Hong Kong’s oldest restaurants

The very best golden oldies
Hoi On Cafe
Photo: Freddie Rodgers
By Graham Turner |
Advertising

So often Hong Kong’s dining scene puts the onus on what’s new and trending. Amid the excitement surrounding every soft opening, it’s easy to forget that eating out in Hong Kong is certainly nothing new. There’re plenty of restaurants here that have survived war, gentrification and the fickleness of customer preferences. Here are the oldest remaining restaurants in the city. By Gigi Wong and Graham Turner

RECOMMENDED: Feeling nostalgic? Why not check out these lost buildings of Hong Kong and disappearing cultural experiences.

The oldest restaurants in Hong Kong

Restaurants

Ai Wen Sheng Street Restaurant

icon-location-pin Sham Shui Po

As unfussy and unpretentious as it gets, Ai Wen Sheng 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: Salt and pepper squid

Restaurants, French

Gaddi’s, The Peninsula

icon-location-pin 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.
Recommended dish: Wagyu beef sirloin baked in pastry crust

Advertising
Restaurants

Yuk Yip Dessert (玉葉甜品)

icon-location-pin 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: Glutinous rice balls with peanuts, red bean soup

Restaurants

Honolulu Coffee Shop

icon-location-pin Wan Chai

Many assert that 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

Advertising
Hoi On Cafe
Photo: Freddie Rodgers
Restaurants

Hoi On Café

icon-location-pin 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

Restaurants

Jimmy’s Kitchen

icon-location-pin 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.
Recommended dish: Jimmy’s bangers and mash.

Advertising
Restaurants

Lin Heung Tea House

icon-location-pin 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

Restaurants

Mido Cafe

icon-location-pin Yau Ma Tei

Opened in the 1950s, Mido is one of the oldest cha chaan teng in the city and has become a popular tourist attraction and Instagrammer’s favourite – in no small part down to the fact that it’s retained its old-school décor.
Recommended dish: Baked pork chop rice

Advertising
Restaurants

Tai Ping Koon Restaurant

icon-location-pin 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

Restaurants

Ser Wong Fun

icon-location-pin 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

 

Show more

Looking for more quality local eats?

Restaurants, Chinese

The best dim sum in Hong Kong

There’s no dearth of dim sum in Hong Kong. From humble siu mai, to fluffly char siu bao and soupy xiao long bao, we pick out the best dim sum restaurants in Hong Kong.

Advertising