Wondering where to eat, drink and shop in Wan Chai? With so much on offer, allow us to help you narrow the list down.
Best known for its vibrant nightlife, Wan Chai has evolved in recent years to become an eclectic melting pot of stylish boutiques, eclectic eateries, hip cafés, local markets and more. Scroll through our handy neighbourhood guide for our favourite places to eat, drink and shop in this buzzing district.
Read more: Your Neighbourhood Guide To North Point
Where To Eat In Wan Chai
Bakehouse has quickly gained a cult following since it first landed in the city. Tucked away on Tai Wong East Street, head here to pick up everything from freshly baked sourdough to buttery croissants, quiches and cookies, along with an ever-changing selection of daily specials. With Grégoire Michaud, the former Executive Pastry Chef of the Four Seasons, at the helm of this operation, quality is guaranteed.
A testament to the multi-cultural character of Wan Chai, the neighbourhood is home to one of the only authentic Nyonya restaurants in town. Created in collaboration with famous Singaporean private kitchen duo “PasirPanjangBoy”, this JIA Group pick boasts a menu which encompasses a mix of diverse culinary influences from the likes of China, Malaysia and Indonesia. Hero dishes include the spicy-sour Assam Fish, Penang Prawn Noodles and comforting Babi Ponteh stew. Bibi & Baba is walk-in only, so prepare to queue during peak times.
For all things chicken, look no further than Big Birdy’s flagship location on Ship Street. Like its sister venue in Sai Ying Pun, this pick specialises in delicious, flame grilled Portuguese-style chicken with housemade Peri Peri sauces, alongside a bountiful selection of chef-crafted superfood sides, gourmet sandwiches and a full-range beverage menu of curated cocktails and specialty beers. We’re partial to The Heisenberg burger ($130), complete with crispy fried chicken, American Cheese, pickles, and Peri Peri aioli, though the salad options are great for a healthy yet filling lunch.
Open from 11am to 6am daily, Burger Joys is a popular go-to spot for late night-outs. Located on Lockhart Road, head here for a bite to eat after knocking back a couple of drinks, and make sure to order a side of wings.
For a quick and casual bite in the area, Chao Chao Gyoza is a favourite of ours. The friendly staff serve up a super fresh array of dumplings and other Japanese favourites at fantastic prices, all day long from 11:45am. At peak times this place can get quite busy, so be prepared to queue a little, though it should be fast-moving and worth the wait!
When it comes to sushi with a creative twist, Chotto Maki is not here to play around. We especially love the Mango Dynamite – a tempura prawn, cucumber, mango and tobiko roll topped with unagi sauce. If you’re going plant-based, the Veggie Lover is a wonderful option comprised of shiso leaf, cucumber, Chotto Maki’s house special sauce and other delicious ingredients! If you’re craving something classic, the restaurant also offers raw salmon, tuna, scallop and other sushi dishes.
If you’re in the area around lunchtime and have a hankering for some quick and tasty Vietnamese grub, Com Banh Mi is always a solid choice. The set menu includes your choice of a main dish (with the likes of chicken or beef pho, banh mi and chicken rice up for grabs), along with a side and drink. Priced at just $80, you can’t go wrong.
If you think good crêpes are hard to come by in the 852, Crêpe Delicious is here to prove you wrong. Located in Lee Tung Avenue, the charming cafe is known to offer a variety of offerings, ranging from decadent crêpes to smooth gelato and rich cups of cocoa. Sweet tooths will love the S’mores Crêpe, featuring toasted marshmallows, crumbled Graham cracker and a generous spreading of Nutella. The crêpes here are made with the freshest ingredients and batter imported directly from Canada. How can we resist?
With a variety of delectable dishes and an exquisite menu of Sichuan dishes, Deng G caters to those looking to get a true taste of the Sichuan province. Known for its spice and strong flavours, Sichuan food is not for the faint-hearted. However, with adjustable levels of spiciness, rest assured you’ll still be able to enjoy your meal at Deng G without turning your dinner into a water-chugging contest. Fun fact: when three Michelin-starred chef Joël Robuchon went to Shanghai, this was the only Chinese restaurant he visited!
With locations across the city, Elephant Grounds is known in Hong Kong for serving up great coffee, and the Star Street location is an ever-popular spot for all-day dining. Serving up great breakfast, brunch, lunch and drinks, this pooch-friendly spot is a Wan Chai staple.
Featuring fresh, hearty and tasty Philippine-inspired fusion food, Holy Gaw is a rare (and slightly hard-to-find) gem located on the busy streets of Wan Chai. With satisfying portions and surprising bursts of flavours, the only thing you’ll have to worry about is what to order next. Apart from the food, you’ll also find a refreshing calamansi soda to be the perfect solution to a hot and sweaty day out. To round off your lunch or dinner, make sure you end with a homemade ube ice cream sandwich.
Home-grown burger joint Honbo is a cool and casual spot that’s not to be missed. Found on the quiet Sun Street, head here and treat yourself to some high-quality fast-food, and make sure to wash it down with a beer from local brewery Moonzen.
Another Amoy Street staple, Ichitora is one of our favourite spots for ramen in the city. We’re big fans of the black garlic-infused tonkotsu broth, but the menu also offers an original version, along with a fiery spicy soup for those who like it hot! Customisation is the order of the day here, as you can choose everything from your noodle thickness and texture, to how much oil is added and which toppings you desire.
Read more: The Best Ramen In Hong Kong
Tucked behind the market stalls of Gresson Street, this charming French bistro delights with home-style comfort eats crafted by Michelin-trained chef Tiff Lo. The modest menu includes highlights like Razor Clams with Parsley and Garlic, Steak Tartare, Chicken Liver Parfait and more. Make sure to book though – this small eatery has become an instant hit with locals and expats alike, and regularly commands queues from lunch right through to dinner.
If you’re in Wan Chai and craving a cold glass of rosé and a cheeseboard, head straight for this modern French restaurant. The staff are friendly, the ambience is relaxing and stepping through the doors transports you instantly to France.
Le Bistro Wine Beast, 35-45 Johnston Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, www.lebistrowinebeast.com
Le Garçon Saigon incorporates vibrant and fresh flavours of Saigonese cuisine in a cool, sophisticated and chic Parisian-style brasserie! The perfect post-work watering hole, head here to enjoy a selection of wines, cocktails, beer and great Vietnamese snacks, or bring a crowd and enjoy some unbeatable Vietnamese sharing plates.
Sassy Tip: After a quick bite to eat? Check out next door neighbour and younger sibling, Le Petit Saigon, which serves up some of the best banh mi in the city. With the classic pork offering always on the menu, be sure to also try out its specials, such as chicken and tofu. Head here between 5pm and 7pm on weekdays to enjoy a happy hour that’s hard to beat.
If you’re wanting to indulge, Morty’s is where to head. The New York-style deli serves up the goods when it comes to sandwiches, burgers and more. Exclusive to the Star Street branch is also the whopping 1kg Reuben Challenge ($588), available every Monday evening. Not for the faint of heart, finish this monster sarnie in half an hour and the meal is on them! Check out how we got on here.
The Optimist offers an authentic and unique Northern Spanish experience for its diners, with its interior designed to make feel like you are in a lively bar in Barcelona. Its weekend brunch menu is a favourite in the city. Plus, did we mention this pick has a full gin menu? Consider us sold.
Housed in a colonial building on Johnston Road, it’s hard to miss this magnificent restaurant. The space is huge, with a botanicals bar and restaurant set over three floors. The Sunday brunch is always popular with free-flow and British cuisine, or opt to sit on the terrace overlooking the busy Johnston Road with a glass of wine in hand.
Pici serves a selection of traditional Italian starters, homemade pasta and quite possibly the best tiramisu in the city. Ever-popular, you can’t go wrong with Pici, whatever the occasion. Come hungry and go for the tasting menu to try out multiple sharing plates.
As the first restaurant from Pirata Group, Pirata is ever popular with lunch and dinner guests, and serves up a range of comforting Italian favourites. Despite its busy setting on Hennesy Road, once you take the lift up to the 30th floor you’ll feel worlds away.
If you’re craving tasty Thai food, Samsen is where to go. Serving authentic Thai noodles, alongside an array of Thai street food classics, this Michelin-recommended resto is not to be missed. It’s famed for its boat noodles, but you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu. Open for lunch and dinner, be prepared to wait in line (and a long one at that), as there is a no-reservations policy.
Whether you fancy a front row seat to the chefs cooking up a storm in the open kitchen, or simply sipping on a glass of sangria while people watching, it’s easy to while away lunch or dinner at this trendy tapas restaurant. We recommend the Blue Lobster Paella and Roasted Suckling Pig.
Situated on the popular Amoy Street in the Heart of Wan Chai, this bright cafe provides inexpensive and authentic Thai food and snacks. The menu offers a comprehensive array of dishes, including a few less-seen options; a perfect spot for a casual dinner or lunch.
The Spice House, 35 Amoy Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, 2804 2522
Love spicy food? If you’re looking for some authentic dishes that satisfy the “seven flavours of Sichuan”, make sure to check out Qi – House of Sichuan. With one Michelin-star and reasonable prices, it’s a great pick for dinner with a group of friends.
Named after 18th century female poet Hồ Xuân Hương, whose bold and forward-thinking works established her as a national icon, Xuân takes a similarly progressive approach towards Vietnamese cuisine. Head here for elevated Vietnamese fare with a northern influence , alongside craft cocktails inspired by the country’s signature flavours (think lemongrass, lime and coconut).
Where To Drink In Wan Chai
The immense popularity of Between’s original Tai Kwun location spawned a second opening in Wan Chai just months after, and after sampling its range of contemporary Japanese-inspired brews, we can see why. Though the star of the show here is the coffee (the cafe’s house blend, “No.10” is not to be missed!), out go-to order consists of one of the non-coffee beverages, including the Matcha or Turmeric Latte, or Sesame Mountain. The cafe also serves up a small selection of Japanese cafe food.
Carnegie’s is a beloved watering hole for many of the sports teams in Hong Kong. It’s not uncommon for nights here to end with some dancing on the bar.
It isn’t news that the coffee at Coffee Academics is good – serving arguably the best mocha in Hong Kong. Beans are roasted on-site, which means if you’re a true coffee connoisseur, you can order a custom blend. When we’re channelling our “roaming office” vibe, this is often where we head. Get there early though – it gets busy very quickly.
Found on sleepy Moon Street, Ciacoe Italian Wine Bar lives up to its name with its superb selection of Italian wines. Head here for its Aperitivo Hour and enjoy complimentary snacks along with your drinks. Cin cin!
This Tokyo export is popular amongst coffee fanatics in the city. Along with top-notch brews, it’s admired for its minimalist aesthetic. The coffee doesn’t come cheap, but the quality here is of a consistently high standard. Omotesando also serve up a small menu of savoury items, as well as its signature “kashi” – small baked custard squares that pair perfectly with a cup of Joe.
This is another Wan Chai hidden gem. Tucked away just off Queen’s Road East, this quirky bar harks back to Hong Kong past with its cute interior detailing. The prices are reasonable and there is always a fun crowd with a common goal – to enjoy a drink after a long working day.
Thaiwan is a great neighbourhood bar situated on Ship Street which combines the owner’s Thai and Taiwanese backgrounds to create this quirky and causal drinking spot. The staff are always friendly, there’s a wide variety of craft beers on offer, and there’s normally at least one dog sat outside – what’s not to love?
Live music lovers head here to check out all the latest talent. It’s been Hong Kong’s home of live music for 30 years, and is considered by many to be somewhat of an institution. Best of all, we can experience original live music without having to pay a cover charge – that means an extra guilt-free round of drinks, right?
Editor’s Note: The Wanch is currently closed due to government regulations.
A classic Hong Kong rooftop bar with insane views, this pick was made for impressing your out-of-town guests. Drinks are Wooloomooloo are affordable, and there’s nothing quite like sipping on a G&T as the sun goes down panoramic style over your city.
Where To Shop In Wan Chai
This no-waste grocery store is a haven for those looking to cut down on single-use plastics and unnecessary waste. Head here for everything from metal straws and beeswax wraps, to pantry staples such as pasta, grains, seeds and snacks that you can bring home in your own containers.
Another of our favourite shops in the area, kapok sells a range of beautiful unisex products; think canvas tote bags, laptop cases and sleek stationery, along with stylish clothing, jewellery and home accessories. Split into two stores within close walking distance, you can hop from the shop in St. Francis Yard straight to the one on Sun Street.
kapok, 8 Sun Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, 2549 9254
King Tak Hong Kong Porcelain
Whether it’s a new knife, space heater, steamer baskets, cleaning products, or pretty much anything else you need for your kitchen, chances are you’ll be able to find it here at King Tak. This convenient two-storey shop is also home to a huge selection of porcelain bowls and plates – all at delightfully reasonable prices.
King Tak Hong Kong Porcelain, 128 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Lined with the likes of Benefit, Cookieism, Le Creuset, Moleskine, Pandora and an array of eateries, Lee Tung Avenue is Wan Chai’s one-stop luxury shopping destination. During festivals and events, the Avenue is usually decorated with lights and festive decor, making it the perfect backdrop for a quick Insta snap.
Known as the British cool kid on the newsstands, this retail store sells back issues of Monocle magazine, beautiful designer stationery and clothing and homeware items for the modern city slicker.
Oriental 188 Shopping Centre
From stores selling video games and phone accessories to other hobbyist shops, this three-storey electronics mall has everything you’d need to satisfy your inner computer geek. If you’re after something in particular, make sure you ask around for prices to make sure you’re getting the best deal! Still can’t find what you’re looking for? Try the Wan Chai Computer Centre down on 130 Hennessy Road (though you might find things are a little pricier there).
Oriental 188 Shopping Centre, 188 Wan Chai Road, Hong Kong
Wan Chai Wet Market
Grocery shopping in Hong Kong can be expensive, so we take every opportunity we can to explore the local wet markets, and the Wan Chai Wet Market is one of the very best. Find everything from fresh vegetables, seafood, meat, eggs and more in this sprawling space, which also spills out onto the streets out back.
Wan Chai Wet Market, 258 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
What To Do In Wan Chai
This iconic blue four-storey building has been seen in countless Instagram posts. It’s one of the few remaining “tong lau” of the balcony type in Hong Kong and is listed as a Grade 1 historic building. Don’t miss Hong Kong House of Stories, which occupies one of the ground floor shop houses – a quaint museum showcasing Hong Kong’s vibrant past and culture.
Blue House, Stone Nullah Lane, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Located right next to the MTR, opposite Lee Tung Avenue, Southorn Playground is hard to miss. If you need a break from all your exploring, take a seat in the stands overlooking the soccer pitches and basketball court.
Southorn Playground, 130-150 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, 2879 5602
Wan Chai Street Market
Known to locals as Toy Street, this is the go-to for novelty gizmos and gadgets. If shopping’s not your thing, chill at one of the local diners lining the market streets, which offer a selection of Chinese delicacies, including snake stews and herbal broths.
Wan Chai Street Market, 258 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Editor’s Note: This article was originally written by Poppy Mason-Watts on 1 May, 2017, and was most recently updated by Lydia Ching in March 2021.
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Featured image courtesy of gahsoon via Getty, image 1 courtesy of Bakehouse via Facebook, image 2 courtesy of Burger Joys via Instagram, image 3 courtesy of Crêpe Delicious via Facebook, image 4 courtesy of Lydia Ching, image 5 courtesy of Le Bistro Wine Beast via Facebook, image 6 courtesy of The Optimist via Instagram, image 7 courtesy of Pirata, image 8 courtesy of 22 Ships, image 9 courtesy of Between via Instagram, image 10 courtesy of Omotesando Koffee via Facebook, image 11 courtesy of Edgar via Facebook, image 12 courtesy of Monocle Shop, image 13 courtesy of Chi Lok TSANG via Unsplash.