Greek life has been spreading through colleges around the country since 1776, but that fraternity vibe also extends to the surrounding areas and college towns.
The data experts at Yelp put together a series of maps that show the frattiest neighborhoods in 10 American cities. Yelp documented how often its users mentioned the word “frat” in reviews, and then plotted those locations on a heat map.
Unsurprisingly, most mentions of the word “frat” are clustered around The University of Texas at Austin campus. The university is home to 26 Interfraternity Council chapters and a total of 74 Greek chapters on campus. Fratty college kids frequent nearby like Cactus Cafe and Crown and Anchor Pub. The campus is adjacent to East Austin which is the most hipster section of the city.
Boston is home to over over 60 colleges and universities, so it’s no surprise to see fratty hotspots all over Bean Town. The largest heat spots are centered around Tufts University, Harvard University, Boston University, MIT, and Northeastern. Davis Square is home to Tufts frat life, while Harvard’s fratty radius centres around Harvard Square in Cambridge. Downtown Boston and Back Bay have the most densely populated frat spots in the the city.
Chicago’s frattiest areas fall around DePaul University, which has 28 Greek chapters, and the University of Illinois at Chicago, which has 33 Greek chapters. The red area also includes Wrigley Field, where you can find a lot of frat-type sports bars like Tom’s Tap and The Hideout.
Los Angeles, California:
Los Angeles’s frattiest neighborhoods center around specific college campuses. Downtown shows the most “frat” heat around USC, for example, while the Westwood neighbourhood has lots of fratty activity around UCLA. Both USC and UCLA have a strong Greek presence with 128 Greek organisations between the two schools. The fainter spots cover some of LA’s more hipster neighborhoods like Los Feliz and Silver Lake.
New York City, New York:
Nearly all of Manhattan’s east side, with some areas in the surrounding boroughs, is covered with fratty heat spots likely due to New York’s colleges and job opportunities that draw crowds of students and recent grads. The Lower East Side, Murray Hill, Midtown East, and the Upper East Side are popular fratty spots in particular; the bar and nightlife options, paired with slightly cheaper living costs than on the west side, appeal to recent graduates. Hoboken and Brooklyn also have several fratty neighborhoods thanks to lower rent costs and an easy commute to Manhattan.
Philadelphia has 19 colleges and universities. The University of Pennsylvania is the frattiest school in Philly with 53 Greek organisations on campus. UPenn and Drexel are located in the University City neighbourhood, which has a sizeable heat spot, but the bigger fratty areas are where the popular college bars are, near Center City and the Liberty Bell.
Portland’s frattiest area overlaps with the very hip Pearl District. The Pearl District is known for its young residents, affordable rent, art galleries, and pubs. To the southeast of downtown Portland is a hotspot around Reed College, which does not have any fraternities on campus, but does cater to its younger demographic with hangouts like Coffee Cat. However, most of the nightlife happens in downtown Portland and Old Town.
San Francisco, California:
Even though San Francisco colleges do not host many fraternities, that doesn’t stop areas of the city from adopting a fraternity-like vibe. Many recent graduates move to the Bay Area to work at tech startups, creating pockets of frat-like bars and restaurants. The Marina District is considered the frattiest neighbourhood because it draws a young crowd with bars like The Tipsy Pig, Eastside West, Bar None, and Stock in Trade.
One of Seattle’s frattiest spots is in the University District, home to the University of Washington and its 50 Greek organisations. Fremont is where fratty bars like High Dive and LTD Bar and Grill are located. Downtown Seattle is only 10 minutes from the University and Fremont areas, and has most of the city’s main attractions like the Space Needle and Pike Place Market.
Washington, D.C. is home to 18 colleges and universities and is one of the most popular cities for recent graduates. While not all 18 schools have Greek life, downtown D.C. has transformed into a college town that attracts flocks of young professionals every year. Arlington also is home to a lot of young professionals with popular bars like Carpool, Galaxy Hut, and Clarendon Ballroom.