Header image courtesy of Treehouse (Deliveroo)
Originally published by Inés Fung. Last updated by Jen Paolini and Annette Chan.
There’s no shortage of fast-food restaurants and bistros in Hong Kong, but for those of us who follow a plant-based diet, the usual vegetarian and vegan offerings at a typical café might start to get boring real quick. We know everyone loves a good cuppa or needs rotating options for a quick bite during our hectic lunch hours, so we’ve rounded up some of our favourite vegetarian cafés and juice bars around Hong Kong to help you live healthier while on the go.
Vegetarians, vegans, and flexitarians looking to explore more of Sai Wan’s cool café scene will find nowhere more serene and soulful than Good Good, a vegetarian Japanese café-slash-restaurant with an on-site grocery and lifestyle store for after-meal browsing. The crispy tempura rice set ($118) is a year-round crowd-pleaser, but look out for seasonal specials like curry udon and maple pecan Mont Blanc, too.
Good Good, G/F, 2A Second Street, Sai Ying Pun
As indicated by the straightforward, no-nonsense name, this light-filled, pet-friendly café in Tsim Sha Tsui is a haven for vegetarians. Actually, everything here—from the bagel sandwiches and burritos to the cakes and coffees—is completely vegan. Tuck into the “crabmeat,” avocado & yuzu burrito ($68) and sip on an oat latte ($44) or refreshing cucumber lime soda ($48). Just don’t forget to try the gorgeous handmade cakes and tarts—the selection changes daily, but popular choices include the strawberry naked cake and chestnut tart. Had a slice and fancy more? Vego Coffee also makes whole cakes to order.
Shop 7B, 154–156 Austin Road, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 6808 3768
With its minimalist interiors, colourful drinks, and creatively-presented fusion food, this Tsim Sha Tsui eatery ticks all the trendy café boxes while also being entirely vegetarian-friendly. The beverage menu covers everything from bright fruit slushies to fine Chinese teas and various coffee drinks, while the savoury dishes run the gamut from light salads and soups to burgers, pasta, and fried rice made with meat substitutes. For something that’ll feed you and look great on the feed, try the creamy pumpkin barley risotto ($128), which comes served inside the gourd itself. More of a dessert person? Try the oolong affogato with green tea pudding ($88), Thai milk tea shaved ice ($72), or caramel apple waffle with vanilla gelato ($98).
2DP, G/F, The Lamma Tower, 12–12A Hau Fook Street, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 3705 9590
For wholesome, home-style Japanese fare that just happens to be vegetarian, pop into Eaton HK’s retro food hall to check out Mum Veggie Café. The menu comprises small plates of mostly vegan Japanese comfort food like daikon and mushroom oden (御田; one-pot stew), kale and mushroom okonomiyaki (お好み焼き; pancake), and veggie tempura, among others. Select three to four plates to build your own meal set (starting from $100), which comes with miso soup, a drink, and rice or udon.
Mum Veggie Café, Shop 8, LG/F, Eaton HK, 380 Nathan Road, Jordan
For a quick and easy fusion meal in Tsim Sha Tsui or Tsuen Wan, pop into Leisurely Veggie. This local café has a wide menu of Asian and Western plates, ranging from healthy salads and soups to more maximalist meat-free dishes like baked Portobello mushrooms stuffed with truffle mash ($168) and grilled mock unagi rice ($98). Don’t forget to leave space for dessert: try the pandan coconut cake ($38) to end the meal on a Southeast Asian note or go for the sesame & tofu crêpe cake ($48) for a Japanese twist on the French dessert.
Now whether or not you believe in the effects of liquid cleansing diets, you can’t deny that the juices and açaí bowls at Be-Juiced are delicious. With over 30 different kinds of cold-pressed juices, all sorts of toppings to build your own açaí bowl with, as well as coffee and raw food options, it’s a great spot for a healthy pick-me-up. There is limited seating at the shop, but if you can snag it, the table outside is ideal for people-watching and getting some work done while you nosh. Opt for the zucchini pasta ($58) with green curry sauce or let your creativity run wild with their build-your-own açaí bowls (starting from $65) with a myriad of toppings.
Be-Juiced, 45 Peel Street, Central | (+852) 2668 6231
If you find yourself on a day trip to explore the nooks and crannies of the Sham Shui Po neighbourhood, check out Years, a Japanese-inspired joint that serves up comforting vegetarian fare. Despite its small size, it’s big on flavours and filling portions, making it the perfect lunch spot for rumbling tummies. From their menu, we love the katsu curry risotto ($98) that features an Omnipork patty, as well as the Portobello mushroom burger ($98) after a long day of trawling through Sham Shui Po’s many markets. It’s popular with locals, especially on weekends, so try to show up early to grab a seat at this petite café—alternatively, you could try your luck at the Years’ other Sham Shui Po location, which is just a few blocks away, or visit their Tsuen Wan branch.
Helmed by chef Lisa Terauchi, the team at Confusion put a lot of heart into every item on their menu and it really shows. The space is small, but the menu is certainly extensive, with the meal deals being a staunch favourite during lunchtime. Here, you’ll find everything from standard veggie burgers to weekly specialities like hedgehog mushroom tacos ($125) and falafel wraps ($90), all 100 percent vegan. Confusion also offers (organic!) boozy beverages at very reasonable prices—what more could you want from a vego restaurant?
Confusion, G/F, 103 Jervois Street, Sheung Wan | (+852) 2563 3699
Fresca wants to feed Hong Kong only the best plant-based ready-to-go meals without sacrificing taste or health. The team sources all of their produce from a private local organic farm, harvested daily and sent directly to Fresca. They pride themselves on having one of the smallest carbon footprints of any local restaurant and their menu changes every day according to what’s fresh and seasonal. The rotating selection of salads, soups, and muffins are inspired by both Asian and Western flavours and showcases how plant-based cuisine can be filling and delicious without relying on alternative meats and gimmicks.
Fresca, 54A Hollywood Road, Central | (+852) 2770 2282
If you do want a bite of plant-based “meats,” however, there’s one place that does it better than anyone else. As one of Hong Kong’s largest vegetarian dining proponents, Green Common can be found in almost all corners of the city, running its grocery concept alongside its casual café to encourage its loyal customer base to make healthy and eco-conscious decisions.
Menus differ slightly between restaurant locations, with both Chinese and Western dishes up for grabs, so the flavours won’t be too far out of the left-field. We favour the Omnipork K-ramen ($56) from the Landmark outlet, made with slabs of Omnipork luncheon meat and spicy noodles, and the Beyond Black Burger ($112) that comes with a rich black pepper sauce, sautéed mushrooms, and a Beyond patty.
LN Coffee is both an artisanal coffee shop and a no-frills vegan restaurant. With its floor-to-ceiling windows and quiet location in Sai Ying Pun, it’s a relaxing space to spend an afternoon grazing in. The coffee here is, of course, spectacular and sometimes sourced from the owner’s travels. There are some innovative dishes here that you won’t find in any other vegan restaurant, such as the vegan sausage hot dog ($128) and comfort food like udon in tomato soup ($128). The classic all-day breakfast ($168) is definitely the must-try and cures a hangover just as well as its carnivorous counterpart does.
LN Coffee, G/F, Altro, 118 Second Street, Sai Ying Pun | (+852) 2858 3998
Mana! is one of the first plant-based fast food pioneers in Hong Kong and has really helped to build a community around plant-based eating as well as promoting physical and spiritual wellness. Their locations all operate with zero-waste policies in mind and offer free water for all. All of the packaging is compostable and biodegradable as well, so do your part in reducing waste with their helpfully labelled recycling points. We especially love their vegan breakfast menu (available at the Starstreet Precinct location), featuring an original take on avo toast that you can chase down with one of their vegan coffees.
If no one mentioned it, you wouldn’t know that the delectable sweet treats at Sweetpea Café are all gluten-free, and some are vegan and keto-friendly as well. You can choose to sit upstairs in the bright loft space with a Golden Healing Latte ($60) of turmeric, coconut butter, and milk, or try and keep the friendly furry visitors from stealing a bite of your cake outside on the steps. Their most popular sweet treat is the double Earl Grey chiffon cake ($95), an adorable and very Instagrammable creation of Earl Grey tea chiffon cake layers with Earl Grey tea-infused Bavarian cream, and covered with fresh cream Chantilly frosting and edible flowers.
Sweetpea Café, G/F, 4 Shin Hing Street, Central | (+852) 3689 7269
Fans of Home Eat to Live and Mana! will rejoice to hear that chef and entrepreneur Christian G. Mongendre is back with his new venture Treehouse, resurrecting beloved dishes from his previous concept and providing the city with more high-quality and healthy plant-based casual dining options. The all-day whole foods menu is made with organic ingredients that are locally sourced, featuring build-your-own bowls, flatbreads, cold-brew coffee, smoothies, and kombucha, as well as a range of gluten-free and raw options. It should come as no surprise that the café is designed to look like an urban treehouse, with furniture designed and built sustainably.
Treehouse, Shop 1, G/F, Ezra’s Lane, 45 Pottinger Street, Central | (+852) 3791 2277
Veggie Spinner is a hidden gem in Tai Hang that serves Western café fare made vegan and vegetarian. The owner insists on hand-making everything, including pizza dough and soups, so you know everything is crafted with heart. It’s precisely this can-do spirit that has attracted a loyal band of customers that love their Lavash rolls ($53), fresh detox juices, and endlessly customisable pizzas. Make sure to keep an eye out on their Facebook page as they set their own opening hours and sometimes focus more on catering events instead.
Veggie Spinner, G/F, 144, Tung Lo Wan Road, Tai Hang | (+852) 2802 6126