In case you are not familiar with Dorchester geography , South Dorchester is comprised of the sections of Adams Village, Lower Mills, Ashmont, Neponset, Port Norfolk, Codman Square, Peabody Square and Dorchester Center. It is extremely affordable with a median home price of $315,000 and median rent of $1,167 compared to Boston as whole whose median home price and rent are $379,000 and $1,298. There are slightly more violent crime incidents per 100,000 residents with 823 compared to 707 for Boston as a whole. Similarly, there are 2,500 incidents of property crime per 100,000 South Dorchester residents compared to 2,150 per 100,000 Boston residents a whole.
Lower Mills, on the border with the pricey town of Milton, is a very dense section of Dorchester, made up of mostly medium and small apartment buildings, as well as single family homes. Many of the apartments are former large Victorian homes split into several residences as well as triple decker houses with units on each floor. Lower Mills is home to a large industrial complex formerly owned by the oldest chocolate producer in the U.S. , Walter Baker and Company. This complex is now home to 133 apartments overlooking the Neponset river. Zen gardens, 24 hour fitness center access, water/energy saving features make the Baker Chocolate Factory apartments a major draw., A very high percentage of residents (24%) from Lower Mills take the train to work every day, higher than 97% of other neighborhoods in America. In the Lower Mills neighborhood in Boston, MA, residents most commonly identify their ethnicity or ancestry as Irish (13.2%). There are also a number of people of Jamaican ancestry (12.3%), and residents who report Asian roots (10.3%), and some of the residents are also of Haitian ancestry (7.6%), along with some Sub-Saharan African ancestry residents (5.7%), among others. In addition, 28.8% of the residents of this neighborhood were born in another country. Steel and Rye restaurant of Lower Mills, is known for its unique cocktails and gourmet Americana cuisine. The restaurant is situated in a former car showroom and ambulance garage.
The Ashmont section of South Dorchester is also located on the Milton border with Boston. Its most notable streets are Ashmont Street, Gallivan Boulevard, and Dorchester Avenue. It has mostly 2-3 family houses as well as some large Victorian style houses that are single family residences. The MBTA has Red Line direct subway service to Downtown Boston, Harvard Square and other Cambridge locations (and ultimately to Alewife Station) at the Ashmont station and there is a link to the Ashmont–Mattapan High Speed Line trolley going to Mattapan. The best restaurant in all of South Dorchester is located in Ashmont, the fittingly name Ashmont Grille. Ashmont Grill serves modern tavern cuisine in Boston, Massachusetts. Ashmont Grill opened in 2005 and has been crafting refined yet affordable pub food with a smile and a joke. The atmosphere is laid back and relaxed, but not at the expense of the quality of the menu, which features elevated American comfort bar food. A typical three-course meal at Ashmont Grill might start with the baked brie with onion marmalade, granny apple slaw and a baguette. For the main course, try the pan-seared Faroe Island salmon with a chickpea panisse, kale, romesco and a marcona almond brittle. Finally, end the meal by indulging in the frozen key lime pie, gingersnap crust or blueberry compote. The Peabody Square section of Ashmont) is located at the intersection of Dorchester Avenue and Ashmont Street, has various bustling restaurants, and fresh house stock. It is currently being developed in conjunction with the Boston Transportation department to have more outdoor cafes, add more green open spaces, and most importantly make the area more bicycle/pedestrian friendly.
Not to be missed in South Dorchester is the Neponset River Reservation on the Southeastern section of Dorchester. The 2-mile Quincy Riverwalk path offers spectacular views of the estuary and the city of Boston. The reservation offers biking, boating, fishing, and hiking. There are also educational programs, playgrounds, spray decks, and wading pools. Connected to the reservation is the 5 mile Neponset River trail perfect for walking or biking along the Neponset River. Enjoy the views of the Neponset River as you walk or ride along the trail. Nearby parks also offer plenty of fun for the family.
Some of the great schools in South Dorchester worth highlighting are the Neighborhood House Charter School (K-8), Henderson Inclusion Elementary School (K-4), and Murphy K-8 school. Neighborhood House Charter School is focused on college preparation, have frequent parent-teacher communication, and are rewarded with a trip to Costa Rica if they meet academic requirements. They truly care about each individual and try their best to serve the needs of each child. The curriculum is creative and varied and the atmosphere is incredibly positive. Henderson Inclusion Elementary School has very dedicated staff who work together to problem solve and create lessons which meet the needs of a diverse group of learners. 57% of Henderson’s students met or exceeded PARCC assessment standards in English and 55% did so in Math. This is compared to Boston School District as a whole where 40% and 37% of its students met PARCC standards in English and Math respectively. Murphy K-8 school is known for a very high percentage of its students getting into and succeeding in Boston’s 3 exam schools upon graduation.