Hong Kong’s best cha chaan teng cafés

The best local cafés for whenever you fancy milk tea, French toast or some other treat
Star Cafe
Photo: Freddie Rodgers
By Time Out Hong Kong |
Advertising

Much like the city’s dai pai dong, cha chaan tengs are a cornerstone of Hong Kong culinary culture. Popular for their down-to-earth and affordable menus stuffed with local comfort food, not all CCTs are the same. Some might specialise in one particular dish, while others are good across the board. Read on to discover the best cha chaan tengs in Hong Kong that you absolutely have to try. By Sarah Moran

RECOMMENDED: If you’re after more local cuisine, sample Hong Kong’s top 10 pork chop rice dishes or simply the best dim sum in town.

Best cha chaan tengs in Hong Kong

Australia Dairy Company
Photo: Freddie Rodgers
Restaurants, Cafés

Australia Dairy Company

icon-location-pin Jordan

Anyone can cook eggs, but no one does it better than the Australia Dairy Company. The breakfast set consists of fluffy and moist scrambled eggs served with rich buttery thick toast, and comes with a plate of macaroni along with char siu in chicken broth. Australia Dairy Company also specialises in steamed milk pudding and custard dishes. Whatever you choose, just make sure you order fast, eat fast and leave fast as there’s almost always a long queue of people waiting, no matter what time you go.

Hoi On Cafe
Photo: Freddie Rodgers
Restaurants

Hoi On Cafe

icon-location-pin Sheung Wan

Once located near the harbour before the years of land reclamation, this stalwart neighbourhood favourite offers diners a simple menu with authentic Hong Kong dishes such as egg tarts, toasted goodies, pineapple buns and classic HK style beverages. Drool over its minced beef with scrambled egg on toast, cubed honey French toast with butter and their milk tea or classic red bean shaved ice drink. Hoi On remains one the last authentic old-school HK diners keeping it real in this fast-moving cosmopolitan city.

Advertising
Kam Wah Cafe
Photo: Freddie Rodgers
Restaurants

Kam Wah Café

icon-location-pin Prince Edward

Kam Wah Café is a regular haunt for many Kowloon residents. Its famous ‘boloyau’ pineapple bun stuffed with a thick wad of butter has crowds queuing up all day long. The contrast of the crisp, sweet, crumbly top and pillowy bread underneath paired with the cold, salty butter is like heaven in your mouth. Kam Wah also serves a superb version of Hong Kong-style French toast.

Restaurants

Lan Fong Yuen

icon-location-pin Central

Despite being a classic, Lan Fong Yuen can be easy to miss. A shack that’s half photo-op for tourists, half station for preparing food and drinks blocks the entrance to the restaurant. To enter, customers must pass through a small space around the side. Treat yourself to a cup of Lan Fong Yuen’s famous ‘silk stocking milk tea’ paired with French toast or a bun with condensed milk.

Advertising
Restaurants, Chinese

Mrs Tang Café

icon-location-pin Yuen Long

This legendary cha chaan teng sits just outside of Yuen Long town, on the Ping Shan Heritage Trail, but it’s well worth the trip. Mrs Tang’s speciality is her pineapple butter bun with tomato and egg. If a bun isn't enough to satiate your appetite, get a bowl of the delicious tomato noodle soup with chicken wings. Wash it all down with a bottle of ‘champagne’ milk tea, which comes chilled rather than diluted with ice. There are other branches in Kwun Tong and Wan Chai, run by Mrs Tang’s sons, but the original remains best.

Star Cafe
Photo: Freddie Rodgers
Restaurants

Star Cafe

icon-location-pin Tsim Sha Tsui

Located in the basement of an old residential building – sometimes referred to as Kowloon’s ‘four floors of whores’ – next to the Mira Hotel, this basement cha chaan teng can be a little difficult to locate. The retro Coca Cola posters and faded newspaper reviews that decorate the walls and the mismatching wooden tables and chairs lend Star Cafe a nostalgic vibe. Locals flock here for the refreshing tomato soup noodles with egg and luncheon meat. The place is pretty ghetto, but that’s all part of the charm.

Advertising
Swiss Cafe
Photo: Freddie Rodgers
Restaurants

Swiss Café

icon-location-pin Central

If you’re looking for some good ol’ comfort food that’s quick and filling, Swiss Café is the place to go. It offers a full cha chaan teng menu with your usual instant noodles and macaroni served with different types of toppings, a large variety of sandwiches and different rice dishes. The star attraction, though, are the Swiss wings – braised chicken wings marinated in a divine sticky, sweet soy sauce.

Hungry for more?

Advertising