Hong Kong: a City Guide
Oh, Hong Kong. I could write an essay, no, multiple essays, about how much I love this city. Given that the majority of my extended family live here, and we visit every year, it’s always felt like a second home to me. Hong Kong is so much more than just a busy metropolis: I could provide an endless list of recommendations, but below you’ll find a curated and digestible selection of my favourite spots.
We’ve stayed at this hotel every single time we’ve visited Hong Kong, since its opening ten years ago. With unparalleled views over the harbour and skyline, sleek furnishings and architecture by Andre Fu, (plus the most seamless service you’ll find in the city), why would we ever stay anywhere else? Aptly self-described as a ‘home away from home’, The Upper House was recently featured in Smith Hotels’ The World’s Sexiest Bedrooms…and it’s very easy to see why.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: The Cupping Room serves my favourite avocado toast in the world. In the WORLD. To be fair, I haven’t yet been to Australia, the birthplace of avocado toast, but The Cupping Room comes close to what I envision as the perfect avocado toast: buttery sourdough topped with diced avocado, and garnished with lime juice, radishes, almonds, and a poached egg. The other brunch dishes at The Cupping Room are similarly fantastic, plus you’ll find specialty coffee roasted in-house at their four branches across central Hong Kong.
Now able to boast three locations across the city, NOC serves up a delicious brunch menu and specialty coffee to hungry Hong Kong residents. For those that can’t decide whether they like their avocado toast sliced or smashed, NOC offers them both, whilst the vegetarian breakfast is a delicious plate of roasted vegetables, toast, and eggs. My favourite location is the branch on Gough Street, which is great for people-watching.
Halfway Coffee has two branches in Hong Kong, both tucked behind side alleyways in the centre of Soho and Sheung Wan, and great for people watching. Besides coffee (their rose latte is actually worth trying), they also offer a tasty brunch and dessert menu: make sure to order the homemade matcha tart, served with black sesame ice cream.
Brew Bros is an Australian cafe, with two outlets across Hong Kong. I prefer their one near HKU station, which is perched on Hill Road, and offers a delicious breakfast menu: expect dishes such as chia seed pudding, french toast, and homebaked goods…plus a smashing avocado on toast.
One of my favourite spots in Hong Kong, and not to be missed if you’re more of a tea lover. Teakha offers a huge range of Chinese and Japanese teas, as well as homemade cakes: make sure not to miss their matcha chiffon cake or matcha cheesecake!
Baked is a wonderful new addition to Hong Kong’s restaurant scene, nestled within the labyrinthine streets of Soho. Expect exciting and hearty brunch dishes such as mushrooms and burrata on homemade toasted sourdough, or cardamom porridge with rose and orange, all served up with a lot of love and attention by the friendly staff.
This tiny outpost in Tsim Sha Tsui from the famous Japanese specialty coffee house is the perfect spot to grab a coffee before hopping on the ferry back to Hong Kong (a must-do if you’re visiting the city for the first time). Enjoy spectacular views of the Hong Kong skyline from the ferry whilst sipping your coffee.
And many more: Mott 32 for delicious dim sum in a sleek and sexy setting; Little Bao for more-ish bao buns with a Western influence; Yardbird for modern Japanese yakitori; Sevva for rooftop drinks with an amazing view of central Hong Kong or an incredibly fancy afternoon tea; Omotesando Koffee for brilliant specialty coffee from Japan; Oddies Foodies for delicious Hong Kong egg waffles with a modern twist.
Nan Lian Garden
A traditional Chinese garden nestled within the city: the classical architecture set against Hong Kong’s modern skyline makes for a brilliant contrast, and you can easily while away a couple of hours strolling around the gardens.
Take a hike:
Hong Kong is home to some wonderful scenery, and there are many different hikes in or around the city. Two of the most famous are the hike to The Peak (where you’ll get incredible views over both Hong Kong and Kowloon island), or the Dragon’s Back Trail, which offers wonderful views of the sea.
Visit Lamma Island, or Lantau Island
Hong Kong encompasses a collection of smaller fishing islands that are definitely worth visiting. Take a day trip to either Lamma Island or Lantau Island (where the famous Big Buddha statue is) for a cultural eye-opener, and as an escape from the hustle of the city. The pace of life is completely different here, and the islands are some of my favourite parts of Hong Kong.