Eat like a local: the 10 best restaurants in Hong Kong

Looking for the best food in Hong Kong? Taste your way through these 10 delectable hot spots…

Category Cities

Date 14th October 2015

Have you ever wondered where the locals in Hong Kong go out to eat? From fancy fine dining to humble street food, these 10 delicious places always keep Hongkongers satisfied and coming back for more!

1. Ah Shun’s Kitchen

Food awaits at Ah Shun's Kitchen.
Food awaits at Ah Shun’s Kitchen, one of the best spots for Hong Kong seafood.

If locals make the trek just to eat seafood in this faraway hole in the wall, you know it must be something special. After taking the ferry and navigating the small alleyways of Cheung Chau, you might be disappointed to set foot in a basic restaurant without so much as a sea view.

Don’t be fooled by appearances: this is one of the best restaurants in Hong Kong, especially for seafood fans. You can either shop at the fish market and bring your selection to Ah Shun, or simply order from the menu. Either way, you are due for a feast, be it clams braised in spicy wine broth, stir-fried grouper or magical steamed prawns dipped in soy sauce. Warning: it can get messy!

Where: G, 47 Tai San St., Cheung Chau
+852 2981 0569
Nearest Station:
Central Ferry Pier 5

2. Tim Ho Wan

A dumpling lunch at the Michelin starred Tim Ho Wan restaurant, Hong Kong.
A surprisingly cheap dim sum lunch at the Michelin starred Tim Ho Wan, Hong Kong.

Tired of your foodie friends babbling about eating at Michelin-starred restaurants just because they have an expense account? Up the ante by eating at Tim Ho Wan, one of the world’s cheapest Michelin star restaurants.

Opened by chef Mak Kwai Pui, previously dim sum chef at three-Michelin-star restaurant Lung King Hin, this casual eatery serves delectable morsels of traditional dim sum, including the four heavenly kings: pork buns, rice noodles, turnip cake and steamed egg cake. Be prepared to line up early, they don’t accept reservations.

Meals are relatively quick as the menu is small (about 30 items). With a few branches already opened in Hong Kong and a recent expansion to Singapore, get your grub while it’s hot.

Where: G/F, 9-11 Fuk Wing Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon
+852 2788 1226
Nearest Station:
Sham Shui Po

3. Rainbow Seafood Restaurant

The catches of the day outside of Hong Kong's legendary Rainbow Seafood Restaurant.
The catches of the day outside of Hong Kong’s legendary Rainbow Seafood Restaurant.

In operation since 1984, this seafood palace next to the largest fish farm in Hong Kong is as large as it is delicious. Seating more than 1,000 guests, freshness is pretty much guaranteed. You just go to the seafood tanks, pick your seafood and wait until it is served back to you according to your specifications.

Signature dishes include fried crab with honey and pepper, spicy shrimp in dual style, and the grouper fish, but you can pretty much order any seafood you like. You won’t be disappointed. With the added bonus of a free shuttle boat from Central, this is your ticket to a perfect Hong Kong-style seafood meal without any fuss!

Where: 23-25 First St., Sok Kwu Wan, Lamma Island
+852 2982 8100
Nearest Station:
Central Ferry Pier 4

4. Tsui Wah

Relaxed comfort food at the locally favored Tsui Wah restaurant.
Relaxed comfort food at the locally favored Tsui Wah restaurant.

An essential pit stop for revelers either going home or stopping to carb up after a long night at Lan Kwai Fong, Tsui Wah is Hong Kong’s quintessential greasy spoon.

Open 24 hours a day, this joint is probably best enjoyed late at night. The Tsui Wah menu is shockingly comprehensive and eclectic, featuring Chinese and Western comfort food at affordable prices. Think fish ball noodles and beef curry mixed with jumbo hot dogs – dissect a microcosm of a certain Hong Kong, where drunken expatriates join noisy locals in creating a truly unique night-time cacophony.

Where: G/F-2/F, 15-19 Wellington Street
+852 2868 3322
Nearest Station:

5. Mak’s Noodle

Serving up the best wanton noodles in all of Hong Kong at Mak's Noodles.
Serving up the best wanton noodles in all of Hong Kong at Mak’s Noodles.

Wonton noodles, like fried rice, are not a strange food concept to most global citizens. Basically, this entails shrimp wrapped in a delicate ravioli pocket, served with chewy egg noodles in a salty fish broth. But rarely will you get the chance to slurp up a bowl as authentic as the version served at Mak’s.

Even in Hong Kong, this sort of standard – hand-made noodle served with intense fish broth untainted by flavor enhancer MSG – is fast dying. And the kale served here – a typical side dish to go with the noodles – is consistently, unbeatably tender. If it’s good enough for Anthony Bourdain – Mak’s most famous advocate – and good enough for the locals, one of the best restaurants in Hong Kong has gotta be good enough for you, too.

Where: 77 Wellington Street
+852 2854 3810
Nearest Station:

6. Maxim’s Palace City Hall

Going for a Yum Cha brunch at Maxim's Palace, Hong Kong.
Going for a brunch at Maxim’s Palace, one of the best yum cha restaurants in Hong Kong.

Nothing embodies Hong Kong’s social style more than ‘yum cha’ – Chinese afternoon tea including small ‘dim sum’ dishes – and no place has a more authentic way of serving up dim sum than Maxim.

In a rather garish décor featuring faux grand chandeliers and tired carpets, forever grumpy attendants barking incomprehensibly are haphazardly pushing carts full of steamed delicacies like ‘har gow’, ‘siu mai’ and ‘chaar siu bau’. Meanwhile large groups of raucous patrons shout their orders across a cramped dining room the size of a small stadium. There might be plenty of better dim sum options across Hong Kong, but none can provide the range of truly local experiences like Maxim’s does. Waiting in line? Check! Noise? Check! Indifferent service? Check! Good food? Check!

Where: Low Block, City Hall, Edinburgh Place
+852 2101 1333
Nearest Station:

7. Lei Garden

Walking in for Michelin starred grub at Lei Garden.
Walking in for Michelin starred grub at Lei Garden.

No Hong Kong food guide would be complete without a mention of Lei Garden. Elegant, unpretentious, Michelin-starred, reasonably priced and always consistent, it is the go-to place for proper Cantonese food. The single most popular Canto canteen for Central dwellers and a magnet for local celebrities, Lei Garden is renowned for the quality of its dim sum, its range of healthy soups, fresh seafood and contemporary dishes.

There are quite a number of locations to choose from but the IFC branch is probably the best decorated. A reservation is a must! While you’re at it, pre-order the soup of the day and their signature crispy chicken.

Where: Shop 3007-3011, 3/F., International Finance Centre
+852 2295 0238
Nearest Station:

8. Din Tai Fung

Prepping dim sum at Din Tai Fung, one of Hong Kong's biggest and best restaurants.
Prepping dim sum at Din Tai Fung, one of Hong Kong’s biggest and best restaurants.

Taiwanese dim sum chain Din Tai Fung has taken Asia by storm, and is rapidly conquering Australia and California. Its relentless focus on the perfect execution of a small array of favorite dishes has earned this outlet an inclusion in the latest Bib Gourmand list.

Don’t get intimidated by the long lines: this is a big venue, so you won’t be waiting more than 30 minutes. Use the wait to fill your order. Once your number is called, you should feel the Michelin aura, as the service is attentive and courteous, while the food is as delectable as it is seemingly simple. The essentials include the ‘xiao long bao’, the Zhejiang-style sticky rice dumplings and the spicy Sichuan ‘wontons’.

Where: Shop G3-11, G/F, 68 Yee Wo Street
+852 3160 8998
Nearest Station:
Causeway Bay

9. Loaf On

Simple seafood cuisine at the Michelin starred Loaf On restaurant.
Simple seafood cuisine at the Michelin starred Loaf On restaurant.

Despite its deceptive name reminiscent of a bakery, Loaf On is actually a temple dedicated to seafood, prepared Guandong style. Rewarded with a Michelin star, it is that good! Don’t be put off by the unassuming venue, with its banal chairs, TV, drinks cooler and bright ambiance – this is the go-to place for Hong Kong seafood.

Chef Sam ‘Tiger’ Chung’s cuisine, reflecting the best of his half Hakka, half Tanka heritage will transport you to seafood heaven. Make sure to try the chili and garlic fried mantis prawn, the wild-caught steamed grouper, the delectable soup or the succulent scallops.

Where: 49 See Cheung Street, Sai Kung
+852 2792 9966
Nearest Station:
Hang Hau bus 101M

10. Tung Po Seafood Restaurant

Tucking in at Tung Po, one of Hong Kong's best seafood restaurants.
Tucking in at Tung Po, one of Hong Kong’s best seafood restaurants.

Tung Po is a Hong Kong institution. This is ‘Dai Pai Dong’ – street food stalls dressed in makeshift tables – at its very best. If consistency, creativity, deliciousness – and not interiors – are the only factors that count for scoring Michelin stars, Tung Bo would grab at least one.

Located in a non-descript government building that houses a wet market on the lower floor, Tung Po serves over 100 varieties of shrimp, crab, squid ink, scallop and clam dishes accompanied by beer in a bowl and a loud soundtrack featuring 80s classics. Stay past 9pm and you’ll see owner Robbie launching into break-dance moves and the whole place transforming into a virtual disco.

Where: Java Road Cooked Food Centre, 2/F, 99 Java Road, North Point
+852 2880 9399
Nearest Station:
North Point

Want to know more about Hong Kong? Download our free momondo places city guide to Hong Kong for hand-picked inspiration and local tips.

Originally published

14th October 2015