Hong Kong is in the midst of a café boom and I’m doing my best to keep up! If you’re in the 852 and on the lookout for a new ‘local’ or simply just need to be pointed in the direction of good latte and bite to eat, here five of my favourite coffee joints of the moment. Enjoy!
Located right at the back of cult speciality store WAOW on Gough Street, Elephant Grounds is an independent roaster and purveyor of seriously good coffee in a modern, quirky setting. Along with serving ridiculously amazing ice cream sandwiches (the Hong Kong style milk tea one with honey comb and white choc flakes is insane), their beverage menu is also standout. One drink that separates Elephant Grounds from the rest of the Hong Kong herd is their bulletproof coffee. The bulletproof latte is a mix of coffee, milk, un-salted butter and MCT oil. While it’s a bit on the heavy side, it’s quite tasty and delivers a slow-burning seven-hour caffeine hit. If you’re craving something different (and slightly healthier) the almond milk latte also gets a big BGBC tick!
Along with their flagship Quarry Bay branch, ZAI FÉ has opened two new locations in Central and in Kwun Tong! Their Central location is a hidden gem, tucked out of sight at the back of Bo Concept on Wyndham Street. Set on a sheltered outdoor terrace, this café has to be one of the best kept secrets in the district (a friend actually asked me not to tell anyone about it because she didn’t want word getting out about how good it is). Along with serving stellar coffee, ZAI FÉ’s deli-style food menu is also fantastic. Healthy, simple and not out of a packet, this is the place to hit this winter if you’re craving some hearty soup, a delicious toastie or gourmet pie. If you’re with someone who isn’t much of a coffee drinker, steer them in the direction of ZAI FÉ’s blueberry jamtini – it’s a game changer.
Nosh is one of those neighbourhood cafés you walk into and instantly like. As the name suggests, it has an awesome food menu (the breakfast, brunch and lunch options are delicious and slightly more creative than the standard fodder on other café menus around town). The coffee is really well made, and, given how busy the place is with people dining in and constantly swinging by to take away, it seems that’s no secret. If you’re craving something cool and sweet, the iced caramel latte here is sure to hit the spot.
Good coffee is no longer hard to find in Wanchai – actually, it’s becoming increasingly harder for cafés and espresso bars to stand out from the crowd. A spot that never fails to deliver on the quality front is Coco Espresso. Along with having a really nice team behind the counter (who genuinely try to remember your order if you’re a regular – a Hong Kong rarity), their coffee is skillfully made. If you’re feeling hungry, Coco Espresso’s homemade banana bread is top notch (next level when heated and served with a dollop of butter).
I’d heard lots about 18 Grams before finally getting around to visit their Sheung Wan branch. One thing’s for sure, this is a place for serious coffee drinkers – people who really appreciate the art and science of a good brew. In terms of atmos it’s a bit lacking so I normally opt to grab my coffee (and slab of their home-made banana loaf) to go.
An adapted version of this post originally ran on Sassy Hong Kong