Neighbourhood Guide: Where To Eat, Drink And Shop In Wan Chai
Once a Mecca for exotic nightlife, Wan Chai has evolved from a quaint, historic landmark into an eclectic neighbourhood where quirky cafes, restaurants, bars, lifestyle shops fill the streets with a unique sense of character, all while staying true to its old-fashioned charm.
Stay in the know with our favourite places to eat, drink and shop in this chic neighbourhood:
Where to eat
If the queues are anything to go by, Swiss native Gregoire Michaud’s Bakehouse is one of the most popular bakery-cafes in the neighbourhood—if not all of Hong Kong. With a stellar repertoire in the bakery and pastry world, including eight years experience as the executive pastry chef of Four Seasons Hong Kong, Gregoire is best known for his artisanal croissants and sourdough egg tarts, which are available for takeaway or dine-in. There's also a hearty brunch menu that features Bakehouse's best-selling toasted sourdough in most items.
Bakehouse, 14 Tai Wong Street East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong; bakehouse.hk
Located next to the historic Blue House, Samsen has a reputation for serving the best Thai boat noodles in town, evident in the queue that regularly stretches down the block before it opens at noon for lunch and at 6:30pm for dinner.
Emulating an authentic Thai street-stall vibe and flavours, the walk-in eatery is worth the wait if tasty stir-fries and indulgent crab fried rice are right up your alley. Don’t forget to save space for their pandanas coconut dumplings and young coconut ice cream, which tastes exactly like the ones from a Thai night market.
Samsen, 68 Stone Nullah Lane, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, +852 2234 0001; instagram.com/samsenhk
Artemis & Apollo
Say “Opa!” to Artemis & Apollo, a family-styled Greek taverna that celebrates an unfussy, communal Greek dining culture where friends and family come together to enjoy small plates of mezzes in a relaxed setting.
Taking a 50-seat space on Moon Street, Artemis & Apollo joins a neighbourhood of fantastic dining options and offers a menu inspired by Greek classics of hot and cold mezzes (like taramasalata and saganaki cheese to name a few) alongside mains that feature a selection of spit-roasted meats and grilled seafood, complete with an exclusively Greek wine list.
Artemis & Apollo, G/F, 9-11 Moon Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, +852 6991 6231; artemisandapollo.com
Situated smack dab in the centre of the quietly thriving Ship Street restaurant thoroughfare, once you step inside the glossy façade at Associazione Chianti you’ll be instantaneously transported to a warm and welcoming neighbourhood mainstay, where the setting, colours, smells, and flavours evoke all the emotion and atmosphere of a Tuscan trattoria.
The ingredients-forward menu highlights simple, authentic classics, with must-orders including the Bistecca alla Fiorentina, a melt-in-your mouth cut of grass-fed Black Angus sourced from Idaho; and the Pollo al Burro Omaggio a Sostanza, a chicken breast pan-fried in a luxurious puddle of brown butter.
Be sure to linger afterwards over generous portions of glorious pavlova and endless bottles of wine.
Associazione Chianti, Shop 2, 15 Ship Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong; +852 3619 3360; associazionechianti.com
True to its name, 22 Ships is located on Wan Chai’s Ship Street and serves a rustic yet refined menu of tapas dishes. Originally opened in 2012, the space was revamped this year, with the restaurant getting a whole new look and a new chef––Madrid-born chef Antonio Oviedo.
A neighbourhood favourite for casual dining, the menu features flavourful sharing dishes paired with plenty of Spanish wines and sangria.
22 Ships, 22 Ship Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong; +852 2555 0722; 22ships.hk
If you think you can’t get your hands on NY-style deli meats and sandwiches In Hong Kong, think again. Morty’s serves up just that, with the hearty menu of burgers, sandwiches and hotdogs highlighting meats that have been “slow cooked with love”.
Expect fully loaded Rueben sandwiches, chili dogs, short rib sandwiches and more.
Morty’s, 8-10 Wing Fung Street Wan Chai, Hong Kong; +852 3665 0890; mortys.hk
Le Garcon Saigon
Found right next door to Morty’s, Le Garcon Saigon is Black Sheep Restaurants’ answer to a Saigonese grillhouse. The menu features fresh and bold flavours––with dishes including green papaya salad, Nam Vang style salt and pepper chicken wings, and DIY rice paper rolls––while the chic interiors mirror those of a sophisticated yet laidback Parisian brasserie.
If you’re looking for a quick lunch, head next door to little sister restaurant, Le Petit Saigon for a classic banh mi thit, with the restaurant also serving both chicken and veggie options.
Le Garcon Saigon, 12 Wing Fung Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong; +852 2455 2499; legarconsaigon.com
Roots is a French-Cantonese bistro opened by French cuisine-trained chef Stephanie Wong.
The menu at Roots reflects Wong’s dedication to preserving flavours of classic Cantonese dishes, executed with French cooking techniques to create a new breed of reinvented classics. Make sure to order the rib-eye steak with salted egg yolk crumbles—the prime rib eye yields a succulent texture and the melting crumble of salted egg yolks is a surprisingly perfect match.
Roots, G/F, 7 Sun Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, +852 2623 9983; rootseatery.com
See also: Island Guide: What To Eat, Drink And Do In Cheung Chau
Located just a few doors down from roots, Honbo promises to satisfy comfort food cravings with its burger-centric menu. Adopting a no-nonsense approach to burgers and fries, Honbo celebrates simple and straightforward American-style burgers through honest cooking and careful sourcing of quality ingredients.
Honbo, G/F, New Sun House, 6-7 Sun Street Wan Chai, Hong Kong; +852 2567 8970; honbo.hk
See also: Where To Find The Best Burgers in Hong Kong
The original location of Pirata Group’s popular pasta bar can be found tucked into St Francis Yard in Wan Chai. The quiet location is perfect for a chilled lunch, brunch or dinner––with the restaurant serving its short menu of handmade pasta dishes daily from 11am.
Pici, GF, 16 St Francis Yard, Wan Chai, Hong Kong; +852 2755 5523; pici.hk
Where to drink
Mizunara The Library
Regarded as one of the best cocktail bars in the city, Mizunara is hidden in a nondescript commercial building in Wan Chai. Inside you’ll find Masahiko Endo, bartender-in-chief, in his perfectly pressed white jacket and bowtie, ready to serve up his artfully made cocktail creations or a flight of whiskeys from his 700 bottle strong library.
The seasonal specials are worth the splurge, mostly featuring luscious Japanese fruits such as a white peach Bellini or kyoho grape Martini.
Mizunara The Library, 4/F, Kiu Yin Commercial Building, 361-363 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong; +852 3571 9797; mizunarathelibrary.com
See also: The Best Cocktail Bars In Hong Kong
Blend & Grind
The Mid-Levels specialty coffee-smoothie bar also has a venue on the corner of Sun Street, bringing in fresh brews by Redback Coffee and healthy brunch options to the neighbourhood, from acai bowl smoothie bowls to a sumptuous B&G breaky board that comes with a wholesome avocado and egg toast, wild muesli with coconut Greek yogurt and orange juice.
The Sun Street branch also turns into a bar at night with great happy hour deals from 4pm to 8pm.
Blend & Grind, 1 Sun Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong; instagram.com/blendgrindhk
See also: 7 Healthy Eating Instagram Accounts To Follow
When it comes to rooftop bars, Wooloomooloo offers one of the best views in the city. Perched atop The Hennessy building in Wan Chai, the al fresco rooftop boasts sweeping views of Wan Chai, Happy Valley and beyond, along with a daily happy hour.
Wooloomooloo, 31/F & Rooftop The Hennessy, 256 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, +852 2893 6960; wooloo-mooloo.com
See also: Best Al Fresco Restaurants And Rooftop Bars In Hong Kong
BASAO Tea is a more than just a neighbourhood tea room to get hydrated––the homegrown tea purveyor is an intimate haven where you can zen out and enjoy a serious cup of tea brewed by an experienced tea master.
With a detailed menu of premium teas to choose from––including an exclusive selection of black tea, green tea, and oolong—BASAO’s tea collection also has an eclectic selection of iced chajito specialties that are sweeter and fruitier. Don't forget to pair your tea with one of BASAO's signature homemade tea cake rolls, tea ice cream or tea crystal.
BASAO Tea, G/F, 17 Moon Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, +852 2952 3313; basaotea.com
See also: The Best Places For Tea In Hong Kong
Ever heard of coffee tailoring? Offering a customised coffee experience, APT. Coffee is all about crafting that perfect cup of coffee based on your preferences so you can rest assured that your coffee will taste exactly how you like it every time.
Using Australian-roasted coffee beans by Seven Seeds, customers can choose between nutty and fruity flavours, water volume, milk volume and milk foam volume to create a bespoke coffee. The minimalist cafe is also big on toasts, offering an array of wholesome ingredients on the menu for customers to create their own dish that is both personal and satisfying.
APT. Coffee, 2-12 Moon Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, +852 3619 4393; apt-coffee.com
See also: Here Are The Cafés With The Best Coffee In Hong Kong
Housed inside a 19th century heritage building, The Pawn sits proudly on Johnston Road and is a perfect option for a casual drink.
While the space features a modern restaurant and its own botanicals bar, the best seats can be found on the terrace where you can sip a G&T while watching the bustling streets below.
The Pawn, 62 Johnston Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong; +852 2866 3444; thepawn.com.hk
Tai Lung Fung
In a quieter pocket of Wan Chai—just behind the famous Blue House with other historic buildings and temples just a stone’s throw away—Tai Lung Fung is a playful ode to old Hong Kong, boasting plenty of personality without pretence.
Come here for the laid-back atmosphere with an interior that's reminiscent of Hong Kong in the '60s. Stay for the casual drinks and delicious light bites.
Tai Lung Fung, 5 Hing Wan Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, +852 2572 0055; facebook.com/tailungfung
See also: 8 Places In Hong Kong To Learn About Local Heritage And Culture
Ciacoe Italian Wine Bar
Although found on the peaceful Moon Street, Ciacoe promises a lively atmosphere every night of the week. Found easily by the patrons spilling out onto the street, many head here for the selection of Italian wines along with the nightly aperitivo spread.
Ciacoe Italian Wine Bar, 1 Moon Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong; +852 2529 5661; facebook.com/CiacoeHK
Where to shop
One of the first zero waste stores in Hong Kong offering unpackaged bulk goods and eco-friendly products, Edgar stocks a diverse range of organic and fair trade items—ranging from cereals, pasta, dried food, nuts and seeds to tea leaves, herbs and spices—all available for purchase in bulk.
Bring your own container or choose from the store’s large selection reusable storage solutions to kick start a habit of conscious consumption—after all, every small step counts!
Edgar, 5 Moon Street, Star Street Precinct, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, +852 3484 2088; edgar.hk
See also: 7 Zero Waste Stores in Hong Kong
A New York-based men’s lifestyle brand designed for easy modern living, O.N.S. injects a dose of luxury street style to the Sun Street neighbourhood with a multi-brand shop that offers a carefully curated selection of men’s everyday, all-occasion clothing, accessories, and lifestyle products from New York and all over the globe.
You can also find natural scented candles from Vancouver, hair products from Hong Kong and fragrances from boutique perfumer A.N OTHER.
O.N.S. 3 Sun Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong; ka-pok.com
See also: 7 Eco-Friendly Fashion Labels That Are Redefining Luxury
Founded by Frenchman Arnault Castel in 2006 with a mission to bring “future classics” to Asia, Kapok is a lifestyle shop that brings in internationally renowned labels in fashion, accessories and lifestyle, with a focus on quality and creativity.
With six concept stores in Hong Kong and one in Singapore—each presenting a different theme and product selection—the brand’s new flagship on Sun Street in particular has a spot-on selection of products, from home decor to personal care items, fashion accessories and clothing, offering a curated space to shop for gifts or yourself.
Kapok, 8 Sun Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, +852 2520 0114; ka-pok.com
See also: The Tatler Guide To Hong Kong's Neighbourhoods
This story was originally published on August 27, 2019 and was updated on September 11, 2020.