Whether you’ve a hankering for a traditional English fry-up, avocado-on-toast or a bowl of instant noodles with satay beef, Hong Kong is blessed with a wealth of great breakfast options. Follow us as we eat our way through the city’s various cafés and cha chaan tengs to select the top seven places to grab breakfast and prepare yourself for the day ahead. Sarah Moran
Hong Kong’s best breakfast spots
Australia Dairy Company’s breakfast set is its raison d’être. Fluffy, creamy scrambled eggs – considered among the best in Hong Kong – come served on thick slices of buttered toast, along with a bowl of macaroni and ham soup and a cup of coffee or tea. Just remember, this cha chaan teng is not a place where you can linger. Even in the morning, the queue for seats here is long. Order fast, eat fast and leave fast to avoid being on the receiving end of staff’s infamous curt attitude.
With drinks served in hipster mason jars, turquoise mugs and IG-worthy floral cups, this chic semi open-air café in Sheung Wan looks like a Pinterest fan’s dream kitchen. The comfy couches, mismatched wooden tables and chairs afford the café a homey vibe, making you feel as if you’re simply catching up in a friend’s kitchen. The breakfast menu has something to please everyone, whether you’re hankering for an all-day breakfast, pancakes, french toast, breakfast burritos or even huevos rancheros.
Although Little Creatures is best known for its award-winning craft beer offerings, the food menu offers far more than just your average pub grub. Breakfast is served on weekends and public holidays from 8am until late, and includes morning favourites such as a classic fry-up and avocado on toast as well as other fun options like breakfast pizzas. Aussies will be delighted with Little Creature’s grilled sourdough with jam, peanut butter or vegemite. The waterfront view comes as a bonus.
Despite being tucked away along the far-off Ping Shan Heritage Trail in Yuen Long, this legendary cha chaan teng still manages to attract long lines. The crowds come for its mouth-watering crispy pineapple buns stuffed with egg, tomato and a generous slice of butter that melts in your mouth. Wash it all down with a bottle of Mrs Tang Cafe frozen milk tea which, unlike most other restaurants in Hong Kong, is chilled rather than diluted with ice, preserving the rich, strong flavour of the tea. The original Mrs Tang Cafe in Yuen Long is said to be the best, but if that’s too far for you, the branches in Kwun Tong and Wan Chai are of comparable quality.
Feel bad about leaving your dog at home while you head out for breakfast? Take them with you to OpenDoor Cafe, a pet-friendly coffeeshop nestled down near the harbour in hip Sai Ying Pun. Start your morning with a hearty English breakfast and feed bits of sizzling bacon under the table to your pup. If you want to start your day on a more healthy note, opt for one of the café’s super smoothies like its Wakey Wakey (muesli, banana, chia seeds, cinnamon, yoghurt and almond milk) or Power Pack (banana, blueberries, goji berries, protein powder, almond milk, whey and acai berries) to energise your morning. For those with sensitive stomachs, the café also offers a wide range of vegetarian, gluten-free and vegan meal options.
With its red leather stools and booths and checkered-tiled floor, The Diner is exactly the kind of stereotypical American diner you often see on US TV shows. No surprise then that the menu offers classic American diner fare like ribs, chicken wings and burgers. For a hearty breakfast, scarf down their signature Skirt Burger (named after the enormous grilled cheese ‘skirt’ around the edges) served with shoestring fries and homemade apple slaw. Pair it with a creamy milkshake or, if you’re still recovering from last night, a Morning After Smoothie that’s full of antioxidants to help make your hangover disappear.
While it may not look like much, this open-air food stall on Gough Street is one of Hong Kong’s most popular dai pai dongs. The allure of this place lies in its no-frills way of putting together simple ingredients and turning them into signature dishes beloved by Hongkongers. While the menu is limited – it’s mostly noodles and types of sandwiches – the options for toppings and fillings are endless. Order their famous tomato soup base with macaroni or instant noodles and pair it with a topping of your choice – choose from red sausage, eggs, spicy pork cubes, pork chop, luncheon meat, beef and many more. Be sure to leave room for the iconic butter and honey lemon spread on a crispy hamburger bun. It’s a must-try.