Given the amount of attention that is given to lunch, dinner, afternoon tea and happy hour, we are in the opinion that breakfast is the most underrated meal of all (it's often overshadowed by brunch – which, if you really think about it, is just an excuse to incorporate the breakfast foods we so love into our midday meal).
The idea of breakfast is the only incentive that will get me out of bed on a Saturday or Sunday morning. It also makes waking up on weekdays significantly less painful. From a health standpoint, filling our stomachs in the morning leads to improved metabolism, boosted energy and better concentration, as well as a number of other benefits. Breakfast is the one meal that has the ability to dictate how we're feeling for the rest of the day.
Fuel up for the challenges of the day ahead at a few of our favourite brekkie spots around Central:
Café Gray Deluxe
Upper East Breakfast
While it seems difficult to stand out from Hong Kong's abundance of spectacular city views, The Upper House's uninterrupted panorama of Victoria Harbour from 49 floors up appears to do just that. The sun streams in through the restaurant's floor-length windows on a clear day, illuminating the sleek and spacious grand café to create a relaxed but cosy atmosphere. For a varied and nutritious start to the day, the Upper West Breakfast ($295) offers fresh cut fruit and berries, quinoa-yoghurt porridge, granola parfait, along with a choice between smoked salmon and asparagus scrambled eggs and sunny-side-up egg with bacon. For a lighter take on the traditional Chinese breakfast, the Upper East Breakfast ($295) includes abalone-chicken congee, fried noodles with roasted duck and bean sprouts, as well as a steamed barbecue pork bun and selection of dim sum. Opt for a freshly baked pastry if you're looking to dine and dash.
49/F, The Upper House, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, 3968 1106
Named after a Jewish immigrant from New York, Jardine House's Morty's Delicatessen is popular for its selection of mouth-watering smoked meat sandwiches, the secret of which is a traditional, in-house meat-ageing process that takes a hefty 45 days. The deli offers a variety of bagels for breakfast, each filled with house-smoked meat, bacon, pastrami, turkey and more. The bagel and house lox combo ($68), with cold-smoked Atlantic salmon, cream cheese, red onion and tomato, is most popular with the deli's regulars. Talk about the perfect grab-and-go breakfast! An affordable selection of pancakes, pastries, smoothies and juices can also be found on the menu.
Shop 2–14, LG/F, Jardine House, 1 Connaught Place, Central, 3665 0900
Whenever a restaurant is confident enough to have only one main item on its menu, we can safely assume that they do that item well. At R&R Bagels, that one quality item that keeps customers coming back for more is, you guessed it, bagels. The shop's breakfast bagels, namely the English breakfast ($65), maple bacon and egg ($65), smashed avocado and egg ($65) and The Florentine ($60), are available from 7:30–10am on weekdays and 9–11am on weekends. Fresh, filling and super easy to eat while on the go, these bagels provide the ideal morning boost for busybodies. The premium Allpress coffee is recommended too.
28 Li Yuen Street West, Central, 2178 5168
Right in the heart of the shopper's paradise that is the LANDMARK, CAFÉ LANDMARK offers a selection of carefully curated breakfast items that showcase the restaurant's unique ability to deliciously combine flavours and culinary techniques from East and West. The thick-cut Japanese-style French roast ($105), infused with Hokkaido milk for 24 hours before being baked until golden brown, is lightly crisp on the outside and delightfully creamy on the inside. Soft but flavourful, the ham, mushroom and cheese frittata ($125) is topped with sautéed spinach and completed with a side of potatoes – a great savoury option for those who prefer to save some sweetness for later on in the day.
Shop 107–108, 1/F, LANDMARK, 15 Queen's Road Central, Central, 2526 4200
Thanks to its all-new breakfast menu, created specially by Executive Chef Adam Shoebridge, our Pacific Place favourite is now delivering sunny SoCal vibes from as early as 8am on weekdays and 11am on weekends. Visit this spot for vibrant, aromatic flavours that you wouldn't normally expect to see at breakfast time: think Southern shrimp and grits ($128) and chilaquiles ($88), a dish of lightly fried corn tortillas tossed in a spiced tomato sauce and served with scrambled egg. Homestyle classics such as the egg sandwich with cheese and tomato ($118), house granola ($78) and avocado toast with five-minute egg and espelette ($98) – in addition to freshly made pastries (cinnamon buns, croissants and more) – are also up for grabs.
Shop 405, 4/F, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, 2602 0707
We have strong reason to believe that Hong Kong's healthiest breakfast is located at Sheung Wan's Grassroots Pantry. Under the slogan 'make food do good', the lofty and minimalist workshop-slash-restaurant is designed to encourage sustainable, plant-based eating and carries this philosophy into its comprehensive breakfast menu. The daigaku imo quinoa porridge ($88), for example, is made with sweet potato, black sesame milk, dried figs, apricots and quinoa puffs. The matcha chia seed pancakes ($128) are made with matcha-moringa creme, raspberry compote and raw cacao seed. On the more savoury side of the breakfast spectrum, expect innovative dishes such as koji smoked carrot crêpes ($138) and scrambled tofu ($128) with toast and sides. Make informed choices about what you are putting into your body with the menu's labels for raw, vegan, gluten-free, Buddhist-friendly and nut-free dishes.
108 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, 2873 3353
For those with a hearty appetite and looking for a breakfast to match, this retro Arbuthnot Road joint might be just the place for you – especially if you love American food. Advertised as Hong Kong's only authentic American diner, The Diner serves up a greasy breakfast storm from 7am on weekdays and 7:30am on weekends and public holidays with items such as Boston beans ($68) – homemade bacon baked beans with sourdough toast and a fried egg – the breakfast burrito ($98) and blueberry pancakes ($88). For the Brits out there, The Limey ($128) – aka the full English – includes two eggs any style, Canadian bacon, pork sausages, baked beans, roasted cherry tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms and toast. We're full just thinking about it.
4–8 Arbuthnot Road, Central, 2562 3181