‘World’s coolest’ street for 2024 named by Time Out

What makes a street “cool?” Is it a plethora of restaurants, bars, cafes you can spend hours dipping in and out of? Is it independent stores, selling wares you won’t find anywhere else? Or is it just a general vibe, a friendly warmth that’s hard to pin down, but which you know when you feel it?

Time Out reckons it’s all of the above – the global media company’s put together its list of the “coolest streets in the world right now”, factoring in each street’s food offerings, drink options, cultural delights, nightlife and overall sense of community.

To produce the 2024 lineup, the global listings guide’s network of editors and writers chipped in to make the case for their favorite streets in their respective cities.

Claiming the top spot is buzzy High Street in Melbourne, with local Time Out Melbourne editor Leah Glynn praising the road’s “epic restaurants, hidden bars, live music venues and boutique shops” and what Glynn called a “warm sense of community spirit that means everyone feels welcome.”

It’s not the first time a Melbourne-based street’s graced Time Out’s list, with Gertrude Street and Smith Street featuring in past iterations of Time Out’s rankings. Melbourne’s omnipresence led Glynn to suggest “Melburnians are spoiled for choice when it comes to well-trodden thoroughfares that deliver on food, culture and fun.”

‘A place where people want to spend their time’

Melbourne’s High Street is located in the coastal Australian city and criss-crosses the suburbs of Northcote, Thornbury and Preston.

Time Out praises the street’s “unique, something-for-everyone local businesses” from Casa Nata, which sells delicious Portuguese custard tarts to 1800 Lasagne –  a restaurant born out of the pandemic that’s now a thriving pasta spot with outdoor seating.

High Street’s also great for bar hopping, suggests Time Out, highlighting “intimate and exclusive” rooftop bar Gigi Rooftop and buzzing dance spot Francesca’s Bar.

Marco Finanzio, the founder and managing director of Gigi Rooftop, told CNN Travel he first opened a spot on High Street 14 years ago, and back then was “dreaming of the area becoming an iconic destination.”

Finanzio said he and his team “dearly love our street and community.”

“This acknowledgment is a wonderful achievement for so many local businesses who have worked tirelessly to serve locals, navigate a pandemic and battle rising costs to create a vibrant street that has come out on top of the world,” he added.

Ben Mathieson, of Francesca’s Bar, said it’s really “special that everyone now knows how cool our street is.”

“My neighbors are all independent locally owned businesses, you won’t find any big corporate brands, a great mix of hospo, live music, retail, health and wellness and all the traders have each other backs,” Matheison told CNN Travel.

Mathieson also shouted out the Melburnians who “make the street cool as much as we do.”

“We don’t exist without the awesome locals,” he said.

Commerical Drive in Vancouver, Canada is number five on Time Out's list of coolest streets. - JSMimages/Alamy
Commerical Drive in Vancouver, Canada is number five on Time Out's list of coolest streets. - JSMimages/Alamy

Coming in at number two on Time Out’s 2024 list is Hollywood Road in Hong Kong, home to incredible restaurants including Michelin-starred Tate Dining Room, as well as cultural site Man Mo Temple and the Mid-Levels Escalators, the world’s longest outdoor covered escalator system.

Meanwhile, the number three spot is claimed by East Eleventh in Austin, Texas – lauded by Time Out for packing a lot into a short quarter-mile. On East Eleventh, Vintage Bookstore & Wine Bar gets a shout out as the ideal spot to grab a drink and dive into a new read, while Kenny Dorham’s Backyard is the perfect place to see live music in “a makeshift venue that feels like a permanent house party,” according to Time Out.

Changing face of the city’s streets

Time Out also notes how some of the world’s busiest streets have changed for the better in recent years – with many becoming “more walkable and pleasant places to spend our time.”

“Outdoor drinking and dining, at one point a temporary measure, has become a staple on many of the streets on our hotlist,” said Time Out, adding this walkability has been “bolstered by green initiatives like pedestrianization and low-traffic avenues.” Consell de Cent in Barcelona, Spain, which is number 10 on Time Out’s list, banned cars in 2023.

Rua da Boavista in Lisbon, Portugal is number seven on Time Out's list. - Kathy deWitt/Alamy
Rua da Boavista in Lisbon, Portugal is number seven on Time Out's list. - Kathy deWitt/Alamy

For each street on its list, Time Out has recommended a range of fun things to do – from yoga at Ardha Bikram Yoga on Guatemala Street in Buenos Aires (number four) and drinking natural wines at hole-in-the-wall bar Small Shifting Space on Jalan Petaling in Kuala Lumpur (number six) to enjoying cream soda floats at Guuutara Coffee on Chazawa-dori in Tokyo (number nine).

Time Out says the goal of the list is to celebrate “the avenues, thoroughfares, backstreets and boulevards where local life really thrives.”

The full top 30 can be seen at Time Out’s website.

Time Out’s Top 10 coolest streets

1. High Street, Melbourne
2. Hollywood Road, Hong Kong
3. East Eleventh, Austin, Texas
4. Guatemala Street, Buenos Aires, Argentina
5. Commerical Drive, Vancouver, Canada
6. Jalan Petaling, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
7. Rua da Boavista, Lisbon, Portugal
8. Arnaldo Quintela, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
9. Chazawa-dori, Tokyo, Japan
10. Consell de Cent, Barcelona, Spain

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