A great destination is so much more than a few pictures with a famous backdrop. It’s a feeling, a buzz and for many travelers – a distinctive taste. Hong Kong is a melting pot of Asian culture, with rich traditions stemming from China, Imperial English Rule and the delights of Southeast Asia. In short: it’s a great city to bring an appetite. Whether you’re after shoestring fries on a shoestring budget or indulgent delicacies with a limitless budget, these restaurants are total gems travelers just can’t miss…

hong kong john anthony foodJohn Anthony

It may have the most anglo name of them all, but John Anthony brings some serious Cantonese punch, smoke, spice and delight. The tea smoked chicken may be the greatest chicken dish you ever taste. John Anthony takes classic Cantonese favorites and elevates with extreme standards for sourcing. For example, the char siu beef is made with Australian Wagyu, and is worth every cent of the $280HKD (about $32USD) it goes for. Though it’s not a cocktail bar per say, it offers some of the best drinks in Hong Kong, and the subterranean setting feels pretty baller. It may be the best new restaurant in all of Hong Kong…

Espresso Alchemy

Looking for a spot with some Oatley, some single origin coffee, v60 and all the fixings? Espresso Alchemy is a quaint coffee shop bringing some of the best coffee in Hong Kong, in an adorable section of Quarry Bay. There are great bars and restaurants nearby, but for a quick pick me up fit for a coffee snob, with made to order food this is the ideal spot. There are a few linked locations around the city as well, which you can find here. Coffee Academics is another top quality choice, with some funky specialty offerings, such as Manuka Honey coffee…

Duddell’s

If you’re looking for a distinctly Hong Kong setting, with some seriously good dim sum, Duddell’s simply must be on the list. Designed by Ilse Crawford, famous for the beautiful design work found in Hong Kong based Cathay Pacific’s airport lounges, the space is incredibly chic, without being at all pretentious. You’ll find everything from tasting menus to juicy dim sum, with a huge wine list and excellent mixology level cocktails. It’s a place to stay a while, and not just because of the food coma…

Tim Ho Wan

The obligatory tourist pit stop is on there for a reason. The waits are long, but the prices are low and the food really is fantastic. Tim Ho Wan is one of the world’s cheapest Michelin starred meals beaten only by Hawker Chan in Singapore. The baked barbecue pork buns are unmissable, and with wait times over an hour most of the day (fortunately, it’s open 24 hours) you’ll have plenty of time to develop an appetite. This is full on novelty, but it’s the good kind. The Kwong Wa street location is a great call.

Maxim’s Place

On the subject of dim sum, Maxim’s may not be the most stylish or the fanciest, but it’s fast, it’s mouth watering good and the location is superb. Set in Hong Kong’s old City Hall, Maxim’s is up a flight of stairs and serves in a banquet style setting. You’ll find every dim sum flavor under the sun and a lot of it, at really reasonable prices. Hot tip: use Hong Kong must have app The Gulu to get your seating ticket early. It’s like skip the line privileges, but totally legit.

Sushi Tokami

If you’re looking for affordable, fast but good sushi with a few locations, Sen-Ryo is your Hong Kong spot.Β Sushi TokamiΒ is not fast or very affordable, but it provides an omakase setting which rivals many of the best in the world. In fact, most ingredients are imported directly from Japan. The quality of tuna is off the charts and inventive dishes from the chefs menu bring a unique flare to a classic tradition. The lunch specials can be solid value.

BEP

Who would’ve thought you’d find such amazing Vietnamese food in Hong Kong? Fragrant, punchy and prompt is the name of the game at BEP, with quite a few locations around the city. After a trip to the Peak and a walk around buzzy Stanley and Wellington Streets in Central, this delicious hot spot brings a breath of affordable fresh air to Hong Kong dining. If you’re a fan of pho, this is all you need.

Cafe Grey Deluxe

Ask just about anyone, and they’ll tell you Upper House is the best hotel in Hong Kong. At $1000 a night, it better be. If you’re hoping to check out the high life from high above Hong Kong, Cafe Grey Deluxe, the hotel’s insanely posh restaurant offers the perfect solution. The restaurant is open to the public and offers breakfast and brunch with insane views over Hong Kong Harbor, and as one would hope – the food is delicious too. Figure at least $30USD per person…

T’Ang Court

From cheap eats at the one Michelin Star Tim Ho Wan, it’s a big step up to three Michelin starred T’ang Court. The restaurant inside the ultra swish Langham Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui is one of only five Cantonese restaurants in the world to maintain three Michelin Stars, which puts some high expectations on the menu. The a la cart menu is a brilliant way to sample the very best in Chinese cooking without breaking the bank. The setting is regal, but you can be casual, which is nice.

Tsim Chai Kee

Travel isn’t always cheap, so eating cheap on the go can be pretty clutch. You’d be 100% remiss to miss out on some world standard wonton noodle soup while in Hong Kong, and Tsim Chai Kee offers arguable the best. It’s a total bargain, and if you want a reference point for the other best wonton in the city, Mak’s is just across the way. You’ll be full long before you’re broke!

Hong Kong offers something for everyone, despite being the most expensive fine dining city in Asia. This list brings big flavor at prices all over the spectrum and any of these spots are sure to impress. Be sure to download apps Open Rice and The Gulu to save on wait times…