Kowloon’s best cafés
Originally from Japan but now with branches in Europe, the US and Middle East, % Arabica take their coffee seriously. This second Hong Kong branch, in the Star Ferry Terminal, finally brings them nearer the masses following the brand’s original opening in Hong Kong in Discovery Bay. For a coffee on the go between TST and Central, there’s no better option.
The major appeal of this minimalist coffee house is its adorable shiba inu mascot. Though the cute doggy is not always around to greet customers, you’ll find glimpses of the pup everywhere from framed photos on the wall to coffee-table books on shibas. Pairing white tiles with sleek, minimalist furniture, Black Sugar is the perfect place to go with your laptop to complete an afternoon’s worth of work, accompanied by a cup of coffee and some killer eggs benedict and avo toast.
It’s worth getting hay fever just for a trip to this quirky botanical café. With curated farmhouse decor, potted plants and giant bouquets, your senses will feel as if they’ve taken a well-deserved break from all the air-pollution in our sometimes hazy city. The café is spacious with plenty of seating and a florist downstairs. The specialty ice drip coffee is made with freshly roasted beans – perfect with a slice of lemon cheesecake.
Hidden away inside JCCAC in Shek Kip Mei, Café Golden is a hipster heaven with vintage décor and furnishings. Enjoy a cuppa surrounded by an eclectic collection of silk cheongsam from the 50s, a seat recovered from an old cinema, vintage sewing machines and television stands. The coffee selection is none too shabby either, offering customers everything from hand drip and siphon brews to espresso of all kinds.
Although Sham Shui Po isn’t exactly known for its coffee as much as its electronics stalls or cheap eats, Sausalito exists as a coffee mecca for javaholics in the district. You’ll find all the usual suspects like lattes and cappuccinos, but Sausalito also serves single origin pour over coffee and a cucumberano – a cucumber flavoured coffee and soda water concoction. Stop by during the weekend for some awesome live music.
A lifestyle concept venue that’s an art gallery, independent bookstore, makerspace and coffee shop all rolled into one. Enjoy single-origin beans and learn about different brewing methods and ice drip preparation, all while browsing through a curious collection of books and artisanal products. Common Room is the perfect oasis to escape the hectic pace of Sham Shui Po.
A Stanley Kubrick-inspired café 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 students and entrepreneurs alike, the menu features options for those who are lactose intolerant with organic soymilk coffee and vegan ice cream available.
This place isn’t just a coffee shop, it doubles up as an antique store and a coworking space, where they sell pretty much anything: teacups, typewriters, bags, you name it. Its food and beverages are served on fancy china and they serve hand drip coffee from staples like Ethiopia, Kenya and Colombia. As well as ice drip coffee, you can order up an ice drip ‘sparkling’ coffee, which comes in a special lavender flavour.
As the name suggests, the concept behind this Mong Kok café is to provide a space for people to take a pause while sipping a quality coffee. Pause It sources coffee beans from Ethiopia and Columbia, so the java tends to have a stronger citrus aroma. Aside from great flavours, the baristas here use natural colourings to spice up your coffee orders including the charcoal latte – which has been a huge hit on Instagram already – purple taro latte and red velvet latte.
The folks at Barista HK are true java heads. From the moment the beans start sprouting on the tree to when the time comes to perfect each and every brew in-store, the team here are experts and keen to share their knowledge with other avid coffee fiends. The staff physically sift through raw coffee beans by hand before roasting them on-site, so every bean is as perfect as can be. For those interested in learning the basic steps towards creating a great cup of coffee, there are also workshops on how to best discern your morning brew.