Iconic Hong Kong Street Food & Where to Get It

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'n'cheerful traditional snacks found down alleyways and around street corners.

Hong Kong streetfood

In this city, there is a whole world of street food to explore and we know it can be a little daunting for some – so here’s a guide to the best street snacks The ‘Kong has to offer:

Savoury

Siu Mai

Photo Credit: Lucy Loves to Eat

Siu Mai (Steamed Dumpling)

Without a doubt one of the most common and popular 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/meat paste with a little bit of pork, or no pork at all, and will be served on a stick. Don’t forget to top it off with the sweet soy sauce & chilli oil!

Where to find it:

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 would be:

Soy Street, Mong Kok
Sai Yeung Choi Street South, Mong Kok
Dundas Street, Mong Kong
Local’s quick grab and go store: Hung Fook Tong (鴻福堂) A store available at most MTR stations selling Cantonese style drinks, soups and snack foods. (Multiple locations)
Keung Kee (強記美食): G/F, Chuang’s Enterprises Building, 382 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai
No English name but literal translation is Chan’s Fishball (陳記魚蛋): 1 Shu Kuk Street, North Point

 

Gaa Lei Yu Dan (Curry Fish Ball)

Curry fishballs

Photo Credit: 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 curry fish balls. These fragrant, flavorful balls of “fish” floating in an oily, golden curry soup can’t help but catch a longing glance from all who pass. I say “fish” because it is questionable as to whether fish makes up even 30% of this snack but, hey, it’s tasty.

Where to find 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, and some other favourites to try:

Yuen Mai Dessert, 1-7 Wu Kwong Street, Hung Hom
通達食店 (No English name) – 48 Pitt Street, Yau Ma Tei. Store on the right directly once out of the Yau Ma Tei, Exit A2.
Cheung Chau’s Extra Large Fishballs (speciality in Cheung Chau):甘永泰魚蛋 (No English name) – G/F, 106 San Hing Street, Cheung Chau
Fusion fishballs : Al dente balls (彈彈旦) – Shop 14D, G/F, Yan on Building, 1 Kwong Wa Street, Mong Kok

 

Chee Cheung Fun  (Rice Noodle Roll)

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.

Where to find it:

Recommended in the Michelin Guide, Kwan Kee Store, Fuk Wa Street, Sham Shui Po
Recommended in the Michelin Guide Hop Yik Tai Snack shop, G/F 121 Kweilin Street, Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong (Cantonese speaker needed as everything is in Chinese)
Said to sell 5,000 steamed rice rolls per day: 合益泰小食 (No English name) – G/F, 121 Lam Street, Sham Shui Po
Known for their fried chicken, but has equally delicious fried rice rolls: Santos (三多) – G/F, 88 Shantung Street, Mong Kok (Multiple locations)
Kwan Kee (坤記腸粉) – Chik Fu Street, Tai Wai (near Chik Tak Lane)

 

Cau Dou Fu (stinky tofu)

Hong Kong street food stinky tofu

Photo Credit: Lucy Loves to Eat

Really highlighting the fragrant in fragrant harbour, stinky tofu might seem like one Hong Kong snack 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, golden exterior) and served with chili sauce.

Where to find it:

Numerous stalls along Temple Street, Yau Ma Tei
Delicious Food, shop 10, G/F, 30-32 Nullah Road, 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 Road, Prince Edward
佳記美食  (No English Name) 41 Dundas Street, Yau Ma Tei

 

Jaa ju cheung (fried pork intestine)

Hong Kong streetfood fried pork intestine

Photo Credit: 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, this is one of Hong Kong’s more popular snacks! 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.

Where to find it:

Numerous stalls along Temple Street, Yau Ma Tei
Delicious Food, shop 10, G/F, 30-32 Nullah Road, Prince Edward (with a few other vendors along Tung Choi Street, Prince Edward) (agreed)
星星美食 (No English Name) – Shop 8-9, Mei Shing Building, 30-32A Nullah Road, Prince Edward
佳記美食  (No English Name) – 41 Dundas Street, Yau Ma Tei

Sweet

Gai dan jai (egg waffle)

egg waffle

Photo Credit: Lucy Loves to Eat

This has to be my personal favorite HKG 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.

Where to find it:

Maria’s (chain), 182-184 Prince Edward Road West  (For plain gai dan jai)
Michelin recommended Mammy Pancake, Carnarvon Mansion, 8-12E Carnarvon Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui (& multiple locations around Hong Kong)
My absolute favourite: 低調高手大街小食 (No English name but literal translation is Master Low-key Food Shop)  – Shop B3, G/F, 76A Shau Kei Wan Main Street East, Shau Kei Wan.
Michelin recommended 利強記北角雞蛋仔 (Lee Keung Kee North Point Egg Waffles) – 492 King’s Road, North Point 
Modos, 174 Fa Yuen St, Mong Kok

 

Bo Lo Bao (Pineapple Bun)

pineapple bun

These golden, puffy buns are a particularly popular for breakfast. Once again, deceptively named these sweet, white buns contain no pineapple! They get their name from the crunchy, sugary cap that sits atop the bun, giving a (weakly) pineapple-like look to the rotund bun and are best served with a thick dollop of cold butter in the middle.

Where to find it:

Kam Fung Café (金鳳茶餐廳), G/F, Spring Garden Mansion, 41 Spring Garden Lane, Wan Chai
Kam Wah Café, 47 Bute Street, Mong Kok
Honolulu Café, G/F & 1/F, 176-178 Hennessy Rd, Wan Chai (Multiple locations)

 

Dan Tat (Egg Tart)

Hong Kong egg tart

The ever popular dan tats are something similar to an English custard tart, but heavier on the egg. The crumby, lard-laden exterior crust is filled with a creamy, rich, egg filling that is then baked to a golden brown. Needless to say, most people buy these by the box full. 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.

Where to find it:

Chris Patten, our last governor’s favourite: Tai Cheong Bakery (泰昌餅家) – G/F, 35 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central (flagship location)
Apparently another favourite of Chris Patten’s: Honolulu Café (檀島咖啡餅店), G/F & 1/F, 176-178 Hennessy Rd, Wan Chai (Multiple locations)
Local’s favourite: Hoover Cake Shop (豪華餅店) – 136 Nga Tsin Wai Road, Kowloon City
Maria’s Bakery (超羣麵包西餅) –  Shop A ,G/F Heung Lam Building, 23 Connaught Road, Central 
Kam Wah Café, 47 Bute Street, Mong Kok
Mido Café, 63 Temple Street, Yau Ma Tei

 

Nai Cha (HK style milk tea)

Hong Kong Style Milk Tea

Photo Credit: City Foodsters on Flickr

Bending the food rules 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. The beauty is in the simplicity. This drink is iconic to this city and consumed at any and all meals (but traditionally, lunch).

Where to find 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 “authentic” experience. Also:

Kam Wah Café, 47 Bute Street, Mong Kok
Lan Fong Yuen (蘭芳園) – 2 Gage Street, Central
Winner of the International Kam Cha (milk tea) Competition: Sing Kee Café (醒記美食茶座) – G/F, 105 Kam Shek New Village, Tai Po (currently under renovations)
Kam Fung Café (金鳳茶餐廳), G/F, Spring Garden Mansion, 41 Spring Garden Lane, Wan Chai
Tsui Wah (翠華集團) – G-2/F, 15-19 Wellington Street, Central 

 

Dou Fu Fa (Sweet Tofu)

Tofu Fa

Photo Credit: 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 sweet tofu. This delicacy is made from soft, silky tofu in a sweet, thin soup and (sometimes) topped with condiments such as ginger sugar. Although it sounds simple, the temperature, texture, and flavor of the desert all need to be just so, making this one hard dish to perfect.

Where to find it:

Yan Wo Dou Bun Chong, 55 Jardine’s Bazaar, Causeway Bay
Michelin recommended Kung Wo Beancaurd, 118 Pei Ho Street, Sham Shui Po (est 1893 – they must be doing something right!)
Famous for their tofu pudding with black sesame topping: 一豆花 (No English name) – G/F, 80 Bute Street, Mong Kok
All you eat tofu pudding and soy milk for $12 HKD: 豆美味豆花團 (No English name) – G/F, 1049 Ho Sheung Heung, Sheung Shui (Probably will need to bring a Cantonese speaking friend with you for this one)


We’d like to say a big thank you to Virginia Chan from Humid with a Chance of Fishballs Tours for sharing her insider knowledge of Hong Kong’s best local-food-hangouts with us.

Virginia is a tour guide by day, creative blogger by night at The Smoo Diaries 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*

And another thank you – to Lucy Loves to Eat for allowing us to share some images!


Want more like this?Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong



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