20A D'Aguilar St., Central
Despite its somewhat hidden location in a side alley off of D'Aguilar Street, word quickly got out about this graffiti-adorned Mexican restaurant and lively cocktail bar when in it opened in 2012. They don't take reservations, but the bar here makes the wait actually entertaining. For food, don't skip on go-to's: chips and guac, Mexican street corn, queso fundido. Also try their watermelon salad, taco of the moment, and a few different tostadas to share. The kitchen closes at midnight but the bar stays open late (4am on weekends).
Old Bank of China Building, 1 Bank St., 13th Floor, Central
If you happen to know a member of this club, hit them up for an invite (a good hotel concierge should probably be able to get you in, too): It’s the closest thing to a contemporary Chinese art museum in Hong Kong, with an unparalleled collection. Their dim sum is top-notch, too.
Landmark, 15 Queen’s Rd., Central
China Tang is inarguably one of our favorite restaurants in London—in fact, it’s one of our favorite Chinese restaurants in the world. Sir David Tang (also of Tang Tang Tang Tang) recently introduced the enterprise to Hong Kong, and even in a sea of delectable Asian fare, it still stands out.
Exchange Square Podium, 8 Connaught Place & New World Tower, 16-18 Queen's Rd., Central
When you've maxed out on dim sum and just want a simple café where you can tuck into the paper, and maybe a bagel and lox or some avocado toast, Classified is a nice choice. So welcome, in fact, that there are something like nine outposts scattered across the region. They do a reliably great English and Irish breakfast and the coffee is better than what you'll find in most joints. Other locations include Stanley, Causeway Bay, Wan Chai, Repulse Bay, Sheung Wan, and Happy Valley.
Shanghai Tang Mansion, Level 3, 1 Duddell St., Central
With two Michelin stars, Duddell’s—helmed by Executive Chef Siu Hin-Chi—is an arts-devoted restaurant stylishly merging Hong Kong’s joint British and Chinese heritage to great success, serving contemporary spins on traditional Cantonese cuisine—especially dim sum—in a cool setting reminiscent of a country estate. On any given day they also host lectures, talks, screenings, and guest curated exhibitions of international modern and contemporary art, including some local to Hong Kong, and some on loan from private collectors—while the food is exceptional, the art in and of itself makes it a must. As an added bonus, their garden terrace is a welcome escape from the city streets.
Ho Lee Fook
1-5 Elgin St., Central
While this Chinese/fusion restaurant found its inspiration in the 1960's Chinatown joints of NYC, the kitchen isn't afraid to try new things. Helmed by Chef Jowett Yu, who was born in Taiwan, trained in Sydney (at Testuya's), Ho Lee Fook's popularity is due in part to its exciting menu. The first floor of the restaurant houses its open kitchen, and downstairs, below ground level, is a dimly-lit, club-y dining room.
77 Wellington St., Central
While this noodle shop offers little in the way of atmosphere (expect glass-topped tables, flimsy paper napkins, and soda out of the can), the won ton noodles are served quick and delicious, making this the perfect pit-stop for a fast and cheap lunch.
Mandarin Oriental, 5 Connaught Rd., Central
If you’re in the mood for superlative dim sum, look no further than Man Wah, which is perched on top of the flagship Mandarin Oriental. The setting is impeccable and old-world, and the dim sum is exactly what you want after a long flight to Asia. There's also a buffet in the café that sits overlooking the lobby.
Standard Chartered Bank Building, 4-4a Des Voeux Rd., Central
Named after the site of New York City’s Chinatown’s first convenience store, this Chinese fine dining spot celebrates the global influence of Cantonese cooking. There’s a traditional dim sum menu, along with a more rarified dinner offering, which includes dishes like roasted whole pigeon, wok-fried abalone, and sweet and sour pork.
8 On Wo Ln., Central
This izakaya-style dining bar comes from the owners of wildly successful Japanese chicken-centric restaurant Yardbird, Matt Abergel and Lindsay Jang. Specialized in fish (tiger fish, market fish karaage, sardines), seafood (shigoku oysters uni panko, flower crab, unagi chirashi), and Japanese spirits, Ronin has a more intimate, sophisticated attitude than your average izakaya. The daily changing menu responds to what’s freshest and best at the market; if you’re not in a seafood mood, the Kogoshima Beef, udon, and quail are all incredible alternatives.
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