wan chai hong kong

Try the Bakehouse egg tarts while in Hong Kong’s Wan Chai district. (Photo: Oneika Raymond)

Hong Kong

Where to Eat in Hong Kong’s Lively Wan Chai District

Any foodie “in the know” will tell you that Hong Kong is a paradise for lovers of the culinary arts. In what is arguably one of the world’s most dynamic cities, exacting palates have no shortage of delectable options to fill the hunger gap.

Even if you’re not an epicure, you’ll be impressed by the sheer variety and abundance of good food around. From dai pai dongs (open-air food stalls) serving traditional Cantonese fare to chic restaurants offering experimental dishes infused with Western cooking styles, there is something for everyone, and at every budget.

wan chai hong kong
Open-air vendors in Wan Chai. (Photo: Oneika Raymond)

But all this presents a dilemma — albeit a tasty one — for the traveler who is long on hunger but short on time. With so many wonderful choices at hand, what exactly should they eat, and where exactly should they eat it?

The neighborhood of Wan Chai is a great start. One of Hong Kong’s 18 administrative districts, the bustling commercial and entertainment center has long been a hub for shopping and nightlife. However, the food scene here is also thriving, making it an excellent first stop on your culinary explorations of the city.

Here are some of the best places to eat (and drink) in Wan Chai.

Basao

where to eat in hong kong
Enjoy a traditional tea ceremony at Basao. (Photo: Oneika Raymond)

With tea culture on the rise in Hong Kong, loads of teahouses have emerged in and around the city. One of these is Basao, found in the trendy Star Street area of Wan Chai, and it offers a welcome respite from the district’s hustle.

Whether you’re a tea neophyte or connoisseur, you’ll enjoy this modern space. Make sure to try the Seaside Honey tea, an oolong from Taiwan, as well as their tea-infused snacks, like the smokey tea cake roll and tea ice cream.

Stumped as to what to order for your second cup? Their in-house tea master has decades of experience as a certified tea artist and tea art trainer and is on hand to assist.

Cha Chan Teng

wan chai hong kong
Satay beef with instant noodles. (Photo: Alamy)

This Cantonese restaurant is a must for any visit to Hong Kong. In operation for more than 70 years, the teahouse (cha literally translates to “tea” in English) serves up traditional local cuisine and has a distinct old-school feel.

While the restaurant is open from morning till night, breakfast is where it shines: Make sure to have the Ham Ngau Dan Ji, scrambled egg with corned beef; the local favorite Naai Jeung Doh, toast with condensed milk and peanut butter; or the Satay Ngau Yuk Min, satay beef with instant noodles.

Of course, eating at a teahouse means you must wash it all down with a traditional Hong Kong–style milk tea, a concoction derived from mixing black tea with condensed or evaporated milk.

Bakehouse

This artisanal bakery’s offerings boast Eastern and Western influences: Chef Grégoire Michaud’s rotating seasonal menu features items like Swiss potato rösti and Hong Kong egg tarts (so good).

While all baked goods are hand made every day using flour imported from France, great care is taken to use local products and produce, making this a true fusion of European baking techniques and Hong Kong culture.

Tai Lung Fung

wan chai hong kong
The famous blue house. (Photo: Oneika Raymond)

Located in an alley immediately behind the historic (and highly Instagrammable) Blue House, Tai Lung Fung occupies a happy medium within Wan Chai’s bar scene.

Classier than the seedy dive bars the district’s known for yet still lacking the pretense and expense of its more upmarket watering holes, this quiet bar has become a local favorite.

Really and truly, though, its decor is what makes it special — and just as Instagrammable as the aforementioned Blue House. Why? Well, Tai Lung Fung’s vintage interior harkens back to the Hong Kong of yesteryear, replete with retro menus, furniture and neon lights reminiscent of the city in the 60s.

Under Bridge Spicy Crab

True to its name, this establishment was once housed in a food stall found under a bridge — Wan Chai’s Canal Road Flyover, to be exact. Now a restaurant comprising three separate locations in Wan Chai, it’s known for its flavorful seafood and heaping portions.

Obviously get the spicy crab — it’s deep fried to perfection then cooked with fragrant herbs and a secret “typhoon style” sauce — but also save some room for satisfying accompaniments like the clam soup.