What to Eat in Hong Kong

From eclectic street markets to Michelin star dining, one intrepid traveler reveals what Hong Kong's vibrant food scene has to offer. 

By: Rachel Tepper Paley

Photo By: Rachel Tepper Paley

Photo By: Rachel Tepper Paley

Photo By: Rachel Tepper Paley

Photo By: Rachel Tepper Paley

Photo By: Rachel Tepper Paley

Photo By: Rachel Tepper Paley

Photo By: Rachel Tepper Paley

Photo By: Rachel Tepper Paley

Photo By: Rachel Tepper Paley

Photo By: Rachel Tepper Paley

Photo By: Rachel Tepper Paley

Photo By: Rachel Tepper Paley

Photo By: Rachel Tepper Paley

Day 1

My first night in Hong Kong is at The Cordis, a gorgeous modern hotel in the bustling neighborhood of Mong Kok. Below is a frenzied scene of gritty open-air markets and zig-zagging mopeds, but it’s peaceful up here on the 34th floor. Also, there are egg tarts and pineapple buns!

Day 2

For lunch I stop by Little Bao, a hip pint-sized eatery run by cool girl May Chow. There are few words for the divine Szechuan fried chicken bao, except “OH MY GOODNESS.” It’s anointed with a sweet-and-sour Chinese black vinegar glaze and zingy house-made coleslaw, which elevate this hot number to sammie heaven.

Day 2

Dinner is a roving street food feast at the Temple Street Night Market, complete with thick rice noodles and fried shrimp. The place is still hopping when I leave at 10 P.M., and there are no shortage of beautiful scenes like this one around each corner.

Day 3

It’s a moody day in Hong Kong, but hot diggity, does the skyline still look fine! Here’s the view from my hotel at the InterContinental hotel.

Day 3

In the afternoon I head to Maxim’s Palace, a dim sum temple bedecked in crystal chandeliers. It’s teeming with steam-spewing carts of dim sum, pushed along by fast-talking waitresses. I flag down some siu mai, veggie dumplings, and shrimp-stuffed eggplant. I’m full in about 10 minutes flat, which is a new record.

Day 4

Years of British rule have given Hong Kongers a serious case of Anglophilia, which explains why British-style afternoon tea is wildly popular here. I tucked into a selection of treats at The Langham, which has one of the best afternoon teas in town. My favorite of the bunch is definitely the raspberry eclair with electric pink frosting.

Day 4

I still have room for lunch at Lung King Heen, the first Cantonese restaurant ever to snag three Michelin stars. I can’t get over this adorable rose-shaped dumpling! It’s filled with sweet lotus paste, and tastes even better than it looks.

Day 5

It’s my second three Michelin-star meal in two days, and I’m floating on cloud nine. Tonight’s meal is at T’ang Court, and the standout is this decadent baked dish of Alaskan crab, fried rice, and onion smothered in a bed of velvety cream sauce. Talk about a dazzling presentation!

Day 6

Today is spent wandering the winding streets of Sheung Wan, a fascinating neighborhood where trendy, design-forward restaurants share cramped quarters with traditional dried food stalls and medicinal shops. Around one corner, I spy this gorgeous, ruby-hued Buddhist temple. I’m consistently floored by the beauty of this city.

Day 6

In nearby Sai Ying Pun, just one neighborhood over, I settle into dinner at Okra. The modern Japanese restaurant, an outpost of the original Beijing location, is owned by native Louisianan Max Levy. He’s behind the counter tonight; the place has only been open a few months, and Levy is the definition of a hands-on chef. Between sips of sake, I’m wowed by refined dishes like this plate of silvery cured sardines and kelp salad.

Day 7

Day trip time! I take a cab out to Sai Kung, a bustling harbor town on the outskirts of Hong Kong. Sai Kung is famous for its marine-based cuisine, so after a stroll through a brine-soaked market at the water’s edge, I end up at one Michelin-starred Sing Kee Seafood Restaurant. I’m particularly struck by this enormous stir-fried tiger prawn. Coca-Cola bottle for scale!

Day 8

It’s my last day in Hong Kong, so I’m cramming in some final tastes of this flavor-soaked city. First order of business: Stuffing my face at Good Hope Noodle in Mong Kok. The rich noodle soup with shrimp wontons is dirt cheap at just HKD33, which translates to just over four bucks. You can’t ask for a better price!

Day 8

I grab a farewell drink at Aberdeen Street Social, a chic but relaxing spot in the middle of Hong Kong’s fashionable Soho neighborhood. The towering Pimm’s Cup is just what the doctor ordered: refreshing, citrusy, and enormous. I’m going to miss this place!