The 8 Best Cafés in Hong Kong
One of the many reasons I love Hong Kong is because the ability to discover hidden gems is endless. This is especially true with the many incredible boutique cafés you can find here, all offering something a little different. Whether it's for the photo, atmosphere, or coffee (Hong Kong takes coffee VERY seriously), there's something for everyone.
Here are the best (well, according to me).
1. HALFWAY COFFEE 半路咖
This place epitomizes Hong Kong perfectly in the 'East Meets West' kind of way. It's tucked away in a little alley surrounded by antique shops, souvenir stalls, an impressive amount of Bruce Lee posters, and random knick knacks (If you're in need of a sword you'll find one here).
Also nearby is one of my favourite temples in Hong Kong, Man Mo Temple.
What makes them unique is they serve your drink in vintage porcelain tea cups (even their takeaway paper cups have a pretty vintage print!). It feels like you stepped into Hong Kong's past or your Grandparent's home (my Grandpa had that exact same green lamp at my table in the photo above- it instantly transported me back to sitting at his home office desk with him), as you sip a wonderfully crafted brew, surrounded by vintage furniture and quirky details.
They also have a lot of teas and a very enticing food menu that changes regularly.
You'll leave there feeling caffeinated, nostalgic, and with a good instagram photo!
Halfway Coffee: Mon-Sun 10:00am-6:00pm, 12 Tung St, Sheung Wan (MTR exit A2 from Sheung Wan Station). Tel: +852 9511 7197
2. NOC COFFEE CO.
I first discovered this place when I shot an episode for my foodie series and instantly fell in love with the decor. It's minimalist, industrial (a lot of concrete, metal, glass & wood- which I love, hence my home), and has a lot of natural light.
Their name NOC is an acronym for 'not only coffee'. This holds true for me because I actually identify this café with oat milk. This is the place where I first tried and fell in love with the sweet, creamy milk alternative that makes my skin a little happier. They were one of the pioneers of introducing Oatly to Hong Kong- and for that, they will always hold a special place in my heart, because I'm obsessed.
Everyday they have 2 choices of beans when you order your coffee, fruity or nutty. Their cold brew is to die for and is served with a giant whisky-drink-like ice ball that makes you look like the wise sophisticated person are.
Impeccable style. Great latte art. A small, simple, but delicious menu (items differ at locations). Easy to find because they have so many locations now. I can't recommend them enough!
NOC: Every day 8:00am-6:00pm, various locations (the one on 18 Gough St, Central is my fav).
Named after one of the most influential movie directors in cinematic history, Stanley Kubrick (The Shining, Clockwork Orange).
Natalie introduced me to this eclectic place because she used to work there and it's still one of her favourite spots to frequent (you know it's a great place when you work there and still love it!). Part cinema, part organic/vegan shop, part DVD/music shop, part art gallery, part bookstore, part café, this place embodies the PERFECT afternoon or evening.
The selection of movies (art house films from around the world) and books they offer are very out of the ordinary. Just taking a look at the multi-lingual books ranging from a variety of topics with amusing titles made me feel inspired. Another thing that inspired me was the community of customers gathered there, from artists to entrepreneurs, to coffee lovers. Good vibes all around.
Grab an excellent coffee and dive into a unique book, surrounded by beautiful natural light and the smell of sweet movie theatre popcorn cooking and let your creative juices flow, without interruption (there's no wifi).
Kubrick Cafe: Open every day 11:30am-10:00pm, Shop H2, Prosperous Garden, 3 Public Square St, Yau Ma Tei. Tel: +852 2384 8929
4. Elephant Grounds Café
I saw this café pop up a lot in photos on my social media feeds. It's definitely a favourite amongst instagrammers and foodies.
As soon as I arrived I understood all the hype. The interior is ultra cozy both because of the people and the decor. The staff is friendly, they allow dogs on their patio, there's a lot of books (on the second floor), warm wooden walls, and the furniture is a mismatched vintage collection of pure comfort.
Then there's the menu. The food and drinks available are substantially appealing, there's so many things I want to try (so I will be back again and again to complete my list!).
Their parmesan fries with homemade ketchup and black garlic mayonnaise were out of this world. So was their matcha latte with oat milk. Those 2 items are my perfect comfort foods, and they were done right.
They also serve my friend Joyce's ridiculously good cookies.
I'M A BIG FAN.
Elephant Grounds Cafe: Mon-Fri 8:00am-8:00pm Sat-Sun 9:00am-8:00pm, 61 Caine Road, Central (but there's 5 other locations). Tel: +852 2535 7155.
5. MUM's NOT HOME
This place is one of the best kept secret hidden upstairs cafés in Hong Kong. When you walk in you're welcomed by the friendly owners (ring the doorbell for them to let you in) before you're pleasantly hit with all of the colours, knick-knacks, food, and occasionally- live music.
It's hard to fully capture the essence of this shop/café, but the best way I can explain is that it's a warm, comfortable place where you can hangout and just be yourself. It's as if you were in your best friend's apartment. The owners are proud supporters of the LGBTQ community and travel around a lot, so the items offered here represent inclusivity of all people in all parts of the world (local & abroad).
If you're in the Yau Ma Tai area and looking for somewhere to relax/meet a friend/work, you definitely need to check this place out. It's quirky, eclectic, and loveable- somewhere where people both want to belong and will feel like they belong.
Mum's Not Home: for hours, see their website or call- it's not always open. 1/f, 302 Shanghai St, Yau Ma Tei. Tel: +852 9770 5760
This is not a café per say, but it does serve some excellent caffeinated drinks, specifically bubble tea.
I am probably the last person in Hong Kong to hop on the bubble tea wagon (I just tried it a couple of months ago for the first time), but it just took one taste to get me hooked!
I go for it when I want a coffee alternative, and I specifically love Kingyo (from Taiwan) because of the wide variety of teas they have to choose from and how customizable you can make your drink.
First you choose your tea base, then any fruit/syrup add-ins, sugar level, ice level, hot/cold, and toppings (boba, jelly, aloe, etc). There's so many combinations you can come up with which makes discovering new tastes endless and exciting.
Kingyo: Many locations in Hong Kong with various hours. If I'm craving it, I usually just open my google maps wherever I am and find the closest one.
7. Tai Wo Tang
Once a Traditional Chinese Medicine shop opened in 1932, this contemporary nostalgic café now offers a great selection of tea and coffee, as well as all day breakfast and other meals. The vintage decor is a mixture of wooden medicine cabinets, old glass jars, original metal gates, wooden benches, a lot of plants, and framed photos showing the cafe’s history.
We ordered their signature Tai Wo Latte (A mixture of coffee, earl grey tea, & honey), Vitality Tea (floral tea with dates), and Vegetarian Breakfast. All were delicious and very instagramable! Some other interesting items are chicken and HK-style egg waffles, red date cheesecake, dampness removing tea, and their cold brew coffee in really cool bottles.
Tai Wo Tang: Mon-Fri 8:00am-6:00pm, Sat-Sun 9:00am-7:00pm, 24 Nga Tsin Long Road, Kowloon City. Tel: +852 2623 2006.
8. Starbucks (on Duddell St., Central)
I know that Starbucks is almost everywhere you look, so it's not that special, BUT this specific location is quite different. By incorporating local designers (Stanley Wong & G.O.D.), as well as Hong Kong's unique culture and history, together with the Starbuck's brand, a delightful nostalgic place was established.
The concept of this shop was taken from Hong Kong's iconic 'Bing Sutt' cafés, which were the local 'cha chaan tengs' of the 1950's. This location is half modern day regular Starbucks decor, and half bing sutt decor, so you can choose whether you want to be blasted from the past or not. The details that were put into this recreation are very impressive. From the retro tiled floors, to the hand written menus on the walls, posters, hanging bird cages (people used to bring their pet birds to the cafés to hang out too), and old fans- having coffee here is never boring.
Plus, they have a special Hong Kong exclusive menu (only available here and in their Mong Kok location), full of local snacks with a coffee twist.
Starbucks: Mon-Fri 7:00am-9:00pm, Sat 8:00am-10:00pm, Sunday 9:00am-8:00pm. 13 Duddell Street, Central, Hong Kong. Tel: +852 2523 5685.
I know I'm missing many exceptional cafés, and there's a lot that I'm yet to discover in Hong Kong, so there will probably be a part 2 in the near future. If you have any you want to recommend me, please let me know in the comments! Also, if you do visit any of them, I'd love to know your thoughts.