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    Photograph: Calvin Sit
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    Photograph: Calvin Sit

Hong Kong’s best independent shops

Always support local

Written by
Time Out Hong Kong
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With no sales tax, no VAT and numerous outstanding malls on both Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, our SAR is rightly famous as one of the world’s great shopping meccas. That being said, it can be boring to see the same parade of brands in one mall after another. So, if you’re feeling the need for something different, then check out some of our favourite independent local shops below. Plus, with the rollout of the consumption voucher scheme in April, there's no better time to treat yourself while supporting local businesses!

RECOMMENDED: Want your outfits to have a bit of history behind it? There’s a wealth of brilliant thrift stores and vintage shops in Hong Kong that would suit all your needs.

The best independent shops in Central

  • Shopping
  • Sheung Wan

Looking for simple, functional pieces that will never go out of style? This multibrand Scandanavian boutique focuses on high-quality fashion and lifestyle products. Owner Alex Holme – a native Swede and product designer who has been living in Hong Kong for over 10 years – has also launched his own project called Tiny Island, which offers silk screen printed maps of your favourite Hong Kong hoods. Tiny Island has since expanded to towels, candles, umbrellas and more.

15squarestreet also boasts Hong Kong’s only Swedish coffee shop, Kaffe, where you can enjoy classic pastries made by a Swedish baker, along with coffee beans roasted weekly from Sweden.

  • Shopping
  • Causeway Bay

Believe in it! Just like its name suggests, B’In Select will stun you with its quality items from rare international brands such as Wewood and Amabro and hot local designers. Standing true to its belief that ‘design is essential for a fruitful life’, expect to find the most design savvy watches, jewellery, accessories, bags, stationery and home décor sourced from every corner of the world.

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  • Shopping
  • Sheung Wan

Located on the ground floor of a historic tong lau (tenement building), Dongpo HK is more than just a local neighbourhood tuck shop. Through its easily recognisable blue shutter gates, you’ll find a nostalgic selection of Hong Kong snacks and childhood toys, as well as various made-in-Hong-Kong items that range from artisanal ice cream to ceramic and jewellery pieces by local artists. There’s also an impressive array of antiques and vintage pieces from the 50s to 80s on display at the store, courtesy of shop owner Vincent’s own personal collection. Customers and passersby are welcome to step through and check out the rare vintage pieces or pull up a seat outside the store to simply bask in the ambience of the neighbourhood.

  • Shopping
  • Sham Shui Po

Head here to support local designer backpack label Doughnut. Originally a humble boutique in Sham Shui Po, it has now expanded to having nine stores all cross the city. Its collection of backpacks and luggage in countless colours and sizes is perfect for any outdoor adventure.  

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  • Shopping
  • Wong Chuk Hang

Float Captain is a one-of-a-kind surfing lifestyle and apparel shop set up by a small crew of friends in 2011. The owners are surf enthusiasts who source functional, comfortable and minimalistic products with Californian and Hawaiian surf vibes, as well as quirky takes on local culture. Their hip Wong Chuk Hang outpost is a treasure trove with a wide selection of surfboards, cases, wax, trendsetting apparel, bags, and even some home decorations. Their opening hours vary from week to week, so shoot them a message or check their social platforms for their opening hours if you want to drop by.

  • Shopping
  • Lifestyle
  • Sham Shui Po

Foreforehead is a store in the hip neighbourhood of Sham Shui Po that sells various cutesy and eccentric oddities, whether that be homeware, decorations, or clothing. It also pulls double duty from time to time as an exhibition space for young local artists.

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  • Shopping
  • Tsim Sha Tsui

The Leung brothers run this store with overwhelming passion – they’re passionate about design, about living in Kowloon and about local handmade products. Hence, their TST store sells all kinds of cool and individual pieces from designers in Hong Kong. The range focuses on household and lifestyle accessories such as clocks, mugs and pens that are sure to bring some joy to your apartment.

  • Shopping
  • Tsim Sha Tsui

As the name implies, this shop is constantly loaded with the hottest new styles, including a diverse range of skater-inspired clothing, trendy hats and casual kicks. US brands like Belief, Rip N Dip and Mishka sit on the shelves alongside labels from more exotic locales such as South Africa. We love the place for its hipster vibe and laidback attitude.

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  • Shopping
  • Vintage shops
  • Fortress Hill

One-of-a-kind vintage clothing? Hell yes! Known for being Hong Kong’s first outlet of its kind, Midwest Vintage stands strong in its promise to provide only quality, original vintage clothing by carrying out a careful and close inspection of all its wares. From leather jackets and denim shirts to patterned T-shirts, expect to find unique and individual pieces that’ll wow even the most fashion-savvy.

  • Art
  • Wan Chai

Established with the belief that art should be owned and enjoyed, Odd One Out offers a range of affordable artworks by a mixed pool of international and local artists. There are also other artsy delights such as greeting cards, stationery, books, and homeware that will make a great addition to your apartment, or as a gift for a special someone.

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  • Shopping
  • Vintage shops
  • Sheung Wan

Random yet full of surprises, Select 18 is one of Hong Kong’s best vintage dens where you can sift through a range of olde tyme knick-knacks, furniture and jewellery. If you’re lucky, you may even come across some thrifty designer finds. With its carefully selected assortment of clothing and shoes, you never know what you might find here.

  • Shopping
  • Sham Shui Po

Storerooms has come a long way from running an online business to being recognised as one of the most representative local shops in town. Aside from selling quirky products like posters and designer vases from across the globe, the shop also brings in different kinds of local goods, such as antique clocks and various small brand accessories. To keep things interesting, Storerooms changes the theme of their shop every two to three months, giving you all the more reasons to return.

 

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  • Shopping
  • Tsim Sha Tsui

Take5 is a Japanese menswear store selling raw denim and leather accessories, with a decidedly Americana feel. Stylishly decked out and populated with laidback and friendly staff, the shop dedicates one whole wall to high-quality jeans and others to shirts, shoes, leather jackets, magazines and various other male accessories. Come here for that great Japanese take on American casual style.

  • Shopping
  • Art, craft and hobbies
  • Mong Kok

Founded by three ceramic art lovers, Useless studio offers an array of ceramic products at their shop, most of which are handmade by the founders while others are sourced from all corners of the world. They also regularly host workshops and classes for others to learn how to make everything from plates and vases to candle holders and coffer drippers.

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  • Shopping
  • Second-hand shops
  • Mong Kok

This shop may well bring out your inner retro lover as it's filled with quirky knick-knacks from decades past that have great utility and nostalgic appeal. A rummage through the shelves here will find you everything from locally painted ceramics and bamboo steamers, to cast iron egg waffle moulds, knives, and even the odd drip coffee maker. The best way to experience this place is by entering with an open mind, and then digging in!

Looking for even more shops?

Hong Kong’s best secret shops
  • Shopping

We’ve got the low-down on an extensive list of word-of-mouth recommendations and Insta-famous shops that are all tucked away somewhere up in a building or hidden around a quiet corner. 

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