Home to many of Hong Kong’s best eateries, check out our guide to Sai Ying Pun and discover where to eat, drink and shop in this buzzing neighbourhood.
Close to Central, but far enough from the chaos, Sai Ying Pun is a great place to be. It has plenty of old school charm, but is now mixed with some of the hippest eateries in the city. From cute cafes and coffee shops, to trendy restaurants, bars, shops and more, here’s what to do when you’re there…
Where To Eat In Sai Ying Pun
Opened amidst the pandemic, this neighbourhood hangout has won over the hearts and stomachs of many with its cage-free, Portuguese-style flame-grilled chicken, handcrafted sandwiches, signature cocktails and selection of super foods. Amp up the flavour of your birdy with its piquant peri peri sauces (ranging from mild to “insanely hot”), or opt for the lemon and garlic for a zesty lift.
Located inside the bar Espresso Martini directly opposite Potato Head (when in doubt look for the neon Big Dill signs), Big Dill blurs the line between plant-based and traditional comfort food. Think “chicken” burgers, “lamb” gyros and hot dogs topped with smokey “bacon” strips. Satisfying for both meat-lovers and vegans alike!
Capturing the soul of Asia’s rich and fascinating street food traditions, Bingaz is influenced by a range of countries and serves up an array of tasty dishes, including noodle soups, fried chicken wings and skewers. The cosy spot is open from 11:30am to 10pm daily, making it a great option for a cheap lunch, dinner or drinks! We love the rich 12-hour slow cooked Wagyu beef brisket noodle soup – which is a bargain at just $78.
Ideal for just about any occasion, Brut! is an intimate, lively space with an open layout that serves tapas-inspired sharing plates. Just about all the wines on offer are natural and sourced from small winemakers around the world, with the food allowing the ingredients to be the stars of each seasonally-inspired dish.
iPhone cameras at the ready! This peach-coloured Venetian-inspired Cicchetti bar is pleasing to both the eyes and the palate, serving up big flavours on stylishly small plates, perfect for sharing. This homey establishment features market-fresh ingredients and honest cooking, with all its dishes made in-house.
Popular Sydney Vietnamese eatery Eat Fuh has come all the way from Down Under to the streets of Sai Ying Pun. With its aromatic broth wafting through the space, pho is the obvious order of the day here, with a choice of beef, chicken or vegetarian.
You won’t be able to miss El Macho’s colourful exterior, and the menu of Mexican plates on offer is just as vibrant, with the likes of nachos, quesadillas, burritos, tacos and more available. Wash it all down with a frozen margarita or two and you’ll be set for a good night.
Read more: The Best Mexican Restaurants in Hong Kong
This butchers shop, deli and restaurant hybrid offers quality products to eat in and take away. The dine-in menu serves an array of meaty plates for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and the in-house deli stocks everything from oils, spices and herbs, to dairy produce, pasta and much more – not forgetting the well-stocked butcher’s counter – just the thing if you’re hosting at home.
With beautiful artwork adorning its walls, the atmosphere at the Flying Pig is as enticing as the food. Known for serving up hearty dishes such as burgers, fish and chips, brunch favourites and even a Sunday Roast (including all the trimmings and free-flow drinks!), it’s a great place to go with a group of hungry friends.
If you’re after pizza in Sai Ying Pun, make a beeline for Homeslice. This neighbourhood pizzeria serves up Neapolitan-style pizzas, complete with an array of inventive toppings. Opt for classics such as the Quattro Formaggi or the spicy Diavola, or go a little different with the gorgonzola, walnut, pear and honey offering. In addition to pizzas, Homeslice serves up a range of sharing plates, desserts, milkshakes, beers, wines and cocktails.
Craving some filling Chinese fare? If you’re in the SYP area, head to Home Town Dumpling for a selection of authentic noodle, rice and stir-fried dishes, along with plenty of cheap and delicious homemade dumplings!
Home Town Dumpling, 418 Queen’s Road West, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, 2803 0887
New kid on the block Katsumoto is the latest restaurant from Bistro Concept (the group behind Sai Ying Pun locals, The Flying Pig and El Macho). Located in the heart of Sai Ying Pun’s food hub, its modern menu revolves around its signature sandos (including plant-powered options featuring Impossible beef), along with other izakaya-style bites.
A great authentic Thai restaurant to try out in the area is Krua Walaiphan. All dishes here promise to be MSG-free, and the generously-sized portions are full of flavour and are reasonably priced, making it a winner in our books!
Read more: The Best Thai Restaurants In Hong Kong
Recommended by the Michelin Guide, many would say that Kwan Kee serves up some of the best clay pot rice in the city. Bear in mind that you’re going for the food and not the atmosphere, and lines are pretty much guaranteed. If you’re a lover of the dish, it’s a must-visit.
Kwan Kee Claypot Rice, Shop 1, Wo Yick Mansion, 263 Queen’s Road West, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, 2803 7209
If you’re looking for a laid-back evening with good food, then this is the place to be. This spacious restaurant is vibrant, colourful and fun. You can’t help but feel at home in the lively space, and sangria is sure to be flowing, along with a range of Spanish favourites.
Locofama offers up delicious and organic bites, with simple food that is unique and packed with flavour. If you’re looking for some fresh, tasty and organic food away from the hustle and bustle of the city, head to Sai Ying Pun for this reasonably priced, cool restaurant.
With its discreet back alley location (tucked behind Potato Head) and relaxed trattoria vibes, LucAle offers hearty familial comfort with its range of homemade pastas, Italian prime cuts and organic biodynamic wines. Add in LucAle’s warm Italian hospitality and it’s the perfect recipe for a laid-back date night or casual catch ups with friends.
Named and modelled after the iconic metro stations of Paris, Metropolitain is the place to enjoy a hearty taste of France. The cuisine by Chef Frank Lebiez takes after authentic French bistro fare, with all the classics on offer such as beef tartare, onion soup and homemade tarte tatin.
Self-described as a “very casual izakaya” found in Sai Ying Pun, the menu at OKRA comprises of small plates of charcoal-grilled meats, sashimi and more, along with plenty of natural and unpasteurised sake to wash it all down.
Sassy Tip: This neighbourhood izakaya has recently become the first restaurant in Hong Kong to accept cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Binance Coin and Ripple.
Marrying together the philosophy of French cuisine and Indian home-cooking, Pondi – billed as a love letter to the former Pondicherry, India – brings a fresh perspective to the Sai Ying Pun dining scene. Opened as a collaboration between the team behind the aforementioned Brut! and Chef Taran Chadha (formerly of Blacksalt), expect deep, full-bodied flavours.
We love Potato Head’s authentic Indonesian food and laid-back, casual space which makes it great for a lively dinner or boozy brunch. Alternatively check out its music room with a nightly programme that ranges from jazz to disco and more experimental sounds. A sit-down, lounge service is available during these events.
This Aussie restaurant sits on High Street and its ambiance is warm and welcoming. We’ve heard great things about the breakfast here, but diners also rave about the Beef Wellington. The menu has everything from pizza, pasta and steaks, to small plates, salads and dessert.
Whether it’s tacos, burritos, quesadillas or nachos that you’re after, it can all be found at this Mexican Taqueria in Sai Ying Pun! The tasty and fresh tacos here always receive high praise, and the prices are on the cheap side too.
TEST KITCHEN is a dining movement which acts as a platform to give local and international chefs an opportunity to showcase their talents in Hong Kong. Each pop-up is different and unique to the chefs who create the menus. Head here to see which culinary talents will be featured next.
As authentic as you can get, the food at Thai On High feels like you’ve been treated to a home-cooked meal. With favourites on the menu including Pad Thai, Green Papaya Salad, Chicken Laab and more, you’ll be happy you made the trek uphill to get here. The restaurant also offers plenty of mocktails and fresh coconuts on the menu.
Head to Trattoria Caffe Monteverdi for some homestyle Italian cuisine (following the Italian mamas’ cooking from north to south). Expect authentic dishes and homemade pasta in a relaxed and cosy setting, and plenty of Italian wine to go around!
You can’t ask for better Korean Fried Chicken than Uncle Padak’s. Think: crispy pieces of deliciously moist chicken, spicy sauces, rice balls and even grilled corn with cheese. The signature Spring Onion Chicken will satisfy everyone. It’s a tiny spot (and often crowded), so either be prepared to wait, or opt for a takeaway.
Where To Drink In Sai Ying Pun
Along with serving coffees and other beverages, this cute coffee shop also offers bagels, sandwiches and more breakfast-friendly options. Although small, we like it for its quirky vibe and aesthetic, Instagrammable touches.
This cafe and wine bar serves up antipodean-style coffee and natural wine – the perfect accompaniment to its all-day food menu which includes a range of sandwiches all for well under $100.
Award-winning cafe Fineprint prides itself on offering responsibly-sourced, high quality coffee. That being said, its brekkie options are not to be overlooked, with not one, not two, but three kinds of avocado toast available.
With locations in Wan Chai, Admiralty, Central, Sheung Wan, Causeway Bay, Tin Hau and Sai Ying Pun, NOC Coffee Co. is well and truly taking over the 852 coffee scene. The roastery and café in Sai Ying Pun is where the magic happens, as all of its in-house blends and single origin coffees are roasted to perfection here. The large and airy space is the perfect place to enjoy a quiet afternoon working, or to grab a coffee whilst on the go. Expect expertly crafted coffees of all varieties, along with a selection of tasty food items, including brunch favourites, healthy salads and baked goods.
Ping Pong 129 is a Spanish Gintonería (a gin and tonic bar) set in a spacious, high-ceilinged industrial space that was formerly used as a ping pong hall. The speakeasy-style space is full of creatives, hipsters and anyone who just loves a good G&T. Coupled with its 40 plus gins from around the world and its retro-cool feel, you can’t go wrong.
Inspired by Australia’s golden sunsets and the sandstone monolith Uluru, we are obsessed with this corner cafe’s burnt-orange theme. TIL will brighten your day with its energising Ice Double Ristretto Tonic with fresh orange and ginger juice or nostalgic Milo Dinosaur Coffee. Feeling a little peckish? Its famous “croffles” (a croissant and waffle hybrid) – whether you go sweet or savoury -should hit the spot.
A favourite coffee shop of ours in the city has got be Winstons. Found right by Sai Ying Pun MTR Exit A1, we can’t get enough of the Aussie hipster vibes, great coffee and food. The best bit? Winstons isn’t just reserved for your morning commute! Head here later in the day and enjoy one of its famous espresso martinis or other cocktails.
Where To Shop In Sai Ying Pun
A discount store so good, we almost want to keep it to ourselves, Bargain Mart is our go-to for a good deal on our favourite snacks and everyday essentials from the UK, US, Europe and Hong Kong.
Whether you live in Sai Ying Pun, or are just passing by, Bones & Blades is a great spot that is is worth knowing about. A butcher and delicatessen for conscious carnivores who want to bring home quality meat, it stocks a wide range of cuts, from chicken, to sausages, beef rib, lamb rack, pork belly, sirloin steaks and more.
Books & Co. is a quaint bookstore just one-minute away from Sai Ying Pun’s MTR station. There is no shortage of choice here, with countless shelves of used books flowing over onto tables, the floor and even creeping up against the cashier! Books & Co. also offers food and drinks, so once you’ve chosen your book, you can sit down with a cuppa and relax.
Read more: The Best Bookstores In Hong Kong
At French Flair you can discover a range of wines from the Champagne region, as well as a selection of expertly-selected house bottles. You can also mix a case of three bottles from different profiles, and the prices are too good to pass up.
Consignment is the name of the game at Green Ladies, so you may want to clean our your closet before you go! The items on offer are current, trend goods that are in like-new condition. Consigners can also choose to put some of their profits towards the St. James’ Settlement, which supports several local charity projects! Shopping never felt so good!
As Hong Kong’s first, completely zero-waste and packaging-free grocery store, Live Zero stocks a huge array of organic products such as: flours, grains, legumes, nuts, oats, granola, herbs, spices, pasta, oils and vinegar (to name but a few!). On top of pantry staples, the store also sells everything you need to reduce your plastic consumption, such as cleaning products, reusable cups, lunch boxes and cutlery, as well as stainless steel straws.
Live Zero, G/F, 33 High Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, WhatApp: +852 9433 3394, www.livezero.hk
Following the success of sister store Live Zero, Live Zero Bulk Beauty is the city’s first ever plastic-free cosmetics store. Sticking to the same principles as Live Zero, the shop stocks only zero-waste and packaging-free products, with everything on offer from makeup and skincare, to feminine products – even stocking biodegradable glitter! Along with its bulk-buy items (you can either bring your own containers or pick up some there), you can also shop an array of eco brands such as Coconut Matter and Elate Cosmetics.
Live Zero Bulk Beauty, 20 High Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, WhatsApp: +852 9842 9890, www.livezero.hk/pages/bulk-beauty
This delicate yet hectic little shop, situated on Western Street, is one of the very few standing shops left where all the items are still made by hand. This dying craft mesmerises us every time we enter this treasure trove. If you’re looking for a little bit of HK for your kitchen then head over to this store and marvel at a craft that is slowly being lost.
Tak Chong Sum Kee Bamboo Steamer Company, 12 Western Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, 2548 8201
This “French Wine Library” is a great gem to know in Sai Ying Pun. Not only does the shop offer a wide and varied selection of French wines for you to take home, but you can also buy a bottle of your choice and enjoy it al fresco at Premier Cru’s hidden outdoor terrace.
This cool and decorative home goods store has everything from rugs and home décor, to furniture, textiles and more, sourced from all around the globe. Tried and tested, it’s a Sassy favourite for all things interior design.
Thorn & Burrow, 1/F, 30 High Street, Sai Ying Pun, www.thornandburrow.com
What To Do In Sai Ying Pun
Just around the corner of Sai Ying Pun MTR Station Exit B3, you will find colourful murals adorning the walls along Chung Chiu Street and Ki Ling Lane (be sure to also peek into the little alleyways and pay attention to the steps in between). Head here earlier in the day to avoid the hoards of avid Instagrammers.
Art Lane, Chung Ching Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong
If you live around the area, it’s good to note that there is a recycling station conveniently situated on First Street where you can drop off your collected recyclables (it accepts paper, metals, plastics, glass bottles, small electrical appliances, rechargeable batteries and more). See the list of recycling stations around Hong Kong here.
If you’re in Sai Ying Pun and in need of a mani-pedi, make your way to Lavande Nail Spa. The relaxing space is super clean and offers everything from your traditional manicure and shellac polish, to acrylics, nail art, deluxe pedicures and more.
Read more: Your Guide To Nail Salons In Hong Kong
For a traditional Thai massage, we recommend Sai Ying Pun’s Natura Thai. Its combination of acupressure massage techniques and stretching (as well as some good old foot reflexology), provides you with an all-in-one session to relieve muscle discomfort and ligament pain. Fully unwind with some herbal tea, complete with lemongrass and pandan.
If you’re looking for a spot to enjoy some fresh air, have a picnic, or take a walk, Sun Yat Sen is where to head. The grounds are sprawling and include top-notch facilities like basketball courts, a swimming pool complex and a football pitch, but we like just taking a stroll down the waterfront and enjoying the fresh sea breeze, before finding ourselves a relaxing spot on the grassy lawn, near a statue of Mr. Sun Yat Sen himself.
Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park, 16 Eastern Street North, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, www.lcsd.gov.hk
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on 17, May 2017 and was most recently updated by Nicole Moraleda in April 2021.
Featured image courtesy of Sung Won Bae via Getty, image 1 courtesy of Big Birdy via Instagram, image 2 courtesy of Brut! via Instagram, image 3 courtesy of El Macho, image 4 courtesy of courtesy of Homeslice via Instagram, image 5 courtesy of Krua Walaiphan via Instagram, image 6 courtesy of Locofama via Instagram, image 7 courtesy of OKRA Hong Kong via Instagram, image 8 courtesy of St. Barts via Instagram, image 9 courtesy of Thai On High via Instagram, image 10 courtesy of Coffee by Zion via Instagram, image 11 courtesy of Fineprint via Instagram, image 12 and 13 courtesy of Cecelia Back for Sassy Media Group, image 14 courtesy of Bargain Mart via Facebook, image 15 courtesy of Books & Co. via Facebook, image 16 courtesy of Sassy Media Group, image 17 courtesy of Premier Cru via Instagram, image 18 courtesy of Sassy Media Group, image 19 courtesy of Lavande Nail Spa via Instagram, image 20 courtesy of Cecelia Back for Sassy Media Group.