Your ultimate guide to Hong Kong’s revitalised Central Market…
After four long years of renovation and preservation works, Hong Kong’s historic Central Market has finally opened the doors to its 122,000 square feet space. Situated along Des Voeux Road (interconnected between Queen Victoria Street and Jubilee Street), the Grade 3 historically listed building has been revitalised and transformed into a “Playground for All”, featuring an eclectic mix of shops, food stalls, specialty restaurants, event spaces and more. Not sure where to begin? Here’s our pick of where to eat, drink and shop at Central Market.
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What Is Central Market?
The revitalised Central Market completes the final piece of Central’s “heritage triangle”, along with PMQ and Tai Kwun. The building itself dates back to 1939 and is the fourth incarnation of Central Market. The building was highly regarded at the time for its simplistic, avant-garde and functional style, and has since been upheld as a notable example of classic Hong Kong Bauhaus architecture.
Now redesigned as a “Playground for All”, the location aims to foster community building, cultural legacy and innovation, all while preserving the collective memory of old Hong Kong. At the heart of the revitalised Central Market lies a 100-seat piazza, equipped with projection and sound systems – the perfect space for street performances and large-scale events. The building’s Grand Staircase offers a second semi-open space for community use, complete with interactive features like a motion sensor system and LED projection wall. In addition, wireless network coverage will be available throughout for public use.
Up on the first floor of Central Market, a further 2,500 square feet multi-functional event space has been designed with open forums, exhibitions and cultural performances in mind.
Where To Eat In Central Market
Debuting its first venue at Central Market, casual Italian eatery Cittá brings Genovese cuisine to Central Market’s Dining Ground. Helmed by Chef Cody Kui, who apprenticed in Pra, a city near Genoa, CITTÁ’s menu features sharable plates of handmade pasta, seafood and grilled meats.
CITTÁ, Shop G18, Dining Ground, Central Market, 93 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, www.ninahotelgroup.com/en/dining/citta
Tradition meets creativity at this Cantonese concept, where you can sit down for some local favourites such as roasted siu mei meats, claypot casseroles, curries and stir-fries. Embracing a communal dining culture, the dishes here are best enjoyed family style.
LottaJoy, Shop G11, G/F, Central Market, 80 Des Voeux Road Central and 93 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, www.ninahotelgroup.com/en/dining/lotta-joy
This street food favourite gets a sleek upgrade with stall on Central Market’s second floor. No trip is complete without indulging in these Michelin-recommended egg waffles, available in a range of flavours including Chocolate Chip, Seaweed, Matcha and more.
Mammy Pancake, Shop 242B, 2/F, Central Market, 93 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, www.mammypancake.com.hk
Get your dessert fix at this patisserie stop. Helmed by an experienced team of pastry professionals, the hero items to shop here are the celebrated Palmiers and the Napoleon whole cake, which are both available in a range of popular flavours that rotate with the season. Shopping for a gift? Ask for the special edition packaging, featuring exclusive Central Market graphics.
Nina Patisserie, Shop 112, 1/F, Central Market, 80 Des Voeux Road Central and 93 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, www.instagram.com/ninapatisseriehk
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On Lee Dai Pai Dong
A beloved Shau Kei Wan institution, On Lee Dai Pai Dong brings its local comfort eats to Central. Best known for its dry flat noodles, homemade fish balls and Hong Kong style French toast, this is no-frills dining at its best.
On Lee Dai Pai Dong, Shop 246D, 2/F, Central Market, 80 Des Voeux Road Central and 93 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, www.instagram.com/onleedaipaidong
Pulau Singapore Cuisine
Covering classics like Hainanese Chicken Rice, Bak Kut Teh and Laksa, Pulau Singapore Cuisine is a sure-fire cure to any Singaporean food craving. You’ll find all your favourite Lion City staples here, including a mouth-watering selection of beloved street-food snacks.
Pulau Singapore Cuisine, Shop G19, Dining Ground, Central Market, 93 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/PulauSGP
Wako Sake Central
Part sushi bar and part Japanese izakaya, Wako Sake Central is split into two booths, with one side plating up fresh sashimi, handmade sushi and bento boxes to go (along with a selection of sake on tap) and the other offering hot dishes such as donburi, udon, yakitori and more.
Wako Sake Central, Shops G10 & G12, Dining Ground, Central Market, 93 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/Wakosakecentral
A taste of nostalgic old Hong Kong awaits at this traditional convenience store, which doubles as a food stand. Traditional snacks, candies and old-time treats are the order of the day here. Stop by for an elevated convenience store experience, complete with ice-cold soda or beer, and snacks.
YuKee, Shop 247, 2/F, Central Market, 80 Des Voeux Road Central and 93 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong
1966 Baking Alliance
Founded by stalwarts Maria’s Bakery, this takeaway bakery concept draws upon Maria’s 55 years of baked goods experience to present a range of innovative sweet treats that pay homage to tradition in a thoroughly modern way. Expect classics like Signature Egg Tarts, Coconut Tarts, Chicken Pies, Hong Kong Style Milk Tea and Coffee, along with new creations like Cinnamon Apple Tarts, Coconut Pies and Rainbow Swiss Rolls.
1966 Baking Alliance, Shop 246B, 2/F, 93 Queen’s Road Central and 80 Des Voeux Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, www.instagram.com/mariasbakeryhk
Where To Drink In Central Market
A haven for all things healthy, this grab-and-go juice bar concept brings us tasty seasonal fruits, freshly-squeezed juices and cold brew tea blends. Opt for the fruit bento for a refreshing pick-me-up.
Fruitalks, Shop G16, G/F, Central Market, 80 Des Voeux Road Central and 93 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong
Calling all bubble tea aficionados! Popular brand Idle Awhile offers Taiwanese drinks, snacks and ice cream.
Idle Awhile, Shop 111, 1/F, Central Market, 80 Des Voeux Road Central and 93 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, www.instagram.com/idle_awhile
Read more: How To Make Your Own Bubble Tea At Home
ION Café Bistro
In addition to serving up light bistro-style fare, this all-day coffee and cocktail bar offers progressive drinks from dawn till dusk. We’re talking fully customisable cups of coffee, artisanal teas and creative cocktails.
Ion Café Bistro, Shop 124 & 125, 1/F, Central Market, 93 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, www.instagram.com/ionhongkong
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Mak’s Beer needs no introduction as a trusted purveyor of locally-made craft beer. At its Central market brick and mortar, you’ll find the brewery’s signature Hong Kong-inspired pints, including Lemongrass IPA, Sugarcane Juice beer and its fruity Sai Kung-inspired tipple, Yim Tim.
Mak’s Beer, Shop G13, Dining Ground, Central Market, 93 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/MaksBeerr
Perfume Trees Gin
Perfect for gin fans, this outpost of homegrown brand Perfume Trees Gin encapsulates the spirit of old Hong Kong, in cocktail form. Look out for Central Market exclusives which pay homage to Hong Kong’s wet markets, including the green juice tonic Greengrocer Lin (featuring cucumber, celery, green apple, lime, shiso bitters and gin) and the CBD-infused Herbalist Lo (made with Perfume Trees gin, jasmine tea, white chamomile and elderflower).
Perfume Trees Gin, G15A, Dining Ground, Central Market, 93 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, www.perfumetreesgin.com
Read more: The Best Gin Bars In Hong Kong
Curated by the Hong Kong Wine Judges Association, enjoy award-winning Old World and New World labels here at Winelog. The intimate 15-seat wine bar will take you on an educational journey through tasting flights, custom wine tastings and wine-based cocktails.
Winelog, Shop G14, Dining Ground, Central Market, 93 Queen’s Road Central, Central, www.ninahotelgroup.com/en/dining/winelog
Where To Shop In Central Market
Bathe to Basics
Local organic skincare, bath and body brand Bathe to Basics finds a home on the second floor of Central Market. All the products here are all-natural and handmade, and are gentle to both your skin and the environment. That’s a win-win in our books!
Bathe to Basics, Shop 228, 2/F, Central Market, 80 Des Voeux Road Central and 93 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, bathetobasics.com
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This contemporary apparel, jewellery and lifestyle store features brands and designs handpicked by the team at Blind by JW, so you can trust that every piece is fashionista-approved. We love this pick for gift shopping!
Hexadoor, Shop 213, 2/F, Central Market, 80 Des Voeux Road Central and 93 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, www.instagram.com/hexadoor
Love a minimalist aesthetic? Make your way to Midway for a range of beautifully simple lifestyle and clothing goodies. We love that every piece in this thoughtfully curated line has a story, with many picks inspired by the owner’s world travels.
MIDWAY Shop, Shop 229, 2/F, Central Market, 80 Des Voeux Road Central and 93 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, www.midway.voyage
Originally found in Tai Po, Pimary is an eco-friendly grocery store that’s dedicated to showcasing sustainable and ethical producers. From natural holistic skincare to eco-friendly homeware and grocery products, Pimary makes it easy to be green.
Pimary, Shop 230, 2/F, Central Market, 80 Des Voeux Road Central and 93 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, pimaryhk.com
Read more: 7 Ways To Live A More Sustainable Lifestyle
Seon Hong Kong
Shop handmade lifestyle accessories in a range of prints inspired by old Hong Kong, including water bottles, stationery, cushion covers and more.
Seon Hong Kong, Shop 107, 1/F, Central Market, 80 Des Voeux Road Central and 93 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, www.seon.store
Everyone’s favourite one-stop zero waste store has set up its fourth outlet in Central Market. Head here to shop for bulk grains, sustainable toiletries and eco-friendly homewares.
Slowood, Shop 231-233, 2/F, Central Market, 80 Des Voeux Road Central and 93 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, www.slowood.hk
Central Market, 80 Des Voeux Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, www.centralmarket.hk
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in August, 2021 and was most recently updated in September, 2021.
Hero image courtesy of Central Market via Instagram, image 1 property of Sassy Media Group, image 2 courtesy of CITTÁ, image 3 courtesy of Nina Patisserie, image 4 courtesy of Wako Sake Central, image 5 courtesy of Fruitalks, image 6 courtesy of Ion Café Bistro, image 7 courtesy of Perfume Trees Gin, image 8 courtesy of Bathe to Basics via Instagram, image 9 courtesy of MIDWAY Shop via Instagram, image 10 courtesy of Seon Hong Kong via Instagram.