Hong Kong, a bustling city with a show-stopping skyline, uniquely blends British colonial influence with Chinese heritage. More than its dim sum, Hong Kong offers a delicious array of healthy eats as you dine, shop and travel. Check them out on your next trip!
Credit: Grassroots Pantry
This little gem with organic vegetarian food by founder Peggy Chan came into operation as a cute restaurant set-up in Sai Ying Pun. Its popularity grew so much it now has a larger, less homey, but bright and airy establishment on the more residential side of Hollywood Road. The prices have inevitably gone up with the rent, and the dishes are more sophisticated with a mixture of Western and Asian influences. They serve raw and cooked foods from breakfast through dinner while still using the same nourishing ingredients such as hedgehog mushroom, kelp, quinoa and brown rice. Some of my favourites are the Mixed Mushroom Linguini and the Chinese “lamb” stew, while their turmeric chai lattes are heartwarmingly good. Other must-try items include their Hiyashi Chuka, an interesting mix of Nam Tien Ramen, almond sesame dressing, organic firm tofu, mixed seaweed, sprouted mung beans and aquaponics greens, and their handmade Beetroot Ricotta Gnocchi with cashew hollandaise, sage, roasted organic baby beets, spiced walnuts and lemon-thyme pesto. For a cool yet warming thirst-quencher, take a swig of the Iced Coconut Kefir Chai Tea.
108 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan
+852 2873 3353
This friendly Scandinavian chic neighborhood café in Tai Ping Shan serves wholesome food with classic European flavors and delightful pastries. Opened by Le Cordon Bleu trained Chef Danielle Yuen and executive pastry chef Aki Yamamoto, they bring that home-made fresh daily feel with tasty brunches and healthy but limited lunch options and snacks. The satisfying Nosh brunch comes with poached eggs, Sourdough bread, German sausages, roasted potatoes and grilled Portobello mushrooms. Another solid option is the Shitake Melt with Sourdough, caramelized onions, avocado, parmesan and a mixed green salad. Lighter choices like the gluten-free banana millet cereal with strawberries, cranberries, and almonds and fresh fruit salad with homemade granola and greek yoghurt will keep you energised till lunch. Lunch is a soup, salad or sandwich option which varies with time and there are also some fun afternoon nibbles like bruschetta with goats cheese, fig, honey and rosemary. For a sweet treat, the lemon meringue tart will do the trick.
11 Upper Station Street, Sheung Wan
+852 2559 8508
Urban farming meets comfort Chinese cuisine at this cosy retreat with nice outdoor seating in the PMQ, fresh organic ingredients and no MSG make up lighter flavoursome dishes by Chef Shing whose forte is Shanghainese cuisine. The herbal soups such as the Detox Potion and Immunity Booster are comforting and ooze wellness. The steamed or pan-fried dumplings, the Slow-Cooked 48 hour Natural US Beef Short Rib Pancake Slider or the Slow-Cooked Organic Eggs are nice ways to start. Well-known dishes on the menu include Grandma’s Ma Po tofu, the Tea-Smoked Duck with house made pickles and steamed buns, and the Local Caught Mud Crab stuffed with Sticky Rice. If you’re looking for a guilt-free less goopy Chinese experience, Sohofama is certainly a good choice with a pleasant ambience.
G/F, Block A, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central
+852 2858 8238
From the same guys as Sohofama, Locofama is urban farming meets Western cuisine for a healthy neighborhood joint in Sai Ying Pun. Founder, Larry Tang encourages slowing down and eating healthy, sharing your meal over friendly conversations. Some top picks include the 48 hour Natural Short Ribs, Saikyo Miso Organic Salmon, Seared Octopus Baby Spinach Salad, the Coconut Chicken Casserole served on quinoa and spinach and the Cauliflower Risotto. If you’re looking for small healthy bites, you may want to try the Mushroom Quesadilla. The menu lets you know what’s gluten-free, vegetarian, paleo and which ones are high protein options. Portions like their sister, Sohofama, are on the small side.
G/F, 9-13 Fuk Sau Lane, Sai Ying Pun, Western District
+852 2547 7668
The Restaurant by The Kinnet
Fueling your mind, body and spirit comes the Restaurant by Kinnet with Mediterranean and western fare open from breakfast through dinner. Their philosophy is that healthy and nutritious doesn’t have to be boring. You can still enjoy your favourites spun with your health in mind such as their Avocado Eggs Benedict but with a yoghurt “hollandaise” sauce or Shakshuka, a delicious Mediterranean dish with eggs in a tomato-based stew with white beans, bell pepper, onion, feta cheese and served with sourdough bread. The full Kinnet breakfast has all the components of a full English substituted with chicken patties, avocado and a bean ragout - no canned stuff here. For lunch, there’s roasted organic chicken or fish of the day with two salad choices and a variety of healthy bowls like the smoked salmon bowl, seared chicken bowl and veggie bowl. The dinner menu also entices with dishes like Stewed Beef Cheeks and Chicken Paillard, a few different pan-fried and steamed fish dishes, vegetarian curries, spaghetti and casseroles. The Kinnet is a wellness center and their cafe and restaurant is certainly a welcomed addition to the Hong Kong scene.
3/F, 33 Hillier Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
+852 3968 7623
Credit: MANA! and MANA RAW!
MANA! and MANA! Raw
Mana and Mana Raw make fast slow food, wrap your head around that. At Mana, you will find hearty salads or flatbread Zataar wraps filled with a large variety of wholesome mix of vegetarian fare like roasted vegetables, grilled tofu, kale, chickpeas, avocado and spreads like hummus and baba ghanoush - choose and enjoy! There is usually one soup option which changes with time and sweet organic treats like the Raw Chocolate Truffles and Coconut Cake. Sip down some healthy juices or a shot of wheatgrass to complete the health boost. The lines at lunch are long and there isn’t much seating, so grab and go for a quick healthy meal. At Mana Raw, just down the street from Mana, you will find raw items such as vushi, zucchini noodles, chia puddings and a wealth of green juices and smoothies for food at its highest nutrient value. Try the Zucchini Pesto or Puttanesca Salad and the Alaya or Shakti vushi, end the meal or snack on a chia pudding or raw granola pudding, and then pat yourself on the back.
97 Wellington Street, Central
+852 2259 5125
Credit: Nood Food
The nutritious food chain that comes with every Pure fitness outlet has a full range of hot food, raw food, snacks, cold-pressed juices and smoothies and is always a reliable option with its increasing presence around Hong Kong. You’ll find roasted chicken, a beef or lamb stew, seared fish and a side of roasted vegetables or potatoes. The chicken and fish can come out a bit dry as they continue cooking on the heated plates. You can also opt for their popular and delicious salads such as kale with avocado dressing, quinoa, roasted pumpkin, marinated mushrooms and more. The sandwiches, wraps and soups are nice for a quick meal. Interested in a juice cleanse? Nood has what you need with a variety of antioxidant raw and unpasteurized antioxidant-rich green juices and fruit juices. Try their Mojo Mix, a smooth and rich tasting super fruit smoothie; Masala Soul, a delicious masala chai made with a dairy-free mylk spiced with cinnamon or their Mighty Melon, a very refreshing, cold-pressed green juice. Their smoothies come with protein add-ins and superfoods like maca and spirulina which make a great pick-me-up after a workout or for an afternoon snack.
Various Locations - Central, Admiralty, Causeway and Tsim Sha Tsui
+852 8199 8189
Credit: Pure Veggie House
Pure Veggie House
Up in the Mid-Levels and off the beaten path, this quality local vegetarian Chinese restaurant has a Zen vibe with a choice of regular tables or tatami style. The menu is filled with delicate vegetarian dishes with healthier steamed and stir-fried options but there are certainly a few delightful lightly fried dishes yet not too greasy options for an extra crunch. Start with the Matsutake Mushroom Pouches with Black Truffle Sauce and the Chilled King Oyster Mushroom Sashimi, which with the wasabi sauce, will make you think you’re eating the finest tuna! For mains, the Kung Pao Mushroom dish with cashews, bell peppers, chilies and Sichuan peppercorns is full of punch, the baked eggplant with house special sauce and other veggie dishes have a weight to them like it would with meat. To round out and pack in even more veggies, the Stir-Fried Mixed Greens with lily bulbs, asparagus and bamboo fungus is recommended and you can have it all with multigrain rice.
3/F, Coda Plaza, 51 Garden Road, Mid-Levels
+852 2525 0552
Chi Lin Vegetarian
Just a few minutes from the Diamond Hill MTR, you will find yourself away from the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong city life at the Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Garden. There, behind a waterfall, you’ll find this gem of a vegetarian restaurant where you can sit down, relax, sip on tea and enjoy the purely vegetarian dishes amongst the Buddhist monks. On the menu, there are various mushroom dishes, braised and baked vegetable and bean curd stews, rice, noodle and congee dishes as well as delicate dumplings. The Steamed Mushrooms and Vegetable Dumplings, Braised Bean Curd Patty filled with enoki mushrooms and broccoli, Stir-Fried Black Termite Mushrooms and Fried Rice with pine nuts and ginger sauce are delightful and delicious dishes for a nourishing dining experience here.
Nan Lian Garden, 60 Tak Fung Road, Diamond Hill
+852 3658 9388
Credit: Maya Café
Moving to a larger spot from Wan Chai to Sheung Wan, this charming Mediterranean vegetarian and vegan cafe uses fresh organic ingredients for clean eating by Tina Barrat and Mina Mahtani. Think Mezze Platters, falafels, zoodles, salads, vegetable soups and stews paired with brown or red rice, and a variety of petite gluten- and dairy-free puddings and desserts. The meatless balls in rich tomato dressing made with mushrooms, oatmeal and parmesan and the Vegetarian Lasagna were top choices finished with their refreshing Clear Ahead smoothie, a blend of blueberries, apple and banana. Do note that their menu changes seasonally to keep things as fresh as possible while also keeping things interesting.
Shop 7, G/F, Nan Fung Place, 173, Des Voeux Road, Sheung Wan
+852 2111 4553
To add on, other notable options would be Noodlemi, a fast, casual dining restaurant serving healthy, naturally-flavoured Vietnamese cuisine. Kale, a health food restaurant serving sliders, salads and juices made mostly from, as the name suggests, kale. 3/3rds, an eatery offering a selection of soups, salads, sandwiches and thin crust pizzas, and recently, internationally renowned gourmet bakery and communal table, Le Pain Quotidien which has now joined the ever-changing Hong Kong food scene. As Hong Kong continues to evolve, the trend to healthier and cleaner eating to balance out all of the indulgence of the city is certainly on the up and up. So, the next time you’re HK-bound, you know where to tuck into satisfyingly, healthy meals!
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