There’s no hustle and bustle quite like Hong Kong hustle and bustle – but you can always escape it for an hour or two in one of the city’s cosy cafés and coffee shops. Here are Culture Trip’s favourite places for a caffeine pit-stop.
Cafe, Asian, Italian, $$$
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For a neighbourhood feel and impeccable latte art, Café Heato is your place. Stepping into the café is like being welcomed into the kitchen of a bohemian friend, decorated as it is with a homely hodgepodge of potted plants, mismatched oil paintings, ornaments and handicrafts. The refined coffee blends are served up by young staff hired from Hong Kong’s less affluent areas, and the owners goal is to foster a spirit of community. Food is served throughout the day, so you can pick up a fresh morning pastry or pop in for an accomplished pasta dish on your lunch break.
Founded by the first qualified Q-grader for coffee in Hong Kong, Knockbox is a must for coffee enthusiasts. The house blend, Bolivia Buena Vista Organic Cascara, steals the limelight with its tart flavour and gentle texture. Exclusive brewing methods are also a pull and guests can opt for the coffee grand slam (one coffee brewed three different ways) or the cuppers duo (a blind taste test of two similar coffees) to explore the varieties in roasts. For food, the green day breakfast is a favourite here, featuring a vegetable medley served with eggs, quinoa and buckwheat toast.
Weary travellers searching for a classic brunch should head to Australian-inspired café Mansons Lot. Here you’ll find a laid-back space in which to enjoy award-winning coffee and hearty all-day dishes. Specials are scrawled on the signature blackboards, but the scrambled egg and greens is a comforting start to the day. Pair it with one of their unique blends, or stick to the signature espresso if the tasting notes are all a bit daunting.
The barista and coffee-roaster Tsuyoshi Mok, winner of numerous championships, along with siphonist Pinky Leung, winner of the 2013 World Siphonist Championship, are the backbone of this renowned brewhouse. House specialities include single origin beans and sophisticated selections from Indonesia, Bolivia, Ethiopia, and Guatemala. After enjoying the coffee in-house, why not purchase some beans to grind at home? You can even sign up for coffee classes to master the art of brewing in your own kitchen. The waffles and cakes are also worth a taste.
Founded by three British friends searching for a local spot for their morning hit, this trendy café combines excellent coffee with healthy takes on homemade desserts and snacks. Grab a muesli slice cookie in the morning, or tuck into their renowned matcha egg tarts for an afternoon pick-me-up. And come evening you can swap your espresso for an espresso martini as the place transforms into a cocktail bar.
Elephant Grounds serves up locally grown coffee in a minimalistic wood-panelled space. Offering an all-day breakfast and brunch menu, the airy venue is the ideal spot for a picture-perfect meal of pancakes or poké. Check out their seasonal single origin coffee or sample something from their brew bar for a more complex confection.
The name might sound off-putting, but Café Hey Fever is a beautiful space filled with flowers and plants – making it a perfect spot for enthusiastic Instagrammers. Located on Causeway Bay, the botanical venue offers Italian coffee (their speciality iced-drip variety is refreshing on a hot day), a variety of teas and a particularly good tarts. Unlike many cafés, Café Hey Fever does not offer WiFi and instead encourages guests to speak to one another or simply soak up the atmosphere. Head downstairs on your way out to pick up a plant or two from the flower shop.
Decorated as a European train depot, La Station serves its coffee in style. The small but cheerful tiled coffee shop can get particularly busy in the commuter rush, but if you can snag a table for lunch, the soup and sandwich combos are consistently comforting. Fresh pastries and loaves are available for takeaway from this French-style venue, along with their inventive drinks. But we’d advise you try their venom latte (an activated charcoal and coconut creation) in-house to avoid any unfortunate accidents with the jet-black liquid.
The Cupping Room is a café and brewhouse serving up straightforward fare in a relaxed setting. Signature dishes include eggs benedict and the creamy lunchtime spaghetti, but the main event is understandably the coffee – which is sourced from around the world and roasted in one of their other Hong Kong outposts. The pretty monochrome floor tiles, marble counter tops and dark wooden stools lend the café an Italian vibe, and you’d be a fool not to take a quick snap on your way out.