Sticking to a daily food budget in one of the most expensive cities in the world is no easy task. Here’s our insider’s guide to the very best lunch deals and penny-saving dishes in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong’s thriving food scene takes in Michelin-starred restaurants to dim sum dive spots and everything in between. For those looking to maximise on taste and value together, there are plenty of options worth checking out across every cuisine and price. Here, Hive Life has compiled a list of the city’s best budget restaurants serving up delicious dishes for under HKD 50. (You’re welcome!)
With a number of locations scattered throughout Hong Kong, this spot on Queen Victoria Street in Central is just a stone’s throw away from the Hive Central. Having built their large fan base thanks to their distinct take on noodles and wonton, their signature dishes also include a standout beef brisket noodle soup and spring rolls.
Top Tip: You can’t go wrong with the spring rolls and pork ribs here.
Address: G/F, 5-8 Queen Victoria Street, Central
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat: 8 am – 9 pm, Sunday: 9 am – 8:30 pm
Price: Prices start under HKD 50 for lunch combos
Like all cha chan tangs (traditional Hong Kong cafes), Chrisly specialises in a good old, hearty Hong Kong breakfast melding eastern and western cuisine. There’s simply nothing like starting your day with a bowl of macaroni soup with buttered toast and scrambled eggs on the side, and no better way to wash it down than with a classic Hong Kong milk tea. Alongside the city’s classics, this fuss-free cafe prides itself in its efficiency and friendly staff – a rare find in the city these days.
Top Tip: Long queues are not uncommon here, but the truffle scrambled eggs are well worth the wait.
Address: Shop B1, G/F., Kwong Sang Hong Bldg., 6 Heard Street, Wan Chai
Opening Hours: 7 am – 11 pm
Price: Breakfast sets start at HKD 40
Vegan restaurants in Hong Kong are no longer needles in a haystack, but it can still be awfully hard to find affordable ones. Loving Hut Hong Kong, located a seven-minute walk away from the Hive Wan Chai, offers HKD 50 set meals with a complimentary soup or cold soya milk. The latter comes in handy for those who love but can’t handle their spicy items, such as the XO Fried Rice and Laksa Soup with Flat Rice Noodles. Patrons can even buy containers of Happy Cow dairy-free ice cream to take home.
Top Tip: Their plant-based eggs are truly out of this world.
Address: 2/F, Luen Tai Building, 93-99 Wan Chai Rd
Opening Hours: 11:30 am – 9:15 pm
Price: Go on the weekdays between 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for 50 HKD set lunches. The offer does not apply on public holidays
(新興食家) Sun Hing Restaurant
A dim sum icon in its own right, Sun Hing Restaurant can easily be missed with its inconspicuous window proudly covered in newspaper clippings proudly boasting of their well-deserved recognition. The eatery serves freshly handmade 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 2:30am to satisfy their salted egg custard bun cravings.
Top 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: Sun Hing Restaurant, Shop C, G/F, 8 Smithfield Road, Kennedy Town, Western District
Opening Hours: 3 am – 4 pm
Price: Dim Sum starts at HKD 20
Thalassic Thai Restaurant
Those with a penchant for Thai food have a friend in Thalassic Thai Restaurant, situated on a quiet street in Sai Wan, steps away from the Hive Kennedy Town. Despite its discreet location, locals flock here on their lunch breaks. Whilst it’s not surprising for a restaurant to offer complimentary hot drinks with their lunch sets, here you can choose between Thai Tea, Watercress Honey Tea, and more.
Top Tip: This restaurant is such a neighbourhood favourite that they even have extra seating area next door to accommodate the large lunch crowds.
Address: Shop C & D, G/F, Chi Ping Building, 38 Hau Wo Street, Kennedy Town, Western District
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri: 12 pm – 3 pm, 6 pm – 11 pm, Sat-Sun: 12 pm – 3 pm, 6 pm – 12 am
Price: HKD 48 to 55 for a lunch set, including drink
Man Nin Wah Roasted Meat Restaurant
Hong Kong-style barbecued meat, better known as siu mei, is a true city staple. Founded in 1976, the Man Nin Wah Roasted Meat Restaurant is the place to go for some sweet and savoury roast pork with noodles or even a roast duck leg served over rice. Don’t be afraid to spice things up with an extra salted goose egg on the side for HKD 6.
Top Tip: If you’re stopping by for breakfast, the buttered pineapple buns are a great start to your morning.
Address: G/F & M/F, 28 Wan King Path, Sai Kung
Opening Hours: 7 am – 8 pm
Price: The majority of roast meat dishes over rice are less than HKD 47
Saigon Pho’s chef made his debut in Hong Kong three years ago after finding success with his Vietnamese restaurant business in Canada. The family-owned eatery swept the Sai Kung community off their feet with its huge portion sizes and below market prices. Most popular are their handmade beef balls and Vietnamese sausages. And, if you’re stopping by for a quick caffeine fix – as members of the Hive Sai Kung often do – you won’t regret their traditional Vietnamese ice drip coffee. Maybe you’ll also bump into a celebrity or two as the establishment is a popular spot for stars such as actor Chow Yun Fat.
Top Tip: Take away boxes cost 2 HKD each, so be sure to bring your own!
Address: Shop 16, G/F, Sai Kung Building, 42-56 King Man Street, Sai Kung
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri: 11:30 am – 9 pm, Sat-Sun: 11 am – 9 pm
Price: A variety of pho, bahn mi, bun, and appetisers fall below HKD 50
Make your trip to Wong Chuk Hang more worthwhile by enjoying some ramen or curry rice at Ko Kee, tucked away in the Nam Long Shan Cooked Food Market and just a short walk from the Hive Spring. If their tomato sauce over deep-fried pork cutlet with rice doesn’t pique your interest, then maybe the Japanese BBQ Pork Ramen will be right up your alley. Be warned that the shop is packed with students and workers during the peak lunch hours. If the wait is too long, there are tons of backups nearby, such as Nam Long Restaurant.
Top Tip: While the ramen are all over HKD 50, the special of the day is only HKD 50 during tea time.
Address: Shop 4, G/F, Nam Long Shan Road Cooked Food Market, Wong Chuk Hang
Opening Hours: 11 am – 5:30 pm, Sat closed
Price: Rice series start under HKD 50
The Sheung Wan branch of this speciality Japanese eatery is considered one of the best as they sell everything from soups and salads to curry and musubis. This means they can offer hungry Hong Kongers set meals that hit the taste buds in the right places. Aside from their well priced, individual entrees which cost only HKD 36, there’s also Miso-cooked Mackerel, Wagyu Beef Minced Cutlet, Simmered Chicken with Vegetables, and other delicacies.
Top Tip: Head to the Central and Western District Promenade for an ocean view while enjoying your food.
Address: Shop 231D, 2/F, Shun Tak Centre,168-200 Connaught Road Central, Sheung Wan
Hours: Mon-Fri: 7:30 am – 9 pm, Sat-Sun: 10:30 am – 8 pm
Price: Set meals start under HKD 50
Located in the heart of Sheung Wan, just minutes away from the Hive Sheung Wan, Grove Sandwiches began as a small sandwich joint in 2002 before expanding into 15 outlets across Hong Kong. Now, they sell more than just sandwiches – serving up options like Spaghetti Bolognese with Frankfurter Sausage to healthier selections including their Quinoa and Hydrovege Salad. The brand is heavily focused on healthy eating, so you can leave the shop feeling great about yourself.
Top Tip: After 6 pm all of the premade sandwiches, salads, cakes, and more in the fridge are 40% off.
Address: G/F, CS Tower, 50 Wing Lok Street, Sheung Wan
Hours: Mon-Fri: 7:30 am – 8 pm, Sat-Sun: 8 am – 5 pm
Price: Their sandwiches and salad start under HKD 20