Dublin’s Capel Street named among coolest in the world

Street ranked 22nd by Time Out which notes its ‘whirl of culture’

Capel Street in Dublin city centre has been named as one of the coolest streets in the world in a survey by global travel magazine Time Out.

The street ranked 22nd and was noted for its “whirl of culture” with “some of the best food in Dublin”.

Rue Wellington in Montreal, Canada topped the list, which ranked streets in terms of food, fun, culture and community, followed by Gertrude Street in Melbourne, Australia; Great Western Road in Glasgow, Scotland and Yongkang Street in Taipei. Time Out surveyed more than 20,000 city dwellers as well as local experts, it said.

Dublin City Council made Capel Street traffic free in May of this year, and is the longest traffic-free street in the city. The council received almost 1,800 submissions during a public consultation in advance of the decision, with 91 per cent of submissions in favour of the move.


The Time Out piece notes the “secret restaurant” White Rabbit, hidden between the aisles at the back of the Super Asia Foods supermarket on the street, while also referring to cocktail bar 1661 as well as Pantibar.

“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,” it says.

“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.”

Will Lynch, general manager of Bar 1661, said they were “thrilled” to be mentioned and had “put a lot of hard work into what we do” since it opened in 2019.

“With cocktails being our thing, we’re a bit niche in this area and we’ve definitely seen over the last three years a lot other restaurants and cafes pop up and it’s really given a lot of vibrant life to the area, especially with the new hotels popping up around us too,” he said.

“It’s great to see how the area has changed so much, from I suppose what was the derelict fruit market and a lot of closed buildings during the recession, it has started to spring to life. The pedestrianisation has been massive for the area as well, credit to the council for realising that too, it’s kind of given that space a real European city feel.”

Rory O’Neill, owner of Pantibar, said on social media that it was “cute” to see Capel Street included on the list and that he agreed “wholeheartedly”.

Lord Mayor of Dublin Caroline Conroy said she was “delighted” that Capel Street had been recognised.

“I used to cycle up this street to meetings in City Hall and I’d have to dodge the cars. It’s heaven now, night and day,” she said.

“I know we still have work to do to make it feel truly like the special place I’m sure it will become, but we’ve made a start and today’s announcement is further proof that we’re moving in the right direction. So if you haven’t been on Capel St lately, come into town and see what you’re missing.”

Here’s the list showing where Capel Street fits in:

  1. Rue Wellington, Montreal
  2. Gertrude Street, Melbourne
  3. Great Western Road, Glasgow
  4. Yongkang Street, Taipei
  5. Værnedamsvej, Copenhagen
  6. Karangahape Road, Auckland
  7. Tai Ping Shan Street, Hong Kong
  8. Yaowarat Road, Bangkok
  9. Oranienstrasse, Berlin
  10. Hayes Street, San Francisco
  11. Avenida Ámsterdam, Mexico City
  12. Kolokotroni, Athens
  13. Virgil Avenue, Los Angeles
  14. Ossington Avenue, Toronto
  15. Via Provenza, Medellín, Colombia
  16. Calle Ocho, Miami
  17. Deptford High Street, London
  18. Praça das Flores, Lisbon
  19. Oxford Street, Accra, Ghana
  20. Wentworth Avenue, Chicago
  21. Cutting Room Square, Manchester
  22. Capel Street, Dublin
  23. Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai
  24. Enmore Road, Sydney
  25. Kagurazaka, Tokyo
  26. Kloof Street, Cape Town
  27. Süleyman Seba Caddesi, Istanbul
  28. Calle Echegaray, Madrid
  29. MacDougal Street, New York
  30. Carrer del Comte Borrell, Barcelona
  31. Newbury Street, Boston
  32. Colaba Causeway, Mumbai
  33. Everton Road, Singapore
Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns is a reporter for The Irish Times