Header image courtesy of Studio Adjective and @melofoodopia (Instagram)
Originally published on 12 March 2018 by Shirley Ling. Last updated by Ching Yuen.
A coffee (or three) a day keeps us from going insane, and with so many speciality cafés popping up around the city lately, we Hongkongers are seriously spoilt for choice. But what do we love more than our heart-pumping espressos and super gimmicky avo-lattes? A gorgeous café where we can have our coffee and take a decent selfie or two, that’s what. Here’s our pick of the most photogenic cafés in Hong Kong, which are sure to give you an enviable Instagram feed.
This aesthetically-pleasing café recently opened in To Kwa Wan, with gilded marble patterns as the main theme. Some may say it’s “basic,” but who doesn’t enjoy a bit of luxury now and then? On the Hill blends in pieces of wooden flooring to incorporate different textures, creating a relaxing space to hide from the summer heat. Not only does this café serve great coffee, but they also have cute baked treats. From the bar and seating area to the storefront, everywhere you look is an Instagrammable spot, so make sure to come with a friend to help with all of your model pictures!
On The Hill Coffee Bar, Shop 2, Basement, Po Fai Building, 435–439 Chatham Road North, To Kwa Wan | (+852) 9841 4827
Moon Street is all about aesthetics, but Apt. Coffee stands out the most with its white walls and bamboo shoots. That’s right, you better get that bamboo from the outdoor area in the picture! The café is put together by a young couple, with the lady in charge of the coffee and the gentleman handling the sweets and savouries. Abiding by their philosophy of being “a personal tailor” for their customers, this café allows customers to create and customise their own coffees. From coffee beans and flavour to milk foam and temperature, design the perfect coffee for yourself. Their toasts are also customisable, as they provide a range of toppings and sauces to choose from.
Apt. Coffee, Shop A&B, G/F, 12 Moon Street, Wan Chai | (+852) 3619 4393
Botanists will love this secret garden-style café. Sitting at the back of a flower shop on Prince Edward’s bustling Flower Market Road, Café Hay Fever offers an oasis from the teeming streets of Hong Kong. For Instagrammers, the venue offers an endless supply of potted plants, stunning bouquets, and garden décor to bless your socials with. Café Hay Fever’s coffee menu is concise and most tables order the slow-drip ice coffees and organic fair trade tea infusions too.
Feeling peckish? We hear the lemon cheesecake is the real MVP, but if you can’t make your way over to Kowloon side, there is also a Causeway Bay outlet inside the massive bookstore Eslite, complete with colourful flowers and greenery to whisk you away to a calmer place. Naturally, aesthetic-driven patrons with severe pollen allergies might want to look towards a different coffee shop on our list...
This new addition to Mong Kok sits right on top of a mobile phone store and offers much-needed respite from the madness of MK streets. Hands-On Coffee is photogenic from every angle. Whip out your camera for the cafe’s centrepiece round bar while watching the baristas pour a strong one. Coffee tempers line portions of the wall and ceiling, while the rest of the seating area is drenched in warm lighting and shades of retro pink, turquoise, and green. The menu here offers a wide selection of pasta, sandwiches, and desserts, but the venue takes its coffee very seriously. Let the baristas walk you through the entire brewing process as you choose from Indonesian, Costa Rica, and Ethiopian beans, as well as various brewing methods like Aeropress and hand drip.
Hands-On Coffee, 3/F, China Mobile Flagship Store, 1L–1M Sai Yeung Choi Street South, Mong Kok | (+852) 2622 2147
As their name suggests, Coffee Matters is all about taking customers on an elevated coffee journey in the historic district of Sham Shui Po. If the beauty of old Hong Kong-style tenement buildings speaks to you, then you’ll dig the green-and-white-tiled floors, wooden bar stools, and grey colour palette—a minimalist combination that makes you want to dress up for a splash of colour and get snap-happy with your beverage. A seat by the entrance and full-length windows will get you the best lighting if you are unable to score the coveted table just by the café’s sliver of a patio. In terms of coffee, Coffee Matters is known for their ice drip coffees, hazelnut lattes, and excellent flat whites—our boxes are all ticked.
Coffee Matters, G/F, 170 Ki Lung Street, Sham Shui Po | (+852) 3584 7866
Just off of a staircase full of antique stores in Sheung Wan is the very quaint Halfway Coffee. This café merges East and West with all drinks being served in vintage porcelain Chinese teacups, scoured from places like Temple Street Night Market. See them lined up atop the bespoke espresso machine and let the barista know which cup you would like your drink served in. Also, make sure to keep an eye out for the cash register—a traditional counter-weight, just like what you’d see back in the day at a wet market.
Halfway Coffee makes a mean latte—rich, smooth, and creamy, the coffees here always hit the spot and come with some of the best latte art we’ve seen in the city. It’s a super popular spot during lunchtime and space is limited in this small café, but don’t fret, as Halfway Coffee has just opened a new location nearby on Tung Street with plenty of seating and opportunity to photograph your lunch hour away. If you’re looking for the most aesthetic location of them all, hop over to Soy Street in Mong Kok for their most recent opening.
Bunches of dried flowers and potted plants make up most of the elaborate design at Café Zi, not to mention branches from their indoor tree that hangs over the entrance of the café. With thin bar stools lined up against the window, it’s a great spot to show off those fabulous long legs or get your friend to work the camera angles. The chalkboards and ready-available note pads up for grabs on the counter also signal that it is time to bring out your inner artist and draw a doodle for the shop. The woven baskets, wooden tables, and stools will remind you of mini bookshop cafés hidden in Taipei alleyways, where you can spend the day reading, drinking, or taking pictures!
Café Zi, G/F, 8 Hill Road, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 2778 1629
Time to get away from the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong’s city life! Go on a hunt for that little bit of Melbourne tucked away in the heart of Sai Kung. The couple behind Little Cove Espresso hired Studio Adjective to design the café, using fine, wavy details on the walls to bring a bit of the ocean inside their stylish and minimalistic sanctuary. There’s just something about perfectly-lined wooden patterns on tables and chairs that make you want to slowly melt onto the ever-so-smooth surface. If it is not too sunny, make sure to grab a seat on the deck outside to thoroughly enjoy the Sai Kung outdoors—and snap a gorgeous pic.
Little Cove Espresso, Shop 1–2, G/F, Siu Wai House, Waterfront Plaza, Sai Kung | (+852) 9572 8560
One does not simply walk past Winstons Coffee without taking a photo of its shopfront. Both its Sai Ying Pun and Kennedy Town locations feature an old-school cinema sign bearing the café’s name and a sneaky catchphrase. It’s so eye-catching that there’s always someone standing across the road taking photos of it. The sleek interior and black-and-white patterned floors are favourite backdrops for Instagrammers after that 10/10 shot. Winstons is more than just a pretty face, however, as this Aussie-style café serves some of the very best piccolos, flat whites, and espresso martinis in town. Strong, dark, and slightly bitter, these coffees are best enjoyed with a side of biscotti, croissants, and pies.
And finally, for a coffee option that sweeps you up in the tranquil arms of New Territories, there’s Kaffee House in Lo Tsz Tin Tsuen, a village in the suburbs of Tai Po, and you’ll have to venture deep into the maze of residential houses to find it, too. Converted from a traditional rural house, you can find a photogenic spot almost anywhere, from the sunlit patio to the stool seats by the window and the wooden swing hanging by the door. Cakes, pastries, and herbal teas are on the menu as well for an afternoon pick-me-up after your adventure, and their most popular sweet treat is the Baked Japan Apple Cake ($70). We’re quite partial to the Italy Lemon Cheesecake ($70), a tart slice of heaven.
Kaffee House, 24 Lo Tsz Tin Tsuen, Tai Po | (+852) 2330 0233