Many restaurants in Kowloon, especially those on the harbourfront, have the same thing in common: fantastic views across to the stunning cityscape of Hong Kong Island. This is why a lot of 5-star hotels set up along the water’s edge, each with fantastic restaurants – and often with world-famous chefs in the kitchen.

    But the more you move away from the harbour, the more local restaurants you’ll find. Although they may be a little rough around the edges, and perhaps lacking in English-speaking staff, a memorable culinary experience lies in store for those adventurous enough to search them out (plus there is no dress code in the local places, unlike most hotel restaurants).

    Yan Toh Heen at Intercontinental Hong Kong is a Cantonese fine dining restaurant with stunning harbourfront views. The gourmet dim sum make a truly special lunch, while the fish and meat dishes are delicately flavoured with delicacies from around the world, such as black truffle, bird’s nest and abalone. The desserts at Yan Toh Heen are similarly sublime.

    The dining room is palatial, with masses of jade tableware and wall art. The service also deserves a special mention as the staff are graceful and help contribute to a restaurant worth their 2 Michelin stars.

    Read more

    Location: Lower Level, InterContinental Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 12pm to 2.30pm and from 6pm to 11pm, Sunday from 11.30am to 3pm and from 6pm to 11pm

    Phone: +852 2313 2323


    Spring Deer

    Spring Deer is a local restaurant serving classic Cantonese dishes. Roasted meats are always fantastic here, especially the Peking duck. In fact, many Hong Kongers claim this place serves the best duck pancakes in the city.

    Prices are a little above average, but portions are large and service fast, if sometimes lacking a smile. Spring Deer has been open since the 1970s and the décor has changed little in all that time, but that just adds to the experience. Advance booking is a must.

    Location: 42 Mody Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong

    Open: Daily from 11.30am to 2pm and 6pm to 11pm

    Phone: +852 2366 4012


    Felix at Peninsula Hotel

    The Peninsula Hong Kong is truly one of the world’s finest hotels, and Felix is the standout restaurant here with an utterly incredible view. It’s a fantastic choice if you’re looking to impress and money is no object. A complete dinner with wine can cost as much as HK$2,000 (individual dishes start from around HK$310). The set menu changes daily depending on the freshest seasonal ingredients.

    Location: 28/F, The Peninsula Hong Kong, Salisbury Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong

    Open: Daily from 5.30pm to 1.30am

    Phone: +852 2696 6778


    Tin Lung Heen at Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong

    Tin Lung Heen at the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong serves excellent dim sum from 102 floors above the ground. In fact, for the cost of a few drinks at the hotel’s adjacent Ozone bar, you can enjoy a fantastic lunch.

    This restaurant was awarded 2 Michelin stars for its exquisite balancing of flavours. Dinner at Tin Lung Heen is a sophisticated (and pricey) affair – the 6-course set menu costs HK$1,928 – with pages of a la carte seafood delicacies cooked exactly as you like: poached, with salt and chilli, drunken, flambéed… the list goes on. Reservations are recommended and a smart-casual dress code applies.

    Location: Level 102, International Commerce Centre (ICC), 1 Austin Rd, West Kowloon, Hong Kong

    Open: Monday–Friday from 12pm to 2.30pm and 6pm to 10.30pm, Saturday–Sunday from 11.30am to 3pm and 6pm to 10.30pm

    Phone: +852 2263 2270


    Nanhai No.1 Restaurant (iSquare Rooftop)

    There are plenty of rooftops restaurants in Kowloon but Nanhai No.1 earns its name as a top place for a tasty meal with stunning views. Sitting on the 30th floor, iSquare Rooftop (and the connected Nanhai No.1 Restaurant) isn’t the highest in the area – not even close. 

    But the views are sweeping and the modern Chinese cuisine is wide-ranging and perfect for visitors looking for an introduction into Cantonese food. The best seats do carry a minimum spend of HK$500, but you would most likely spend that anyway if you are having dinner and drinks.

    Location: ISQUARE, 30/F, 63 Nathan Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong

    Open: Daily from 11.30am to 2.30pm and 6pm to 10.30pm

    Phone: +852 2487 3988


    photo by Ralf Roletschek (CC BY 3.0) modified


    Tim Ho Wan

    This is the original branch of the famous (and constantly packed) dim sum institution Tim Ho Wan. They become world-famous when it became the cheapest ever Michelin-starred restaurant and everyone flocked to check it out. It’s foreigner friendly, although you may have to wait for up to an hour to get a table, without the option to make a reservation.

    Choose your dim sum by ticking a piece of paper – there are around 30 options in all. Everything from har gao (crystal shrimp dumplings) to chicken feet is available. If you’re looking for sure-fire dim sum lunch without spending big then Tim Ho Wan is highly recommended.

    Location: 9-11 Fuk Wing St, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon, Hong Kong

    Open: Monday–Friday from 10am to 9.30pm, Saturday–Sunday from 9am to 9.30pm

    Phone: +852 2788 1226


    photo by Mk2010 (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Above & Beyond

    Occupying the entire 28th floor at Hotel ICON in Tsim Sha Tsiu, Above & Beyond is one of the most recommended restaurants in Kowloon if you’re seeking a good view with your dinner. The food here is Cantonese, although this categorisation is flexible, with the talented chefs constantly innovating classic recipes by introducing new ingredients and flavours (for example, their sweet and sour pork uses Iberian pork, and the steamed lobster is cooked with egg white and black truffles). 

    The décor is smart and minimalist, allowing the spectacular Victoria Harbour views from the floor-to-ceiling windows to take centre stage.

    Location: Hotel ICON, 17 Science Museum Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong

    Open: Daily from 11am to 2.30pm (until 4pm on weekends) and 6pm to 10.30pm

    Phone: +852 3400 1318


    Temple Spice Crabs

    Temple Spice Crabs is an open-air local restaurant serving all manner of seafood on, unsurprisingly, Temple Street. It’s the perfect place to stop for an authentic(ish) dinner when shopping at Temple Street Night Market. Some locals will claim this is a bit of a tourist trap, and while it’s true that prices are slightly higher than you might find in some local restaurants, the fact that it’s conveniently located and staff have a working knowledge of English make it a logical choice. 

    What’s more, the seafood is very fresh here, being kept in large tanks and cooked to order. There’s everything from scallops to deep-fried fish available.

    Location: 203 Temple St, Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon, Hong Kong

    Open: Daily from 12pm to 12am


    photo by Yun Huang Yong (CC BY 2.0) modified



    Located at Hong Kong’s breathtaking Shangri-La Hotel, Angelini specialises in fine-dining Italian classics and presents just as impressive views over Victoria Harbour. Particularly pretty creations that almost look too good to be devoured include the Hokkaido scallops on taleggio cream and truffle pearl, as well as the Wagyu sirloin, which comes with tuna sauce and caper flowers. 

    Pasta start from around HK$300, while some of the mains are more like HK$500, meaning this classy spot is up there with Hong Kong’s more expensive dining experiences.

    Location: Kowloon Shangri-La Hong Kong, 64 Mody Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong

    Open: Daily from 12pm to 2.30pm and 6.30pm to 10.30pm

    Phone: +852 2733 8750


    NOBU at Intercontinental Hong Kong

    NOBU at Intercontinental Hong Kong is one of the most preeminent sushi brands in the world, so it’s fair to say expectations are often sky-high at this harbourfront venue. Thankfully, this wonderful Japanese restaurant is almost guaranteed to impress, both with the underwater themed interior and the creative, playful sushi dishes based around Chef Nobu Matsuhisa's innovative cooking.

    NOBU, at times, borders on fusion sushi, with great level of creativity on display. It keeps the essence of Japanese flavours and textures at all times, though. Expect to pay around HK$750 for a modest meal and don’t forget to dress smartly, even for lunch.

    Location: 2/F, InterContinental Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong

    Open: Monday–Friday from 12pm to 2.30pm and 6pm to 11pm, Saturday–Sunday from 12pm to 5pm and 6pm to 11pm

    Phone: +852 2313 2323


    9¾ Café

    9¾ Café is a Harry Potter-themed restaurant that will delight any fan of the boy wizard and has been fitted out with plenty of small touches from the books and movies. Most people come here for a coffee or famed butterbeer, but they do have a limited food menu, featuring burgers, salads and brunch items, each named after a character or element from the Harry Potter universe. 

    To get you in the mood, the candle-shaped lighting and theme tune in the background will have you reciting magic spells in no time.

    Location: Shop 404, 4/F Prosper Commercial Building, 9 Yin Chong St, Mong Kok, Kowloon, Hong Kong

    Open: Daily from 2.30pm to 4.30pm and 6.30pm to 10.30pm

    Phone: +852 9432 6555


    Afternoon Tea with Wedgewood

    The Langham in London is widely considered as the original commercial afternoon tea experience, so tradition is the main ingredient in this afternoon tea set in Hong Kong. Chinaware from Wedgewood is exclusively used at The Langham and is served along with dainty cakes and eclairs, miniature shepherd’s pie, and Ronnefeldt tea. 

    More recent additions to the fancy platter are macarons from the world-famous patisserie La Duree in Paris. Harbour views from the lobby lounge present a beautiful backdrop to this elegant treat.

    Location: 8 Peking Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong

    Open: Weekdays from 3pm to 5.30pm, weekends from 2.15pm to 4.15pm and 4.30pm and 6.30pm

    Phone: +852 2132 7898


    Al Molo Ristorante Italiano

    Al Molo is not your ordinary Italian diner. Firstly, the location by the harbourfront is quite spectacular, and their alfresco dining area takes full advantage of the views looking across to the towering city skyline in the background. Although pasta and pizzas do take up a big chunk of the menu, other mains make dining here a much more interesting experience. 

    Creative and altogether more exciting examples include their pan-seared octopus with sour cream, shaved vegetable salad and citrus vinaigrette as well as the braised veal shank, which comes with bone marrow, saffron risotto and sautéed spinach.

    Location: Harbour City, Shop G63, G/F, Ocean Terminal, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong

    Open: Daily from 12pm to 11pm

    Phone: +852 2730 7900


    photo by WiNG (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified



    Aqua focuses on modern Italian cooking from the south of the country. Located in Kowloon’s groovy One Peking, Aqua has ultra-stylish interiors, stunning harbour and city vistas, and its innovative combination of Italian and Japanese cuisine is quite something. 

    The restaurant is a contemporary tribute to Italian chic with tiered banquette seating guaranteeing an uninterrupted harbour view from each and every table.

    Location: 29 & 30F, One Peking, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong

    Open: Daily from 12pm to 3pm and from 6pm to 11pm

    Phone: +852 3427 2288


    photo by Mark Pegrum (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Café 103

    The Chocolate Afternoon Buffet at Café 103 offers the highest of all the high teas – half a kilometre into the sky, on the 103rd floor of the Ritz Carlton Hong Kong. Visiting chocolatiers from around the world are offered at this afternoon tea and the kitchen team present incredible versions of cakes, tarts and biscuits imbued with masses of chocolatey goodness. 

    Hot chocolate is available, too. It’s connected to Elements Shopping Mall, so you can combine a stop at Café 103 for afternoon tea with shopping.

    Location: 103/F The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, International Commerce Centre (ICC), 1 Austin Rd W, West Kowloon, Hong Kong

    Open: Daily from 3.30pm to 5.30pm

    Phone: +856 2263 2270


    Café Kool

    Hong Kong’s gorgeous Shangri-La is one of the best hotels about, so it’s no surprise that it’s home to some of the best restaurants, too. Café Kool – compared to the hotel’s more refined Angelini or Shang – is a far more casual affair, offering all-day international dining in an open-plan setting. 

    There’s a mammoth buffet spread, and al la carte offerings include a far reaching array of flavours, from prime ribs steaks and burgers to nasi goreng and Thai seafood curry. Find this Kowloon restaurant on the Mezzanine level of the Shangri-La.

    Location: Kowloon Shangri-La, 64 Mody Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon, Hong Kong

    Open: Daily from 6.30am to 10pm

    Phone: +852 2733 8753


    Cambo Thai Restaurant

    The name pretty much says it all: Cambo Thai Restaurant is a popular Thai restaurant where you can enjoy fiery curries. Sample hot and spicy fried curry crab and clear water shrimp sashimi served with a sweet and sour sauce. This place satisfies the most demanding visitor and stays close to its roots, with relatively basic décor concealing hard-hitting fusion flavours.

    Location: 14 Nga Tsin Long Rd, Kowloon City, Hong Kong

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 11am to 1am, Sundays from 11am to 12am

    Phone: +852 2716 7318


    Charlie Brown Café

    This second-floor café in downtown Kowloon is easy to find, thanks to the huge Charlie Brown Café sign. The whole café is filled with oversized Snoopy memorabilia, which makes this a sort of selfie heaven. 

    The menu covers kid-friendly offerings like hot dogs, pasta and waffles. Each dish comes with some cute themed touches. The real highlight is the wide selection of cakes and sweet treats.

    Location: 58-60 Fortuna House, Granville Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong

    Open: Monday–Thursday from 9.30am to 10pm, Fridays from 9.30am to 10.30pm, Saturdays from 9am to 10.30pm, Sundays from 9am to 10pm

    Phone: +852 2366 6315


    photo by Another Believer (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Gaylord Indian Restaurant

    When it comes to classic Indian cuisine, Kowloon’s popular Gaylord Restaurant takes things very seriously. The menu here is packed full of popular dishes, including a range of curries, naans, tandoori meats, rice and desserts. While there’s nothing particularly innovative about the way things are done in the kitchen, quality Indian food like this rarely needs adaptation.

    Most side dishes cost less than HK$50 and mains less than HK$100. You can find this sophisticated and affordable Kowloon restaurant on the first floor of the Ashley Centre, in the middle of Tsim Sha Tsui.

    Location: 1/F, Ashley Centre, 23-25 Ashley Road,, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong

    Open: Daily from 12pm to 2.30pm and 6pm to 11pm

    Phone: +852 2376 1001


    Harbourside Restaurant at InterContinental

    Buffets in Hong Kong don’t get much more impressive than the offering at Harbourside, both in terms of setting and choice of food. True to its name, the InterContinental’s all-day dining venue is located right next to the harbour, and the floor-to-ceiling windows allow you to tuck into your roast beef with a side of sushi and pizza (or whatever takes your fancy) while admiring the views. 

    For a real treat, head here between 11.30am and 3pm on a Sunday for their all-you-can-eat, all-you-can-drink champagne buffet.

    Location: Lower Level, InterContinental Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong

    Open: Daily from 6am to 12.30am

    Phone: +852 2313 2323



    Along with a superb harbour view, Hutong restaurant presents an inspiring dining space high up over Kowloon, created by moody lighting, ancient Chinese artwork, traditional red lanterns and rustic wooden furniture. In keeping with the décor, the food here sticks firmly to classic Chinese, specialising in dishes from the north of the country.

    Hot spice is a welcome element throughout the menu, such as in the fiery softshell crab with Sichuan dried chilli or their prawns with dried chilli, Sichuan peppers and Chinese celery. Those with more of a sensitive palate can opt for their ultra-succulent roasted suckling pig. Dinner for 2 at this highly recommended Kowloon restaurant should set you back between HK$600-800 (depending on how much you choose to indulge).

    Location: 28/F, 1 Peking Road Shopping Arcade, 1 Peking Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong

    Open: Daily from 12pm to 3pm and 6pm to 11pm

    Phone: +852 3428 8342


    photo by RISE (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Morton's The Steakhouse

    For fine steak in elegant surroundings, Morton's The Steakhouse is dependable and has an ever-evolving menu that keeps competitors on their toes. It also has a good wine list and a well-developed drinks menu. This is an American chain of restaurants with a reputation for good food and knowledgeable service. 

    Morton's is a great celebrity-spotting location, too, though that naturally puts it towards the top end of the price range.

    Location: The Elegance at Sheraton, 20 Nathan Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 5pm to 11pm, Sunday from 5pm to 10pm

    Phone: +852 2732 2343


    Mr Tree

    One of the most popular kid’s party destinations in Hong Kong, Mr Tree has a wide-ranging menu of fast food items and a huge sandpit with slides and toys to entertain toddlers. It can get rather busy, so don’t expect a relaxing meal as you’ll struggle to be heard over all the children having fun. 

    The restaurant is bright and clean, making this is a great spot for entertaining toddlers in Kowloon. It’s easy to find, a short walk from Cheung Sha Wan MRT Station.

    Location: D2 Place Two, 15 Cheung Shun Street, Lai Chi Kok, Kowloon, Hong Kong

    Open: Monday–Friday from 12.30pm to 9.30pm, Saturday–Sunday from 9.30am to 9pm

    Phone: +852 3184 0033


    Shang Palace at Kowloon Shangri-La

    The Shangri-La’s signature Chinese restaurant Shang Palace, as you might expect, presents a refined and altogether exclusive dining experience not to be forgotten. Round tables fill the grand dining room, which is elegantly designed with traditional Chinese furnishings and colours.

    The vast al la carte menu might leave you not knowing where to start, so opt for one of their set lunches or dinners to get a sample of how good the food actually is. You’ll pay about HK$1,500 per head for the signature dinner set, with wine pairing available for HK$650 more.

    Location: Kowloon Shangri-La, 64 Mody Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon, Hong Kong

    Open: Monday–Friday from 12pm to 2.30pm and 6.30pm to 10.30pm, Saturday–Sunday from 10.30am to 3pm and 6.30pm to 10.30pm

    Phone: +852 2733 8754


    Sing Lum Khui

    Spicy and sour pork noodle soup is the order of the day at Sing Lum Khui. A local restaurant just next to Tsim Sha Tsui MTR Station, it’s a very easy place to find and, despite being in the centre of the shopping area of Kowloon, it’s packed with locals throughout the day.

    Your bowl of Yunnan-style noodles can be cooked according to preference by filling in the order sheet and the staff have a working knowledge of English if you need help. Be careful if you order the spiciest level of broth because it can knock your socks off.

    Location: 1F, 23 Lock Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong

    Phone: +852 2415 2424


    Tenku RyuGin

    Regularly touted as one of the finest restaurants in Asia, Tenku RyuGin is a swanky Japanese establishment that excels in delectable cuisine as well as stunning views over Hong Kong. Many Kowloon restaurants take advantage of the many skyscrapers facing Hong Kong Island, but none quite like RyuGin, which is found on the 101st floor of the ICC building, the tallest skyscraper in Hong Kong.

    Unusual, creative and altogether exciting selections include the black custard with Aori squid, egani crab and Hokkaido sea urchin salad, almond tofu with orange-carrot jelly and the restaurant’s signature ‘ -196°C candy apple with 99°C apple jam’. Reservations (and a hefty holiday budget) are required at this top Hong Kong restaurant.

    Location: 101/F, International Commerce Centre, 1 Austin Road West, West Kowloon, Hong Kong

    Open: Daily from 6pm to 9.30pm

    Phone: +852 2302 0222


    The Lobby at The Peninsula Hong Kong

    The Peninsula is the grand old dame of afternoon tea in Hong Kong. Dress in your finest and take a seat in the opulent lobby for a feeling akin to sitting in a period drama. At HK$398 per person, it’s on the pricey side, but the Tiffany china cups, Sheffield silver, live string quartet and genuine Devon clotted cream make it worth the cost. 

    All the classics are here: smoked salmon, cucumber sandwiches, scones and fancy cakes. Smart casual dress code applies.

    Location: G/F, The Peninsula Hong Kong, Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong

    Open: Sunday–Thursday from 7am to 12am, Friday–Saturday from 7am to 1am

    Phone: +852 2696 6772


    The Market at Hotel ICON

    The Market is an all-day restaurant offering international al la carte dishes alongside an enormous buffet spread at Hotel ICON. Produce is fresh and flavours span the entire world, from sashimi, pizza and grilled meat to noodles, seafood, curry, salads and much, much more. Just like many hotel restaurants in Kowloon, The Market is open all day every day.

    Location: ICON, 2/F, Hotel ICON, 17 Science Museum Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong

    Open: Daily from 6.30am to 10pm (Fridays until 11pm)

    Phone: +852 3400 1388


    The Verandah at the Peninsula Hotel

    Originally opened in 1933, The Verandah at the Peninsula Hotel was one of the first restaurants in Hong Kong to embrace fine dining. Today, this classy Kowloon spot is still going strong, albeit in some updated, modern surroundings.

    The Verandah is all about the buffets; serving breakfast, lunch and dinner spreads every day. The fresh, seasonal ingredients are imported from all over the world and served both fresh and cooked by the expert chefs behind the scenes. The lunch buffet in the week is surprisingly reasonable at HK$518 (slightly more on weekends) and dinner is HK$838 every day of the week.

    Location: 1/F, The Peninsula Hong Kong, Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong

    Open: Daily from 7am to 10pm

    Phone: +852 2696 6766

    Paul Smith | Compulsive Traveller

    Start planning your trip

    Back to top