Restaurants & Nightlife

5 MINUTE READ

10 secret spots in Hong Kong

Words by Lee Cobaj

21 March 2024

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Step off the beaten path to discover these cool neighbourhood restaurants throughout Hong Kong.

Hong Kong's fine dining scene is in a league of its own, but sometimes you just want to pull on a pair of jeans, drink beer, and laugh loudly with friends. For those much-needed casual nights out, here's our pick of Hong Kong's best neighbourhood hangouts.

1. Bedu

Gough Street has a bonanza of fantastic places to eat, from old-school cha chaan tengs (Hong Kong diners), to hole-in-the-wall ramen joints, to Italian bistros – but Bedu is the one place that is always delicious. Big shuttered windows open onto the pavement so you can smell the moreish Middle Eastern cuisine before you get there; don't miss the flatbread and dips, golden spice cauliflower, and lamb rack with pistachio butter and sumac sauce.

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40 Gough St, Central, Hong Kong

2. Avoca

Wrapping around the 38th floor of The Mondrian Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui, Avoca is the type of place you can pitch up for lunch and still be there drinking Hong Kong-inspired cocktails whilst watching the 8pm Symphony of Lights show. The menu includes 'small plates' (prawn gambas with Sichuan spice, chorizo stir-fry, mini corn cakes with aioli), 'in-between' plates (brioche lobster rolls, ceviche with passionfruit, beef belly baos), and 'big plates' of pork spare ribs, Taiwanese chicken waffles, and summery barley risotto.

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8A Hart Ave, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong

3. LucAle

Sicilian tuna with avocado cream and Amalfi lemon dressing; chittara spaghetti with black truffle, walnut breadcrumbs and Pienza pecorino; and shrimp ravioli with porcini and artichoke – these are just a few of the stand-out dishes at this smart but casual Italian restaurant secreted in the back streets of Sai Ying Pun. The always amiable atmosphere makes it great for a date night, dining alone, or chowing down with friends.

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100 Third St, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong

4. Spices

Spices in Repulse Bay is part of the illustrious Hong Kong and Shanghai Hotels group, which also owns The Peninsula. That connection shines through in the quality of the service and zingy Southeast Asian cuisine – but the pocket-friendly prices are a surprise. Pitch up after a day at the beach to watch the sun go down with a free-flow wine and cocktails package before filling up on spring rolls, samosas, and Thai green curries.

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109 Repulse Bay Rd, Hong Kong

5. El Taquero

This brightly coloured Mexican restaurant in Wan Chai uses a real trompo grill to produce authentic-tasting tacos, enchiladas, and mixiote. Share plates include fluffy tamales, fresh oysters in tequila, and tuna tostadas. Choose a counter seat by the window to watch the neighborhood's comings and goings.

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119 Queen's Rd E, Wan Chai, Hong Kong

6. La Vache

There's only one dish on the menu at La Vache: a perfectly cooked l'entrecôte steak accompanied by a mixed greens and walnut salad – plus an unlimited supply of golden french fries. It is served in a cacophonous dining room reminiscent of a Parisian brasserie, with deep red booths and Toulouse-Lautrec-like murals dancing across the walls. There are three outposts around town, but the one in Central is the most fun.

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48 Peel Street SoHo, Hong Kong

7. Pondi

Named after the former French colony of Pondicherry in the southeast of India, this doll's house of a restaurant is tucked away at the end of Fuk Sau Lane in Sai Ying Pun. There's an alfresco terrace outside, whilst indoors is all white wood and polished concrete, dotted with potted plants and contemporary hand-crafted furniture from India. The menu stays true to the Pondi's roots, with fusion dishes such as yoghurt croquettes with tamarind beets and shallots, baby calamari with pancetta stuffing, and air-dried lamb loin in a black cumin reduction.

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14號 Fuk Sau Ln, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong

8. Mr & Mrs Fox

Visiting this convivial spot will take you away from Hong Kong's main tourist drag and into one of the city's most relaxed neighbourhoods: Taikoo, eight stops east on the MTR from Central. It is spread over three glass-fronted storeys with an outdoor terrace and industrial-warehouse-meets-botanic-gardens interiors. The menu hits all the comfort food spots, including eggs benedict, dry-aged steaks, seasonal cheese boards, and sticky toffee pudding. The three-course brunch and the 3–8pm happy hour are excellent value.

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23 Tong Chong St, Quarry Bay, Hong Kong

9. Tung Po Kitchen

With the decline of dai pai dong (open-air food stands), we now have the unceremoniously titled Cooked Food Centres. Serving Cantonese classics – sweet and sour pork, chicken clay pot rice, scallops, and egg fried rice – at plastic tables amid deafening levels of chatter, you'll find one in every neighbourhood. Among the most accessible to visitors, including the late Anthony Bourdain, is Tung Po Kitchen in the Jaffe Road complex. The singing and dancing between courses come for free.

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Jaffe Rd, 303號凱聯大廈 2樓, Hong Kong,

10. Fiata by Salvatore Fiata

Named as number five in Asia by the 50 Top Pizza Awards, this Soho hangout serves contemporary Neapolitans. You'll find all the classics – margherita, diavola, capricciosa – but the dishes recommended by the judges include the A' Salsiccia, topped with Alife onion cream, fior de latte Napoli, caramelised red onions and Italian sausage, and the Estate, focaccia trimmed with Alife onion jam, burrata cream, 24-month-aged Parma ham, and Grana Padano cheese.

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2 Staunton St, Central, Hong Kong

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Lee Cobaj

Lee grew up in Hong Kong – so it’s safe to say she’s a real source of knowledge for the Asian luxury travel sector. Expect to read about new openings, hot topics, and cultural guides in her work.

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