The 51 coolest neighbourhoods in the world

Sheffield’s Kelham Island has been named one of the coolest neighbourhoods in the world by TimeOut magazine, as they featured the popular urban district at No. 35 in their rundown of the most exciting districts of global cities.


**Update: This article was originally published in October 2022 and is no longer currently published on the TimeOut website as they refresh their listings each year, but below you can find exerts from the original article.**


"We polled 20,000 city-dwellers and asked local experts to rank the greatest places for fun, food, culture and community

It’s been a rough few years for the world at large – but in many ways, a fantastic one for neighbourhoods. Although we haven’t been able to travel the world as freely as we once did, billions of us have been spending more time than ever closer to home. And in many of the world’s greatest cities, the result has been a full-blown neighbourhood renaissance.

It’s true that much-loved local shops, restaurants, bars and creative spaces have, sadly, shuttered for good. But there’s also been a whole wave of new businesses opening, driven not just by increased footfall outside city centres, but also by the ‘great resignation’.

City-dwellers have quit their corporate jobs to finally follow their joy, whether it’s opening that corner café or much-needed local LGBTQ+ bar, or just spending more time living slowly and spending more time (and money) in their local area.

This year, once again, we canvassed thousands of city-dwellers around the world in our Time Out Index survey. We asked them about the coolest spots in their city right now. And we combined their views with expert input from our global network of local editors and writers. Here’s the result: our fifth annual ranking of the world’s coolest neighbourhoods right now.

Church Temple of Fun in Kelham Island

35. Kelham Island, Sheffield, UK

Once home to derelict warehouses and a few old-school pubs, Kelham Island has undergone a hefty transformation. Those old boozers (thankfully) remain but Kelham’s once-empty spaces are now filled by a glut of independent bars, restaurants, shops, cafés and breweries.

A manmade island formed in the 1100s when a stream was diverted to power a nearby mill, Kelham Island is now a unique bit of Sheffield thanks to the beautiful waterway that runs through it. Walkable from the city centre, it has all the hallmarks of a hip neighbourhood – including street food markets, microbreweries, Michelin-guide grub and a vegan bar run by screamo frontman Oli Sykes – without being insufferably so.

It’s still a functioning working area, so in between the serene waterside beer gardens, killer tacos, amazing ale, flea markets and food halls, you’ll get a sense of Sheffield’s rich industrial history.

The perfect day: Breakfast-up at The Grind Cafe, then head off to Kelham Island Museum, coffee at Gaard and some shopping (Kelham Island Books & Music or Kelham Flea for vintage and antiques). Tuck into lunch at Cutlery Works (the largest food hall in northern England), ready for an afternoon beer run – via The Fat Cat, Heist, Alder, Kelham Island Tavern, Gardeners Rest and The Riverside – and then dinner at Domo or, if you’re feeling flush, Jöro. Finish at Factory Floor where DJs play through their bespoke audiophile soundsystem and you can try their unique drip-infusion spirits.

Plan your trip: Be here on first weekend of the month for Peddler Market: a market that merges street food from across the UK with live music, DJs, makers stalls, craft beers and cocktails."

Those recommendations in detail…

The Grind Café

Situated in the heart of Sheffield’s bustling Kelham Island, The Grind Café is an award-winning, independently owned, boutique café and bar, serving expertly brewed coffee, carefully crafted cocktails, tasty treats baked on-site daily, and a delicious menu bursting with flavour.

Kelham Island Museum

Learn what it was like to live and work in Sheffield during the Industrial Revolution and see how steelmaking forged the city.

Gaard Coffee Hide

A place to retreat to, drink great coffee and sample the finest vegan pastries, Gaard Coffee hide is a small and cosy coffee shop tucked away on Burton Road.

Kelham Books & Music

Sheffield's largest second-hand bookshop, located on Shalesmoor near Kelham Island since June 2018.

The Kelham Flea

The Kelham Flea is an antiques and vintage emporium selling a wide range of goods from contemporary art to industrial salvage. Described as stocking "an eclectic mix of pre-loved treasures and bespoke goods," the emporium features reclaimed furniture, vintage clothes and toys as well as art work and plants.

Cutlery Works

The largest food hall in the North of England, Cutlery Works is over two floors featuring a mixture of permanent and semi-permanent unique and independent restaurants, communal dining spaces, bars and coffee roasters.

The Fat Cat

Renowned for its quality real ales, traditional pub atmosphere and industrial setting, in the heart of Kelham Island.

Heist Brew Co.

Heist Brewery have converted this former factory into an airy, bright taproom and bar. With over 30 beers on tap (plus 100 in cans and bottles), wine, spirits and retro soft drinks, arcade games and shuffleboard, plus Slap & Pickle serving up their signature burgers.


Alder is a cracking place to hang out. They are a brewery, pub, bar and events space down in Neepsend/Kelham Island, with a unique community spirit, greet beer and friendly vibes.

Kelham Island Tavern

With carved wooden bar, tiled floors and leafy beer garden, this is a proper pub with a renowned wide range of real ales that changes all the time- so there's always something new to sup.

The Gardeners Rest

The Gardeners Rest is a community run pub in Neepsend, Sheffield. They pride themselves on the high quality of the beer selection and the regular arts and musical events held in the pub.

The Riverside

Situated alongside the River Don in Kelham Island, The Riverside is the perfect place to indulge in food and drink.


Specialising in Sardinian soul food in the heart of Little Kelham, this family run gem delivers an authentic and vast variety of dishes. A beautiful outside seating area is perfect for aperitivos in the sun.


Since opening in 2016, this urban restaurant influenced by nature, has been busy wowing food critics and customers alike, garnering awards and is consistently ranked amongst the best restaurants in the country via the likes of the The Good Food Guide and Michelin Guide.

Factory Floor

An industrial oasis hidden away within a cobbled courtyard, in Sheffield's Neepsend. Their unique drip-infusion system derives from a traditional Japanese coffee filtration method, infusing spirits and liqueurs over 12 hour periods, to create a wide array of unique flavour combinations.


Based at 92 Burton Road, Peddler Market showcases the very best street food from across the UK on the first Friday & Saturday of every month. Expect an ever-changing line up of truly mouth-watering traders, alongside top-notch craft beers, freshly made cocktails, live music and art.

Church - Temple of Fun

Owned by Oli Sykes, frontman of band Bring Me The Horizon and a passionate vegan, Church is a 100% vegan bar and restaurant in Kelham Island, housed in the historic Osborn Works.

Kelham Island

Kelham Island was named as one of the world's 51 coolest neighbourhoods in 2022 by Time Out. Once the beating heart of industry, Kelham Island is one of Sheffield’s oldest manufacturing sites, except nowadays these buildings house everything from indie shopping arcades to microbreweries and galleries.

Discover more about Kelham Island

For a deep-dive into what makes up this amazing part of Sheffield have a look at this guide.

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