Header image courtesy of @jason_x.j (Instagram)
All the way at the western end of the MTR Island line, Kennedy Town has followed fast on the heels of its neighbour Sai Ying Pun in gentrifying. This has obviously meant an upsurge in coffee shops and restaurants, but the district—not quite as westernised as, say, SYP’s High Street—nevertheless retains much of its local charm, with wholesale markets and local eateries still aplenty. Here are our recommendations for what will definitely become your favourite places to dine, drink, and explore in K-Town.
This is a cosy board games café tucked into a little alley across the road from Belcher Bay Park. Aside from a huge variety of games (Catan lovers unite; they’ve got all the extension packs), the café also serves small bites like nachos, mini pizzas, and sandos, as well as a surprisingly decent selection of drinks. The cover charge during peak hours (Fridays, weekends, and holidays) is $90 per person for the first two hours, then $20 for each additional hour, or $80 for unlimited gameplay on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Both price brackets even come inclusive of $40 to claim towards food and drink. Catch you there!
Wheat and Wood, Shop 6, G/F, Brilliant Court, 28 Praya, Kennedy Town | (+852) 2399 0433
You’ve already seen it plastered all over social media, but going there in person will still hammer home the point that Hong Kong offers some beautiful views. You’ll be able to take some gorgeous photos, but be prepared to wait in line, especially during sunset.
Sai Wan Swimming Shed, Victoria Road, Kennedy Town
This stand-out, modern-looking building by the waterfront houses K-Town’s public swimming pools. The indoor pool and jacuzzi is heated so you can still get your laps in come wintertime, and the outdoor pool has amazing views of the harbour from Hong Kong’s west side. They’ve even designed it so the side facing the water is all glass, so swimmers can gaze out directly from the pool. If you want infinity pool vibes on a budget, this swimming centre is it!
Kennedy Town Swimming Pool, 2 Sai Cheung Street North, Kennedy Town | (+852) 2817 7973
This temple is interesting because it is the only temple in Hong Kong dedicated solely to Lo Pan, the patron deity of Chinese builders and contractors. Apart from its unusual jagged roof, Lo Pan Temple is also famous for having the largest number of murals among Hong Kong Island’s temples. Every year on the thirteenth day of the sixth lunar month, the birthday of Lo Pan is celebrated, and lots of local builders participate in the pilgrimage up the 200 steps from Belcher’s Street, and meals are distributed at the temple.
Lo Pan Temple, 15 Ching Lin Terrace, Kennedy Town | (+852) 2802 2880
One of our favourite zero-waste stores, this bright minimalist shop with floor-to-ceiling windows stocks a massive array of bulk-buy food, organic pantry staples, and plastic-free household, beauty, and lifestyle items.
We love rummaging around in this shop, daydreaming about having a minimalist, zero-waste life, helped along by a home stocked with products from SLOWOOD. If you’re looking to get started with a zero-waste or plastic-free lifestyle, start here! They will offer paper packaging, but bring your own containers to enjoy a five percent discount!
SLOWOOD, G/F, The Hudson, 11 Davis Street, Sai Wan
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This old-school brand used to be based in Wanchai, but moved to its new home in K-town a couple of years ago. Visit this no-frills shop for all your coconut-related needs, whether they be fresh coconuts, grated coconuts, fresh coconut milk, or even fresh coconut meat. They also stock plenty of spices, sold by the jars or in smaller packets, for very reasonable spices. We think these pack much more of a punch than the mass-produced stuff on supermarket shelves.
Shing Fat Coconut & Spices, 48–49 Praya, Kennedy Town | (+852) 2572 7725
Inspired by New York’s many pizza parlours, Alvy’s is a charming pizzeria that incorporates local flavours into their well-curated menu. Their sourdough pizzas are baked in-house in their red-brick oven that’s named “The Big Red Bitch.”
A must-try is their Bak Gwei pizza ($138) that’s slathered in Gruyère Béchamel sauce that topped with char siu, mozzarella, and geung yong 薑蓉 (a mouth-watering mix of scallions and grated ginger in oil, usually served with chicken). Also not to be missed is their Yu Kwen Yick Fried Chicken ($96), made with Hong Kong’s favourite local chilli sauce.
Alvy’s, 8 Holland Street, Kennedy Town | (+852) 2312 2996
This restaurant is headed by Mexican native chef Esdras Ochoa—who was featured on the Netflix cooking show ‘The Final Table’—so you know you’re in for some authentic grub. These guys have the best guac around, making it directly at your table. We also love their tacos, especially the Al Pastor ($48), the Baja Fish ($58), and the Lover’s Beach Taco ($158). Go on Taco Tuesdays, when almost all of their taco options are half-priced!
11 Westside, 1/F, The Hudson, 11 Davis Street, Kennedy Town | (+852) 9300 8068 (WhatsApp message only)
This lively Lebanese diner brings a slice of the Middle East to Hong Kong, with dishes inspired by the founder’s mother’s authentic recipes. Expect delights such as Haloumi Fondue with Fig Jam & Brioche Mezze ($138), the Traditional Falafal with Tahini ($118), and a selection of shakshukas. Don’t leave without ordering their Home-made Baklava with Halva ($68).
Mama Malouf, 93 Catchick Street, Kennedy Town | (+852) 2817 3828
With its over-the-top Chinese exterior, Twelve Flavours is pretty impossible to miss. Fans of chilli and spicy food will need to pay them a visit and try their signature dry hot pots, where you can choose your meat and vegetable ingredients to be stir-fried with numbing Sichuan peppers and other spices. We’d recommend adding Marbled Beef or Pork Belly (both $48), Fish Tofu ($48), Quail Eggs ($38), and String Beans ($22) to the Hot and Spicy ($38) dry hot pot base.
Twelve Flavours, 10–14 Sands Street, Kennedy Town | (+852) 6061 6514
This local institution has been around for approximately six decades now, and is still going strong with a loyal group of regulars. Famous for its unusual opening hours of 3am to 4pm, Sun Hing is the perfect place for late-night snacks. Their dim sum is still made by hand everyday, a rarity in these days of speedy mass production, which explains why it’s still so well-loved. Expect to have to queue!
Sun Hing Restaurant, Shop C, G/F, 8 Smithfield Road, Kennedy Town | (+852) 2816 0616
This family-run Egyptian restaurant serves great food at reasonable prices. Chef Mohsen Gaber Ibrahim comes from a family of chefs, and has worked in prestigious hotels in Giza before bringing his thoughtfully prepared creations to Hong Kong. His wife Zinab makes their couscous from scratch with a family recipe, a painstaking process that requires several hours for each batch. Start with the Babaganough ($56) and the Aziza Falafel ($59), then the Fish Tagine ($120), before rounding it all off with the Special Kounafa dessert ($75).
AZIZA, G/F, 28 Hau Wo Street, Kennedy Town | (+852) 3462 2844
Drop by this contemporary café bistro for a great pick-me-up coffee, or some western dishes and Belgian delights. They serve fantastic all-day brunches which all come with their signature savoury Liege waffles. Go for the Hitchhike Moo ($92) or the All the Best ($118), or if you’ve got more of a sweet tooth, try the Granny Smith ($75) sweet liege waffle instead.
Waffling Beans, G/F, New Fortune House, 4–8 North Street, Kennedy Town | (+852) 2855 8890
Aussies missing a taste of home will appreciate CATCH’s Melbourne-style brekkies. Their Big Bad Ben ($158) and KHQ ($138) are our top picks, as well as the Fried Artichoke Salad ($98). This is basically just simple, honest food with good vibes all around—great for a lazy weekend. Their alfresco seating area is also dog-friendly!
CATCH, G/F, 95 Catchick Street, Kennedy Town | (+852) 2855 1289
These guys serve what could arguably be the best North Indian food on Hong Kong Island. They’ve got a huge array of curries, enough to make your head spin, but if you’ve already got a go-to favourite, they’ll definitely have it. We love the Chicken Madras ($88) and the Panner Butter Masala ($88), and instead of rice, we prefer mopping up the curry with a side of Chennai Roti ($36). Should this be too heavy, go for the Kashmiri Naan ($42) instead, which has dried fruits and coconut shavings inside for a bit of a lighter and tangier taste.
The Clay Oven Indian Restaurant, G/F, 27–31 Catchick Street, Kennedy Town | (+852) 2872 6900
This little cakery has no in-house seating and is only for takeaways, but is one of our go-to places for cakes. Their beautifully prepared confectionaries are the perfect accompaniment to any birthday or celebration, and are not too heavy or sweet. We love their Green Tea Red Bean Cake ($298) that’s decorated like a bamboo forest, and their Mango Napoleon ($390).
Cake Secrets, G/F, 43 Hau Wo Street, Kennedy Town | (+852) 2816 6000
Like all local cooked food centres, this is an absolutely no-frills eatery where you can choose from a wide range of Cantonese favourites and cha chaan teng classics. What sets this cooked food centre apart from others is that it houses Cheuk Kee, known as one of the “Three Treasures of Sai Wan” and very much a local favourite. Their speciality is congee, of which they have a huge variety, and a plate of cheung fun steamed rice rolls will only set you back by $15 to $17. What a steal.
Cheuk Kee, Smithfield Cooked Food Centre, 2/F, Smithfield Municipal Service Building, 12K Smithfield, Kennedy Town
Sister restaurant to Wan Chai’s Fishsteria (R.I.P.), this eatery by the westside waterfront obviously has a seafood-based menu, which diners can pair with a decent selection of wine and craft beers. Their maritime-themed interior is comfortable and relaxed, perfectly suited to the waterside location. We recommend having more people join you so you can order the Hamachi Carpaccio ($158), the Bosun Platter ($388) to share, and the Giant Macaroni Lobster ($528).
Fishsteria, New Fortune House, Shop 3, G/F, 2–5A New Praya, Kennedy Town | (+852) 2343 8111
Hong Kong diners were first introduced to this Thai restaurant when it opened back in 1999. This is one of our few Michelin-recommended Thai eateries, featured in the Bib Gourmand for three consecutive years, so you can be sure the food won’t disappoint. If you’re sceptical of Michelin ratings, know that Café Siam has also been certified by the Royal Thai Government as a provider of authentic Thai cuisine since 2013!
We will always start with the Siam Platter ($148) consisting of prawn cakes, spring rolls, satay, and more, before moving on to the fantastic Roasted Duck in Red Curry ($128). Fans of seafood should order the Thai Style Steamed Mullet in Tom Yum Soup ($268) or the Thai Grilled Seabass with Chilli-Lime Sauce ($208) to share. Wash down the heat with a Thai Singha beer ($50), but don’t forget to leave space for the Sticky Black & White Rice with Mango ($78) dessert!
Café Siam, G/F, 38 Forbes Street, Kennedy Town | (+852) 2855 0810
By day, Winstons fire up their La Marzocco coffee machine and serve up a mean cup of Joe, and by night, the lights are dimmed and the drinks become craft beer and wines. Their semi-open location on the street corner is great for people-watching. The one thing you’ll definitely need to order is of course their Espresso Martini ($100)!
Winstons Coffee, Shop 8, G/F, The Hudson, 11 Davis Street, Kennedy Town | (+852) 2697 1878
This is K-town’s one-stop location for almost all the alcoholic products you will ever need, with plenty of independent craft beers, wines, and spirits. They also offer Hong Kong’s first and only gin subscription box, so G&T lovers, y’all know where to go!
The Tramline Liquor Co., 78 Catchick Street, Kennedy Town | (+852) 6908 4844
If you really want to be beer-focused, then Little Creatures should be your first port of call. Try their signature Pale Ale (from $55), the beer that started it all, or leave it to the experts and simply go for the Beer Tasting Paddle (prices dependant on the choices) to sip your way through six of their beers in 100ml servings. Though most well-known for their array of distinctive craft beers, they also have a mean a la carte menu, among which the Chicken Schnitzel ($175) and Deep Sea Burger ($165) are our top picks.
Little Creatures, Shop 1, G/F, New Fortune House, 5A New Praya, Kennedy Town | (+852) 2833 5611
Hidden away within 11 Westside, The Wilshire is a cocktail bar concept with a very focused menu of original tipples and modern classics. Two of the walls are lined floor-to-ceiling with bottles, with a billiards table in the middle, and low tables scattered throughout. Head to the back of 11 Westside and look out for the switch you have to flip in order to gain entry!
The Wilshire Bar, 1/F, 11 Davis Street, Kennedy Town