Get a delicious taste of Hong Kong at the city’s beloved cha chaan tengs, where pineapple buns, milk tea, and other authentic classics are served just like decades past.
Hong Kong’s beloved cha chaan tengs (茶餐廳) are local-style restaurants serving up classic comfort foods like egg tarts and Hong Kong-style breakfasts. With menus packed with sweet and savoury dishes from fluffy French toast to piping hot noodles, these casual cafes are cherished by locals and visitors alike for solo dining or gathering with friends. Far from mundane, cha chaan tengs offer a tasty glimpse into local flavours and culture. Beyond the food, their laidback settings overflow with old-school vibes, making them lively spots for an authentic Hong Kong experience. This list shines the spotlight on the city’s very best cha chaan tengs, from decades-old establishments to up-and-coming holes in the wall.
Egg tarts, milk tea, and beyond: Exploring Hong Kong’s best cha chaan tengs
1. Lan Fong Yuen
A true Hong Kong institution, Lan Fong Yuen is an unassuming cha chaan teng nestled among the high-rises of Central. Though unassuming on the outside, this retro eatery has earned iconic status for its classics. Lan Fong Yuen pioneered the “silk stocking” milk tea, made by filtering black tea through a distinctive sackcloth bag before mixing with condensed milk. Pair a velvety cup with the famous French toast slathered in condensed milk. In addition to milk tea, Lan Fong Yuen attracts locals and tourists for comfort foods like pork chop buns and chicken noodles. Originally a humble dai pai dong stall, much of Lan Fong Yuen’s original charm remains even after moving indoors and expanding to several locations in the city. Don’t miss experiencing a taste of Hong Kong history at this legendary cha chaan teng!
Lan Fong Yuen (蘭芳園) has various branches in Hong Kong.
2. Australia Dairy Company
No trip to Hong Kong is complete without joining the queues at Australia Dairy Company. This cha chaan teng is a local legend for its buttery scrambled eggs, fluffy steamed milk pudding, and other egg-cellent dishes. Despite its name, there’s nothing Aussie on the menu – just classic Hong Kong comfort food prepared with mastery. Squeeze in among packed tables and savour the famed scrambled eggs and toast breakfast set. Or, opt for a macaroni soup to start your day the local way. Just come prepared to order fast, eat fast, and make way for the next eager diners at this perpetually busy hot spot – the extra speedy (and blunt) service is all part of the experience!
Australia Dairy Company, G/F, 47-49 Parkes Street, Jordan, Hong Kong, p. 2730 1356, 佐敦白加士街47-49號地舖澳洲牛奶公司
3. Cheung Hing Coffee Shop
Step back in time at Hong Kong’s beloved retro cha chaan teng Cheung Hing Coffee Shop in Happy Valley. This eatery has been faithfully serving loyal regulars since 1951 with its wooden booths, chequered floors, and chalkboard menus oozing nostalgic charm. Though the decor remains frozen in the 1950s, Cheung Hing’s food is as fresh as ever. Sink your teeth into the renowned pineapple buns, which sport a perfect balance between the fluffy interior and crispy baked crust. Pair it with a silky-smooth Hong Kong-style milk tea, also a specialty here. Apart from baked goods, Cheung Hing plates up classic cha chaan teng fare like satay beef noodles, HK-style French toast, and flaky egg tarts that melt in your mouth.
Cheung Hing Coffee Shop, G/F, 9-11 Yik Yam Street, Happy Valley, Hong Kong, p. 2572 5097, 跑馬地奕蔭街9-11號地舖祥興咖啡室
4. Kam Wah Cafe
Locals and tourists flock to local gem Kam Wah Cafe for its world-famous “bo lo” pineapple buns. These signature buns boast a fluffy interior encased in a delicately crispy outer layer. But what takes them over the top is the slab of chilled butter sandwiched inside, melting indulgently into the warm bun. Beyond the star-baked goods, Kam Wah plates up quintessential Hong Kong comfort fare like creamy French toast and pork chop noodles in a packed and unfussy dining room. Be prepared to share a table with fellow diners at this humble neighbourhood cafe prized for keeping old-school Hong Kong cafe culture alive.
Kam Wah Cafe, G/F, 47 Bute Street, Prince Edward, Hong Kong, p. 2392 6830, 太子弼街47號地舖金華冰廳
5. Swiss Cafe
Swiss Cafe is a local favourite for fast, fresh, and affordable Hong Kong comfort food. Despite its name, Swiss Cafe doesn’t serve anything genuinely Swiss – just classic cha chaan teng dishes like fluffy scrambled eggs, macaroni soups, and Swiss-style chicken wings. These addictively tender soy-sauce braised wings put Swiss Cafe on the map. With cosy booths crammed with hungry office workers and families, Swiss Cafe captures the essence of Hong Kong cha chaan teng culture.
Swiss Cafe (瑞士㗎啡室) has multiple branches across Hong Kong.
6. Mido Cafe
Hong Kong’s retro icon Mido Cafe transports you back to the 1950s, when it first emerged as a culinary staple. With its vintage mosaic floors, wooden booths, and iron-framed windows, Mido’s interior remains frozen in time. This captivating vintage backdrop has starred in countless Hong Kong films, from Wong Kar-wai’s classics to action flicks. While you snap away at the nostalgic decor, delight in Mido’s cha chaan teng classics like baked pork chops, milk tea, and more.
Mido Cafe, G/F, 63 Temple Street, Yau Ma Tei, Hong Kong, p. 2384 6402, 油麻地廟街63號地舖美都餐室
7. Honolulu Coffee Shop
Located in bustling Wan Chai lies the flagship of Honolulu Coffee Shop, staking a claim as Hong Kong’s first-ever cha chaan teng since opening its doors in the 1940s. While Honolulu’s exact “first” status is up for debate, one thing’s for sure: this eatery remains a beloved culinary mainstay. Beyond just retro charm and history, Honolulu wows diners with its exceptional egg tarts emerging piping hot from the oven, pairing flaky savoury crusts with the silky sweet custard within.
Honolulu Coffee Shop (檀島咖啡餅店) has locations in Wan Chai and Tseung Kwan O.
8. Cafe Match Box
Travel back to the 1980s at Hong Kong’s retro-chic Cafe Match Box. With its eclectic decor, mismatched chairs, and creative accents, Match Box blends quirky vibes with old-school cha chaan teng charm. The diverse menu matches the playful interiors, dishing up nostalgic favourites from fluffy French toast to sizzling steaks to baked pork chop rice. With its laid-back atmosphere and delicious takes on Cantonese comfort cuisine, Cafe Match Box offers a delightfully unique cha chaan teng experience in Hong Kong.
Cafe Match Box, Shop C&D, G/F, Fashion Walk, 57 Paterson Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, p. 2868 0363, 銅鑼灣百德新街57號 Fashion Walk 地下 C&D 號舖喜喜冰室
9. For Kee Restaurant
With its decades-old legacy, For Kee Restaurant continues to attract a loyal following despite the growing number of trendy eateries in the neighbourhood. Its signature Gold Medal Pork Chop Rice is made with tender pork marinated in a sweet soy sauce and paired with soft white rice, creating a harmonious blend of flavours. The popularity of For Kee’s delicious pork chops is evident by the daily line of eager diners waiting outside from lunchtime until closing. Although the wait may be long, it’s undoubtedly worth it!
For Kee Restaurant, Shop J-K, G/F, 200 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, p. 2546 8947, 上環荷李活道200號地下 J-K 號舖科記咖啡餐室
10. Hoi Chiu Canteen
Tucked within its nondescript exterior in an industrial Kwun Tong building, Hoi Chiu Canteen harbours a menu full of reimagined cha chaan teng classics. While serving up staples like macaroni soup and French toast, this cafe excels at inventive fusion creations like mala-spiced macaroni wok-fried with meat and scallions. Signatures also include playful takes like condensed milk toasts sprinkled with Ovaltine powder, and shrimp and brisket stuffed inside crispy noodle pancakes.
Hoi Chiu Canteen, Shop G6, G/F, Shing Yip Industrial Building, 19-21 Shing Yip Street, Kwun Tong, Hong Kong, p. 2343 9160, 觀塘成業街19-21號成業工業大廈地下G6號舖海潮食堂