From family-owned noodle shops to Michelin-starred haute cuisine, jumpin’ jazz joints to swanky rooftop bars, Hong Kong has it all.
For clients who love good food, Hong Kong is a holy grail destination – “a total culinary mecca,” says renowned chef-restaurateur Kathy Fang.
“I’ve gone to Hong Kong so many times that I’ve practically lived there, and I still haven’t gone through all the amazing restaurants,” says Fang, owner of San Francisco’s Fang Restaurant, a two-time “Chopped” champion, and a passionate devotee of Hong Kong’s food scene.
“Any kind of Chinese cuisine you can think of, they have a version of it, and at a very refined level. There’s some of the best Japanese cuisine, amazing Korean, Indian, phenomenal French and Italian cuisine.”
Visitors owe it to themselves to sample the full range of Hong Kong eating experiences – not only its world-famous Michelin-starred restaurants, but its bustling food stalls and street carts, traditional family-owned cafes, homespun noodle shops and dim sum restaurants.
Food is just part of the reward. Eating out is such an integral part of Hong Kong life that grabbing a bite at a casual eatery is the perfect way for visitors to enjoy authentic local culture up close.
Take It from the Top
With 71 Michelin-starred restaurants, Hong Kong ranks right near the top of global cities in terms of haute cuisine. There are many legendary Michelin picks, including icons like Forum, L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon, Sushi Shikon, Tin Lung Heen and the three-star Otto e Mezzo - Bombana, the only Italian restaurant outside of Italy to earn a Michelin star.
Every season, brilliant new restaurants burst onto the scene. Recent newcomers making headlines include: Clarence in Central, Wing in Sheung Wan, Auor in Wan Chai and Mora in Sheung Wan.
Some acclaimed restaurateurs are prioritizing sustainability by elevating local produce and taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint. Among them are two Michelin-accredited standouts – Amber, at the Landmark Mandarin Oriental Hotel, and Roganic in Causeway Bay.
Michelin dining at Amber
Fortunately, your clients don’t have to spend top dollar to enjoy Hong Kong’s Michelin-approved cuisine. This year Michelin awarded its Bib Gourmand rating for simpler food at value prices to 64 Hong Kong eateries, including Kung Wo Beancurd Factory, Samsen, for its Thai cuisine, and Shugetsu Ramen, with locations in both Central and Quarry Bay.
Eat Like a Local
The heart of Hong Kong cuisine is Cantonese cooking and its many regional variations, giving rise to much-loved foods like wonton noodles, congee, barbecued pork buns (char siu bao), roast goose, beef brisket noodles and claypot rice.
One of the most iconic Hong Kong dining experiences is dim sum, a meal centered around sharing tea and small plates of bite-sized dumplings, buns and other specialties.
For classic dim sum, a top choice is Luk Yu Tea House. Prefer elegant dim sum? Try the Woo Cheong Tea House, which serves a nine-course dim sum tasting menu amid whimsical decor. Other high-end dim sum restaurants include: Spring Moon at The Peninsula, Lung King Heen at the Four Seasons Hotel, and Man Wah at Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong. Your clients might also enjoy an Aqua Luna Dim Sum day cruise.
Another authentic experience is stir fry at a busy outdoor food stall known as dai pai dong. A great place to sample the food stall experience is right near the Temple Street Night Market at the Woosung Street Temporary Cooked Food Hawker Bazaar.
Hong Kong’s street vendors serve up tasty fare too, including staples like curry fish balls, eggettes and rolled noodles. Michelin has given its seal of approval to 15 such vendors in Hong Kong, including Fat Boy, Hop Yik Tai and Block 18 Doggie's Noodles.
Another type of eatery integral to Hong Kong culture is the cha chaan teng. These affordable fast-service cafes – including favorites like Cheung Heung Tea Restaurant and Sun Hang Yuen – serve comfort foods that merge Chinese and Western cuisines, yielding dishes like Spam and eggs macaroni soup and pineapple buns (which contain no pineapple!).
(Pro tip: For clients who want to dive deeper into Hong Kong cuisines, recommend one of the city’s many excellent foodie tours.)
Bird’s Eye Views + Superb Cocktails
No trip to Hong Kong would be complete without taking in the dazzling night skyline from one of the city’s many spectacular rooftop bars and restaurants. One celebrated rooftop bar – the Ritz-Carlton’s Ozone – is perched 118 floors above the city!
Cocktails with a view at Ozone, The Ritz Carlton
Other bars with a view include: the newly renovated Skye at The Park Lane Hong Kong; Plume, a new wine bar on the roof of H Queen’s, and Eyebar, known for its signature cocktails.
Hong Kong’s dynamic and innovative cocktail scene has gained worldwide recognition. In fact, two of its celebrated bars – Coa and Argo – are included on the 2022 list of the World’s Best 50 Bars. The 2022 list of Asia’s 50 Best Bars spotlights eight Hong Kong establishments, including DarkSide, at Rosewood Hong Kong; Quinary, whose mixologists promise a multisensory experience, and Penicillin, an eco-conscious bar whose mixologists whip up inventive drinks using locally sourced and upcycled ingredients while aiming for zero waste.
Dining with a view at Hutong
Into the Wee Hours . . .
Hong Kong is one of Asia’s top clubbing capitals, with hot spots ranging from exclusive high-end establishments that feature international DJs to elegant speak easy-style bars and gritty underground clubs.
Martini at Argo
Much of Hong Kong’s trendiest nightlife is concentrated in Central Hong Kong, especially in the Lan Kwai Fong and SoHo neighborhoods, where there’s a heady mix of upmarket clubs, elegant wine bars, casual hangouts and happening hole-in-the-wall bars. Among popular clubs here is Tazmania Ballroom.
Live music is plentiful, with numerous venues and dance clubs showcasing live jazz, rock and blues. One standout is Dusk Till Dawn, favored by fun-loving party-goers.