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My.DEA by Zuc.cch.ero
Photograph: Courtesy My.DEA by Zuc.cch.ero

Best retro restaurants and cafes in Hong Kong

A Marty McFly guide to dining in Hong Kong

By Time Out Hong Kong
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Do you consider yourself a bit of an old soul? Find it hard to keep up with all the latest info like new restaurants, the coolest upcoming events, or even viral news? Living in a fast-paced city like Hong Kong, it can be easy to forget about the past. Perhaps that's why we're always so keen on preserving things like the city's oldest restaurants, historical buildings, and traditional crafts. If you prefer old-school objects rather than the hottest new trends, then you'll love these retro-themed cafes, bars, and restaurants in town.  By CJ Villanueva and Jenny Leung

RECOMMENDED: Throwback to the golden years at our city's best vintage shops, or take a tour around the city with the best heritage trails in Hong Kong.

Travel back in time at these retro cafes and restaurants

Bound by Hillywood
Bound by Hillywood
Photograph: @boundbyhillywood

Bound by Hillywood

Restaurants Cafés Prince Edward

Into some retro neon nostalgia? This is the place for you. An 80s themed cafe by day and a neighbourhood bar by night, Bound by Hillywood sits right on the edge of Prince Edward and Sham Shui Po. You can enjoy a beer from overseas brands like Yeatie Boys and Hitachino, or grab yourself a local craft beer by Maks or Black Kite. Ready your cameras boys and girls, because this place has all the right aesthetics for those all-important IG snaps.

Lau Haa Hotpot Restaurant
Lau Haa Hotpot Restaurant
Photograph: Courtesy Lau Haa Hotpot Restaurant

Lau Haa Hotpot Restaurant

Restaurants Hot pot Hong Kong Island

Spanning a whopping 9,000 sq ft space in the heart of Causeway Bay, Lau Haa (which literally translates to downstairs) Hotpot Restaurant gives you a glimpse of old Hong Kong. There are over 20 types of soup bases to choose from, and the menu keeps to its authenticity with a range of local, Hong Kong-style food offerings such as handmade plum and pork meatballs, fresh shrimp paste, Huadiao braised chicken, and much more. Apart from the food, the restaurant is fully decked out in vintage gear such as neon lights, old tuck shop-style furnishings, retro floor and tiling, dai pai dong tables and chairs, as well as classic tableware. You'll feel like you've stepped into a time machine back to the 70s!

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Lee Lo Mei interior
Lee Lo Mei interior
Photograph: Courtesy Lee Lo Mei

Lee Lo Mei

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars Central

Inspired by the roaring 60s of Hong Kong, Lee Lo Mei's vibrant, retro interiors see classic turquoise frames, old-school booths, and porch round bar tables under a soothing colour pallet of yellow, green, and beige. Featuring an array of innovative Cantonese dishes combined with nostalgic flavours, the à la carte menu heavily reflects on Hong Kong’s playful nature. If you and your friends are down for a more casual affair, the ground-floor bar opening out to Lyndhurst Terrace is also ideal for a round or three of pre/post-dinner drinks.

Missy Ho’s
Missy Ho’s
Photograph: Courtesy Missy Ho's

Missy Ho’s

Restaurants Fusion Kennedy Town

Relatively hidden on Forbes Street, this funky, intimate space boasts some eclectic decor - birdcages with superman toy figures inside, rustic furnishing, old photographs of Hong Kong, a wall of costume hats and wigs, and antique-looking vases. If you're into something with character, this is it.

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My.DEA by Zuc.cch.ero
My.DEA by Zuc.cch.ero
Photograph: Courtesy My.DEA by Zuc.cch.ero

My.DEA by Zuc.cch.ero

Restaurants Cafés Causeway Bay

There’s something about neon lights that just screams Blade Runner, but when you have neon lights mixed with old school Hong Kong? Well, that’s a sight to see. Perched along Yiu Wa Street behind Times Square, My.DEA is adorned with old, Hong Kong-style decor – think rusty mailbox, wet market lamps, childhood toys, arcade cabinet, and even a fridge door leading to the toilet. You'll find a variety of local beers here, along with all kinds of snacks and desserts when your stomach starts to growl. We’d gladly just hea (Canto slang for killing time) for a couple of hours here any day of the week.

Speedway Diner interior
Speedway Diner interior
Photograph: Courtesy Speedway Diner

Speedway Diner

Restaurants American Kowloon City

Craving for some American diner food with go-kart on the side? This 1950s diner-inspired restaurant will make you feel like you’re inside Pop’s Chocklit shop in the Archie Comics, complete with neon lights, arcade games like air hockey, claw machines, and a basketball machine. After you’re done chowing down on a juicy burger with, of course, a side of chocolate milkshake, head over to the 50m race track and unleash your inner Mario.

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Starbucks Duddell Street
Starbucks Duddell Street
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Wikicommons/WiNG

Starbucks (Duddell Street)

Restaurants Coffeeshops Central

This Starbucks location is the first to ever incorporate a theme in Hong Kong. From the outside, it looks like your average coffee chain, but once you enter inside, tables, seats, and booths are designed to be an exact replica of traditional bing sutt! Enjoy your usual Starbucks delicacies while feeling like you’re back in 1950s.

Tai Lung Fung
Tai Lung Fung
Photograph: Courtesy Tai Lung Fung

Tai Lung Fung

Bars and pubs Wan Chai

Tai Lung Fung hits a sweet spot when it comes to paying tribute to Hong Kong’s cultural heritage. For example, the bar’s name is derived from renowned Cantonese Opera troupe Tai Lung Fung from the 1960s, and the name is now a term/slang for the showy and extravagant. It's the perfect place to knock back a cold brewski with your friends while also enjoying a little taste of Hong Kong.

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1963 Treee
1963 Treee
Photograph: @1963 Treee

1963 Treee

Restaurants Taiwanese Wan Chai

Hidden away on the second floor of Chung Wui Mansion (you know, that pink, blue, and yellow building in the middle of Wan Chai), 1963 Treee serves up some of the authentic Taiwanese fare in town. Everything screams vintage here. Floral wallpapers, vinyl player, vintage cameras, vases, lampshades, tableware, mailboxes, and an old wooden cabinet of movable type, a traditional printing and typography technique. 1963 Treee's venue is also available for rent and has been the backdrop to many photoshoots, movies, and music videos.

Reminisce the old days:

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