Egg waffles are absolutely one of Hong Kong’s most prized street snacks. It doesn’t matter what name you prefer to call them by—eggettes, egglets, or their Cantonese name gai daan zai—these chewy, golden yellow, iconic Hong Kong nibbles are an indelible part of every Hongkonger’s childhood.
As legend has it, the egg waffle was invented in the 1950s when a grocery store owner received a poorly packaged shipment of broken eggs and, instead of throwing them away, decided to make use of them for a snack. The result was a pancake-like sheet of little round balls, and it was thus dubbed gai daan zai, which literally translates to ‘little eggs’. With so many different egg waffle shops around Hong Kong, we’ve decided to round up our top choices for this egg-cellent street food around the city.
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Oddies in Central has perfected their genius pairing of the much-loved local egg waffle with Italian low-fat gelato. Their aesthetically pleasing bestseller Night Wolf ($66 for a small portion and $87 for large) combines chocolate chip-flavoured egg waffles that are crispy on the outside and oh-so-soft on the inside, with passion fruit panna cotta, brownie bites, as well as a swirl of chocolate and vanilla soft-serve gelato. This delectable eye-candy has taken Instagram by storm since it was first introduced and is the ultimate treat-yourself dessert.
Oddies Foodies, 45 Gough St, Central | (+852) 2750 2111
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Starting from a hole-in-the-wall in North Point, this Michelin-starred establishment is one of Hong Kong’s OG gai daan zai joints, with over five branches across the city presently. This is the option for the purists out there, as Lee Keung Kee only specialises in doing the classic Original Flavour ($23) snack to perfection. They purportedly use eggs from Beijing for a richer egg fragrance and flavour, making them different from any other ordinary egg waffles around town.
Lee Keung Kee North Point Egg Waffles, 492 King’s Road, North Point
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Mammy Pancake pioneered the trend of egg waffles with different flavoured fillings. The owner of this popular joint is a former banker who, after experimenting with making egg waffles containing different fillings for her son, decided to open up a shop!
This Michelin-recommended shop offers a large variety of carefully selected flavours. From the crowd-pleasing Chocolate Chip ($23), and the classic Banana-Chocolate ($30) combination, to more innovative fillings (and one of our favourites!) like Pork Floss and Seaweed ($30), Matcha and Red Bean ($27), or even Salted Egg Yolk ($33), Mammy Pancake’s egg waffles are always fresh, fluffy, and chewy.
Mammy Pancake, locations across Hong Kong
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More Eggettes is most famous for its signature Sweet Potato Starry ($30) egg waffle: taro-flavoured egg waffles with carefully placed Honey Stars cereal in the middle of each waffle puff. The result is an eye-catching purple delight studded with yellow stars. They also offer other interesting flavours such as Candied Pineapple ($27) which tastes like Taiwanese pineapple shortcake, Orange Chocolate Cereal Stars ($28), Curry Pork Floss ($23), and many more, giving this classic Hong Kong snack a unique twist. They’ve also got a Honey Fondant ($25) flavour with a sweet oozy filling. Yum!
More Eggettes, locations across Hong Kong
You’ll hear quite a few heated debates regarding the “top quality” of Hung Kee’s egg waffles ($20)—it seems some are not fans of how thick they make the crusts. We think we’ve managed to hack purchasing gai daan zai here though; definitely go when they’re not as busy so they have the time to really make your order delicious, with an ultra crunchy crust and extra fluffy middle. Their special recipe has supposedly been handed down in the family, so you know you’re onto something good!
Hung Kee Top Quality Egg Waffles, Shop A34C, The 2nd Path, Tai On Lau, 57–87 Shau Kei Wan Road, Sai Wan Ho
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Believe us, there’s nothing “low-key” about this joint, as it’s almost always swarming with crowds. Join the eggy frenzy and try to disguise the impatient jealousy in your eyes as you wait in the queue. The original flavour will set you back by $20, while other flavours are also available such as the Golden HK Egg Puff ($30) and the Spicy Hot HK Egg Puff ($32). With no fuss or frills, your egg waffles will be presented to you in a classic brown paper bags with holes, to aid air circulation and keep your snacks from going soft too soon. Such nostalgia.
Master Low-key Food Shop, Shop B3, G/F, 76A Shau Kei Wan Main Street East, Shau Kei Wan | (+852) 6601 5300
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It’s a little out of the way, but if you’re in the Jordan area and craving something to nibble on, then stop by McQ for their value-for-money egg waffles. You really can’t get much better than $15 for some original flavoured goodness. If you’re more adventurous in your tastes, try the Bamboo Charcoal Cheese ($28) egg waffle, which comes in a dark batter interspersed with light chunks of cheese. They also do a selection of other flavours, such as Matcha and Red Bean ($23) and Chocolate Hazelnut ($23).
McQ, Shop 6, Keybond Commercial Building, 38 Ferry Street, Jordan | (+852) 9168 8893
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In a city inundated with egg waffles, a business has got to stand out among competitors. Modos does so with its unconventional gai daan zai flavours. Choose from interesting options found nowhere else, such as the Russian Borscht Eggettes ($23), Red Cheddar Cheese Eggettes ($25), or Pandan Eggettes ($19). Expats from the UK missing the taste of ol’ blighty might be interested to know that Modos also does their egg waffles in Earl Gray ($23) and Jacob’s Orange Chocolate ($23) flavours.
Modos, Shop A1, 174 Fa Yuen Street, Mong Kok | (+852) 2833 5618