Header image courtesy of @fromshufen (via Instagram)
Sandwiched between the bustling shopping district of Causeway Bay and the business-centric Quarry Bay is North Point. As one of Hong Kong Island’s oldest neighbourhoods, North Point is home to a number of historical monuments and decades-old mom-and-pop shops—but there are also plenty of artsy attractions, slick eateries, and Instagram photo spots to discover too. Read on for our favourite things to do, see, and eat in North Point.
Despite its punky name (and the anti-establishment connotations that come with the punk subculture), Oi! is actually a government-owned art space housed inside a Grade II historic building. Run by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, this multi-functional venue hosts exhibitions, large-scale art installations, and a variety of art-related events. Even if no specific exhibition or gallery show is on when you plan to visit, the complex itself is architecturally significant enough to warrant a nosy, in our humble opinion.
Oi!, 12 Oil Street, North Point | (+852) 2512 3000
Now that This Town Needs (formerly known as Hidden Agenda) and The Wanch have closed, the more undone, underground livehouses are becoming rarer and rarer. Thankfully for music lovers, Mom Livehouse is still alive and well in the basement of the Seven Seas Shopping Centre, and their concert calendar is as eclectic as ever, from Japanese girl bands to local shoegaze acts. Hopefully, Mom Livehouse will soon be able to entertain international indie darlings like Yuck and Japanese Breakfast once again, but for now, they’re mostly operating as a restaurant—and largely inactive on social media, so give them a call before dropping by.
Mom Livehouse, B39, B/F, Seven Seas Shopping Centre, 113–121 King’s Road, North Point | (+852) 6360 7676
Getting bored of crunches and bicep curls? Try bouldering instead for a fun workout that engages every part of your body—and can be done in groups! Gather a few of your friends and head to Verm City. At over 18,000 square feet, this is the largest climbing gym in Hong Kong by far. Beyond regular bouldering, Verm also offers top roping, sport climbing, and a customisable MoonBoard training wall, as well as a child-friendly climbing park festooned with Sanrio cartoon characters.
Verm City, 4/F, Kodak House 1, 321 Java Road, North Point | (+852) 2560 8128
Another good out-of-the-box workout in North Point? Trampolining! And this one requires considerably less baseline athleticism, which will suit couch potatoes (guilty). It’s not all jumping, though—while Ryze might be known as a trampoline park, you can also hang out in foam pits, navigate obstacle courses, or play dodgeball and basketball. There are even chill-out areas with sofas and beanbags for breaks. All ages and experience levels are welcome here, but please keep in mind that you have to ask for supervision if you want to perform flips. Safety first!
Ryze Hong Kong, 3/F, Kodak House 1, 321 Java Road, North Point | (+852) 2337 8191
This Hong Kong egg waffle (雞蛋仔; gai1 daan6 zai2) shop might have a branches across the city, but as the (very long) name indicates, it proudly hails from North Point. This tiny little streetside shop regularly draws long queues for its fresh and crispy egg waffles ($19), but it also offers other snacks such as griddled waffles ($19), beef meatballs ($9), and sticky rice ($15).
Lee Keung Kee North Point Egg Waffles, 492 King’s Road, North Point | (+852) 2590 9726
North Point might not be the first place you think of when it comes to premier rooftop bars—but tucked away on the twenty-third floor of the swish Hyatt Centric is Cruise, a modern pan-Asian restaurant and bar with an outdoor terrace that boasts stunning harbour views. If you’re a fan of crustaceans, make sure to visit Cruise on a Wednesday for its weekly crab night, where $390 will get you a mud crab cooked according to your preference—classic Singaporean chilli, sweet tamarind and chilli, or red curry and coconut—with unlimited sides. Add $108 for free-flow drinks and pop out to the terrace to enjoy an alfresco bevvy.
Cruise, 23/F, Hyatt Centric Victoria Harbour, 1 North Point Estate Lane, North Point | (+852) 3896 9898
The name of this retro Taiwanese restaurant literally translates to “90 Percent Full,” but it’s also a nod to the charming Taiwanese town beloved by tourists for its resemblance to the setting of Spirited Away (2001). Not only does Jiu Fen Full deliver on the cultural references, but it also delivers on tasty and affordable Taiwanese snacks and drinks, from dànzǎimiàn (Tainan-style pork and prawn noodles; $40) to home-style braised pork rice (starting from $30), Taiwanese fried chicken ($35) and bubble tea (starting from $20).
Jiu Fen Full, Shop 1–3, G/F, Universal Commercial House, 4 Shell Street, North Point | (+852) 3619 5049
If you’ve ever gotten mad char siu fan (叉燒飯; Cantonese roast pork rice) cravings after watching Stephen Chow’s masterful 1996 comedy, The God of Cookery—who hasn’t?—you’ll be pleased to know that you can try the original Sorrowful Rice recipe from the film’s pivotal scene, right here in North Point. The Sorrowful Rice set ($79)—which comes with soup and Chef Dai Lung’s original char siu egg rice—is a must-try, but we’re also fans of the pepper-roasted duck rice ($69).
Chop Chop, Shop 3, 18 Wang On Road, North Point | (+852) 3618 7718
Does Tung Po really need any introduction? This North Point institution singlehandedly brings diners into the Java Road Cooked Food Market with its delicious Cantonese cooking, raucous party atmosphere, and affordable prices. (Though we’re pretty sure some new Hong Kong transplants come almost exclusively to film a Boomerang of themselves cheers-ing with a bowl of beer.) If you can, try the signature roasted wind sand chicken ($290) and the salt & pepper Bombay duck fish ($130) for a tender, flaky alternative to squid.
Tung Po, 2/F, Java Road Municipal Services Building, 99 Java Road, North Point | (+852) 2880 5224
While the stalls at this wet market might not look all that different from those found in any other neighbourhood market, there is one significant draw at Chun Yeung Street—the tram tracks that run right through the thoroughfare, creating a picturesque scene similar to Thailand’s railway market. Pick up fresh fruit and veggies here, pore over sundry household items, and—when the time is right—shoot your shot.
Chun Yeung Street Wet Market, 91–103 Chun Yeung Street, North Point
While the shops at Harbour North are perfectly nice—your typical smattering of mid- to high-end Asian and Western brands with a couple of top-notch supermarkets thrown in—perhaps the best thing about this sprawling mall is its expansive outdoor area, which is frequently transformed into large-scale photogenic scenes. Tapping into Hongkongers’ love for Japan, Harbour North’s outdoor attractions have included wisteria tunnels, sakura-lined avenues, and lantern-lit food markets.
Harbour North, 1 North Point Estate Lane, North Point | (+852) 2805 6605
For over 40 years, this small basement bookstore has been peddling all manner of second-hand books, from detective novels to kung fu sagas, political tomes, graphic novels, and more. Most of the books are in Chinese, but there’s still a very good reason to visit Sam Kee—almost 20 good reasons, actually. A few years ago, the proprietor of Sam Kee took in a stray cat, which eventually turned into two, and then 10—now, the store is a cat sanctuary, with some seventeen cats prowling the space. You’ll often catch a moggie napping on a pile of books, or stalking the aisles between shelves—just remember that this is their home, not a petting zoo, and let them come to you.
Sam Kee Book, B19, B/F, King’s Centre, 193 King’s Road, North Point | (+852) 2578 5956