Hong Kong: The Best Local Foods to Try

Steaming bamboo baskets of fresh dim sum in Hong Kong

The best local foods to try: Hong Kong is a city of wonders: Gleaming skyscrapers, gorgeous harbour views, fabulous hotels and, of course, the food. The city is home to everything from fish balls at the local street vendor to 3-star Michelin delights.

But we want to be a part of the local culture and eat what the locals eat. The best way to do that? Book a culinary tour with Hong Kong Foodie Tasting Tours. Pick your best time of day and the choose from three different neighbourhoods where you cover five to six dishes on a guided tour.

Along the way, you’ll learn a little Cantonese (tip: Ho May means yummy, always a good thing to say to your host after a meal!). You’ll also get a glimpse into Traditional Chinese Medicine and its remedies, as much of what is used is made into rich soup broths that serve as a prescription to almost everything – from a cold to a tummy ache.

We thought what better way to start the day with one of Hong Kong‘s most traditional breakfasts, Milk Tea? And the Sham Shui Po neighbourhood foodie tour starts exactly the same way.

Sham Shui Po is on the Kowloon side of Hong Kong harbour, and the meeting spot is the MTR (public transit) Sham Shui Po station. When you book, ask for Carrie, she’s a wiz with English, is a great interpreter and knows the history of the neighbourhood and of the food. You can tell her we sent you, too. But we should warn you. Hong Kong locals tastes’ can sometimes be a bit different from Westerners’. And on some street corners, alongside the fish balls, you’ll also see barbecued duck or pork hanging from roasters, brightly coloured tripe on a stick and even freshly cut fish, with the heads and insides still on display. But this is the beauty of Hong Kong. Surprise and delight.

The best part? It’s a walking tour. That way you can eat to your heart’s content and not feel guilty. Just enjoy.

Click through for our list of the top must-try foods in the Sham Shui Po Foodie Tour. Ho may!

www.hongkongfoodietours.com

www.discoverhongkong.com/ca

  1. Must-try local Hong Kong food: Pineapple buns, or Bor Lo Bao, (and milk tea, Nai Cha)

Don’t let the name fool you, the bun is not actually made of pinapple. It is, however, a not-overly-sweet brioche style, flaky pastry bun that locals enjoy for breakfast – and always taken in a cafe, seated. You don’t get it to go, but you do get it and finish it fast. This is the equivalent to standing at the caffe in Italy and drinking your espresso standing up at the counter. Sometimes they add scrambled eggs. And all the time, they accompany the buns with a sweet milk tea. Breakfast is served.

2. Must-try local Hong Kong food: Steamed rice noodle rolls, or Ju Cheung Fun.

Rice rolls are a breakfast alternative to the pineapple bun. Add the house-made sticky sweet sauce, and a sprinkling of sesame seed. And, this is one dish where you don’t need to be proficient using your chop sticks! The noodles are quite slippery, so locals cut the noodles in bite size pieces and use long tooth picks to eat them. Ho may, indeed.

3. Must-try local Hong Kong food: Soybean Milk Tofu Dessert, or Dau Fu Fa.

Made with soy bean pudding, Carrie, who calls it Tofu Pudding, explains that this is an all-day dessert: we add ginger syrup – freshly squeezed from the ginger root– and then you can also add sugar cane sugar for an added bit of sweet. A great pick-me-up, any time of day!

4. Must-try local Hong Kong food: Roast pork, or Siu Yuk, and Pork Knuckle, or Fun Tai.

Pork belly is the darling of many a Michelin star chefs, but on the streets, we enjoying the crunchy coating of the roast pork. A side of port knuckle is a little like pork terrine, another culinary favourite. Just add steamed rice and a little chilli oil, and you’re good to go.

5. Must-try local Hong Kong food: Egg Noodles with Shrimp Roe or Ha Zi Lo Meen.

The shrimp roe that’s sprinkled on top of these fresh-made daily noodles adds a flavourful zing to a simple dish. The perfect lunch.

6. Must-try local Hong Kong food: Walnut cookies (or Hap tou so), and Amond Cookies (Heng Yan Bang).

A sweet way to end the tour, the day, and a great mid-afternoon snack. Ho May!