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Photograph: Ann Chiu

10 Best dai pai dongs you need to try in Hong Kong

The best of local food – DPD style!

Ann Chiu
Jenny Leung
Written by
Ann Chiu
Translated by
Jenny Leung
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Visiting a dai pai dong is a quintessential Hong Kong food experience, much like going for yum cha or snacking on cheap street eats. But ever since the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department has stopped renewing any dai pai dong licences, these open-air, no-frills eateries have been an increasingly rare sight. Luckily, grandfather laws are keeping them alive (for now), and as long as this generation is passing down their licence to the next, we’ll still be able to enjoy a slice of old Hong Kong. So, in support of good and cheap eating, we’ve compiled this list of the best of the city’s remaining dai pai dongs. 

RECOMMENDED: Want to go for an exquisite Cantonese feast? Check out Hong Kong's best Cantonese restaurants.

Hong Kong’s best dai pai dongs

  • Restaurants
  • Tsim Sha Tsui

Hidden under a flyover in Tsim Sha Tsui, this cooked food market has been around for more than 40 years. After a snazzy makeover in 2020, the spacious market is now home to nine cooked food stalls, many of which are long-established names. Try local delicacies such as Hap Heung Garden's satay beef noodles, Wah Heung Yuen's famous pork chops, Man Kee's Hainan chicken rice, and a definite must-try, Tak Fat's beef balls. 

  • Restaurants
  • Jordan

Opened in 1984, this cooked food market on Woosung Street is a foodie haven. Inside this unique barrel-shaped building, food stalls serve up typical cha chaan teng food by day, and stir-fry or seafood dishes by night. Head here in the evening and you'll find dozens of tables spilling out onto the streets from the market, filling the air with a lively atmosphere. We recommend trying Yuen Kee's Chiuchow cuisine and quality seafood such as the salt and pepper fried squid and the steamed shrimp with rice noodles and minced garlic. These go down perfectly with a cold, refreshing pint.

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  • Restaurants
  • Sham Shui Po

Along the short stretch of Yiu Tung Street sits Cheung Fat Noodles, where its traditional tin roof and green canopy give the whole place a relaxing vibe. Aside from their famous homemade fish balls and cuttlefish balls, Cheung Fat's fried fish skin, pork knuckle noodles, and soy sauce lo mein are all worth a try too.

  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Sheung Wan
  • price 1 of 4

Sing Heung Yuen is arguably Central’s most famous dai pai dong. Foodies from far and wide would line up during lunch hour for the stall’s well-known macaroni and tomato soup, which offers over 20 types of different toppings such as pork chop, beef, fried egg, chicken wings and much more.

Don't miss out on their egg and beef toasted sandwich as well as the signature butter & honey with lemon on crispy bun.

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  • Restaurants
  • Sham Shui Po

A rarity of sorts, So Kee is an old-style 'cafe' that is loved by locals for all the dai pai dong staples – from yuen yeung (a mixture of coffee and Hong Kong-style milk tea) to pork chop noodles to HK-style French toast. And just like other typical dai pai dongs in the city, the hygiene is not the greatest, but the food and neighbourhood atmosphere sure does make up for it.

  • Restaurants
  • Tai Hang

The hip neighbourhood of Tai Hang is a mishmash of narrow streets and old buildings, hip cafes and hidden boutiques. Just like the neighbourhood it’s in, Ping Kee has a casual air. Come here to find workers from the nearby car shops plus a spattering of Hong Kong hipsters ordering the stall’s best-known dish – pork ramen.

Spacious but never empty, Bing Kee also gets bonus points from us for its laid-back atmosphere and great hygiene.

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  • Restaurants
  • Central

Obviously, dessert is the name of the game here, but Yuk Yip also serves up some pretty decent noodles too, including pork knuckle, wonton, and beef brisket noodles for an affordable price. 

Must-try desserts include traditional treats like black sesame sweet soup, seaweed with green bean, sago desserts and more.

  • Restaurants
  • Central

Sing Kee represents the essence of dai pai dong street food culture. Having been around for half a century, the stall is often packed with a wonderful diversity of clientele, from desk jockeys getting off from work to bare- and tan-bellied grandpas over San Miguels. Try dishes such as salt and pepper fried squid, pork ribs, clams, carbs and many more.

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  • Restaurants
  • Central

Ball Kee is a classic wok-and-toss joint, serving up fried rice and fried noodles with various meat-veg-soy-sauce combinations. Situated on the narrow passageway of Staveley Street, the shop is usually filled more with passersby than patrons. At lunchtime, it’s popular with local businessmen who come in their suited droves for the tasty noodle dishes. 

Keung Kee (强記)
  • Restaurants
  • Sham Shui Po

Keung Kee is as authentic as they come, with local workers and neighbourhood families making up most of the clientele. Just off the bustling Apliu Street, the stall takes up half the pavement with its six tables and roaring wok. And since the tables face the kitchen, you get a clear view of the restaurant’s two middle-aged, short-shorts-wearing chefs getting to work. If that doesn’t put you off, go for the Hainan chicken, chicken’s feet, and tasty seafood dishes. 

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