At the end of the extended Chai Wan line you will find Kennedy Town, a bustling neighbourhood with remnants of the past as well as exciting new glimpses of the future. With a ton of restaurants and coffee shops, as well as the newly opened waterfront, it is a great area to live or just visit for Sunday brunch and stroll. Read on to find out our favourite ways to explore Kennedy Town.
What to know about Kennedy Town
Kennedy Town is located at the western end of Hong Kong Island, and like the Sai Ying Pun and HKU area, was mostly residential until the expansion of the MTR line in 2014. Since then, not only has it become a hot residential spot for both expats and locals, it has also seen a boatload of new openings of restaurants, bars and cafés, adding to the laid-back yet thriving social and dining scene. K-town also still retains its industrial and residential origins and you can often find hidden spots for your creative endeavours, as well as wholesale markets, adding to its charm.
Reaching Kennedy Town is easy, as it is the final, westernmost stop on the blue Island line, and it is also accessible via other modes. You can just hop on a westbound tram and get off at the end or take any of the many buses, both mini and double dekcer, that go that way.
What to do in Kennedy Town?
Belcher Bay Harbourfront
Since the MTR expanded in K-town, there has been a development in the area including the Belcher Bay Harbourfront. This 5,900 square metre area offers uninterrupted panoramic views of the Victoria Harbour and is particularly spectacular during sunsets. You can often find people exercising – running, doing yoga, or tai chi, as well as children playing on the adaptable playground. It is also dog-friendly in areas, inviting both K-town residents as well as visitors to Kennedy Town to enjoy evening play time!
Belcher Bay Promenade, from Smithfield on the west to Sai Cheung St N on the east)
Lo Pan Temple
If you are looking to explore some history and culture, Kennedy Town has that too! It is home to a historical monument and Grade I historic building. Lo Pan Temple is dedicated to Lo Pan, a Chinese carpenter and engineer in 770 to 476 BCE who was deified as a god. The temple was built by the Contractors Guild in 1884 and has an unusual jagged roof, ceramic and clay figures, and a record number of paintings on the walls.
Lo Pan Temple (15 Ching Lin Terrace)
Smithfield Market and Cooked Food Centre
Wet markets are always our favourite for fresh fruit and fish and Smithfield Municipal Services Building even has a cooked food centre, or food court! Our local recommendations include 雞煲, a favourite for spicy chicken hot pot often served with everything from noodles to tofu to vegetables. Another unmissable spot, because when you make the trip to Kennedy Town you need to make the most of it, is Cheuk Kee Congee, known as one of the best congee restaurants in Hong Kong. Be sure to grab your yau zha gwai (fried dough sticks)!
Smithfield Market and Cooked Food Centre (12K Smithfield, Kennedy Town)
Volunteer at Hong Kong Dog Rescue
If you’re looking for somewhere to volunteer when you’re visiting Kennedy Town, Hong Kong Dog Rescue is one of the oldest animal rescue in Hong Kong, founded in 2003. It has had multiple locations across Hong Kong but has recently moved its small dog and puppy homing centre to Kennedy Town. They need you to be above 18 years of age and undergo training before you can walk the dogs, but it is a great way for those who are looking for ways to volunteer and are missing puppy cuddles.
Hong Kong Dog Rescue (Shop 4, G/F, Brilliant Court, Sai Hong Lane, No.28 Praya, Kennedy Town)
Play board games at Wheat and Wood
One of the hidden gems of the area is the board game café Wheat and Wood. It is the perfect thing to do in Kennedy Town to wind down. Grab a bunch of friends that are all bored of hikes, beaches, and LKF, and whether it’s Settlers of Catan or Ticket to Ride, bring out your competitive side and have a awesome afternoon of games starting at HK$100 per person, with nachos and cold brews on the side.
Wheat and Wood (Shop 6, G/F, Brilliant Court, 28 Praya, Kennedy Town)
What to eat in Kennedy Town
If you are looking for authentic, delicious Mexican food, 11 Westside is a must-try restaurant in Kennedy Town. They are famous for their guac, which is made tableside as per your taste, but don’t miss out on their tacos, especially the mango shrimp and al pastor which both combine tangy, sweet, and savoury flavours impeccably. P.S. get 50% off of tacos on Taco Tuesdays!
11 Westside (1/F, The Hudson, 11 Davis St, Kennedy Town)
We love momos, the Nepalese take on the beloved dumpling, and Timur has some of the most reasonably priced and delicious ones we’ve found in Hong Kong. And be sure to ask for their red sauce – it’s hot, but it’s worth it! Not only is the food amazing, the people running it are also great, so definitely check out this hole in the wall restaurant which offers a range of Nepalese and Indian food in Kennedy Town.
Timur (Shop B1, 25-33 Hau Wo St, Kennedy Town)
This family-run Egyptian restaurant (which also has a location in Sai Ying Pun) is the go-to for authentic Middle Eastern cuisine in Hong Kong. You can sample the iconic dishes such as hummus and babaganoush (eggplant dip) along with their shawarmas and skewers. But our favourites are the side dishes – the pita bread and homemade couscous – oh-so-warm and fluffy! And do leave space for dessert because there is nothing quite like a baklava to end a meal.
Aziza (Shop D, 28 Hau Wo St, Kennedy Town)
For stunning views of the Kennedy Town waterfront while enjoying a fresh Mediterranean meal, check out the newly opened Breeze Bistro. Whether it’s morning coffee, an after-work drink or a romantic dinner, the restaurant has a wonderful vibe that transports you to Greece. They use the freshest ingredients to make a delicious beef tartare, whole grilled seabass, and spinach and ricotta ravioli. It’s also pet-friendly!
Breeze Bistro (G/F, May Sun Building, 7-8 New Praya, Kennedy Town)
What to drink in Kennedy Town?
Almost synonymous with Kennedy Town, this coffee shop/bar is a hotspot in Kennedy Town for both your morning brew as well as your late night booze. The best of both worlds! Their espresso martini is to die for, but we keep returning for their friendly baristas, fun events, and sense of community.
Winston’s Coffee (Shop 8, The Hudson, 11 Davis St, Kennedy Town)
Behind a hidden door you will find Missy Ho’s, an eclectic, funky Asian fusion bar and restaurant. Think birdcages, Japanese graffiti and superheroes. It claims that it is a bar quite like no other, with drinks, especially cocktails, that are both familiar and different enough to be exciting. Try their Saketini or Matcha 48, and you’ll have to agree. Also, this is the only spot in Kennedy Town that does shisha!
Missy Ho’s (Shop G9, G/F, Sincere Western House, 48 Forbes St, Kennedy Town)
For an Instagram-perfect coffee date, Lex Coffee is the destination in Kennedy Town. Not only does it offer specialty coffee and healthy cuisine, they also display and sell affordable artworks. But really, you’re there for their artsy print coffee, which prints famous artworks like Van Gogh’s Starry Night onto your coffee. Or if you are an experience person, record yourself drinking the sparkle coffee ball.
Lex Coffee (100 Belcher’s St, Kennedy Town)
Having taken over the space from Little Creatures, GRAIN is a collaboration with Gweilo Brewlab that gives craft beer afficionados access to the newly developed brews before they are released, and even tests experimental beers with diners. With flights and new concoctions to choose from, it’s a beer lover’s paradise. There are options for non-beer drinkers too, such as the Gweilo Watermelon Dragon Fruit Chilli Imperial Gose. Pair these with food inspired by and made with beer ingredients.
GRAIN (Shop 1, New Fortune House, 3-5 New Praya, Kennedy Town)
The Wilshire Bar (temporarily closed)
Another activity is finding hidden hotspot The Wilshire Bar. Hidden inside 11 Westside is a speakeasy by Daniel Eun and Jon Chan. They keep things simple with a menu of just 5 classic cocktails that they rotate regularly and add their own twists to. You will be delighted and surprised each time.
The Wilshire Bar (Inside 11 Westside, 1/F, The Hudson, 11 Davis St, Kennedy Town)
Where to shop in Kennedy Town?
One of the original sustainable stores in Hong Kong, Slowood has made its mark in being plastic-free and zero-waste while still providing a range of great grocery products. The Kennedy Town location is one of the bigger ones, where you can buy everything from cleaning supplies, to natural skincare to organic food ingredients. Bring your own containers to reduce plastic waste, and you save an extra 5%!
Slowood (Shop 1-3, G/F, The Hudson, 11 Davis St, Kennedy Town)
If you are looking for specialty beers, spirits or wines, look no further than The Tramline Liquor Co. in Kennedy Town. Founded by brothers Adam and Mark Brough, they stock a local and international selections including best-sellers such as Yukon Brewing Raspberry & Basil Spiked Seltzer, Brookies gin and tonic, and Bomber Outspoken IPA.
Tramline Liquor Co. (78 Catchick St, Sai Wan)
This Hong Kong establishment has been around since the 50s, first in their original Wan Chai neighbourhood before relocating to Kennedy Town in 2017. It is a one-stop-shop for anything coconut-related including fresh coconut whole, grated, milk or water. It even stocks a number of spices for reasonable prices that can transform your cooking.
Shing Fat Coconut & Spices (G/F, 48-49 Praya, Kennedy Town)
FAQ about Kennedy Town
What is Kennedy Town known for?
Kennedy Town is mostly known for being a residential area, although with the MTR expansion it has seen gentrification and therefore a rise in the number restaurants and cafés.
What’s the best restaurant to try in Kennedy Town?
One of the best restaurants in Kennedy Town is 11 Westside (1/F The Hudson, 11 Davis St, Kennedy Town). Nothing beats their Taco Tuesdays!
What’s the main thing to see in Kennedy Town?
The main thing to see in Kennedy Town is the harbourfront promenade! Although still a work in progress, the incredible, unfiltered views of Victoria Harbour make Kennedy Town unlike any other part of Hong Kong.
Header image credits: The HK HUB