22 April, 2014
Lifestyle

Top 10 WiFi spots on Hong Kong Island

22 April, 2014
Many of us find ourselves scampering around town from meeting to meeting throughout the week. We’re often in need of convenient places to work from between all these appointments! That’s why a nice WiFi-friendly coffee shop in Hong Kong is a godsend. Here are our ten favourite spots on Hong Kong Island where you can access the Internet – we’re not workaholics, promise!

dolce 88

Dolce 88
Nestled to the side of the JW Marriott in Pacific Place is the stylish little Dolce 88 coffee bar. All seating is bar style, so you can work in a casual yet sophisticated setting.

WiFi Signal: Excellent

Coffees, bites, and more: The menu contains the usual slew of caffeinated beverages. A small selection of sandwiches (including a nice San Daniele ham, arugula and gorgonzola combination) is available. Croissants, a few types of cookies, macrons and bottled sugary drinks are also on offer.

Price: A small latte will set you back $38, with a sandwich costing about $60.

Water: Tap water is available upon request.

Service: Friendly and thoughtful. They’ve often closed the draughty door for us and non-intrusively filled our teacups with more hot water.

Crowds: A steady stream flows in during the day for pick-ups and quick meetings, but we haven’t had any issues finding a seat.

Noise level: The attached JW Marriot lobby plays lobby-music and has a piano player performing at tea-time. Dolce 88 usually seems to play whatever is popular on the radio, so be prepared for a dual soundtrack!

Other: If you need a break from work, there’s an eclectic selection of coffee-table books, newspapers and magazines available. Let’s not forget the chess-set on the counter too! We doubt anybody has played a full game, but hey, it’s there if you want it!

Dolce 88  Lobby, JW Marriott Hotel, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong
2810 8366  www.jwmarriotthongkong.com

LGB

LGB
Le Gouter Bernardaud (or LGB) has a few locations around town (see here for all locations). On Hong Kong side, you’ll find two in IFC, one in Times Square in Causeway Bay and one tucked into the back of LHT Tower (the building that houses the Gap store on Queen’s Road Central).

WiFi signal: Excellent

Coffees, bites, and more: They have everything from beautifully infused teas (try the ‘Fleur’ which has orange blossom, jasmine, and rose notes) to excellent coffee. We recommend the ‘Gibraltar’, an espresso topped up with milk that is perfectly heated at 40 Celsius. LGB has a vast selection of sweet French treats such as macarons, financiers and madeleines. If you’re looking for something more substantial, try their lunch items or high tea sets.

Price: A delicious Gibraltar will cost you $30!

Water: Tap water is available upon request.

Service: Friendly. They remembered our orders after a few visits!

Crowds: All their locations get crowded at lunchtime. If you’re chilling at a table in the morning, you might get asked to cap your time because of lunch reservations.

Noise level: Tolerable, though some of the tables are quite close together. You might find it annoying to be forced to listen to someone’s business pitch, interview, or zealous chatter. Then again, others might think the same of you!

Other: Magazines like Tatler, TimeOut and Crave are available for your perusal. We like the picture of historic Hong Kong in the LHT Tower location.

LGB Cafe  Shop 1106, 1/F, Tower Two, IFC Mall, 1 Harbour View Street, Central, Hong Kong
2234 7766  www.legouter.com

hollybrown

Holly Brown
This reliable coffee spot is a great place for knuckling down and getting your work done. You can stay for hours undisturbed, and don’t forget to treat yourself to a gelato!

WiFi signal: Good. They turn WiFi off between 12-2 – we imagine it’s to deter lingerers.

Coffees, bites, and more: Holly Brown offers a regular range of caffeinated drinks, but has siphon coffees as well. They are known for roasting their own beans (you can pick up a packet while you’re there to brew at home). Lunch items exist a-plenty but never look appetising in their pre-cooked-not-sure-how-long-it’s-been-there ways. We’re yet to try them…

Price: A small flat white will cost you $42. If you’re after something out of the ordinary, a Kopi Luwak (civet cat coffee – look it up!) will set you back a whopping $280!

Water: Tap water is available on a side counter.

Service: After you pick up your order, it doesn’t really matter what service is like here, as they tend to leave customers alone. The gelato counter has been known to be backed up or appear confused.

Crowds: Always crowded with folks grabbing a quick coffee, setting up meetings, or nabbing a gelato.

Noise level: Tolerable. It’s better upstairs if you’re seeking a quiet spot. 

Other: If you sit near the sizeable gelato counter, one of two things is bound to happen. You will cave and end up eating some, or get nauseous from the saccharine smell. Warning – the cream coloured leather couches at the Stanley Street location are starting to look positively gnarly. Choose a wooden chair instead if you aren’t there for too long.

Holly Brown  G/F, 22 Stanley Street, Central, Hong Kong
2869 9008  www.hollybrowncoffee.com

marriott2

JW Marriott Lobby Lounge
Conveniently attached to Pacific Place 1 and 2 is the JW Marriott. The relaxed Lobby Lounge is the perfect spot for meetings. You can linger before or after polishing your notes or checking emails…

WiFi signal: Excellent.

Coffees, bites, and more:  Try the chocolate chip chai from the extensive tea menu. It’s a loose-leaf tea which releases the faintest whiff of the ‘chocolate chip’ addition to the tea leaves when nicely brewed.

Price: At $70 for a pot of tea, the prices are on par with the JW Marriott in general – more expensive than your normal coffee shop for sure!

Water: Hot water is available upon request.

Service: This is a nice hotel and the service is on par. They will seat you with a smile but beware; you might have to wave your arms around to get the bill.

Noise level: Quiet – great for those who work best in a calm spot.

Other: We like the airy feel of the lobby lounge, with floor to ceiling windows looking out on to Queensway.

The Lounge (JW Marriott Hotel)  Lobby, JW Marriott Hotel, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong
2810 8366 

saffron

Saffron Bakery
Saffron Bakery has been expanding from its locations in Stanley and Repulse Bay to the Peak, Gold Coast, and now Sheung Wan as well. It’s a comfortable little cafe with tasty treats to keep you going.

WiFi signal: Good.

Coffees, bites, and more: Saffron is a happy place when it comes to food options. Choose from bagels, fresh breads, and baked goodies ranging from blondies and gingerbreads to muffins. They also serve vintage soda pop like Bubble Up and brunch staples like beans on toast and huevos rancheros.

Price: Food will cost you between $50-100.

Water: Tap water is available upon request.

Service: Friendly in our experience. They are happy to try to create off-menu requests if ingredients are available. However, we have heard reports of less than friendly service from others.

Noise level: Quiet on weekdays in the Stanley location if you have reason to be there then. Weekends  – depends if you’ve got children at the table next to you or not! 

Other: Browse through Saffron’s quirky selection of cards and retro candy (UK and US brands – Airheads! Jolly Ranchers! Love Hearts!).  They also have CDs and records available for sale. We like the Stanley location best for its American diner feel. If you’re lucky, they’ll give you a taste of that freshly baked cake you’ve been eyeing behind the counter.

Saffron Bakery Cafe  G/F., 24 Square Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
2806 2132 

classified
Classified
Whether you’re in Sheung Wan, Stanley, Central, Wan Chai or Tai Hang, Classified is a fail-safe option for a cuppa. The atmosphere is great for unwinding too.

WiFi signal: Good.

Coffees, bites, and more: Classified’s coffee is nothing to write home about. That being said, sometimes an average but consistent cappuccino does the trick if the space and ambiance fills in the rest. Among their food options, we love their tiger prawn linguini, a chilli-flecked pasta with a generous serving of prawns. We also like to stock up on some good cheese from their decent selection on our way out.

Price: Cheese platters range from $168 to $395 depending on how many cheeses you pick. The prawn linguini will cost you $154. A regular cappuccino is $29, making it relatively cheap compared to the $40-48 versions haunting other menus around town.

Water: Tap water is available on the sideboard.

Service: We find the Wanchai and New World Tower (Central) locations friendliest.

Noise level: If you’re at a communal table at lunchtime, be prepared for disturbances. Afternoons on weekdays are a good bet for some quiet time at their large wooden tables.

Other: They like to up the air conditioner in the New World Tower location (probably not their fault but the building’s…). Other locations are open to the road, so people-watch but be prepared to be chilly in winter months and too hot in summer.

Classified  Shop 1, G/F, 108 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong
2525 3454  www.classifiedfood.com

See all Classified locations here

9040-bruchclub
Brunch Club and Supper
Brunch Club and Supper has two locations – one on Peel Street and another on Leighton Road in Causeway Bay. Both are relaxed and welcoming, with books and magazines scattered around.

WiFi signal: Excellent at the Leighton Road location, but flaky at the Peel Street location.

Coffees, bites, and more: Per the name, they serve brunch and supper. They also do lunch, breakfast and your in-between snacks. Come here for their salads, crepes, lunch sets, or just for a drink, but don’t expect to be wowed by anything.

Price: An order of eggs benedict will cost you $88.

Water: Tap water is available upon request.

Service: Generally good but the Peel Street location staff seem frazzled on weekends.

Noise level: Usually quiet. You’ll find lots of people working quietly on laptops in both locations almost any day of the week.

Other: We like the open-air pebbled patio behind the Peel Street location, and the airy feel of the Leighton Road branch.

Brunch Club & Supper  1/F, 13 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
2890 2125  www.brunch-club.org

wired

Wired Café
Located on the 14th floor of Hysan Place in Causeway Bay is Wired, a Japanese style coffee shop. Its large open space and quirky, colourful chairs make it a cool place to check out.

WiFi signal: Excellent.

Coffees, bites, and more: Wired serves a mix of Japanese café style items. These include ‘Dutch pancakes’ served in skillets, waffles, pizza bread (toast… but pizza…) and rice bowls. We don’t recommend the food as much as we recommend the space.

Price: Cheap. Lunch sets are available for less than $100 and comprise of at least three items.

Water: Tap water is available upon request.

Service: Perfunctory.

Noise level: It’s a big space and sub-divided into a few areas, so you are sure to find a quiet nook. They do have music playing fairly loudly, but you may or may not find this conducive to being productive!

Other: Walk through Eslite, the large bookshop housed in the same building, on your way out. While their layout leaves much to be desired, they have a fun selection of art supplies and stationery. This is a great place to get books and magazines too.

Wired Cafe  Shop 1403-04, 14/F, Hysan Place, 500 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
2331 8315 

opendoorcafe

Open Door Café + Courtyard
Tucked behind the overpass heading from Eastern Street to Sun Yat Sen Park in Sai Ying Pun is the adorable Open Door Café. This is an art exhibit space, workspace and coffee shop all rolled into one.

WiFi signal: Excellent.

Coffees, bites, and more: We love their excellent seasonal dark hot chocolate topped with orange rind. All their drinks can be made with soy or even almond milk, which is a welcome addition. They also have a small selection of health food items tucked into a corner. From protein and multigrain bars to nut butter packets and kale chips, you’ll find some healthy options here. Lunch items include curried quinoa salad and not-so-healthy options like buttery meat pies. The choice is yours!

Price: The orange hot chocolate will cost you $40 while more ‘regular’ drinks like a flat white cost $30.

Water: Tap water is available on the sideboard.

Service: Friendly.

Noise level: It’s never fully occupied because of the off-the-beaten-path location. This means it’s usually nice and quiet.

Other: Don’t forget to look around you – the exhibited art changes frequently and is hung up on walls everywhere. It’s also available for sale if you like the look of it! The courtyard in the back is a nice plus but it’s tiny. They also do workshops (e.g. coffee brewing or latte art) and have a small book-sharing shelf towards the back.

Open Door Café + Courtyard  120 Connaught Road West, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong
3460 3880  www.opendoorcafe.hk

agnes bjpg
Agnes B. Cafe
While we aren’t a fan of the restricted WiFi (1 hour), Agnes B Café on Gough Street is a perfectly pleasant place to while away an hour. The colourful floor tiles, big windows, and abundant flora (courtesy of the in-store florist) add a je ne sais quoi to this French inspired café. This chain has several other locations all over Hong Kong (see here).

WiFi signal: Excellent, but only available for a short period of time.

Coffees, bites, and more: Sandwiches, salads, croissants, and pretty pastries are all available. Each pastry even has a name! ‘Chloe’ (hazelnut and chocolate), Patricia (pear and caramel), and Carla (mango and vanilla) are just a few of the sweet treats on offer. There is also a full section of coffees and Mariages Freres teas.

Price: A café au lait will cost you $38, as will a cupcake. Soups cost $48, and salads range between $58-75.

Water: Tap water is available upon request.

Service: Friendly.

Noise level: Usually quiet.

Other: There are a few little tables outside if you’d rather get some fresh air (um, as fresh as you can within meters of Central!).

Agnes B Cafe  G/F, Chung San House, 8 Gough Street, Central, Hong Kong
2563 9393  www.agnesb-lepaingrille.com/…

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