Header image courtesy of 角落 Corner Café (via Facebook)
Most people say that the world is obsessed with Australian coffee culture, but we’d say that’s just because they have not yet set foot in one of Hong Kong’s outstanding cafés. Small as the city as may be, our neighbourhoods are brimming with boutique coffee shops, with new openings popping up across Hong Kong every week. Join us as we follow the irresistible waft of freshly ground coffee beans to the latest café openings in Hong Kong.
Blink and you’ll miss it—this eclectic little café is hidden down a slight alleyway in Sheung Wan, a perfect gem for those on the hunt for a quiet place to while away the afternoon. Nacasa Café & Bar takes its décor inspiration from the mood-lit retreats of Morocco and beyond, replete with hanging mosaic lamps, patterned tapestries, and string lights, creating an atmosphere that’s refreshing to behold (after the barrage of Scandi minimalist or Japanese zen interiors of your usual Hong Kong cafés).
Its food offerings, however, are distinctly Western, with all-day brunch dishes, sourdough toasts, burgers, pasta, and pizzas dominating the menu. Popular options include the spaghetti alla carbonara ($108) and the all-day breakfast ($148) with sausage, barbecued pulled pork, hash brown, scrambled eggs, grilled tomato, and sourdough toast. Lunch sets, served with tea or coffee, are available as well, featuring dishes like the Wagyu beef burger with fries ($128) and gnocchi Wagyu Bolognese ($128). Pair it off with a caramel caffè latte (starting from $42), a rose caffè latte (starting from $42), or even an indulgent mint chocolate smoothie ($55) to complete the experience.
Seats by the front door and in the loft closest to the windows are in high demand (for Instagram purposes, of course) but you can call ahead or message Nacasa Café & Bar on Instagram to make a reservation.
Nacasa Café & Bar, G/F, 5 Wa Lane, Sheung Wan, Sheung Wan | (+852) 6287 8880
When one coffee shop closes, another one takes its place. As longtime coffee drinkers around the Sheung Wan neighbourhood, it was a sombre day when we heard that Why 50 had brewed its last, but that hole in our hearts, now in much need of caffeine, was soon filled with the news of the opening of Brewed. With renewed vigour, Brewed swooped in with clean aesthetics, a muted colour palette that reminds us of a well-made cappuccino, and the kind of soft, wooden interiors we are more than familiar with when it comes to Hong Kong coffee shops.
Expect to find your usual coffee favourites here for an early-morning or post-lunch pick-me-up, but if you’re in the mood for something special, go with the rich dark chocolate (starting from $45) and the homemade strawberry slush ($49), a seasonal special made with strawberry syrup that’s been brewed in-house for over 12 hours. Breakfast, brunch, and lunch are served as well and the menu is thoughtfully curated—take your pick from mouth-watering options like the duo eggs Benedict ($128), the tiger prawn tagliatelle with red prawn sauce ($198), the royal English muffin cheeseburger ($128) with Wagyu and black truffle sauce, and the French brioche toast with marshmallow ($68), amongst others.
Brewed, Shop E, G/F, Fu Tai Commercial Building, 27 Hillier Street, Sheung Wan | (+852) 6135 8882
If you’re looking for a café that doubles as an Instagrammable backdrop for your next post, Corner Café has it all: boho-chic accessories, extravagant floral décor, mood lighting, and neon signage that will fill your camera roll with joy. And the best part? You’ll never guess the unlikely location of this coffee shop—it is, in fact, an upstairs café in the heart of Lan Kwai Fong, of all places!
Fortunately, Corner Café isn’t all looks—it’s got a delightful food and drinks menu, too. Pairing well with its ethereal ambience, expect to find drinks like Earl Grey blue flower tea (starting from $48) and rose herbal fruit tea (starting from $48). From the all-day food menu (with lunch deals available between 12 pm and 2 pm), try the black garlic spaghetti aglio e olio with pan-seared scallops ($128) or the vegan penne alla Bolognese ($98). Corner Café even offers a vegetarian all-day breakfast ($138) and toast dishes like grilled mushroom on rye with avocado paste ($118). Who will eat first—you or your camera?
Corner Café, 2/F, Butterfly on LKF, 23 D’Aguilar Street, Lan Kwai Fong, Central | (+852) 2382 4899
This gorgeous little neighbourhood coffee shop opened in Tai Hang just after the new year and it’s already drawing crowds of café hoppers. While we suspect that Heyday Café’s immediate popularity is due to its modern, minimalistic shopfront, it’s worth crediting the strong brews—and the outstanding latte art in particular—as well. Featuring some of the more original designs we have seen so far, we would suggest to let the camera eat first before you start sipping away. Swing by for a latte ($40)—Heyday Café is doing takeaway orders only during its soft-opening phase—and bring your pooch, as the shop is pet-friendly.
Heyday Café, 5 Shepherd Street, Tai Hang
Perched on a street corner in Tsuen Wan is Bench Café, adding to the rapidly flourishing coffee shop scene in this residential New Territories community. Blending in with the surrounding mechanics’ garages and repair workshops with its austere, concrete façade, Bench Café offers a row of counter seats along its large, street-facing windows for optimal mid-day people-watching while sipping on coffees and teas.
While still in its soft-opening phase, the signature dishes here include a few sweets and savouries, such as the apple cinnamon French toast ($58) and Italian herb chicken on toast ($88), which go best with a classic cappuccino ($42) or a bubbly espresso tonic ($52) for a quick meal.
Bench Café, G/F, 17 Fu Yung Street, Tsuen Wan
After a successful pop-up stint at Form Society, Alive Food Co. has finally opened its hotly anticipated café, also in the Sham Shui Po neighbourhood. Moving just a stone’s throw away from crowded Tai Nan Street to settle on what is popularly known as Bead Street, Alive Eatery is taking their popular open-faced sourdough toasts to the next level with a Mediterranean-inspired menu.
Come for breakfast or brunch and sink your teeth into their poached egg, guacamole, sumac & pomegranate sourdough toast ($70) and avocado & tomato salsa on sourdough toast ($70), but be sure to save space for sides and dessert—there’s a warm burrata ($75) with tomato sauce and rocket and almond pesto calling your name, as well as a caramelised soft bread pudding for your dining pleasure. While coffee might be your regular go-to, we would recommend trying the house-brewed kombucha ($58) instead.
Alive Eatery, G/F, 131 Yu Chau Street, Sham Shui Po
Shhh Café & Studio in Tsim Sha Tsui has closed, moved slightly up north, and re-opened in Prince Edward as Await Café & Studio, just in time for the new year. While we’ll miss the lush views of Kowloon Park from the coffee shop’s eleventh-floor location, we’re excited to see that this beloved upstairs café will live on with a new and improved food and drinks menu, as well as its regular candle-making and coffee-making workshops. We only hope that their delectable Basque burnt cheesecake will make a comeback as well…
Await Café & Studio, G/F, 159A Sai Yeung Choi Street North, Prince Edward | (+852) 5566 3078
From the outside, Numerous Cups is barely more than a sliver of a shopfront, packed in tightly between its unassuming neighbours, giving off vibes that remind us more of a modern industrial-chic bar rather than a coffee shop—though you can hardly miss the large neon sign proclaiming “Coffee” in blazing red lights. Once inside, the powerful aromas of fresh brews will leave no doubts. Using responsibly sourced beans roasted by Adelaide’s Elementary Coffee, Numerous Cups makes for the perfect grab-and-go spot if you live in North Point or are passing through the neighbourhood. Whether you’re in the mood for a nutty flat white (starting from $40) or a matcha latte (starting from $50), Numerous Cups’ comprehensive coffee menu covers all of the essentials.
There’s not much of a food menu to speak of, but they do offer the signature rainbow roll ($55), a beautiful sweet treat made with Japanese eggs and New Zealand cream, topped with edible flowers. You’ll have to come early though if you would like to have the dessert for dine-in, as there are only four seats available in this minute coffee shop.
Numerous Cups, Shop 4, G/F, Kar Wan Building, 10–16 Yuet Yuen Street, North Point | (+852) 2567 2829