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Poach-Calvin Sit16-03-2020
Photograph: Calvin Sit

Best cafes and coffee shops to visit in Kowloon

Where to find a decent cup of joe, Kowloon side

Written by
Time Out Hong Kong
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Tired of cafe-hopping on the Island side? We've got you. From hipster-baiting – but no less excellent – cafes to antique shops doubling up as coffee joints, not to mention hand-drip coffee specialists and locally-roasted coffee, there’s coffee catered for all preferences in Kowloon. Here are just some of our favourites. 

RECOMMENDED: All this coffee got your stomach rumbling? Eat your way through town at the latest food and drink events in Hong Kong, or check out our list of the best new restaurants to visit this month!

Kowloon’s best coffeeshops and cafés

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Shek Kip Mei

Hidden away inside JCCAC in Shek Kip Mei, Café Golden is a hipster heaven. You can enjoy a cuppa surrounded by an eclectic collection of antiques, vintage décor, and furnishings. The coffee selection is not too shabby either, offering customers everything from hand drip and espresso of all kinds to siphon brews and innovative brews like the Fujisan Oat milk.

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Prince Edward

A must-visit for whisky buffs. This cool new cafe in Prince Edward turns into a whisky den at night. Enjoy hand drip coffee brews or a double ristretto – highly concentrated espresso coffee – in the morning and sip on drams of whisky once the bar opens at night. The whisky bar is run by online liquor retailer Malt Cask, so expect over a hundred bottles of independently bottled whiskies (That Boutique-y Whisky Company, Scotch Malt Whisky Society, Duncan Taylor, Douglas Laing, and many more) limited-edition releases, and brands that will tickle any whisky enthusiast. The cafe-slash-bar doesn't provide much food on the menu aside from the regular homemade mystery cake that changes depending on what is available for the day.  

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  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Sham Shui Po

Paying tribute to old Hong Kong, Cofflow brings the past to the present through exquisite coffee and old-school aesthetics. Occupying what was once a fabric retailer, the shop has kept the former space's original ceramic tiles by the stairs and added elements such as a vintage steel shop gate, black and white floor tiles, and dark wooden fixtures to match. Sip on their signature raw honey latte, made using honey sourced from local bee farm Hong Kong Raw Honey, or try their classic blend of locally roasted beans sourced from Guatemala and Ethiopia. Beautiful photographs of different iconic locations in Hong Kong can also be found by the staircase as well as on the upper floor.

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Cheung Sha Wan

Sitting quietly along Fuk Wing Street in Cheung Sha Wan, this aptly named cafe is a standout from its quiet residential surroundings. There are a number of popular items on the menu, but our favourites by far are the crab roe squid ink linguini and charcoal beef burger with fried avocado wedges. Remember to save room for dessert though, as the house espresso blend affogato pudding and glutinous rice waffle with homemade ice lolly are insanely drool-worthy (and Instagrammable). Apart from amazing food, Contrast is also an exhibition space where the owner hopes to showcase and host different exhibitions and events over time.

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  • Restaurants
  • Tai Kok Tsui

This small coffee house is not easy to find, but it’s definitely worth mapping out. With a focus on sustainability, the coffee makers would travel across the world to visit farmers and producers in order to ensure the quality of their coffee. Make sure to try their Honeycomb signature blend or one of their single-origin beans from Ethiopia, Bolivia, Panama, or Brazil. They also bake a pretty mean scone too!

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Sham Shui Po
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If you're all about rustic, industrial designs, Dozy is the place to be. Though the venue is relatively small, its high ceiling and open space setting will definitely have you fooled. There is also adequate space, along with different varieties of botanicals between each seat, for customers to enjoy as much privacy as possible – so feel free to strike your best pose against the greenery. The cafe currently serves up coffee with a nutty blend and a strong, smoky flavour, as well as small treats such as cakes and sandwiches.

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  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Ma Tau Kok
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Inspired by the animated film Wall-E, the founders of Full Cup Cafe wanted to create an other-worldly space for visitors to escape, take a breather and enjoy life. Many elements were kept from the cafe's former identity as a 60-something-year-old bing sutt, including floor tiles, metal gates, old cart seatings, and more. Add to that a collection of antiques like mailboxes, dial phones, jukebox, old newspapers, books and toys – a visit to Full Cup is like stepping inside a time capsule. Try the silky-smooth whisky coffee or go for a cheeky glass of Japanese plum wine or highball. As for the food, you really can't go wrong with any of their wagyu dishes.

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Mong Kok

If you've ever been to Halfway Coffee in Sheung Wan, then walking into their Mong Kok store will immediately remind you of the cafe's signature old-meets-new aesthetic – distressed concrete walls with industrial art, a display of dangling plants, minimalist light wooden tables, and a hodgepodge of mismatched stools. The place emanates a lot of old charm, and in no way is this more pronounced than in the vintage porcelain cups used for their drinks. Even their takeaway paper cups come with porcelain prints.

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  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • West Kowloon

Situated in the West Kowloon Cultural District, Hooman By The Sea is a pet-friendly cafe where you can enjoy an incredible sea view while feasting on hot dogs punnily named after different pooches, like the poodle, corgi, and Chihuahua. Pets can freely roam around in and out of the cafe. An evening out with your furry friend along with coffee and a sunset view? Sounds like a plan.

 

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Tsim Sha Tsui

Created by the same people behind cult coffee bar Omotesando Koffee, Tokyo's coffee bean specialists Koffee Mameya aims to elevate coffee culture in Hong Kong with a focus on the world's finest coffee beans and roasters. Offering an exceptional range that is roasted to differing degrees, including the finest geisha coffee beans (one of the most exclusive coffees in the world from Panama), along with other rare micro-lot coffees, coffee lovers can taste anywhere from 15 to 20 curated coffees from around the world, before purchasing the beans they want to take home.

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  • Yau Ma Tei

A Stanley Kubrick-inspired cafe neighbouring local arthouse cinema Broadway Cinemathèque, here is where you can find a multilingual selection of books and magazines with topics ranging from the history of cinema to Russian folk tales. A popular meeting spot for bookworms and cinephiles alike, this is the ideal spot to relax and lose yourself between the pages.

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Jordan

Tucked away within the 'Eight Man Building Estate', an old residential area and a surprising foodie haven in Jordan, La Luz is frequented by patrons with a love for fine Australian coffee. The shop owner sources quality coffee beans straight from Brisbane in hopes to support local coffee communities in Australia. You can't go wrong with a cup of piccolo, flat white, or cold brew, and don't forget to try the shop's range of low-sugar, homemade cakes.

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  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Sham Shui Po
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Loop Kulture is an eco-friendly cafe with a focus on sustainability and upcycling culture. Joining the forever-expanding cafe scene in Sham Shui Po, Loop Kulture occupies a two-storey space decked out in wooden furnishing and a vast array of greenhouse plants. The cafe mainly serves specialty coffee and healthy light meals, but you can also get your hands on unpackaged food products which encourage customers to bring their own containers (paper bags can be provided otherwise). By providing a place for relaxation and rejuvenation, the owner of Loop Kulture hopes that the space can drive awareness of environmental conservation to visitors and help them build a new conscious and sustainable lifestyle.

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Jordan

This little cafe in Jordan is anything but 'ma ma day' (which means 'so-so' in Cantonese). Arguably one of the quirkiest cafes in Hong Kong, Mamaday Studio takes your cafe experience to a whole new level. Neon lights, colourful artworks, and cheeky quotes painted on the walls, complete with a fluorescent disco-esque staircase colourful surprises can be found around every corner. Settle down on their terrace and sip on a cup of coffee, bottled chocolate, or dig into their daily cake selection for a relaxing afternoon.

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  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Tsim Sha Tsui
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Find freshly roasted beans, coffee tools, light meals, and fragrant single-origin coffees at this quaint yet spacious coffee house. Not only do they regularly roast their own coffee beans, but they also have pour-overs, ice drip, and cold brew options alongside alternative kinds of milk such as oat milk and soymilk. You can take some time off and enjoy a nice bagel in their outdoor seating area too.

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  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Yau Ma Tei

This newly opened Yau Ma Tei cafe is – just like its name suggests – not just about coffee. The food menu boasts a stellar lineup of Japanese and western cuisine, as well as a selection of coffee from multiple origins including Brazil, Ethiopia, Guatemala, and Indonesia. As for the interiors, it’s your standard recipe for an aesthetically pleasing joint – bare concrete, wooden fixtures, botanicals, the whole lot. Fair warning, we recommend heading to the cafe early in the day as a queue tends to build up as soon as it hits noon. 

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Mong Kok

Situated on the roof of 618 Shanghai Street, Poach is a spacious cafe that has a comfortable environment, with outdoor seats and natural lighting as an option. Most people go for the Poach Bento set, a Japanese style set meal featuring a bowl of soup and three side dishes. If you have a sweet tooth, consider the earl grey pancakes, and perhaps a cup of coffee to go with it.

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  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Kwun Tong

Doubling up as an antique store and cafe, Parc offers everything from dainty tea cups and tableware to old typewriters and vintage furniture. Their food and beverages are no less exquisite. The menu offers a variety of teas, cakes, crepes, ice drip coffee, and more. Parc often rents out their venue for wedding ceremonies and photo shoots, so make sure you check their opening hours on social media before visiting.

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Mong Kok

As the name suggests, the concept behind this Mong Kok cafe is to provide a space for people to take a pause while sipping quality coffee. Aside from great flavours, the baristas here use natural colourings to spice up your coffee orders including the black charcoal latte – which has been a huge hit on Instagram already – matcha latte and the hojicha latte.

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  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Kowloon City

Injecting new energy into the historic neighbourhood around Kowloon City, this cosy nook offers a great array of well-brewed java including the signature house blend, a mix of Brazilian and Costa Rican beans (the origin of their beans are seasonal, and they usually roast their own beans). Rings also does great cheese milk-covered drinks, a smashing all-day breakfast and that hipster favourite, avocado toast. 

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Sham Shui Po

From the simple yet eye-catching shopfront and tatami seatings to their hand-drawn menu by local artist Aimai, and of course, the food, everything here is unique. The desserts here are all worth digging into, including the strawberry cheesecake, canelé, and caramel pudding. But the real star of the show is the Sapsan toast, where a piece of egg-soaked bread is fried until golden-brown, and served alongside various seasonal fruits, maple syrup, and whipped cream. Adding to the fact that the cafe is also pet-friendly, we really can't think of an excuse not to visit.

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  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Prince Edward

Adding to Sham Shui Po's forever-expanding community of cafes and coffee shops comes Slash, a stylish cafe with a modern, industrial design. Its simple storefront strikes a contrast to the neighbourhood, while the high ceiling and long bar table make Slash one of the most unique coffee spots in the area. Of course, their food and drinks here do not disappoint either. Made with beans sourced from various countries such as Ethiopia, Rwanda, Honduras, Peru, and many more, their brews here speak volumes about the dedication these folks have with serving up the best coffee for its patrons. 

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Jordan

Studio Caffeine takes their coffee very seriously in which they stock beans from roasters all over the world from Sweden and Berlin to Helsinki and San Francisco. The coffee here isn’t just a one-word order. After picking your single-origin coffee, you can also choose between three brewing methods: pourover, syphon, and ice drip. We recommend going for the pourover as Studio Caffeine’s recipe has previously won awards. Drop by on weekdays, as you can get a free drink alongside your meal. A tea lover as well? Studio Caffeine’s premium Chinese teas come in a DIY tea-press with a range of health benefits.   

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  • Restaurants
  • Kowloon City

Opened in the 1930s, Tai Wo Tang was once a famous traditional Chinese medicine shop. The space has now been converted into a cafe and casual eatery, with most of the original furnishings and decor – including its iconic gold signage – still intact. Located on the ground floor of a tong lau, the cafe flaunts an old-school apothecary aesthetic, complete with shelves of glass jars, wooden medicine cabinets, and a rickety ceiling fan.

Head here for the Tai Wo Tang latte, signature vitality tea, as well as their innovative takes on local bites such as the Tai Wo Tang pineapple bun with foie gras, churros with Ovaltine ice cream, and Chicken and Egg, a combination of eggettes, fried chicken, and ginger syrup.

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Shek Kip Mei

If you’re looking to tool up while you fuel up, Toolss is a coffee shop that doubles up as a stationery shop. Adjacent to JCCAC in Shek Kip Mei, this compact little café invites diners to enjoy a cup of joe on wooden stools. The only downside is the tiny space as it can only fit around eight people at a time (more if you include the outdoor seating.) But while you wait for a seat, you can have a browse at their fantastically quirky selection of stationery and magazines.

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  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • San Po Kong

Until Coffee takes on a true minimal aesthetic by giving you white-on-white action from the walls to the floors and everything in between (their menus are transparent!). Though not the most ideal place for clumsy drinkers, Until Coffee allows coffee connoisseurs to enjoy their sips with no distractions and focus purely on what’s in the cup. The cafe only seats around six people and, with the recent hype on Instagram about this place, it gets packed quite quickly. So, if you’re keen on paying a visit, we recommend going there early in the day.

Must-try: Hand-whisked iced matcha latte

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Tsim Sha Tsui

Head on over to this quirky joint in Tai Kok Tsui for a great coffee experience that will definitely have you coming back for more. Offering freshly roasted beans from an expansive global selection, Urban Coffee Roasters also arranges coffee gatherings where you can learn about the best brewing methods along with other various coffee-related activities. Enjoy a java within its white-bricked interiors and don’t get to purchase locally roasted beans as well as individual coffee-drip bags for that quick weekday caffeine fix. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Tsim Sha Tsui

Another healthy option to the list, Vego Coffee plates up a range of vegan sandwiches, burritos, desserts, and drinks. Using meat substitutes such as omnipork or konjac to imitate tuna, the cafe's menu has been created with thought and care. Try their desserts such as vegan chocolate brownie and homemade vegan banana bread, and watch out for their daily vegan cakes which use a variety of fresh ingredients ranging from mango to figs to durian! There are only a handful of seats inside but grab a seat by the window if you can, it's perfect for people-watching.

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Kowloon City

Yukkuri is a far cry from your usual Instagram-driven coffee joints in Hong Kong. From its vintage oak front door – salvaged from an old French village – to the collection of fascinating antiques neatly displayed on wooden tables and shelves, walking into Yukkuri feels as though you’re stepping into a museum. There are old books from the Edo period, a kerosene lamp from the Taishō period, handmade tableware by Japanese ceramist Tatsuma Segawa, and many more handicrafts and antiques gathered under one roof. Must-try items at Yukkuri include the Yukkuri red bean toast, which uses Japanese red beans and a light and sweet brioche cream bun. For drinks, try the iced hojicha black sesame latte or the iced genmai matcha latte.

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