Header image courtesy of @f.o.v_ (via Instagram)
Most people say that the world is obsessed with Australian coffee culture, but Hong Kong comfortably holds its own with a roster of outstanding cafés. Small as the city may be, our neighbourhoods are brimming with boutique coffee shops, and new openings are popping up across Hong Kong every week. Join us as we follow the irresistible waft of freshly ground coffee beans to the latest and greatest café and coffee shop openings in Hong Kong.
Adding to Cheung Sha Wan’s collection of artisanal cafés is Dancing Kettle, a sleek new coffee shop clad in black tiles and dark woods. Still in the soft opening stage, the café is only serving drinks and light bites for now, but has already impressed café hoppers with its foam-topped shakerato ($38)—a chilled, shaken espresso drink—and chocolate-drizzled cinnamon buns. Besides chocolate milk and a few teas, their current menu consists of black and white espresso-based drinks, but hand-drip coffee is also available upon request.
Dancing Kettle, Shop 59, Manor Centre, 218 Fuk Wing Street, Cheung Sha Wan
Go with the flow at Wan Land (一浪), a new pet-friendly café in Tai Kok Tsui whose name means “One Wave” in Cantonese. Fittingly, waves feature as a motif in the café’s rustic, Taiwanese-inspired design, from the simple neon signage to the minimalistic white metalwork above the doorway.
Although the white walls and concrete floors are par for the course when it comes to trendy local cafés, Wan Land cosies things up with vintage tchotchkes, mismatched wooden and rattan furniture, and handmade ceramics. There’s plenty to like on the menus—such as the pineapple yuzu soda ($52) and chicken cutlet sandwich ($78)—but pet owners will be pleased to hear that there is a dedicated menu with treats for your furry friends.
Wan Land (一浪), 26 Li Tak Street, Tai Kok Tsui
Those who take their scones seriously—enough to debate whether the “e” is silent, and have strong opinions on whether the clotted cream or jam goes on first—must pay a visit to Loft & Scone. Opened by the same team behind popular Instagram bakery &Scone, this bright and cosy two-storey space offers baked items such as cakes, bagels, bread, and croffles (a trendy croissant-waffle hybrid) besides their titular product.
Pair a refreshing coffee tonic ($45) with a set of freshly baked scones ($68) for a delicious afternoon snack, or dig into their burrata & maple syrup croffle ($98) for something a little more filling. Beyond the requisite cappuccino, mocha, and matcha latte, the drinks menu also includes more unusual items like matcha & mandarin tonic ($55) and pandan & cold brew tonic ($50) for the intrepid café hopper.
Loft & Scone, 6 Gilman’s Bazaar, Central | (+852) 6127 5295
Trois Café has expanded from its two casual Central locations to a larger, more design-centric space in Wan Chai. A striking exterior wall painted in ruddy terracotta announces Trois’ presence on the otherwise drab stretch of road, while the warm, 1970s-influenced aesthetic continues inside with retro pastel furnishings and geometric windows that call to mind Southorn Playground, Choi Hung Estate, and ringer tees.
For a light lunch of fusion food, check out their set meals (starting from $118)—we like the pork set ($148), which includes tuna tartare, crabmeat xiaolongbao, and a roast pork mini bao. Their drinks menu includes coffees, teas, and cocktails, with signatures like Maya’s Special ($55), a matcha latte with freeze-dried strawberries.
Trois Café, Shop 2–3, Centre Point, 181–185 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai
Nestled on the slope between Wyndham Street and Mid-Levels is Barcode, a newly opened café decorated simply in black, white, and blue tones that mirror those of St Paul’s Church, the 100-year-old religious structure it faces. Inside, the cosy café offers enticing pick-me-ups, with some surprises—beetroot lattes and oolong iced black—among the espresso, hand-drip, and teas we have come to expect.
Peckish? Complement your dirty coffee ($45) with a light sandwich, canelé, or molten mocha tiramisu from Barcode’s short and sweet food menu. While Barcode has proved popular among the café-hopping crowd in the few weeks it’s been open, it’s due to unlock a whole new demographic when the bar portion—hidden behind a secret door—opens. We are not sure what the drinks menu will offer just yet, but considering that Barcode was co-founded by esteemed mixologist Gagan Gurung from Tell Camellia in Lan Kwai Fong, we reckon it will be one to watch.
Barcode, Glenealy Tower, 1–3 Glenealy, Central | (+852) 6661 3161
Otherworldly delights await at Major Tom, which packs plenty of science fiction-inspired elements into its tiny triangular space. Inspired by the David Bowie character of the same name (and 2001: A Space Odyssey), Major Tom’s colour-changing LED ceiling panels, sleek silver Faema espresso machine, and glossy white 9,000-litre water tank give the space a unique futuristic look—a standout amongst its coffee neighbours in Sham Shui Po.
Before 6 pm, Major Tom is a café, with a concise coffee menu that offers black (starting from $35), white
(starting from $40), or “special” (starting from $45) drinks made with either blended or single-origin Ethiopian beans. In the evening, however, the cocktail menu comes out; the Galaxy is a rum drink made with Kyoto grapes and sparkling oolong tea, while the Agravic Dream features gin, dry vermouth, roasted rice tea, and CBD.
Major Tom, 14 Nam Cheong Street, Sham Shui Po
Following months of silence, Kactus Koffee has closed its Sham Shui Po shop and relocated to Yau Ma Tei. In keeping with the chic South Korean vibes that made it popular, Kactus is still doing what it does best—trendy drinks and sweets served in a hyper-photogenic setting dotted with artsy prints and K-pop memorabilia.
Quench your thirst with the yuzu sparkling water ($35) or the milk foam-topped Vienna coffee ($40) if you need a bit more of a pick-me-up. As with seemingly every other new café in Hong Kong, Kactus has croffles on the menu—specifically, blueberry cream cheese- and vanilla ice cream-flavoured croffles ($60).
Kactus Koffee, 47 Man Ning Street, Yau Ma Tei
Located on one of the streets that make up Mong Kok’s famous Ladies’ Market, Grindsize sets itself apart from the tarp-covered stalls around it with a dramatic, cave-like front entrance, punctuated with frosted glass bricks. Despite its cold colour palette of greys and white and igloo-like inspiration, Grindsize proves itself to be suitably cosy with its creative menu of fusion food and pet-friendly policy.
Light and refreshing drinks like the homemade orange mandarin soda ($42) go beautifully with the typhoon-shelter lobster roll ($198), which puts a Hong Kong spin on the American summertime classic, while homemade desserts like the sesame tiramisu ($72) satisfy without being too sweet.
Grindsize, 10 Tung Choi Street, Mong Kok | (+852) 2338 6305