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Bird’s Nest

The best Hong Kong food for every personality type

Find out which local snack and delicacy suits you best (and where to find them)

Written by
Time Out Hong Kong
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Hong Kong’s traditional dining doesn’t always come in a bamboo steamer. Take a stroll through the streets of Sham Shui Po or head to your local 7-Eleven, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the range of local snacks and delicacies. Looking for a midday dessert that won’t ruin your physique? Or maybe you’re on the hunt for something more daring and adventurous? Either way, we’ve got you covered. By Karl Lam

RECOMMENDED: Looking for more local delicacies? Try Hong Kong’s best pork chop rice dishes or best cha chaan tengs.

Best Hong Kong foods for every personality type

For the age conscious: Bird’s nest
  • Health and beauty
  • Causeway Bay

One of the most luxurious delicacies in Hong Kong, bird’s nest can be found laced on top of egg tarts and dessert soups. Yes, it’s actually bird saliva but it’s still an excellent treat, a rich source of protein and minerals that supposedly even helps combat ageing. So forget skin cream and visit Wai Yuen Tong instead. The TST spot has been one of Hong Kong’s biggest purveyors of healthy delicacies for 120 years. Indulge in one of its bird’s nest-infused drinks free of preservatives and artificial flavourings. It’s the new protein shake, don’t you know?

For the health junkie: Herbal jelly
  • Restaurants
  • Causeway Bay

For the modern-day health-conscious consumer, herbal jelly is the go-to dessert. Gwei ling go, as it’s called in Cantonese, has all kinds of health benefits, from reducing agitation to preventing inflammation. We recommend heading over to Kung Wo Tong. Made with a top secret recipe, Wai Yuen Tong’s one-of-a-kind supreme mix utilises 20 kinds of quality herbs to make a beneficial modern-day detox.

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For the hopeless romantic: Wife cake
  • Shopping
  • Wan Chai

There’s nothing more romantic than sharing a wife cake – a traditional Cantonese flaky pastry filled with winter melon paste and sesame – with your significant other. There are different legends as to how the name came to be but one of most commonly known tales is the one about the wife and her ill father-in-law. Poverty-stricken, a wife decides to sell herself as a slave to raise the money needed for his medication. Her husband, moved by her love, dedicated this pastry to her. Nowadays, this sweet little morsel can be found at home-grown bakeries like Kee Wah or Wing Wah.

For the classic connoisseur: Cheung fun
  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Sham Shui Po

Another local staple, but the real cheung fun connoisseur knows to hit-up a street food stall like Hop Yik Tai. This Sham Shui Po institution serves plain, steamed rice rolls in a styrofoam cup, drowned in a delicious peanut and hoi sin sauce. Topped with a sprinkle of sesame seeds, it’s exactly the kind of traditional HK snack that evokes instant nostalgia. If this isn’t quintessential Hong Kong, what is?

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For the adventurous: Stinky tofu
  • Restaurants
  • Wan Chai

Never for the faint hearted, stinky tofu – fermented, deep-fried tofu cooked with hoi sin, chilli and sweet sauces – has a fantastic savoury taste, contrary to its smell. Sadly, no longer all that easy to find in Hong Kong – for obvious olfactory reasons – but head to Burrow Street in Wan Chai or Temple Street in Yau Ma Tei and let the stench lead the way.

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For the sweet tooth: Vita lemon tea

For the sweet tooth: Vita lemon tea

Vita’s lemon tea juice boxes are iconic. From vending machines to your corner store 7-Eleven, this lemon tea is sold nearly everywhere and there’s no denying the consistency of its sweet, refreshing taste. It’s the perfect revitalizing drink on a hot summer’s day, whether after some exercise or just lazing around.

Hungry for more?

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