Take a tour of the best vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Hong Kong, from a monastery to a Michelin-star Indian fine-dining restaurant.
Grassroots Pantry, Hong Kong Island
Restaurant, Chinese, $$$
Chef Peggy Chan has created a haven for veggies and vegans in Poho, Hong Kong. The philosophy behind Grassroots Pantry is to serve nutrient-rich food made from organic ingredients, but with a creative spin. Highlights of the menu include the pan-fried gyoza, the macadamia cheese and beetroot agnolotti, and the braised jackfruit and konnyaku claypot rice. There are also special cooking demonstrations arranged for people who want to learn more about eating the vegetarian way. Enjoy your guilt-free dish in the brightly lit, plant-filled space, and don’t forget to take an Instagram snap of the eye-catching entrance.
Wan Chai-based Isoya serves up vegetarian versions of well-loved Japanese classics. Dishes are delicate, delicious and impeccably presented. The sushi platter, made from plant-based ingredients, is made to look exactly like real fish and the homemade bean curd is made with water imported from Japan. All the recipes can be altered to suit vegans, and the staff are enthusiastic and knowledgeable, eager to explain their cooking techniques, ingredients and philosophy. Isoya is perfect for vegetarians looking for Japanese food beyond the usual avocado or cucumber rolls.
This popular café, with locations in Poho in Sheung Wan and Central, specialises in healthy, organic and vegetarian fare. Their Lebanese flatbread wraps are spiced with zaatar and come with over 30 different kinds of topping. For something a bit lighter, go for the fresh salad boxes. Big eaters should get their mouths around one of the plant-based burgers. There’s also a range of juices, smoothies and warming soups. The best part is their zero-waste policy; not only is the food good for you, it’s good for the environment, too.
Kind Kitchen, based in Nan Fung Place, Central, is a completely vegan café that serves both Asian and Western fare. This concept café was launched by Green Common, a popular health store, and is a perfect spot to enjoy a light lunch or dinner in a relaxed space. Their signature ingredient is the ‘omnipork’, a veggie pork replacement that is used in a variety of their Asian dishes. Their oat-milk version of Hong Kong’s iconic milk tea is a very close replica of the real thing.
Boutique Hotel Restaurant, Fusion, Asian, Australian
Located in Ovolo Central, Veda is the first hotel restaurant in Hong Kong to serve only vegetarian cuisine. The menu, conceived by renowned Australian chef Hetty McKinnon of Arthur Street Kitchen fame, features a fusion of Asian and Western flavours. Highlights of the menu are the vegetarian momos, the pani puri and the refreshing soba noodle salad. Veda opens at 6.30am, so you can stop in for your morning avocado toast, or come for a salad at lunch.
Established in 2006, Gingko House aims to create job opportunities for elderly people, while also promoting vegetarian food. All the waiting staff and the chef are elderly folk, and live performances are sometimes put on by a live band of musically inclined senior citizens. This social enterprise serves a range of international vegetarian dishes, like Mexican bean salad with diced avocados and chickpeas, and truffle-sauce pasta.
This casual meat-free diner based in Jordan serves up delicious vegetarian variations of Cantonese food, which is typically a meat-laden cuisine. While the options on the menu are limited, they are all popular and known for being unforgettably delicious. Luk Yung Sin Kwun’s signature dishes include the vegetarian stewed sweet and sour ‘pork’ (bean curd and deep-fried milk) and mixed veggies with bean-thread noodles and mock fish.
Nestled in the renowned temple at Chi Lin Monastery, this restaurant is frequented by pilgrims and visitors alike. The scenic views of the garden, dotted with colourful flowers, a picturesque lotus pond and traditional Chinese sculptures, invite diners to eat their food mindfully. The food is much more flavourful than typical temple food, and the dishes are beautifully presented. Try the vegan spring rolls, beetroot salad and cashew nut soup.
Cafe, Restaurant, Vegan, Vegetarian, Salad Bar, $$$
Located in Central on Hollywood Road, Fresca is a popular lunch spot among Hong Kong’s office workers. The restaurant offers a buffet spread of hot and cold salad options. The menu changes constantly, but one thing that remains unchanged is the use of freshly harvested produce, sourced locally from their private farm. For a delicious sweet treat, make sure you try one of their gluten-free muffins.
Named after a holy herb, Michelin-starred restaurant Tulsi boasts a delectable selection of authentic Indian cuisine, covering famous delicacies such as vegetable makhani, aloo gobi and chana masala, all served with a selection of naans and rotis. The kitchen staff is led by Master Chef Ravi, who is passionate about delivering the best to the table at this small but popular venue.
Blue walls, exposed wooden benches and American memorabilia lining every surface all help to create a lively 1950s ambiance at Veggie SF. The meatless menu features vegetarian American classics like the lentil burger with pineapple and nuggets, as well as international delicacies like Thai skewers and Italian lasagne. It’s located on the 10th floor of Stanley 11. Expect to wait a while for a table, as this restaurant is very popular.
Opened in 1990, Kung Tak Lam is led by regional chef Lai Chung Man, who focusses on ingredients and seasonings. This vegetarian and vegan restaurant serves classic Shanghainese dishes, using soy alternatives to imitate a typically meaty cuisine. The old noodles, tofu dumplings and char siu pastry are must-try items on the menu. Designed like a traditional Chinese banquet hall, Kung Tak Lam imparts a warm ambiance and wows patrons with its harbourside views. There’s another branch of the restaurant on the island side of the city, near Causeway Bay.
Located on Lamma Island, Bookworm Café is a popular spot for travellers looking for a relaxing hideaway. Books spanning a wide range of genres line the walls, and the owners are happy for guests to linger with a novel in hand. Bookworm Café serves up a selection of vegetarian comfort foods, like wholesome tofu and bean burgers, vegetarian lasagne and pizza.
Loving Hut is situated in Kowloon Bay and serves up a wide selection of international vegetarian and vegan cuisine. Menu highlights range from marinated tofu with mushroom rice to a Japanese-style vegetarian cutlet with curry sauce. If you’re feeling peckish, try the steamed dumplings. This cosy venue also plays host to the occasional live-music performance.
OVO Café aims to take patrons out of the city and into nature. The menu is made up of mostly vegetarian dishes, with a few vegan options. Highlights include the niçoise lotus root salad, the spinach cheese pie with portobello, and the impossible burger. The venue is filled with pendant lights, potted plants and rustic, tailor-made furniture.