Chopsticks at the ready, here’s where to eat like a local in Wan Chai…
Wan Chai, often regarded as the “heart of the city”, is home to some of the oldest eateries in Hong Kong. Its diverse landscape, infrastructure and cultures are well translated in its extensive range of local food, be it street snacks, cha chaan tengs, fine dining and more. One thing is for sure, you’ll never be short of food choices (and good ones too!) while you’re there!
Ahead, I’ll be sharing with you the classic spots locals go to regularly, along with the best dishes to order. Here’s where to eat like a local in Wan Chai…
Sassy Tip: We’ve included the written Chinese names of all recommended dishes – simply pull up this article and point to your dish of choice to order!
Where To Eat In Wan Chai: Local Edition
45 years later, this cake shop is no doubt still a favourite in the neighbourhood. Why is it called “Happy Cake Shop” you ask? Well, it’s simple – the founder believes that opening a cake shop and making cakes every day is a happy activity, and we couldn’t agree more. Even better, keeping prices low is one of his priorities because he wants everyone in the neighbourhood to enjoy a taste of his delicious treats. That’s definitely a mantra we can get behind!
What to order: Pineapple bun with butter (菠蘿油), Egg tarts (蛋撻), Bun with coconut and sugar (墨西哥包)
Opening hours: 6am to 8pm
Happy Cake Shop (快樂餅店), G/F, 106 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, 2528 1391
Read more: The Best Pineapple Buns In Hong Kong
This pick is a more recent addition to the Wan Chai street food scene, but it has gained its well-deserved credibility very quickly amongst locals. If you’re looking for a nice cup of Hong Kong-style milk tea, this is the place to go. Served hot or cold, the tea is rich and fragrant, and is perfectly complimented by the creamy, silky milk. Proportions are well balanced and we have yet to try a more smooth and flavoursome milk tea in Hong Kong. My Cup of Tea now has branches in Causeway Bay and North Point too! If you’re feeling hungry, there’s a wide variety of HK-style café dishes available, but we mainly go for the tea.
What to order: Milk Tea, hot (經典奶茶 熱), Milk Tea, cold (經典奶茶 凍)
Opening hours: 7am to 8pm
My Cup of Tea (我杯茶), G/F, Wing Hing Building, 6 Spring Garden Lane, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, 2386 0007
Cha Chaan Tengs (茶餐廳)
Winning the hearts of locals since its opening way back in 1956, we’ve never been able to eat here without having to queue. A typical order here should start with something savoury, like an omelette or satay beef, complete with a No-Ice Cold Milk Tea, before ending with something sweet. The café is most famous for its Egg Tarts, which are crispy on the outside (but never greasy!), and perfectly creamy on the inside, along with the HK-style Chicken Pie – the ultimate East meets West delicacy featuring chicken cooked in a white sauce encased within a crunchy, slightly sweet crust.
Sassy Tip: Too hungry to queue? Order your food to go and munch on the goodies at the park nearby.
What to order: Egg tart (蛋撻), Chicken pie (雞批), No Ice Cold Milk Tea (無冰凍奶茶)
Opening hours: 6:45am to 7pm
Kam Fung Restaurant (金鳳茶餐廳), G/F, Spring Garden Mansion, 41 Spring Garden Lane, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, 2572 0526
Wondering where to eat in Wan Chai when you’re in the mood for comfort? Tak Yu is a local classic. This HK-style café has been around for over 65 years and serves up modest, good quality café favourites – it’s a popular spot across all ages, weekdays or weekends. The beloved “Hometown Fried Rice” is a special dish many would travel to go try, made with the usual fried rice ingredients including prawns, Char Siu and vegetables, but fried with XO Sauce (so, yes it’s a little spicy!) and topped with dried fish.
What to order: Hometown Fried Rice (家鄉炒飯)
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (closed on Sundays)
Tak Yu Restaurant (德如茶餐廳), G/F, 17-18 St. Francis Yard, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, 2528 0713
If there’s one thing you should know about Mon Kee Cafe it’s this: it serves up some of the best “Slippery Egg” rice dishes in town. “Slippery Egg” is Hong Kong’s take on scrambled eggs. Those who have attempted to make it will know that this dish is a work of art, requiring the perfect mix of milk, oil and egg to create that silky smooth (i.e. slippery) consistency. Many HK-style cafes have created their own signature blends (with secret sauces) in an attempt to perfect this dish, but Mon Kee tops our pick of the bunch, using high quality Japanese eggs with Japanese 4.3 creamy milk for that perfect mix. Despite it being famous for their Char Siu version, we actually preferred it with prawns.
What to order: Slippery Egg Char Siu Rice (滑蛋叉燒飯), Slippery Egg Prawn Rice (滑蛋蝦仁飯)
Opening hours: 7am to 6pm
This picture alone is making us drool! Sun King Yuen is never without a crowd. This local eatery has been a household name in the neighbourhood for the last 30 years, and rightly so. As the name suggests, it’s famous for one thing: the special curry sauce. The signature curry pork chop rice is everything you can wish for: generous portions of crispy pork chop paired with spicy and creamy coconut curry sauce. Don’t miss this if you’re in the neighbourhood!
What to order: Curry Pork Chop Rice (咖哩豬扒飯)
Opening hours: 11am to 2:30pm; 6:30pm to 8:30pm (closed on Sundays)
Sun King Yuen Curry Restaurant (新景園咖喱小廚), G/F, 20 Spring Garden Lane, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, 2574 9172
Looking for somewhere to eat in Wan Chai for lunch? A local favourite, with branches dotted across Hong Kong, is Wing’s Catering, beloved for its quality grilled chicken. Marinated with the house signature sauce, which makes it tender, fragrant and just all round delicious, the chicken is accompanied by a special scallion and spring onion dip that really adds the cherry on top (make sure to ask for extra!).
What to order: Grilled Chicken Rice (榮式雞扒飯), Grilled Chicken Rice with Scrambled Egg (雞扒親子飯), Deep Fried Chicken Rice (鹽酥雞扒飯)
Opening hours: 11am to 9:30pm
Wing’s Catering, Wan Chai (榮式燒雞排), Shop 7, G/F, Rialto Building, 2 Landale Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, 2823 8388
A district wouldn’t be complete without its own Roast Meat restaurant. This one in particular isn’t just famous in the neighbourhood, it’s probably one of the most well known in Hong Kong. While it doesn’t quite make our list of top favourites (the dishes were a little hit or miss when we tried), Joy Hing remains a local staple and a good option for something quick!
What to order: Half Fat Half Lean Char Siu (半肥瘦叉燒), 3 Treasures Rice – Char Siu, Chicken Duck (三寶飯)
Opening hours: 9:30am to 10:30pm (closed on Sundays)
Joy Hing Roasted Meat (再興燒臘店), Block C, G/F, 265-267 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, 2519 6639
Love Dai Pai Dong food but don’t want to eat on the streets? We’ve got you covered. This restaurant makes all your favourite dishes, with a signature twist. It’s a favourite amongst locals looking for a nice and high quality meal with friends and family, without breaking the bank. Dishes are served piping hot and with lots of “Wok Qi”, which literally means “The Air of the Wok” – among local food critics, this is one of the most important requirements and differentiates the good chefs from the great.
What to order: Honey Potato Beef Cubes (蜜薯牛柳粒), Sweet and Sour Pork (拔絲咕嚕肉), Whole Peppercorn Fried Prawns (原粒白胡椒蝦煲)
Opening hours: 11am to 2:30pm; 5:30pm to 10:30pm
大排檔小炒, Wan Chai, G/F, Kam Fung Commercial Building, 2-4 Tin Lok Lane, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, 2515 2222
Wan Chai has a plethora of traditional Cantonese restaurants to its name, and this is one of our favourites. Since its opening 60 years ago, Yixin has been through many ups and downs, but thanks to a nod from Michelin in 2018, it’s now a household name. Serving up high quality dim sum during the day and classic Cantonese dishes by night, many customers are also impressed by the extensive wine collection.
What to order: Any of the classic dim sum dishes! If you’re coming at night time, try the Lemon Chicken (西ling) and 3 Treasures Rice – Char Siu, Chicken Duck (三寶飯)
Opening hours: 11:30am to 10pm
Read more: The Best Dim Sum In Hong Kong
For the past 20 years, this restaurant has been a top choice for those looking to indulge in Shanghainese fine dining. Earning its one Michelin star in 2020, the restaurant uses only the best ingredients and classic traditional recipes to serve the most beautiful Shanghainese delicacies.
What to order: Xiao Long Bao (小籠包), Smoked Eggs (燻蛋), Crab Meat and Roe with Noodles (蟹粉炒粉皮), Truffle Prawns with Peas (黑松露蝦仁)
Opening hours: 12pm to 3pm; 6pm to 11pm
Liu Yuan Pavilion (留園雅敘), 3/F The Broadway, 54-62 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, 2804 2000
All image courtesy of Cynthia Lok.