40 must eat foods in hong kong

  •  Hong Kong Cha Chaan Teng (茶餐廳)

1. Gong Zai Mian
2. Hong Kong style milk tea
3. Pineapple bun with butter
4. Hong Kong style french toastf
5. Macaroni in soup 

Cha Chaan Teng in Cantonese literally translates to tea restaurant in English. These cafes were heavily influenced by British culture as more and more Hong Kong people started to drink tea and eat cakes. They provided lots of "Canto-Western" foods at low prices allowing people to enjoy "cheap western" food. Now cha chaan tengs in Hong Kong are common eateries for locals - serving comfort foods at very affordable prices (usually around 25 HKD). You can find these restaurants everywhere you go!

gong zai mian
Tea is served to all diners as soon as they are seated. Most locals choose to wash their utensils with it.

A very popular comfort food is gong zai mian (公仔面), which is just Hong Kong style instant noodles. As a set meal during breakfast, it is usually served with a fried egg, bun/sandwich and your choice of drink (Try their milk tea - you won't regret it). These noodles are usually upgraded with luncheon meat, satay beef, pork chop or even just ham.

bo lo yau  and hong kong style french toast:
Bo lo yao is basically just a bao lo bao served with a generous slice of butter. It literally means pineapple bun and is an extremely popular snack in Hong Kong. The bun itself is extremely soft with a crisp sugary crust on top. There is no pineapple in the bun but was given the name pineapple because the crust on top resembles a pineapple. When the buns are fresh and served immediately, the butter melts into the soft fluffy bun and it's just so good.

If you get a chance, Hong Kong style French toast is also worth trying! Crispy thick slices of toast with peanut butter and condensed milk filling with a slab of melting butter. So artery clogging but yum.

set meal:

Another popular breakfast set is macaroni with scrambled egg, your choice of drink and sandwich/bun.

You can try all this anywhere but Tsui Wah Restaurant, Lan Fong Yuen and the Australian Dairy Company was a favourite of mine. The crispy bun with condensed milk at Tsui Wah is also worth mentioning.

lan fong yuen:
At Lan Fong Yuen, instant noodles turn into a gourmet dish. Make sure you order chicken steak instant noodles with green onion sauce, pork buns, French Toast and milk tea!
蘭芳園 Lan Fong Yuen
2 Gage Street, Central
t: 2544 3895 / 2854 0731

  • Wonton Noodles (雲吞麵)

6. Wonton noodles in soup
7. Dry wonton noodles 

Wonton noodles are probably one of the most iconic dishes from Hong Kong. Locals and tourists line up at famous noodle houses just for a bowl of springy egg noodles and pork and shrimp dumplings. Commonly served with a hot steaming broth but you can also have it dry - lo mien (撈麵).

wonton noodles:

Mak's Noodles are a popular place try this dish but can seem a little pricey for just a small bowl of wonton noodles. I found a noodle house opposite Metropark Hotel in Prince Edward that also serves decent wonton noodles for 22HKD a bowl.
364 Portland Street
dry wonton noodles:

These egg noodles and wontons are served without broth (broth is given in another bowl) and topped with oyster sauce and soy sauce.

Other popular noodle dishes include pork knuckle and goose intestines. Sound disgusting? I can assure you they taste fabulous.
劉森記麵家 Lau Sum Kee Noodle
G/F, 48 Kweilin Street, Sham Shui Po
t: 2386 3533

  • Egg Tarts 蛋撻

8. Portugese egg tarts
9. Hong Kong style egg tarts

Egg tarts in Hong Kong have been heavily influenced by Portugese and English style tarts. There are 3 different egg tarts you have to try in Hong Kong. My favourite are the puff pastry crust and Portugese style egg tarts. Some people I know prefer the shortcrust to the puff pastry crust egg tart. They are available in almost all bakeries as well as cha chaan tengs. I found The Portugese style egg tart a bit more harder to find.

portugese egg tarts:

puff pastry crust egg tart:

These egg tarts are filled with an eggy rich custard and baked. I guess the only way these can taste bad is if the pastry is burnt.

  • Soy Milk and Glutinous Rice Roll (豆漿和粢飯)

10. Soy milk (sweet or salty)
11. Glutinous rice roll
12. Sweet tofu soup (豆腐花)

Glutinous rice roll is is a kind of food where a Chinese fried dough stick (yau tiu), pork floss and some Sichuan zha cai (pressed vegetables)  is tightly wrapped in glutinous rice. In Hong Kong, Taiwan and parts of China, this glutinous rice roll is usually eaten with a hot bowl of soy milk for breakfast.

Near the place I was staying at was a dessert house named Hao Kee Dessert House. They also serve sweet tofu pudding (豆腐花), savoury  soy milk, teochew dumplings (潮州粉果) and other popular desserts.
123 Fa Yuen Street
旺角花園街123號地舖 (Mong Kok)
t: 2394 1494

  • Street Food 

13. Skewered foods - fish balls (curry and plain), deep fried intestines, octopus etc
14. Egg waffles
15. Waffles with butter, peanut butter and condensed milk filling
16. Stinky tofu

The street-side vendors in Hong Kong sell a large variety of skewered snacks as well as bowls of steaming offal and sweets such as waffles and egg waffles. They can be found nearly everywhere.

street vendors:
stinky tofu:
Sometimes you will find this horrible stench when standing in front of food vendors. Smelly or stinky tofu is tofu that has been fermented and as a result of this fermentation, there is a stench. If you manage to get over that smell, do try it. It's quite good.

fish balls (curry and plain):
Popular skewers include pork siu mai, curry and plain fish balls, squid, octopus, deep fried intestines as well as sausages.

egg waffle:

A lightly sweetened batter is poured over a heated waffle griddle in the shape of 'eggettes' that can easily be pulled apart. They can come in different flavours including chocolate and black sesame. I prefer the plain type over the black sesame even if it is more fragrant.

Another popular snack are waffles - nothing special, just your typical golden waffle. But upon ordering your waffle, the street vendor lady spreads a generous layer of butter, peanut butter and condensed milk - instantly upgrading your plain golden waffle. Another artery clogging food but oh so good.

  • Guangdong Barbecue (廣東燒味)

17. Roasted pork belly (燒肉)
18. Roasted duck (烧鸭) and roasted goose (鹅)
19. Char Siu/ Roasted pig
20. Roast pigeon (乳鸽)

roast goodies:
That pork belly skin. It's so crispy. Every thing is just so drool-worthy. taste platter (~150HKD):
This platter includes a bit of char siu, some duck and roast pork belly with oh so crispy skin. The thing is, in Asia, the meat doesn't have a huge layer fat and can still taste just as tender and beautiful. Overall, it also feels less oily. 

duck and rice

All this for just 30 - 40 HKD. I could eat it every week.
廣東燒味餐廳 Guangdong Barbecue Restaurant
G/F, 29-31 Argyle Street, Mong Kok
t: 2393 2203

  • Yum Cha (飲茶)

21. All the yum cha foods in Hong Kong. 

Okay obviously you can't possibly try all the yum cha foods available in all of Hong Kong but make sure you try the common dishes - chicken feet, har gow, siu mai, teo chew dumplings, rice rolls, shrimp rice rolls etc. Try them all! All you have to do tick a box next to the dim sum you want to order, gesture to the waitress and wait for your goodies to arrive!

yum cha:

One memorable dish I had at yum cha in Po Lam was Shrimp rice noodle roll. The shrimp was wrapped inside a crispy Chinese doughnut skin and then wrapped in rice noodle sheet. You don't see that often in Sydney. Oh so good.
Chung's Kitchen
Shop 1201, 12/F, Food Forum,
Times Square 1 Matheson Street, Causeway Bay
t: 8300 8005

  • Congee (粥)

22. Congee
23. Deep fried dough stick wrapped in rice rolls (炸兩)
24. fried turnip cake (蘿蔔糕)

sea view congee shop:

Another popular breakfast dish is congee. My personal favourites are preserved duck egg and lean pork congee (皮蛋瘦肉粥) and preserved duck egg and pig's blood congee (皮蛋猪红粥). Both cost 26HKD at Sea View Congee Shop. I also like to have stir fried egg noodles (17KHD), fried turnip cake (17HKD), char siu rice sheet roll (20HKD), the deep fried stick rice roll (called twister curlier on the menu 20HKD) or just plain ricesheet rolls (14HKD)

turnip cake (17HKD):

Taste-wise, this turnip cake is perfect but it just needs to be a tiny bit more golden so that the there is a crispy exterior.
海景粥店 Sea View Congee Shop
G/F 105 Argyle Street, Mongkok
t: 2787 7330

  • Beef Offal Noodles (牛什河)

25. Beef offal noodles (牛什麵)
26. Beef brisket noodles (牛腩麵)
27. Cart noodles (车仔麵)
28. Fish ball/fish cake noodles

I personally prefer Hong Kong rice noodles to their thin egg noodles because often the texture of the egg noodles aren't that great. Just ask for 河 (ho) instead of 麵 (mien).

beef offal rice noodles:

These bowls of comfort food are usually 20-30HKD each. Usually if I am eating in a group, we would order another bowl of either just beef brisket or bowl of just beef offal (without any noodles) to share around. Because beef offal and brisket are to die for in Hong Kong.

L: beef brisket noodle soup (27HKD) R: fish ball/fish cake noodles (27HKD):

Killer broth.
G/F, 27 Shanghai Street, Jordan
t: (852) 2375 1673
fish ball, pig skin, pig intestine cart noodles:

Cart noodles or che zai mian are noodles where you get to choose your own toppings (usually 3). They usually cost around 30-50HKD.
榮記粉麵 Wing Kee Noodles
G/F 43 Jardine Street, Causeway Bay
t: 2576 3688

  • Oyster Omelette (蠔煎)

29. Oyster omelette

I remember when I was little and holidaying in Hong Kong, my cousins would always take me and my brother to get some oyster pancake for supper. Hong Kong is not exactly known for its oyster pancake. Unlike the Taiwanese version with the gooey starch and sauce, the Hong Kong style pancake is dipped in white vinegar and is made from a flour and egg batter. The edges are crispy and the centre is loaded with oysters.

At the restaurant we had it at, they realised our love for oyster pancakes and told us we could order oyster pancakes up to 18" in size. They should have told us before we ordered 4 pancakes. Oh well.
G/F, 154 Tung Choi Street, Mongkok
t: 2394 8414

  • Clay Pot Rice (煲仔饭)

30. Clay pot rice 
31. Chinese preserved sausage (臘腸)

Clay pot rice is rice and your choice of toppings cooked in a clay pot above charcoal stoves. My personal favourites are chicken feet and pork ribs, pork ribs and preserved sausage or chicken and preserved sausage. Add sweetened soy sauce to your rice and dig in!

claypot rice (~40-60HKD):

Make sure you add Chinese preserved sausages. All the fatty juices from the lap cheong will seep into the rice and make it even better tasting. My favourite part is scraping all the scorched rice from the sides. Its so crispy and good. You can find clay pot rice at Kwan Kee Claypot Rice or at other small restaurants which are just as good.
G/F, 154 Tung Choi Street, Mongkok
t: 2394 8414

  •  Dai Pai Dong (大牌檔)

32. Lamb casserole (羊腩煲)
33. Seafood

Dai pai dong is a type of food stall in Hong Kong, which were extremely popular in the past. It literally means restaurant with a big license plate. This name came from the fact that these food stores were given licenses by the Hong Kong government. What's special about these food stalls is that you can order dishes made to suit your tastes. At night, they usually sell seafood and more costly dishes.

dai pai dong:

lamb casserole, mantis shrimp, pigs blood:

Lamb is often eaten during winter. It warms the body and nothing is more warming than having a lamb casserole with beancurd sheets (200HKD). Our meal at the Dai Pai Dong, came to about 600HKD for 6 people to be completely stuffed. We also tried their octopus and goose intestines. The salt and pepper mantis shrimp (瀨尿蝦) were also heavenly.

These food stalls can be found in Wan Chai, Kowloon Bay, Central, Sham Shui Po, Tai Hang and Tai O.

  • Fried Rice (炒饭)

34. Salted fish and diced chicken fried rice ( 鹹魚雞粒炒)
35. Yangzhou fried rice (扬州炒饭)

It amazes me how people in Hong Kong can make such tasty and addictive dishes from very simple and not so expensive ingredients.

seafood combination fried rice:

This seafood combination fried rice is made with various fish balls you would normally find in a frozen pack in Sydney.It's not very special but the smokey flavours just make it so damn good.
G/F, 154 Tung Choi Street, Mongkok
t: 2394 8414

  • Instant Noodles (出前一丁)

36.  Instant noodle dishes

If you've stayed in Hong Kong for a few days or more, you'll notice that even simple instant noodles can be made into cafe style food, used as pasta, stir fried and more! It is Hong Kong comfort food at its best.

stir fried chu qian yi ding:

luncheon meat and fried egg with instant noodles:
You can also try the instant noodles with cheese sauce at 新記餐廳 Sun Kee (Tsim Sha Tsui) and you should definitely try the instant gourmet noodles at Lan Fong Yuen.
極之好粥麵茶餐廳G/F, 154 Tung Choi Street, Mongkok
t: 2394 8414

  • Yee Shun Milk Company/Australian Dairy Company

37. Ginger milk pudding (薑汁撞奶)
38. Stewed egg custard (冰花燉雞蛋)

As you may know, I love desserts. In Summer, there's Mango pomelo sago, mango pudding, chilled red bean soup and in Winter, I particularly enjoy 'tong yuen' (glutinous rice dumplings) or black sesame paste (芝麻糊). One of the best places to enjoy 'tong shuei' in Hong Kong are at 'dairy companies (牛奶公司). These restaurants don't produce milk - they are a cha chaan teng.

These dairy companies specialise in dairy related desserts but also provide Hong Kong style food like simple macaroni or instant noodle breakfasts along with toast, hot dogs, sandwiches, scrambled eggs and milk tea and coffee.

One of their most well known desserts is called Ginger milk pudding. which is a custard milk pudding infused with sweetened ginger. You should also try their stewed egg custard (22HKD)!

L: yee shun milk company R: ginger milk pudding 30HKD):
Their ginger milk pudding and egg custard is just so soft it literally melts in your mouth the minute it touches your tongue! I didn't get the chance to try their double-skin steamed milk (雙皮奶) or any of their iced desserts. Damn!

If you find these desserts too plain, Yee shun even offers coffee and chocolate flavours for their milk pudding.
港澳義順牛奶公司 Yee Shun Dairy Company
G/F, 513 Nathan Road, Yau Ma Tei
t: 2332 2726

  • Dragon Beard Candy

39. Dragon beard candy

Soft, melt in your mouth, sweet goodness.

  • Stir Fried Beef with Flat Noodles (干炒牛河)

40. stir fried beef with flat noodles

I'm sure you've all seen this staple Cantonese dish. They can be found in Yum Cha restaurants, cha chaan teng and nearly every other restaurant. The most important part of this dish is - in my opinion - the wok hei. It must be fried quickly but not forcefully. The amount of oil needs to be controlled - too oily and the it will ruin the flavour. Although it is a such a common and simple dish, it's challenging for most chefs.

stir fried beef noodles:

I had these noodles about 4 times while I was in Hong Kong and 3/4 times they were smokey and perfect. 
G/F, 27 Shanghai Street, Jordan
t: (852) 2375 1673
There are countless more foods that I didn't get a chance to try during my 2 week stay. I heard snake soup form Ser Wong Fun, Central and vegetarian set meals are also a must try. Guess I have to go back soon!

This post was sponsored by Webjet and Zuji


  1. I love those fish balls - especially the one covered in curry - and the gourmet instant noodles look and sound so good. Good post

  2. Awesome post! Seriously miss HK food so much! Especially the milk tea!

  3. This post makes me miss HK so much, especially the 雞蛋仔 :)

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Hi there! My name is Anna. I'm nineteen, in my second year of uni (UNSW) and born in Sydney. This blog is about my gastronomic adventures in Australia and abroad. It all started when I got new camera (Samsung Ex1) and since then, I've been mainly taking photos of food. So, I decided to document everything on this blog.

I'm still learning to take nice pictures - my camera isn't exactly the greatest but it works.

Oh, and I think we should get this out of the way (just in case you decide to unfriend me) I'm not a fan of chocolate or coffee. (Yes you saw right).

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