Hong Kong is big and has many districts, so as not to make this roundup unwieldy we are going to focus on one of the most popular districts of the city, Central.
Nearly every traveler passing through Hong Kong will usually make a stop in Central.
It’s not only the city’s central business district, filled with steel and glass skyscrapers – it’s also known for cultural attractions dating back to Hong Kong’s colonial era, popular nightlife hotspot Lan Kwai Fong, high-end boutiques, and multicultural wining and dining.
The coffee scene in this district is also very distinct, and in almost every corner you’re likely to encounter a unique artisan coffee shop.
Here are 7 of the best coffee houses to choose from when you are in the Central district of Hong Kong:
#1 Elephant Grounds (2 locations)
- 61 Caine Road, Central
- 11 Gough Street, Central
Elephant Grounds was founded in 2013 by two entrepreneurs in the pursuit of great quality coffee in Hong Kong. Having grown into a small network of 5 shops in Hong Kong, two of these are located in Central; one in Mid-Levels near the famous Central Mid-Level Escalators, and the other in the back of a funky boutique store in Gough Street. Apart from making a variety of artisan coffee, they are also the only coffee shop in Hong Kong serving bulletproof coffee. Menu items in the two shops vary; the Gough Street shop mainly serves drinks and their famous in-house ice cream sandwiches, while the Mid-Levels shop serves a wider variety of drinks as well as all-day breakfast, lunch, weekend brunch, dinner and ice creams.
#2 The Cupping Room
- 18 Cochrane Street, Central
Said to be one of the best coffee shops in Hong Kong, The Cupping Room is well-known for its filters and blends from various origins, including Costa Rica, Panama, Kenya, and Ethiopia. The two-story boutique shop in Central consists of the order counter, a bench-seat and a small four-person window bar area on the ground floor, and a more spacious seating area on the second floor. The second-floor area is free for all customers to use outside of lunch hours, where they offer table service for meal orders.
As for the food options, they offer Australian- and Italian- inspired breakfast and lunch items, such as avocado toast, egg benedict, pasta and smoked salmon. They also have a variety of cakes and baked goods at the counter.
#3 The Coffee Academics
- 24 D’Aguilar Street, Central
Located in Hong Kong’s vibrant nightlife area Lan Kwai Fong, The Coffee Academics takes pride in using some of the best Arabica beans in the world. It’s Lan Kwai Fong shop is also one of the few places in the world that serve the highly Instagram-friendly #coffeeinacone – which literally is coffee (espresso or cappuccino) served in a chocolate lined ice cream cone! It is a concept developed by South African barista Dayne Levinrad in an attempt to bring new innovation and excitement into the coffee industry. The shop is spread over two floors, where the narrow ground floor is mostly for ordering, and the second floor has a larger seating area.
#4 Hazel & Hershey
- 69 Peel Street, Central
Charmingly decorated and with a quiet outdoor seating area, Hazel & Hershey not only serves coffee but also has a store layout selling coffee related products such as beans, French presses, tableware, and books. They also offer light snacks and finger foods to go with the coffee. The indoor space is wide and comfortable and allows for room to work, read or hang out with friends. The baristas are very knowledgeable and happy to answer any coffee-related questions.
#5 Cafe Life at PMQ S106
- 69 Peel Street, Central
Located in the former Police Married Quarters turned to a mixed-use venue for arts and design, Cafe Life matches the artsy vibe of its surrounding block. They contribute to the artsy atmosphere with their creative cakes – roll cakes, fruit tarts and cookies in flavors such as sakura, green tea, orange, apple, chocolate, figs and more. Owner Takashi Endo has brought Japanese style hospitality to this Hong Kong cafe, which can be observed in details such as seating in a long bench directly facing the barista counter, which allows for him to start conversations with his customers.
#6 Holly Brown (2 locations)
- 22 Stanley Street, Central
- 100 Queen’s Road, Central
Apart from serving good coffee, Holly Brown also has its own ice cream bar with gelatos of all kinds of flavors and toppings: blue vanilla(!), berry, mint, caramel, coffee, fudge, Nutella, fruity cereal, brownie and much more. These gelatos come served in either a tub or inside a baked waffle cradle. Other foods served range from bagels, pasta, and burgers to waffles, muffins, and Danish toast. It’s Stanley Street location is spacious with both a ground floor and second-floor seating area, which makes it a popular place for people looking to sit down for a while and get some work done.
#7 Coco Espresso
- 50 Stanley Street
A cozy cafe that serves very high-quality coffee, Coco Espresso also offers drip coffees, bottled cold brews, and even cold nitro coffee. They’re also known for their bagels, which come in a variety of fillings – avocado, smoked salmon, cream cheese, Vegemite and more. The interior decoration contains lots of wood elements and green plants, which creates a relaxing atmosphere loved by its faithful patrons.
Although at first glance it’s easy to spot generic coffee chains such as Starbucks, Pacific Coffee, and McCafe when you first set foot in Central; once you look more closely you’ll find a vibrant cafe culture featuring some award-winning baristas and in-house roasted beans.
#coffeeinacone – Instagram photos of coffee in a cone.
Title photo by Andrew Wulf
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