Gourmet Paradise. World’s Fair of Food. Culinary Capital of Asia. These are just some of the many reputable labels Hong Kong has under its belt in terms of food. HK takes great pride in their cuisine which is well-known and well-loved all over the world.
Whether you want to spend lavishly or be frugal on your food trips, this culinary mecca will never run out of choices to offer tourists and locals alike. It is just incredibly abundant in upscale restaurants, casual eateries and humble street stalls to give everyone a dining experience worth treasuring.
As locals say, “When in Hong Kong, eat as the Hong Kongers do.” And there is just no better way of doing that than by sampling their years-old, classic, and absolutely appetizing street fare. With cheap stalls teeming the bustling streets of Hong Kong, your HK$50 ($6.44) would go a very long way.
To know which among the street food you should not fail to get, we’ve come up with a list of the 10 glorious street snacks in HK. Some of them may strike you as weird-looking, odd-smelling and strange-tasting, but each item is certainly worth a try.
Here is your guide to the 10 best street food in Hong Kong.
It is easy to see why the egg waffles were ranked #1 in a 100 Most Popular Hong Kong Street Snack list.
An egg waffle looks like an oversized bubble wrap with crispy, flaky edges that give a contrast to its chewy, soft and eggy center.
The play of textures in the mouth and the lightness of these waffles make them easily addictive. A huge add-on is that it just has enough sweetness to satiate your sweet tooth, plus it packs a taste of Mom’s TLC, of childhood memories and of happiness – a reason why a massive number of people adore this snack.
It may just be a simple mixture of eggs, flour, sugar and evaporated milk, but there are so many fun ways to do with these eggettes. Top them with fruits, ice cream, or chocolate sauce; Sprinkle them with powdered sugar or powdered milk; Put a dollop of condensed milk, Nutella, peanut butter or fruit jam; Pair it with bacon or sausages – Oh, there are a hundred enjoyable ways to spruce them up!
Here are the best places to get those heavenly egg waffles.
Curry fish balls best represent Hong Kong’s street food – they’re very flavorsome, can be easily consumed while leisurely walking HK’s streets, can practically be found everywhere in the city, AND are very cheap.
A skewer of 5-6 balls usually costs around HK$5 – 7 ($0.64-$0.90). HK locals have been enjoying this street snack for so many decades already. Unlike other food fads, the curry fish balls are here and are meant to stay.
These golden balls of fish are deep-fried in hot oil and then boiled in a delicious and spicy curry sauce, so expect a mild kick once you pop a ball in your mouth. There is also a cheap thrill one gets from skewering the fish balls from the cauldron yourself, so don’t hesitate to ask the vendor.
Accompany this delightful snack with a cold and refreshing cup of coconut juice and the pair will just perfectly hit the spot.
Here are the best places to get those classic curry fish balls.
Don’t be deceived by its name. Pineapple buns don’t have a bit of pineapple in them. What they have, however, is a slab of melted butter in the middle of a pillowy soft and sweet bun. The combination instantly turns you into a devotee once you get a taste of these toothsome delights.
Loved by locals for more than 70 years, it has been named such for the criss-cross pattern on top of the sugary bun that resembles a pineapple. It is a classic and humble recipe that goes very well with Hong Kong’s traditional teas and coffee.
For as low as HK$5 ($.64) a piece, you get a divine treat that will easily fill your tummy. Start your morning with a piece or two for a bright, sunshiny day ahead of you.
Here are the best places to get pineapple buns in Hong Kong.
If you’re longing for a respite from rich and oil-laden food, the grilled squid tentacles are the perfect snack for you.
Tourists may find this kind of grub strange, but locals flock to stalls that serve these especially after office hours – a good sign that these skewered stuff are absolutely delicious.
The tentacles are grilled for a chewy and rubbery texture. What makes these nibbles very flavorful is the sauce that is usually in teriyaki, honey, barbecue or chili. Tip: Brush the tentacles with any of the first 3 sauces mentioned and combine it with the chili sauce to have lip-smacking goodness.
Hong Kong abounds with stalls that sell them at super low prices.
Here are the best places to get grilled squid tentacles.
Love at first sight, love at first bite. This is the perfect statement to describe the feeling one gets from seeing and tasting these luscious egg tarts. That glistening yellow custard filling within the flaky crust seems to lure you to fall for them, but wait until you try one.
Sink your teeth into the fluffy and light egg custard that tastes a bit like a flan until your teeth reaches the crispy and chewy crust. One bite just quickly leads to another and leaves you wanting more. Definitely love at first bite.
These tarts are made of flour, butter, sugar, milk and eggs and are baked until they reach a consistency that is soft and moist, and are best eaten while warm. Many have willingly fallen prey to these delish morsels since the 1940’s.
Fall in love, too with Hong Kong’s egg tarts. Here are the best places to get them.
There’s no denying in the fact that Hong Kong’s fried pig intestines are not the most appealing street food. But locals, adventurous eaters or not, get a constant craving for this skewered snack. That just says a whole lot about how good these fried pig intestines can be.
For HK$12 ($1.50), you get a stick of very crispy, deep-fried and surprisingly flavorful entrails that will remind you of our beloved bacon. Underneath the crunchy layer are the soft and tender parts of the intestines. Dip this in a sauce of your choice and don’t forget to add some chili sauce, too for a startlingly mild kick. A cup of fruit juice would best accompany this treat.
Try this, or you’ll be bringing a bunch of regrets back home.
Here are the best places to get fried pig intestines in Hong Kong.
Another street food classic, stinky tofu says everything that it is.
It indeed has a stench that may turn a hungry person off. The rancid smell is a result of a mixture of fermented milk, fish and meat that can last up to a few months. The taste of stinky tofu is way better than the odor it gives out.
Deep fried until it’s perfectly crunchy, this is best eaten with sweet, chili sauce. Enjoy a good filling snack by having it alongside with a bowl of piping hot noodles and a refreshing glass of fruit drink that a lot of food stalls offer.
Here are the best places to get stinky tofu in Hong Kong.
Unleash the dauntless and adventurous side in you by trying a bowl of this popular Hong Kong street food.
It is basically a pot of offel, entrails, innards and other animal (usually a cow’s or a pig’s) organs, mixed with peppers, radish and heaps of sweet-salty sauce. It may not look tempting enough, but this snack can actually be pretty tasty.
Organs in a pot will say a lot about how people in Hong Kong can be geniuses to come up with such brilliant ways of not letting any part of an animal go to waste. When you visit HK, don’t be scared to go for this. As what millenials say, “You Only Live Once.” It will surely be an experience worth sharing and remembering.
Here are the best places to get organs in a pot in Hong Kong.
Cheong fun in sweet sauce is a perennial crowd favorite. This is one of the popular street foods people don’t mind lining up for.
It is a recipe of boiled silky, smooth rice noodle rolls mixed with peanut butter and lard, topped with sesame seeds and a sauce that gives enough amount of sweetness to it. One also has an option of adding spice to a bowl of cheong fun for a more enjoyable experience.
The slippery and savory rolls make this snack easy to gobble up. With all the deliciousness street food offers, don’t be surprised to find yourself asking for seconds.
Here is the best place to get cheong fun in sweet sauce in Hong Kong.
This famous side street snack is downright simple, basic and great-tasting. These nuts are probably the healthiest, too. Best of all, you can enjoy them anytime of the year in Hong Kong.
You would see a lot of hawkers peddling their carts of chestnuts in the city. Their enticing aroma reminds you of Christmas and winter, the perfect time to reward yourselves with this treat.
They’re best eaten when they have just been scooped out from their hot cauldrons. Pair it with a cup of hot chocolate and an instant whiff of nostalgia awaits you.
At HK$25.44 ($3.28) per kilogram, it is advised that you buy a bulk of these nuts since it would be difficult to stop oneself from munching on them.
Here are the best places to get fried chestnuts in Hong Kong.