Dining Out At Dai Pai Dongs

Hong Kong

A dai pai dong (大排檔) is an open-air food stall that offers inexpensive and tasty hawker fare. Pull up a stool and feast at foldable tables, fully exposed to the city as it rushes around you. Often times, multiple dai pai dongs are stationed side-by-side so it’s like one big block party! These quintessential eateries have been a staple in the city for generations, but they are slowly dying out. Catch them while they’re still around! You have to brush past the language barrier, brusque service, and some lapses in hygiene; but, that’s what it takes for a true taste of old Hong Kong!

Updated 8 months ago

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Sing Kee

盛記

Recommendation posted 8 months ago

Under the shadow of Stanley Street’s high-rise buildings, Sing Kee serves up a medley of stir-fries from their ol’ reliable wok. The menu stretches from small clams and Chili Pepper Squid to spare ribs and Salt-and-Pepper Pork. Gather your friends after a day of exploring the city and pile your table with small plates of everything. Guzzle a few cold beers for the complete experience; it may help you overlook the Sing Kee’s very few faults (like cleanliness).

+85225415678

82 Stanley Street, Central, Hong Kong

中環士丹利街9-10號舖

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Bing Kee

炳記茶檔

Recommendation posted 8 months ago

At Bing Kee, the menu is simple: Pork Noodles (豬扒麵), Sweet Toast (法蘭西多士), and Milk Tea (港式奶茶). The pork chop is tender and juicy, going perfectly with the bowl of springy noodles. You won’t even have to look far for dessert as the cold tea and condensed milk toast have you sorted. Bing Kee’s best-selling trio has kept a steady stream of customers coming back for more. Service is known to be a notch better than most dai pai dongs, thanks to the laid-back atmosphere of the Tai Hang neighborhood.

5 Shepherd Street, Tai Hang, Hong Kong

大坑施弼街5號側

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Sing Heung Yuen

勝香園

Recommendation posted 8 months ago

Central’s most famous dai pai dong, Sing Heung Yuen, serves classic HK comfort right on the street-side. Slurp on a homey bowl of Tomato Soup heaped with tangy chunks of canned tomatoes. Customize in various ways with instant-ramen noodles or macaroni, and a medley of topping options: egg, pork chop, or beef slices! The spread isn’t complete without a cold glass of Salted Lemon Sprite (咸柠七) and Crunchy Honey Lemon Buns (柠蜜脆脆). The stall offers relief from the hot sun with the aid of their shade and electric fans. Lunch hour brings long queues, so the earlier you come, the better!

+85225448368

2 Mee Lun Street, Central, Hong Kong

中環美輪街2號排檔

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Leaf Dessert (Yuk Yip Dessert)

玉葉甜品

Recommendation posted 8 months ago

Over four generations, Leaf Dessert (also known as Yuk Yip Dessert) has perfected their tong sui (糖水, “sugar water”) or sweet soup recipes. Their standout traditional Cantonese specials include Tong Bat Lat (糖不甩, glutinous rice balls) topped with a hefty sprinkling of sugar, dried coconut, and sesame seeds! You’ll also find Black Sesame Soup making the rounds among patrons. In case you’re feeling adventurous, go for the Lu Dou Tang (冷海帶綠豆湯, mung bean soup) flavored with seaweed and barley; it’s available either hot or cold. Come with someone who speaks the language (or peek at neighboring tables for a clue), since the menu is in Cantonese. Also, be prepared for gruffer-than-usual service—it’s all part of the experience!

+85225443795

2 Elgin Street, Central, Hong Kong

中環蘇豪伊利近街2號


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So Kee

蘇記茶檔

Recommendation posted 8 months ago

Mornings are made better in the city with a cup of Yuen Yeung (鴛鴦, a coffee and HK-style milk tea combo) and a plate of french toast! At So Kee, they’ve got both staples down pat. Yuen yeung has its roots in a dai pai dong just like this one, and these stalls are still the best place to enjoy the hybrid drink. Take your breakfast and enjoy the simple joys that have sustained So Kee’s business for years! They also serve a tasty bowl of Pork Noodles when you’ve had your fill of sugary treats.

15-16 Yiu Tung Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon, Hong Kong

深水埗耀東街15-16門前大牌檔

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Chan Kun Kee

陳根記

Recommendation posted 8 months ago

Ready your appetite for a special feast at Chan Kun Kee! Everything on the menu is served in generous portions, perfect for sharing. Take the whole family with you and gorge on Crispy Tofu Rolls served with a vinegar dip, Stir-Fried Clams in Black Bean Sauce, Drunken Chicken, Sweet-and-Sour Shrimp, and Oyster Pancakes. Finally, wash everything down with a few rounds of beer; Cha Kun Kee proves, time and time again, that they are totally worth the long wait for a table!

+85226061390

No. 3-5, Dai Pai Dong, Wo Che Estate Market, Sha Tin, Hong Kong

沙田禾輋邨街市大牌檔3-5號


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Yuen Kee

傳奇源記

Recommendation posted 8 months ago

Enjoy the bounties of the sea (beach body not required!) at Sham Shui Po’s Yuen Kee. Fresh seafood is transformed into delicious dishes like Typhoon Shelter Crab (避風塘炒蟹), a dish wherein the shellfish is buried under loads of garlic, scallions, red chili, and black beans. Yuen Kee balances a selection of classics (like Razor Clams in Black Bean Sauce, 香蒜蒸竹蛏) with more unique recipes such as their Rose and Ginger Lobster (薑葱龍蝦)! Their menu isn’t in English, but feel free to refer to the pictures on the wall. Rest easy, this eatery is a mark cleaner than other places you’ll encounter and their seafood is always fresh!

+85254496000

15 Yiu Tong Street, Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong

深水埗耀東街15號地舖

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Oi Man Sang

愛文生

Recommendation posted 8 months ago

An arsenal of favored local dishes has sustained Oi Man Sang since 1956. Their always sizzling wok and rarely empty tabletops are a seal of approval that pull locals and tourists in from lunch until dinner. Whether you veer towards the safe sweet-and-sour plates or the fiery Sichuan-style dishes, they have something for you! Of course, you mustn’t forget the big bottle of beer, best enjoyed with a binge buddy.

Sham Shui Po Building, 1A-1C Shek Kip Mei Street, Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong

深水埗石硤尾街1號地下B-C號舖

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