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Nestled in the western corner of Hong Kong Island, Sai Ying Pun is the up-and-coming hub for all things arts, coffee and food. There’s something magical about this neighbourhood – perhaps it’s the beautiful intertwining of old and new, the way traditional Hong Kong shops blend harmoniously with hipster cafés and bars, or maybe it’s the secluded alleyways and lanes where hidden gems can be found. Whether you’re looking for a quiet spot to be productive, searching for the perfect brunch place or trying to satisfy that sweet tooth of yours, Sai Ying Pun is the place to be when it comes to cafés.
For those who need to get work done
Freelancers, students, WFH-ers… we’ve got your back. These cafés will get your brain up and running and your creative juices flowing. And, yes, Wi-Fi is a basic human need in the 21st century.
Tuckshop by Social Club
Photo credit: sum_jessica
Tucked underneath the co-working space Garage Society, Tuckshop by Social Club is a popular spot for freelancers. The exterior walls are glass accordion doors that let in ample natural light, accentuating the spacious interior. Seats are well-spaced apart and charging ports are available. Instead of settling for just a regular cup of joe, we recommend trying the build-your-own breakfast (from $35); there’s an impressive selection of eggs and toppings to choose from, with eggs prepared five ways (scrambled tofu being one of them) and a variety of bread, protein and veggie toppings. Their tuckshop bowl (from $75) is also worth a shot for a healthy lunch. Oh, did we mention your pup can tag along too?
158A Connaught Road West, Sai Ying Pun, 9745 4966
Opendoor Cafe + Courtyard
Photo credit: 隨心隨生
A tranquil area just behind the café, the courtyard at Opendoor Cafe + Courtyard is an enclave in this bustling city, perfect for getting work done. The artwork displayed in the café is for sale; it’s part of an initiative to support budding artists, so do check it out during your work break. The café menu features many healthy options, including variations of cauliflower rice (from $68) and grilled sandwiches ($68). We are particularly impressed with their smoothie concoctions – the wakey wakey smoothie ($83) has muesli, banana, chia seeds, cinnamon, yoghurt and almond milk, which sounds delicious. The service tends to be a bit slow, so we’d suggest avoiding heading here if you’re short on time.
120 Connaught Road West, Sai Ying Pun, 3460 3880
NOC Coffee Co.
Picture credit: cfung426
Trusty NOC never disappoints. Winner of Foodie Forks 2019 Readers’ Choice Best Café, their signature pristine countertops and high ceilings will get you into work mode stat. They have a regimented coffee-roasting process to achieve the ideal roast profile, so you know their coffee is of the highest quality. Check out the giant roasting machine in the café and witness the magic behind your cup of joe! The best part is the fragrant coffee scent that wafts throughout. Pair your caffeine fix with one of the delectable food items, which include scrambled crab toast ($128), truffle orzo ($128) and more.
Shop 4, G/F, Bohemian House, 321 Des Voeux Road West, Sai Ying Pun, 3611 5300 (additional locations around town can be found here)
LN Fortunate Coffee
Photo credit: annielwy
A fully vegan café serving mouth-watering dishes like meatball hot dog with cheese and bolognese ($128/set), barley noodles with char siu in soup ($108/set) and cheese hericium mushroom burger ($98/set), LN Fortunate Coffee is a must-go for vegans and carnivores alike. The peaceful background music sets the tone for some quiet work, and if you sit near the window, you can do some people watching too.
G/F, Altro, 118 Second Street, Sai Ying Pun, 2858 3898
Photo credit: longlx
Dressed elegantly in royal blue, Bluebird Coffee stands out against the monotonous backdrop of commercial buildings and traditional shops of the area. Its interior design is just as stylish as its exterior, featuring marble countertops and velvet couches. While the light bites and pastries are not particularly outstanding (think Starbucks quality), coffee fanatics will love their handcrafted coffee drinks such as the espresso con panna ($25/single) and Yakult Americano ($42/tall). Their peanut butter latte ($42/tall), in particular, has received rave reviews, so be sure to check that one out.
Shop B, G/F, Lucky Commercial Centre, 103 Des Voeux Road West, Sai Ying Pun, no phone
For those who love chill brunches with friends
What’s better than spending a laughter-filled afternoon with your besties at a comfy café, sharing a delicious spread of food (and spilling some tea) and perhaps snapping a few Insta-worthy shots?
Coffee by Zion
Yet another modern café with sliding glass doors (can you tell we love the sun?), Coffee by Zion is a sleekly designed café that offers fab brunch options – from smoked salmon eggs Benedict ($98), to Alaska codfish burger ($118), to mixed berry super bowl muesli ($90), everyone can find something they enjoy. We love their wooden furniture and rustic white brick walls and, of course, the neon lights that scream “ZION”. This café’s tables are large and the interior is spacious.
83 First Street, Sai Ying Pun, 2857 1838
Photo credit: Viann.yip
Did you know that Hong Kong has 549 species of birds? Located next to a small lane, nature-themed Crispy Bistro has a beautiful display of wall art that stretches into the lane; it’s studded with facts about Hong Kong’s natural landscape. There are also plenty of plants inside and even a snug garden behind the café. They are known for their sweet waffles and crêpes – mixed nuts and honey waffle with nougat ice cream ($66), anyone? Their signature floral tea with honey ($59) is also worth a try.
32 Second Street, Sai Ying Pun, 2540 9166
With an all-white exterior, Blossom is a breath of fresh air just across from the University of Hong Kong. The decor reminds us of Japan (MUJI, perhaps?) with its simple wooden furniture and light colours. While they do serve dishes like crabmeat pasta ($108) and roasted spring chicken ($108), we recommend trying the coffee – the staff will introduce the coffee beans being used that day and will answer any queries you may have. Blossom is quite a small shop though, so the seats fill up fast.
Shop 2, 3/F, Hing Hon Building, 63B–F Bonham Road, Sai Ying Pun, 2803 2556
For those who need a sweet fix
Perhaps it’s the depressing virus news, the suffocating heat or just life in general… a little sugar can always turn your frown upside down. Check out these sweet spots to brighten your day – treat yo’self!
JOMO Coffee & Cakes
Photo credit: Joannakawai
JOMO Coffee & Cakes’ indulgent homemade cakes are very photogenic, especially their chiffon cakes ($52/ slice) with their satisfying drippy icing (whole cakes are available for ordering in advance). They also carry a spectacular selection of vegan pastries, including salted caramel apple crumble pie ($68/slice), lemon tart ($52/slice) and carrot cake ($68/slice). With an open kitchen, the space is cosy and perfect for some me time.
Shop D, G/F, 3 Sam To Lane, 4 Water Street, Sai Ying Pun, 2762 0258 (with another location at Monterey Place in Tseung Kwan O)
Photo credit: kathy127
Shaz Confections boast an impressive selection of artisan crêpe cakes ($58/slice), with seasonal flavours including salted egg yolk, HK milk tea, pandan and many more. Pair your slice with one of their comforting lattes – the rose latte ($42/hot) and matcha latte ($42/hot) with adorable latte art are good options. If you drop by at the weekend, do try Shaz’s delicate tea set ($128), presented on an elegant three-tiered platter.
21 First Street, Sai Ying Pun, 5596 5956 (with another location at K11 Art Mall in TST)
Photo credit: starrychow
This pistachio-coloured shop will satisfy all your summertime sweet cravings. Pop by Coffeelin for a refreshing scoop of gelato ($40/scoop; $65/2 scoops) and sip their coffee, made from two house-blend beans from Griso Coffee in Milan. The unicorn twins series ($62) allows you to choose an iced drink from their list and top it with your favourite gelato – genius! There are also other desserts such as affogato ($62) and burnt cheesecake ($45).
99 High Street, Sai Ying Pun, 6099 3635
The Missing Piece
Photo credit: foodstalkers_hk
Despite not being a vegan café, most of the desserts at The Missing Piece are vegan. Their signature gluten-free vegan cheesecake ($58/slice) features flavours such as matcha, hojicha and coffee hazelnut. The crust is made from nuts and dates, providing more texture than a traditional graham cracker crust.
35 Eastern Street, Sai Ying Pun, 2547 6636
A lively Australian-style café, Winstons Coffee is always buzzing with people. While this may not exactly be an ideal place to chill for an afternoon, their famous matcha tart ($20) and top-quality coffee are worth a visit. The staff are friendly and always up for a nice chat. We recommend snagging a spot at the bar table by the window to do some people watching.
213 Queen’s Road West, Sai Ying Pun, 2559 5078 (with another location at The Hudson in Kennedy Town)
There you go – Sai Ying Pun, caffeinated.
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