Hong Kong has been touted by many as a foodie haven. After a little exploring, you realise that this title is not (solely) earned by the abundance of international cuisine and Michelin-starred fare but also the cheap and cheerful traditional street snacks found down alleyways and around street corners. In this city, there is a whole world of street snacks to explore and we know it can be a little daunting for some, so here’s a guide to the best street food Hong Kong has to offer.

Siu mai (Steamed pork dumpling)

siu mai at hong kong street food stall
Siu mai with soy sauce (© Leung Cho Pan via Canva)

Without a doubt one of the most common and popular street snacks around the city, siu mai is a delectable Chinese dumpling with local variations found all over China. However the one we are concerned with today is the Cantonese version. Traditionally, the siu mai from our local neighbourhood usually contains fish or meat paste with a little bit of pork, or no pork at all, and will be served with a stick, costing HK$10 to HK$15 for a bowl. Don’t forget to top it off with the sweet soy sauce & chilli oil!

Where to eat it:

This can be found on every street corner, from 7/11 to independent local vendors as siu mai is one of the kings of Hong Kong street food. However, top places to find some quality siu mai in major tourist hotspots would be:

  • Soy St, Mong Kok
  • Sai Yeung Choi St South, Mong Kok
  • Dundas St, Mong Kok
  • Hung Fook Tong 鴻福堂 (Multiple locations): Local’s quick grab and go store available at most MTR stations which sells Cantonese style drinks, soups, and snack foods.
  • Keung Kee 強記美食, G/F, Chuang’s Enterprises Building, 382 Lockhart Rd, Wan Chai: Recommended on the Michelin Guide 2023.
  • 陳記魚蛋 (North Point and Tsuen Wan): No English name but the literal translation is ‘Chan’s Fishball’.

Gaa lei yu dan (Curry fish ball)

Curry fishballs
Curry fish balls (© Courtesy Lucy Loves to Eat)

These little guys are pretty easy to find around town. When you walk down a food stall-laden street in Hong Kong and smell something tasty, it is likely the scent of the gaa lei yu dan or Hong Kong fish balls bathed in yellow curry. These fragrant, flavourful balls of fish paste floating in an oily, golden curry soup can’t help but catch a longing glance from all who pass. Expect to pay HK$10 or less for a heaping bowl.

Where to eat it:

Similar to siu mai, curry fish balls can be found in 7/11 and beyond. They could also be easily found in the same locations as mentioned above, but here are some other favourite street food stalls to try the best curry fish balls in Hong Kong:

  • Yuen Mei Dessert, Shop 3, G/F, United Building, 1-7 Wu Kwong St, Hung Hom
  • 通達食店 (no English name) (Yau Ma Tei and Mong Kok)
  • 甘永泰魚蛋 (no English name), G/F, 106 San Hing St, Cheung Chau: This stall offers Cheung Chau’s extra large fishballs, a speciality in Cheung Chau.
  • Al Dente Balls 彈彈旦, Shop 14D, G/F, Yan on Building, 1 Kwong Wa St, Mong Kok: Fusion fish balls
See also
10 Traditional Pastries Every Hongkonger Craves For

Jyu cheung fun  (Rice noodle roll)

hong kong rice noodle roll with soy sauce
Cheung fun with soy sauce (© MICDWIM YAINZ RPMMO via WikiCommons)

Don’t be fooled by the Cantonese translation of this snack, which means pig intestine noodles, as this traditional street snack often contains no meat. This popular dish consists of tubular rolls of thin rice noodle sheets smothered in soy sauce and other toppings. Top tip: this snack is always a hit with the little ones!  However, keep in mind that if purchased in a dim sum restaurant, these rolls are often stuffed with some sort of beef or pork based filling. You’ll pay up to HK$30 at a restaurant and roughly half that at a street snack stall.

Where to eat it:

  • Hop Yik Tai Snack Shop, G/F, 121 Kweilin St, Sham Shui Po: Cantonese speaker needed as everything is in Chinese. Recommended in the Michelin Guide, this is one of our favourites for Michelin street food in Hong Kong.
  • Santos 三多 (Multiple locations including Yuen Long and Tsuen Wan): Known for their fried chicken, but has equally delicious fried rice rolls.
  • Kwan Kee 坤記腸粉 (Multiple locations including Tai Wai and Sham Shui Po)

Cau dau fu (Stinky tofu)

Hong Kong street food stinky tofu
Stinky to fu with chili sauce (© Courtesy Lucy Loves to Eat)

Really highlighting the ‘fragrant’ in Fragrant Harbour, stinky tofu might seem like one Hong Kong street food to avoid – especially once you smell it. But do not be too quick to judge this (excessively?) fermented friend, for it tastes much better than it smells. Hong Kong’s sticky tofu is most commonly fried (to leave a nice crunch and golden exterior) and served with chili sauce. A bag of stinky tofu costs anywhere from HK$15 to HK$30.

Where to eat it:

  • Temple St, Yau Ma Tei: There are numerous stalls serving stinky tofu in Temple Street Night Market.
  • Delicious Food, Shop 10, G/F, 30-32 Nullah Rd, Prince Edward (with a few other vendors along Tung Choi Street, Prince Edward)
  • 星星美食 (no English name)Shop 8-9, Mei Shing Building, 30-32A Nullah Rd, Prince Edward
  • 佳記美食  (no English name) (Multiple locations in Wan Chai, North Point, Yau Ma Tei, Cheung Sha Wan)
See also
10 Special Hong Kong Drinks You Can Still Find at Cha Chaan Tengs

Jaa jyu cheung (Fried pork intestine)

Hong Kong streetfood fried pork intestine
Fried pork intestine with mustard, oyster sauce, and chili sauce (© Courtesy Lucy Loves to Eat)

In this city, it is waste not, want not (when it comes to pigs) with a popular dish derived from seemingly every extremity. As unappealing as it may sound, jaa jyu cheung is one of the most famous street snacks in Hong Kong! With pig intestine that has been rolled up, deep fried, and stuck on a stick for ease of consumption, this bacon-like treat is usually accompanied by a sauce or two of your choice for HK$12 to HK15.

Where to eat it:

  • Numerous stalls along Temple St, Yau Ma Tei
  • Delicious Food, Shop 10, G/F, 30-32 Nullah Rd, Prince Edward (with a few other vendors along Tung Choi St, Prince Edward)
  • 星星美食 (no English name) – Shop 8-9, Mei Shing Building, 30-32A Nullah Rd, Prince Edward
  • 佳記美食  (no English name) (Multiple locations in Wan Chai, North Point, Yau Ma Tei, Cheung Sha Wan)

Gai dan jai (Egg waffle)

egg waffle
Crispy outside and chewy inside (© Courtesy Lucy Loves to Eat)

This has to be my personal favorite HK street snack. Made from a mixture akin to the typical western pancake or waffle batter, gai dan jai is a hexagonal waffle mat of puffy, bubble-shaped bits! When crafted correctly, the bubbles should be crunchy on the outside and just-so gooey on the inside – it is an art. The original is served up as is, but gai dan jai adulterated with chocolate, matcha, cheese, and even avocado have started to become popular around town in the last few years. The classic bubble waffle usually costs around HK$20, with the fancier versions costing up to HK$30.

Where to eat it:

  • Maria’s Bakery (Multiple locations including Causeway Bay and Prince Edward): Recommended for plain gai dan jai.
  • Mammy Pancake (Multiple locations in Wan Chai, Mong Kok, Causeway Bay, Kwun Tong): Another Hong Kong Michelin street food, this is among the best egg waffles in Hong Kong.
  • Master Low-key Food Shop 低調高手大街小食, Shop B3, G/F, 76A Shau Kei Wan Main St East, Shau Kei Wan: My absolute favourite.
  • Lee Keung Kee North Point Egg Waffles (North Point and Tsim Sha Tsui)
  • Modos, Shop SA27A, Argle Centre Phase 1, 688 Nathan Rd, Mong Kok
See also
10 Essential Dai Pai Dong Dishes

Bo lo bao (Pineapple bun)

three pineapple buns on a plate in hong kong
Pineapple buns (© Party Lin via WikiCommons)

These golden, puffy buns are a particularly popular for breakfast but can also be grabbed from almost any local bakery for an on-the-go street snack for HK$5. Once again deceptively named, these sweet buns contain no pineapple! Bo lo bau get their name from the crunchy, sugary cap that sits atop the bun, giving a pineapple-like look to the rotund bun and are best served with a thick slice of cold butter in the middle.

Where to eat it:

  • Kam Fung Restaurant 金鳳茶餐廳, G/F, Spring Garden Mansion, 41 Spring Garden Ln, Wan Chai
  • Kam Wah Café & Cake Shop, 45-47 Bute St, Mong Kok
  • Honolulu Café, G/F, Maritime Bay Shopping Mall, 18 Pui Shing Rd, Tseung Kwan O

Daan tat (Egg tart)

hong kong egg tart with a bite in it
Macau-style egg tart (© chonchit via Canva)

The ever-popular daan tats are something similar to an English custard tart, but heavier on the egg. The crumby exterior crust is filled with a creamy, rich, egg custard filling that can then baked to a golden brown or left pristine yellow. Needless to say, most people buy these by the boxful (they’re usually around HK$5 for one). Don’t confuse these little guys with the egg tarts in other parts of China or Macau, each of these region has their own unique take on the dessert, with Portuguese-style egg tarts loved in Macau also well-liked in Hong Kong.

Where to eat it:

  • Tai Cheong Bakery (Multiple locations with the flagship in Central): Chris Patten, Hong Kong’s last governor’s, favourite.
  • Honolulu Café, G/F, Maritime Bay Shopping Mall, 18 Pui Shing Rd, Tseung Kwan O: The original Wan Chai location was pparently another favourite of Chris Patten’s.
  • Hoover Cake Shop 豪華餅店, 136 Nga Tsin Wai Rd, Kowloon City: Local’s favourite.
  • Maria’s Bakery (Multiple locations including Causeway Bay and Prince Edward)
  • Kam Wah Café & Cake Shop, 45-47 Bute St, Mong Kok
  • Mido Cafe, 63 Temple St, Yau Ma Tei
See also
10 Hong Kong Desserts You Must Try

Lai cha (Hong Kong-style milk tea)

Hong Kong Style Milk Tea
Hong Kong milk tea (City Foodsters via Flickr)

Bending the food rules of what constitutes ‘street food’ a bit here to include another of my personal faves, HK style milk tea. Exactly as it sounds, this drink is a mixture of black tea with either condensed or evaporated milk, and if you like, a bit of white sugar. The beauty is in the simplicity. This drink is iconic to this city and consumed at any and all meals, but traditionally, lunch or afternoon tea. (Read more about popular Hong Kong drinks.) A cup of iced or hot milk tea can cost up to HK$12 if ordered individually or can come included with a set meal.

Where to eat it:

You can pretty much find this at any local restaurant, but hit up a your local cha chaan teng (HK style café) to get the most authentic experience. Also:

  • Kam Wah Café & Cake Shop, 45-47 Bute St, Mong Kok
  • Lan Fong Yuen 蘭芳園, 2 Gage St, Central
  • Kam Fung Restaurant 金鳳茶餐廳, G/F, Spring Garden Mansion, 41 Spring Garden Ln, Wan Chai

Dau fu fa (Sweet tofu)

Tofu Fa
Tofu pudding with ginger sugar (© Courtesy Lucy Loves to Eat)

A extremely popular dessert that is happily consumed all year round (icy cold in the summer and gently warm in the winter) is dou fu fa or tofu pudding. This delicacy is made from soft, silky tofu spooned from a huge container in thin slices and topped with condiments such as ginger sugar. Although it sounds simple, the temperature, texture, and flavour of the desert all need to be just so, making this one hard dish to perfect. One bowl will set you back just HK$15 to HK$20.

Where to eat it:

  • Yan Wo Dou Bun Chong (Causeway Bay and Mong Kok)
  • Kung Wo Beancurd, 118 Pei Ho St, Sham Shui Po: Michelin-recommended and established 1893 – they must be doing something right!
  • One Bean Curd Pudding Specialist 一豆花 (Mong Kok and Yau Ma Tei): Famous for their tofu pudding with black sesame topping.
  • 豆美味豆花團 (no English name), G/F, 1049 Ho Sheung Heung, Sheung Shui: All-you-can-eat tofu pudding and soy milk for HK$12. Probably will need to bring a Cantonese speaking friend with you for this one.
See also
Top 45 Cantonese Foods & Snacks You Must Have In Hong Kong To Eat Like A Local

virginia chan founder of humid with a chance of fishballs food tours

Virginia Chan, founder of Humid with a Chance of Fishballs Tours, is a tour guide by day and avid traveller by weekend. Virginia is a proud Vancouverite now in Hong Kong exploring all corners of Asia. She’s currently discovering her Asian roots – one flight, one noodle, and one Canto slang at a time. *slurp*

Header image credits: Rich Legg via Canva

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