Actually, we don’t really believe in the many ‘best cafes in Hong Kong’ lists online. There are so many different elements of a great cafe that draws a person to it. The alluring scent of coffee, the bustle of people, the cakes and pastries, the ambience, the friendly baristas, the savoury food selection and so much more. That said, Hong Kongers are SERIOUS about their coffee. Most cafes compete in international barista championships and the accolades from there form many a good cafes’ popularity. This is a personal selection of what the Out of Office guys like about these places though, and here’s OUR hit list of different cafes that hit the spot for us.
18 grams at Sheung Wan
18 grams is not new to the coffee scene with 7 cafes strewn across both Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. For a place that looks like it can seat only 15 pax comfortably, they have a menu ranging from croissants (S$5) to fuller meals like an Aussie breakfast (S$19). Having a full day of meals ahead, we opted to share just a banana caramelized french toast (S$15) which was delightfully drizzled with maple syrup, crisp, caramelised bananas, and whipped cream. It was delicious – and complete when served with a well-balanced ‘hearty’ cappuccino that can do no wrong.
18 grams at Sheung Wan (Map)
77 Wing Lok St
Hours: Mon – Sat 8am to 6pm
Tel: +852 2327 5557
You can find the location of other outlets here.
Lof 10 at Sheung Wan
Depending on where you come from, the walk to Lof10 was a trek in itself. All I wanted at the end of the climb was a iced cold latte (S$10) – which came pleasantly served in with a huge whisky ice ball. Besides keeping the latte icy chilled, it takes longer to melt, allowing me to savour the robustness of the coffee slowly. A very limited and forgettable food menu though but do take a walk here to see how well they managed to keep a bit of the old and new in this cafe – it’s quite beautifully done with the old metal shutters and other wooden touches. Be warned that the coffee is a tad pricier than others on the island though.
Their sister alcoholic hangout Lof 10 distillery at Bridges Street has not been explored by us yet but shall be on our itinerary next!
Lof 10 (Map)
Flat B, 1 U Lam Terrace,
Tel: +852 2540 2210
Hours: Daily from 10am – 7pm
Elephant Grounds at Sheung Wan
I’ve been into WOAW a few times but had no idea that hidden behind was Elephant Grounds until my most recent trip. Tucked at the end of the retail store that sells all manners of lifestyle knick-knacks from cult designer labels is Elephant Grounds. The al fresco area overlooks a community playground and the cosy bar interior, a good respite from the heat. Hong Kong in summer is no joke but their ice cream sandwich – A Thai iced tea ice cream sandwiched by two ginger snaps and a sprinkle of coconut flakes did the job of dousing the flames. I did their cold brew (S$12) which was fragrant, smooth and came in a pretty, large bottle which I’m thinking of re-purposing as a terrarium…
Elephant Grounds at WOAW (Map)
11 Gough Street,
Tel: +852 2253 1313
Hours: Mon to Sat 11.30am – 9pm / Sun & PH 12nn – 7pm
They have another less accessible outlet with a wider food menu called Elephant Grounds Coffee & Kitchen. Been there before? Let us know how that went!
CoCo Espresso at Central
One of the newer outlets at Central, this makes a great spot to chill right after shopping at COS nearby. An industrial, chic interior with geometrically designed bar stools and high tables gave it an edgy, bar-like flavour unlike a typical cafe. The cafe latte (S$) came with awesome latte art but it was a tad too milky, drowning out the coffee taste. We were told the more popular outlet was the Wan Chai branch, housing Kim Yeung, the resident barista who has won several latte championships.
CoCo Espresso at Stanley Street (Map)
Shop D, 50 Stanley street,
Hours: Weekdays 8am to 7pm / Weekends 9am to 7pm
Passion: By Gérard Dubois at Central
This area is a foodie’s enclave with the Michelin-starred Wonton Noodles from both Tsim Chai Kee and Mak’s Noodles, Hong Kong’s favourite confectionery Tai Cheong Bakery and now a new Western insert by Gérard Dubois, a swiss-born pastry chef who leads the French cafe experience here. Expect an array of top quality French pastries and cakes with a deli serving hot and cold salads/sandwiches as well. We didn’t try the coffee here but were led to the cafe by the wafts of freshly baked bread post our Tsim Chai Kee adventure. We had a Mixed Berry Tunnel, which came light and crispy, with fresh fruits and cream lining the centre. Save some room for dessert here, you won’t regret it.
Passion: By Gérard Dubois (Map)
Shop 1, G/F, Lyndhurst Tower
1 – 7 Lyndhurst Terrace,
Tel: +852 2812 6822
Hours: Daily from 11am to 9pm
Corridor Cafe at Causeway Bay
It’s actually quite amazing how much a cafe invests in personalising their space, even down to their crockery. This is something that’s hardly observed in Singapore cafes where typically generic brands are used – perhaps it’s just cheaper to do it there since they are near a major manufacturing hub (China). Cafe Corridor’s literally across the street from Times Square as you disappear from the bustle of the area. One of the better lattes I’ve had in Hong Kong, their humble spot with limited seats are usually snapped up throughout the day so have some patience for this cuppa, or do a takeout if it’s cool enough to linger outside. Cafe Corridor (Map)
G/F, 26A Russel Street,
Tel: +852 2892 2927
Hours: Mon to Thu 8.30am to 11pm / Fri 8.30am to 12mn / Sat 12nn to 12mn / Sun 12nn to 11pm
The Coffee Academics at Causeway Bay
Easily our favourite place to chill out after an arduous day of shopping at Causeway Bay, The Coffee Academics is a pleasant getaway from the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong street life. From the same guys who brought you Habitu, The Coffee Academics is a way more upmarket offering with an extremely diverse Western menu with French, Italian and Spanish offerings.
Just two hours away from dinner, we went easy and ordered a snack of the Blue Corn Nachos (S$19) and just some random drinks including a Piccolo Latte (S$5). Be prepared to shell out more for this place as they pride themselves as serious baristas, only pulling from their house blends. The corn nachos went fantastically with the guacamole, sour cream and chilli beef, leaving us fighting for the last few morsels.
The Coffee Academics Flagship Store (Map)
38 Yiu Wa Street,
Tel: +852 2156 0313
Hours: Mon to Thu 10am to 11pm | Fri to Sat 10am to 2am | Sun 12nn to 9pm
Cuppers Specialty Coffee at Stanley Beach
Stanley Beach’s a great half-day trip where you can shop at local art stalls and enjoy some of the beachside dine and drink culture in Hong Kong. Stanley Plaza, a large mall in the area houses Cupper Specialty Coffee which serves a really neat affogato. The hot latte was great by itself, or drizzled as an espresso over rich, creamy vanilla ice cream with speckles of vanilla from fresh Madagascan pods. The affogato makes an excellent afternoon treat before the sun sets at Stanley Beach.
Cuppers Specialty Coffee (Map)
Shop 207, Stanley Plaza,
Hours: Mon to Fri 9am to 6pm / Sat & Sun 9am to 7pm
So many cafes, too little time. We will be constantly adding more bars/cafes/restaurants to our blog as we expect to go back to Hong Kong really soon! Don’t forget to read our list of things to do in Hong Kong as well if you’re running out of things to fill your itinerary. Tell us what’s your favourite activity, or what you would like for us to cover on our next trip and we promise we’ll try!
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