2,130 1-2 Bed Available Now
844-879-8214
179 Allyn Street
179 Allyn St, Hartford, CT 06103
1 wk
$1,055 - 1,370 1 Bed Available Now
781-519-4571
Spectra Boutique Apartments
5 Constitution Plz, Hartford, CT 06103
1 wk
$1,319 - 2,024 1-2 Bed Available Now
844-789-2907
Union Place Apartments
64-82 Union Pl, Hartford, CT 06103
2 wks
$1,199 Studio - 1 Bed Available Now
888-510-0714
North End Gateway
1450 Main St, Hartford, CT 06120
2 wks
Call for Rent 2 Bed Available Soon
844-294-9165
777 Main Street
296 Park St
Hartford, CT 06106
$1,200 Condo for Rent Available Now
1 day
100 Wells St
Hartford, CT 06103
$1,725 Condo for Rent Available Now
1 day
100 Wells St
Hartford, CT 06103
$1,850 Condo for Rent Available Now
1 day
100 Wells St
Hartford, CT 06103
$1,450 Condo for Rent Available Now
1 day
915 Main
915 Main St, Hartford, CT 06103
$1,850 2 Bed Available Now
2 wks
Colt Gateway
140 Huyshope Ave, Hartford, CT 06106
$1,195 - 1,995 Studio - 2 Bed Available Now
2 wks
Bushnell On The Park
100 Wells St, Hartford, CT 06103
$1,150 - 1,850 Studio - 2 Bed Available Now
2 wks

Apartments for Rent in Downtown Hartford

Historic red brick architecture and modern glass skyscrapers share the streets of downtown Hartford, also known as the Insurance Capitol of the World. Downtown has experienced something of a resurgence, adding new restaurants and almost doubling its residential population, while a comprehensive local bus system services the entire metro area. Residents crowd the streets running errands and walking dogs, and thousands turn up every summer to hear Hartford's old vanguard of jazz musicians play in Bushnell Park, the oldest public park in the United States.

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