Hong Kong is a foodie’s heaven, with its truly cosmopolitan cuisines there’s something for every palate and mood. But what about those who are vegetarian or vegan? With the growing trend towards plant-based cuisine there’s more choice than ever before. Here’s a look at what’s on offer for vegan and vegetarian dining in Hong Kong, pure veggie and vegan/vegetarian-friendly.
Exclusively vegetarian/vegan restaurants
This laid-back waterfront bar, restaurant and live music venue in Discovery Bay has recently switched to a completely vegetarian (mainly vegan) menu in an effort to ‘save the planet, one plate at a time’ and spread the word about animal agriculture’s massive impact on climate change. This menu challenges the stereotype of vegans surviving on salad alone, and features comfort-food favourites such as chilli, shepherd’s pie, BBQ pulled “pork” sandwiches (made with jackfruit), spag bol and burgers, all served without a shred of meat in sight.
DDeck, Discovery Bay, Lantau Island (3 min walk from ferry pier), 2987 8804
The ambience at OVOCafe in Wan Chai makes you feel like you’re dining in a funky greenhouse, with potted plants and greenery looming amongst eco-chic wooden furniture (the Central location is a similar affair). They do heavenly risottos and a tempting spinach cheese pie with portobello, but what brings us back are the all day breakfasts. Each location has its own, but either will please your belly, as the plate is packed with hearty veggie and vegan comforts.
G/F, 1 Wan Chai Rd, Wan Chai, 2527 6011
Shop 1, Nan Fung Place, 173 Des Voeux Rd, Central, 2527 6077
Family-friendly restaurant serving Shanghainese cuisine which is purely vegetarian. Their crispy sesame bread makes a great accompaniment to a bowl of soothing pumpkin soup. End with a few of their addictive deep fried egg whites with red bean paste filling.
10F World Trade Centre, Causeway Bay, 2890 3127
7/F, 1 Peking St, Tsim Sha Tsui, 2312 7800
Po Lin Monastery Vegetarian Kitchen — Vegetarian
When you’re taking visitors to see the Big Buddha on Lantau Island, stick around after the climb and pop into Po Lin Monastery’s restaurant. Food here is served quick and on the cheap, and dishes are prepared according to vegetables of the season. They’re open from 11:30am to 4:30pm, so plan your dining either before or after your visit to the towering statue opposite the way.
Po Lin Monastery, Ngong Ping, Lantau Island, 2985 5248
Bookworm Café — Vegetarian
We were pleasantly surprised to discover Bookworm Café while visiting Lamma Island. We loved the character of the place and would happily pop over to the island again just to visit the café once more. British vegetarian expats will love their take on the traditional full breakfast, done completely meat-free.
Main Street, Yeung She Wan, Lamma Island, 2982 4838
Chi Lin Vegetarian — Vegetarian
Secluded dining with a cascading waterfall and surrounding gardens make for a stunning restaurant backdrop. Worth the visit to Diamond Hill, east Kowloon as you can also stop by the renowned Tang Dynasty Buddhist temple when you’re done eating their highly-rated vegetarian cuisine. Their set meals comprised of various dishes are great options, starting at $150 per person.
Long Men Lou, Nan Lian Garden, 60 Fung Tak Rd, Diamond Hill, 3658 9388
Loving Hut — Vegan
Vegans in Hong Kong know all about Loving Hut, and for good reason. It has a fast-food feel, and is a cheap and cheerful choice for veggie lovers. Food comes served cafeteria-style, on old-school plastic trays with compartments for filling food, or order a bunch of plates and share among friends.
Shop G242-245, Amoy Plaza II, 77 Ngau Tau Kok Rd, Kowloon Bay, 2751 1321
Hip Lik Industrial Building, Shop 103A, 1/F, Port, 33 Tseuk Luk St, San Po Kong, 2797 0001
Woodlands is a long established (first opened in 1981) vegetarian haunt of the local Indian and Chinese community, and you’ll feel at home there from the first time you sit down for some affordable and delicious Indian eats. Punjabi dishes and fare from north and south India fill the menu, including some of the longest dosas we’ve ever seen. Bring a group of friends for a fun night out, and for any Indian food novices out there, the friendly staff will guide you along, introducing you to a new world of tasty cuisine. Woodlands do not serve alcohol but you can sample some non-alcoholic wine here.
UG Shop 16 & 17, Wing On Plaza, 62 Mody Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon, 2369 3718
Traditional Chinese tea house with vegetarian dim sum in the heart of Hong Kong Park. Reasonably-priced fare including golden mushroom samosa, steamed savoury sticky rice in lotus leaf and lovely desserts like jasmine dumplings with black sesame filling served in a bowl jasmine tea.
G/F, The K.S. Lo Gallery, Hong Kong Park, 10 Cotton Tree Dr, Admiralty, 2801 7177
G06-07, Block 01, Tai Kwun, 10 Hollywood Rd, Central, 2276 5777
Try something new and see where your taste buds take you at this charming cafe in TST, which boasts a warm and green ambiance that is neither fussy nor flashy, just like the dishes. Everything is served raw (nothing heated over 41 °C) with a focus on plant-based, organic and natural food, with no meat, dairy, egg, soy or refined sugar to be found. If you’re not convinced, their eye-popping Instagram feed will convert you, right down to the colourful Thai green curry courgette noodles and raw vegan cookies.
No. 1103, 11/F, Cheung Lee Commercial Building, 25 Kimberley Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, 3428 2416
Ohms Cafe & Bar — Vegan
Fair trade-focused and vegan, pop into Ohms Cafe and Bar on Hollywood Road for some really great grub that will make your belly happy, vegan or not. We’re fans of the bagels, topped with vegan butter, cheese or maple syrup, and the almond butter pancakes go down a treat with a hot herbal tea.
Shop A, 192 Hollywood Rd, Sheung Wan, 5400 4236
Green Common — Vegan
Green Common has several shops across the city, each one catering to locals passionate about plant-based food and reducing their carbon footprint. With an extensive deli menu and vegetarian products to take home, their deli locations are now grilling up ‘Beyond Burgers’, and you’re in for a treat. Proper hamburger-loving folk are scarfing these down, as the vegan patties look and taste like ground beef, with the added bonus of being cholesterol-free, antibiotic-free, hormone-free and GMO-free. Top them with vegan cheese and avocado if you wish, with a side of kale chips and a cool smoothie.
8 locations across Hong Kong
Vegeterian & vegan-friendly restaurants: International cuisine
An outing at Arcane is a special one, thanks to a stylish dining area decorated with impressive artwork, and a tranquil outdoor terrace blooming with greenery against a truly HK backdrop of old and new. But above all, it’s the Michelin-starred cuisine. While not exclusively vegetarian, Australian chef Shane Osborn’s menu has an enticing vegetarian section that won’t disappoint, including a mouth-watering potato gnocchi with caramelised leek, cep vinaigrette and shiitake duxelle.
3/F, 18 On Lan St, Central, 2728 0178
On Cheung Chau, we were surprised to find this Indian-Thai restaurant serving Indian naans and samosas, plus fresh and fragrant Thai meals, right in the middle of a plethora of seafood restaurants. Opt for one of their set lunches, starting at $65, for when you’re craving a spicy green or red curry, or a heaping bowl of warming turka dal (Indian split lentil soup).
G/F, 71 San Hing Praya St, Cheung Chau, 2986 9767
As with many Thai restaurants, Mak Mak has an extensive selection of vegetarian dishes. This eatery in the Landmark has a standalone vegetarian menu which offers up delectable salads, noodles and soups designed by Chef Josh Hartland. Even better is the vegetarian set dinner, a refreshing and filling choice with various starters, curry, dessert and more at $350 a pop.
217A, 2/F, Landmark Atrium, 15 Queen’s Rd Central, Central, 2983 1003
Fancy a vegetarian meal out when money is no object? Step into the three Michelin-starred Joël Robuchon at The Landmark, where the French celebrity chef’s exclusive vegetarian menu ($1080 per person) will impress. From the starter of quinoa in golden pastry with smooth smoked piquillo pepper, to the spiced eggplant confit with curry-flavoured vegetable purée in between, you’ll be in vegetarian dining bliss.
Shop 315-316 & 334 3/F, Landmark Atrium, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central, 2166 9000
Nestled in Knutsford Terrace, this Mexican offering from the Privé Group has plenty of items up for grabs that vegetarians will fancy, from basic quesadillas to classic burritos stuffed with frijoles, roasted red peppers and goat cheese. Start things off with the spicy and warm vegetarian tortilla soup.
3/F, 6 Knutsford Terrace, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, 2723 5968
There are views over the harbour and delicious Italian food at Isola with plenty of veggie choices, like ravioli di melanzane e Taleggio, burro, salvia, erbe fritte – that’s homemade eggplant and Taleggio cheese ravioli with butter, sage and fried herbs. Delizioso!
Shop 2075, Level 2, IFC Mall, Central, 2383 8765
For something just that little more refined and definitely a child-free destination, Sevva has everything – stunning views, divine food – and vegetarians are well catered for. They do some beautiful salads, like the vegetable “nub nub” made with 10 varieties of vegetables and pickles with crispy popped rice vermicelli.
25/F, Prince’s Building, 10 Chater Road, Central, 2537 1388
This place is still hopping since it opened in Central a few years ago. Space is limited, but it’s a perfect spot for grabbing a quick bite, especially if you’re keen on doing share plates. They do a mean plate of truffle fries (with shiitake tempeh, truffle mayo and pickled daikon), but they’re known for their baos, which fortunately cater to vegetarians. The “Sloppy Chan” is a spongey ball of goodness bursting with Taiwanese braised shiitake tempeh, truffle mayo, sweet pickled daikon and fried shallot. The Impossible Bao with an Impossible patty, black pepper glaze, fuyu mayo, and lemon kombu coleslaw is also great. Do tell your server that you’re vegetarian/vegan, as they have items available that can be tweaked for veggie appetites.
Opposite Victoria Park, Shop H1, G/F 9 Kingston Street, Fashion Walk, Causeway Bay, 2555 0600
1-3 Shin Hing St, Central, 6794 8414
Long a solid standby for pizza in Hong Kong (and many other cities worldwide), Pizza Express has pizzas with vegan cheese. The 100% plant and dairy-free vegan cheese is incorporated into a number of their dishes, complementing a delicious selection of vegetable ingredients and providing customers with various vegan pizza options to choose from.
21 locations across Hong Kong
Vegetarian & vegan-friendly restaurants: Local cuisine
Many Chinese restaurants will have a few veggie options with their dim sum and main courses, and may also be willing to prepare several dishes without any meat. This may not be possible for all dim sum, but can easily be arranged with rice and noodle dishes. Here are a few of our top choices for local veggie cuisine.
Another one on the fancier end of the dining spectrum, Hoi King Heen gets consistently good marks for their Cantonese cuisine, and they too have an exclusive vegetarian menu with a decent selection. It’s a great option when you want to impress out of town guests, as you’ll dine in a ritzy Oriental setting. But it’s not for the casual crowd: flip flops are a no no.
B2/F, InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong, 70 Mody Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui East, 2731 2883
A good quality dim sum restaurant which has a decent offering for vegetarians and is family friendly. They’re known for their award-winning dishes like vegetables in pumpkin puree and do not use any MSG in their cuisine.
Shop 5, LG/F, Jardine House, Central, 2524 5098
A popular spot in Central that’s surprisingly good for families and has really good dim sum including plenty of vegetarian/vegan options, including dishes highlighting Omnipork. Leave room for their decadent dessert platter lined with baked mini egg tart, deep fried banana balls, pan fried red bean paste and traditional Chinese steamed cake.
UG/F, The Centrium, 60 Wyndham St, Central, 3110 1222
In the same kind of mould as Din Tai Fung, Crystal Jade and Jasmine Place – a good go-to when you are craving dim sum. There are some appealing plates for veg fans on the menu, like savoury bowls of sautéed string beans and bamboo shoots, or moreish dim sum baskets filled with steamed vegetable buns and vegetable dumplings.
Shop 332, 3/F, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, 2918 9833
702, Level 7, K11 MUSEA, 18 Salisbury Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, 2376 3322
Header image credits: Ralph (Ravi) Kayden via Unsplash