Hong Kong

Eat like a Local: the Best Local Food at the Best Hong Kong Cafes

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Hong Kong has the best food! There are so many types of cuisine to choose from but they do local food the best!

I was born in Hong Kong but grew up in Toronto, Canada. However, when it comes to eating in Hong Kong, I consider myself a local.

I know all the typical Hong Kong food and all the best places to eat. Plus I have a lot of family in Hong Kong who always want to go eat. My problem is that I need more time and stomach!

Whenever I have friends visiting from overseas, I always bring them to the best Hong Kong cafes. After all, eating is a big part of travelling.

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Hong Kong cafe basics

I want to let you know some basics before you try your first meal at one of these Hong Kong cafes. Just some things you might want to know before going.

There are countless Hong Kong cafes serving Hong Kong style food or Hong Kong cuisine. This type of food is an eclectic mix of Cantonese cuisine with influences from British culture and a mixture of other Asian cuisines like Japanese and Southeast Asian.

Also known as cha chaang teng (translation: tea restaurant), this type of cafe has set meals: breakfast set, lunch set and afternoon-tea set. Typically, a set meal comes with an entree and a hot beverage.

Also, most of the restaurants have an afternoon tea set meal which includes a smaller portion of the main course and a hot beverage. Having afternoon tea is a big deal in Hong Kong.

If you want a cold beverage instead, you can add a few dollars (usually $2HKD) and you can change your beverage from hot to cold.

During peak hours, some restaurant will require you to share the table with other patrons. It is very common to share a table with strangers. But don’t feel obligated to talk to them. Most people keep to themselves.

Oh and bring your own napkin. It is a Hong Kong thing.

Most places accept HKD cash and Octopus card. So leave your credit card at home.

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How to use this Hong Kong cafe guide

I know it might feel intimidating to try some of these local Chinese restaurants. It might be because of the different languages, different cultures or you just don’t know what to expect which is why I am putting together this blog post.

You just need to bring this guide with you, either show the restaurant the photo or the description of the food. And, voila! You are on your way to tasting some of the most delicious food in Hong Kong.

Doesn’t matter if you are travelling alone or with other people, the list of the best Hong Kong cafes is suitable for any type of traveller.

My goal is to keep adding the list of the best Hong Kong cafes to show you the best local places to eat. So bookmark this page and add it to your Pinterest board for later.

Are you ready? Here we go!

At Kam Wah, order pineapple bun with butter (菠蘿油), egg tart (蛋撻) and Hong Kong-style milk tea (港式奶茶)
At Kam Wah, order pineapple bun with butter (菠蘿油), egg tart (蛋撻) and Hong Kong-style milk tea (港式奶茶)

Kam Wah Cafe & Bakery 金華冰室

Address: 43 Bute Street, Kowloon | MTR: Prince Edward (exit B2) | Hours of operation: 6:30 am to 11:00 pm

Popular dishes

Kam Wah is famous for their pineapple bun and butter (菠蘿油) and egg tart (蛋撻) (pictured above). Typically, Hong Kong people eat pineapple bun with a big slab of butter in between. And don’t forget to order a Hong Kong style milk tea (港式奶茶) to go with your pastries.

The restaurant has daily specials and set meals. Everything looks fantastic, but I almost always order the same thing when I’m there. I just love the pineapple bun, egg tart and milk tea! I would consider Kam Wah having the best pineapple bun in the city because the top part of the pastry doesn’t break off when you bite into it. Don’t believe me? Give it a try!

Insider tip

  • Lunchtime is extremely busy. Avoid the long queues by going between 2:30 to 3:00 pm. This is the most ideal time frame because you miss the local lunch crowd, and you can order from the lunch menu and also from the afternoon tea menu.
  • They have an English menu. It’s an entire book!
At Mon Kee, order Hong Kong style french toast with whole wheat bread and red bean (紅豆麥包西多士) during afternoon tea time
At Mon Kee, order Hong Kong style french toast with whole wheat bread and red bean (紅豆麥包西多士) during afternoon tea time

Mon Kee Cafe 旺記冰室

Address: 29-39 Ashley Road, Kowloon | MTR: Tsim Sha Tsui (exit L5) | Hours of operation: 7:00 am to 10:00 pm

Popular dishes

Mon Kee has three sets of menu: breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea.

They are known for their scrambled egg and rice! You can choose scrambled eggs and rice barbeque pork (自家製叉燒日本滑蛋飯), shrimp (爽口蝦仁日本滑蛋飯) or have the best of both worlds, barbeque pork AND shrimp (日本滑蛋叉燒蝦仁雙拼飯)!

They also make a delicious tomato sauce with spam in macaroni soup (特濃蕃茄湯午餐肉粒通粉), Hong Kong style french toast with whole wheat bread and red bean (紅豆麥包西多士) (pictured above) and whole wheat bread sandwich with scrambled eggs, minced beef, peanut sauce and lettuce (旺記烘麥包三文治 免治牛肉,雞蛋,花生醬,生菜).

Insider tips

  • There are 3 other locations: Wan Chai, Quarry Bay and Yau Tong
  • The menu is already at the table, right underneath the glass tabletop. However, it is in Chinese. If you do not know how to read it, ask for the English menu.
  • During peak hours, they will ask you to share the table with someone else (a very common practice in busy HK cafes)
  • To avoid long queues, go after the peak lunch hour. If you go around 2:30, the place is still busy but you don’t have to wait in line.
At Mak Man Kee Noodle Shop, order wonton noodle (雲吞麵)
At Mak Man Kee Noodle Shop, order wonton noodle (雲吞麵)

Mak Man Kee Noodle Shop 麥文記麵家

Address: 51 Parkes Street, Kowloon | MTR: Jordan (exit C2) | Hours of operation: 12:00 pm to 12:30 am

Popular dishes

Mak Man Kee is an old-school noodle shop in Jordan. It has been around for 60+ years! I’ve been to the noodle shop for many years, maybe 20+ years. The quality of wonton noodles is consistently the same and so very delicious.

The noodle shop is part of the Michelin Guide 2019. Well, because the wonton noodle is that good!

If it is your first time going to the noodle shop, you have to try the wonton noodle (雲吞麵) (pictured above). Even though the bowl of noodles is quite small, but the noodle is so good and the shrimp wontons, hiding under the noodle, are so flavourful!

But if you already tried the wonton noodle, try the dry noodle with pig knuckles and bean curd “cheese” (豬手麵), another favourite on the menu.

Insider tips

  • The menu is on the wall, but it is in Chinese. So ask for the English menu or be adventurous and just point to an item on the Chinese menu! Ha!
  • During peak hours, you will have to share the table with other restaurant patrons. Even if the booth is for four people, you may be sitting with three other strangers.
  • Look, I don’t eat at Mak Man Kee Noodle Shop for the ambiance. Ha! But the noodle is excellent! So I pick and choose a time that isn’t as busy. Typically, this means I either have an early lunch around 11 am, late lunch around 2 pm, early dinner at 5:30 pm or late dinner at 8:30 pm. I avoid all peak meal hours. I rather not be waiting in line and sitting in a crowded restaurant.
  • And bring your own napkin.

Related Post – Best specialty coffee shops in Hong Kong

At Cafe Seasons, order scrambled egg, barbecue pork, rice and special soy sauce  (叉燒炒蛋飯配秘製豉油汁)
At Cafe Seasons, order scrambled egg, barbecue pork, rice and special soy sauce  (叉燒炒蛋飯配秘製豉油汁)

Cafe Seasons 四季常餐

Address: 112-114 Wellington Street, Hong Kong | MTR: Sheung Wan (exit A2) | Hours of operation: 8:30 am to 10:00 pm (closed Sundays)

Popular dishes

Cafe Seasons is a really clean a modern cha chaan teng and they offer a few specific things on their breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea menu.

The most outstanding dish is their house special scrambled egg, barbecue pork, rice and special soy sauce  (叉燒炒蛋飯配秘製豉油汁). They serve this special dish at lunch or during afternoon tea time or until they run out.

Insider tips

  • Always busy during lunch hour as it is in HK’s financial district.
  • Go late afternoon to get a seat right away.
  • The Chinese menu is right at the table. You can either order using my guide or ask for an English menu.
At Sheung Hing, order pineapple bun with scrambled egg (滑蛋菠蘿油)
At Sheung Hing, order pineapple bun with scrambled egg (滑蛋菠蘿油)

Sheung Hing 順興茶餐廳

Address: 24 Ormsby Street, Hong Kong | MTR: Tin Hau (exit B) | Hours of operation: 7:00 am to 4:00 pm (closed Mondays)

Popular dishes

I found Sheung Hing via Instagram. I wanted to try the pineapple bun with scrambled egg (滑蛋菠蘿油) (pictured above). The sandwich is quite good but a little messy to eat.

Other people ordered some scrambled egg with rice dish, either with barbeque pork (滑蛋叉燒飯)beef (滑蛋牛肉飯), shrimp (滑蛋蝦仁飯) or with all three ingredients (牌滑蛋三寶飯).

They also have a typical Chinese dish called 車仔麵. It is similar to Japanese oden, where you pick your own ingredients and they boil the ingredients in their special soup base. Choices include fishball, sausage, vegetables and noodles. There are many to choose from.

Insider tips

  • Sheung Hing is an interesting restaurant/cafe/street food. The restaurant has an actual restaurant, but also a few tables across the street resembling a street food style of eating. I’m not exactly clear on that, but I managed to get a seat inside the restaurant.
  • The menu is on the wall and yes, it is in Chinese. I suspect they have an English menu because there were a lot of tourists the day I went.
At Cafe de Coral, order fried egg, ham, toast, oatmeal and milk tea
At Cafe de Coral, order fried egg, ham, toast, oatmeal and milk tea

Cafe de Coral 大家樂

Address: 2nd floor, 31-37 Jordan Road, Kowloon | MTR: Jordan (exit A) | Hours of operation: 7:00 am to 10:00 pm

Popular dishes

Cafe de Coral is my go-to breakfast place in Hong Kong. I either get two fried eggs, ham, toast, oatmeal and milk tea or congee, fried noodles, fried egg and milk tea (pictured above).

A typical Hong Kong breakfast always has fried eggs, ham or spam, thick toast and milk tea. You can find this breakfast combo (or a variation of it) anywhere in Hong Kong. The difference would be the quality, the ambiance of the restaurant, etc.

Cafe de Coral also has excellent lunch, afternoon tea and dinner menu. I don’t visit often during lunch or dinner. But sometimes I will go during afternoon tea time and order a club sandwich with milk tea.

Insider tips

  • Cafe de Coral is one of the most popular Hong Kong-style cafes in Hong Kong. The chain restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner. Each mealtime has specific items on the menu.
  • The prices at Cafe de Coral is very budget-friendly. A standard breakfast is about $30HKD. And standard lunch and dinner meals start from $45HKD.
  • Each cafe location runs a similar operation. The menu is on the wall near the cashier. First, you purchase the meal at the cashier and get your ticket. Then either hand over your ticket to the kitchen and wait for your food (at breakfast time) or wait for them to call your number. Then grab a seat and enjoy your meal. And the staff will pick up your tray when you are done.
  • I didn’t include the Chinese names as it is pretty easy to order in English. Or you can always point to the menu board.
At My Cup of Tea, order satay beef and egg sandwich (沙爹牛肉蛋治) and Hong Kong style tea and coffee (獨特鴛鴦)
At My Cup of Tea, order satay beef and egg sandwich (沙爹牛肉蛋治) and Hong Kong style tea and coffee (獨特鴛鴦)

My Cup of Tea 我杯茶

Address: 6 Spring Garden Lane, Hong Kong | MTR: Wan Chai (exit B2) | Hours of operation: 7:30 am to 7:30 pm

Popular dishes

The small cafe only serves a few things: satay beef and egg sandwich (沙爹牛肉蛋治) (pictured above) and the classic Hong Kong style milk tea (經典奶茶) and a specialty of Hong Kong, Hong Kong style tea and coffee (獨特鴛鴦).

There are other variations of beef sandwiches, and you can add egg or cheese, or change the toast to pineapple bun.

Insider tips

  • I love how the cafe supports sustainability. If you bring your own cup, you can get a $2HKD rebate. And if you purchased the milk tea in the takeaway glass bottle and refund the glass bottle, you can $2HKD back. Everyone wins!
At Yee Shun Dairy Company, either order hot or cold steamed milk (馳名雙皮燉奶) or classic steamed egg dessert (冰花燉雞蛋)
At Yee Shun Dairy Company, either order hot or cold steamed milk (馳名雙皮燉奶) or classic steamed egg dessert (冰花燉雞蛋)

Yee Shun Dairy Company 義順牛奶公司

Address: 63 Pilkem Street, Kowloon (two other locations: Yau Ma Tei, Causeway Bay)

MTR Station: Jordan (exit C2)

Hours of operation: 8:00am to 12:00am

Popular dishes

Yee Shun makes the best Chinese desserts! Most people order the classic steamed egg dessert (冰花燉雞蛋) (pictured above, right) or the steamed milk (馳名雙皮燉奶) (pictured above, left). Or try something unusual like chocolate flavoured steamed milk dessert (香濃朱古力燉奶). You can get any type of dessert either hot or cold.

They also serve set breakfast meals and other food items like ham and egg sandwich, toast with butter, macaroni and clear soup with spam.

Insider tips

  • Yee Shun is opened for breakfast, lunch, dinner and any time in between.
  • There is always a queue on a holiday, especially during breakfast time.
  • Try it out if you like desserts that are not too sweet.
  • There are 2 other locations: Yau Ma Tei and Causeway Bay

Related Post – Introduction to all the must eat food in Taiwan

Phew! That was a lot of info! I will be adding more Hong Kong cafes as I eat my way around the city. And I will make sure to share it with you.

So bookmark this website and pin the graphic below to your Pinterest board!

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About Author

Hi, my name is Queenie, and I've been a solo traveller for 18+ years and currently based in Hong Kong. Follow me on my adventures through Instagram and my blog!

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