There are plenty of great restaurants and cafés in Hong Kong and an increasing number of them are vegetarian and vegan-friendly, which is awesome. Nowadays, green and clean bites from veggie burgers to meat-free dim sum can be found all over the city – and they're just as delicious as their meat counterparts. From old stalwarts to recent newcomers, these are the best vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Hong Kong. Sam Sinha and Olivia Lai
Hong Kong’s best vegetarian and vegan restaurants
The same group behind Lee Lo Mei and Lee Ho Sing now brings us Miss Lee, a Chinese restaurant offering a playful menu featuring vegan, dairy-free and egg-free dishes for vegetarians, vegans and flexitarians alike. Look forward to dishes such as the Smoky Quartz skewers – made of king mushroom, shiitake and asparagus; Golden Flowers with cauliflower and braised mushroom glazed in salted egg yolk; as well as the hearty Lotus Leaf vegetable stew and brown rice wrapped inside a lotus leaf. Best of all, Miss Lee even has a takeaway counter serving grab-and-go options as well as fresh, handcrafted smoothies all day. It doesn't get any better than that.
Tucked away inside an unassuming industrial building sits a large vegetarian-friendly restaurant furnished with chic wooden tables and a terrace that looks out over Ap Lei Chau. With a strong focus on vegetarian and gluten-free cuisine, this spot allows you to enjoy clean-eating with dishes like quinoa salad with artichoke, sweet potato and yam wedges, and the restaurant’s signature 12-inch wood oven artisan pizzas featuring toppings such as artichokes and mushrooms. Even the desserts are veggie-based. But if you’ve been hankering for some meat, the canteen does a mean rib-eye steak too.
Greenwoods Raw Café does exactly what it says on the tin. None of the food here is heated above 41 degrees which, it claims, helps to preserve beneficial enzymes. It uses local, organic produce as much as possible, and the menu is entirely vegan-friendly. It’s a tough ask to produce tasty food without actually cooking it but Greenwoods pulls it off with innovative dishes like raw lasagne and courgette noodles. The café is open for lunch during the week and lunch and dinner on Saturdays.
Tsuen Wan’s Happy Veggies serves up simple, well put together vegetarian fare in the manner of a local canteen. Popular dishes include its mapo tofu stir-fried with peppers and mushrooms in a chilli sauce, and the assorted vegetable hotpot with braised rice vermicelli and mushrooms in spicy fermented bean paste. The owners are virtuous veggies: the business is a not-for-profit social enterprise, which actively recruits staff from the deaf community who are extremely helpful and friendly.
Only a brave person would open a vegetarian Japanese restaurant in Hong Kong. The guys at Isoya have and it’s a winner, with clean, calm surroundings and friendly service. You won’t miss the fish one bit thanks to the cucumber seaweed rolls and tamago (Japanese omelette). The chefs make the bean curd in-house as well. You can pay around $300 for a seasonal tasting set dinner or simply stick with your favourite veggie sushi and tempura.
A very dependable veggie Indian, Khana Khazana makes no apologies for leaving meat off the menu. While the food isn’t groundbreaking – think lots of spinach and cottage cheese curries and vegetable samosas – it certainly is authentic and cooked with care. When available, try the tandoori cauliflower – the oft-maligned brassica is spiced and roasted to perfection.
Popular healthy grocery store Green Common’s concept restaurant serves up an array of healthy and vegan items. Pick from a menu filled to the brim with innovative plant-based ingredients on the market, including Just Scramble’s egg alternative and the meat-free Omnipork. Expect these to be transformed into delicious dishes, ranging from a seasonal vegetable ramen in soymilk to an Omnipork bánh mì. Another plus? Kind Kitchen offers a kids’ menu with plant-based mac ’n’ cheese and spaghetti bolognese. Getting the tots to eat healthy just got a whole lot easier.
‘Lock’ means happiness, enjoyment and fortune and we think Lock Cha fulfils the first two of these promises. Situated in the beautiful green retreat that is Hong Kong Park, the spot provides a calming atmosphere all Hongkongers can appreciate. With its fantastic vegetarian dim sum, like veggie dumplings and fried beancurd cake, as well as an extensive range of teas to choose from – Oolong, green tea, white tea, you name it – Lock Cha is the perfect place to grab a vegan-friendly bite and relax.
Proudly serving food made with ingredients sourced from local farms that are free of pesticides and chemicals, Locofama caters to all kinds of dietary needs, including vegan, dairy-free, nut-free and pescetarian. The kale salad, cauliflower risotto, spicy sesame noodles are among the popular orders. You can even swap out the pasta for a gluten- and carb-free alternative (zoodles, anyone?). Either way, you can still enjoy brilliant flavours with fewer calories.
Also known as Long Men Lou, Chi Ling Vegetarian is located in the tranquil haven of Chi Lin Nunnery. Its excellent vegetarian dim sum is best enjoyed in one of the set menus. The pine seed, ginger and mushroom fried rice and veggie dumpling noodles are particularly popular. Expect unfussy service and good, homecooked food with all proceeds going back to the nunnery. You’ll pay around $100 for a meal without drinks or service.
With a strong focus on sustainability and responsible sourcing, Mana’s menu is devised in order to minimise its environmental impact. This means no meat, minimal dairy and being 100 percent organic. It serves up Middle Eastern-style burgers and flatbreads with plenty of gluten-free options available. The signature burger is a tasty tower of grilled halloumi, tofu, roasted veggies, a portobello mushroom and pickled cucumbers. The Wellington Street joint also has a great semi-outdoor space.
Coffee nerd Felix Wong’s approach to vegetarian food is slightly more inventive than a lot of his counterparts in Hong Kong. He makes vegetables the star of the show by building dishes around them, rather than merely substituting reformed soy or tofu for meat. La Heartbeet is a beetroot risotto, served with french beans, chickpeas, baby corn and mushrooms, all of which complement the earthiness of the beets. Naturally, Ovocafé also serves great coffee.
The SF stands for San Francisco at this veggie joint and the theme pervades everything about the place. The walls are covered in Americana and the menu is peppered with Bay City puns. It specialises in burgers with soy substitutes: Kobe’s Favourite is a ‘vegan beef patty’ with house barbecue sauce, while the Fisherman’s Wharf is a ‘crispy vegan fillet’ with sweet relish mayo. Though, it surely missed a trick by not having a Hippie Hour!
Tucked away on the first floor of a run-down building, Branto has been serving authentic, wallet-friendly vegetarian Indian fare for over a decade. Prepare yourself for simple and unpretentious service and surroundings, and a saliva-inducing menu stuffed with curries, small bites and Indian breads. We recommend trying the pani puri, fried dal or cheesy paneer palak. Don’t forget to wash it all down with a glass of lassi.