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Hoi On Cafe
Photo by Freddie Rodgers

Hong Kong’s oldest restaurants

The very best golden oldies

By Time Out Hong Kong
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Hong Kong's dining scene is fast-paced and ever-changing, with new places popping up and disappearing seemingly all the time. With so much going on in our city, it can be easy to forget that the vibrant food and drink scene has existed here for decades and decades. There are plenty of restaurants in Hong Kong that have truly stood the test of time and have survived the war and numerous rounds of gentrification. While eating out might not be at the top of your list right now, it's good to know that some of Hong Kong's decades-old restaurants are still very much alive and kicking, and waiting for you to enjoy when the time's right. Here are some of the oldest remaining restaurants in our city.

RECOMMENDED: Feeling nostalgic? Take a trip down memory lane by checking out these iconic buildings.

The oldest restaurants in Hong Kong

Yuk Yip Dessert
Photo by Time Out Hong Kong

Leaf Dessert (玉葉甜品)

Restaurants Central

This slope-side eatery has been famous for its classic Chinese desserts for more than a century. Yuk Yip has remained a popular spot for some late-night meals and as a place to satisfy any sweet cravings after dinner or drinks.
Recommended dish: Green bean soup with seaweed

Photo by Time Out Hong Kong

Oi Man Sang (愛文生) Street Restaurant

Restaurants Sham Shui Po

As unfussy and unpretentious as it gets, Oi Man Sang has been a Sham Shui Po staple since 1956 – making it one of the oldest dai pai dongs in all Hong Kong. The menu's changed little over the years with the tiny resto still serving authentic local fare.
Recommended dish: Deep-fried squid with peppered salt
(Temporarily closed from April 1 to April 15)

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Photo by Time Out Hong Kong

Honolulu Coffee Shop (檀島咖啡餅店)

Restaurants Wan Chai

Many assert that this is the first proper cha chaan teng in Hong Kong. That claim may be dubious but its credentials as a local culinary institution most certainly are not up for debate, having been around since the 1940s. All the standard cha chaan teng fare here is good but it’s the coffee and egg tarts that have kept people coming back to this patch of Wan Chai for over 70 years.
Recommended dish: Egg tarts

Photo by Gaddi's

Gaddi’s, The Peninsula

Restaurants French Tsim Sha Tsui

The first restaurant in this corner of the world to serve truly exquisite European cuisine, dining at Gaddi’s has been a five-star experience for more than 60 years now. Its classically posh interior is a beautiful example of neoclassical architecture and the impeccable service has never faltered over the years. The restaurant is temporarily closed until May, 2020, but that can't stop us looking forward to indulging there.
Recommended dish: Wagyu beef sirloin baked in pastry crust
(Temporarily closed since February 2, the restaurant will resume operations on May 5, 2020)

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Hoi On Cafe
Photo by Freddie Rodgers

Hoi On Café (海安咖啡室)

Restaurants Sheung Wan

Step back in time to the 1950s at this quaint neighbourhood café. The simplistic layout, rustic furnishings and the loyal crowd perfectly personify the Hong Kong of yesteryear. A cup of the smooth and gloriously creamy milk tea is guaranteed to hit you with a wave of nostalgia as well. One of the very few authentic old-school HK diners keeping it real in this fast-moving cosmopolitan city.
Recommended dish: French toast

Photo by Time Out Hong Kong

Lin Heung Tea House (蓮香樓)

Restaurants Sheung Wan

First founded in Guangzhou in 1889, Lin Heung made the move to Hong Kong in 1926 and has been a beloved fixture in our territory ever since. The quaint tea house has maintained its roots, continuing to serve traditional dim sum from a trolley – a practice long-abandoned by most places in the city.
Recommended dishes: Quail egg or pork liver siu mai

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Photo by Time Out Hong Kong

Tai Ping Koon Restaurant (太平館餐廳)

Restaurants Jordan

A favourite among neighbourhood locals, the food at Tai Ping Koon is consistent and plentiful. The signature dishes are the roasted young pigeon, TPK dry fried rice noodles with beef, and Swiss sauce chicken wings. Tai Ping Koon is one of the oldest existing names in Chinese restaurant history, having first opened in 1860 in Guangzhou before coming to Hong Kong in 1937.
Recommended dish: Swiss sauce chicken wings

Photo by Time Out Hong Kong

Ser Wong Fun (蛇王芬)

Restaurants Central

Altogether almost 130-years-old through its various iterations, Ser Wong Fong has been an institution here for generations. The restaurant has retained a fiercely loyal following who come in their droves for the shop’s delicious snake soup which has a supposed myriad of health benefits.
Recommended dishes: Snake soup or preserved sausage

 

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The Peak Lookout
Photo by The Peak Lookout

The Peak Lookout

Restaurants Contemporary European The Peak

Perched up on The Peak, this festive hotspot provides seating in either a cabin-esque interior or in its outdoor garden. Though it may look all fancy and new, The Peak Lookout has a long history, having opened in 1947 as The Peak Café before being renovated and re-named The Peak Lookout in 2001.
Recommended dish: Spicy calamari

Hong Kong's best potato gratin – Jimmy's Kitchen
Photo by Jimmy's Kitchen

Jimmy’s Kitchen

Restaurants Central

90 years old, Jimmy’s is the definition of an institution. It's run into some troubles recently with closures and reopenings in the hope of recapturing the magic of the restaurant's early days when it served some of the best international food and regional classics in Hong Kong. Even if it isn't what it once was, it remains an important part of the city's history. Jimmy's is temporarily closed from April 13, 2020 while it changes location.
Recommended dish: Jimmy’s bangers and mash.

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