After spending nearly a week ringing in the New Year in Hong Kong, I’ve concluded that this city is a Disneyland for adult foodies. And of course, I felt compelled to create your guide to eating and drinking in Hong Kong.
But let me back up to clarify a couple of things. First, if you are a foodie and Hong Kong hasn’t made it on your vacation bucket list, shame on you. Or at least that’s how I feel now. Because let’s be honest: when you are in the States, you don’t often think about the East side of the globe (aka Hong Kong). It’s literally worlds away (or a 13-hour time difference from the East Coast). The only reason why this list was on my city was because I had to cash in on the flight deal from Chiang Mai ($100 USD for a roundtrip flight), and it was the perfect time to take a little trip somewhere.
Second, let’s be clear. It’s not like I was starving myself or missing out on great food in Chiang Mai. On the contrary, this city has a fantastic and relatively inexpensive food scene. But when you love wine and cheese as much as I do, Chiang Mai can be disappointing at times because finding a decent bottle and block can cost you half of your arm. So as you can imagine, there were quite a few dishes and drinks I was missing out on living in Chiang Mai.
Until I landed on sheer bliss island that is Hong Kong.
Hong Kong is trendy, boozy and yet full of culture. Honestly, eating and drinking in Hong Kong can be very overwhelming because of all of the amazing choices. But of course I made my best attempt to go through my foodie bucket list for Hong Kong, just for you guys.
Eating in Hong Kong
Experience dim sum at a Michelin-star restaurant.
You have so many incredible dim sum options in Hong Kong. But if you’re going to do it up in the city (which I suggest you should), you have to go to a dim sum place that is Michelin-starred. Our first night, we jetted off to Din Tai Fung and noshed on everything in sight. We left with full bellies and dreams of the truffle mushroom dim sum (pictured directly below), hoping that we could recreate that experience again. It’s best to go in groups for dim sum so you can try it all.
Crab it up in Chinatown.
Chinatown in Hong Kong has a market and several restaurants where you can order and chow down on crab. We opted for the non-spicy crab, which was doused in butter and garlic instead. If I had to do it again, I would get the spicy crab, which was advertised at pretty much every restaurant. Only go here if you have the patience to crack open and deal with the crab: it took me an hour just to eat half of this dish.
Sober up at Burger Circus with their burgers.
We ended up here after the smell of fresh grilled burgers slapped me in my face when we were walking from a boozy happy hour. Of course, I had to follow the scent, and I was pleasantly surprised with what I discovered. These burgers were the real deal: it felt like we were back in America. And if you couldn’t tell by now, we were spoiled.
Indulge in seafood at Catch on Catchick in Kennedy Town.
In my opinion, eating as much seafood as you can while you’re in Hong Kong is a must. And with good reason. This cute restaurant in Kennedy Town is worth stopping by for brunch, and though the prices are a bit high, you will not regret ordering here. The crab linguini had all of the butter and the garlic (according to our friend Rese) and the guys and I ordered a soft shell crab sandwich with French fries. The crab sandwich was crispy, the fries were dusted with the right amount of salt and I was in pure bliss.
Eat all of the sushi rolls on the conveyor belt.
I’ve always wanted to have the “conveyor belt sushi” experience, and of course, Hong Kong had that too. You literally ordered your selections from the iPad supplied at your table and once they are ready, the sushi is delivered to your table via a neat conveyor belt. It’s incredibly easy to indulge in as much sushi as you can with this system. Just be careful with this type of ordering: we spent about $20 per person after it was all said and done.
Drinking in Hong Kong
Take advantage of happy hour early in the day.
Happy hour isn’t a certain time; it’s a block of hours in Hong Kong. If you want to take true advantage of these specials, start early. We grabbed cheap (yet strong) margaritas at Coyote Bar and Grill, which is the same place you can take tequila shots from a dentist chair. Though we were tempted, we were too chicken to do it at 4 p.m.
Buy one, get one free at Rummin’ Tings.
Looking for a Caribbean cocktail experience? Check out Rummin’ Tings and grab one of their signature punches during happy hour. Though these punches consist of a variety of fresh ingredients, the staff here doesn’t skimp on the alcohol. It’s best to split this baby with a group; otherwise, you will be falling other with your friend or SO at the end of it all (which, cool, I’m not judging if that’s your thing).
Beat the clock at this bar.
Stone Nullah Tavern has an out-of-this world happy hour. Starting at 5 p.m., they sell beer, house wine and select cocktails for $1 Hong Kong Dollar (approx. $0.12 US cents!). The price doubles every 20 minutes for two hours, which means by the end of happy hour, the price of a drink is $64 HKD (about $5 USD).
You can get more than one drink in a 20-minute period, and the way you can track the time is when they ring the bell. These are the best happy hour prices I’ve seen in my life, and if you want something to nosh on, the bar bites menu is available, too. It gets quite rowdy (and crowded) during these two hours, so we recommend getting there about 30 minutes early to station yourself near the bar or at a table.
Partake in a bottomless champagne brunch.
Bottomless mimosas seem so 90s when you visit Hong Kong because of the plethora of champagne and cocktail brunches around the city. Many of these brunches are all you can drink, and if you’re not a champagne fan (who are you??), you can also indulge in other brunch sessions that feature cava, cocktails and wine.
Most of the brunches take place on Sunday, but luckily, we were able to snag an all-you-can-drink Veuve Clicquot and all-you-can-eat dim sum deal at Duddell’s. Yes, the prices for champagne brunches are more expensive than typically mimosa brunches, but for the experience of drinking all the champagne you want for three hours? It’s totally worth it.
Ladies, drink for free in one of Lan Kwai Fong’s many bars.
This is party central in Hong Kong for all of the people who want to have fun until the wee hours of the morning. We had a blast here one night and witnessed everything from a monk blessing to a street fight to a strut off. Oh yeah, and ladies can drink free at many of the bars, so fellas grab your alcohol at the convenience store and pre-game if you want a good deal.
Have you been to Hong Kong? If so, what was your favorite part about it?