Hong Kong is home to some of the best and priciest restaurants in Asia but everybody likes to keep it simple from time to time. When you are on a budget there are plenty of tasty and wallet-friendly local eats. However, cheap and cheerful Western food is often hard to come by. But don’t despair; you don’t have to visit McDonalds every time you crave something else than Dim Sum and noodle soup. I picked 11 casual places where you can dine on comforting Western cuisine for 100 HKD/ 10 EUR/ 13 USD a head.
MANA! FAST SLOW FOOD (A on map below)
Just a short walk from the escalator, this vegetarian eatery serves organic, vegetarian/vegan and raw flatbreads, salads and daily soups. Mana!‘s rustic vibe makes it popular for lunch and casual suppers. Stools and wall tables are set up on the side and there is outdoor seating in the backyard. MANA! specializes in wholesome gluten-free flatbreads which can be filled with predominately vegan toppings. Grab a soup if you are looking for a light snack but go for MANA! Prana with Portobello mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, fresh sprouts and mint (85 HKD) if you want a more filling option.
SIMPLYLIFE (B on map below)
At this clever mini-chain, the aroma of freshly baked bread and a beautiful display never fails to quicken your appetite. Open Kitchen aka Simplylife serves handmade European sandwiches, soups and pastries. They have several location spread over Hong Kong, the most central is located in IFC on the ground floor. Don’t miss its creamy pumpkin soup (45 HKD) and angular shaped quiches (35 HKD). There is plenty of comfy seating provided but it can get quite busy at lunch time.
Corner Kitchen Cafe (C on map below)
Right in the heart of trendy Sheung Wan, the new Corner Kitchen Cafe serves homemade food with a twist. The cuisine varies from breakfast wraps, Asian chopped salads to veggie burgers. Portions are nourishing and I can highly recommend the vegetarian pumpkin salad (85 HKD). For breakfast I loved the nutty French Toast with fruits (60 HKD) and their coffees taste great, too. Sit downstairs for some people watching and enjoy its open window front for a bit of an outdoor feeling.
LA CRÊPERIE (D on map below)
Escape the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong Central for a relaxing and delicious French meal in Sheung Wan. LA Creperie serves tasty galettes (thin buckwheat pancakes, gluten-free) with savory fillings. I usually go for the La Brocéliande with two kinds of goat cheese, walnut and salad (around 90 HKD). The atmosphere is more sophisticated than the other choices from this list of cheap eats and great for a date night.
TACO CHACA (E on map below)
Tucked away on Second Street in Sai Ying Pun, the friendly and easy-going American Mexican Taqueria is one of my favorite neighborhood eats. Taco Chaca‘s casual and affordable feel draws business people and budget traveler alike. The specialties are, of course tacos, burritos and quesadilla but Taco Chaca also serves salads and Mexican appetizers. The Veggie Quesadilla and Fish Tacos (both around 50 HKD) are a worthy splurge, combine it with a Corona and you have a great meal. I enjoy sitting outside for people watching on breezier days but they also have a few sets of tables with stools inside.
CAFE O (F on map below)
An long-time favorite with many locals and expat, this unpretentious chain of clean and modern Cafes creates fair priced and wholesome foods. The all-day menu runs anything from generous sandwiches, filling pastas, Indian curry and fresh salads. Choose one of 3 different breads for your Sandwich Romano with Mushrooms, Tomato, Spinach, Onions and Provolone cheese (58 HKD) and you won’t need anything else for the rest of the day. Everything is freshly and quickly made and makes Cafe O a great spot for a casual lunch or quick bite. They do have several locations in Central, Sheung Wan and Sai Ying Pun and all branches have wifi.
Cafe Loisl (G on map below)
Open from breakfast till late afternoon, this hidden Austrian style coffeehouse brings you right in the middle of Vienna. Cafe Loisl has some of the best coffee in Hong Kong but they have recently started offering a vegan and healthy breakfast and lunch menu. The Quinoa Sesame Salad (65 HKD) looked fresh and the portion big enough to fill a hungry stomach. I’ve only had their cakes so far and these are like a piece of heaven. Cafe Loisl is away from any street with cars, the atmosphere quite and calm and the staff friendly and welcoming.
PAISANO’S PIZZERIA (H on map below)
This might not be your typical restaurant for a romatic dinner but it soothes your homesick soul with thick slices of American pizza. Popular among party people at night and for a quick bite during the day, Paisano’s sells good and fresh pizza served fast. Prices start at 35 HKD per slice but you can also order whole pizzas, which just take a bit longer to make. They do actually have quite a few seating options inside but they also offer takeout and delivery.
MR BING (I on map below)
Jianbings, old school Beijing street crepes, don’t really count as Western food but they are somewhat similar to French galettes, only much cheaper. Mr Bing has several location in Hong Kong, most are for take away only but the one in Central below the escalator has very simple seating downstairs in their cellar. All crepes are freshly made within 1-2 minutes, taste extremely delicious and start at 35 HKD (normal size).
Sometimes you want more than a casual diner but don’t want to break the bank. I’ve found a few restaurants offering special deals on fine dining.
JASPA’S (J on map below)
Every Monday and Tuesday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Jaspa’s in Sai Ying Pun serves two modern comfort meals for the price of one. Find a seat close to the entrance for some natural light and outside flair as you order the fresh Tuna Salad or Spaghetti Vongole (both usually 135 HKD but only half the price during deal hours).
208 DUECENTO OTTO (K on map below)
There are many Italian restaurants all over Hong Kong but none is quite popular as this one. Located at the end of Hollywood Road in Sheung Wan, 208 Duecento Otto guarantees delicious Italian dining at fair prices. However you usually don’t get a meal under 100 HKD here if it wouldn’t be for their weekly Pizza Special. The deal includes one pizza (big enough to share between two people…either as a snack or for two girlfriends) and two glasses of wine.
Call to action! Apply for your AsiaXPAT Super Mondays Card now because it entitles you to two-for-one deals every Monday for more than 20 restaurants in Hong Kong. All you need to do is to present your card and enjoy two for one main courses.