Plant Power: 8 vegetarian and vegan restaurants to check out in Hong Kong

(Clockwise from left) A selection of vegetarian and vegan dishes from Greenwoods Raw Cafe, Ohms, LockCha, and Grassroots Pantry. Photos via Facebook and Instagram.
(Clockwise from left) A selection of vegetarian and vegan dishes from Greenwoods Raw Cafe, Ohms, LockCha, and Grassroots Pantry. Photos via Facebook and Instagram.

In a city best known for char siu, roast goose and shark fin soup, it’s not often that a vegetarian would decide to go on culinary walkabout. Yet after seven meatless years, the veg-veteran in me was destined to give Hong Kong a fighting chance. After all, the city had surprised me with its lush hiking trails and rugged boating opps, so surely it had some veggie wonders up its proverbial sleeve.

After chatting with/annoying some locals and doing the usual Instagram location-stalk of people infinitely cooler than me, I learned there was a thriving vegetarian scene in Hong Kong. In fact, in the past year alone, the number of fully vegan restaurants in Hong Kong is said to have doubled!

So, here are some of the tasty veggie eateries that had me so pleasantly surprised. From traditional Chinese dim sum to American diner delights, here’s where to start your love affair with plant-based food in the Fragrant Harbour.

 

LockCha

Baked puff pastry with mushroom served by asparagus and zucchini (left) and steamed ratatouilles wrapped in pan cake on pesto (right). Photos via Facebook/LockCha.
Baked puff pastry with mushroom served by asparagus and zucchini (left) and steamed ratatouilles wrapped in pan cake on pesto (right). Photos via Facebook/LockCha.

Going meat-free doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the classic Hong Kong food. Visiting Lock Cha, a tranquil vegan eatery tucked away in Hong Kong Park, means you get to sup on the finest veggie dim sum you’ve ever had. The menu features herbivorous delights like the Pickled Vegetable and Mushroom Bun (HK$35) and Roasted Bean Curd Skin (HK$28). Dessert-lovers can satisfy their sweet tooth with treats like Purple Rice Pudding (HK$28) or Mashed Red Bean Cake (HK$28). Lock Cha’s combination of Hong Kong’s cultural traditions (i.e. yum cha) and the veggie twist is an absolute winner.

G06-07, Block 01, Tai Kwun, 10 Hollywood Road, Central (teahouse and flagship), G/F, KS Lo Gallery, Hong Kong Park (teahouse)
+852 2276 5777 (Central) +852 2801 7177 (Admiralty)
Mon-Sun, 11am-11pm (Central); Mon-Sun, 10am-8pm

 

Greenwoods Raw Café

Zucchini noodles with 41°c Chinese medicinal tonic (left), and cauliflower rice with sand ginger, cashew and herbs. with young coconut meat with home-made Chinese sauce. Photos via Instagram/Greenwoods.
Zucchini noodles with 41°c Chinese medicinal tonic (left), and cauliflower rice with sand ginger, cashew and herbs. with young coconut meat with home-made Chinese sauce. Photos via Instagram/Greenwoods.

Speaking of desserts, meet Greenwoods. While Greenwoods excels with their raw meals – they have zoodles! (a.k.a. zucchini “noodles”) – they also kill it with their delectable, can’t-believe-this-is-sort-of-good-for-me range of raw desserts. Prices and selections change by the day, but to get a taste for what you can expect, their past specials have included raw vegan pomegranate cheesecake and chocolate chia pudding. Oh, and they even offer workshops in making raw vegan Easter eggs!

2 Carnarvon Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui
+852 3428 2416
Mon-Fri, 12pm-2:30pm; Sat, 12pm-4pm, 6:30pm-9:30pm; Closed on Sun

 

Veggie SF

Kobe's Face. Photo via Facebook/Veggie SF.
Kobe’s Face. Photo via Facebook/Veggie SF.

If you’re firmly in club carnivore, give Veggie SF a go. Their decadent range of hearty burgers, big breakfasts and flavorsome sides will prove that vegetarian eating needn’t be that clean. Veggie SF is a hive of Americana with diner-style spreads including Kobe’s Favorite vegan beef burger (HKD178) and the Supreme Truffle pâté (HKD168). There’s nothing worse than asking a vegetarian: “So you just live on, like, salad right?” Fortunately, a visit to Veggie SF should set the record straight.

10/F, 11 Stanley Street, Central
+852 3902 3902
Mon-Sat, 11:45am-2:30pm and 5:45pm-9pm; closed on Sun

 

Ohms Café and Bar

Tom yum sauce fettucine with local organic veggie and local organic mushroom. Photo via Facebook/Ohms.
Tom yum sauce fettucine with local organic veggie and local organic mushroom. Photo via Facebook/Ohms.

If you like selecting all the ingredients of your meal without actually having to cook, then Ohm is for you. The highlight of this zen-ified restaurant is its build-your-own veggie noodles and spaghetti bar. For HK$78 you can choose from a selection of different base noodles and hearty toppings. It’s also worth checking out their range of flavored lattes (HK$45-55) which you can enjoy with the vegan milk option of coconut cream. Cue excessive drooling.

Shop A, 192 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan
+852 6352 0553
Mon-Sun, 12pm-9pm

 

Grassroots Pantry

Raw banana crepes. Photo via Facebook/Grassroots Pantry.
Raw banana crepes. Photo via Facebook/Grassroots Pantry.

If you’re headed to Grassroots, rest assured that the folks behind it are just as passionate about vegetarian food as they are skilled at making it. Chef and founder Peggy Chan has been at the forefront of the HK clean-eating scene for years. Just last week, she ran her restaurant and kitchen without electricity for Earth Hour. The result of this environmentally innovative feat? A smorgasbord of raw meals including sushi rolls with cashew paste, coconut teriyaki, and butternut squash with watermelon radish ravioli. Today, you can visit Grassroots for Chickpea Miso Chowder with Goma Tofu and Eggplant “Bacon” (HK$98) or perhaps something sweeter, like Raw Tiramisu with Macadamia-Cashew Mascarpone (HK$105) or a Raw Cacao Acai Bowl (HK$98).

108 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan
+852 2873 3353
Mon-Thurs, 11:30pm-3pm and 5:30pm-11pm; Fri, 11:30pm-11pm; Sat-Sun, 10am-11pm

 

Branto

Photo via Facebook/Branto.
Photo via Facebook/Branto.

While some veggie eateries have a habit of being on the more expensive side, Branto is the exception. The wallet-friendly menu is stuffed to the brim with saliva-inducing curries, small bites and Indian breads. Highlights include the Fried Dal (HK$39), cheesy Paneer Palak (HK$64), and Coconut Uttappa (HK$49). Prepare yourself for the ultimate vegetarian comfort food.

11 Lock Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui
+852 2366 8171
Mon-Sun, 11am-3pm and 6pm-11pm

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