Copyright © 2023 LOCALIIZ | All rights reserved
Check out Humans of Hong Kong, our newest video series focused on telling Hong Kong stories!
Header image courtesy of Louise
Originally published by Catharina Cheung. Last updated by Annette Chan.
Lunchtimes over weekdays can be a chaotic affair, especially in Central. But once you go up a little further up the hill onto the slopes of Soho, you’ll find a lot more choices open for your picking. Trudging uphill in this insanely hot weather may not sound appealing, but you’ll have a nice meal at the end of it to look forward to! Here are some of the best lunch options in the area between Hollywood Road and Aberdeen Street, all under $200.
Let’s be real—most people can’t finish a large pizza on their own, let alone during lunch hour. Size down your pie (and bill) with one of the petite pizza set lunches (starting from $98) at La Camionetta, which includes an eight-inch pizza and a side salad. Their set lunch is only available from Wednesdays to Fridays, but La Camionetta’s full-sized 11-inch pies range from $88 to $178 on their own, so you can still get out at under $200 on Tuesdays and weekends if you wish.
La Camionetta, G/F, 12A Elgin Street, Soho
Of course, how could we talk about bang-for-your-buck meals in Soho without mentioning The Globe? This gastropub’s enormous portions and well-priced set lunch—starting from $150 for two courses and $180 for three—have cemented it as a favourite among office workers in the area. The menu is always changing, but examples of their previous lunch offerings include smoked mackerel pâté, pear- and sherry-glazed grilled pork loin chop, and sake and mirin braised pork belly. If you’re in the mood for something a little heartier, then their popular traditional British pies ($160) are always a good shout.
The Globe, 45–53A Graham
Street, Soho | (+852) 2543 1941
Just opposite PMQ’s famous courtyard, you’ll find the discreet black shopfront of Moyo, a chic little eatery serving Italian-Korean comfort food inspired by their founders’ third culture backgrounds. For their set lunch—which comes with kimchi, bean sprouts, and a kimchi pancake—you can pick from mains like beef tartare bibimbap ($118) and carbonara rice cakes ($108), but our favourite is the fried chicken and rice ($108), featuring what may well be some of the best fried chicken in Hong Kong.
Moyo, 36 Aberdeen Street, Soho | (+852) 2858 2777
One of the newer entries on this list, Umami Factory quietly opened its doors a few months ago and has slowly built up a fanbase among Soho residents with its well-priced, modern yoshoku (洋食; Japanese-style Western food) fare. Add $20 to enjoy coffee, tea, or other soft drinks with your main, or make it a multi-course affair with the $38 add-on, which will get you a side—salad, parma ham, or deep-fried calamari—and dessert. Take your pick from mains like spaghetti with pesto ($88), deep-fried pork cutlet curry rice ($98) and squid ink spaghetti with crabmeat in lobster sauce ($148). Of course, you can order off their affordable à la carte menu—we’ve got our eye on the Spanish blue clams in sake ($148) and fries with wasabi mayo ($38).
Umami Factory, 2/F, King Ho Building, 41–49 Aberdeen Street, Soho | (+852) 2803 5233
If you’re partial to a (very) late lunch, then you’ll be happy to know that the “Holy Combos” at tattoo parlour-inspired restaurant and bar Holy Eats are available until 6 pm every day. The options range from heartier choices like the sinful burger and fries ($78), steak sandwich with fries ($88), and grilled rib-eye with fries ($168) to lighter plates like the pan-fried fish of the day ($118) with littleneck clams in white wine sauce, double trouble toast ($88) with avocado and mushroom, and the signature creamy mixed mushroom pasta ($88). All combos come with a complimentary soft drink or tea, but you can add $30 to upgrade your set drink to a house beer, spirit, or wine.
Holy Eats, 23 Elgin Street, Soho | (+852) 2890 2892
Maximise your lunch hour with a visit to Aberdeen15, a four-storey cottagecore café, boutique, and shisha bar. Have a gander at their homewares or soak up some rays on their roof terrace while you wait for your cloth-wrapped bento lunch box. The mains include more substantial options like wagyu patty with truffle ($118), deep-fried chicken ($88), or Japanese beef curry, alongside hand-made onigiri (おにぎり; rice balls). If you’d rather have a light lunch (and conserve space for their delicious desserts), try the inaniwa light bento ($78) instead, which comes with inaniwa udon.
Aberdeen15, 15 Aberdeen Street, Soho | (+852) 6607 3493
Another Soho-based “factory” producing affordable, tasty yoshoku? 5019 Premium Factory—a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it burger shack tucked away on Graham Street. Their weekday lunch sets include a number of salads and rice bowls—we like the Wagyu taco rice ($100) and macho steak salad ($138)—as well as seven burger options (starting from $98) which come with fries, salad, and a drink. Their homemade burger patties, which are made from hand-chopped beef, come in 120-gram and 180-gram sizes, and you can even add extra patties if you’re feeling extra ravenous. If you’re in the mood for a sando, however, they also offer a Wagyu steak sandwich ($158) and Wagyu minced beef cutlet sandwich ($78).
5019 Premium Factory, 46 Graham Street, Soho | (+852) 2871 1031
Technically, The Monogamous Chinese is on Caine Road (a boundary line for Mid-Levels), but given its location under the Mid-Levels escalator between Elgin and Caine, we’re counting it. For just $88, diners can get an appetiser, main, and homemade dumplings of their choice, all washed down with complimentary jasmine tea.
There are four choices for each category, and our recommendations would be shredded chilled chicken with cucumber or deep-fried goose liver spring roll for appetisers, and the Beijing-style noodles with spicy minced pork for the main course. All of their dumpling flavours are great, so we suppose you’ll just have to return over another lunch to try all of them.
The Monogamous Chinese, 59 Caine Road, Soho | (+852) 2523 2872
Despite its cheeky Chinese name—meaning to mutter surreptitiously to people—Chi Chi Cham is actually a Japanese izakaya concept, but decked out with Chinese decorations for a bit of a melded East Asian vibe. Most people go here for their skewers and small bites over happy hour drinks, but they also serve bento lunch sets.
A deep-fried pork cutlet bento will only set you back by $68, though our pick is usually the Japanese grilled pork patty with layered egg & salmon roe ($108). Each bento set also comes with a salad and a crab meat miso soup, so it’s sure to fill you up.
Chi Chi Cham, 53 Peel Street, Soho | (+852) 2386 9718
If you see the phrase “Brazilian-Japanese street food” and crinkle your nose thinking it’s weird, you can’t be totally to blame. But Uma Nota is also here to tell you that you’re wrong! This lively eatery combines fresh Brazilian ingredients with Japanese techniques to best reflect the colourful flavours of Sao Paulo.
The star of their lunch is their unlimited salad bar ($95), where you can load up on soba noodles with edamame in sesame dressing, roasted eggplant, mixed greens in ponzu dressing and more. You could also choose to go for the unlimited salad bar + bento ($120), which comes with four choices of mains.
Uma Nota, 38 Peel Street, Soho | (+852) 2889 7576
We love Maison Lib for their hearty Lebanese fare and the decor inspired by the cultural renaissance of 1960s Beirut. Their lunch menu is great value for money at $98 per person. You get your hummus and tahini to dunk pita bread in, a choice of five mains—the samake meshoué comes highly recommended—either rice or salad and a baklava dessert. Sit in their alfresco dining area on a nice day and just unwind for an hour.
Maison Libanaise, 10 Shelley Street, Soho | (+852) 2111 2284
Taking over the old location of Aberdeen Street Social is JIA Group’s newest baby Louise. These are the minds behind some of our perennial favourites including Duddell’s, Chachawan, and Potato Head, in collaboration with Michelin-starred chef Julien Royer, so you know you’re in good hands.
Their weekday parlour lunch is a rotation of their plat du jour ($158), served with tea or coffee, and available from Tuesdays to Fridays. Our favourites are the picks for Wednesday and Friday: the saucisse de Toulouse (Toulouse sausage with mash) and the aile de raie à la grenobloise (Grenobloise-style skate fish), respectively.
Louise, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Soho | (+852) 2866 0300
With a name that translates to “public place,” Posto Pubblico’s concept is based on Italian home cooking using simple classic ingredients, with an old New York Italian vibe that makes it a friendly neighbourhood joint. Their set lunch consists of an antipasto, a wide choice of secondi mains, and a dessert, for $148 per person. Go for the insalata caesar or daily antipasti, and the farfalle salsiccia or the Brooklyn sandwich.
Posto Pubblico, 28 Elgin Street, Soho | (+852) 2577 7160
Some days you just feel that you need greens aplenty, and that’s when you’ll be glad for Fresca. What sets these guys apart from Hong Kong’s many other salad bars is their creative range of toppings: think Sichuan veggie mix with soy chicken, king trumpet mushroom in sand ginger sauce, or cashew cream coleslaw. You can choose from a three-topping ($87) or four-topping salad ($110), and add $20 for each additional choice. The toppings change daily with specials each day, so go regularly to taste a wide variety!
Fresca, 54A Hollywood Road, Central | (+852) 2770 2282
Of course, we wouldn’t be able to leave out everyone’s favourite pasta bar! For the uninitiated, Pici specialises in hearty Italian dishes and fresh, handmade pasta that tastes homey and satisfying. For just $158, you will get a starter, a pasta dish, and a dessert. We highly recommend the burrata (for an additional $25) or the beef carpaccio to start with, then the strozzapreti truffle pasta (for an additional $28) or the eggplant ravioli, and finally the panna cotta to round it all off with. Food coma, here we come.
Pici, 24–26 Aberdeen Street, Soho | (+852) 2755 5233
The walk up the hill of Aberdeen Street is worth it because the unassuming Bun Cha serves some fantastic phở and spring rolls. Our go-to is always the phở bò ($75), and the chả nem ($88) fried spring rolls or the chả lá lốt cuốn ($70) grilled pork rice paper rolls. If you’d prefer not to sweat over a steaming bowl of soup noodles, then the bún Thịt co ($85)—lemongrass pork neck vermicelli—is also a great choice.
Bun Cha, G/F, King Ho Building, 41–49 Aberdeen Street, Soho | (+852) 2858 1900
Eschewing carbs and loading up on proteins? Meats is your answer! For $148, you get to choose a small plate, a meaty main, a side dish, and a dessert. Everything is fantastic here, but we particularly recommend starting with the New England clam chowder or the meatballs, then going for the stone-grilled bavette (at an additional $15), with a side of apple slaw, and finishing the meal with the café affogato. Fuelling up without carbs? We’re here for it!
Meats, 28–30 Staunton Street, Soho | (+852) 2711 1812
Every time we go to Oolaa, we feel a bit more relaxed and chilled out, so this will be the perfect spot for a more leisurely Friday lunch. A two-course lunch will set you back by $158, while the three-course option is $178. Choose one of the soups of the day—which will always include a vegetarian option—or start with the crab & avocado tian, then move on to the herb poached salmon fillet for mains. While we don’t normally go for their desserts, we do know friends who like their raspberry chocolate mousse. Oolaa’s set lunch is dine-in only, but if you vacate the table by 12.30 pm, you can enjoy 20 percent off your bill!
Oolaa, G/F, Centrestage, 1–9 Bridges Street, Soho | (+852) 2803 2083
It’s rare to find one place that does a fantastic cup of coffee, lip-smackingly good food, plus a great cheeky tipple, but Doubleshot is one of those places that you never knew you needed, smack bang in the middle of Hollywood Road, no less!
Their lunch menu is separated into smaller and larger plates; of the former, we highly recommend the roasted cauliflower ($78) as well as the beautiful “MF” Potatoes ($88). For larger plates, order the katsu sando ($158) served in toasted brioche with housemade aioli, or The Ultimate Bacon Carbonara ($168) for some indulgence. If you order a large plate, you can also get a side for free, including choices like crispy brussels sprouts or 24-month Ibérico ham. Good luck trying to nab one of their famous window seats though.
Doubleshot by Cupping Room, 1/F, 49 Hollywood Road, Central | (+852) 9225 6639
It might be quite easy to walk past Bouchon and not even notice it there among its flashier neighbours, but that’s what we like about them: that they’re not uppity like a lot of other French restaurants have a tendency to be. Instead, its overtly Parisian bistro décor is unpretentious and inviting. Their lunch set is priced at $138 for two courses and $158 for three courses. Do order the soupe à l’oignon or the artichoke and peach salad hors d’oeuvres, and the chicken Forestière or steak tartare (at an additional $48) for the plats principaux.
Bouchon, 49 Elgin Street, Soho | (+852) 2525 9300