Header image courtesy of @memories.of.hongkong (via Instagram)
Despite being relatively short, Peel Street is one of the most recognisable parts of Soho, comprising many of the neighbourhood’s livelier nightlife and dining options. Once a quiet street home to metalworking shops, a local poetry collective, and tucked-away antique stores, Peel Street (or simply “Peel” to regulars) has become increasingly known for its alfresco drinking scene in recent years.
The lack of vehicular traffic has allowed petite pubs, wine bars, and bottle shops to cater to outsize crowds, creating a (slightly) more grown-up version of the street drinking that used to dominate Lockhart Road, with craft beers replacing jello shots and bottled Jack and Cokes.
Nowadays, good food and drink can be found throughout Peel Street, particularly in the mid-section bound by Gage Street and Caine Road—from authentic Italian aperitivo to hidden shabu-shabu restaurants and unpretentious craft beer watering holes, here are the best places to eat and drink on Peel Street in Hong Kong.
This new venture from the Sake Central team is a colourful addition to the most populous stretch of Peel, taking the spot formerly occupied by Mamma Always Said (and 121BC before it). The self-described “Okinawan local” celebrates the multi-cultural influences of “the Hawaii of Japan” with a menu featuring plates like market fish tostada, taco rice ($158), and sweet & sour pork ($108).
As for the drinks, Awa Awa is all about awamori—a distilled liquor with over 500 years of heritage, also commonly known as “the spirit of Okinawa.” Try it in one of the tropical cocktails—the fresh and fizzy strawberry mojito is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
Awa Awa, 42–44 Peel Street, Soho, Central
One of the newer establishments on this list, Honey Hot is a cocktail bar that does away with pretence and stuffiness—just take a look at the peanut shells strewn across the floor, or the skateboard decks that are there for no apparent reason. Despite its no-frills atmosphere, co-founder and F&B veteran Suman Gurung has crafted a menu of top-notch cocktails, from their excellent espresso martini to the deceptively strong Forest & Meadow, which features a lethal combination of rum, Blue Curaçao, and Fernet-Branca, fragranced with citrus and rosemary. It’s also one of the most consistently affordable bars in Soho, with cocktails coming in at $50 and shots and bottled beers at just $20.
Honey Hot, 57 Peel Street, Soho, Central
This casual restaurant and bar on the corner of Peel and Staunton has not been around for long, but it’s already won fans with its funky, playful vibe—where else can you find a stained glass portrait of DJ Patrick Topping?—and modern Thai fare. Come by during your lunch break to try their $68 set meals, or after work for a catch-up with friends over grilled pineapple ($28) and spicy cocktails—we like the Tom Yum ($138), a vodka- and tequila-based concoction spiked with lemongrass, chilli, galangal, and plenty of citrus.
Vegetarians, vegans, and flexitarians alike will be pleased to find that there is a dedicated vegan menu featuring meat-free versions of dishes like the Thai larb lettuce wrap and chicken skewers. Live DJing sets the mood on Friday and Saturday evenings, when revellers spill out from the semi-open space at the front and onto the street.
House on Peel, 63 Peel Street, Soho, Central | (+852) 3489 2348
Soho regulars will need no introduction to Shady, which has established itself as a Peel Street institution in just two short years. Billed as a “natural wine bar,” The Shady Acres is a neighbourhood hangout and bartender’s bar all in one, with a palpably passionate team that clearly knows their stuff (just read their long, exhaustive Instagram captions if you don’t know what we mean).
There’s always something new to check out, whether that’s a new flavour of slushie, a coveted Beaujoulais from a rising winemaker, or a brand-new food menu. And that’s before we even get to their killer happy hours. Yes, happy hours—evenings at Shady are bookended by two happy hour sessions, allowing everyone from office workers to F&B industry folks to enjoy discounted beers and cocktails. Need we say more?
Shady Acres, 46 Peel Street, Soho, Central | (+852) 9176 7500
Craft beer enthusiasts will likely know this friendly neighbourhood bar and bottle shop, whose glowing neon light can be seen from all the way down the hill at the junction of Peel and Hollywood. Despite being barely larger than a postage stamp, the beer selection here is wide and globe-trotting, with six options on draught and a good deal more in the well-stocked fridges.
As a bar that prides itself on having affordable prices all the time, 99 Bottles doesn’t “do” happy hour (you can ask about their Saturday night free-flow deal if that’s something that appeals to you, though)—but with drinks starting at $33, every hour is happy hour at 99. Not much of a beer drinker? Ask about their craft cocktails—we’re big fans of the guava gin & tonic ($60).
99 Bottles, 59A Peel Street, Soho, Central
Despite being marketed by Black Sheep Restaurants as a “Canadian dive bar,” The Last Resort is much more polished than its branding suggests, with crispy fried chicken made according to former Ho Lee Fook chef Jowett Yu’s recipe and a well-thought-out drinks menu.
From the street, it appears to simply be a gleaming white kitchen with a handful of counter seats, but take a right and you’ll find the bar proper, a cosy nook with portraits of Canadian celebrities and hockey sticks lining the wall. Try the whiskey apple ($60) for something refreshing and a little tart, or ask for the whimsical shotski if you can find two friends to join you.
The Last Resort, 52B Peel Street, Soho, Central | (+852) 2442 2440
With its black wood-panelled entrance and diminutive sign, it’s easy to miss Sukiyaki Mori Kyuu. Nestled between a live music bar and a rowdy izakaya, this elegant sukiyaki and shabu-shabu restaurant is somewhat incongruous with its surroundings. Accordingly, the prices are steeper than other Peel Street establishments, with the Mori omakase set starting at $1,480 for dinner. Pop in at lunchtime to try the mini sukiyaki (starting from $180) and mini shabu-shabu (starting from $180) sets for a taste of their refined hotpot-style dishes.
Sukiyaki Mori Kyuu, 51 Peel Street, Soho, Central | (+852) 2322 0800
With its scruffy DIY aesthetic and independent ownership, Le Moment tends to get overlooked in favour of its flashier neighbours. However, the steak at Le Moment is as good as any Parisian bistro—especially if you get it cooked “juicy juicy,” as its idiosyncratic owner Bob would suggest.
Bob’s warm and energetic manner is as integral to the Le Moment experience as its signature three-course dinner set menu ($298) or fine selection of wines, and he’s just as likely to dig out bottle after bottle to match your exact requirements as he is to start serenading you with his electric guitar.
Le Moment, 55 Peel Street, Central | (+852) 6238 9222
For a proper taste of Milan in Hong Kong, nobody does it better than Bella Lee. This friendly Italian bar on the lower slopes of Peel Street is best known for its delicious Aperol Spritz ($88)—so much so that its motto is “Love. Life. Spritz.”—and aperitivo buffet. This Italian pastime combines the convivial drinks and post-work chit-chat of happy hour with nibbles like olives, ham, and cheese, which are designed to whet your appetite for dinner. To get the most bang for your buck, come by on Thursdays to get a supersized Spritz of your choice at no extra cost.
Bella Lee, 37 Peel Street, Soho, Central | (+852) 6708 7068
Inspired by São Paolo’s Japanese neighbourhood, Liberdade, Uma Nota serves Nipo-Brasileiro cuisine, a unique fusion of Japanese and Latin American flavours. Expect coxinhas de frango ($80), a conical finger food eaten everywhere in Brazil, skewers dusted with togarashi made from Brazilian peppers, and Japanese-style ceviche (starting from $100) from the à la carte menu, as well as occasional limited menus like the one-off umakase set.
As a Brazilian establishment, there is an abundance of cachaça on the drinks menu, from the classic caipirinha ($95) to the Piña Colada-inspired Rosutō ($95) made with pepper-infused cachaça, dark rum, roasted coconut milk, pineapple, and ginger syrup—all of which is best enjoyed from their front patio on a temperate day.
Uma Nota, 38 Peel Street, Soho, Central | (+852) 2889 7576
Chôm Chôm has been a purveyor of Hanoi’s outdoor bia hơi drinking tradition since opening its doors on Peel Street in 2013. Originally a private kitchen on Wellington Street, Chôm Chôm quickly morphed into one of Peel Street’s busiest restaurants and drinking spots, with its buzzing atmosphere and delicious, street-food inspired menu.
You’re more than welcome to knock back a cold beer and nibble on their famous VFC wings ($108) from the perch outside, or head inside for a proper meal—we like the Chả Cá Hanoi ($188), a fried white sole fillet seasoned with turmeric and dill, served with vermicelli and peanuts.
Chôm Chôm, 58–60 Peel Street, Central | (+852) 2810 0850
In case its name didn’t give it away, this popular restaurant from Pirata Group specialises in handmade pizzas. The concise menu of antipasti and nine pizzas is great for groups, with vegetarian and pescatarian options that will suit a variety of diners. For classic flavours, you can’t go wrong with the margherita ($78), but we’re also big fans of the salsiccia e funghi ($88), which comes topped with spicy sausage, portobello mushrooms, and tomino and fior di latte cheese.
The Pizza Project, 26 Peel Street, Soho, Central | (+852) 2311 1815
Like its Wan Chai location, the Soho branch of The Roundhouse is a casual taproom with a menu focused on comfort food. However, instead of fried chicken, the Peel Street Roundhouse is all about barbecue—specifically, Texas-style barbecue. Dig into the fork-tender pulled pork (starting from $90) or beef brisket (starting from $100) while you explore their vast menu of craft beers—or better yet, do it all during their popular trivia nights.
The Roundhouse, 62 Peel Street, Soho, Central | (+852) 2366 4880