These neighborhoods within neighborhoods are the paragon of cool.
These are the hearts of already established hot spots of fashion, culture and design. If you need to experience the gist of what’s happening these are the locations to spend a day in.
For more than half a century, Fairfax Avenue was L.A.’s borscht belt, dominated by Jewish delis, bakeries, and tchotchke shops—until 2004, when the New York City cult streetwear brand Supreme  stepped onto the scene. Now the stretch between Waring and Oakwood avenues—thick with art galleries, cafés, sneaker shops, and buzzy restaurants—defines L.A.’s downtown vibe. “Fairfax in the 2000s started with indie art and the skater scene, and everyone else followed—like Venice in the seventies,” says John Terzian, president, co-owner, and cofounder of the h.wood Group, which runs celebrity hot spots like Nice Guy and Bootsy Bellows. The combination of old and new—septuagenarian locals mixing with teenage skate rats and tattooed sous chefs—lends the area an of-the-moment appeal.
Cinefamily , originally a silent theater, now plays talkies but retains its reputation for showing avant-garde, obscure, and downright weird films. A few blocks south is the sleek, ultrahip Known Gallery , which deftly mixes art (contemporary works from the likes of Dennis Morris and Bom.K) and commerce (pop-up retail concepts for brands including Alife and Incase x Kelly Slater). Just up the street is Popular Demand , which opened last year and garnered streetwear-label attention for its oversize audio-visual installation, including a 12-foot-square drop-down screen with full surround sound.
Check out the understated masculine jewelry at FourTwoFour —Wiz Khalifa is known to rock its chains—then watch (or join) sneakerheads and streetwear fiends camping outside Supreme any night before a hyped product is about to drop. If you want to go the gourmand route, head to Cape Seafood and Provisions , slated to open in early December, from two-Michelin-starred chef Michael Cimarusti, where you can pick up not only fresh fish and seafood but also prepared sauces, alder-smoked salmon, and packaged goods from Cimarusti’s restaurant, Connie & Ted’s.
Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo defined carnivorous cool on Fairfax back in 2008 with the meat-obsessed Animal ; last April, the pair opened Jon & Vinny’s  Italian diner and pizzeria across the street, which quickly landed on Bon Appetit‘s Best New Restaurants in America list for its house-made pastas and elevated staples like six-hour Bolognese polenta. A short walk south is Plan Check , which draws a lively crowd thanks to casual-contemporary American fare like southern-fried Jidori chicken. Don’t miss Canter’s Deli, a temple to pastrami since 1931 and one of the few 24-hour eateries in L.A. Knowing veteran party promoter Jordan Buky used to be the only way into his secretive, celeb-filled“no-name” club  (it’s up the block from Jon & Vinny’s) for cocktails and fried chicken, but you can now e-mail email@example.com for a reservation.
This West Loop meatpacking district still sees a flurry of forklift traffic on weekday mornings, but upscale eateries now outnumber cold-storage facilities along the new “Restaurant Row” on W. Randolph Street. And there’s more than just food: The city’s cognoscenti lounge at Soho House’s members-only rooftop, Google moved its Chicago headquarters here (an Ace Hotel is on the way), and upscale retail has followed the foodie boom. “We’re surrounded by great food, markets, cocktail lounges, parks, and galleries,” says Greg Laketek of West Loop Salumi , the state’s only USDA-certified salumeria. “There’s rarely any reason to leave the area.”
Grant Achatz’s Aviary  is the most exclusive bar in town—unless you manage to get into the 14-seat speakeasy in its basement, the Office. If you do score an “invitation” (tip: ask your server at the Aviary if there’s room downstairs), expect serious cocktail artistry—and a wax-sealed bill that you’ll want to split with friends. A short walk southeast brings you to The Lunatic, the Lover & the Poet , with 24 wines on tap, including several exclusive blends. One block over is Lone Wolf , a standout even in this craft-beer-crazed town, with a well-edited selection of bottled and draft offerings.
The neighborhood’s meatpacking roots survive at Tête Charcuterie , with chefs Thomas Rice and Kurt Guzowski’s adventurous sausages and cured meats (but don’t sleep on the vegetable cocotte). Four blocks away is the Brazilian-inflected La Sirena Clandestina , which serves up empanadas, grilled head-on prawns with charred-serrano salsa, and the best kale salad in town. The inventive, Asian-influenced tasting menu at Moto , a restaurant-laboratory from the late Iron Chef America contestant Homaro Cantu, is served as 5-, 9-, or 18-course “experiences.”
You’ll have BLVDier  to yourself during a fitting for a new custom suit, so enjoy a whiskey while selecting the finest fabrics from Biella, Italy. Stop in to Billy Reid , which opened this fall, for an updated take on classic American menswear, and try Morlen Sinoway Atelier for contemporary furniture, rugs, lighting, and objets d’art.
Across Biscayne Bay from the tourist playground of Miami Beach and just south of the Design District lies the Wynwood Arts District—a former Puerto Rican enclave whose factories and warehouses have been colonized by creative types. “This is where we wanted to be: a growing neighborhood that harbors artists and creative minds,” says chef Bradley Kilgore, who chose Wynwood for his first solo restaurant, the progressive-American Alter, after running Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s J&G Grill. A 10-block stretch of NW 2nd Avenue is particularly action-packed, with more than a dozen art galleries interspersed with restaurants, coffee bars, and museums.
The small-batch roaster Panther Coffee  is the best place to kick-start your day. The nitro cold brew is steeped overnight and packs a punch, and the spacious patio is an ideal place to grab some sun and scope out the beautiful people. For a different kind of kick, skip around the corner to the Butcher Shop , whose rotating selection of tapped and bottled craft beers includes local favorites from Wynwood Brewing Company and M.I.A. Brewing. Join the well-heeled crowd on the tufted-leather banquettes at Wynwood Diner  for a proper drink; Vanessa Hulsey, formerly of the James Beard–nominated Broken Shaker, designed the cocktail menu, which includes everything from a classic mojito to “boozy shakes” like the Mad Hatter, a combination of tequila, ancho-chili liqueur, pomegranate juice, and cinnamon gelato.
The house-made tortillas and smashed-to-order guacamole at Coyo Taco  are fitting accompaniments to chef Scott Linquist’s ambitious riffs on Mexican street food, including a confit-style crispy duck with serrano-pepper salsa. A few blocks north is Wynwood Kitchen & Bar , a Latin-inspired small-plates restaurant where art and food cohabit: Massive abstract paintings by the German artist Christian Awe hang in the main dining room, and a mural by Shepard Fairey dominates the bar. If you’re in town during Wynwood Second Saturday Art Walk (the second Saturday of every month), sample the food trucks that descend on the hood; try the build-your-own grilled cheese at Ms. Cheezious and Myumi‘s omakase, served from a converted FedEx delivery van.
Wynwood Walls  is a stunning block-long stretch of windowless warehouses turned massive canvases for some of the biggest street artists in the world, including OSGEMEOS and Kenny Scharf. A short hop south lies Emerson Dorsch , specializing in up-and-coming artists, many never before seen in Miami. To the north is the Rubell Family Collection , with works from the likes of Basquiat, Haring, Koons, and Warhol housed in a 45,000-square-foot former DEA storage facility.
A preferred stomping ground for established creatives and Central Saint Martins art students alike, Hackney has made waves as one of the most happening neighborhoods in London. The booming scene around Broadway Market, a bustling street flanked by London Fields and Regent’s Canal, is the area’s white-hot epicenter. The open-air market for which it’s named dates back to the 1800s, but a wealth of chic new shops, gourmet restaurants, and modern pubs abound. “Broadway Market has managed to preserve its London charm,” says Lee Broom, an internationally acclaimed furniture designer. “There’s a really good pie-and-mash shop called F. Cooke‘s , which has been owned by the same family since 1900—it actually turns into a gin palace at night, so it keeps a sense of heritage but makes it cool and contemporary.”
You could stuff yourself on the many edibles sold at the market’s 100-plus stalls (definitely don’t miss the baked goods at Violet, from former Chez Panisse pastry chef Claire Ptak), but destination restaurants have significantly boosted the area’s food cred. If proper fish and chips are a mandatory condition for London trips, Fin & Flounder  doesn’t just offer local catches (think scallops, haddock, and, of course, flounder); it’ll also fry them up right at the stall. Across the street is The Cat & Mutton , a 286-year-old pub, refurbished last year, with the London culinary team Mother Clucker serving up its take on British-inflected American fare like tea-brined fried chicken. Or make your way to the 12-seat communal table at Hill & Szrok , a butcher shop where you can watch the cooks prepare the organic, free-range meat of your choice, from pork chop to rib eye to lamb leg—or grab a cut to take home for yourself.
The market’s varied, ever-rotating mix of vintage wares, home goods, and local artistry is the area’s main draw (it lives up to its slogan of “quality, specialty, variety”), but print addicts will be rewarded for stepping out of the bustle. Dip into Artwords Bookshop  for a beautifully edited collection of art tomes and under-the-radar magazines, while just up the street at the quirky Donlon Books , you’ll find an eclectic selection of independent titles covering fashion, philosophy, music theory, and everything in between.
You’ll need fuel to match the area’s high-energy crowds: Cà Phê VN is sold in independent coffee shops all over the U.K., but hit up the company’s Saigon Street Cafe  stall to grab a Vietnamese iced coffee straight from the source. Or check out Climpson & Sons , an Australian-style roaster that has been serving up espressos and flat whites to devoted locals for 10 years. Head a few blocks down to Stories  and join the laid-back crowd lingering over all-day brunch, including spiked juices like Don’t Be Strawberry Fooled, made with pineapple juice, fresh strawberries, coconut water, and Jamaican rum; when the sun sets, the space transforms into a craft-cocktail lounge.
The most exciting area in perhaps the most exciting city in the world is a stylish, artsy strip on the border between Pera, home of upscale hotels, and boho-chic Galata. Starting at the coolest club (and hottest place to stay) in the city, Soho House Istanbul , the route brings you through a corridor of gourmet offerings and musical-instrument shops before depositing you on Serdar-I Ekrem Street, a hub for the city’s tastemakers and creative class. “As Istanbul has become a dynamic world-class-art destination, South Galata has emerged as the spot for the fashion set,” says Bige Örer, director of the world-renowned Istanbul Biennial. “You have to include Serdar-I Ekrem. It’s a good spot to meet and mingle with the local designers and artists.” The stretch to explore is about eight blocks long and packed with desirable distractions: Phenomenal food. Contemporary design. A hint of history. Fetish-worthy fashion. Cool cafés and bars and model-hot habitués.
If you’re not a member, it’s worth joining the celeb-studded guest list at Soho House simply to get access to the bars in the 19th-century palazzo: the Club Bar, where the best of modern cocktail culture is shaken with vibrant local spices and mixers; the Embassy Club, home to top DJs each weekend; and the rooftop bar, the superlative spot for a sundowner—say, a Raki fizz—and panoramic views of the Old City’s mosque domes and minarets. Across the street isMeze by Lemon Tree , serving an ever-changing array of inventive small plates. Mainly,Gram  is “just” a top-flight patisserie, but from noon to 3 p.m. it serves exquisite seasonal modern Turkish fare by local culinary star Didem Şegnol. Next door, a chic crowd lingers over wine and grilled octopus with harissa at the easygoing bistro Aheste .
Sntrl Dükkan  is equal parts bohemian café and design boutique. Grab a Turkish coffee, settle in among the eclectic mix of home furnishings, and enjoy gratis reads like Man of the World and Monocle. Mavra  bills itself as a design studio/café/workshop, but in the evening (it’s open till 2 a.m.), the cozy space transforms into a wine bar where locals drain their glasses to retro soul. Up the street is the city’s leading design showroom-gallery, Archive, which exhibits luminaries from Scandinavia, Japan, and Finland.
As the TURKISH VERY MUCH sign in the window suggests, all the offerings in the bright, poppy Lunapark  are made in Turkey by contemporary designers. It’s directly above Fifth Ave , widely regarded as one of the best vintage stores in Istanbul. After opening in Amsterdam, Europe’s hippest shop came to Galata: 290 SQM  is a perfectly merchandised space featuring smartly curated clothing and accessories from A.P.C., Our Legacy, and Raf Simons, among others; boom boxes alternately spitting out De La Soul and Frank Ocean; and a wall of limited-edition kicks that attract sneakerheads from both the European and the Asian sides of Turkey.
Around the turn of the millennium, this small quarter underwent a transformation from red-light district to chic address for fashion designers attracted by the low rents. Thanks to a concerted rebranding effort, which included converting neglected Bauhaus buildings into gleaming shops, Gan Hahashmal became home to some of the White City’s most in-demand hotels and restaurants. “The area changed from just fashion,” says Maya Bash , whose eponymous androgynous label has an international following and who was one of the first designers to move into the area. “You now have a cool customized-bicycle place, coffee bars, great hamburgers, great music. Creative, interesting people live and work here.” And when they’re off-duty, the booming nightlife scene keeps those tastemakers partying all night.
Three of Tel Aviv’s hottest hotels are within a few blocks of one another—all are about a 20-minute walk from the beach—and great for a casual drink, even if you’re not a guest. On the same block of Yavne Street are two top boutique hotels: Townhouse Tel-Aviv  features chic, modern design curated by luxury- furniture-maker Kastiel; Alma Hotel and Lounge occupies a former six-family apartment building built in 1925 and has an adventurous mix of vintage and contemporary furnishings. Just a few blocks away is Lily & Bloom , whose elegant exterior hides a cozy rooftop terrace.
Eyal Shani, one of Israel’s top chefs, reinterprets regional classics at North Abraxas  on Lilienblum Street; try his Judean-grape-marinated lamb shawarma or any of the daily carpaccios. A short walk south is Halutzim 3 , where chef Eitan Vanunu deliciously desecrates kosher dietary laws with dishes like challah stuffed with spiced pork and bacon. For a traditional kubbeh soup, head to the Tel Aviv outpost of the famed Jerusalem eateryAzura ; its version of meat-filled dumplings in a vivid beet broth is arguably the best in the country.
Tel Aviv’s nightlife is among the most vibrant in the world, thanks in large part to Gan Hahashmal. The underground club Ktvot  (it’s literally underground, beneath Azura) is the place for alternative dance tunes, and Kuli Alma  is owned and operated by a DJ-artist-promoter collective and has an open-air courtyard, an art gallery, an indoor dance club manned by a rotating who’s-who of local and visiting turntablists, and walls that play host to street-art murals and vintage movies. Two blocks north is the indie haven Radio E.P.G.B., one of the city’s most famous DJ venues thanks to celebrity partyers like Mark Ronson, Bono, and Baauer.
Style is a way of life in Tokyo, and the modern, stylish Daikanyama is the city’s hidden gem for high fashion and design. The compact area’s eclectic array of shops are more grown-up than Harajuku’s anime-inspired boutiques but cooler than the luxury stalwarts in nearby Omotesando. “Some of the best shopping and restaurants in Japan are tucked away in the narrow streets of Daikanyama,” says Morgan Collett of Saturdays Surf NYC , who chose the neighborhood for the Tokyo outpost of his menswear line. “There’s endless inspiration in these buildings.” Expect open-air cafés, a mix of contemporary and traditional Japanese architecture, and a healthy buzz on the weekends. The area’s small boutiques and coffee bars evoke New York City’s West Village—but the peaceful, rolling streets suggest San Francisco, too.
Okura , a tiny space that mimics a knickknack-strewn apartment, has an ever-changing assortment of cool homewares like lamps, vintage suitcases, and terra-cotta flower pots. Don’t miss the standout menswear selection—everything from ties to chambray shirts to sneakers made according to Japanese tailoring techniques and designs. For cult Japanese brands like Beams, N. Hoolywood, and Porter, cross the street to the ultrahip B. Jirushi Yoshida . A short walk east, at Daikanyama’s lauded T-Site complex, you’ll find Tsutaya , which sells international magazines, English-language books, and elegant writing instruments in a space designed by the award-winning architects Mark Dytham and Astrid Klein.
Built atop the old Tokyu line train tracks, Log Road Daikanyama  is like a miniature, street-level version of New York City’s High Line and a great place to sit outside and have a casual bite; try Camden’s Blue Donuts‘ decadent maple-bacon version or the garlic shrimp from Fred Segal’s kitchen truck. For an indoor meal, hit Bombay Bazar , in the same building as Okura, a tiny café modeled after an island eatery and the place to get your curry fix.
Mocha Coffee‘s  owner, Hussein Ahmed, imports beans from Yemen and sells 12 varieties of indie brews, one of which, Ibbi Mt. Somarah, is cultivated at 9,000 feet, costs ¥1,200 ($10) a cup, and is worth every bit. On weekends, Saturdays Surf NYC is a popular post-brunch spot thanks to its beautiful outdoor patio, unbeatable views of the city, and perfect lattes from its in-house espresso bar. And for a well-deserved end-of-day beer on a spacious terrace surrounded by Japanese Keyaki trees, head to Ivy Place , behind Tsutaya, which serves a selection of craft beers from T.Y. Harbor Brewery.
This dense stretch on and around Smith Street still rocks the counterculture attitude established by the bohemians who settled in the Fitzroy neighborhood in the 1970s. But it’s also newly home to experimental fine dining, upscale whiskey dens, Vietnamese bakeries, and barbershops with a speakeasy vibe. “The diverse texture remains the most vital aspect of the area,” says Max Delany, senior curator of contemporary art at the nearby National Gallery of Victoria. “It’s evidenced by the enduring presence of artists’ studios and bespoke design practices and the plethora of bars and restaurants.” Plus, examples of one of the world’s greatest coffee cultures abound.
The duo behind Saint Crispin  honed their skills in the world-renowned kitchens of Gordon Ramsay and Paul Bocuse; the seasonal menu is updated daily, but expect fare like smoked-eel croquettes and espresso soufflé. A few doors down, you’ll find the Noble Experiment , with adventurous dishes for sharing, like pork cheek with white miso and seasonal pickles and heirloom beetroots accompanied by purslane and a charred-eggplant yogurt. End the night upstairs with the restaurant’s selection of rare whiskeys.
Started by the group responsible for the buzzy, adjacent Belle’s Hot Chicken, Bar Clarine is one of the best wine spots in Melbourne, with a focus on natural and organic. Next door is the Everleigh , a moody lounge with colonial charm; try the Morning Fix, a mix of scotch, Aperol, lemon, and marmalade syrup. For a tropical vibe, stroll north to Aloha Sailor , a pop-up in the basement of the Noble Experiment that’s inspired by L.A.’s tiki-bar craze of the 1930s but has the exacting craftsmanship of a modern cocktail bar.
Trained by Dame Vivienne Westwood, the team behind Tanner + Teague  offers a selection of muted, deconstructed jackets, trousers, and tops as well as leather goods and other accessories. Northside Records  is your best bet for a rare Sonny Rollins or Grandmaster Flash LP (it also has its own soul/funk record label). A mash-up of art studio, gallery, and design store, Spacecraft  is worth a visit to scope out its latest installations and walk away with screen prints and bold housewares.