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Twenty One From Eight
Photograph: Jenny LeungTwenty One From Eight

Best hidden upstairs cafes and coffee shops in Hong Kong

There’s a whole other world to explore above ground

Jenny Leung
Written by
Jenny Leung
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Hong Kong is an expensive city to live in, and for cafés and coffee shops in the city, that means they often have to take things to new heights – literally. Sitting above ground and tucked away from crowded streets, upstairs cafes provide a sanctuary for city dwellers looking to escape the noise. From trendy spots that offer seriously photogenic dishes and decor to ones that double up as vintage stores and workshop spaces, here are some of our favourite hidden upstairs cafes in Hong Kong waiting for you to explore.

RECOMMENDED: Want to treat yourself to a slap-up meal? Then check out these new menus you ought to try this month.

Hong Kong’s best upstairs cafés

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Kwun Tong
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There's something ever so mysterious yet welcoming about Kwun Tong's industrial buildings that make them the perfect nesting place for local cafes, including 90s Lazy, a laidback cafe space (in case you can't tell by its name) that knows how to keep things simple and exquisite. Western cuisine is the name of the game here, with dishes such as their Angus beef cheeseburger, signature breakfast set, and linguine alle vongole being the crowd favourites.

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Wong Chuk Hang

Located on the 15th floor of an unassuming commercial building in Wong Chuk Hang, this exotic cafe brings a piece of African culture to Hong Kong. From its hut-like bar area to the decor and furnishing, Africa Coffee & Tea (ACT) will transport you to the jungles of Africa in no time. The cafe also prides itself on serving premium single origin coffee and tea in an ethical manner. We recommend trying the Rolex (no, not the watch) – a Ugandan snack comprising a rolled-up chapati filled with scrambled egg, veggies and other delicious goodies.

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  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Causeway Bay

Situated in the heart of Causeway Bay, this small but well-loved cafe allows you to escape the bustling streets and simply unwind. Whether you want to enjoy the calming ambience of al fresco dining or catch up with your bestie over a glass of wine, the cafe’s spacious patio lets you do just that. The food here isn’t shabby either, serving up everything from rib-eye steaks and sous vide duck to all kinds of risotto, pasta, and handcrafted pizza. Make multiple trips so you can sample everything – it just makes zense. 

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Mong Kok

Whether it’s insensitive or satirical to decorate the walls with caricatures of Osama Bin Laden, Kim Jong-un, and Saddam Hussein, it’s undeniable that Loyi Faateng is unique. This shabby-chic cafe is decked out in vintage decor – we’re talking classic green-and-white floor tiles, old sewing machines, vintage cameras, and an impressive collection of nostalgic toys and gadgets. Offering a variety of Italian dishes and smooth coffee, Loyi Faateng has a casual and relaxed vibe that makes it the perfect place to rest up, eat up, and catch up with a few friends – and dictators. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Wan Chai

This little eatery is anything but 'mamaday', which literally translates to ‘so-so’ in Cantonese. Decked out in colourful decor, quirky murals and signs, wacky toys and tableware, there are surprises to be found everywhere. Even the menu is full of personality, offering an international mix of cuisine including the Just Alright Omurice with Unagi, Purple Risotto – the Taste of Hell, and the (You Might be Disappointed) Poached Egg Mentaiko Fettuccine.

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Yau Ma Tei

One step inside this joint and you might find yourself asking if this is a cafe, an art gallery, a thrift store, or a whimsical secret garden. Well, why not all of the above? Mum’s Not Home is a whimsical, bohemian-style cafe with a part of its space dedicated to a retro boutique. The shop boasts a unique curation of pieces to browse through, where you can rummage through vintage clothing, accessories, funky knick-knacks, or even old-fashioned furniture. Afterwards, reward yourself with more treats and sip on a range of floral teas, before digging into scrumptious homemade cakes. One thing to make note of, the cafe's opening hours can sometimes be quite irregular, so it's always best to check on their Instagram to see if they are open!

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  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Kwun Tong

Doubling up as an antique store and cafe, there's no other place quite like Parc. You'll find everything from dainty teacups and tableware to old typewriters and vintage furniture, all surrounded by plenty of foliage. Their food and beverages are no less exquisite, with a variety of teas, cakes, crepes, ice drip coffee, and more on offer. Parc often rent out their venue for wedding ceremonies and photo shoots too, so make sure you check their opening hours on Instagram before visiting.

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Kwun Tong

Hidden deep inside an industrial building in Kwun Tong, Scoool cafe will transport you back in time to your childhood days – think wooden school tables, chalkboards, old books, and vintage games – it has everything you need to feel like you're back in primary school. Not only does the cafe serve a wide selection of Taiwanese comfort food, but it also holds handicraft markets where you'll be able to find everything from handmade soaps to fashion items. The only thing you're missing now is your old school uniform!

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  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Ap Lei Chau
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Attached to Tree's flagship eco-friendly furniture store at Horizon Plaza, Tree Cafe is a laidback eatery offering a range of savoury bites (with vegetarian and gluten-free options available) and sweet treats, making it perfect for hungry shoppers to grab a bite after a long day of furniture shopping. Be sure to bag a seat by the window for an unobstructed sea view.

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Kwun Tong
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Twenty One From Eight is a multipurpose space combining a furniture store, a woodworking shop, and a cafe, where a Le Cordon Bleu chef whips up a small but refined selection of savoury dishes and baked treats. The seats available at the cafe section are limited and often fill up quickly, so avoid rush hours. Grab a seat by the window and dig into a scrumptious meal with a view of the surrounding neighbourhood.

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