I recently spent a weekend in Hong Kong and was absolutely blown away by the city’s amazing food culture. Food is an extremely important part of life in this city, and there are just so many incredible things to eat in Hong Kong. And while initially you might assume that the best food comes with the highest price tag, that’s not always the case. Hong Kong is home to some of the world’s cheapest Michelin starred restaurants!
Hong Kong is a great destination for foodie travelers because many of its eateries are designed for tasting. Street food stalls serve snack-sized bites, while many of the larger restaurants focus on shared plates for group dining. Because portions aren’t enormous, you can squeeze in even more than three meals a day. And in fact, this is typical in Hong Kong so go ahead and indulge!
Ready to plan your food adventure? Here’s my guide to the 7 things to eat in Hong Kong if you only have a weekend.
7 Things to Eat in Hong Kong – The Weekend Edition!
1. Pork Buns at Tim Ho Wan
If you only have time for one meal, make it Tim Ho Wan. Tim Ho Wan is a cheap and casual dim sum restaurant that received a Michelin star for its perfectly crispy and deliciously sweet pork buns.
I tried four different dishes and got a bottle of water and only paid around the equivalent of $14 USD.
There are multiple locations, including in the Hong Kong Airport Express station. Prepare to wait in line during peak hours and fill out your order while you wait. The servers will have no patience if you haven’t decided what you wanted by the time you sit.
Hong Kong people pride themselves on efficiency and at casual restaurants, that means getting you in and out as quickly as possible. It’s common to be seated with strangers – in a city where real estate is so expensive, it’s not economical to leave seats empty!
2. Wonton Noodle Soup at Mak’s Noodle
Another one of the things to eat in Hong Kong is wonton noodle soup, a classic Cantonese dish that, as you might have guessed consists of noodles in broth with shrimp wontons. Some of the best places to eat wonton noodle soup can be found on Wellington Street in Central, or Lock Road in Tsim Sha Shui.
The version I tried was from Mak’s Noodle, although the jury is out on which restaurant has the “best.” Mak’s tasted quite good to me – I mean, how can you screw up noodle soup?! It’s just plain delicious, no matter how you slice it. So I’ll let you be the judge!
3. Eggs & Toast at Australia Dairy Company
I know what you’re thinking right now: eggs and toast? But stay with me. Australia Dairy Company is what Hong Kongers call a cha chaan teng, or traditional “Western” café. These eateries are not for the faint of heart – in fact, many of them are quite famous for terrible service and cranky waiters who rush you in and out the door. But it’s all part of the fun!
At Australia Dairy Company in Jordan, join the fast-moving queue for steamed milk pudding, eggs and toast, and macaroni soup with ham. Don’t dilly dally with the menu if you don’t want to piss off the staff (there’s really only one choice: the breakfast combo with either scrambled or fried eggs). And prepare for your food to arrive approximately 30 seconds after you place your order.
The delicious food more than makes up for the rushed service – the toast is thick and buttery and the eggs fluffy. It’s the perfect quick breakfast before a long day of touring.
4. Everything (Especially Seafood) at Loaf On in Sai Kung
Hong Kong is known for its seafood – but to get the best, you’ll have to get out of the city center to the small fishing village of Sai Kung.
Years ago, my mom used to travel to Hong Kong for work and some of her friends invited me to join them for a traditional Chinese dinner in Sai Kung. I would not have made it here by myself otherwise, but it was totally worth the journey (approximately 40 minutes’ drive from Hong Kong Central). Especially as Sai Kung is where you’ll find quite a few of my new favorite things to eat in Hong Kong!
While other Sai Kung restaurants boast their seafood offerings in tanks you can choose from on the streets, Loaf On is located one street away from the waterfront and slightly more discrete (reservations required). The restaurant received a Michelin star for its high-quality ingredients and traditional Cantonese recipes. Meals are served at traditional large round tables and dishes are designed to be shared on a lazy Susan, so it’s a great place to come with a group if you can rally fellow foodie travelers.
My favorite dishes were the fried tofu, razor clams with peppers, scallops with garlic and vermicelli and Cantonese steamed fish.
Steamed fish is especially worth trying as it’s one of the most traditional and simple Cantonese dishes, yet so hard to get right. In Hong Kong, food purists will insist that the fish be fresh-caught – and many people choose to buy their fish and meat at “wet markets” where the food is fresh vs. typical supermarkets where food is packaged.
The fish is then salted to remove the fishy smell and cooked very precisely with ginger, cilantro and green onions the complement the taste of the fish. To finish, hot oil is drizzled on top of the green onions. Some places also serve this dish with soy sauce on the side, although Loaf On does not and to be honest, it doesn’t need it!
Dining with a local Hong Kong resident, I learned so much about traditional dining practices. For example, you always end a big meal with fried rice or noodles – even if you likely won’t finish them. This is especially important if you had seven courses, because you need to make it an even eight. Seven courses are served at a funeral, and it’s bad luck to eat them otherwise!
If you want to go to Sai Kung but don’t have access to a car, it’s possible to reach by a combination of MTR/bus and minibus/taxi. Beyond being home to some of the best things to eat in Hong Kong, Sai Kung offers many activities. For example: walking along the waterfront, where many fishermen sell their catch during the day, exploring nearby islands via ferry and hiking to beautiful beaches. If you are spending more than 48 hours in Hong Kong, it could make a nice day trip to see the region’s more natural beauty.
5. Dumplings at… Anywhere
Dumplings are sort of like noodle soup; you really just can’t mess them up. Well, I can screw anything up as I’m a domestic hot mess, but pretty much any restaurant can make yummy dumplings! Dumplings are literally my favorite food, so of course I ate them every chance I could get in Hong Kong, including at the airport.
Three kinds of dumplings you should eat in Hong Kong include xiao long bao (pork soup dumplings), har gow (steamed shrimp dumplings) and pork and shrimp siu mai (shumai). You can get many of these at any dim sum restaurant (including Tim Ho Wan).
Also, if you’re as big a dumpling fan as me, stop by Soul Art Shop in Central where you can purchase handmade Chinese dumpling art to bring home.
Seriously, I did it!
6. The Instagram-worthy “Night Wolf” Egg Puff Sundae at Oddies
Eggettes, or gai daan zai, are typical street food desserts in Hong Kong and stalls selling them can be found everywhere. They are bubbly-looking waffles that are crisp on the outside and deliciously soft and spongy on the inside, called eggettes because the bumps on them look like tiny eggs. While they’re delicious all on their own, Oddies has taken things to a new level by combining them with gelato and other toppings.
The one I tried was their most popular, the Night Wolf, which is served with chocolate sauce, caramelized banana ice cream, passion fruit panna cotta and brownie and chocolate chip eggette. It also had some sort of crunch flake in it. I was a bit skeptical about combining all these different flavors but it was actually genius – the passion fruit panna cotta was so unexpected and really pulled everything together. I couldn’t finish the whole thing by myself!
7. Eggs Benedict at the Intercontinental Hotel’s Breakfast Buffet
After days of struggling with chop sticks and pointing to pictures of things I wasn’t quite sure what they were, I decided to end my trip to Hong Kong by indulging in the incredible breakfast buffet at the Intercontinental Hotel in Kowloon. While the food here is amazing, the real reason to go is the beautiful view of Victoria Harbor. Go early to snag a seat right in front of the window!
The buffet has a high price tag (~$46 USD) but it’s worth it given the variety they have. Just come hungry! Options include traditional dim sum style foods like dumplings and noodles, as well as Japanese onsen tamago (soft-cooked eggs) and Korean pork dumplings.
They also serve traditional American breakfast and surprisingly, my #1 recommendation is the Eggs Benedict. I thought it was a little risky ordering Eggs Benedict as it doesn’t exactly top lists of things to eat in Hong Kong, but figured the chefs at the Intercon know what they’re doing. When I first received the dish, I was surprised to see that it didn’t look anything like the typical Eggs Benedict I’ve had before.
At first, I was disappointed, until I dug in. This happened to be the most perfectly poached egg I’d ever eaten, and the ham was melt-in-your-mouth good. It was even better than the French version I had at an Eggs Benedict-themed restaurant in Paris. Who knew Hong Kong would have the best westernn brunch?
Finish off the meal with a matcha beignet (seriously, they are the bomb dot com) and you’re ready to catch your flight!