A few years ago, vegetarian tourists travelling to Hong Kong would have had a hard time finding somewhere to eat.
Let’s not mince words: in Hong Kong, pork is in damn near everything. Even so-called ‘vegetarian dumplings’ sold in the supermarkets often have pork (or fish) in them, if you check the contents carefully on the package. And at restaurants, ‘vegetarian dishes’ are typically cooked with ingredients like oyster sauce or dried shrimp, for example. This can make eating out in Hong Kong a daunting experience, as you may not know what the chef has put in the dish (or in the wok).
Today, thankfully, things have improved a lot, and both vegetarian and vegan options are becoming more common. A number of restaurants now list their ingredients on the menu, to show you exactly what’s in the dishes. And, lucky for you, some of them are even really close to major tourist attractions, such as the Peak Tram, the Big Buddha, and the Ladies Market.
We’ve compiled a handy list of such places in Hong Kong, covering a wide range of cuisines. From pub food to dim sum, Indian curries to Japanese sushi, use this handy guide to nom your way through Hong Kong without having to wonder about what you’re actually eating.
You’ll love this diner’s eclectic decor of 50s nostalgia plus San Fran style, located right in the heart of Central, a stone’s throw from Lan Kwai Fong. Try their vegan Glamburgers, Vietnamese noodles, creamy Laksa, or the All Day Breakfast with scrambled tumeric tofu and pesto toast.
Long Men Lou
This is a great option that kills two birds with one stone, without actually killing any birds. If you’re visiting the gorgeous Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Gardens, you can then have a vegetarian meal at the on-site restaurant, Long Men Lou. This restaurant is located right by the garden’s waterfall, so get a seat by the big glass window to see the curtain of water falling right in front of you.
Vegetarians and Indian food go hand in hand, and Ahimsa Buffet in Mong Kok, a few minutes’ walk from the Ladies Market, is well known for its wide variety of dishes. The all-you-can-eat buffet makes sure to identify which dishes are strictly vegan, and which are vegetarian or lacto-ovo. You’ll also find fresh salads and fruits, to help you cool down after the hot curries.
This classic Chinese tea house nestled in the greenery of Hong Kong Park is a wonderful place to have some vegetarian dim sum before (or after) riding the Peak Tram, which is less than a 10-minute walk away. LockCha is next to the Flagstaff Museum of Teaware, one of Hong Kong’s more specialised museums, so if you have some time then pop in to take a look, as admission is free.
This spot in Tsim Sha Tsui offers vegetarian, vegan, organic and raw dishes, such as ramen, Italian pastas, veggie burgers, huge salads and power bowls. Located inside the Harbour City mall, after nomming, go admire the view of Victoria Harbour from the Ocean Terminal Rooftop on the 6th floor, which is open to the public. Green Common is just a few minutes’ walk from the Star Ferry Terminal and Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade, too.
So beautifully designed (the food, that is) that you’ll almost think you’re eating unagi and salmon. But rest assured, it’s all vegetarian at Isoya. Enjoy sushi, noodles, salads, tofu, tempura, and desserts. Isoya is located just off Johnston Road, so this is your chance to take a ride on the cute and historic Tram (nearest stop: Fleming Road).
Po Lin Monastery
Hong Kong’s famous Tian Tan ‘Big Buddha’ might be perched up on top of a remote mountain on Lantau Island, but vegetarians are in luck because at the Po Lin Monastery next door, you can have a lovely meat-free meal. The monastery’s Vegetarian Kitchen is open 11:30 am to 4:30 pm on weekdays, and 11:30am to 7pm on weekends, serving up Chinese dishes such as tofu, spring rolls, dumplings, and fresh vegetables.
Confusion – Plant Based Kitchen
Guaranteeing a 100% dairy-free, egg-free, animal-product-free menu, Confusion has yummies like cauliflower and lentil tacos, falafel wraps, purple yam fries and their signature gluten-free, soy-free, fut-Free, dairy free NY cheesecake. Confusion is just a 5-minute walk from the Dried Seafood Street, where you can walk around and see all the animals that you didn’t just eat.
Hemingways by the Bay
This waterfront restaurant in Discovery Bay has gone completely vegan, thanks to owner Gary Stokes, an avid environmentalist and tireless campaigner for the end of the shark fin trade in Hong Kong. Once upon a time, Hemingway’s used to serve meat, but the new menu includes veggie curry, meatless meatballs, and BBQ pulled ‘pork’, made with jackfruit.
As a bonus, if you spend more than HK$120.00 at Hemingways, you get a free ferry trip back to Central.