If you've been looking for a complete guide to Shek Tong Tsui, then you're in the right place.
We’ve already given you the ultimate guide to Sai Ying Pun, Sheung Wan, and Wong Tai Sin, so it’s time for another neighbourhood deep-dive. If you agree that “West is Best”, then you’ll want to get acquainted with our guide to Shek Tong Tsui, the little hood sandwiched between SYP and K Town that we love.
Where is Shek Tong Tsui?
For those who aren’t familiar with Shek Tong Tsui, this hidden gem is a neighbourhood in Sai Wan, and can be thought of as the area closest to the HKU MTR Station. Famously known as Hong Kong’s “red light district” in the early 1900s, the neighbourhood had an amorous reputation before the banning of prostitution. Decades later, Shek Tong Tsui is now mainly quiet and residential. The area is now more known for its hipster cafes and up-and-coming restaurants, which readers can explore using our handy guide below
Guide to Shek Tong Tsui: Cafés
1. Plantation Tea Bar
The quaint and chic Plantation Tea Bar is one of our favourite gems in Shek Tong Tsui. Head over to spend some time sampling premium tea from all across the world – there’s even a 90-minute seasonal four-course Tea Tasting Menu on top of a la carte options. For those craving something a little stronger, the Tea Cocktail Menu is worth a gander. The knowledgeable staff can fill you in on any information as you nosh on some nostalgic local tea bar snacks and take in the peaceful atmosphere.
Plantation Tea Bar, 18 Po Tuck Street, Shek Tong Tsui, Hong Kong, p. 5596 6254
2. Arf Cafe
Retro-style Arf Cafe serves an impressive menu that’s worth a stop. With a wide variety of both sweet and savoury waffles, you can enjoy this fluffy breakfast item all day long. Pair it with a special Charcoal Latte or Cappuccino Brulee for an idyllic afternoon break.
Arf Cafe, 23 Po Tuck Street, Shek Tong Tsui, Hong Kong, p. 2548 3261
3. G’Day Cafe and Restaurant
You’ll find nothing but good vibes and even better food at Australian-style cafe G’Day Cafe and Restaurant. With a killer brunch menu featuring crowd-favourite pastas and the All-Day Breakfast, you’ll be more than satisfied by the time desserts like the Basque Cheesecake come around. Top everything off with a refreshing smoothie or a classic latte and you’re all set!
G’Day Cafe and Restaurant, Shop A, G/F, Nam Cheong Building, 48-52 Hill Road, Shek Tong Tsui, Hong Kong, p. 5436 5358
4. Dreamer Cafe
Sweet dreams are made of this! Take a break from exploring Shek Tong Tsui at Dreamer Cafe, a joint that serves sanguine quotes on its walls as well as a mean cappuccino. Complement the Mentaiko Pasta or Croffle with unique beverages like Hojicha Milk and Earl Grey Chocolate alongside your four-legged friend at this pet-friendly cafe. What’s more, you can even rent out the entire venue for workshops, events, and parties.
Dreamer Cafe, Shop 5, G/F, Poga Building, 6-20 Po Tuck Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, p. 6082 9359
Enjoy coffee in a minimalist setting with lifestyle store/cafe Ethos. With bright and airy interiors, you can tuck into a Black Truffle Chicken Pasta or the All-Day Breakfast in a relaxed atmosphere. Make sure to try the specialty hand drip and ice drip coffee – although on a hot day you may want to go for an affogato instead.
Ethos, G/F, 93-99 Hill Road, Shek Tong Tsui, Hong Kong, p. 5403 0543
Guide to Shek Tong Tsui: Restaurants/Bars
6. No Milkshake No Life
Calling all milkshake fans! Loved by neighbouring HKU students, No Milkshake No Life is a popular spot that serves up scrumptious (you guessed it) milkshakes, together with a selection of dishes for brunch, lunch, and dinner. Try the buttermilk pancakes or a grilled cheese sandwich for ultimate decadence.
No Milkshake No Life, G/F, 31-37 Hill Road, Shek Tong Tsui, Hong Kong, p. 6471 3339
7. Jiang’s Hunan Chef
Offering a selection of spicy (and some non-spicy) Xiang cuisine, Jiang’s Hunan Chef is one of our favourite places to eat in Shek Tong Tsui. Visit with a group to sample as many dishes as you can – you can rely on the friendly staff for recommendations that keep everyone happy. We love the stir-fried clams with black bean sauce, the eggplant and long beans, and all the different kinds of greens.
Jiang’s Hunan Chef, Fu Ga Building, 13 Yat Fu Lane, Shek Tong Tsui, Hong Kong, p. 3956 8873
8. Po Lin Yuen Vegetarian
Hear it from our in-house vegetarians: Po Lin Yuen is the best restaurant for takeout Cantonese-style vegetarian food in Shek Tong Tsui! Grab a box of the “meats” such as the sweet and sour “pork” and Peking Duck, and tuck into some dim sum, bean curd rolls, and cakes. We’re particularly fans of the salt and pepper mushrooms, and the Buddha’s Delight with noodles.
Po Lin Yuen Vegetarian, 604 Queen’s Road West, Shek Tong Tsui, Hong Kong, p. 2543 8981
9. The Junk Yard Dog Bar
This cosy bar is the afterwork hangout for most in Shek Tong Tsui. Cold beers, small bites, and good company is all you need to have a good time at The Junk Yard Dog Bar. It’s all about cheap and cheerful drinks plus a casual feel here, with customers spilling onto the street on busy nights.
The Junk Yard Dog, Shop 1A, 14-16 Woo Hop Street, Shek Tong Tsui, Hong Kong, p. 2817 7898
10. Cafe Malacca
Without a doubt, Cafe Malacca serves some of the best Singaporean and Malaysian food in Hong Kong. Tucked away inside Jen Hong Kong by Shangri-La, this restaurant features all your faves, including laksa, mee goreng, and nasi lemak. Make sure you finish off your meal with some pandan crepes!
Café Malacca, Level 2, Jen Hong Kong by Shangri-La, 508 Queen’s Road West, Shek Tong Tsui, Hong Kong, p. 2213 6613
11. Saam Hui Yaat
Love some good dim sum? Saam Hui Yaat is a popular local hangout that offers the tastiest and most authentic Cantonese fare. While the menu is written entirely in Chinese, feel free to order simply by pointing to what everyone else is having. Be sure to go for the har gow and get ready to tuck into an incredible local yum cha experience.
And of course, Saam Hui Yaat makes it to our guide to yum cha in Hong Kong!
Saam Hui Yaat, 11 Pok Fu Lam Road, Shek Tong Tsui, Hong Kong, p.2547 3917
Guide to Shek Tong Tsui: Shopping
12. Wellcome Fresh
You may think it strange to have Wellcome on the list here, but hear us out: this isn’t your average garden variety Wellcome! Newly opened in 2022, the 50,000-square-feet branch inside The Westwood is gigantic and has pretty much everything you need all in one place. Looking for refried beans? It’s got ’em! In the mood for baking up a storm? This supermarket has all the ingredients you need. Plus, the booze section is huge, so you know you’re covered for house parties and typhoon nights-in.
Wellcome Fresh, 3/F, The Westwood, 8 Belcher’s Street, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong, p. 2542 7174
13. Shek Tong Tsui Market and Cooked Food Centre
If you live in the area, then the Shek Tong Tsui Market and Cooked Food Centre is where you’ll want to go for all your produce needs. You can get your weekly haul here for less than half the price at supermarkets, with the vendors often throwing in extras for you to try. Be sure to stop by the Cooked Food Centre after you shop to refuel yourself after all the haggling!
Shek Tong Tsui Market, Shek Tong Tsui Municipal Services Building, 470 Queen’s Road West, Shek Tong Tsui, Hong Kong, p. 2546 8927
Oh, Yata! How we love thee. This Japanese supermarket is filled to the brim with candy, chips, booze, and drinks as well as fresh food – many of which we can’t find anywhere else in Hong Kong. Explore the goldmine of seafood and all sorts of goodies from South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan for your next cooking adventure.
Yata, Hong Kong Plaza, 188 Connaught Road West, Sai Wan, Hong Kong, p. 2983 8336
Guide to Shek Tong Tsui: Things to do
15. University Museum and Art Gallery, The University of Hong Kong
Free to the general public, the University Museum and Art Gallery at The University of Hong Kong is a great cultural hub to visit when you’re in the area. Along with permanent and featured exhibitions, occasional performances and special events are held to showcase different talents. Doing its part to help make arts and culture more accessible to all, the museum also offers internships and fellowships.
In need of a culture fix? Make your way to all the amazing art galleries in Hong Kong.
University Museum and Art Gallery, The University of Hong Kong, 90 Bonham Road, Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong, p. 2241 5500
16. Central and Western District Promenade
Running through Central and beyond, you can walk all the way from Kennedy Town along the waterfront in a breeze – literally. Along the way, you’ll spot myriad play areas, green space for picnics, and stunning views of the harbour. One of the best places to catch the sunset as well, the Central and Western District Promenade provides both exercise and relaxation.
17. Kennedy Town Swimming Pool
One of the many great public swimming pools around Hong Kong, the Kennedy Town Swimming Pool is a wonderful facility near the Shek Tong Tsui neighbourhood. With both indoor and outdoor pools as well as a jacuzzi, you can enjoy hours swimming laps or simply lounging poolside. A small entrance fee is all you need to take a dip in the refreshing waters.
Kennedy Town Swimming Pool, 2 Sai Cheung Street North, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong, p. 2817 7973
18. Juju Flowers
Looking to brighten someone’s day? Juju Flower Art Lab has you covered, from bunches to baskets to everything in between. This Hong Kong florist gives a pop of beauty to the neighbourhood with stunning bouquets and arrangements. Workshop flower jams are also often held here, so join in to get hands-on to create your own masterpieces!
Juju Flowers, Shop 2-3, Jadeview Court, 38 Hill Road, Shek Tong Tsui, Hong Kong, p. 9170 5113
19. St. Anthony’s Church
This historic building is a famous piece of architecture in the area. With its yellow exterior, St Anthony’s Church stands out from its location and is a Catholic church frequented by many. Originally, it was built in 1864 by the priests of Milan Mission, but has since changed over the years to cope with the growth in parishioners.
St. Anthony’s Church, 69A Pok Fu Lam Road, Shek Tong Tsui, Hong Kong, p. 2546 6221
[This article was originally published in May 2020 and updated in 2023 by Min Ji Park.]