Craft shops galore, Michelin-recommended restaurants, quirky cafes, vinyl stores and more, here’s your ultimate guide to what to eat, shop and do in the Sham Shui Po district.
Where in the world can you find street vendors selling miscellaneous computer hardware next to Michelin-recommended restaurants, a vinyl records store just a stone’s throw away from a cute cafe, and flea market clothes stalls next door to a craftaholic’s dream? Shopping in Sham Shui Po is truly a one-of-a-kind experience, and with plenty of restaurants and cafes dotted around the area to keep you fuelled, this busy district is anything but boring. So put on a pair of comfortable shoes and get ready to explore!
Read More: Your Neighbourhood Guide To Sai Ying Pun
Restaurants In Sham Shui Po
ALIVE EATERY by Alive Food
At ALIVE EATERY, everything from the naturally fermented Smoked Salmon Sourdough Bagel Sandwich to the Chocolate Walnut Brownie with buckwheat flour is housemade, with the house-brewed Kombucha made from scratch. If you haven’t already guessed from its name, this place specialises in fermented foods packed with healthy bacteria that are good for the gut.
Nothing satisfies an empty stomach quite like a good burger, and Burgerman never fails to deliver. There’s something for everyone’s taste as you can choose from a variety of options including Black Truffle Wagyu beef, Buffalo Chicken Burger, Roasted Portabello Burger and the Crispy Foie Gras Burger which will set you back $145. A side of Crispy Waffle Fries wouldn’t go amiss either.
Read More: The Best Burgers In Hong Kong
Garden Bakery Cafe
If you’ve lived in Hong Kong for a while, you’re bound to be familiar with this beloved bakery — perhaps, you’ve even grown up eating Garden’s cakes and breads. This factory building is where the magic happens, and the cafe on the ground floor serves up some pretty delicious goods made fresh daily. Avoid the carb coma by taking a little walk down memory lane with its display of retro biscuit tins.
Read More: The Best Bakeries In Hong Kong
Heritage Tea House
Just a short walk from downtown Sham Shui Po, and with an atmosphere so tranquil it’s a bit like eating in a zen spa, Heritage Tea House is your best bet for a moment of peace and quiet in one of Hong Kong’s busiest areas. The real winner is the restaurant’s homemade dumplings and noodle soup, served with healthy iced herbal tea.
Hop Yik Tai
Mong Kok might be famed for its street food, but Sham Shui Po offers just as good a selection in a slightly less hectic environment. This particular stall is famed for its cheung fan (rice noodle rolls) which are made fresh every day. Rather than stuffed (as you might find in a dim sum restaurant), these are served up with a variety of rich sauces. This popular little eatery was recommended in the Michelin Guide, so prepare to queue but trust us when we say it’s worth it.
Hop Yik Tai, G/F, 121 Kweilin Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 2720 0239
Kakurega Ramen Factory
Who doesn’t love Tsukumen? Hidden within Sham Shui Po’s famous Dragon Centre, this ramen joint may not be much to look at, but don’t let appearances fool you. Serving a limited 100 bowls a day — 50 for lunch and 50 for dinner — guests should join the queue early. Noodles are handmade, laboriously kneaded, shaped and cut every morning, and the short menu offers three types of broth which come with a half-boiled egg, scallions and thinly sliced pork.
Read More: The Best Ramen In Hong Kong
Man Kee Cart Noodle
This humble Michelin-recommended neighbourhood haunt has not one but four shops in Sham Shui Po running along Fuk Wing Street — and if you’ve sampled its cart noodles, you’ll understand the need for so many. Swing by for a comforting bowl of noodle soup and have fun experimenting with the myriad of different toppings available. The sweet and sticky Swiss Chicken Wings are also a popular item here.
Morning Queue by No Milkshake No Life
The self-proclaimed “comfort food club”, Morning Queue, is home to Spicy Chicken Tacos, Signature Buttermilk Pancake Burgers and Classic Grilled Cheeses — not to mention the best milkshakes in town (with five boozy options available!).
Tim Ho Wan
Nobody does Char Siu Baos quite like Tim Ho Wan and this branch may possibly serve up the best. We’re not sure if it’s the hunger that inevitably kicks in after a day of exploring Sham Shui Po or whether it’s the little open kitchen where you can watch your dumplings being steamed, but something about this particular Tim Ho Wan really hits the spot.
Read More: Your Guide To Dim Sum In Hong Kong
Years & The Park By Years
Plant-based cafe Years serves up vegetarian Japanese and Western set meals cooked simply (a number of which can be made vegan). If you’re looking for more meat and dairy-free options, you’re in luck; Years’ sister branch The Park by Years — also found in Sham Shui Po — boasts a menu that’s 100% vegan and 100% delicious. We’re talking Sichuan Dan Dan Spaghetti, Keto Tumeric Cauliflower Steaks and Hot N Spicy Impossible Potato Skin.
Sham Shui Po Coffee Shops & Cafes
Café Sausalito offers all the usual suspects, along with single origin pour-over coffee and a few original concoctions. We love that this shop also works hard to protect the environment and adds to the local community by encouraging customers to bring their own cups, providing free water for those who want to refill bottles and working with partner organisations to minimise food waste and host live music on weekends.
Read More: The Best Cafes In Hong Kong With Free Wifi
Coffee Brown x PHVLO HATCH
With its eye-catching emerald green shopfront, you can’t miss this stylish cafe. Hidden behind the shutter gates lives Colour Brown, the Insta-famous coffee shop partnered with part sustainable fashion platform, part local NGO, PHVLO HATCH. The cafe offers a limited supply of single origin coffee to ensure freshness, as well as filling food offerings such as ramen, bagels and pasta dishes. Before you leave, follow the winding staircase up to the exhibition and workshop space above.
Minimalist sap.sann plates up delightful desserts like strawberry shortcake, Swiss rolls and caramel pudding that are almost too cute to eat — at least not without taking a snap for IG first! No visit is complete without ordering its namesake Sapsan toast. With wooden tables, a hand-drawn menu by local artist Aimai and tatami seating, you’ll be transported straight to Harajuku, Tokyo.
sap.sann (十常八九), G/F, 2 Wong Chuk Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/sapsanpo89
Sitting on the corner of Wai Chi Street and Wai Chi Lane, this charming little lifestyle space combines a cafe with a stationery shop (can you think of a better combo?). Pull up a bar stool outside or take a seat at the large communal table where you can enjoy a cup of freshly brewed coffee as you flick through a magazine.
A coffee shop, bookstore, exhibition space and design platform all wrapped up in one, Openground is a great place to pass time on a quiet afternoon. The concept store hosts intimate talks and workshops with master artists, while the cafe serves masterpieces of its own in the form of Dark Chocolate Strawberry Mousse Tarts, marbled Banana Cheesecakes and generously filled Lemon Roll Cakes that pair perfectly with the cold-brewed house blends.
Get your caffeine and culture fix all at once at this new multi-purpose cafe that acts both as your friendly neighbourhood coffee provider and exhibition space. With a new art collaboration each month, it’s worth dropping by for a look-see.
Read More: Must-See Hong Kong Art Exhibitions
Sham Shui Po Shopping Guide
The market on Apliu Street can be a bit of a shock to the system at first but, for those with a keen eye and serious stamina, it’ll quickly prove to be a treasure trove of gizmos and gadgets. Located directly outside MTR Exit A2, the stalls lining Apliu Street are overflowing with electronics so whatever you’re looking for, this is a pretty good bet.
Apliu Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Bead Box Ltd.
If DIY jewellery is more up your alley, head to Bead Box instead. You can’t miss the store — just look out for the faux and slightly dusty European-style brick walls with windowsills overflowing with plastic greenery. The shop itself houses a huge selection of pendants, beads and pretty much anything else that can be hung from a piece of string.
Bead Box Ltd., 221 Yu Chau Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 3106 5566
Spend a few hours (trust us, you’ll definitely need more than one) to explore this nine-storey shopping centre. With an indoor roller coaster on the ninth floor and a skating rink on the eighth, you can imagine how expansive this mall is. It’s a great escape from the heat on a hot summer’s day and has plenty of affordable food options if you’re looking for a quick bite to eat.
Golden Computer Centre
We all know Wan Chai Computer Centre, but believe it or not, the Golden Computer Centre in Sham Shui Po has an even wider range of electronics for much cheaper. From Bluetooth speakers and USB chargers to computer consoles, games, cameras, laptops and more, this maze of a shopping mall is filled to the rafters with everything tech you need!
Golden Computer Centre, 146-152 Fuk Wing Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Ki Lung Street / Button Street
If you fancy a spot of sewing on the weekend, pop by Ki Lung Street fabric market to pick up an array of fabrics at bargain prices. Quite often, the stalls will stock seasonal fabrics (so you may not necessarily find velvet in the summer months) and sell it by the yard. You can also pick up sewing thread, needles, thimbles, sewing scissors and other sewing tools.
Ki Lung Street, between Shek Kip Mei Street and Wong Chuk Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Leather Stores: Alri Star, The Lederer and Teepee Leather Workshop
There’s no dearth of leather stores in Sham Shui Po, and one of our favourites is Alri Star. With the tell-tale smell of leather drawing you in, this high-ceilinged shop holds everything you could ever need for leather crafts, including some lovely handmade items. If by some ill fate you can’t find what you’re looking for, try one of the other stores in the area: there’s The Lederer, where you can pick up DIY leather stitching packs, or the Teepee Leather Workshop, where you can learn the craft itself.
Lucky Weaving Lace Co. Ltd.
For crafty DIY-ers, stores like Lucky Weaving Lace Co. are a veritable goldmine. Anything that can be tied into a knot is sold here: there are rows upon rows of ribbons and string, from old-fashioned lace and floral embroidery to leather cords and strands of pompoms — it has it all!
Nam Shan Estate
A 15-minute walk from Sham Shui Po MTR station will get you to this public housing estate made famous by way of Instagram. Nostalgia abounds in the playgrounds of Nam Shan Estate with its colourful arched monkey bars and giant aeroplane and chess-themed playground, best shot from above.
Nam Sham Estate, Shek Kip Mei, Kowloon, Hong Kong
A family-run business, Savon Workshop is the place to head for soap-making enthusiasts, stocked from floor to ceiling with deliciously fragrant oils, dried herbs and flowers, and handmade soaps and skincare. Not ready to experiment at home by yourself? The store also runs soap-making workshops.
Sham Shui Po Toy Street / Fuk Wing Street
Wander down towards Fuk Wing Street and you’ll be greeted by a plethora of shops and stalls selling everything from kids’ toys, wholesale stationery, gift items, souvenirs and decorations. Whenever we’ve got a party coming up, this is our go-to spot for themed decorations at fantastic prices.
Fuk Wing Street, between Kweilin Street and Nam Cheong Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tin Fu International Ltd.
Tin Fu is the place to go if you’re looking for beads, trims and other accessories. This open corner store is impossible to miss — its plastic crates are full to the brim with garishly bright beads in all shapes and sizes. The beads sold here come in all imaginable colours, and deeper inside you’ll discover a huge array of charms and pendants.
Tin Fu International Ltd. (Yu Chau Street), G/F, 241 Yu Chau Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 2720 2896
White Noise Records
This quirky record store and its resident cats are no strangers to local vinyl collectors. Spend hours combing through stacks of vinyl here, where you’ll discover a wide collection of music genres from jazz-funk to city pop. Plus, we love that White Noise Records also holds live shows to support up-and-coming local musicians.
Music lovers, this one’s for you. With records from the vinyl heyday of the 70s and 80s, the tiny space owned by Ah Paul (a true enthusiast and a bit of a legend) is chock-a-block full of musical gems, stacked high from the floor to ceiling. Be warned, though — prepare to spend some time browsing.
Vinyl Hero, 239 Cheung Sha Wan Road, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 9841 7136
Yen Chow Street Temporary Hawker Bazaar
It’s not much to look at from the outside but hidden inside the makeshift tent made of corrugated metal and tarpaulin is a true cave of wonders. Divided into five mini “streets”, this fabric market has been the place to go to for materials of all colours, patterns and textures for a good 45 years. Though we never imagined the so-called “temporary” hawker bazaar would ever leave the area, we will sadly have to say goodbye to this long-standing outdoor fabric market at the end of January, 2023. A handful of the 50 odd stalls will relocate to Tung Chau Street Temporary Market, while others will close business for good.
Yen Chow Street Temporary Hawker Bazaar, 373 Lai Chi Kok Road, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon
What To Do In Sham Shui Po
Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre (JCCAC)
If you’re keen on exploring some local arts and crafts, travel down Pak Tin Street to the JCCAC. This multi-storey former housing estate has a courtyard in the middle and is best described as a multidisciplinary art “village”. The charity-run space provides studios to the local arts community and is a great place to soak up the creative spirit. Visitors are welcome to stroll around at any time and, if you’re lucky, you’ll catch an exhibition day.
Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb Museum
Surprise! Sham Shui Po isn’t all about shopping and food. Discover some Hong Kong history at the Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb, which was uncovered during construction work in 1955 and is believed to be from the Eastern Han dynasty circa 25-220AD. The tomb can be seen behind glass panelling and the exhibition hall next door is full of pottery and bronze artefacts excavated from the tomb.
This creative space curates and organises a range of art happenings including art exhibitions, cultural workshops and artist talks. Past events include a pop-up featuring live plants and an Instagram photo exhibition curated by local photographer Wing Shya.
Parallel Space, 202 Tai Nan Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/parallelspacehk
Sam Tai Tsz Temple And Pak Tai Temple
Visit the two neighbouring temples — Sam Tai Tsz Temple and Pak Tai Temple — ranked as Grade II and Grade III historic buildings respectively. The former was built in 1898 by Hakka immigrants in honour of their patron deity Sam Tai Tsz and houses artefacts from the late Qing Dynasty. Pak Tai Temple was built in 1920 by local fishermen to worship the God of the North.
Sam Tai Tsz Temple and Pak Tai Temple, 196 Yu Chau Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Sheung Li Uk Garden
If you’re looking for respite from Sham Shui Po’s busy, market-lined streets, take the stairs behind the Garden Bakery Building up to Sheung Li Uk Garden. This is a quiet, green and sheltered spot where you can enjoy a sweet bun and watch some Tai Chi. Sounds pretty relaxing to us.
Sheung Li Uk Garden, behind the Garden Bakery Building, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Editor’s Note: This video was created in 2018 and some of the shops we visited back then have sadly now closed.
Editor’s Note: “Your Neighbourhood Guide To Sham Shui Po” was originally written by Melissa Albarus on 30 May, 2018, and was most recently updated in July 2022 by Nicole Moraleda.
Video property of Sassy Media Group. This content may not be reproduced without prior permission.
Main image courtesy of CHUNYIP WONG via Getty, image 1 courtesy of ALIVE EATERY, image 2 courtesy of Heritage Tea House via Facebook, image 3 courtesy of Morning Queue via Instagram, image 4 courtesy of Café Sausalito via Instagram, image 5 courtesy of Toolss via Instagram, image 6 courtesy of Airam Dato-on via Unsplash, image 7 courtesy of Sassy Media Group, image 8 courtesy of CHUNYIP WONG via Getty, image 9 courtesy of White Noise Records via Facebook, image 10 courtesy of Hong Kong Tourism Board, image 11 courtesy of JCCAC via Instagram.