Cheap Eats in Hong Kong

Hong Kong can be crazy expensive and drain a person's bank account pretty quickly if they aren't careful. That being said, in certain regards prices are still stuck in the past. Taxis around the city are suspiciously cheap, as is any labor, like going to a tailor or hiring a handyman.

When it comes to food, there's a simple rule for eating cheap: eat local. Don't let the Chinese menus written on the walls intimidate you; there is always someone around who speaks English to pipe in and assist, or you can just point at a photo on the wall or someone else's plate to show what you want. These types of meals can run you 30-50 HKD, as opposed to the 100-250 HKD minimum you'll drop at the trendy international restaurants of the city.

A row of local restaurants in Tai Koo all look like this

In local restaurants, ambience is totally irrelevant and the food speaks for itself. The more plastic stools and fluorescent lights, the better. You will probably be shoved into a table with strangers and that is totally normal. Some advice: bring your own tissues and load your food up with the homemade chili oil on the table.

Accidentally ordered spam and noodles for breakfast this week
at Bing Kee in Tai Hang

Another way to eat cheap is to try out authentic 'dai pai dong.' These are open air food stalls, which you will see all over other Asian cities but are becoming more rare in Hong Kong. There is a famous one called Bing Kee in my neighborhood in Tai Hang, but the photo below is in Soho. There are many of these around the intersection of Stanley Street and the escalator in Central as well. Dai Pai Dong is basically street food, and it's a must try for anyone visiting the city.

Leaf Dessert in Soho


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