The fast-paced lifestyle that Hong Kong induces can take its toll on one’s health. There are months where you will realise that you’ve had far more nights out, than you’ve had in, and your body will be craving healthy, organic and wholesome food.
Eating healthy can mean different things to different people: for some, healthy means eating a more balanced diet and upping your intake of fruit and vegetables. To others, it means following a gluten-free, raw or vegan diet. To others still, it might mean simply cutting out sugar and substituting butter for olive oil. The good news is, more and more restaurants are catering to this need. Although the alleged nefariousness of wheat and gluten can at times seem more of a trend than a truth, if some people cut out bread and eat more vegetables, it won't be the worst life choice for the year.
We have for you our top list of healthy, guilt-free dining options in the city. In no particular order:
Cedele (pronounced seh-deli) snuck into Hong Kong without many bells and whistles, but to a loyal following and audience of frequent diners. Setting foot in Hong Kong in 2013, the bakery-cafés (two in Kowloon) and all day dining cafe (one in Central) serve up classic comfort food with a creative twist, championing naturally healthy ingredients and artisan techniques. All recipes are made from scratch each day, guaranteeing morsels that are positive and delicious. We love their cakes especially, and the quinoa with protein dinners are great value and very tasty.
Shop C G/F 58-64 Paterson Street
Fashion Walk, Causeway Bay HK
T: +852 2110 0490
Mon - Thu & Sun : 11am to 11pm
Fri & Sat : 11am to 11:30pm
Sun/PH : 11am to 11pm
All Day Dining
Elements Mall: Shop 1026, 1 Austin Road, West Kowloon
Infinitus Plaza: G-08 Infinitus Plaza, 199 Des Voeux Road, Central
Prune Organic Deli and Workshop [CLOSED]
This restaurant is now part of Grassroots Pantry in Sheung Wan.
It takes passion to make meat-free food this palatable to non-vegetarians, but both carnivores and herbivores alike love the food at Peggy Chan’s establishment, Prune Organic Deli and Workshop (the readers' choice award for “Best Vegetarian” at this year’s Foodie Forks). With its fresh flowers, just-picked produce, chalkboard and mirrored menus and home-made granola and jams for sale, Prune has a lovely homely feel. Even if you’re not adhering to a special diet, we guarantee you’ll be bowled over by this eatery’s healthy, fresh and delicious flavours. Never has guilt-free dining been so good. Go the Acai Bowl (pictured); it's our favourite.
Tues – Fri: 7:30am–11:30am (breakfast); 11:30am–5:30pm (lunch); 3:00pm–5:30pm (afternoon tea) Sat, Sun, Public Holidays: 8:30am–3:00pm (brunch); 3:00pm–5:30pm (afternoon tea)
14 Fuk Sau Lane, Sai Ying Pun, 2873 3353
This well-established fine food favourite is not a strictly vegetarian establishment but it has a full menu titled We ❤ Vegetables that we adore and applaud. It’s not often you get a full vegetarian list in any Hong Kong restaurant that also serves meat dishes; this menu is chock full of beautiful and exciting offerings like the huge dosas, tossed tapioca lasagna and ten varieties of chopped vegetables and pickles. All served in Bonnae Gokson’s gorgeous restaurant with spectacular views set under a unique flower canopy.
Prince's Building, 25/F, 10 Chater Road, Central, 2537 1388
Lovemi, eatmi, enjoymi, desiremi, bitemi, cravemi…not Google searches you don't ever want anyone to see, but rather the different types of dishes on offer at the Vietnamese noodle bar and a Foodie team favourite, Noodlemi. With its selection of MSG-free, wheat-free, and gluten-free Vietnamese dishes, this modernistic, no-nonsense Vietnamese eatery on Bonham Strand has become a popular haunt for Hong Kong’s increasingly health-conscious office crowd. With an upbeat and lively vibe and quick and assured service, you have the option of dining in or taking out.
Open Mon – Sat: 11.30am – 10pm. Sun 12pm – 9.30pm G/F, 2 Bonham Strand, Sheung Wan, 2253 1113
We are impressed by this string of café’s recent revamp incorporating a whole menu of salads, sandwiches and pizzas with healthy options, calorie-count information and special dietary requirements in mind.
2 Arbuthnot Road, 2868 0450
Your readers' choice for best healthy eats 2015 in the Foodie Forks, this healthy-food enclave offers a menu with a wide range of organic and sustainable foods, while also exuding an inspirational ambience that turns people over to an eco-conscious-eating lifestyle. From the décor to their ethical use of packaging and cutlery, Mana! succeeds at serving food that doesn’t cost the earth and is environmentally sustainable. The menu features all kinds of flatbreads (gluten-free options available of course), healthy salads, delicious soups and freshly squeezed health juices. They have since expanded to Mana Raw! which is a wild juicery serving the likes of raw sushi, raw soups and raw desserts. We think you will like the store that's in...store for you in the coming months. Located on Pound Lane, it's a new exciting concept of open flat bread and artisanal style breads. It will introduce new exciting food to cater to the HK market.
Open daily 10am – 10pm.
92 Wellington Street (Mana) 97 Wellington St (Mana Raw), Central, 2851 1611
Joining the foray into the land of health that is sweeping HK at present, Zumufi is a new smoothie shop that has opened on the border of Sheung Wan and Central.
As more people build-up a healthy lifestyle, Zumufi seek to highlight the importance of a healthy diet by offering drinks that are made from natural and health-promoting ingredients. The idea is not to focus only on being physically fit, but keeping a balanced diet through the means of eating nutritious foods. There are tonnes of smoothie options and literally all of them are delicious. Favourites include the Hangover + with hydrating coconut water and a Cocoa which bears all resemblance to chocolate milk but is entirely dairy and sugar free.
Zumufi, Shop D, G/F, Willy Commercial Building, 28-36 Wing Kut Street, Sheung Wan, Mon – Sat 7:30 am – 6:30 pm, 2949 9829
Locofama is both an organic restaurant and grocery shop opened by chef and nutritionist Justin Chan. Its mission, according to Justin, is "to provide convenient, delicious, fresh, clean, nutritious meals and a wide range of products at an affordable price." He insists that healthy meals needn’t be bland or boring, and neither do they need to be strictly vegetarian. Hear, hear! The quaint little eatery is calm and casual – a lovely escape from the craziness of Central. Its rustic wooden tables and an open kitchen give it an airy, relaxed feel that complements the healthy menu. Don’t forget to poke your head into the grocery store next door to take home some of that goodness.
Open Mon – Sun: 12pm – 10pm 11 Fuk Sau Lane, Sai Ying Pun, 2547 7668
A bit of an oasis admist the hectic streets of Sheung Wan, a serene lobby gives way to the lift that reveals the simple beauty of The Kinnet Café. And we’re not being hyperbolic; it’s really lovely up there.
Nutrition features heavily throughout the menu, of which features avocado eggs benedict ($90), the french toast ($68) with homemade mixed berry compote and bananas (which are perfectly sized and taste unbelievable).
Pick three ($80) of the seven salads on offer and experience euphoria with the veggie delights and creative combinations such as quinoa and celeriac and asparagus and eggplant. They also offer filling set lunches served with soups, salads and a roast of the day ($160).
3/F, 33 Hillier Street, Sheung Wan; 3968 7623
Eating here will get you a healthy glow and a lot of likes on Instagram. The menu includes Thai-and-Indian-inspired curries, raw Lebanese kofta, and a selection of gluten-free and vegan desserts (as guilt-free as you can get with desserts). Founder Peggy Chan’s commitment to serving local and sustainable plant-based dishes is admirable, and her seasonal menu is both creative and delicious. Grassroots Pantry also offers cooking and environmental workshops and a virtuous catering service.
Get here before the bigger store opens in August of 2015 and uploaded your favourite meals (with the hashtag #thatgpstory) for a chance to be invited to the exclusive opening party.
Tues – Fri: 12pm – 3pm (lunch); 6pm – 10pm (dinner) Saturday and Public Holidays: 12pm – 3pm (lunch); 3pm – 6pm (tea); 6pm – 10pm (dinner) Sunday: 10am – 4pm (brunch) Closed on Monday 12 Fuk Sau Lane, Sai Ying Pun, 2873 3353
This lovely, lived-in café is a hidden gem in the midst of the industrial hinterland of Ap Lei Chau. Nestled within the multi-functional space of toof [contemporary] art gallery, artichoke [canteen] ticks all the right boxes when it comes to chilling out. There’s a focus on global organic vegetarian cuisine at artichoke, but fish and meat eaters are also well catered to. We love the reclaimed-wood table tops, patio-style chairs and coffee roasting machine taking centre stage in the dining area (tip: the Coffee & Tea Academy of HK and China’s coffee expert Barry Yuen is based at artichoke on weekends). Word on the street is that the spacious outdoor terrace provides one of the best vantage points for all those sunset seekers out there.
Open Wed – Sun: 11am – 11pm 3/F, Harbour Industrial Centre, 10 Lee Hing Street, Ap Lei Chau, 2580 0293 / 9684 9964
Located on the upper floors of Cheung's Building, this little eatery is ideal for a lunch date or when you are in the mood for excessive health. We are fans of their taro and sweet potato chips (yum) which goes for a reasonable $35. They also have some overly sippable juices: like the virgin sangria ($38) made from beetroots, apples, oranges, lemon and lime, and the kail ($38): kale, mint, cucumber and apple. And we have not even touched on the salads and sliders...
We love the vision of Kale and that they are bringing this free-radical fighting leaf to the forefront of the Hong Kong consciousness. Huge props to the salad and the inventive drinks. A little hard to find, but a gem in central Hong Kong. Long live the cruciferous kale king.
Cheungs Building, 1-3 Wing Lok St; 2320 5808
Chi Lin Vegetarian
For a Zen experience, this peaceful Buddhist eatery nestled within the magnificent Tang Dynasty-style landscaped gardens of Nan Lian is our favourite escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. The décor of this vegetarian restaurant, which is managed by Chi Lin Nunnery, may be simple compared to its surroundings, but the kitchen serves up pristine meat-free Chinese dishes. You can even opt for a sumptuous vegetarian banquet, complete with calming views of the cascading waterfall outside.
Mon – Fri: 12pm – 9pm; Sat – Sun:11:30am – 9pm 60 Fung Tak Road, Diamond Hill, 3658 9388
We were a little sceptical about the idea of a vegan shop with the name of ‘Anything But Salads’, but we needn’t have been. This health food-store-meets-café is all about bringing gourmet flavours that are satisfying in the way that many clean foods, sadly, are not. Meeting the needs of the urbanite in an aesthetically pleasing way, try their raw wraps and cracking almond butter. We personally believe the above slice needs more cake, which we may or may not be a result of being somewhat addicted to the raw carrot cake.
14 Tai Ping Shan Street; 6743 5000
The LockCha Tea House provides an elegant place for tea in the heart of downtown Hong Kong. Whether you are a tea lover or not, the atmosphere here is soothing. Aimed at reviving the traditional canton-style teahouses, the LockCha Tea House provides not only a selection of more than a hundred teas, but also vegetarian dim sum that are made fresh daily.
The K.S. Lo Gallery, Hong Kong Park, Admiralty, Hong Kong Park; 2801 7177
Hand picked pomergranate that features in a wild rice salad and roasted aubergine with saffron yogurt, garlic broccoli salads and one of the best soy lattes you will have in Hong Kong. These funky things emphasise freshly made soups, salads, and pizzas, all with exciting flavour profiles to keep customers surprised and satisfied.
Unit D, 22/F, Yally Industrial Building, 6 Yip Fat Street Wong Chuk Hang
Have you a favourite wellness restaurant you tend to send everyone to when they ask the health guru (you)? Let us know in the comments below and we would love to feature it in the next top list, credited to you!