In many ways, Tai Hang is a neighborhood with the best of both worlds. It’s conveniently only a hop, skip and a jump away from buzzing Causeway Bay, but the pace of life is a little more leisurely there. New hipster restaurants and boutiques have been popping up one by one in recent years, but there are still plenty of old school residential buildings, mom and pop shops, and even temples about. With all the sights to see and explore it’s well worth a visit! And if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the choices, we’ve rounded up our must-visits.
If it's Western food you're in the mood for, modern eatery Elementary is great for sharing plates inspired by Asian, European, and Middle Eastern cuisines. Dough Kitchen, meanwhile, serves up Italian comfort food in a bistro setting — think antipasti, risotto, and handmade pizza and pasta.
For something a little more local, try Tak Shing Tea Stall, a retro 1970s joint that does great milk tea and pineapple buns. And you can find some of the best char siu scrambled egg rice in town at Shun Hing.
Elementary, 15-16 School Street, Tai Hang, Hong Kong, +852 2362 2812, www.elementary.hk. Open Tuesdays to Fridays, 12pm - 10pm and Saturdays to Sundays, 10am - 10pm.
Dough Kitchen, 21B Brown Street, Tai Hang, Hong Kong, +852 2688 7008, Facebook Page. Open daily, 11:30am - 10:30pm.
Tak Shing Tea Stall, Shop A-B, G/F, Ming Sun Building, 96 Tung Lo Wan Road, Tai Hang, Hong Kong, +852 2259 9055. Open daily, 6:30am - 10pm.
Shun Hing, 5 Ormsby St, Tai Hang, Hong Kong, +852 2576 6577. Open Tuesdays to Sundays, 7am - 4pm.
If you're looking for a caffeine kick or to wind down with a beer, check out one of these cafes or bars. Unar Coffee Company boasts exceptional Italian coffee beans and an array of interesting coffee flavors such as crème brûlée, banana and cucumber. Fineprint is a good spot for a cup of joe made with house-roasted beans with a slice of freshly baked sourdough with jam. If you're after something a little stronger, Second Draft has a hefty menu of craft brews from both at home and abroad.
Unar Coffee Company, 15 Sun Chun Street, Tai Hang, Hong Kong, Facebook Page. Open Tuesdays to Fridays, 7:30am - 5:30pm and Saturdays to Sundays, 9am - 6pm.
Fineprint, 1 Lily Street, Tai Hang, Hong Kong, +852 5331 5205, www.fineprint.hk. Open daily, 6am - 12am.
Second Draft, 98 Tung Lo Wan Road, Tai Hang, Hong Kong, +852 2656 0232, Facebook Page. Open Mondays to Fridays, 4pm - 1am and Saturdays to Sundays, 12pm - 1am.
Instead of a meal, you could always go for a baked snack or a little something sweet. The treats at Tai Hang's bakeries and candy shops would make great gifts, too. Opened by two professional pastry chef, Plumcot offers both artisanal baked goods and homemade gelato; go for their perfectly buttery, flaky croissants in flavors such as mango, coconut or almond. There's also Papabubble, a boutique sweet shop specializing in rock candy and lollipops. What sets its colorful candies apart, however, is the option to add graphics, lettering and other designs to make the candy truly stand out. The shop's candy-making workshops would also be a great afternoon activity for the kids.
After eating comes Hong Kong's other favorite pastime—shopping. Instead of massive malls and luxury brands, however, Tai Hang is home to unique boutiques and charming vintage shops. Visit The Minimal or Kamono Hardware Store if you're looking for a quirky new piece of decor to spruce up your home. Journalize, with its journals, pens, calligraphy and art equipment, is a stationary buff's dream. Fashionistas might want to check out Microwave, which is filled with vintage looks and pieces by independent designers. Car lovers will want to visit The Leeman Plate, one of the only shops in the city that still creates handmade license plates. There's a bevy of car-themed accessories, too.
The Minimal, G/F, 38 Sun Chun Street, Tai Hang, Hong Kong, +852 2369 2328, Facebook Page. Open Tuesdays to Fridays, 1pm - 6pm and Saturdays to Sundays, 1pm - 5:30pm.
Kamono Hardware Store, G/F, 30B Wun Sha Street, Tai Hang, Hong Kong, +852 2865 6168, Facebook Page. Open Tuesdays to Sundays, 1pm - 7pm.
Journalize, 6A Moreton Terrace, Tai Hang, Hong Kong, +852 3565 6455, Facebook Page. Open daily, 1pm - 9pm.
Microwave, G/F, 7 School Street, Tai Hang, Hong Kong, +852 2566 8823, Facebook Page. Open Mondays to Fridays, 2pm - 7pm.
The Leeman Plate, 9 Wun Sha Street, Tai Hang, Hong Kong, +852 2520 5568, www.leemanplate.com. Open Mondays to Fridays, 10am - 7pm, and Saturdays, 10am - 5pm.
There's tradition to be found in Tai Hang in the form of temples and, if you visit at the right time of year, you'll even be able to behold the impressive Fire Dragon Dance, which the area is famous for. Taking place during Mid-Autumn Festival, the dance involves 300 performers carrying 32 sections of a fire dragon lit up with incense sticks.
Throughout the rest of the year, take a gander at Lin Fa Temple, a 19th century monument dedicated to the goddess Guanyin. Its octagonal hall and elaborate ceiling mural are particularly eye-catching. It's also where the Fire Dragon Dance takes place.
Lin Fa Temple, Lily Street, Tai Hang, Hong Kong, www.amo.gov.hk. Open daily, 7:30am - 5pm.
Maybe you're looking for a change of scenery or want to take a quick weekend getaway. If so, you'll want to book a room at Little Tai Hang or Tuve. Both are recently opened, contemporary boutique hotels, but their aesthetics are very different—Little Tai Hang is breezy and filled with understated color, boasting sweeping views of the harbor and Victoria Park. Guests can take advantage of the fitness center and lounge. There are also three on-site restaurants: Bond, Second Draft, and Tipsy Restaurant and Bar. Tuve, on the other hand, is for those looking for sleek, secretive style. You enter the 66-room hotel through a nondescript door and from then on it's all black and white marble and metal.
Tai Hang is across the street from Victoria Park & Causeway Bay Sports Ground, so make a day of it! Take a tennis lesson, climb and run at the playground, and then treat yourself to a laid-back meal! Try these spots too for shopping and dining:
* Fresh Gourmet - top quality meats, cheeses, and more. Just opened in September!
* The Socialhouse - great for date night or group dining
* No. 5 Italian - small menu, with handcrafted pastas
* Brix - great wine shop with 600+ wines
* Sushi Dokoro Hikari - best Japanese set lunch!
* Daruma Ramen House - popular noodle place
Want more? Click here to sign up for the Little Steps e-newsletter for parents!