Header image courtesy of @__siu.hung__ (Instagram)
Hong Kong’s Outlying Islands tend to be where urbanites go if they feel like hitting up the beach for a dose of vitamin D or riding the waves for some intense exercise, but that’s not all there is to this cluster of suburban living. The best part of it is how far removed you will be from the hustle and bustle of the city centre, so rather than pumping adrenaline through your body, how about finding a nice café to sit down in and soak up the relaxing vibes of slow country life? Read on to check out the best cafés to discover on Hong Kong’s Outlying Islands, or click to the section you want to skip to below:
Perhaps the most famous out of all the Outlying Island cafés is Valor, situated inside the crescent of Cheung Chau. Valor brings modern, minimalistic aesthetics onto the serene island whilst paying tribute to Cheung Chau’s local vibes, with wooden stools and stone tables to match. They are known for their signature iced drip coffees, categorised under “ice-dripped things” on their menu, and you can tell how serious they take their craft from the many ice drip apparatus lined up along their walls. Their signature creations include the Honey Lemon Iced Dripped Coffee ($45) or combinations like pineapple and coconut with coffee.
Valor, G/F, 4 Sun Hing Street, Cheung Chau | (+852) 5508 8369
Island Workbench started out as a lifestyle concept store on Cheung Chau selling exclusive bags and apparel made by local artists. In 2018, the Island Workbench Café was opened to served light food and beverages for visitors to enjoy after shopping. Their menu features cute graphics for each dish so you will know exactly what you’re getting. They are known for their Homemade Belgium Waffles ($42), where you can customise the sauce, toppings, and ice cream flavours. Their Dessert Platter ($118) is also a must-try, showcasing a selection of desserts that you can customise with treats such as tiramisu, Earl Grey crème brûlée, ice cream, and daily cakes.
Island Workbench, G/F, 16 Chung Hok Road, Cheung Chau | (+852) 5722 4252
Heima Heima is a Nordic-style café, a surprising find in the outskirts of Cheung Chau. They embody the basics of Nordic aesthetics with a clean design that focuses on the lighter tones of wooden furniture, and there’s even a small room inside the café for anyone looking for a more private experience. Otherwise, sitting along the window that looks out to the sea is also a great choice. Their All-day Breakfast ($78) is a delicious bargain and their Apple Tart ($48), delicately decorated with sliced apples on flaky puff pastry, is a great choice as well.
Heima Heima, G/F, 25 Tsan Tuen Road, Cheung Chau | (+852) 6078 3417
Si Dan in Cantonese stands for “whatever” in a very casual manner, but at this island café, they sure don’t take their menu very casually at all. Si Dan is a small café in Cheung Chau with around 12 seats, and they put a lot of thought into their cooked food menus, so it’s actually far from si dan. Their signatures include the Scotch Egg ($48) with a centre of runny yolk, as well as the Fried Peanut Butter French Toast ($48), which reminds us of the cha chaan teng classic. They also have a selection of local craft beer with creative flavour combinations, such as Hot Solo ($48) which is a Mexican hot chocolate stout.
Si Dan, G/F, Front Portion, 49 Pak She Street, Cheung Chau | (+852) 4645 0461
HanMade Teahouse Cake Flowers is where to go if you’re looking to unwind. This island café is all about teas, flowers, and cakes, and not just any cake though, but Mung Bean Cakes ($30), a classic Korean sweet treat that goes well with tea. They also have Flaky Pastries ($30) with flavours like passionfruit, sweet potato, green tea, and more. Their tea selection is based on fruit teas, flower teas, and classic Chinese teas, so the whole café is a combination of different Southeast Asian tea cultures!
HanMade Teahouse Cake Flowers, Shop G10, G/F, Discovery Bay North Plaza, 82 Siena Avenue, Discovery Bay | (+852) 2322 8558
For anyone who has been living in Discovery Bay, they will know that Uncle Russ Coffee is an institution. This coffee establishment has been in Hong Kong for over 27 years and it is more than just a café—it is also a coffee academy offering professional coffee-making and barista courses. They also sell coffee-making equipment and coffee beans on their website, so the next time you hit up Discovery Bay, drop by to experience a taste of daily DB life!
Uncle Russ Coffee, Shop G19, G/F, DB North Plaza, 92 Siena Avenue, Discovery Bay | (+852) 2682 8110
The only place where you will ever find stilt houses built on water—and even cafés inside these stilt houses—is Tai O. This feature is unique to Tai O even amongst the other islands so if you’re making a day trip there, a café visit is a must. Solo is built along the rails of a stilt house so you will be sitting right next to the sea. The minimum order is one drink ($45) per person but you can make a dessert set ($95) out of it with a choice of New York cheesecake, tiramisu, or serradura, a well-known Portuguese dessert. They also have a special menu for seasonal coffees that you can ask the staff about, like the nitro brew coffee with milk foam on top that makes it look like a beer!
Solo, G/F, 86–88 Kat Hing Street, Tai O | (+852) 9153 7453
Espace Elastique is the first bed and breakfast to open in Tai O and their café is a lovely area to relax in. The café takes up the ground floor and the front garden so you have a choice of indoor seating or outdoor seating, while their private rooftop is reserved for their B&B guests only. During summer, their Ice Drip Coffee ($48) will help you cool down, or you can even try the Iced Spanish Coffee ($52) though it’s more on the sweet side.
Espace Elastique, 57 Kat Hing Street, Tai O | (+852) 2985 7002
If you walk through the maze of stilt houses on the island of Tai O, you can find the Triple Lantern House, which is covered with strings of red lanterns. This house is an old landmark within Tai O and the Triple Lanterns Café is just to the side of the water canals. The café is made up of two storeys, with antiques strewn across the second floor. If you prefer to sit next to the sea, we would recommend finding shaded seats outside for the best experience.
Triple Lanterns Café, 39 San Chung Bund, San Chung Village, Tai O | (+852) 9711 4727
Shelly Cake Express on Lamma Island is a paradise for sweet tooths. Their Signature Tofu Cheesecake ($60) is famous on social media for its rich tofu flavour and perfect consistency, all served on pretty patterned plates for a colourful picture. Another signature is their Assorted Cookies with Ice Cream ($80), where they recommend enjoying the cookies in a certain order. With so much sugar, you’ll have to order a black coffee to balance it all out!
Shelly Cake Express, G/F, Shop C, 21 Back Street, Yung Shue Wan, Lamma Island | (+852) 9494 0755
From a banker to a chef—that’s the story of how the owner of Rawsoever in Lamma Island came to start her own shop. This café is all about raw foods, vegan cuisine, and organic ingredients. The reason she moved from the city centre to Lamma Island is also to be closer to the countryside and closer to her organic produce. The café also doubles as a grocery store and a catering company for people who live around the area!
Rawsoever, Shop A, G/F, 18E Tai Yuen Village, Yung Shue Wan, Lamma Island
Coffee Philharmonic is a café on Lamma Island that combines the owner’s love for coffee and music. Not only does he goes on a search for new coffee beans and blends all the time, but he also invites his fellow music lovers to the café for performances and music appreciation nights. If you’re ever walking around Lamma Island and you hear the sound of a violin playing, just follow it like a scent and it will lead to you straight to the café!
Coffee Philharmonic, G/F, 106B Yung Shue Wan Main Street, Lamma Island | (+852) 9363 0563