Header image courtesy of @kaye.dong (Instagram)
Coffee is life, and spending our weekends and afternoons lazing about in coffee shops is a tried-and-true lifestyle. Another big part of trendy Kowloon that we have yet to explore is the area around Sham Shui Po and Lai Chi Kok, where artsy cafés and hip establishments are scattered around the neighbourhood as far as the eye can see. Here we are with the next instalment of our hidden café series that will hopefully inspire you to take a trip to the “dark side.”
The newest addition to the coffee scene is Press The Button Coffee in Sham Shui Po, and snaps of this café are fast becoming one of the top five subjects taking up our Instagram feed. The idea behind the shop is to encourage appreciation of the little joys in our fast-paced world, even if we sometimes feel a bit left behind by everyone else’s hustle and bustle. Press The Button’s logo is designed by acclaimed Japanese artist Chalkboy, a joint effort that originated when the owners and artist kept fortuitously meeting at culture fairs around the world. Check out the cute logo printed on the glass doors of the café!
Press The Button Coffee, G/F, 132A Ki Lung Street, Sham Shui Po
An open café that looks like it was carved out of a wall, this tiny sanctuary is hidden deep within the maze of Sham Shui Po. There’s not a lot to see: just a coffee counter and a cement bench on the other end of the shop, but that’s exactly what makes the minimalistic café so appealing. Any drink you order will come with a little slip of paper bearing an inspirational quote of the day. Why not enjoy your coffee with a side of positive encouragement?
Coffee of the Day, Shop B, G/F, 172–174 Tai Nan Street, Sham Shui Po
Years is a Japanese-style art café that offers plant-based cuisine. While you don’t necessarily have to be a vegetarian to enjoy plant-based cuisine, it is a lifestyle choice that anyone can experiment with. It is a small café though, so you should come early if you are looking to have dine-in lunch. We would recommend the ‘Pork’ Cutlet Sandwich ($98) that is made with alternative meat, shredded red cabbage, and their secret house sauce!
Years, Shop 1, G/F, Fuk Lung Building, 191–199 Fuk Wah Street, Sham Shui Po | (+852) 6338 3719
Well, it’s safe to say this has got to be one of the most attractive entrances we have ever seen for a café. This four-way collaborative effort between Colour Brown, local NGO Hatch, sustainable fashion brand PHVLO, and design team The Good Studio produced a vintage-style café that draws inspiration from old Hong Kong. Recognisable elements include the iconic shutter gates that you often come across at local street stalls, and once you head inside, you will be taken in by the impressive spiral staircase at the back of the café—a popular photo spot for guests. Everything is done up in the signature, rich dark green colour of the brand, coupled with cold grey concrete. An Ice Drip Coffee ($58) sounds like a good match with the visual aesthetics here!
Colour Brown x PHVLO HATCH, G/F, 13 Wong Chuk Street, Sham Shui Po | (+852) 2791 7128
Hidden inside a lifestyle concept store, Openground is a café-gallery hybrid combined with an exhibition space and workspace. This multi-purpose café showcases artworks and books that the owner personally curates, and there’s even an upstairs area for people to sit down and take in some creative inspiration. Openground experiments with different cakes every other day, such as Sesame Cheesecake ($45), which goes well with a White Coffee ($38).
Openground, G/F, 198 Tai Nan Street, Sham Shui Po | (+852) 3974 5098
Le Petit Salon actually has several branches around the city, and all of their outlets are hidden around corners or in alleyways, just like how their Sham Shui Po location is hidden inside an old shopping centre. This tiny café is just big enough for a coffee machine and a cashier counter, and though their menu may be small, the coffee makes up for it. We would suggest an Iced Black ($38) to fend off the Hong Kong heat as you explore the rest of Sham Shui Po.
Le Petit Salon, Shop 111A, 1/F, Dragon Centre, 37 Yen Chow Street, Sham Shui Po | (+852) 2892 2298
Why is OWLS Coffee so hard to find, you ask? Well, you have to be walking around the outside of this particular shopping centre in Lai Chi Kok to find the elusive establishment, a small hidden café that lets you bring your fur-friends inside! Truth be told, surrounded by industrial buildings, you would not expect to find a café here. With an appealing entrance covered in luscious greenery, OWLS Coffee is a healing space that also happens to have high-speed WiFi. Grab a Cappuccino ($40) to go with their Tomato Avocado Toast ($68) and you will be rejuvenating your body and mind.
OWLS Coffee, Shop 1, G/F, Billion Plaza II, 10B Cheung Yue Street, Lai Chi Kok | (+852) 9738 1922
Named after the pair of infant twins the owner had birthed just when she was thinking of opening up a business, 2+2 Coffee is another café nestled among the industrial buildings of Lai Chi Kok. This might not be the place to sit down for a long afternoon since they are more focused on takeaway coffee and bites, but it’s still worth dropping by for a novel experience. We would get a Ginger Latte ($35) to spice things up as well as their crunchy Ham and Cheese Croissant ($32) for a little tea time snack!
2+2 Coffee, Shop A5A, G/F, Block A, Hong Kong Industrial Centre, 489–491 Castle Peak Road, Lai Chi Kok | (+852) 7072 5222
Does coffee matter? Well, of course it does! Coffee Matters is a great café if you’re looking for fodder to upgrade your Instagram feed—you just cannot go wrong with snapping shots of their vintage and artsy interiors. If you’re lucky, you can snap up that lone table right outside the café, which is arguably the best spot for a picture. And if you’re going to be sitting outside, then a Cold Brew ($47) would be our go-to order. Pair the coffee with their homemade Scones with Jam & Cream ($35) and you’ve guaranteed yourself a lovely afternoon.
Coffee Matters, G/F, 170 Ki Lung Street, Sham Shui Po | (+852) 5535 9339
One thing that we really appreciate in cafés is different seating areas, and One Tenth Coffee, hidden on the fifth floor of Premier Centre in Lai Chi Kok, is our secret sanctuary. There are high chairs at the coffee counter where you can watch the baristas work their magic, or you could kick off your shoes and have a seat on cosy cushions at the low table that looks out onto the terrace. If the weather permits, you could even take your afternoon relaxation outside on the terrace and sit around the wooden benches for a spot of sun-soaking!
One Tenth Coffee, Shop 510, 5/F, Premier Centre, 20 Cheung Shun Street, Lai Chi Kok
Under the ownership of Life Health Concept, LHC COFFEE is a Hong Kong-based urban-style coffee brand and roastery that brings the true flavours of single-origin coffee to caffeine lovers around the city. Dive deep into the Kaming Factory Building and you will find their hidden Lai Chi Kok branch, offering freshly brewed speciality coffee made using the hand-drip (or pour-over) method, siphon, and espresso machines. You’ll find a range of classic espresso-based drinks here, from a double-shot Americano ($30) and Cappuccino ($35) to Flat White ($35).
LHC Coffee, Shop A3, G/F, Kaming Factory Building, 688–690 Castle Peak Road, Lai Chi Kok | (+852) 6293 360
You might not expect to be stopping by a hidden café inside a shopping centre, but Cha:fe does make you want to pause and take a break inside. After all, their logo looks similar to a smiley face, and doesn’t that just make you want to crack a smile? This boutique café is known for its made-to-order toast sandwiches, such as the Egg with Black Truffle Roast Sandwich Toast ($32), which goes particularly well with the Milk Tea Latte ($28).
Cha:fe, Shop 25, G/F, V Walk, 28 Sham Mong Road, Sham Shui Po | (+852) 2372 9818