By Darren Griffiths

Hong Kong Street Food & Other Hong Kong Cheap Eats

14th February 2023

Last updated on April 19th, 2023 at 07:27 am

If you’re reading this post hoping to find a long list of Hong Kong street food eating options, we’re sorry to tell you that Hong Kong is not a plentiful city when it comes to street food vendors. Unlike other street food filled Asian cities like Bangkok, Hanoi and Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong street food is really difficult to find. 

To keep our travel costs as low as possible, we rely pretty heavily on street food, so we were quite disappointed to discover it’s scarcity in Hong Kong. Most parts of the city have become pretty westernised so they’ve rid the streets of street food carts and other vendors to appear clean and uncluttered. But don’t panic, Hong Kong street food is still available in places and in this post we’ll share where to find it, as well as other more plentiful alternative Hong Kong cheap eats.

Related reading: Check out our guide to all the best things to do in Hong Kong!

Where to Find Hong Kong Street Food

In the several days we spent in Hong Kong, we only found Hong Kong street food in two areas of the city; Soho on Hong Kong Island and Mong Kok in Kowloon. We wish we could tell you there are more, but even our friend who’s lived in Hong Kong for over a year, couldn’t reveal any other options.

Hong Kong Street Food – Mong Kok, Kowloon

Hong Kong Street Food and Hong Kong Cheap Eats - Kowloon
Street dining in Kowloon

Mong Kok is our favourite part of the city to explore, partly due to the many Hong Kong street food options scattered across the tatty but charming old streets. Mong Kok feels like old Hong Kong before the shiny skyscrapers were erected, the international corporate companies arrived and western visitors landed.

Wander the dirty alleys and market crammed streets and you’ll soon stumble across Hong Kong street food vendors selling treats like steamed fish balls, ban bao (steamed buns), deep fried tofu, fresh sushi and sweet Hong Kong egg waffles.

Stay until the evening and street corners soon fill with the smell of grilled fish and stir fried meat noodles. These open air kitchens (Dai Pai Dongs) offer plenty of plastic seating so you can watch Mong Kok’s flickering neon nightlife as you scrape every last bit of meat off the bone. The best area in Mong Kok for Dai Pai Dongs is surrounding the Temple Street night market. Prices for 1 x main started at 40$HK. 

See Temple Street location HERE

Related Article – 10 Awesome Things to do in Kowloon

Hong Kong Street Food – Soho, Hong Kong Island

Hong Kong Street Food and Hong Kong Cheap Eats - Soho

Street food in Hong Kong island’s Soho is nowhere near as plentiful as it is over the Victoria Harbour waters in Mong Kok. We’re talking about just one small street called Tit Hong Lane with just two or three dai pai dongs for dining. You’ll find some other ‘hole in the wall’ type places selling snacks and drinks but we wouldn’t include those as Hong Kong street food. 

It may just be one street but it’s an awesome atmospheric narrow lane with proper old school Hong Kong chefs sweating it out amongst their wok’s smoke and flames. Prices for 1 x main cost an average of 70$HK. 

Soho is also a great area to treat yourself at one of the area’s trendy restaurants and bars. Soho’s narrow streets seem to be going through a period of change as the old shops are becoming occupied by trendy wine bars, craft beer pubs, alternative restaurants and boutique shops.

See Tit Hong Lane location HERE

Book yourself on to one of these awesome Hong Kong street food tours now!

Alternative Hong Kong Cheap Eats

I’m sure you’re aware that Hong Kong is one of the most expensive cities in the world. With the lack of Hong Kong street food, eating out in a restaurant every mealtime would wipe out your bank balance, which is a shame as the city’s food is world renowned. Feel free to treat yourself, we recommend you do, but to save some cash for the city’s amazing sights like Tian Tan BuddhaTai O Fishing Village, Victoria Peak and Cheung Sha Beach, read on for alternative wallet friendly Hong Kong cheap eats.

Chinese Bakeries

Hong Kong Street Food and Hong Kong Cheap Eats - Chinese Bakeries
Shelley choosing her Chinese bakery lunch

We pretty much lived off Chinese bakery products for lunches. Chinese bakeries are the most inexpensive option for Hong Kong cheap eats and you’ll find them on almost every street in the city. Seriously, they’re everywhere!

At no more than 10$HK a piece, Chinese bakeries sell a yummy selection of filled breads, pastries and cakes. Grab yourself a tray and choose from items like salmon & cream cheese rolls, curry puffs, tuna baguettes, custard tarts, chocolate twists and the very popular Hong Kong pineapple bun!

Hawker Centres (Cooked Food Centres)

Hong Kong Street Food and Hong Kong Cheap Eats - Hawker Centres
Lockhart Road Cooked Food Centre in Wan Chai

Hawker centres or Cooked Food Centres as they’re sometimes called, are huge rooms with numerous kitchens around the edge and a large communal seating area in the middle. Much like a food court but less sterile and more Asian! If you’re really hungry, the city’s hawker centres are the best option for large portion Hong Kong cheap eats.

You won’t find western food in these places, they’re all about local dishes for local people and the quality will vary depending on where you go. Prices start at around 20HKD a dish and go no higher than about 100HKD. Some of them offer small, medium and large options but a medium plate of beef brisket and rice at just 30HKD was more than enough for one person. In another, we paid 40HKD for beef noodles and could not finish it.

Hawker centres are not easy to find as they’re usually tucked away in places you’d least expect them to be, so check out these three that we can recommend.

Bowrington Cooked Food Centre (Wan Chai) – MAP
Lockhart Road Cooked Food Centre (Wan Chai) – MAP
Fa Yuen Street Market (Mong Kok) – MAP

Chinese Soup Kitchens

Hong Kong Street Food and Hong Kong Cheap Eats - Soup Kitchens
Soup kitchen menu

Another great Hong Kong cheap eats option is Chinese soup kitchens. These small old school dinners look like they’ve been around for decades but offer huge bowls of tasty broth. They’re usually around 20$HK a bowl and include options like beef balls, pork balls, fish balls, veg wontons and beef brisket, accompanied by a generous portion of noodles and greens. 

Dim Sum Cafes

Hong Kong Street Food and Hong Kong Cheap Eats - Dim Sum
Dim Dim Sum cafe in Wan Chai

No visit to Hong Kong is complete until you’ve eaten enough dim sum till you’re about to burst. Surprisingly, there are some very cheap and awesome quality dim sum cafes in the city. Our local friend recommended a place in the Wan Chai area where she lived and we were staying. We’re glad we took her advice as it was some of the best dim sum we’ve tasted.

At around 20$HK a plate, which is usually 3 or 4 pieces of dim sum, we enjoyed flavours such as shrimp, beef with sun-dried tangerine, black truffle soup and bbq pork.

See Dim Dim Sum location HERE.

So as you can see, the lack of Hong Kong street food doesn’t mean your wallet has to suffer. There are plenty of alternative Hong Kong cheap eats to enjoy at a similar cost. Granted, the prices are more expensive than most other Asian cities, but this is Hong Kong after all.

The food in Hong Kong is a highlight for many visitors to the city, so wander the streets and check out some menus, it’s all part of the fun! 

Have you been to Hong Kong and discovered other Hong Kong street food options? What have we missed? Please share by commenting below.