Header image courtesy of Andrew Milligan Sumo (Wikimedia Commons)
Originally published by Ngai Yeung. Last updated by Beverly Ngai and Malin Angell.
Sandwiched between Prince Edward, Nam Cheong, Olympic, and Mong Kok all at once is this antiquated gem of a neighbourhood. Although the area may be small compared to its next-door neighbours, don’t underestimate the number of good eats and activities that can be found here. Whether you’re here to appreciate the historical buildings or go restaurant-hopping, here’s your neighbourhood guide to all Tai Kok Tsui has to offer.
Perhaps the most distinguishing feature of the quiet neighbourhood is Olympian City, the retail hotspot of the region. With nearly 300 shops, the sprawling shopping arcade has close to every type of brand and restaurant that you could bring to mind. Attached to the Olympic MTR station, the mall is easily accessible and can double as a gateway to more inner parts of Tai Kok Tsui, though be prepared to spend a full day just at this one-stop-shop!
Olympian City, 18 Hoi Ting Road, Mong Kok | (+852) 2740 4108
It’s not hard to see why Tai Kok Tsui’s Municipal Services Building is a favourite congregating place for locals. The multi-purpose destination contains an impressive array of facilities, from the wet market on the ground floor to the library on the third floor and even a neat indoor pool on the fourth floor. For the athletically inclined, the sports centre includes two indoor climbing walls. After the workout, head down to the cooked food centre for some bargain local fare, or head out to explore the many restaurants in the area.
Tai Kok Tsui Municipal Services Building, 63 Fuk Tsun Street, Tai Kok Tsui | (+852) 2393 1084
Around half of Tai Kok Tsui didn’t exist before, as it’s all built on reclaimed land. Without it, there wouldn’t be a breezy promenade in the neighbourhood today. Take a break and stroll along the serene promenade for some new views of Kowloon’s landmark International Commerce Centre, with a part of the Victoria Harbour visible in the distance. When you’re tired, relax by the sea or take a nap in one of the small gardens that dot the shore.
Hoi Fai Road Promenade, Hoi Fai Road, Tai Kok Tsui
Looking for an out-of-the-ordinary hobby to dive into? Consider trying your hand at glass blowing and transform molten glass into stunning pieces of art. Tucked away in an unassuming industrial building, Some Thingsss is an independent studio dedicated to the underrated craft of glass blowing. Apart from selling their own products, they also host regular workshops teaching you how to create all sorts of unique glass-blown objects, including floral ornaments, candle holders, and jewellery-making beads—just to name a few.
Some Thingsss, Wing Gar Factory Building, Room B, 4/F, 87 Larch Street, Tai Kok Tsui
Fire up your endorphins and get sculpted at this airy, brightly lit fitness centre! Sculpt Hub Studio offers a dynamic range of classes across the categories of full-body fitness, yoga, and Pilates, catering to individuals of different skill levels and with varying interests. Sign up for their signature reformer Pilates class to improve your strength and flexibility, or try out their street jazz or aerial yoga class for a fun and different way to get your sweat on!
All classes are kept small, with no more than eight attendees per session to ensure that each student gets the attention and coaching they deserve. For those who need a more customised plan, private training is also available.
Sculpt Hub Studio, Evernew Commercial Centre, Flat B, 4/F, Pine Street, Tai Kok Tsui
Nab a counter seat in this sleek artisanal coffee shop and watch the baristas skillfully craft your cup of caffeine. With multiple major accolades under their belts, including the Hong Kong Brewers Cup Champion and World Cup Taster Champion, the folks at Craft Coffee Roaster set a high benchmark for quality brews, but have managed to keep prices reasonable. Craft Coffee Roaster offers a thoughtfully curated range of single-origin coffees from Bolivia, Colombia, Brazil, and beyond, as well as some house-blend espressos—all of which are roasted locally in Hong Kong. Alongside drinks, a scrumptious selection of sandwiches, toasts, and cakes also star on the menu!
Craft Coffee Roaster, 29 Tai Kok Tsui Road, Tai Kok Tsui | (+852) 5109 6770
Lard noodles (豬油渣麵) may not sound appetising, but don’t judge until you’ve had some! Nostalgic Hongkongers flock to Ying Kee Noodle for a decadent and filling bowl of their fragrant lard noodles. Chewy rectangular noodles are topped with generous helpings of mushrooms, crunchy bits of lard, and melt-in-your-mouth pork belly before being submerged into a bowl of clear pork bone soup. Ying Kee Noodle is so well-known for this signature dish that it doesn’t even have a menu, as lard noodles are all that customers come for, but don’t fret; the dish is highly customisable with many add-on options.
Ying Kee Noodle, 4 Lime Street, Tai Kok Tsui | (+852) 2390 7397
If you’re starving but in a hurry, Chef de Singapore is your place to go. Have a plate of their robust chef-recommended eight-ounce pork chop with rice; the set comes with Singaporean curry, and the satisfying crunch of the thick-cut pork chop will not disappoint. Also order their Malaysian bak kut teh with rice for something a little unusual, but if the rich, medicinal broth is not to your taste, try the iced teh c peng, a charming three-layered concoction made from coconut sugar, evaporated milk, and tea.
Chef de Singapore, 57 Tai Tsun Street, Tai Kok Tsui | (+852) 3590 3326
Before you come to this Guangdong restaurant, you must order the signature dish, the National Treasure duck, in advance. The crispy duck is stuffed with different kinds of beans and dried scallop, then slow-cooked for four hours. To go along with the meal, take a sip from a pot of almond pig lung soup. Don’t be put off by the ingredient—it’s said to be nutritious and soothing in Chinese medicinal terms! What’s more, the silky smooth texture will amaze you. Remember to bring family or friends along to share the large portions!
Joyful Peace Restaurant, 10–12 Li Tak Street, Tai Kok Tsui | (+852) 5199 3895
If you’re craving something sweet, then you can’t miss out on the OG purveyors of cinnamon rolls, Cinnabon. The popular American brand opened its first Hong Kong outpost in Tai Kok Tsui and has been doling out piping hot buns ever since. Must-tries include the classic cinnamon rolls, which are made with trademarked Makara cinnamon from West Sumatra and topped with their signature frosting.
Cinnabon, G06, Olympian City 2, 18 Hoi Ting Road, Tai Kok Tsui
Maybe you didn’t expect to find a hip burger place in the middle of Tai Kok Tsui, but Burgerman is, in fact, a minor local icon in the area, in part because it has a little something for everyone. Ravenous passers-by will delight in the loaded double-decker trucker burger, while those with finer tastes may want to try the crispy foie gras Wagyu burger. Customers can also choose burgers based on beef patties made from the likes of Hidagyu, Wagyu, or Kobe beef, while those with bolder tastes may want to sample the tantalising Danish blue cheese burger. Don’t pass up the opportunity to chow down!
Burgerman, Shop C, 95–97 Ivy Street, Tai Kok Tsui | (+852) 2331 3973
Though it’s not exclusive to Tai Kok Tsui, we just can’t not mention “the world’s cheapest Michelin-star restaurant” when it’s right here in the neighbourhood! Tim Ho Wan’s Tai Kok Tsui branch was awarded its Michelin star in 2015—queues outside the restaurant have since become a daily phenomenon. We would highly recommend the fluffy puff pastry barbeque pork buns with their signature pineapple bun exterior.
Tim Ho Wan, Shop 72, Olympian City 2, 18 Hoi Ting Road, Tai Kok Tsui | (+852) 2332 2896
A little slice of peace in a bustling neighbourhood, this Japanese-style café is a haven for those who like to take things slow. Replete with hipster vibes, the books here are available for loan while waiting to be seated. The inspired choices of naked concrete and wooden chairs are strangely reminiscent of a local secondary school assembly hall, complementing the welcoming vibes and light, comforting meal sets.
For lunch, choose from a selection of small plates that include a main, two onigiri, and two sides. A range of hand-pour coffees is also available, though the fragrant honey lemon coffee soda and white chocolate coffee are special flavours worth trying.
Cafe Wander (浮生), 8 Anchor Street, Tai Kok Tsui | (+852) 5445 6004
This is the perfect place for music and food lovers alike, offering the best of both worlds as a cosy environment during the day and a lively and trendy environment during the night. Lost Stars is not only a restaurant serving up modern Western cuisine, but it is also a concert hall with high quality speakers and music equipment.
Local artists are often invited to perform during dinner service, creating a romantic and intimate atmosphere in the rustic restaurant, as well as showcasing local talent. Lost Star’s dinner menu includes classics like burgers, beef Wellington, and steak. They also have an extensive set brunch featuring dishes like eggs Benedict and all-day breakfast, as well as set lunches including risotto and fish dishes, which will cover anyone’s cravings.
The Lost Stars Livehouse Bar and Eatery, Shop 506, G/F, Phase 1, Square Mile, 11 Li Tak Street, Tai Kok Tsui
In Hong Kong, you know the restaurant is good when there is a queue outside. With a constant line of people waiting outside to get a table or order takeaway, Nage Taiwanese Cuisine is sure to impress. The signature deep-fried pork chop is what people are waiting for, and here’s why—the pork chop is huge, crispy, and you can choose to add either seaweed, chilli, or salt to make it even better. Other popular items include deep-fried chicken and fish, both served with rice and side dishes including veggies and glass noodles. It is important to mention their extensive menu of Taiwanese teas, which you can add to your meal, including classics like bubble milk tea and winter melon tea.
Nage Taiwanese Cuisine, Shop 8A, G/F, 116–118 Ivy Street, Tai Kok Tsui
In the centre of Tai Kok Tsui is Sinsa-Dong Pocha. The restaurant stands out from the crowd with its loud music and colourful, unique interior decorated with neon lights, plastic curtains, colourful stools, and Korean signage on the walls. They are famous for their sharing dishes like Korean fried chicken, spicy cheese rice cakes with chicken, and the classic army stew. Their extensive list of snacks and mains will make you want to stay all night to eat!
Try their special kimchi pancake, spicy cold noodles, or crispy fried rice cakes for the ultimate Korean feast. To top it all off, order one of their special drinks, the strawberry milk or the cinnamon latte, both popular classics in Korea. End the meal with a shaved ice.
Sinsa-Dong Pocha, G/F, 10 Tai Ching Street, Tai Kok Tsui
This famous Korean BBQ chain serves up classic Korean dishes including steamed egg, kimchi stew, spicy cold buckwheat noodles, and more. However, they are most famous for their BBQs meats, and the beef ribs steal the show. Classic side dishes come with the meat and staff will cook everything in front of you for the ultimate authentic KBBQ experience. The Tai Kok Tsui branch has two walls that opens outwards, bringing in the lively neighbourhood. Together with a rustic interior, you will find yourself transported to Korea as you dine.
Jeonpo Meat Shop, G/F, Tai Wah Building, Cosmopolitan Estate, 65–67 Kok Cheung Street, Tai Kok Tsui