Lonely Planet has released its latest list of the 10 “coolest neighbourhoods” around the world, and an unlikely UK area has made the cut.
Tooting in south London features on the list for the first time thanks to its “multiculturalism and originality” alongside a whole host of “quirky bars” and an “eclectic market”.
The list is made up of some of the world’s most “up-and-coming” areas that experts recommend visiting now, before they get too popular.
Commenting on Tooting’s inclusion, Mayor of London and Tooting resident Sadiq Khan said: “It’s great to see Lonely Planet recognise what many of us have known for decades.”
Find out more about each of the places featured below.
Borgo San Frediano, Florence
“The San Frediano neighbourhood is breathing new life into the Oltrarno area, known for its artisans. First stop is Gesto, where the salvaged and upcycled vintage interior blends nicely with their tasty, tapas-style bites. At nearby Mad Souls & Spirits locals flock to try the craft-cocktail concoctions dreamed up by cult alchemists Neri Fantechi and Julian Biondi in a tiny space with brick walls and exposed copper piping.”
- Georgette Jupe, American writer based in Florence.
“Labelled the Williamsburg of Seoul, this industrial hub owes its new reputation to its salvaged industrial spaces that have been transformed into cafes, restaurants, galleries and independent shops. Sip on a cup of single-origin coffee and watch as the old and new combine to create something beautiful.”
– Hahna Yoon, bilingual editor and writer based in Seoul.
The Triangle, Lisbon
“This up-and-coming neighbourhood boasts originality and a near-absence of tourist crowds. Spend an afternoon browsing speciality stores like travel bookshop Palavra de Viajante, custom-blend tea vendor Companhia Portugueza do Chá, and boutique grocery store Mercearia Poço dos Negros”
– Sandra Henriques Gajjar, Lisbon-based travel blogger.
“Vibrant Vesterbro is packed with cool independent shops, street markets, restaurants and bars. Come hungry: the old Kødbyen Meatpacking District (a distinctly hip pocket within the Vesterbro area) and the newly opened WestMarket (westmarket.dk) are crammed with foodie options, while craft-beer lovers can sample the goods at local brewers Mikkeller and Fermentoren.”
– Caroline Hadamitzky, travel writer and tour guide based in Copenhagen.
Business Bay, Dubai
“Once a soulless expanse of half-built office towers, Business Bay is reinventing itself as a waterfront leisure destination. Stroll the 12km-long promenade, watching ferries cruise south to Dubai Marina and north to the Al Fahidi Historic District. Away from the water, Bay Avenue is the community’s buzzing heart, with casual restaurants, a pleasant park and weekly farmers’ market during the cooler winter months.”
– Lara Brunt, Australian travel and lifestyle journalist based in Dubai.
Damansara Heights, Kuala Lumpur
“One of the richest addresses in Kuala Lumpur, this neighbourhood has retained its personality while reaping the best of gentrification. Swing by Plaza Damansara, a beat-up area seeing an uptick of shiny shops and restaurants such as café-bakery Huckleberry (huckleberry.my), Skullduggery speakeasy (facebook.com/skullduggerykl) and Flour (facebook.com/FLOURRESTAURANT), a North Indian restaurant that peddles a knockout biryani.”
– Kong Wai Yeng, Kuala Lumpur-based writer.
Sunset Park, New York
“One of Brooklyn’s most exciting under-the-radar neighbourhoods, Sunset Park hosts a heady mix of cultures and traditions. At the centre of it all is Sunset Park itself. Set on one of the highest hills in Brooklyn, it offers spectacular views of lower Manhattan for the locals and visitors who flock here on summer evenings.”
– Robert Balkovich, writer and gin-based cocktail enthusiast.
Botafogo, Rio de Janeiro
“Talented young chefs, entrepreneurs and creatives are the driving force behind an increasingly exciting nightlife. The focus is on originality and collaboration, with established spots like Bukowski and Comuna being joined by funky new concept bars and multipurpose spaces.“
– Travel and food writer Tom Le Mesurier, founder of Eat Rio Food Tours.
“In the space between two of Seattle’s most popular neighbourhoods, a new community has slowly been taking shape. Stop by to explore a thriving habitat for the area’s best restaurants, bars and breweries beyond Seattle’s main tourist sights.”
– Valerie Stimac, Seattle-based travel writer and editor.
“A captivating affair, revelling in multiculturalism and originality. [Tooting’s] high street is one of the best ‘curry corridors’ in the country, and contains some superb South Asian restaurants. Shop inside the eclectic Tooting Market and check out quirky bars and pubs like The Castle, The Antelope and The Little Bar.”
– Will Jones, London-based writer.