If you know anything about Hong Kong, you know it’s a destination as much about your palate as the sightseeing you’ll do. In between sailing the Star Ferry across Victoria Harbour, riding the famous Peak Tram, or snapping a selfie at the Big Buddha, there is so much great food to enjoy. If you know where to go and what to order, you may just have one of the best dining experiences of your life!
Thankfully, we’ve compiled our top ways to tantalise your tastebuds in Hong Kong. Whether you’re sampling street food on a shopping spree, discovering the city’s fine-dining finesse, or hopping the best bars on a night out, we’ve got the lowdown on the highlights.
Iconic Hong Kong: Dim Sum
It’s not hard to find bite-sized savoury and sweet morsels around Hong Kong; there are hundreds of yum cha restaurants where dim sum is served, traditionally after tea.
From cheap eats to Maxim Palace’s giant dim sum to innovative remakes of this traditional classic Guangzhou treat, your tastebuds are in for a surprise.
Think of dim sum as Hong Kong tapas. Order a few bamboo steamers or plates to share. Don’t be shy in ordering amply for the table: these tiny morsels of deliciousness are so good you’ll fight over the last piece!
Hong Kong’s Tastiest Bites on the Go: Street Food
We love Hong Kong’s street food as it gives us a reason (excuse?) to try lots of different treats in one go. How can you not want to sample all the yummy flavours when their scents waft your way as you walk past? Just try and resist!
Besides getting fabulous bargains, Hong Kong’s markets are an ideal way to experience the city’s most treasured street food delights. While most markets have street food stalls, Temple Street and Ladies Markets are popular with visitors.
Order the cheung fun (soy-sauce laden rice noodles), spicy fish balls, or cart noodles. If you’re game, why not try cau dau fu (stinky tofu) or jaa jyu cheung (fried pork intestine), both local delicacies.
If you’re in Happy Valley, Wong Nai Chung Cooked Food Centre offers fresh-as-it-gets seafood. Buy the catch of the day, squid, scallops or clams direct from the fishmonger, and they’ll fry it into a feast while you wait.
Treat Yourself, Hong Kong Style: Fine Dining
If you thought Hong Kong was all yum cha, Cantonese restaurants, and tempting street food stalls, you couldn’t be more wrong. It has a stellar reputation for fine dining, too. And this includes a whopping 78 in 2023!
Restaurants receive Michelin stars for the quality of their produce, mastery of flavours, chef’s flair, meal consistency, and value for money. The latter demonstrates your dinner doesn’t need to cost the same as your flight to Hong Kong to be top-notch. For example, the famous 20-step roast goose dish at Cantonese BBQ restaurant Yat Lok only costs HKD 65 (around AUD 12).
That said, we encourage splurging on at least one fine dining experience in Hong Kong, particularly at one of the city’s seven 3-starred Michelin restaurants. We rate the beautifully presented Cantonese meals at T’ang Palace. Alternatively, check out the upgraded status of Ta Vie, a French-Japanese restaurant in Central.
The Cherry on Top: Hong Kong’s Best Desserts
Great dessert follows every great meal (in our world, anyway). In Hong Kong, it’s no different. Popular desserts include egg waffles, a light-and-fluffy eggy batter pressed into a ball-shaped waffle maker, and egg tarts, a short-crust pastry filled with a lightly sweetened egg custard. The silken texture of tofu pudding is a local favourite.
Did you know that Hong Kong offers a wide range of fancy establishments offering fabulous high teas? Whether it’s sipping sparkling tea with your dainty egg salad sandwiches at the Mandarin Oriental, Instagramming the decadent treats at the W’s Woobar, or raising a pinky as you enjoy the Peninsula’s iconic OG Hong Kong high tea, you’ll be so glad you splurged (you’re worth it).
After Dark: Hong Kong’s Best Bars
Sipping tea at yum cha might be Hong Kong’s most iconic day beverage, but does that mean you have to go to bed early in the Pearl of the Orient? Not at all! In fact, the city’s bar and nightclub scene is thriving.
Hong Kong’s bar scene is top-rated enough to have eight bars in the annual Asia’s 50 Best Bars awards, including, for the third year in a row, COA, holding the coveted number one spot. Besides on-point vibes, COA also impresses with its 200+ bottles of agave spirits and innovative cocktail list.
With a skyline like Hong Kong, there are plenty of stellar rooftop bars. We love sunset at Faye in Central as you can kickstart your night in the heart of the nightclub district, Lan Kwai Fong.
For one of the city’s prettiest bars, head to Dragonfly in Tai Kwun. You’ll love the art-nouveau cocktail lounge, fairytale-esque décor, and extensive craft cocktail menu.
If you love live music, Fringe Club offers a range of musical styles, from jazz to rock to the blues. Ned Kelly’s Last Stand guarantees a fun evening, too.
Foodie Heaven: Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival
If you’re strategic in your travel planning, time your visit with the annual Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival to maximise your opportunities to taste the best of the city’s cuisine. With a grand return to the Central Harbourfront in 2023, this is a celebration of all things delicious. Expect restaurant specials, creative plates from the best chefs, and beautifully paired fine wines.
The Hong King Wine and Dine Festival is an excellent way to sample delicious treats and special festival eats as you go. Skip breakfast though (and maybe wear stretchy pants), as who wants to say no to new flavours?
Has this handy guide whet your appetite for a trip to Hong Kong? Learn more about the landmarks, attractions, and culture at Discover Hong Kong. For trip advice and bookings, contact an ATAS travel agent.