Each year, Time Out quizzes 20,000 global city-dwellers and local experts to rank the world's coolest streets, based on food, fun, culture and community. We take it pretty seriously, which is why it's extra exciting that a humble 850-metre stretch of Melbourne has taken out the second highest spot this year – Gertrude Street in Fitzroy.
Once upon a time, Gertrude was just a well-trodden thoroughfare between Brunswick and (last year's entry) Smith. But as the rest of the suburb has slowly commercialised, Gertrude Street – beautiful, unassuming and devoid of the rampant nightlife of its comparatively rowdy siblings – has steadily added a wealth of independent retail, drinking and dining joints to its cultural portfolio. And despite its proximity to the city centre, it feels impossibly leafy, slow and peaceful.
"It’s no secret that Fitzroy is the creative hub of Melbourne. But while Brunswick and Smith Street have slowly gentrified over the years, Gertrude has remained the independent shopping and dining force of the North," says Time Out Melbourne editor, Eliza Campbell. "From end to end, this leafy little strip is chock-full of some of the city’s best retail stores, galleries, bars, pubs, restaurants and cafés. It’s Fitzroy funk, but with noticeable polish."
Art-deco, multi-level masterpiece Poodle was mentioned as one of Gertrude Street's must-visit venues, as was best-of-the-best cocktail bar, the Everleigh. In terms of shops – well, there's a few too many to name. Luckily, we've got a comprehensive guide compiled for you already. To read the full list of the world's coolest streets, click here.