I’ve been to Hong Kong more times than I can count over the past twelve years since I first travelled overseas as a kid and I’ve gotta say, this place never ceases to fascinate me. No matter how many times I visit this city there is always, without fail, something new to discover. One thing that will forever be new for me is food, because no matter how many times you visit Hong Kong you can never walk away having tried everything! If you’re a first time visitor, here is a collection of my ten favourite foods you must try in Hong Kong (keeping in mind I’m a vegetarian with a strong love for sugary treats!)
Hong Kong Style Milk Tea
Fully aware that the above photo is actually an iced tea (I sadly don’t possess any milk tea photographs in my collection), you could really say all kinds of tea are a must try in Hong Kong. But alas, none are more iconic than the Hong Kong style milk tea! Pop in to a local eatery to try yours.
These Hello Kitty custard buns were almost too cute to eat… but I’m so glad I did! Don’t let the savoury exterior fool you – these buns are bursting with buttery flavour in the centre that oozes out as a nice surprise. I’d have them again in a heartbeat!
One of my new favourite cheap eats in Hong Kong are the popular “egg waffles” or “bubble waffles”. Whatever you want to call them, they taste delicious. There are many variations on the standard flavour so be sure to shop around and try a few throughout your stay.
I’m surprised, almost shocked, to say that it took me so many years and visits to Hong Kong and try the famous egg tarts. These delicious eggy treats have a crisp exterior and are made fresh daily. I tried mine at Tai Cheong Bakery in Central.
This list just wouldn’t be complete without mention of Dim Sum, would it!? Dim Sum culture is alive and well in Hong Kong, but don’t be fooled as to how locals can eat such hearty, heavy dishes day after day and still maintain a reasonable digestive system… dim sum is still considered a treat to be eaten in moderation! Kind of like a Sunday ritual, many families head out on the weekends to enjoy a huge (and hugely indulgent) family style dim sum meal.
Wontons are a Cantonese-style dumpling, usually filled with shrimp or other meats (vegetarian may be hard to find at first, but is entirely possible once you do your research!) Wontons are hugely popular in Cantonese cooking and will be widely available throughout Hong Kong.
Although ramen is a Japanese dish, it is very popular in Hong Kong and widely available throughout the city. Ramen is a noodle soup broth, usually filled with meat, dried seaweed and green onions. Vegetarian versions are available, but be sure to do your homework as many eateries will not speak English and the word “Vegetarian” might be misunderstood!
Curry Fish Balls
As they are perhaps the single most famous street food offering in all of Hong Kong, this list would not be complete without mention of the crispy skewered snack! Although being a vegetarian I have never tried them, curry fish balls are widely available throughout Hong Kong, especially on the Kowloon side where street food stalls are more prominent.
Temple Street Night Market Street Food
On the subject of street food, you really can’t go past the widely popular Temple Street Night Market when looking for great local, cheap eats. Here you will find everything and anything you could possibly imagine, so be sure to come with an open mind as often it will be difficult to order without the simple point and smile method!
If you ever stroll past a local eatery and see oodles of noodles, you’re probably staring into a bowl of the famous rickshaw noodles. This dish consists of a watery broth absolutely packed full of flavour, noodles, and various meats/vegetables. If you’re feeling brave and in the mood for eating like a local, look no further!
Tips for Dining in Hong Kong:
Be on time – punctuality is highly valued
Use chopsticks to pick up food, never your hands
Use a hot towel (supplied) to wipe your hands and mouth before & after a meal