Fook Lam Moon
Shop 3, G/F, 35-45 Johnston Rd., Wan Chai
This long-standing, family-owned restaurant boasts some of the best Cantonese food in Hong Kong. This is the place to try more expensive dishes like bird’s nest soup or abalone, but they’re well-known roasted suckling pig, fried crispy chicken, and excellent dim sum classics. It’s a great spot for an upscale lunch; They have several outposts, but this is the original.
Liu Yuan Pavilion
The Broadway, 54-62 Lockhart Rd., Wan Chai
Recently renovated and located on the third floor of an office building in the Wan Chai District, Liu Yuan Pavilion is known as one of the best Shanghainese restaurants in Hong Kong (and has a 2017 Bib Gourmand from Michelin to prove it). Don’t miss the dim sum, of course, but it’s also worth trying dishes like their Mandarin fish with sweet and sour sauce or their braised pig knuckle. Because of its popularity and small-ish space, it’s usually very hard to drop in—definitely make reservations in advance.
Tim ho Wan
9-11 Fuk Wing St., Sham Shui Po
Chef Mak Kwai Pui originally opened this casual dim sum eatery as a 20-seat restaurant in Mongkok, which earned a Michelin star in 2010, leading to its claim to fame as the world’s least expensive restaurant to hold one. In 2015, this Sham Shui Po location received a Michelin star, too, and it’s not difficult to understand why—every dumpling is perfect, perhaps the best anywhere. Be sure to try the pork buns, which are equal parts sweet and smoky, soft and chewy; but you really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu. The original location closed in 2013, but they have outposts all over, including a recently-opened (and unsurprisingly popular) spot in Greenwich Village. If you want to avoid the crowds, try going in the afternoon.
Afternoon Tea at the Peninsula
Salisbury Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui
The Hong Kong location in Tsim Sha Tsui is actually the Peninsula's original location (the building was built back in 1828), and considering the highly British-influenced history of Hong Kong, it's no surprise that high tea here is a big deal. To complete the full-on fancy experience, the hotel brings in a string quartet—lovingly called the Lobby Strings—for daily performances, and serves finger sandwiches, pastries, and champagne alongside its Earl Grey.
The Popsy Room
30 Upper Lascar Row, Tai Ping Shawn
RISD graduate Jennifer Chung spent her childhood in Hong Kong and Toronto, and began her career as a designer in Paris. The Popsy Room is her experimental art space, which is situated among the galleries and antique dealers on Upper Lascar Row, known as Cat Street. The Popsy Room hosts varied rotating exhibitions that highlight everything from painting and photography to design, sculpture, and music. It also serves as a home for collaborations, workshops and pop-ups—plus a dining space.
307 Pedder Building, 12 Pedder St., Central
In a city known for its dime-a-dozen custom tailors, the Armoury quickly made a name for itself back in 2010 when it started offering bespoke men’s clothing by top craftsman from Spain, Italy, and the UK. The high-ceilinged, dark wood-paneled space serves as a backdrop for an assortment of colorful Drake’s ties and suede Aldens for the modern gentleman. It’s the kind of place you can walk into and leave with a whole new wardrobe that’s tailor-made just for you. Bonus: the concierge-like shop staff is happy to tell you if your sportcoat is too big in the shoulders, or if you can really pull off that double-breasted jacket. The Armoury has a second location in HK on Queen’s Road Central and a US outpost in Tribeca in New York City.
Le Garcon Saigon
12-18 Wing Fung St., Wan Chai
You won’t find traditional pho here, but what you will find are unexpected flavor pairings—green papaya salad with shrimp crisp, cashew nuts and spicy tamarind, fresh veggies and hearty grilled prawn skewers—all served up in a brightly lit, Parisian brasserie-like setting. Vegetarians will be pleasantly sated with the soy-braised tofu and hedgehog mushrooms. If it’s not too hot out, opt for one of the tables outside, settle into one of the roomy wicker chairs, and take in the bustle of the surrounding Star Street neighborhood. Don’t glaze over the wine list—it features an impressive roster of biodynamic French wines rarely seen elsewhere in Hong Kong.
Liang Yi Museum
181-199 Hollywood Rd., Sheung Wan
Hollywood Road has long had a history rooted in the buying and selling of antiques. Now, one of the city’s greatest resident collectors, Peter Fung, has opened a 20,000-sqaure foot private museum devoted to showcasing his own personal collection, which includes 300-plus pieces from Ming and Quing dynasties and an assortment of jeweled powder boxes from the likes of Van Cleef & Arpels and Cartier. Exhibitions will rotate twice a year, and unlike its traditional counterparts, visitors are encouraged to sit on and touch the items on display.
Repulse Bay Beach
Despite its name, Repulse Bay is actually one of the most beautiful beaches in Hong Kong (which at least partially explains the explosion in residential real estate prices here). The development of the suburb is relatively controlled to the area directly surrounding the beach, so views of the lush hills—and the ocean—make it a great spot for escaping the hustle-and-bustle of the city center. A few tips for newcomers: The beach is most busy in the summers, when weather is warm enough for sunbathing, and the neighborhood is actually not accessible by MTR, so you'll want to book a taxi or take one of the city's express public buses (which only take about 15 minutes from Central).
Aqua Luna Harbor Cruise
Central Pier 9, Central
Sure, there's something inherently cheesy about a harbor cruise but this one offers incredible views of Hong Kong's skyline (cocktails in hand) and is surprisingly worth it. You can reserve online; the boat is also available for special event private charters.
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