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The Vegetarian's Guide to Local Hong Kong Restaurants

By Contributed content 19 December 2016
Whether you're a full-time vegetarian or simply enjoy a meat-free meal every now and then, we can all agree that local Hong Kong restaurant menus are some of the hardest to navigate without encountering meat in some shape or form. Thankfully our friends at Sam the Local are on hand with a taste-tested list of their favourite veggie dishes which you can find at Hong Kong style cafes, noodle shops, congee shops, and street stalls. Enjoy! To be clear and upfront, this post is not about vegetarian restaurants in Hong Kong. Rather, this is a list of recommendations on what to order at a typical local restaurant. We know it’s hard sometimes because there is so much hidden meat in everything, but we hope this list will make your life a little bit easier. In addition, this is for vegetarians who are comfortable with their food being cooked in a kitchen that also serves meat. For example, the oil used to deep fry some of these items may have also deep fried meat products. If you are really strict, we recommend you stick with fully vegetarian restaurants. Okay - now onto the food! [pro_ad_display_adzone id="73367"]

Hong Kong Style Cafes

Egg Sandwich 蛋治

vegetarian food local hong kong restaurant egg sandwich Simple yet delicious - scrambled eggs between two slices of bread. You can also ask for the bread to be toasted for an additional fee of $1 to $3.

Hong Kong Style French Toast 西多士

vegetarian food local hong kong restaurant french toast In this local version of French toast, you will find peanut butter sandwiched between two pieces of white bread, dipped in egg, and deep fried to perfection. You can add butter and syrup on top to taste.

Pineapple Bun with Butter 菠蘿油

vegetarian food local hong kong restaurant pineapple bun This iconic cafe staple was listed as one of Hong Kong’s intangible cultural heritages in 2014! Crispy and slightly sweet on the top, soft and fluffy on the bottom, this classic is commonly eaten with a thick slab of butter melting in the middle.

Scrambled Eggs and Tomatoes Over Rice 鮮茄炒蛋飯

vegetarian food local hong kong restaurant tomatoes eggs Saucy, sweet, and savory, this tasty dish will be sure to fill you up and leave you satisfied.

Read more! Tuck into Hong Kong's Top 7 Hot Pots

Noodle Shops

As a rule of thumb, noodle soups should be avoided because the soup base is generally a meat stock. However, you can still find veggie-friendly dishes on the menu at these local noodle shops.

Ginger and Scallion Mixed Noodles (Lo Mein) 薑蔥撈麵

vegetarian food local hong kong restaurant lo mein noodles These light egg noodles are topped with a healthy serving of ginger and scallions for flavouring. This dish will come with a side of soup - vegetarians should avoid drinking this, as chances are it will be a meat based soup.

Boiled Veggies with a side of oyster sauce 油菜

vegetarian food local hong kong restaurant boiled vegetables As a side to the noodles, add a plate of boiled veggies - the choice of which will vary with the seasons. It normally comes with oyster sauce, so if that is off limits, make sure you order without.

Read more! Check out Going Organic in Hong Kong: What You Need to Know

Street Food

Rice Rolls 齋腸粉

vegetarian food local hong kong rice rolls One of the most common street foods, rice rolls are made with ground rice and then steamed. The fully loaded version will come with soy, sesame, hoisin, and hot sauces, plus a topping of white sesame seeds.

Eggettes 雞蛋仔

vegetarian food local hong kong eggettes Made from eggs, flour, and evaporated milk, eggettes are a favourite Hong Kong snack for the both kids and adults. In addition to the standard, original flavor, they are often available in a variety of other flavours too, such chocolate chip, matcha, and taro.

Waffles 格仔餅

vegetarian food local hong kong waffles Hong Kong-style waffles are made with similar ingredients to the eggettes above, topped with butter, peanut butter, condensed milk, sugar, and then folded in half for easy consumption. Make sure you have some tissues to hand because this gets messy.

Noodles in a Bag

vegetarian food local hong kong noodles in a bag This DIY snack allows you to choose the type of noodles and a variety of toppings, which include vegetarian options such as corn, cucumbers, bean sprouts, and black fungus. They even have spinach noodles!

Read more! Visit Hong Kong's Top 10 Themed Cafes

Congee Shops

Plain Congee 白粥

vegetarian food local hong kong restaurant plain congee This is the base version of the rest of the congee dishes. It’s just boiled down white rice. Although plain and simple in taste, it will go well with the following two items!

Chinese Doughnuts 油条

vegetarian food local hong kong restaurant chinese doughnuts and congee Even though it’s dubbed as the Chinese doughnut, it is far from the doughnuts of the western world - first and foremost, because it is savory instead of sweet. In addition, they are served in pairs and people commonly use their hands to rip it apart and dip into their congee.

Soy Sauce Fried Noodles 豉油皇炒麵

vegetarian food local hong kong restaurant soy sauce fried noodles A Hong Kong classic, this dish of fried noodles includes bean sprouts, yellow onions, green onions, and sometimes carrots.

Zha Liang 炸兩

zha-leung_750x403 Zha liang is a Chinese doughnut that is wrapped in a rice roll, sliced, and topped with soy sauce. The ideal zha liang will have a soft and tender outside from the rice roll and a crispy inside from the doughnut.

Read more! Check Hong Kong's Ultimate Healthy Eating Guide or 12 Festive Things To Do in Hong Kong This Christmas.

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