SAVEUR’s guide to where to eat in Hong Kong. To see the guide in list form, see Georgia Freedman’s Travel Guide: Hong Kong »
Cake Shop at Mandarin Oriental Mezzanine
Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 5 Connaught Road, Central, Hong Kong (852/2825-4008). For a delicious glimpse of how Hong Kong’s elite live, head to this perfectly appointed shop where gleaming cakes and fondant sculptures gleam inside glass cases. Take a seat among the businessmen in impeccable suits and their elegantly dressed wives, order a cappuccino and a brioche or fruit tart, and enjoy a quiet, civilized start to the day.
Australia Dairy Co.
47 Parkes Street, Jordan, Kowloon (852/2730-1356). This bustling 40-year-old spot, in a relatively quiet neighborhood in Kowloon, serves what may be the best breakfast in the city. Squeeze into a seat at a shared table and join the regulars in a $3 set breakfast of scrambled egg, chicken and macaroni soup embellished with strips of ham, and a thick slab of white toast topped with condensed milk. Or order a bowl of milk-custard, a mildly sweet, creamy concoction that will ruin you for flan and creme caramel for life. This spot’s scrambled egg sandwich is also a local obsession.
Tai Cheong Bakery
35 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, Hong Kong (852/2544 3475). Tai Cheong Bakery makes many kinds of baked goods, but everyone goes there for just one thing: the egg tarts. Silky and sweet, deep yellow in color, and with a lovely flaky crust, Tai Cheong’s rendition of this ubiquitous snack was once pronounced the city’s best by the last British Governor of Hong Kong, Chris Patten.
77 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong (852/2854-3810).¿Most patrons come here for one thing and one thing only: bowls filled with potent shrimpy broth and a nest of toothsome ramenlike noodles topped off with wontons filled with whole, perfectly cooked shrimp. The meal is made even better by a generous helping of hot sauce whose slight sweetness derives from its sweet potato base. (Ask nicely, and the shop will sell you a bottle of the sauce, which is also a fantastic partner for scrambled eggs).
Lan Fong Yuen
2 Gage Street, Central, Hong Kong (852/2544-3895). This unprepossessing tea stand and cafe, on one of Hong Kong’s narrowest, busiest streets, claims to have invented the now ubiquitous Hong Kong milk tea, and it still strains each cup of the addictive brew through a silk stocking. You can pick up a cup of it, hot or cold, from the stand out front, or squeeze into the restaurant behind it for a chicken sandwich or braised noodles with chicken¿both of which are strong contenders for the title of best lunch in the city.
Lin Heung Kui
46-50 Des Voeux Road West, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong (852/2156-9328). While Hong Kong certainly boasts dozens of phenomenal dim sum restaurants, not all are created equal. For the best, head to this crowded eatery, a local favorite hidden above a small, unassuming sweets shop. Order bracingly strong tea and standards like shumai and cheung fan, then try older specialties like shumai topped with whole quail eggs, and pillowy steamed buns filled with meat and vegetables¿dishes that used to be common fare but are now nearly impossible to find.
International Financial Center, Podium Level 3, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong (852/2295-3815). Because of its colonial history and its high percentage of Western expats and finance experts, Hong Kong boasts some of the best coffee in Asia. If you’re suffering from jet lag, this outpost of an Australian chain, where the baristas pull espresso shots worthy of a Seattle coffeehouse, will set you right immediately.