The Best U.S. Cities for Today’s Urban Hermits

Ryan Nickum

Oct 4

Lists + Maps


There was a time when if someone wanted to sequester themselves from the world, they retreated to a remote cave and entertained themselves with recurring episodes of, “I Hope I Find Something to Eat Today.”

Nowadays, those who’d prefer to be alone can do so even in the most crowded of cities. More companies allow telecommuting, entertainment is just a click away, and food and drink delivery companies will bring just about anything to your door. For those who’d prefer to be alone, there’s little reason to leave the house.

Life is good for today’s urban hermit, but Estately set out to determine which U.S. cities were the best for a hermitic life. To do this, we scored each of the 100 largest U.S. cities from 1-100 on five sets of criteria.

  1. Affordability of housing (price per square foot to buy a home)
  2. Internet speeds (Ookla Net Index)
  3. The percentage of the city’s workers who work from home (U.S. Census)
  4. Variety of food delivery options (total number of restaurants offering delivery on GrubHub)
  5. Total number of national alcohol delivery companies operating (Drizly, Saucey, Minibar Delivery, Thirstie, Klink)

In the end, Chicago was determined to be the best city to for today’s urban hermit to live, and Honolulu was deemed the worst.



The 10 Best U.S. Cities for Today’s Urban Hermit

1) Chicago, IL

The cost of housing varies across Chicago, but overall it’s a more affordable city than most others. The best part is there are ample options when it comes to food (GrubHub partners with over 2,000 restaurants in Chicago, and 3,500 in the Chicago area), and all five national alcohol delivery companies have set up shop there.

2) Austin, TX

Perhaps the best part of being a hermit is not spending 8 hours per day in the cube farm of some giant office. With more home-based workers than any other major city, Austin offers the best odds of working in your pajamas.

3) Washington, DC

The nation’s capital is fairly average in most categories, but it excels at delivering booze straight to your door. For sober hermits, go ahead and drop Washington down a few spots.

4) San Francisco, CA

San Francisco’s home prices are horrifying, but for a hermit with deep pockets, it’s an ideal spot. Telecommuting is extremely common, and there are plenty of food and drink options that will arrive right at your door.

5) Denver, CO

In addition to affordable housing options and lots of opportunities to work from home, Denver also has gorgeous mountains off in the distance for hermits who like to occasionally swap the solace of their condo for the solace of the mountains.

6) Dallas, TX

The Texas heat provides plenty of incentive to lock oneself indoors, and a cold, refreshing drink is never far away.

7) Tampa, FL

Blazing fast internet speeds and moderate housing costs make up for Tampa’s limited food delivery options.

8) Miami, FL

There may be plenty of nightlife outside, but a contemplative person will find solitude easy to come by in Miami.

9) Los Angeles, CA

A Los Angeles hermit need not live on chain pizza deliveries alone. There are over 1,600 restaurants partnering with GrubHub in the city, and more than 3,500 in the great Los Angeles area, and all five national alcohol delivery services have operations there.

10) Phoenix, AZ

Moderate housing costs, home-based work opportunities, and fast internet speeds all make up for the limited food and drink delivery options in Phoenix.