Tai Hang’s hidden treasures
Tucked away behind the hustle and bustle of Causeway Bay is the charming little district of Tai Hang. A Soho in the making, the area has come a long way from streets laden with car repair shops!
Hong Kong’s best kept secret is just a brief walk from the Tin Hau MTR and is packed full of cute little restaurants, bars and shops. Things pop up here faster than you can say ‘new opening’, so keep an eye out for any hotspots to try out. Equally, things seem to close pretty suddenly, but this rapid turnover is a great reason to keep coming back to see what’s new! So get out of your bubble and venture towards this quaint neighbourhood for an afternoon or evening of easy, chilled out vibes…
Where to Eat:
If you’re on the look out for something new, then definitely make time for a Sunday stroll around Little Tai Hang. This quaint and cultural living concept includes a hotel and two notable foodie hot spots – Second Draft and BOND. Second Draft offers up a great selection of locally brewed beers alongside creative fusion dishes from the amazing chef May Chow, as well as hip décor. Definitely worth checking out!
Second Draft, G/F Little Tai Hang, 98 Tung Lo Wan Road, Tai Hang, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/SecondDraftHK
Also nestled in amongst the cute hub of Little Tai Hang, the brain child of Three Monkeys, BOND, serves up a variety of comfort food fare (we’re talking ribs, onion rings and freshly baked breads) as well as a sought-after weekend brunch spread!
Bond, 2/F, 98 Tung Lo Wan Road, Little Tai Hang, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/bondhongkong
Renowned throughout Hong Kong, Classified has it’s very own branch with an open front and big wooden tables – perfect for groups and families. The relaxed, rustic vibe makes this is one of our favourite semi-alfresco places to go for breakfast or leisurely brunch. Eggs Benedict, homemade lemonade, people-watching… what more could you want from a Sunday morning?
Classified, 1-9 Lin Fa Kung Street West, Tai Hang, Hong Kong, 2857 3454, www.classifiedfoodshops.com.hk
La Brezza is a great stop off for quick coffee or brunch during the day, and at night becomes the perfect place to rendezvous with a couple of friends over some vino. This small eatery has a simple but sleek interior, complete with a little courtyard in the back. It doesn’t have many seats, so we recommend making a reservation if you want to avoid waiting. The menu is simple, and the set dinners here are very reasonably priced!
La Brezza, 5 King Street, Tai Hang, Hong Kong, 2504 3077
Cafe Locomotive is cleverly decorated like a classic train, complete with luggage racks filled with old fashioned suitcases! The lines of people outside (we recommend booking a table!) will swear by the delicious Vietnamese food served here. Cafe Locomotive serves a mean pho, as well as other traditional Vietnamese dishes, and their food is simple, quick and delicious.
Cafe Locomotive, G/F, 11 Wun Sha Street, Tai Hang, Hong Kong, 2882 8227, www.cafelocomotive.com
Hong Kong is overflowing with sushi spots, but what makes Sushi Shin stand out is the high quality food, friendly service and cosy atmosphere! Book in advance if you want to sit at the bar and watch the chefs do their thing, and make sure to ask about their seasonal off-the-menu goodies.
Sushi Shin, Wing Hing Court, 110-114 Tung Lo Wan Road, Hong Kong, 2398 8000, www.sushishin.com
Read more: Sassy’s Guide to Sushi in Hong Kong
Where to drink:
Unar Coffee Company
Seating is limited at Unar (unless you fancy sitting curb-side!), but if you need a coffee on-the-go, then look no further! This little hole-in-the-wall proves that size doesn’t matter, and the long line of eager customers waiting outside pays testament to Unar’s delicious and high quality coffee, using only the finest Italian coffee beans. We’ve heard their banana caramel cake is a must-try too.
Unar coffee company, G/F, 4 Second Lane, Tai Hang, Hong Kong, 2838 5231, www.facebook.com/unarcoffeecompany
Read more: Hong Kong’s Hidden Coffee Spots
Bringing together delightful drinks and small-bites to create the perfect place to chill, unwind or mingle with friends, Guay is the perfect place to escape the Soho crowds and have a relaxed night out.
GUAY, 9A Sun Chun Street, Tai Hang, Hong Kong, 2618 8782, www.facebook.com/GUAYHK
Buddy Bar & Café
This intimate and welcoming neighbourhood bar is the Tai Hang equivalent of the British pub. The drinks here are very reasonably priced, with cocktails only setting you back around $70! Join the friendly crowd of regulars who swear by the great service and wide selection of craft beer.
Buddy Bar & Café, G/F, 22 School Street, Tai Hang, Hong Kong, 2882 9780, www.facebook.com/Buddy-Bar-Cafe
The Pudding Nouveau
Whether you’re a chocoholic or you want something a little more fruity, you will definitely find something in this little neighbourhood hangout to satisfy those sugar cravings. The milkshakes are dangerously addictive too!
The Pudding Nouveau, G/F, 17A, King Street, Tai Hang, Hong Kong, 3482 3925, www.facebook.com/the.pudding.nouveau
Lab Made is Hong Kong’s first – and only – purveyor of liquid nitrogen frozen ice-cream. Their creamy creations are frozen right before your eyes in under two minutes and are made to order. With crazy flavours that change every week, we can’t resist going back frequently to see what mouth-watering ingredients they’re using to create the smoothest scoops we’ve ever had!
Lab Made, G/F, 6,Brown Street, Tai Hang, Hong Kong, 2670 0071, www.labmade.com.hk
Read more: The Best Ice Creams in Hong Kong
Papabubble is a sweet shop unlike any other and feels like a modern Willy Wonka factory. They sell a range of rock candies and lollipops, and you can even have them custom made! The walls are lined with bright little jars of delectable sweets; from all-time traditional favourites to exotic ones from places you’ve never heard of, make sure to try them all. You can even watch the master confectioners at work in the back of the store as they create their specialty candies.
Papabubble, 34 Tung Lo Wan Road, Tai Hang, Hong Kong, 2367 4807, www.papabubble.com.hk
Lin Fa Temple
Beyond all the new shops and bars, Tai Hang is a real cultural hub too. The streets are lined with little stalls selling incense and temple offerings, which goes hand in hand with the beautiful Lin Fa Temple nearby. This historic building is over 150 years old, and though small, plays an important part in local celebrations including Mid-Autumn festival. Built to worship the Goddess of Mercy, this temple is set in a peaceful environment next to the huge ‘Lotus’ rock. You’ll also find beautiful lotus lanterns lighting up the chamber of the temple inside… perfect for some zen.
Fire Dragon Dance
Tai Hang is also famous for its Fire Dragon Dance! This has been an annual tradition since the 19th century, when the people of the fishing village that once was Tai Hang stopped a trend of bad luck with this dance – including a plague! Though Tai Hang is obviously not a fishing village anymore, 300 performers, 72,000 incense sticks and a 67-metre dragon recreate this ancient ritual every year!
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on 14 August, 2014 (written by Mojo), and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness. All businesses were open at time of writing!