Once considered a quiet backwater, Hong Kong’s Kennedy Town is now the place to head to for a friendly, buzzing scene. Here’s our neighbourhood guide to this laid-back slice of Hong Kong.
Known for its wholesale markets, Hong Kong’s Kennedy Town was once a quiet, low rise backwater along Hong Kong’s harbourfront. Today, it may be the last stop on the MTR line, but it’s often the first spot to visit for those looking for great food and a quiet night out with its appealing mix of the old and new and its taste of old-world Hong Kong still to be felt in its matrix of tranquil, neighbourly streets. Just steps away from the Hive, K-Town’s food scene is thriving with taco joints, Australian brunch spots, dim sum havens and places for a post-work sundowner or two. Read on to discover your new favourite hangouts in this insider’s guide to Kennedy Town.
Best Coffee Shops in Kennedy Town
Photo courtesy of Winstons Coffee via Facebook
Start your day off with an Oat Flat and mini bap from Winstons whilst sitting across from Kennedy Town’s iconic stonewall trees. This beloved open-sided coffee shop was started by three British men who wanted to serve the community killer coffees offered in a friendly environment by genuine people – and it more than delivers for the endless early risers who head there for their caffeine fix. Make sure you stop by after work for a craft beer or cocktail to finish off your day – with special deals offered to Hive members.
Insider Tip: Say G’day to their home-baked Australian classic Lamington cake – it’s one not to miss!
Address: 11 Davis St Shop 8, The Hudson, Kennedy Town
Open From: Mon: 7 am – 6 pm, Tues-Sun: 7 am – 11 pm
A much-loved speciality coffee brand from Kyoto with outposts now spread across continents conquering cities such as Kuwait and Dubai, % Arabica make their coffee with beans sourced from their own farm in Kona, Hawaii, and roasted at their Discovery Bay outlet in Hong Kong. With its clean lines, natural vibe and breezy atmosphere, here’s the place to head for a relaxed start to your day.
Insider Tip: Their global head barista Junichi Yamaguchi is a world latte art champion so make sure to sample their craftwork.
Address: Grand Fortune Mansion, Shop 4, Ground Floor, No. 1 Davis St, Kennedy Town
Open From: Mon-Fri: 9 am – 7 pm
Attached to the back of a high-end motorcycle show room, First Boy customers come for its award-winning Melbourne coffee and stay for the relaxed atmosphere that’s perfect for setting up camp and busting out a few emails. Serving up light-bites, pastries, and even homemade dog treats, you’ll find a crowd here any day of the week.
Address: 33 Praya, Kennedy Town
Open From: Mon-Fri: 9am – 5.30pm ; Sat- Sun: 9am -6pm
This hole-in-the-wall coffee shop serves Italian-style coffee and in-house baked goods to its long line of loyal customers. With just one small table tucked away in side, order your coffee to go and re-fuel harbour-side.
Address: 78-86 Catchick Street, Kennedy Town
Open From: Mon – Sun: 8am – 6pm
Best Restaurants in Kennedy Town
Image courtesy of CATCH via Facebook
Grab a bite to eat at CATCH for an eclectic twist on Australian fare. Specialising in seafood and weekend brunch, their heavenly Melbourne-inspired breakfast is the epitome of eating like a king. While the highlights here are definitely the breakfast bits – think Brekkie Baps, french toast, smoothie bowls – their dinner menu comes a close second with a vast nighttime selection that includes a Soft Shell Crab Burger and Jerk Chicken. And, the cherry on the top for Hive members is a discount.
Insider Tip: Bring your fur babies along as the alfresco area is dog-friendly.
Address: G/F, 95 Catchick St, Kennedy Town
Open From: Mon-Wed: 5 pm – 10:30 pm, Thurs-Fri: 12 pm – 3 pm, 5 pm – 10:30 pm, Sat-Sun: 9 am – 4:15 pm, 6 pm – 10:30 pm
Alvy’s is the answer to most of our prayers – serving stone oven pizzas with fresh locally brewed beers using an east-meets-west approach – think latkes (potato pancakes) with char siu (roast pork). Their sourdough base pizzas are airy and crispy with just the right amount of chewy – a match made in heaven with a Young Master Classic Pale Ale. If that’s not enticing enough, maybe ‘The Big Red Bitch’ – their red brick pizza oven – is an indication of how much fun you’ll have here.
Insider Tip: Alvy’s Milk Tea Panna Cotta, drenched in black and white condensed milk, is a dream come true.
Address: 8 Holland St, Kennedy Town
Open From: Mon-Fri: 4 pm – 12 am, Sat-Sun: 11 am – 12 am
Sitting on the slopes of Kennedy Town is this fuss-free street-food chain hailing from Taiwan. Have a taste of its braised pork steamed buns or signature fatty minced pork on rice, and you’ll understand why they have such a large fan base back at home. Staying true to its roots, the eatery’s exterior and interior decor look like a page plucked out of a Taiwanese night market. Come after lunch and before dinner to avoid the long queue.
Insider Tip: The Taiwanese glutinous rice balls – take it from us, you will not regret them!
Address: G/F, 31 North Street, Kennedy Town, Western District
Open From: Tue – Sun: 11 am – 11 pm
(新興食家) Sun Hing Restaurant
A local dim sum legend, Sun Hing Restaurant is easy to miss with its inconspicuous window proudly covered in newspaper clippings boasting of their well-deserved recognition. The establishment serves handmade, fresh dim sum prepared in the wee hours of the morning – a tradition that’s been traded in for factory-made dim sum by most competitors. Some fans go as early (or late) as 2:30 am to satisfy their salted egg custard bun cravings.
Insider Tip: Be prepared to wait and share a table, the compact 60-seat eatery draws a crowd. Or, take your food to go and enjoy it by the harbour.
Address: Shop C, G/F, 8 Smithfield Road, Kennedy Town, Western District
Open From: 3 am – 4 pm
Queues regularly form along Sands Street for a table at hotpot hot-spot, Twelve Flavours. Praised for its authentic, Sichuan cuisine, the pickled fish and spicy broth are firm favourites but each dish on the menu is sure to pack a flavourful and mouth-numbing punch.
Address: 10 Sands Street, Kennedy Town
Open From: Mon- Sun, 12pm -11pm
Image courtesy of 11 Westside via Facebook
11 Westside is the brainchild of Netflix Chef and LA’s ‘Taco King,’ Esdras Ochoa and a charming neighbourhood gem that will whisk you away to the coast of Ensenada with its fresh tacos. Everything on the menu is inspired by Esdras’ Mexican background and LA roots, including his legendary “Mexican Ponzu Sauce.” If it’s good enough for the world’s greatest chefs, it’s good enough for us.
Insider Tip: Make sure you’re there on Taco Tuesdays for 50% off on all tacos and Thirsty Thursdays to get half off all beers and shots.
Address: 1/F, The Hudson, 11 Davis Street, Kennedy Town
Open From: 11 am – 11 pm
First opening in Kennedy Town in 2017, AZIZA has since expanded to a larger location in Sai Ying Pun, but this cosy spot remains unique, serving just a handful of hungry customers at a time. The Egyptian-style cuisine is always prepared in-house and made from scratch, promising both flavour and quality in each dish.
Address: Shun Cheong Building, 28 Hau Wo Street, Kennedy Town
Open From: Mon- Sun, 12pm-3pm ; 6pm-9.30pm
If you’re in the mood for a curry, The Clay Oven Indian Restaurants dishes up some of the finest North Indian food in the Western district. Offering an endless menu of curries, naan breads and tandoori grilled meats, take refuge in this old-school curry house or grab your vindaloo to go.
Address: 27-31 Catchick Street, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong
Open From: Mon-Sun, 11am-3pm; 5.30pm-11pm
Awarded one Michelin star, this no-frills restaurant is well-known for its charcoal-grilled claypot rice. Open all hours of the day, head here when those midnight cravings strike.
Address: 25 North Street, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong
Open From: Mon-Sun, 6am-4pm 6pm-6am
Smithfield Market and Cooked Food Centre
Like most wet markets in Hong Kong, fresh produce promises unbeatable pricing and the attached cooked food centres an array of cuisines. English menus are difficult to find, but we’d suggest making a beeline for Cheuk Kee Congee which never fails to serve up hearty, Cantonese-style congee that encapsulates Hong Kong flavours in every mouthful.
Address: 2/F, Smithfield Municipal Services Building, 12K Smithfield, Kennedy Town
Open From: Mon-Sun, 6am-8pm
Best Bars in Kennedy Town
Image courtesy of The Wilshire via Facebook
Now, this is what we call a speakeasy. The Wilshire is an incredibly beautiful space hidden in the back of restaurant 11 Westside, requiring the flip of a switch for entry. The bar is named after Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, the hometown of founders Daniel Eun and Jon Chan – both big names in the F&B industry. With walls covered in empty bottles from floor to ceiling and a pool table right smack in the centre, it’s a dream come true for those to settle in for a proper night out.
Insider Tip: For a no-frills cocktail experience with classic flavours, try The Business, a concoction of gin, lime, and honey.
Address: 1/F, The Hudson 11 Davis Street, Kennedy Town
Open From: Tues-Sun: 7 pm – 2 am
Part of Kennedy Town’s line-up of happy hour spots is Australia’s Little Creatures Brewing Hong Kong. The restaurant houses its own brewery consisting of five brewing tanks in its huge 6,000-square-feet of space. With 10 beers on tap and one cider, there’s bound to be something for all walks of life in the former sugar and flour mill. There are also some lip-smacking combinations on its vegetarian-friendly menu – think mac and cheese topped with truffle, juicy Angus burgers, halloumi salads, and Australian mussels.
Insider Tip: Their own creation, Little Creatures Pale Ale, packs a good punch.
Address: 5 A New Praya, Kennedy Town
Open From: 8 am – 12 am
Fresh and contemporary, To Be Frank is Kennedy Town’s latest site for you and your friends to catch up over a glass of crisp wine or artsy spirits, such as the adult beverage, Manhattan (rye whiskey, sweet vermouth and angsotura bitters), amongst many others. Situated on Forbes Street, this easy-to-spot neighbourhood bar is definitely one to stay, also offering quick bites for the ones who always have the munchies post drinks.
Address: G/F, 56 Forbes Street, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong
Open From: Mon – Thu: 5 pm – 12 am, Fri: 4 pm – 12 am, Sat – Sun: 2 pm – 12 am
Selling a colourful array of craft brews, spirits and wines, The Tramline Liquor Co. is a one-stop shop for your favourite bottles and cans.
Address: 78 Catchick Street, Kennedy Town,
Open From: Opening hours vary
What to do in Kennedy Town
Sai Wan Swimming Shed
If you’re yet to visit for yourself, you’re bound to have at least heard about Sai Wan Swimming Shed. Around 15 minutes from Kennedy Town by foot, this Instagram hotspot is always full of snap-happy people waiting to bag the best shot on the bridge.
Address:Victoria Road (off Mount Davis), Kennedy Town
Embrace local heritage at Lo Pan Temple, only one of the two in the world where Lo Pan, the patron god of builders, carpenters and engineers, is worshipped. Tucked away in a hidden spot on the sleepy terraces above Kennedy Town, the temple is classified as a Grade I historic building, and if cultural sites aren’t quite your cup of tea, the marvellous architecture will change your mind. Not to mention, the area is a real treat and a picturesque break from the hustle and bustle of the busy streets just a couple of minutes below you.
Insider Tip: Pop by on July 13 when the site throbs with festivities in honour of Lo Pan’s birthday.
Address: 15 Ching Lin Terrace, Kennedy Town
Open From: 9:30 am – 5 pm
An ode to the ever popular Catan, Wheat & Wood is a treasure trove of board games with its expert staff on hand to help explain all the rules. A two-hour session costs $90 (with an additional 30 minutes costing $10), including a $40 credit towards your food and drink.
Address: G/F, Brilliant Court, 28 Praya, Kennedy Town
Open From: Wed – Sun, 12pm-10pm
Kennedy Town Shipping Docks and Harbour Front (Instagram Pier)
Commonly referred to as ‘Instagram Pier’, you’ll find floods of people strolling the docks and posing for photos next to colourful oil barrels and bamboo scaffolding. A perfect spot to watch the sun set (or rise!), be sure to check out the recent communal expansion near to New Praya Street, which houses an extremely popular dog park and plenty of seating for sundowners.
Address: Fung Mat Road, Sai Wan, Kennedy Town
A creative community for freelancers, entrepreneurs and start-ups alike – come visit us at Hive Life HQ! The ex-industrial workspace is abundant with light, dedicated desks and hot desk area, alongside a Sound Sauna Meditation Room, and Portrait Studio for photography!
Address: Cheung Hing Industrial Building, 12P Smithfield, Kennedy Town
Open From: Mon-Friday, 8.30am-5.30pm
Where to shop in Kennedy Town
Image courtesy of Slowood via Facebook
Bathe in sustainable eco-friendly lifestyle alternatives inside this beautiful, floor to ceiling glass store. With its minimalist interior, Slowood promotes zero waste by offering sustainable products from over 100 international and local brands. Here, you can find kitchenware and home goods, as well as grocery staples in bulk. Bask in the comfort of knowing that everything you’re buying is kind to the environment.
Insider Tip: Take a whiff of their 100% natural perfume 100 Bon, and you’ll fall in love.
Address: Shop 1-3, G/F, The Hudson, 11 Davis Street, Kennedy Town
Open From: Mon-Fri: 10 am – 10 pm, Sat-Sun: 9 am – 10 pm
Its competitive pricing makes Shing Fat Coconut & Spices a go-to for stocking your spice cupboards and filling the pantry with staple ingredients. If you can’t find it at your local supermarket, you can hedge your bets that it’ll be available at this specialty store.
Address: 48 Praya, Kennedy Town
Open From: Mon – Sat, 8am-6.30pm
Knowledge Stationery Centre
Fit to burst with notebooks, crafts supplies, and stacks of pens, Knowledge Stationery Centre has everything you might need for an upcoming project of stationery haul. Need something printed or scanned? Just ask the staff on hand.
Address: 2 Catchick Street, Kennedy Town
Open From: Mon-Sun, 9am-8pm
Note: This article was originally written by Melody C. on March 7 2019 and most recently updated by the Hive Life team on December 9 2020.