Header images courtesy of @hooman.cafe (via Instagram)
Originally published by Annette Chan. Last updated by Jianne Soriano.
In the last year or so, Hong Kong’s café scene has gone from strength to strength—and what with bars being closed and no in-restaurant dining after 6 pm, cafés have become the new leisure hot spot. Some are hidden away, while others are outré colour-coordinated and flower-laden affairs—and thanks to Hong Kong’s many islands, a good deal of these lovely coffee shops also boast gorgeous sea views. From café-slash-bar hybrids to pet-friendly waterfront coffee shops, here are some of our favourite places to grab a coffee and watch some waves.
With the West Kowloon Cultural District’s sprawling waterfront space, it’s no wonder that there are plenty of cafés with enviable sea views to be found within its confines. The pet-friendly Hooman By The Sea, which has a dedicated hot dog menu (with dog-named items!) is a favourite with picnickers, while the Japanese kissaten-inspired Wabisabi Coffee Kissa is a great spot to enjoy matcha lattes, cheesecake, and the occasional artistic or cultural exhibition. For those who can’t choose between caffeine and alcohol, Rest Coffee Gin is a fantastic all-in-one spot serving up speciality coffee by day and fine craft cocktails by night.
While Arabica certainly knows how to pick its spots—like Quarry Bay’s famous Monster Mansion, for one—the Kennedy Town location is up there as one of our favourites. Located on the corner of Davis Street and New Praya, the two-storey café is decked out in all-white and overlooks the cerulean waters of Victoria Harbour. If you time your visit just right (allowing for a lengthy queuing-up process), you can watch the sunset with a coffee in hand—an experience worth waiting for, in our opinion.
Arabica, Shop 4, 1 Davis Street, Kennedy Town | (+852) 2326 4578
As the bigger, more health-focused sister to JOMO Coffee & Cakes in Sai Ying Pun, this chic café is built into a fitness centre on the Tseung Kwan O waterfront. The menu still has the vegan cakes and tarts that put the original Sai Wan branch on the map, with the addition of mostly vegetarian savouries like the JOMO all-day breakfast ($118) featuring chia seed pudding, corn fritters, mushrooms, scrambled eggs, and a side of sourdough and homemade pasta with black truffle cream sauce ($108).
JOMO Kitchen & Health Hub, Shop G01, G/F, Monterey Place, 23 Tong Chun Street, O'South Coast, Tseung Kwan O | (+852) 2331 3003
Staying true to the meaning of its name—“not only coffee”—homegrown café brand NOC Coffee Co.’s Whampoa branch offers more than just a killer flat white; there’s also a full food menu of Aussie-inspired plates and expansive sea views. Tuck into mains like the all-day breakfast ($148) and smoked salmon toast ($128) if you’re peckish, or lighter sweets like the crème brûlée pancakes ($94) or egg tarts ($18) if you’re just popping in for an afternoon cuppa.
NOC Coffee Co., Shop G42, G/F, Lily Mansions (Site 9), The Whampoa, Hung Hom | (+852) 2122 9751
With the large brass-toned typographic art lining its façade and warm vintage-inspired décor, Urban Coffee Roaster’s new 3,000-square foot Tseung Kwan O branch is an Instagrammable café that eschews Japanese-inspired minimalism for dark leather banquettes and Twin Peaks references. Throw in its covetable location along the waterfront and you’ve got yourself a great spot to while away a few hours. Besides a darn fine cuppa joe (made from single-origin beans that have been roasted in-house, of course), try the crabmeat donburi with soft-shell crab ($148), eggs Benedict with 28-month Ibérico ham ($118), and avocado and fig toast ($88).
Urban Coffee Roaster, Shop 12, G/F, Alto Residences, 29 Tong Yin Street, Tseung Kwan O
Anyone who’s gone to Horizon Plaza looking for deals on furniture and other odds and ends will likely have encountered this top-floor café. One of the few food and drink options in this homeware-focused mall is the café operated by eco-wood furniture store Tree, which serves light, child-friendly Western café fare—chicken ciabatta sandwiches, pasta salad, that kind of thing—and various coffee and tea drinks. Refuel over sun-soaked views of the glittering harbour before heading back down to find the perfect sofa (if such a thing even exists).
Tree Café, 28/F, Horizon Plaza, 2 Lee Wing Street, Ap Lei Chau | (+852) 2870 1586
If you’re off on a day trip or weekend getaway to Cheung Chau, don’t forget to drop by Heima Heima, a Nordic-style café located on the far end of the island that gives you front-row sea views. Inside, you’ll love the little trinkets and minimalist design, from the wall art, shelves of books, souvenirs, and even a little tatami-style room. Refresh yourself with the selection of Japanese tea and cold brews, as well as swoon-worthy cakes and pastries.
Heima Heima, 25 Tsan Tuen Road, Cheung Chau
Jaybird Restaurant is a favourite among locals and visitors. Its location is easily one of the best on Lamma—it’s just a stone throw’s away from the beachfront and boasts an unobstructed view of the Yung Shue Wan bay area. A family-run and family-friendly café, Jaybird offers quick bites, such as hot dogs, sandwiches, burgers, French fries, and more, and the drinks menu is just as expansive, featuring classic coffee bevvies like latte, mocha, espresso, and other blends, as well as smoothies, juices, and cocktails.
Jaybird Restaurant, 15A Main Street, Yung Shue Wan, Lamma Island | (+852) 6349 2987