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Tai Ping Shan
Photograph: TA Chillax and Mount Zero

Tai Ping Shan ranks 7th in the world’s coolest streets

Sheung Wan’s cool bohemian street gets global recognition

Tatum Ancheta
Written by
Tatum Ancheta

Time Out World’s Coolest Streets ranking is back, and our humble micro-neighbourhood Tai Ping Shan nabbed the seventh spot on the list. Annually, Time Out invites thousands of people around the globe to participate in the Time Out Index survey. This year, 20,000 city dwellers from all over the world, including Hongkongers, answered questions about specific streets they think are the coolest to visit as a local or a traveller, including fun places to explore when it comes to food and culture. The Time Out Index survey results were combined with the expertise of our local editors, and streets were chosen not only for all the cool stuff it represents but also for their pandemic-era community spirit.    

Rue Wellington, Montreal, took the top spot, followed by Gertrude Street in Melbourne. In Asia, Yongkang Street, a mellow lane in the genteel Dongmen area in Taipei, got the number four spot, while one of Bangkok’s oldest areas, Yaowarat Road, is ranked number eight. 

Last year, the quaint Starstreet Precinct neighbourhood ranked 30th on the list because of its vibrant energy and the many hidden gems this street offers. For 2022, you chose Tai Ping Shan as the coolest street in Hong Kong. The area is one of the most historical streets in the city; it became a Chinese settlement in the 19th century and was unfortunately hit by bubonic plague in 1894. Today, its tragic past is now a distant memory, but old landmarks and temples, like Pak Sing Ancestral Hall, remain and share the same addresses with swanky new shops, old and contemporary eateries, trendy cafes, and art galleries fuelled by cafe habitués and a tight-knit creative community of small independent businesses. Its unique blend of old and new and laid back yet lively atmosphere give the street its cool appeal.  

Pak Sing Ancestral Hall
Photograph: Tatum AnchetaPak Sing Ancestral Hall

From no-frills eateries to laid-back cafes and upscale dining, the street is chock full of places to visit if you’re looking for bites and drinks. Visitors can head to Yuk Kin Fast Food for an open-air dining experience and dig into classic cha chaan teng fares. For some contemporary Nordic flavours, Embla is one of the neighbourhood's latest and most exciting dining additions, offering a seasonally-driven menu and an excellent wine programme. 

Tai Ping Shan is also home to numerous coffee shops, so if you’re after a quality cuppa, you’ll find one in almost every corner. You can even bring your furry pets to join you while you fuel up on caffeine and gorge on tasty grub. Grab a seat at cafes like Hö-ah, Indigo Coffee, Soul Fresh, or Stain+ to savour freshly brewed coffee and other artisanal drinks.  

Aside from its foodie offerings, residents and visitors keep coming back for independent shops like crystal store Nelles Gemmes, cool street apparel shop Juice The Box, and Mount Zero bookstore, a hidden gem for bibliophiles. Though there are few options for boozy drinking, you can grab a beer at bar-slash-bottle shop Craftissimo or drop by at cafe and yakitori bar Mixo to sip some happy hour treats. For late-night drinks, many of Asia’s top bars are just a few steps away from the street.

Photograph: Tatum AnchetaShiba Inus Mochi, Toro, Mini, Yakult, and Yobi

This month, be sure to catch Discovery Art in Tai Ping Shan Street, a street-wide art exhibition organised by metaverse art platform TCE Hub. Select shops in the area will showcase works by local artists ranging from photography, digital art, illustrations, graffiti, and glass art. 

Want to know more about the Tai Ping Shan neighbourhood? Stroll the area and follow our guide to discover all the surprises that will make you fall in love with this cool little street. While there, expand your exploration to the entire Sheung Wan district

For other cool neighbourhoods in Hong Kong, head out for some gallery-hopping in Wong Chuk Hang, stroll around Kennedy Town or Tsim Sha Tsui promenade to soak in scenic views of Victoria Harbour, or wine and dine at the latest venue openings in Wan Chai district. 

Want to know where else made the list? Discover Time Out’s full ranking of the 33 coolest streets in the world right now.

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