In a neighbourhood that never sleeps, there’s always something happening in Wan Chai. Here is Hive Life’s guide to Wan Chai – a handy list of the area’s best coffee shops, restaurants, bars and cultural hotspots.
In an ever-changing landscape characterised by the smell of tantalising street food down narrow back streets, thrumming restaurants and bars, and the lingering remnants of a bygone colonial era, Wan Chai offers its visitors an unforgettable experience – if you only know where to look. The location of the Hive Wan Chai, it’s a Hong Kong neighbourhood sprinkled generously with remarkable urban gems. Read on to discover our recommendations.
Best Coffee Shops in Wan Chai
Now an international brand with over 240 restaurants in 18 countries worldwide, Le Pain Quotidien is the perfect place to stop by for an exquisitely made, yet simple breakfast. With their large outdoor terrace area (decked with hanging baskets of flowers and fairy lights), coupled with maybe the best scones we’ve ever encountered in Hong Kong, this coffee shop is a must-visit for foodies and Instagrammers alike.
Insider Tip: Try their goat cheese, mushroom and spinach omelette, or one of their speciality breakfasts – The Angler, The Farmer, or the Baker’s Breakfast.
Address: 200 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai Shop G40-41, The Avenue, Wan Chai
Open From: 8 am – 10 pm
Now, THIS is a bakery that’s worth your dough! Founded by veteran baker and head chef Grégoire Michaud, a man with 25 years experience and formerly a pastry chef with the Four Seasons Hotel, this artisan bakery and café will tantalise your senses with their delicate creations. Take your pick from their welcoming glass shelves, packed with perfectly frosted cinnamon swirls, flavourful sourdough loaves, and all-butter croissants that are guaranteed to melt in your mouth!
Insider Tip: In the morning, sample their highly addictive sourdough egg tarts. Also, be sure not to skip out on their lip-smatteringly delicious Berliner doughnuts!
Address: 14 Tai Wong St E, Wan Chai
Open From: Mon-Fri: 8 am – 5 pm, Sat-Sun: 9 am – 5 pm
The brainchild of two entrepreneurs, this ‘Made in Hong Kong’ café is situated on a sunny corner near Three Pacific Place. With its high airy ceilings and its light breakfast menu (think açaí berry yoghurts and granola or avocado toast), it’s a perfect hangout spot for a lazy Sunday brunch with your friends as you savour an aromatic cup of coffee.
Insider Tip: Famous for their weekly changing selection of ice-cream sandwiches, we recommend you indulge your sweet tooth and go for their salted caramel blend. It’s to die for!
Address: 8 Wing Fung St, Wan Chai
Open From: 8 am – 9 pm
Best Restaurants in Wan Chai
An ode to New York City’s iconic deli tradition, Morty’s is a welcome addition to Hong Kong’s competitive dining scene. Perfect for a quick bite, their specialities include their signature Reuben with slow-smoked pastrami, Swiss cheese and sauerkraut, their Classic pastrami (smoked and cured in-house after a 45-day ageing regimen) and, of course, Morty’s poutine.
Insider Tip: Come hungry. These portions are American-sized.
Address: Shop 8 – 10, Wing Fung Street, Wan Chai
Open From: Sun – Thu: 11:30 am – 10:30 pm, Fri – Sat: 11:30 am – 11 pm
Feeling a little adventurous? Then head on down to one of Hong Kong’s favourite (and most daring) burger joints. Besides the usual beef burgers on offer (which are, it has to be said, truly scrumptious), why not get creative and give their highly Instagrammable soft-shell burger (or their scallop burger) a go? Timing is key though, as Honbo fills up quickly at peak hours, and the place doesn’t do reservations.
Insider Tip: A great spot for vegans, be sure to check out their take on the Impossible Burger – a sustainable meatless alternative that tastes just like beef which has the foodie world buzzing.
Address: 6-7 Sun Street, Wan Chai
Open From: 12 – 4 pm, 5 – 10 pm
With the finest fresh ingredients and an ethos that revolves around providing top-notch service, Pirata is definitely the place to go for authentic Italian cuisine and delicious cocktails. Famous for its purple potato gnocchi and The Butcher’s Cut steak, this restaurant has the perfect vibe – lively yet chic. The original restaurant in Pirata Group’s hugely successful dining empire, Pirata is a much-loved cornerstone of Hong Kong’s F&B scene.
Insider Tip: Not in the mood for Italian? Why not drop by their sister restaurant The Optimist that’s just downstairs for some Northern Spanish fare?
Address: 30F, 235-239 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai
Open From: Sun – Thu: 12 pm – 2:30 pm, 6:30 pm – 10:30 pm, Fri – Sat: 12 pm – 2:30 pm, 6:30 pm – 11 pm
Let’s take a moment to praise the boys behind Wan Chai hotspot (and our personal favourite) Francis. The menu, though minimalist, brings the eclectic street food of Tel Aviv to hungry Hong Kongers to much fanfare. Menu highlights include their Baked Halloumi, Lamb Ribs, Chicken Schnitzel and Smoked Carrots. With its chic, contemporary and cosy setting, not to mention their carefully curated wine list, this should be your go-to for the perfect date.
Insider Tip: Good things come to those who wait, and with space for just 30 guests and a no reservations policy, you will be waiting, but trust us – it’s well worth it.
Address: 4 & 6 St. Francis Street, Wan Chai
Open From: 12 pm – 11 pm
Since 1979, Matsubishi has graced Hong Kong with top-notch sushi, sashimi and blazing teppanyaki. Dark and quiet, the setting of the restaurant helps you enjoy a peaceful and delicious dining experience where your tastebuds are in for an adventure of a lifetime. Well-known for its sizzling teppanyaki, expect lamb chops, beef and goose liver amongst others – and don’t forget to complete your meal with a glass of sake!
Insider Tip: With only five teppanyaki private dining rooms, don’t forget to book early!
Address: 3/F, Convention Plaza, Wanchai, Hong Kong (Renaissance Harbour View Hotel)
Open From: 12 pm – 3 pm, 6 pm – 11 pm
Best Bars in Wan Chai
Step back into the past with The Pawn, an iconic restaurant and bar situated in a restored colonial-era building dating back to the 19th century. Whether you’re showing friends or family the city’s sights or just looking for a chilled night out, The Pawn will give you that taste of heritage you didn’t even know you were yearning for. Pop up to the first floor for a well-deserved drink, or the second floor for a relaxed, open-kitchen vibe complete with balconies that overlook the rustic trams rattling along Johnson road below.
Insider Tip: For expats looking for a taste of home, The Pawn’s signature British fish and chips really hits the spot.
Address: 62 Johnston Road, Wan Chai
Open From: Mon – Thu: 12 pm – 1 am, Fri – Sat: 12 pm – 2 am, Sun: 11:30 am – 1 am
Ophelia – TEMPORARILY CLOSED
If you’re someone who loves a spectacle, Ophelia is right up your alley. Crafting an unforgettable experience adorned with lavish peacock feathers, rustic bird cages and untold mystery, Ashley Sutton’s intricate creation tantalises your senses, drawing you into an idiosyncratic yet whimsical wonderland all set in an ancient reimagining of the Far East. Prop up against the moody, backlit bar and sip delicately at your cocktail as you brush shoulders with Hong Kong’s most sophisticated crowd.
Insider Tip: Drop by on one of Ophelia’s performance nights for death-defying acrobatics, sultry exotic burlesque, and even fire-breathing acts.
Address: Shop No. 41A, 1/F The Avenue, 200 Queen’s Rd East, Lee Tung St, Wan Chai
Open From: Mon – Thu: 6 pm – 2 am, Fri – Sat: 6 pm – 3 am
Buzzing with life, the Wanch is the place to check out the up-and-coming musical talent in Hong Kong, featuring live bands every night. Home to some of Hong Kong’s most creative communities, this popular local bar is the perfect relaxed, grungy venue for a beer or two.
Insider Tip: Particular about the sort of music you like? No problem. Just hop on over to their online schedule to get a preview of the night.
Address: 54 Jaffe Rd, Wan Chai
Open From: Mon – Sat: 5 pm – 2:30 am, Sun: 4 pm – 2:30 am
A wine lover’s paradise, the celebrated Paris wine bar Le Quinze Vins is the perfect place to unwind with an exquisite (yet pleasantly affordable) glass of red after work. Welcoming to newcomers, the staff are more than happy to offer you recommendations from their wide selection of French wines, so you’re sure to find a new favourite, no matter your tastes.
Insider Tip: Keep an eye out for their exclusive wine and cheese nights on Facebook! Organised in partnership with their sister shop La Cremerie, you’re sure to discover incredible wine and cheese pairings with their phenomenal selection of French artisan cheeses.
Address: 9 Swatow St, Wan Chai
Open From: 3 pm – 12 am
Hidden away in an unassuming building in Wan Chai, Mizunara oozes seductive sophistication immediately upon entry. Led by the internationally-renowned Masahiko Endo, this Japanese cocktail and whisky bar serves up endless concoctions of truly exquisite, next-level cocktails, and boasts a vast collection of whiskies (over 700!) and rare artisan bottles. What’s more? Their garden, which draws inspiration from a traditional karesansui, is artfully adorned with bamboo to deliver a full, authentic experience that transports you straight from Hong Kong’s hustle and bustle to a tranquil Japanese oasis – so sit back, relax, and enjoy the perfect night-cap to your tiring workday.
Insider’s Tip: An Omakase tasting course is available from 6-8 pm, offering 4 cocktails at a steal of HKD 388.
Address: 4/F, 361-363 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai
Telephone: 3571 9797
Price: HKD 150-800 (min. spend HKD 400 from 9 pm onwards)
What To Do in Wan Chai
Whether you’re hunting for the best deals on bass-heavy speakers, glitter phone cases, or even cutting-edge drones, the Wan Chai Computer Centre is the place to go. Need to replace that dodgy home button on your iPhone or pick up a backlit gaming keyboard? No problem. An electronics hotspot that will satisfy even the most demanding tech enthusiasts, this shopping mall is packed with independent retailers vying for your attention.
Insider Tip: Don’t be afraid to haggle. Prices are set artificially high, so make sure you do your research beforehand.
Address: 130 Hennessy Rd, Wan Chai
Open From: 10 am – 9 pm
Tai Yuen Street Market
Nicknamed “Toy Street,” this bustling pedestrian-friendly street market is a hodgepodge of outdoor street stalls selling a quirky assortment of cultural knick-knacks, prosperity-bringing Feng Shui trinkets, Chinese-style dried fruit and vegetables, and inexpensive household goods. If you’ve yet to fully dive into Hong Kong’s heritage, this is the perfect place to start.
Insider Tip: Looking for seasonal decorations? Take your pick from the stalls here in the weeks leading up to Chinese New Year, Halloween or Christmas.
Address: Tai Yuen Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Open From: 11 am – 7 pm