Header image courtesy of Treehouse (via Deliveroo)
Originally published by Inés Fung. Updated by Jen Paolini, Annette Chan, and Alisa Chau.
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. Its 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, 2A Second Street, Sai Ying Pun
As indicated by the no-nonsense name, this light-filled, pet-friendly café in Tsim Sha Tsui is a haven for vegetarians. 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), and be sure 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. Its 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? Have the oolong affogato with green tea pudding ($88), Thai milk tea shaved ice ($72), or caramel apple waffle with vanilla gelato ($98).
2DP, The Lamma Tower, 12–12A Hau Fook Street, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 3705 9590
Never underestimate how filling a smoothie bowl can be! Pleasing to the eye and equally—if not more—delightful to sample, the purplish-pink swirls offered by Supabowl make for a healthy refreshment that doubles as stunning visual content. Choose from a blended base of açaí (starting from $40) or pitaya (starting from $40) that is free from chemical preservatives and artificial sweeteners, and add on mix-and-match toppings like fruit and granola to your heart’s content. Slab on some of their homemade almond butter as a final touch—we highly recommend it.
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: We love the pandan coconut cake ($38) to end the meal on a Southeast Asian note or the sesame & tofu crêpe cake ($48) for a Japanese twist on the classic French dessert.
Now whether or not you believe in the effects of liquid cleansing diets, you cannot 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.
A short while after closing its doors in this very spot, the renowned Cong Sao Star Dessert has returned, re-emerging with sweet treats from its familiar menu and new vegetarian dishes to boot. Aside from indulging in Cong Sao classics like the longan sorbet with nata de coco ($35) and sweet tofu with mango sorbet ($31), opt for tucking into their new main dishes and savoury snacks. Everything from cha chaan teng-style baked vegetarian pork chop rice in tomato sauce with cheese ($50) to the homely eggplant vegetarian minced pork with rice ($52) can be had here.
Cong Sao Veggie Express, Shop W003–W004, West Wing, TKO Gateway, 2 Sheung Ning Road, Tseung Kwan O | (+852) 2668 6778
Fresca wants to feed Hong Kong only the best plant-based and ready-to-go meals without sacrificing taste or health. All of their produce comes from a private local organic farm, harvested daily and sent directly to Fresca, and they pride themselves on having one of the smallest carbon footprints of any local restaurant. Its menu changes daily according to what’s fresh and the rotating selection of salads and soups are inspired by both Asian and Western flavours, showcasing how plant-based cuisine can be 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 customers to make eco-conscious decisions.
Menus differ slightly between restaurant locations, with both Chinese and Western dishes up for grabs, so the flavours will not 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 at LN Coffee that you will not find in any other vegan restaurant, such as the vegan sausage hot dog ($128) and comfort food like udon in tomato soup ($128). LN Coffee’s classic all-day breakfast ($168) is definitely a must-try dish, and cures a hangover just as well as its carnivorous counterpart does.
LN Coffee, Altro, 118 Second Street, Sai Ying Pun | (+852) 2858 3998
Mana! is one of the first plant-based pioneers in Hong Kong and has really helped to build a community around green eating as well as promoting physical and spiritual wellness. Its locations operate with zero-waste policies in mind and offer free water for all. All of the packaging is compostable and biodegradable, 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 would not 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. Its 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, 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 latest venture Treehouse, resurrecting beloved dishes from his previous concept and providing the city with more high-quality and healthy plant-based casual dining options. Treehouse’s 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, 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. Its owner insists on making everything by hand, 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, 144 Tung Lo Wan Road, Tai Hang | (+852) 2802 6126
Located by the furniture store of the same name, Ovo Café is artfully decorated in bushels and pots upon pots of beautiful plants and flowers. Featuring comforting dishes peppered with local and international flair, like the oriental nachos ($75) made from crunchy fried wonton wraps or the lion Caesar salad ($88) tossed with hot spring egg and lotus root, dine on some hearty yet healthy dishes under the gorgeous overhanging flora.
Ovo Café, 1 Wan Chai Road, Wan Chai | (+852) 2527 6011
Located on-campus at the University of Hong Kong, this meat-free bistro brings to the forefront the joys and advantages of a vegetarian diet, all whilst offering scrumptious fare for affordable prices. Its interiors incorporate green elements, showing chandeliers made from recycled plastic bottles that watch over old-school wooden chairs donated by local schools. Operating on a pay-by-weight buffet option with an extensive selection of sides and nibbles that rotate every day, each set comes with refillable rice and Chinese soup to boot. Enjoy your meal with a steaming cup of syphon coffee (starting from $26) or their signature walnut soya milk.
Bijas Vegetarian Restaurant, Central Podium, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus, Pok Fu Lam Road, Mid-Levels | (+852) 2964 9011
For a no-fuss option, Sprout Deli (小苗子) has got you covered. You will find standard breakfast and afternoon tea sets here that include Hong Kong-style favourites like soy sauce chow mein and ham & egg macaroni soup. Its lunch hour follows the simple formula of a choice of three sides grouped with a generous serving of rice, in addition to items like wraps, raw vegan selections, and heaping salads. For a spot of shopping after your meal, you can even grab your groceries by browsing around their shelves full of organic imports and supplements.
Sprout Deli (小苗子), 181 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai | (+852) 2333 6207
Nestled amongst the historical Blue House area in Wanchai, this calm little spot is a social enterprise eatery helmed by the Saint James Settlement. Emphasizing the natural goodness of locally grown food, their cooking makes use of seasonal produce and ecologically friendly crops. With customer wellbeing being central to their focus, their menu excludes MSG flavouring and limits use of salt, oil, and sugar.
The deliciously nourishing five elements tumeric rice ($62) and homemade veggie wonton noodle ($55) are some star dishes to try out, though do be warned that most of their selections tend to be changed up every several weeks.
Local Ginger Veggie Bistro, G/F, 8 King Sing Street, Wanchai | (+852) 9062 8345