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Yongkang Street, Taipei
Photograph: Shutterstock

The 33 coolest streets in the world

We quizzed 20,000 city-dwellers and asked local experts to rank the top streets in the world for food, fun, culture and community

Edited by
James Manning
Written by
Time Out editors
&
Time Out contributors
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Street life: it’s the only life we know. Seriously, streets are where most of us spend our lives – hanging out, eating, drinking, working, sleeping and occasionally pulling some embarrassing dance moves. If parks are the lungs of the city, streets are its veins, carrying urbanites around each day like stressed-but-happy little blood cells. Street life is what makes the places we live feel alive. Which makes streets kind of a big deal.

Why are we telling you this? Because every year, we quiz thousands of city-dwellers around the world for our Time Out Index survey. And this year, we asked more than 20,000 people the question: what’s the coolest street in your city?

We wanted to know about the places that locals love – the very coolest bits of the coolest neighbourhoods in the world. Once we had our shortlist of the vibiest streets in each city we surveyed, we took it to the experts. Our local Time Out editors and contributors, people who know the city like no one else, narrowed down the selection. Behold the results: our 2022 ranking of the coolest streets on the planet right now.

Since our inaugural street hotlist last year, the world has crept further back towards normality. Many places still face ongoing health restrictions as well as rising living costs. But at this moment, more people are getting out and about in their hometowns – and travelling to visit the world’s greatest cities – than at any time since the start of 2020. So consider this ranking a really, really specific rundown of the best places in the world to hang out in 2022, as well as a celebration of the people that have made them their home.

From grand avenues and shopping strips to pedestrianised backstreets and leafy squares, these streets are manageable microcosms of the world’s most exciting cities – each one chock-full of independent businesses, creative humans and everything else that makes urban life brilliant. Ready to take a stroll?

The world’s coolest streets in 2022

Rue Wellington, Montreal
Photograph: Caroline Perron

1. Rue Wellington, Montreal

When a street is bookended by one of the best bars and one of the best new restaurants in the city, there’s no questioning its cool factor – especially when the city in question is one of the world’s gastronomic capitals. Throw in killer cocktail bars, stellar brunch spots, some of the best sandwiches in town and even a sandy urban beach, and you’ve got Verdun’s Wellington Street. From a sparkling new French bistro, Paname, to cult café Lili & Oli, this picturesque, bustling street in southwestern Montreal is home to almost 200 businesses, including a brand new local bagel shop. Come summer, the promenade becomes pedestrian-only, with a free tuk-tuk service to get you from one end to the next. Does it get any cooler than that?

EAT French gastronomie with zero pretension at Bistro Paname.

DRINK Signature cocktails on the swish patio of Bar Palco, the perfect 5-à-7 thanks to $1 oysters every weekday.

DO Grab a kickass sandwich from Bossa and head to Verdun beach, a hidden stretch of sand just steps from De l’Église metro. Laura Osborne, Time Out Canada

Gertrude Street, Melbourne
Photograph: Jo McGann

2. Gertrude Street, Melbourne

Once upon a time, Gertrude Street was just a well-trodden Fitzroy thoroughfare. But as the rest of the suburb has steadily fallen victim to gentrification, Gertrude – 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. Despite its proximity to the city centre, this 850-metre stretch feels impossibly leafy, slow and peaceful. Surrounded by heritage-listed facades (and a distinct lack of non-permit parking), Gertrude maintains a very locals-only, if-you-know-you-know kind of energy. Like the people who live on and around it, it’s almost annoyingly cool. Almost.

EAT The excellent chef’s selection at Poodle, currently top of our list of the best restaurants in Melbourne. An art-deco, multi-level masterpiece with an Italian-leaning menu, an extensive wine list and a few kitschy Aussie classics thrown in.

DRINK The ‘bartender’s choice’ at the Everleigh, which will leave you with a new signature drink with its realisations of romantic, old-world luxury. With a slew of awards and a cemented place on every ‘best cocktail bar’ list you can think of, no one does it like the Everleigh – trust us, it’s just as good as everyone says it is.

STAY At preferably some kind of warehouse conversion, like this 1930s factory building on Airbnb called ‘Stillness’. An indoor/outdoor work of art complete with a private courtyard, it’s not hard to see where it got its name. Eliza Campbell, Time Out Melbourne

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Great Western Road, Glasgow
Photograph: Shutterstock

3. Great Western Road, Glasgow

When the sun sets down the tree-lined barrel of Great Western Road in summertime, it feels like anything is possible. Glasgow’s historic western approach road cuts a nearly 18-mile-long straight line all the way from the edge of the Trossachs to the city centre. But it’s the top bit between St George’s Cross and the Botanic Gardens – abuzz morning through night with all from latte-sipping mums and dads to students and full-on hipsters – where all the good stuff happens. Here you’ll find everything from inexpensive Neapolitan pizzas and beer schooners at Paesano to thrift shopping at Glasgow Vintage Co, West and DUDS; riverside craft brews at Inn Deep to sweaty basement gigs at the Hug and Pint; late-night pours at Oran Mor to hangover-busting coffees and breakfast burritos at Papercup.

EAT Food for all budgets and occasions, from the exquisite tasting menu at Michelin Star decorated Cail Bruich (£125) to Glasgow’s best chips ’n ’cheese at Philadelphia (sub-four quid).

DRINK Pints at the living-room sized proper wee pub The Belle. It’s a rare gem: no food, no frills, just great pints, a welcoming, laid-back atmosphere, and an open fire in winter.

BUY Gorgeous homewares and fashionwear at boutique emporium of delectable Scandi design HOOS and its bigger sister store inHOOS. Malcolm Jack

Yongkang Street, Taipei
Photograph: Shutterstock

4. Yongkang Street, Taipei

There’s nowhere else in Taipei quite like Yongkang Street, a mellow lane in the genteel Dongmen neighbourhood packed with excellent restaurants, holes-in-the wall sizzling with traditional fried snacks, decadent dessert parlours, upmarket boutiques and historical tea rooms with all the ceremonial trappings. Foodie reputation aside, Yongkang has ditched chain-store blandness for an individualised vibe with an artisan edge: witness its local carpenter, traditional pharmacy and jewellery workshops.

EAT Shaved ice desserts from Smoothie House, a very yellow two-storey building at number 15. Its signature super mango snowflake ice with sorbet is so large and sweet it must be shared.

DRINK Craft beers in the garden of Zhang Men Brewing – there are few more pleasant experiences.

BUY Alternative gifts at Littdlework, including handmade, customized embroidered badges, bags, purses, and earrings. Dinah Gardner

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Værnedamsvej, Copenhagen
Photograph: Daniel Rasmussen

5. Værnedamsvej, Copenhagen

Værnedamsvej in Copenhagen’s Vesterbro neighbourhood has been a hub of cool for ages, but in recent years it’s somehow dodged the gentrification and tourism of the ultra-spotlighted Nørrebro – making it even more of a draw. With its fresh flowers, cute boutiques, wine bars, cheese shops and even a French lycée, it’s something of a mini-Paris in the Danish capital.

EAT The towering seafood platter at Les Trois Cochons, the best (and showiest) bistrotheque in this mini-French haven. You might see local families and supermodels alike sitting down animatedly for lunch or dinner.

DRINK Natural wine at Falernum, a newish institution renowned for its 'minimal intervention' winemaking process. Learn more about the joys of natural, biodynamic and organic wines with their clued-up and cute staff.

DO Grab a book and journal and nestle in at Granola with a black coffee to watch the world go by. You might get chatting to a florist, a cook, a cheesemonger, a wine enthusiast – or even a celeb, such is the draw of Værnedamsvej. Alex Hayward

 

Karangahape Road, Auckland
Photograph: Shutterstock

6. Karangahape Road, Auckland

Karangahape Road – known to Aucklanders simply as as ‘K Road’ – is the city’s bohemian heart and the home of a diverse and expressive community of artists, musicians, and creatives. Its red-light history, coupled with the more recent additions of art galleries and hip cafés in its heritage buildings, gives it plenty of character: every door leads to something very different. Gay clubs, speakeasy-style bars and cabarets sit alongside thrift stores, secondhand book shops and independent record stores. Adding further flourishes of colour are the street art murals adorning the walls of parking lots and the steps of historic St Kevins Arcade.

BUY K Road street style from retro and vintage boutiques like Crushes and Smoove.

EAT Italian food from Cotto, a local favourite, as is the vibrant institution of Coco’s Cantina across the road.

DO Stay after dark and see K Road come into its own. Live music venues The Wine Cellar, Whammy Bar, and Neck of the Woods are favourite haunts for music-lovers, where you can find anything from acoustic folk gigs to boisterous DJ sets. Petrina Darrah

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Tai Ping Shan Street, Hong Kong
Photograph: Tatum Ancheta

7. Tai Ping Shan Street, Hong Kong

Tai Ping Shan is a historic micro-neighbourhood embedded in Sheung Wan, one of the oldest but also one of the most dynamic districts in Hong Kong. The street at its centre was the city’s first Chinese settlement, but today it’s been transformed into a cool bohemian enclave dotted with trendy cafés, independent shops and old and new eateries – many of which are housed inside tenement buildings, rubbing shoulders with some of Hong Kong’s oldest and most historically significant temples.

EAT Contemporary Nordic fine dining at Embla, one of the latest and most exciting dining additions in the neighbourhood, with a seasonally-driven menu and an excellent wine programme.

DRINK Freshly brewed coffee or artisanal teas are best savoured beside the French windows of hip but tranquil hangout, Hö-ah.

SEE Visit the several old temples in the area. If you’re looking for a place to get your prayers answered – including finding your true love – head to Pak Sing Ancestral Hall and pray to the Chinese gods. Tatum Ancheta, Time Out Hong Kong

Yaowarat Road, Bangkok
Photograph: Shutterstock

8. Yaowarat Road, Bangkok

One of Bangkok’s oldest thoroughfares, with a history that dates back to the city’s foundation, Yaowarat Road winds and curves through Bangkok’s riverside Chinatown. Lined with neon signs and bustling day or night, this cultural hub is home to temples, restaurants, markets and legions of acupuncturists and dispensers of Chinese medicine. It’s been a street food lovers’ favourite for generations, but lately the area has seen cool galleries and high end restaurants move in too, keeping Yaowarat as relevant and culturally diverse as the day it was paved.

DO Have a gander around Over the Influence, a buzzy contemporary art space from Hong Kong that has just launched down Yaowarat’s southernmost end.

EAT Thai-Chinese fusion from Chef Pam at the much celebrated Potong, who’ve set up shop just two minutes’ walk off the main drag.

DRINK Delicious, mindfully-brewed tea in ceremonial fashion at the stretch’s most serene spot, the charming Double Dogs Tea RoomLucie Grace

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Oranienstrasse, Berlin
Photograph: Shutterstock

9. Oranienstrasse, Berlin

One of Berlin’s most famous streets – and one that locals have fought hard to protect over the years – Oranienstrasse is famed for its fresh Turkish food and lively cocktail bars, all wedged between extensive mid-century flats that were rebuilt after much of the street was devastated in WWII. Decades later, it’s still a battleground: Oranienstrasse and Oranienplatz are key sites for local political demonstrations and protests all year round, and especially on May 1.

EAT A Turkish dinner at Adana Grillhaus or majestic fast food from Angry Chicken.

BUY Hardcore and punk records at Coretex Records – of if that’s a little too shouty, drop into the Voo Store and hunt for top designers’ latest collections.

DO Make the most of Oranienstrasse being a popular nightlife hub for locals and tourists alike: Roses and SO36 are cult classics, while Café Luzia, Feger and Prinzipal offer upscale options for an evening out. Nathan Ma

Hayes Street, San Francisco
Photograph: Shutterstock

10. Hayes Street, San Francisco

The main drag of Hayes Valley, one of San Francisco’s trendiest neighbourhoods, took a big hit during the past few years. But lately, it’s become a symbol of resurgence. Bustling once again, Hayes Street meshes old SF – with its quirky shops and long-time eateries – with some of the city’s most exciting restaurant openings and trendiest storefronts. Once you’re done trawling the boutiques, where you can splurge on everything from clothing and jewellery to home goods and gifts, end your Hayes Street spree with a drink at a charming wine bar or a bite to eat on a sidewalk patio.

BUY Locally-produced everything from local favourite (and woman-owned small business) Rare Device.

EAT A casual lunch at Mano, also the perfect place for meet-ups or special dinners.

DRINK A take-out coffee from Ritual Coffee’s tiny container outpost — a key element of the Hayes valley neighbourhood’s landscape. Clara Hogan, Time Out San Francisco

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Avenida Ámsterdam, Mexico City
Photograph: Stephanie Lopez

11. Avenida Ámsterdam, Mexico City

Laid out on the elliptical line of an old racetrack in the Condesa neighbourhood, Avenida Ámsterdam is a never-ending street circling Parque Mexico and Avenida México – and the epicentre of Mexico City nightlife, gastronomy, design and fashion. Around the Ámsterdam circuit, contemporary architectures rub up against picture-postcard art deco and neoclassical buildings, and almost every corner pulls in punters with a friendly, bohemian café, pizzeria or bar. Each morning, the street fills with pets and joggers; as the day wears on, the aroma of freshly baked bread and coffee gives way to music drifting out of the old houses converted into bars; and come nightfall there’s always a party to head to. Ámsterdam never rests.

EAT Five different types of houmous at Merkavá/Sod. Created by chef Daniel Ovadía, this Israeli-influenced restaurant is one of the best in town – and after dinner, you can head right upstairs for cocktails at Sod, a very cool speakeasy.

DRINK A Sumi or Mr Apple cocktail at Baltra, one of the best  bars in the Americas. It’s a tiny joint with a big personality, that’s always worth stopping by before a big night out in Condesa.

DO Get cultured at La Increíble, a bookstore that factors in design to its cosy experience, and the House of Gaga art gallery, just a few steps away from the Cibeles fountain. Mauricio Nava, Time Out Mexico City

12. Kolokotroni, Athens

On central Athens’s extraordinary Kolokotroni Street, independent stores jostle for attention and fun, and fresh resto-bars have laid down roots. Here’s how you do Kolokotroni: start at the square and peek inside the National History Museum (which was once the Parliament building), then wander slowly down to Aiolou Street, admiring the neoclassical architecture as you go. Stop for a Greek salad, burger or Indian-influenced souvlaki, wash it all down with an ouzo or Freddo cappuccino, then head to some of the vendors selling sandals, books, clothes, art supplies, jewellery and vintage watches.

STAY At Gatsby Athens, a fun, playful estab decked out with terrazzo tiles, faux flora, a guest-only rooftop and bar. Press the lion-shaped button in your room for a (good!) surprise.

DRINK Something strong at KOTES Booze Cooperativa. It’s all vibes in this gorgeously eclectic cocktail spot, with a smattering of political chat (the owner set up an independent political party in 2009) and regulars playing stern games of chess.

BUY Antique books and prints, from centuries-old original paintings and book clippings to maps and works of Greek history, at the street’s several bookshops. Katie Silcox

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Virgil Avenue, Los Angeles
Photograph: Jesse Hsu

13. Virgil Avenue, Los Angeles

Formerly famous as the home of ultra-trendy café Sqirl (before a mouldy jam scandal shredded that particular establishment’s reputation), Virgil Avenue’s culinary scene now orbits around a pair of sensations: Melody, a wine bar in a bungalow that’s become known for its next-big-thing food pop-ups, and Courage Bagels, a Montreal-style bagel shop with an LA-sized line. Others have moved into this low-profile, tree-lined stretch of Virgil Village in their wake, including colorful Cuba-inspired bar Bolita and chicken-based Ken’s Ramen – albeit at a cost to the area’s largely working-class, Central American community.

DO Catch Hot Tub, Kurt Braunohler and Kristen Schaal’s long-running Monday night comedy show at the Virgil.

EAT A 10-course Thai and Japanese meal at KinKan, a casual, grandma-chic dining room.

DRINK A selection of ciders and snack on all sorts of waffles at the intimate Alma’s Cider and BeerMichael Juliano, Time Out Los Angeles

Ossington Avenue, Toronto
Photograph: designwallah

14. Ossington Avenue, Toronto

Bustling Ossington is the place to go in Toronto for some of the city’s best restaurants, live music nearly every night of the week, and the kind of nights out that call for leather jackets, not heels. The most noteworthy stretch is between Dundas and Queen Street West: there you can parade the street and shop for everything from carefully selected vintage to garms by rising Canadian designers. For a leisurely afternoon, pop into Bellwoods Brewery or cosy up at one of the several hip and snug coffee shops and wine bars.

EAT An ice-cream sandwich or cone from Bang Bang – preferabyl while taking in the sunshine at the nearby Trinity Bellwoods Park.

DRINK A pint at Sweaty Betty’s for a true dive bar experience: this place is generally packed with an eclectic selection of local faces.

BUY Grown-up friendship bracelets. Book an appointment at Melanie Auld for a permanently welded jewellery experience that begs to be shared on your socials. Lydia Hrycko

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Via Provenza, Medellín
Photograph: Joaquin Sarmiento/AFP

15. Via Provenza, Medellín

Lined with the lush foliage that’s typical of Medellín, Via Provenza is a short walk uphill from the bustling Parque Poblado and Parque Lleras, and lively enough to take you from day to night. Restaurants, cafés and bars take centre stage here, all showcasing the city’s friendly, energetic and entrepreneurial spirit. Roaring reggaeton or electronic music often wafts onto the street, along with bursts of laughter, animated conversation and the sound of clinking glasses. There aren’t many places in this world where you’re more or less guaranteed a good time, but Via Provenza is one of them.

STAY At the artfully designed boutique 23 Hotel at the end of the street, the perfect base for exploring.

DRINK Craft beers, tropical fruity sodas and wines of the world at the sublime Sambombi Bistró, a bar and restaurant serving sharing plates with locally sourced ingredients.

EAT Tacos (what else?) at Vatos Loves Tacos, the ideal spot for ending the night. Laura Field

Calle Ocho, Miami
Photograph: Shutterstock

16. Calle Ocho, Miami

Calle Ocho, or Eight Street, is the main artery for the lively community of Little Havana. Along the bustling strip lie some of Miami’s oldest cigar shops, their aroma permeating the sidewalks; the city’s most iconic domino park (Andy Garcia could be seen playing here in the latest iteration of ‘Father of the Bride’); and beloved artisanal dessert shop Azucar, whose giant ice cream cone sculpture is a beacon to all those in search of a Cuban-inspired frozen treat. Not much has changed along Calle Ocho in recent years, and in our book, that’s a good thing – with so much of the world in flux, it’s comforting to know there’s still a stretch of Miami serving consistently good cafecito with a side of genuine warmth and hospitality.

EAT The creations of by James Beard Award-winning chef Michelle Bernstein at Café La Trova. It’s a tough one to pull off, but La Trova successfully closes the gap between tourists and locals: out-of-towners come here for the authentic Miami Cuban experience, while locals delight in the nightly live music and cocktails by decorated cantinero Julio Cabrera.

DRINK Freshly made mojitos at Ball & Chain. This storied jazz club recently remained closed for far too long (a casualty of local political tensions) but persisted, prevailed and reopened last fall. Its iconic pineapple stage is the place to catch live acts, while indoors it’s all about the swirling salsa dancers and infectious Latin beats.

STAY Boutique hotel chain Life House has transformed an old apartment building into a charming, Le Labo-scented inn located just a few steps from Calle Ocho. The rooms are small but nicely done, and the in-house restaurant, Terras, really stands out in the neighborhood: it’s an adorable rooftop bar and restaurant serving Latin-inspired small plates, stiff drinks and swoon-worthy views towards Brickell. Virginia Gil, Time Out Miami

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Deptford High Street, London
Photograph: Shutterstock

17. Deptford High Street, London

It’s easy enough to tick off what makes Deptford High Street cool: independent shops, cafés, bars and restaurants. Vital jazz venues and art galleries. Places to buy giant African snails and a single-origin oat flat white. Thrice-weekly street stalls selling fruit, fish, overalls and homewares, and a chaotic flea market that sells literally everything else. But these things are not its essence, just manifestations. In the last 500 years, it has seen huge wealth from London’s docks cheek-by-jowl with slums and flophouses; destruction from bombing and developers; and countless waves of reinvention. It’s constantly in flux. Its history isn’t dead and preserved: it’s the most alive street in London.

DRINK A teapotful of the ‘Spice Girls vs East 17’ cocktail at Little Nan’s Bar, a veritable temple of British pop-culture kitsch.

EAT The vegan jerk Sunday roast at Buster Mantis, legendary for its jazz jam sessions as well as its Caribbean food.

DO Rummage for treasure in the Saturday junk market. Chris Waywell, Time Out London

Praça das Flores, Lisbon
Fotografia: Francisco Romão Pereira

18. Praça das Flores, Lisbon

At the meeting point between three of the liveliest neighbourhoods in the city – Príncipe Real, São Bento and Chiado – Praça das Flores is a hotspot for any hours of the day. This tucked-away square is the ideal starting point or pit stop for anyone spending a day traipsing up and down Lisbon’s many hills. Independent businesses cluster here around the pretty Fialho de Almeida garden – so take a load off, preferably in the shade, on a terrace, drink in hand.

DO If you have kids with energy to burn, let them loose in the square’s playground while you sip a perfectly made coffee from the cosy and cosmopolitan Copenhagen Coffee Lab.

EAT Polvo à lagareiro (octopus with potatoes) or bitoque (steak) with an egg on top, at Pão de Canela. It’s been here for over 20 years, but in March it revealed a gorgeous new look and menu. The terrace is one of Lisbon’s favourite, and a mandatory weekend brunch stop.

DRINK Something very hoppy at the pioneering Cerveteca: Lisbon’s first craft beer bar, which continues to attract both locals and visitors to its bottles and taps. Or if wine is your tipple, steer yourself instead to the square’s latest arrival: the ace Magnolia wine bar. Either way: cheers! Vera Moura, Time Out Lisbon

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Oxford Street, Accra
Photograph: Shutterstock

19. Oxford Street, Accra

Said to be named after Oxford Street in London due to its extreme busyness, Accra’s Oxford Street transforms from a charismatic shopping avenue by day to a nightlife hub once the sun goes down. As you can likely guess from the traffic’s endless honking, this place is best explored by foot. And whether you’re after a quick-and-delicious bite to eat, a jumping hotspot to catch up with friends or some handcrafted souvenirs to make people jealous back home, Oxford Street always seems to have what you need.

EAT A spicy, peppered suya kebab: thick-cut slices of meat placed on a skewer, rubbed in fine spices and topped with caramelized onions and peppers for extra flavour. You will need water.

DO Stop by Kona Grill & Lounge to experience just how invigorating nightlife in Accra can get. Kona defines itself as a casual restaurant with a cocktail bar, but as the night descends, it quickly transforms into one of Accra’s lively nightspots.

BUY All the fabric, bags and Ghana flag keychains you can fit in your luggage. Supporting the local merchants who keep Oxford Street so lively is key to its preservation! Christina Jane

Wentworth Avenue, Chicago
Photograph: Shutterstock

20. Wentworth Avenue, Chicago

Amid waning Asian-American populations in Chinatowns across the US, Chicago’s Chinatown has continued to expand and thrive. The neighbourhood’s heart is the bustling commercial strip along Wentworth Avenue, from the street’s iconic Chinatown Gateway (modelled after a wall in Beijing) down to the south end’s dense network of gift shops, grocers, boba spots and truly incredible Chinese restaurants.

EAT Handmade lamb and coriander dumplings at Qing Xiang Yuan, with a side of slick, spicy wood-ear-mushroom salad for good measure. Grab frozen dumplings on your way out to recreate the meal at home.

DO Work your way to the north end of the street, which deposits you at the eastern end of Ping Tom Park: a riverside green space that boasts some of the city’s most stunning skyline views.

BUY You could spend a whole afternoon puttering around the strip’s vast array of stores, from long-time souvenir shops to the brand-new, Japanese-inspired chain Miniso. Emma Krupp, Time Out Chicago

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Cutting Room Square, Manchester
Photograph: John B Hewitt / Shutterstock.com

21. Cutting Room Square, Manchester

If there’s one place that brings together Manchester’s proud industrial heritage with all of the advantages of a forward-looking city, it’s Cutting Room Square, right in the middle of Ancoats. Sit in the open air, take in the five giant copper monoliths that look out over the square, and gaze out over the foreground of the converted warehouses and St Peter’s church. On the other side are some of the finest, award-winning places to dine – in Manchester or anywhere. Cutting Room Square’s seamless mix of culture, exquisite dining and rich sense of history makes it the coolest street in the UK’s coolest city (there, we’ve said it).

EAT The original Rudy’s pizza for the city’s most delicious pies, plus warm, welcoming vibes and great people-watching.

DRINK Ales, wine and whiskey at the downright Dickensian Edinburgh Castle. Grab a candlelit nook and put the world to rights.

DO Take in a concert at Hallé St Peters: the converted church that’s now the home of the Hallé Orchestra. Rob Martin, Time Out Manchester

Capel Street, Dublin
Photograph: Dirk Hudson / Shutterstock.com

22. Capel Street, Dublin

It might be tough to spot Dublin’s coolest street right off the bat, but spend a bit of time here and you’ll discover that the buzz on Capel Street is like no other in the city. You won’t find the glamorous shops of Grafton Street or the tourist-trap pubs of Temple Bar here. Instead you’ll find a whirl of culture and some of the best food in Dublin, usually without any frills: locals know they’re good, so there's no need for fuss. There is genuinely always something new to discover on Capel Street, whether it’s a steamy bowl of authentic pho, a lively Moroccan restaurant with karaoke from noon to night, or brunch at the super-popular Brother Hubbard. Plus the street has recently been pedestrianised, making it the ideal spot for sipping pints in the sun and just generally hanging out.

EAT Corn dogs to Korean fried chicken at secret restaurant White Rabbit, hidden between the aisles at the back of the Super Asia Foods supermarket. This place has mastered Asian street food.

DRINK Something a little different at 1661: Ireland's first poitín bar. Named as Ireland's best cocktail joint in 2019, it’s here that you’ll discover modern twists on an ancient Irish spirit. Not to mention the fact that the atmosphere is electric – it’s great for first dates.

DO Spend a bleary night at Pantibar: the LGBTQ+ hub that’s home to Ireland’s most famous drag queen, Panti. Éadaoin Fitzmaurice

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Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai
Photograph: Shutterstock

23. Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai

A heady mix of new and OG Dubai, Beach Road (as locals know it) is the city’s backbone. It’s a low-rise strip running parallel to the beach, from Wild Wadi all the way down to the Union House flagpole. Here you’ll find fancy stuff like the Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental and the Burj Al Arab. But even better are all the quirky old school shawarma shops, bucket-and-spade shacks, random art stores, one-off bakeries, florists, salons and neighbourhood malls. Walk it, cycle it, drive it; this is where you’ll see the city come together.

DRINK Bottomless high tea at Tania’s Tea House: a place for healthy brekkies paired with cupcakes that practically groan under their own frosting.

DO Explore Mercato Mall, where a modern high street combines with some really cool eateries. If visiting in the summer, be sure to ride the enormous free slide that replaces one of the escalators.

EAT Japanese food at Mimi Kakushi. On the grounds of the Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach, this place won Time Out Dubai’s Restaurant of the Year 2022 accolade for its fab combo of incredible food, adventurous drinks and come-as-you-are cool vibes. Louise Charlesworth, Time Out Dubai

Enmore Road, Sydney
Photograph: Cassandra Hannagan

24. Enmore Road, Sydney

While King Street claims a lot of the glory, the other main artery of Sydney’s Newtown neighbourhood – joining it up with Enmore and Marrickville – is a haven of excellent restaurants, bars and pubs and boutiques. The local ‘weird is welcome’ edge is very much in evidence here, with the action centred around the historic Enmore Theatre: an art deco landmark-turned-legendary culture hub with serious cred for live music and comedy gigs. While some of the portals to the street’s old character have succumbed to shiny new fit-outs (RIP, Sly Fox Hotel) there are still remnants of Enmore Road’s rough-’n’-ready, laid-back charm and inclusive spirit. And if you manage to eat your way through every single place to grab a bite on this strip, we’ll be very impressed.

EAT Risotto with aged pecorino and native desert lime at Osteria di Russo & Russo. It says a lot about a Sydney restaurant if it's been pumping since 2013, and this unassuming and tiny Italian(ish) mainstay has been playing with traditional Italian dishes and giving them a very Australian spin for nearly a decade now.

DRINK The most classic of classic cocktails, the Martini, in a seriously un-classic way at Bar Planet. Mouthful Martinis are poured from a great height directly, well, where you’d expect. This psychedelic dive bar owned by Sydney hospo royalty also has its own Infinite Spirit, which is like a sourdough starter for booze, continually spiked with in-season produce.

BUY Your kicks, and a massive hit of Americana, at Route 66. Many a cowboy boot-clad scallywag has entered this boutique on the hunt for a perfectly aged Creedence tee or a frilly rockabilly dress. Maxim Boon, Time Out Sydney

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Kagurazaka, Tokyo
Photograph: Shutterstock

25. Kagurazaka, Tokyo

Filled with shrines, bakeries, European wine bars and Japanese tea shops, the sloped main street of Kagurazaka is a charming amalgamation of east and west. Kagurazaka flourished as a geisha district during the early twentieth century, and even today you might catch a rare glimpse of a modern-day geisha making her way to a tea house along one of the cobblestone back alleys. Occasionally, the long road will be flooded with bustling crowds for annual events like the traditional Awa Odori dance festival or the bizarre Bakeneko (spooky cat) parade. On a typical day, however, Kagurazaka-dori is a happy hunting ground for Tokyo’s foodies, strolling up and down to check out the 250 restaurants packed into the neighbourhood.

EAT A galette from Le Bretagne, washed down with a cup of boozy apple cider.

DRINK Nihonshu at the Otonari standing bar, which is perfect for those looking to sample loads of different sake alongside small sashimi platters. The bar even has a handy chart listing different flavour profiles to help you pick out a rice wine if you’re not sure where to start.

STAY If you’re looking for accommodation that’s cheap and comfortable, look no further than modern hostel Unplan, featuring private Finnish sauna rooms for guests to relax in after a long day of exploring. Emma Steen, Time Out Tokyo

Kloof Street, Cape Town
Photograph: Shutterstock

26. Kloof Street, Cape Town

Perfect for date nights, hanging out with pals, indulging in wellness treatments or tucking into some of Cape Town’s finest eateries, Kloof Street – the main thoroughfare of Gardens district – is both a local favourite and tourist drawcard. Here you can explore local fashion, pop in to a swish art gallery, dive into secondhand furniture stores or just generally catch a bucketload of local buzz, all while taking in magical views of Table Mountain.

STAY At Kloof Street Hotel, with 360-degree views of Cape Town’s skyline and mountains and its own restaurant, coffee shop and open-air swimming pool.

EAT Anything from the eclectic menu at Kloof Street House, which is an intimate, romantic setting with its stunning garden and old Victorian dining room.

DO Visit the Ubuntu Wellness Centre for massages, natural healing treatments or hydrotherapy. Aaaaaah… Yazeed Kamaldien

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Süleyman Seba Caddesi, Istanbul
Photograph: Shutterstock

27. Süleyman Seba Caddesi, Istanbul

In the trendy neighbourhood of Akaretler, within walking distance to the lively Beşiktaş and Nişantaşı areas, Süleyman Seba is the vibrant street where it’s all happening. Much of the impressive architecture here is home to some lovely eating and drinking places and plenty of cool events – but the street’s crown jewels are surely the splendid Row Houses, built during the Sultan Abdülaziz period for the accommodation of the high-ranking officials of Dolmabahçe Palace. They now host happenings such as the interdisciplinary art project Artweeks and draw art lovers from all over İstanbul.

DO Browse the amazing collection of tens of thousands of Turkish and English books at one of Süleyman Seba Street independent bookstores, then dip into your new purchase over a homemade lemonade at any of the local café-brasseries.

DRINK A White Mill de Luxe, the signature cocktail at White Mill. It’s perfect for an Istanbul afternoon.

EAT Confit lamb shank at Vogue, which offers an amazing fine-dining experience against a magnificent Bosphorus backdrop. Seda Pekçelen, Time Out Istanbul

Calle Echegaray, Madrid
Photograph: Gorka Elorrieta

28. Calle Echegaray, Madrid

It’s only a small stretch within the sprawl of Madrid, but still, it’d take you more than 24 hours to really make the most out of Calle Echegaray. The street crosses the historic Barrio de las Letras (so named because it hosted writers like Quevedo and Cervantes), taking in quaint corners, hidden flamenco spots and centuries-old tabernas revered by locals. But it’s also the place to sample signature cocktails at one of Spain’s best cocktail bars, or enjoy some of the city’s tastiest ramen. In a way, Echegaray condenses Madrid's spirit into a single street – and that’s exactly why it has become the Spanish capital’s latest hotspot.

EAT Every kind of ramen (including cold noodle salads for those Madrid summers) at the tiny Chuka Ramen Bar. Make sure to book a table: it gets busy.

BUY Something unique at Tado, where shopholder Sylvie Fiachetti stocks incredible pieces by Spanish artists and makers working in ceramics and wood. You can also take a pottery course if you’ve got the time.

STAY At the Gran Hotel Inglés, if your pockets are deep enough. The oldest luxury hotel in Madrid, and the first to have a restaurant (and electricity!), it went through a rough patch a few years ago, but has more recently been revived as a sophisticated boutique spot where there’s always something happening. You should at least pop in for a cocktail. Noelia Santos

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MacDougal Street, New York
Photograph: JJFarq / Shutterstock.com

29. MacDougal Street, New York

Running through the West Village along Washington Square Park and down to Prince Street, this half-mile stretch has been one of the most vibrant streets in NYC for decades. Despite its short span, MacDougal has a long and storied history – it’s particularly known as the epicentre of the Beat Generation and for attracting luminaries like Bob Dylan, Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac to now-iconic haunts like Cafe Wha?, Minetta Tavern and Caffe Reggio. (Even Eleanor Roosevelt lived here.) What makes this street the coolest in NYC today isn’t just its history, though. It’s home to Comedy Cellar, much-awarded negroni haven Dante NYC, Mermaid Oyster Bar, illustrious jazz clubs (like Blue Note) and a whole clutch of other must-see spots, ensuring that its enduringly cool vibe still brings tourists, college students and New Yorkers seeking the best of the city to its sidewalks. That’s especially true on warm evenings when the street comes alive with live music and outdoor dining.

EAT Scrummy oysters at the New England-inspired Mermaid Oyster Bar.

DRINK A negroni or three at Dante NYC, named the world’s best bar in 2019, but with a history dating right back to 1915.

SEE A spellbinding set at Blue Note Jazz Club, which has earned its stripes as one of the world’s best rooms for the big J. Shaye Weaver, Time Out New York

Carrer del Comte Borrell, Barcelona
Photograph: Shutterstock

30. Carrer del Comte Borrell, Barcelona

Right now, Comte Borrell is the place to be in Barcelona. Connecting the cool Nova Esquerra de l’Eixample neighbourhood to the ever-up-and-coming Sant Antoni, this street has pretty much anything you could possibly want. Brainy bookstores – such as La Prole, specialising in gender and feminism, or the artsy and modern Terranova – are never too far away from places to savour delicious food, like La Desayunería (for people who could eat breakfast for every meal) or Bar Ramon with its classic tapas. Bar Rosso’s signature cocktails share the street with community pillars such as Barcelona’s LGBTI Center or the Sant Antoni market. Recently, the street has had a bit of a glow-up: pedestrianised in some areas, and filled with trees, benches, and chess tables. We wish other streets would follow in Comte Borrell’s steps: becoming lively while also staying liveable.

BUY Sustainable underwear, with a body-positive approach and a wide range of sizes, at hidden store-inside-a-store Ecometas. To find it, head into La Prole bookshop.

EAT Truffled Spanish omelette and other delicious tapas at beautiful modernist restaurant Bar Alegría.

SHOP Seafood, fruit, meat and veg – among other delicious food – in the amazing cast-iron building that gathers all the different small businesses of the Sant Antoni market. On Sundays, the weekly book market offers a selection of secondhand books and some great people-watching. Rita Roig, Time Out Barcelona

 

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Newbury Street, Boston
Photograph: Shutterstock

31. Newbury Street, Boston

It’s official: Newbury Street is cool again. The Back Bay street once known for its designer shops and historic brownstones is now home to some of the best new restaurants, funkiest speakeasies and chic-est boutique hotels Boston has to offer. Newbury’s roots may go back nearly two centuries, but thanks to the arrival of street patios and throng of new openings, this tony street is once again one of the liveliest places to spend a night out in the city.

DRINK A tipple or two at Hecate, Boston’s coolest new bar. A speakeasy inspired by the Greek goddess of witchcraft, Hecate’s drinkable creations will have you raving to your friends. Step into this dark, underground lair of a speakeasy to kick off your night with a bang.

EAT Italian small plates at Faccia Brutta. Translating to ‘ugly face’, Faccia Brutta specializes in delicious shareable small plates in a casual setting.

STAY At The Newbury, for those nights you don’t want to end. Perched over Boston Common, this place is fun, stylish and sexy, and its Street Bar regularly gets packed with a buzzy crowd of locals. Jacqueline Sabia, Time Out Boston

Colaba Causeway, Mumbai
Photograph: AnilD / Shutterstock.com

32. Colaba Causeway, Mumbai

Colaba is the southernmost of Mumbai’s seven islands, and the main causeway has long been the primary route into the city. Today it’s a cultural hotspot thanks to its old-world charm, with its art deco buildings now housing fashion labels, restaurants and art galleries. Plonked alongside those heritage buildings are a more vernacular form of commerce: the hawkers that sell imitation jewellery, antiques, clothes, perfumes and more, perfect for some serious browsing. With all that eating, drinking and shopping, it’s not hard to spend an entire weekend roaming around Colaba Causeway.

STAY At the beautiful Abode Bombay, which occupies a building that dates all the way back to 1910.

EAT A hearty breakfast at classic hangout Café Mondegar, best known for its Mario Miranda murals and vintage jukebox.

DRINK Craft beer at Woodside Inn, for a sneak peek into Mumbai’s growing brewery scene. Kasturi Gadge

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Everton Road, Singapore
Photograph: Lai Chan See

33. Everton Road, Singapore

There’s no end of famous streets in Singapore – think the heritage rows of Katong or Emerald Hill – but Everton Road has got to be one of the most underrated. Overlooked time and time again, this picturesque stretch in Tanjong Pagar is a diamond in the rough. But the eclectic mix of public-housing flats and conserved pre-war shophouses isn’t just a nostalgic picture: you could spend a whole day admiring the area’s colourful street art, stopping off at one of the many cafés for your coffee fix.

DO Take a street-art stroll and check out the vibrant murals that dot the area, showcasing what kampong life was like back when Singapore was still just a cluster of villages.

EAT Ang ku kueh (traditional Chinese pastry) for a taste of Singapore back in the day. At old-school kueh store Ji Xiang Ang Ku Kueh, you can order the recognisably bright red nonya pastry, a sweet treat made from glutinous rice flour, coconut milk, and sugar that’s filled with either peanut or sweet-bean paste.

DRINK Beer towers starting at S$10 a pint, at hole-in-the-wall café At the Myo. The garlic fried rice and other tasty bar grub is also worth raving about. Pailin Boonlong, Time Out Singapore

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