Best Places to Live

Syracuse, NY

Population: 145,383
LIV
SCORE
641
iStock/DenisTangneyJr

Syracuse is an idyllic and affordable city in Central New York, home to the New York State Fair and Syracuse University. It’s also a gateway to the Finger Lakes Region (which means residents need not travel far for vacation!). Syracuse residents are treated to all four seasons, and the fall foliage is especially spectacular and is like a consolation prize for the cold, snowy winters. Frequent trips to Onondaga Lake Park, concerts and comedy shows in the glamorous Landmark Theatre, and filling up on fun at Destiny USA, a restaurant, shopping and entertainment complex, keep weekends busy. Oh, and new residents: yes, the green-on-top stoplight on Tipp Hill is intentionally upside down.

Top Industries and Employers: Home to Syracuse University and research enterprises, Syracuse is known as the education and healthcare hub of central New York.

Best Coffee Shop: Salt City Coffee, housed in an old mansion, is a neighborhood gathering place.

Best Local Beer/Brewery: Middle Age Brewery has been in Syracuse for a quarter of a century. Most of its malted barley is imported from England.

Must-Have Meal: At Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, start with the fried green tomatoes — you can order them regular or fancy. Polish off some ribs and cornbread.

Must-Visit Museum: At Onondaga Historical Society’s Freedom Bound exhibition, learn about the Underground Railroad and how citizens helped slaves escape to freedom. 

Best Co-Working Space: ShareCuse, which has an on-site restaurant, Paninis.

Best Meetup Spot (When Meeting Up Is a Thing Again): Throw darts and eat wings at The Clinton Street Pub.

Creative Hub: The Everson Museum of Art. Designed by internationally known architect I.M. Pei, the building is a work of art in and of itself. 

Favorite Weekend Activity: Don your orange and cheer on Syracuse.

Free Way to Have Fun: Take a walk at Webster Pond. If you want to feed the ducks, you can make a donation to the Anglers Association in exchange for some corn. 

Local Dream Job: Otto the Orange, the Syracuse mascot. You do need to be a full-time student to apply, though.

Read More: 
Syracuse, NY is Home to One of the Best State Fairs in the Country
Why New York Style Pizza is the Best 
Best Places to Live in New York

- Brittany Anas

"I ran a business in Syracuse for many years. I had great success that I could never have had elsewhere. I could never have afforded the house I have in another city. I found great friends and neighbors that I wouldn’t replace for the world." 

Bruce Block
Creator and Manager of City Market Syracuse

Syracuse, NY Ranking Data

Civic
24
Demographics
75
Economy
53
Education
59
Health
60
Housing
52
Infrastructure
51