No trip to Hong Kong is complete without queuing for a coveted seat in a crowded “tea-restaurant”, and subsequently be pressured to leave the moment you finish the last spoonful of your meal. Hong Kong cha chaan tengs are not known for their stellar service, but once you accept the fact, you would find that you’re able to find peace in dining in these establishments that are characteristic of this city’s culture. Not to mention, the food itself is obviously a huge draw.
So here are the 5 cha chaan tengs to get you started on your food journey in HK:
1. Capital Cafe
For some of the best scrambled eggs in Hong Kong, Capital Cafe would be the place for it. Peanut butter and Condensed milk Toast is a classic combination that always works, and don’t forget to try their signature Principal toast, which was a delicious fried french toast topped with butter.
Address: Shop B1, G/F, Kwong Sang Hong Building, 6 Heard Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Nearest MTR: Wan Chai
Open daily 7am-11pm
2. Australian Dairy Company
One cannot visit Hong Kong and not pop by ADC. A perpetual queue is almost always expected, but their scrambled eggs and steamed milk are well worth the wait. This is possibly the most iconic cha chaan teng in the city, famed for shooing customers once you’re done with your meal, but there is just something that keeps people coming back for a traditional HK breakfast.
Address: 47 Parkes Street, Hong Kong
Nearest MTR: Jordan
Open daily except Thurs 7.30am-11pm
3. Chau Kee
The salted lava craze has infiltrated Hong Kong as well, and we travelled to a far end of the MTR to get our hands on this lava french toast. Other popular items include the Shrimp Toast with Sesame and Fried Rice Rolls with XO sauce.
Shop H1, G/F, Tung Lee Mansion, Water Street, Sai Ying Pun, Western District
Nearest MTR: HKU
Open Tue-Sun 6am-5pm
4. Mido Cafe
We were surprised to see that the cafe was completely empty at the first floor when we first reached, but after proceeding up a narrow staircase, we were greeted with a bustling space on the 2nd floor. Their specialty is the Baked Spare Rib in Tomato Sauce, and we loved the thick tomato sauce with a layer of cheese.
63 Temple Street
Nearest MTR: Yau Ma Tei
Open daily except Wed 8.30am-9.45pm
5. Tsui Wah
This dining institution in Hong Kong is one that you can find easily almost everywhere you go. Despite the fact that it has so many outlets, it still remains as one of the go-to places for some good ol’ local food, with a mix of other western options too. Their menu is so comprehensive, and there is something for any palate, but the must-order here is the Condensed Milk bun, which is simple, yet incredibly delicious. Grab a bottle of their bottled milk tea as well! It’s one of the best I’ve tried.
Are there any other cha chaan tengs that you would recommend? I’d love to hear about it!