Let’s face it – Hong Kong residents don’t really like to move beyond their block unless it is (a) for something cool and (b) it is made as easy as possible. The arrival of the MTR has opened up the far reaches of western district and brought a steady stream of “tourists” from the rest of Hong Kong island to Kennedy Town. There are still plenty of dai pai dongs and local tea shops for those that prefer to amble and discover local treats for themselves, but from Ireland and Belgium to Mexico and Nepal it is a growing hub for “world cuisine” too. Here Foodie gives you the rundown of where to eat on the key streets.
Map at the bottom for reference.
* DAVIS STREET:
The beating heart of Kennedy Town – the block closest to the waterfront has long been a gathering point for residents but as you walk up towards the MTR new hotspots are springing up each month.
Tequila on Davis – A must if you are hungover or just generally hankering for Mexican food. The portions are sizeable, there is plenty of cheese and spice for those that want it and the Margaritas are excellent. It’s not fancy but it is fun and unlike many spots in Kennedy Town, it is a good bet for bigger groups.
G/F., 1 Davis Street, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong
T: 2818 1766
Pierside – Hollywood lighting, white tablecloths, and a focus on American steak and Maine lobsters. Unusual, yet welcomed in HK. Their set lunch is a steal at $128 for a starter, main (such as seafood fettuccine with scallops, prawns and squid in a crustacean sauce) and Movenpick sundae for dessert. We are big fans of their charcoal grilled rib eye, and the meaty lobster roll ($155) also.
G/F, Grand Fortune Mansion, 1B Davis Street, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong
T: 2398 1838
Lobster Roll at Pierside
Bistro du Vin – A beautifully designed taste of France. The lighting is warm, the decor has a wonderful gallic charm, and all the traditional classics are served with love. If you can bag a corner table, it’s an ideal spot for lovers.
Shop 1D, G/F, Davis Street, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong
T: 2824 3010
Old China Hand – Sister to the Wanchai Old China Hand, it's not our favourite watering hole in the area. The bar stocks plenty of beers, and plays live sports too - definitely one for the guys.
1C Davis Street, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong
T: 2865 1181
Piccolo – With restaurants in Tai Hang and Wan Chai, your probably already know that this is a good staple Italian. A nice place for an easy family dinner or a low key catch-up with friends.
Shop 1E, Davis Street, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong
T: 2824 3000
CoffTea image via SCMP
* DAVIS X CATCHICK (STREETS):
My Place – They claim to serve the cheapest beers in Kennedy Town. Need we say more?
99 Catchick Street, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong
T: 2819 008
The CoffTea Shop – Arguably the best coffee in a 20-block radius and the cakes are pretty delish too. There’s no place to sit so it’s more grab and go type set-up. Luckily there are a few benches on the waterfront just a few minutes walk away that are the perfect spot to wolf down sweet treats.
Yue On Building, 78-86 Catchick Street, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong
T: 9104 2404
Catch on Catchick
* DAVIS X CATCHICK (CATCHICK STREET:):
Ride the tram all the way to its western end and this is where you’ll end up. A bustling little street where old and new Hong Kong is fighting it out for space. Buses, trams, and minivans roar down this road, so keep that in mind when booking outside seating.
Catch on Catchick – an upmarket little eaterie offering a solid range of seafood options. It’s a neighbourhood favourite for weekend brunch but it’s a small space so worth booking ahead. If you do snag a seat – then order the French Toast, which is so rich it is bordering on sinful, or the seriously indulgent Big Bad Ben.
G/F, 93 Catchick St, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong
T: 2855 1289
Catch Next Door - uccupying the space that used to be Catch on (they've now moved into a much bigger space next door) is this brand new chic little bar. With delicious snacks on offer, and a wide selection of drinks this is one of our faves for after work drinks or catching up with friends on a weekend.
G/F, 93 Catchick St, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong
T: 2855 1289
Jaspas - The stalwart of Kennedy Town’s dining scene. This restaurant was here probably before the MTR extension was a twinkle in some official’s eye. For residents of Manhattan Heights, it has long been regarded as their de facto canteen, though others feel the prices are too high for what’s on offer. Either way – it’s always packed and you know exactly what your signing up for. Another draw for HK’s animal lovers is the outside seating is dog-friendly.
Shop B, G/F, 83 Catchick Street, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong
T: 2872 0823
Sunday’s – Part supermarket, part takeaway, this relatively new addition to the neighbourhood dining scene attracts wave after wave of hipsters, who lounge on the crates set up as outside seating, sipping designer beers and nibbling their store’s excellent fried chicken and tasty hot sandwiches. A very cool spot with a very nice vibe.
Kam Fu Mansion, 66-68 Catchick Street, Hong Kong
T: 2628 6001
Bresola – The fare is mainly Italian – with traditional offerings such as the classic Caprese salad as well as the Clam & Chorizo spaghetti – but the menu also offers good meaty dishes such as Ribeye steak and pork chops. The portions are generous, and there is a reasonable wine selection.
Shop D, Yue On Building, 78-86 Catchick Street, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong
T: 2485 2345
KTown Bar and Grill
Take the MTR Exit C and head left. Already home to a lot of cool eateries – expect even more to pop as the year progresses. There are already hoards of tourists taking snapshots of the famed Kennedy Town ‘tree-wall’ at the far end of the road where nature is beating man to quite beautiful effect.
Missy Ho’s – A great night out but book well in advance. Chic and sophisticated – take a date you want to impress, or just enjoy a girls night out with quality food and excellent cocktails. The decor is Cool Britannia meets Hip Hong Kong and the lighting and styling has a hint of New York dive bar.
Shop G9, G/F, Sincere Western House, 48 Forbes Street, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong
T: 2817 3808
Le Collection de Vignobles – Another slice of France in Kennedy Town – tucked on the corner of Forbes and Cadogan Street this wine bar/eaterie – has great potential either. Take a good friend or a hot date, share a bottle, and indulge in the fresh bread and cheese. Cocktail service was a little slow on our most recent visit.
G/F, Sincere Western House, Forbes and Cadogan Street, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong
T: 2817 2112
K-Town Bar & Grill – Already hugely popular with locals, its proximity to the MTR – just two mins walk – is probably going to make it a hit with visitors. It’s pretty stylish for a chain and the pizzas are excellent. Plus it’s spacious enough for a big group brunch and has room for prams and pushchairs. Select outside facing seats mean that dogs are welcome too.
G7 & G8, G/F Sincere Western House, 44 Forbes Street, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong
T: 2855 1368
Purple Bar - A recent addition to the area’s offerings – they do a mean Irish coffee – perfect for this cold weather. It’s an intimate spot and you could easily walk on by if you didn’t know it was there. Ideal for illicit encounters or dodging nosy neighbours.
G/F, 56 Forbes Street, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong
T: 2338 5517
Dharma Den via HK Magazine
*DAVIS X FORBES (STREETS):
Dharma Den – Arguably Kennedy Town’s coolest spot for late night drinks. This vivid hookah lounge is full of beautiful designs and trinkets from Nepal. Owner Pawan Rai – the man that brought HK the Buddha Lounge – has created a new haven out west. The Shisha is excellent, drinks attentively replenished, and if your in for the night – sometimes they hand over musical control. Keep in mind things only really get going around 10pm or later.
38-40 Davis St, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong
T: 5400 3327
Half & Half - A nice place to catch up with friends or for an cozy date night. It’s warm, welcoming and they do a nice line in light bites that you can share with friends including ‘Eggplant Lasagne’, ‘Truffle Cheesy Fries’ as well as an excellent Charcuterie board. The main meal portions are inexpensive but could definitely be more generous.
Shop G05, Sincere Western House, 42 Davis Street, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong
T: 2855 0528
Tapaella – GAMBAS AL AJILLO O PIL PIL
*HAU WO STREET:
Once a hub of fishmongers, dried fish stores, and Chinese medicine vendors, this unassuming street has morphed into a gourmand’s haven in the past few years.
The Lotus - Affectionately referred to by locals as their “other kitchen” this little Vietnamese gem is packed most meal times but fear not as the food comes fast so spaces open up quickly. The staff are lovely and the food is great value. In fact we much prefer this restaurant to their sister spot in Wan Chai.
Shop B, G/F, 38 Hau Wo Street, Hong Kong
T: 2817 0233
Tapaella Grill – While the French appear to be taking over Kennedy Town, this is the only Spanish restaurant of its kind. The set lunch is excellent as is the tapas selection. If you’ve adventurous children then this is a good alternative family restaurant.
Shop F, G/F, Shun Cheong Building, 28 Hau Wo Street, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong
T: 2817 9792
Thallasic Thai - A favourite with HKU students this spot also gets busy at meal times. The food is reasonably priced and there are some real treats. The seafood dishes in general are good but opt for the hugely popular Curry Crab if it is available (make sure you have plenty of bread to mop up the delicious sauce)
Shop C & D, G/F, Chi Ping Building, 38 Hau Wo Street, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong
T: 3606 3111
Belgica - You can’t miss the vivid brick-house facade but this tiny laid bar is an unexpected treat. It offers more than 50 different types of beer and serves up mussels the way only the Belgians know how.
Shop B2, G/F, 25-33 Hau Wo St, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong
T: 2817 7717
Cakes Secret – Addicted to Instagramming your food? Drive your friends insane because your smartphone has become part of your cutlery set? Well head over to this tiny little patisserie brought to you by ex-Sevva man James Chim Yik-shun, where every cake looks like a little piece of art.
G/F, 43 Hau Wo Street, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong
T: 2816 6000
Fish and Chick
A unique strip where you can still see fishermen attempting to grab their catch of the day from the rocks by the harbour, waves crash into the sea wall, and out across the lush blue expanse to Kowloon and beyond. In an ideal world it would be pedestrianised entirely…
Fish and Chick - A darling little restaurant that is packed, packed, packed at mealtimes. It might be the sea-air, or the occasional sound of waves hitting the harbour wall, but this is the perfect spot for this type of restaurant. Opt for the classic battered cod (or haddock, sea bass, monkfish and barramundi) and chips, or if you fancy something a little more land-based the rotisserie chicken is pretty juicy. You can takeaway or order to your door too.
Shop 6, 25 New Praya, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong
T: 2974 0088
Kinsale – This 3,000 sq foot restaurant brings a burst of Ireland to the neighbourhood. High ceilings, exposed walls, and an expanse of windows along the shop front envelope daytime diners in light, but come the evening it switches easily into something sleek, stylish, and a little bit sexy. Prices are higher than average for Kennedy Town – with most of the mains above or around the $200 mark – but the produce used is top quality. They have an excellent happy hour from 3-7pm too. Despite its proximity to the water – the view though is mainly of the bus depot.
Shop 3, G/F, New Fortune House, 3-5 New Praya, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong
T: 2796 6004
Quay West – Cocktails, live music, quiz nights, the folk at Quay West have put a lot of thought into their nightly offerings. Good for post work drinks on a Friday, perhaps listening to a band on Saturdays, and well, lazy, boozy Sunday afternoons.
25 New Praya, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong
T: 2817 0198
Bulldogs – You know the drill from this chain. If you like beer, sports and straight-forward bar food then this is the place for you. The burgers are solid and sizeable, the beer is chilled, and the atmosphere is fun. Plus the views are good and there’s space to spill out to the barfront. Plus dogs are welcome.
G/F, 7-8 New Praya Kennedy Town, Hong Kong
T: 2872 5768
Chino – The brainchild of Erik Idos, former executive chef at Nobu Hong Kong – this little eaterie sits at the bottom of a converted old-style Hong Kong building. It’s stylish and already a favourite with the hipster crowd. The fusion of Mexican and Asian food bring something fun, new and tasty to the dining scene, but whether “out of (Kennedy) towners” will brave the no reservations policy to come remains to be seen. Insiders say the best time to secure a seat is either before 7.30pm or after 9pm.
1B – 1C New Praya, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong
T: 2606 0588
* SIGNIFICANT OTHERS
Hotpot Instinct - This is how you do hotpot. From the nifty digital menus to the broad range of soups and additions so you can effectively create your perfect meal, this place ticks all the boxes. Highly recommended for a small group.
1/F, Kam Ho Court, 144-148 Belcher’s Street, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong
T: 3464 0741
Waffling Beans – Tucked away on a street of building merchants and mechanics, this has become a quiet success story. With a bounty of magazines available, wifi, and a full menu of every kind of sweet and savoury topping you can think of for your classic waffles, this is a nice spot for some “me time”, or a girlie afternoon with friends. But be warned – it’s always busy at the weekends and they only take reservations for parties of six or more.
G/F, Shop 9, New Fortune Hse, 4-8 North Street, Hong Kong
T: 2855 8890
Tivo – The latest in a well-established HK chain, dishes such as the Sesame Kale Salad and the Burrata Pugliese at the K Town incarnation have fans heading back repeatedly. The restaurant is light, open, and spacious – and does have the benefit of being set opposite a park, but
but unfortunately it is also next to a main road so it can get a little noisy.
33 Praya, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong
T: 2543 1238
Sun Hing Restaurant - Known to most as the “3am Dim Sum Place” this is hugely popular with pretty much everyone who stops leading to different vibes at different times. Late night dining is the preserve of drunk expats, as well as the occasional shift worker. Older citizens fill up the seats in the morning, while the mid afternoon crowd seems to be mostly lively HKU students. The custard buns are a must try – but with most of the dim sum priced at less than HK$25 – it’s all a bargain, but be prepared to fight for it.
Shop C, G/F, 8 Smithfield Road, Kennedy Town
T: 2816 0616
Casa Tapakaya - with a huge variety of craft beer on tap, as well as high quality wines at reasonable prices this is the perfect place to hang out with friends. They have a great variety of food offerings too, ranging from harissa lamb to buffalo cauliflower, and also feature live musicians on weekends. If you're struggling to find the place, it's helpful to know that it actually lies closer to HKU mtr. Definitely one to check out.
Shop 14-16 Woo Hop Street, Kennedy Town
T: 5649 9816