This Street Was Just Named the Coolest in the World

The No. 1 spot went to a street in the suburbs of Australia.

<p>Josie Withers/Courtesy of Visit Victoria</p>

Josie Withers/Courtesy of Visit Victoria

There’s a lot to be said for the road not taken. Case in point: most visitors to Melbourne, Australia, likely stay in and around its Central Business District (CBD), missing out on one of the city’s highlights — High Street.

Running through the inner-north suburbs of Thornbury, Northcote, and Preston, the thoroughfare earned the highest rankings from Time Out’s global network of local editors and writers, to cinch the title of Coolest Street in the World.

“It’s cool in all the ways you’d expect — epic restaurants, hidden bars, live music venues, and boutique shops,” Leah Glynn, Time Out Melbourne's editor, said in a statement shared with Travel + Leisure. “But there’s also a warm sense of community spirit that means everyone feels welcome. It’s a place where people want to spend their time, and in our opinion, it doesn’t get much cooler than that.”

Accessible from the CBD on the 86 tram line, High Street is best known for having “something for everyone,” the publication said. That means charming Aussie cafes right by a food truck park and a delightful mix of vintage stores, live music venues, rooftop bars, and even a boutique indie cinema.

Time Out calls out Casa Nata for its Portuguese tarts, 1800 Lasagne for its signature lasagna, Northside Wines for its local natural wine, Gigi Rooftop for its drinks with a view, and Francesca’s Bar for late-night dancing.

Though this is only the third edition of the brand's list, Melbourne has already had a strong track record. Its Smith Street topped the 2021 list while its Gertrude Street notched the runner-up spot in 2022.

Next on the list is one of Hong Kong’s oldest streets, Hollywood Road. The 0.62-mile stretch, which dates back to 1844, is like its own “best of” list of the city. There are landmarks like Man Mo Temple, Mid-Level Escalator, and the Tai Kwun Arts and Culture Center, plus favorite bars and restaurants. One highlight: a speakeasy behind a toilet bowl display called Tate Dining Room and Lockdown.

The third-place spot marks the only U.S. street in the Top 10: Austin’s East Eleventh. Famed for its lively mix of food, culture, and music, Time Out named Kenny Dorham’s Backyard, Franklin Barbeque, and the Vintage Bookstore and Wine Bar as the “must-visit venues.”

The Top 10 was rounded out by Buenos Aires’ Guatemala Street, Vancouver’s Commercial Drive, Kuala Lumpur’s Jalan Petaling, Lisbon’s Rua da Boavista, Rio de Janeiro’s Arnaldo Quintela, Tokyo’s Chazawa-dori, and Barcelona’s Consell de Cent.

“You only really get to know a city when you veer down its side streets,” Grace Bead, Time Out’s travel editor, said of the list that “celebrates the avenues, thoroughfares, backstreets, and boulevards where local life really thrives.”

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