Hong Kong is a foodie’s heaven, with its truly cosmopolitan cuisines there’s something for every palate and mood. But what about those of us 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.
Exclusively Vegetarian Restaurants
Veggie SF is a welcome addition to Central, whether you’re veggie or not. It’s bright and laid-back, with a cool vibe harking back to 1950s San Francisco. You’ll get a kick out of the genuine San Fran antiques on display and the 50s-era jazz that plays throughout. But you’re really coming for the food, and it’s equally pleasing, especially for vegans, with a plentiful menu featuring some of the best 100% vegan burgers we’ve tasted. You can fill up on the slew of starters they’ve got, or go for one of their generous mains, from Singaporean-style laksa to hearty pasta sprinkled with vegan cheese.
10/F Stanley Street 11, Central, 3902 3902
Great weekday work option – delicious wraps, smoothies – all veggie, plus also gluten-free and raw food options. They’re big on eco-friendliness, and will give you 5% off your order if you bring your own container.
92 Wellington Street, Central, 2851 1611
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 mins 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 Road, 2527 6011
Shop 1, Nan Fung Place, 173 Des Voeux Road, Central, 2527 6077
A wee local vegetarian and vegan restaurant in an unassuming environment, located a short walk from Prince Edward MTR. The main menu is not offered in English, but the friendly local customers have been known to help new diners out. Veggie Mami’s simple but tasty fare is a great introduction to Chinese vegan eating for those looking to take the next step.
2A Poplar Street, Prince Edward, 2787 0389
Really popular place especially during the week. The name says it all – Pure Veggie House is an excellent solely vegetarian Chinese restaurant. Tofu lovers will rejoice with all the dishes on offer like deep fried tofu with spicy salt or stir fried tofu with Sichuan black bean and chili. They also do a great hot pot buffet.
3/F, Coda Plaza, 51 Garden Road, Mid-Levels, 2525 0552
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
Shop 701, New Town Plaza, Sha Tin, 2362 1911
7/F, 1 Peking Street, TST, 2312 7800
A cute vegetarian restaurant that specialises in healthy, homemade cuisine. You can dine indoors or out on their terrace while sampling savoury curries, stir fries and pasta. Just reading the ingredients for their beetroot gnocchi makes the mouth water: ricotta, sage, roasted baby beets, cashew hollandaise, lemon thyme pesto, parmesan and sprouted nutmeg spiced walnuts.
108 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, 2873 3353
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
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, Hong Kong, 2982 4838
Serving authentic Indian vegetarian cuisine, Khana Khazana boasts being Hong Kong’s first Indian vegetarian restaurant and bar. It’s one of those places you hear about through word of mouth, and you won’t be disappointed. They do north and south Indian dishes, street food and can cater to vegans and Jain vegetarians. A good intro to their varied flavours is the executive buffet from Monday to Friday, when you can stuff your face with freshly-made appetizers, dosas, curries, desserts and wine for a bargain $98.
1st Floor, Dannies House, 20 Luard Road, Wan Chai, 2520 5308, or
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 Road, Diamond Hill, 3658 9388
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.
Luen Tai Building, 93-99 Wan Chai Road, Wan Chai, 2574 3248
Shop G242-245, Amoy Plaza II, 77 Ngau Tau Kok Road, Kowloon Bay, 2751 1321
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 Road, 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.
Ground Floor, The K.S. Lo Gallery, Hong Kong Park, Admiralty, 2801-7177
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.
13/F, 2 Carnavort Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, 3428 2416
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 Road, Sheung Wan, 5400 4236
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.
Shop 1&2, 2/F, QRE Plaza, 202 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, 3586 1968
Shop B2, B/F, Landmark Alexandra, 18 Charter Road, Central, 3582 4463
Shop 1, 1/F, Nan Fung Place, 173 Des Voeux Road, Sheung Wan, 2110 1711
Shop OT G61, G/F, Ocean Terminal, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, 3102 1220
Shop 110, 1/F The FOREST, 17 Nelson Street, Mong Kok, Kowloon, 2110 0194
Shop No. G05, G/F., Park Central, 9 Tong Tak Street, Tseung Kwan O, 2110 0158
Kind Kitchen is the newest addition to the Green Common family. The interior is sure to set you in a relaxed mood with a restful colour theme with meaningful quotes adorning the walls related to kindness and mindful eating such as “Be Kind to Every Kind” and “Kindness Costs Nothing.” These quotes depict Kind Kitchen’s ethos as a vegan restaurant to offer menus which harm no animal. The menu has achieved numerous attempts to showcase the amazing possibilities of Omnipork with highlights such as the “Kind Gyoza”, “Future Banh mi”, and “Omnipork Tan Tan Noodle”. Kind Kitchen also has a kids menu that is 100% plant-based, delicious, healthy and child-sized bites.
Shop 1, 1/F, Nan Fung Place, 173 Des Voeux Road Central, 2110 0055
Vegetarian-Friendly Restaurants: International
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.
18 On Lan Street, Central, 2728 0178, or
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 San Hing Praya Street 71, Cheung Chau, 2698 9767
High on level 49 of The Upper House, Cafe Gray Deluxe gives you prized harbour views and some unique vegan (and gluten-free) dishes from their ‘Revitalising Menu’, designed with ‘flavours that embrace a balanced lifestyle’. The menu changes on a a regular basis based on seasonal ingredients available, priced at $395 for two courses or $445 for three courses. With previous tantalizing treats like cabbage parcels with maple syrup glaze and lingonberries, and decadent organic bitter chocolate mousse with red wine-poached pear with cinnamon gelato, we look forward to what they’ll concoct next.
88 Queensway, Admiralty, 3968 1106
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.
2/F Landmark Atrium, 15 Queen’s Road, 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 401, 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
Yes, this is a bar in LKF, but it’s spacious, inviting and has a noted menu of vegetarian bites to boot. From the outside, you may not know what you’re getting into as you approach the commercial building, but inside it’s lovely, with chic decor and inviting leather couches and plush chairs for nibbling and sipping all night. The ‘Tonkatsu Sandwich Surprise’, their signature fried vegetarian ‘pork’ cutlet on toast with mozzarella and wasabi coleslaw was a hit, as were the ‘Mini Caesar Bites’, perfectly paired with one of their signature shim cocktails – low-alcohol drinks that are all the buzz in mixology.
3/F, Hilltop Plaza, No. 49-51 Hollywood Road, Central, 2866 6485, or
Located on the Sai Kung waterfront, this chill tapas joint has an eclectic selection of vegetarian and vegan tapas. Sample some spicy baby papatas bravas with aioli and chives, garlic wild mushrooms drenched in coconut sauce and ginger, or our favourite, halloumi sliders with spicy chipotle pesto and rocket, to name a few.
Siu Yet Building Block A, Sai Kung Hoi Pong Square, New Territories, Sai Kung, 2440 9288
Views over the harbour and delicious Italian food 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.
15/F, 10 Chater Road, Central, 2537 1388
Views, Art Deco interior and food for all tastes – this is a big hit for families and also a brilliant place to bring visitors to enjoy the view. Their international menu runs the gamut from pasta to thali, an Indian platter crammed with sweet, salty, bitter, sour and spicy delights, ideal for choosy vegetarians and meat eaters alike. You could also make a meal of their wonderful sides and starters, like the grilled asparagus with black truffle topped with a roasted butter ciabatta crumble.
20/F The One, 100 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, 2849 5111
Billed as the only Sri Lankan restaurant in Hong Kong, this Sai Kung eatery isn’t strictly vegetarian but with the (V) icon scattered liberally throughout their menu, you would think otherwise. Try the aromatic Sri Lankan-style vegetable soup for a nice intro, then dig into one of their many vegetarian curries (pumpkin, potato, eggplant) or thel dala, a stir fried dish made with onion, bell pepper, capsicum and Sri Lankan spices.
G/F, 14 Sai Kung Hoi Pong Street, Sai Kung, Hong Kong, 2792 2555
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. Do tell your server that you’re vegetarian, as they have items available that can be tweaked for veggie appetites.
66 Staunton St, Central, 2194 0202
Long a solid standby for pizza in Hong Kong (and many other cities worldwide), PizzaExpress Sai Ying Pun has recently launched the chain’s first ever vegan cheese. The 100% plant and dairy-free vegan cheese has been 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.
189 Queens Road West, Sai Ying Pun, 2123 1083
Vegetarian-Friendly Restaurants: Chinese/Cantonese
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.
Like its sister restaurant Island Tang, this location on the roof of Elements Mall in Tsim Sha Tsui serves elegant dishes surrounded by beautiful décor – think high ceilings and Art Deco design. It’s not the kind of place you go to bring the kids for a quick, cheap lunch, but it is a lovely outing for a special occasion. They have a separate vegetarian menu presenting one Michelin-starred cuisine like sweet and savoury wok-fried green kale with brown sugar and ginger.
1 Austin Road West, Tsim Sha Tsui, 2811 9398
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.
70 Mody Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui East, 2731 2883
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
Popular spot in Central that’s surprisingly good for families and has really good dim sum including plenty of vegetarian options. 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.
The Centrium, 60 Wyndham Street, 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.
Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, 2918 9833
In a city famous for dining options popping up all the time, there’s still so much more we have yet to discover. If you know of some good veggie options that should be added to this list, we’d love to hear from you! Just drop us a line at [email protected]
Nancy Matos is a lifestyle and culture writer from Vancouver, Canada currently based in Hong Kong and London. Her favourite veggie options are always the deep-fried kind.
Sapna Mangla is a housewife and mother and everything in between! She prefers home cooked vegetarian meals, mostly relying on traditional Indian recipes and she believes firmly in the medicinal and healing qualities of food.