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Photograph: Cara Hung

Explore the city: Get your caffeine fix at these hip, revitalised spots

Visit these historically significant sites for some serious brews

Tatum Ancheta
Edited by
Tatum Ancheta
Written by
Time Out Hong Kong
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Hong Kong has a unique urban landscape that features age-old buildings against refurbished architectures and modern skyscrapers. From Tai Kwun to Central Market, The Mills to 618 Shanghai Street, a lot of historical landmarks in the city have been transformed into new places of interest which blend seamlessly into Hong Kong’s unique historical and cultural tapestry. Thanks to the combined efforts of many dedicated individuals from the public and private sectors, these revitalised projects breathe new life into the community. For your next coffee break, consider these three revitalised properties, savour a delightful brew and the history of the shop itself.

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RECOMMENDED: Take a trip down memory lane and flip the pages of Hong Kong's history books with these day trip ideas that will reconnect you with the city's storied past

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Kowloon City

You're probably familiar with Tai Wo Tang, the traditional Chinese medicine clinic turned hip café in Kowloon City, but another addition to the revitalised neighbourhood that deserves attention is the cafe shop, Nan Kok. Located on the ground floor of an 80-year-old pre-war tenement building on Nam Kok Road, Nan Kok took over the place of a time-honoured hardware store. The shop's rustic interior features a blended design of the building's old fixtures, like the old Tonghua iron gate and wooden pavilion, combined with a modern minimalist earthy decor. The cafe offers products with influences from neighbouring shops. Expect white sauces made with beancurd from decades-old Yee Heung Bean Product Company, as well as Thai products like coconut milk, coconut ice cream, and other house blend espresso with Thai flavours.  

How to get there: Head to Sung Wong Toi MTR station and exit at B2. Nan Kok is just a minute's walk from the station. 

What to eat and drink: Must-tries include the fermented bean curd Hokkaido scallops tagliatelle, French fried toast, and pandan coconut coffee.

Kowloon City’s Stone Houses

Things to do: Explore the historical buildings around Kowloon City. Pay a visit to the Hau Wong Temple, a declared monument with an impressive collection of historical relics, or head to the historic stone houses and gaze at the unique architecture dating back to the 1940s.  

Photograph: Ann Chiu

Tip: Try to get the two-seater hidden spot inside Nan Kok for some intimate coffee experience.   

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Tai Hang

Housed inside a two-storey pre-war tenement building in Tai Hang, Sonne CAD is a popular cafe for serious coffee drinkers. Its antique wooden door with wrought iron hardware brings patrons inside a cosy coffee shop with welcoming and knowledgeable baristas who can offer guests coffee bean recommendations. Head up to the second floor and settle in by the terrace for ​​a quiet afternoon sipping coffee and overlooking  the street view below.  

How to get there: From Exit A1 of Tin Hau MTR station, walk towards Wun Sha Street and turn into San Tsuen Street in Tai Hang. It will take you 12 minutes to get to the coffee shop.   

What to eat and drink: Sonne CAD only serves coffee, so if you want to fill up for some grub, head to the 15-seater Japanese sushi joint Sushi Hana, enjoy some Western fares at the contemporary restaurant and bar Tipsy, or get a seat at Shun Hing Cha Chaan Teng, a local institution serving one of the best char siu egg rice in town. For some dessert, head to Plumcot, a patisserie serving up cinnamon rolls, croissants, canelé, cookies, and other French pastries.  

Lin Fa Temple

Things to do: Tai Hang used to be a Hakka village, and, to this day, the district retains many of its heritage. Visit the century-old Lin Fa Temple, a declared monument since 2014. Around the neighbourhood, you'll also find the Concord Villas located in Wun Sha Street, the four-storey building used as a former civil servant cooperative house in the colonial era.  

Tip: Chat up with Sonne CAD's affable store manager for some insider coffee stories and suggestions. 

 

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  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Jordan

Originally from Taipei, Mamaday Studio set its roots in Hong Kong in 2020 inside a 75-year-old tenement building in Jordan. Complete with a fluorescent disco-esque staircase, neon lights, colourful artworks, and cheeky quotes painted on the walls, Mamaday’s fun, playful, and colourful interior sets it apart from other cafes in the area. But don't let the bright facade fool you, Mamaday Studio is serious when it comes to its coffee. Its second floor and the third floor are currently off-limits for renovations, but the ground floor still welcomes visitors with perfectly hand-brewed Italian and American coffee.

How to get there: From Jordan MTR Station, head to Exit A1 and walk towards Barkers Street. Turn right and walk for two minutes before reaching the shop. 

What to eat and drink: Sip on Tofu Tofu Tofu Coffee or Sea Salt Caramel Latte, and dig into their daily cake selection. 

Mido Cafe I Photograph: Courtesy cc/flickr/faikevin

Things to do: The shop is just a two-minute walk away from Temple Street Night Market, so head there for some bargain finds. If you need to refuel, drop by at the 70-year-old Mido Cafe. Hit up Yau Ma Tei Fruit Market for some fresh and affordable food to bring home!

Tip: Those who want to try Mamaday's offerings on Hong Kong Island can check out their Causeway Bay location.  

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