Tap into local eats by hitting the cooked food centres with your kiddies. These are definitely not places to be prim and proper, but it does give you and your family a chance to bond with your neighbours and try some hard-to-come-by foods and hearty Hong Kong treats! Here is our guide to the best wet market restaurants in Hong Kong.
A popular hangout for tourists and locals alike, Java Road Market in North Point offers a bounty of affordable seafood restaurants. If you and your munchkins don’t mind getting your hands a little dirty, try the spicy crab, chili and salt squid. Made famous in Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations, Tung Po’s is known for its squid ink pasta and Cantonese favourites such as steamed rice in lotus leaf, albeit the quality of both the food varies from visit to visit.
Tung Po, 2/F, Java Road Municipal Services Building, 99 Java Road, North Point, +852 2880 5224
Queen Street Cooked Food Centre, 1/F, 38 Des Voeux Rd West, Sheung Wan
Ok, ok, so it’s more of a night bazaar than food market, but come here in the evenings and the streets light up with open-air dai pai dongs where you can enjoy local Cantonese eats, including numerous versions of clay pot rice. The rice is cooked inside a clay pot, steamed with a choice of meats then doused with a bit of soy sauce. The best part is digging out the crunchy bits from the bottom. Wash it all down with a cold bottle of Tsingtao beer!
Temple Street, Prince Edward
After some Ladies Market chaos, try the snacks available along Dundas Street. The small stalls offer everything from fried chicken, pork cutlet buns, chili noodles to stinky tofu. Try savoury Sao Bing, a stall selling Beijing flaky buns that come plain or filled with minced pork, or queue up for squid at Fei Jie. Enjoy sweet treats like honey soft served ice cream, bubble tea and freshly made waffles topped with a cloud of whipped cream and berries.
Dundas Street, Mong Kok
Wan Chai is a hot bed for simple, fuss-free Chinese food at affordable prices. Roll up your sleeves and bring the kiddos with you to Bowrington Road Market. On the top floor of the complex is the cooked food centre, which has an assortment of cheap eats. The roast chicken is famous city-wide as is Kau Kee noodles.
Bowrington Road, Wan Chai
For the freshest of the fresh, head to this popular cooked food market where you buy fish and seafood downstairs from the fishmonger and bring it upstairs for cooking. Situated super close to the Aberdeen Fish Market, which boasts the freshest catches of the day, this place is a consolation to the highly regarded Aberdeen Fish Market Canteen that closed in 2013. Pak Kee and Chu Kee are both good choices for seafood.
Ap Lei Chau Cooked Food Centre, 8 Hung Shing St, Ap Lei Chau
Wet Markets are an indispensable part of Hong Kong culture, where you’ll find a bounty of fresh ingredients hard to come by at your neighbourhood supermarket. Take a tour of Hong Kong’s wet market and then cook with the freshest ingredients at City Discovery. It’s a fun and easy way to learn about how to cook with local ingredients.
City Discovery, www.city-discovery.com/hongkong
Home to Thai town and also to the Chiu Chow community, Kowloon City has a wealth of restaurants and cheap eats. Among the many eateries in the market is Amporn, where loads of local families dine here on any day of the week. Afterwards, try one of the many dessert and pastry shops, such as Tony Wong’s Patisserie, nearby. Pair it with a walking tour of the Kowloon Walled City for a day of family fun.
Kowloon City Cooked Food Centre, City Municipal Services Buillding, 100 Nga Tsin Wai Rd, Kowloon City
Venturing out to the New Territories isn’t just about getting a breath of fresh air, but also a great place to bring the fam to try unique dishes. For a sampling of cheap eats, visit this cooked food market in Shatin. There are great wok-fried dishes, including yummy beef noodles at Chan Kun Kee, and there are also other specialities at neighbouring stalls such as roasted quail, stir-fried clams and other dishes.
Wo Che Estate Market, Hip Yan Street, Sha Tin
Get out of the city and round up the kids to Tai Po for the day. There’s a wealth of activities for the whole gang. Ride bikes around the New Territories and end the day with a meal at one of the many award-winning restaurants in Tai Po after a tour of one of Hong Kong’s most famous wet markets. Head to the Tai Po Cooked Food Market for dai pai dong style Cantonese classics, noodles and tasty dimsum from Lam Kee. Eat and explore!
Tai Po Market, 2/F, 8 Heung Sze Wui St, Tai Po
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