Quarry Bay gets its name from its geographical feature, but its claim to fame is the sugar refinery industry by the Swire Group. Before ceasing operations in the 1970s, The Taikoo (the Chinese name for Swire) Sugar Refinery, was once the biggest in the world.
Now it’s a commercial and residential district owned mostly by Swire. Thanks to its international business group and large Japanese community, it’s one of the best places—together with its neighbouring Taikoo area—in Hong Kong for affordable entertainment and restaurants.
What to do and see in Quarry Bay and Taikoo
The Eastern District of Hong Kong Island is home to a surprisingly wide array of fun activities. For serious art and culture lovers, Taikoo Place’s Artistree is an event space for mostly free arts and cultural events—from fashion shows to architecture exhibitions to movie screenings. Para/Site is a long-established independent art gallery in town with a keen focus on local artists.
Quarry Bay also lies within Tai Tam Country Park. It offers an easy 1.5-hour hike up and down Mount Parker Road and the Quarry Bay Tree Walk. A little walk along the promenade will offer scenic views of the old Kai Tak Airport across the harbour.
It will also take you to Fireboat Alexander Grantham Exhibition Gallery. The bright red vessel, called Alexander Grantham, is a retired fireboat from the 1950s. It’s now a museum housing artefacts and multimedia exhibits that document the history of Hong Kong’s firefighting and sea rescue services. Admission is free.
An Instagram shot at the colourful but claustrophobic Yik Cheong Building, AKA the Monster Building, marks the perfect beginning of your Quarry Bay tour.
Where to shop in Quarry Bay and Taikoo
Cityplaza is the biggest shopping centre in the area with a great selection of Japanese grocery, an ice skating rink and a good movie theatre.
But to find interesting independent or Korean-style clothes and accessories at bargain prices, head to Hoi Kwong Court Shopping Arcade (address: 13-31 Hoi Kwong St, Quarry Bay, Hong Kong).
What to eat and drink in Quarry Bay and Taikoo
In addition to the few trustworthy chains, Quarry Bay and Taikoo boast an impressive array of restaurants and bars.
With a big Japanese community, Quarry Bay and Taikoo are great neighbourhoods for authentic Japanese food. Hakodate Restaurant (11 Hoi Kwong St, Quarry Bay, Hong Kong) serves bouncy shio (salt-based) ramen. Camper’s is a healthy curry restaurant and Ito San is a high-end Japanese restaurant with really fresh chirashi don.
Easy lunch options
Affordable lunch options are aplenty. Yat Sin Hin (4-6 Hoi Wan Street) is a Yunnanese noodle place hidden in a back alley. The Soupaholic serves a mean and addictive laksha. It’s worth paying attention to Cantonese al fresco diner Hong Don Don’s (G/F, 25 Hoi Wan Street, Quarry Bay)Thursday special: chicken and goji berry in Chinese wine over rice.
Apita Japanese Supermarket in Cityplaza also has a well-curated food court and a fresh sushi takeaway counter.
Views and vibes
Sitting on the eastern side on the Hong Kong Island, Quarry Bay and Taikoo are some of the best places to see beautiful sunsets, and Sugar at EAST Hotel is the best place to see it.
A slightly less fancy option is to head to PUBLIC on the 37/F at Island East One. A food court with unbeatable views was opened a few years ago.
Mr and Mrs Fox and Frites at Taikoo Shing both have great vibes for happy hours after work.
Where to stay in Quarry Bay and Taikoo
There aren’t many accommodation options in the area.
But if you’re looking for a luxury hip business hotel, East is the best choice. Harbour Plaza North Point is a more affordable business option. If you can look past its less chic interior design, it has a winning swimming pool.