Once a near impossible task, it is no longer much of an accomplishment to have found a good coffee joint in Hong Kong. Picking between even just a few baristas can be harder than choosing a favourite child, so high has the bar risen in recent years. The difficulty is only compounded by the fact that the daily decision has to be made before having had a coffee – a dangerous time when no important choices should be made. Dodge past the Pacific Coffees and other MTR station perennials and instead seek out some of these gems I’ve discovered both on the Island and Kowloon-side.
1. Elephant Grounds
Right in the thick of Central on Gough St is this fresh timber-and-tile treasure. With a menu that goes beyond just standard cafe fare – including a range of outrageously good ice-cream sandwiches – Elephant Grounds is good both for the morning cup as well as for informal meetings with a light meal. Laid-back and stylish, it’s a classic example of the cool hybrid Western/Eastern character that makes Hong Kong so great.
2. 18 GRAMS
Like everything in Hong Kong, 18 Grams packs a lot into a small space. Its Tsim Sha Tsui outlet proudly claims the title of smallest coffee shop in Hong Kong, while the Mong Kok establishment is the perfect place to start an adventure in Hong Kong’s boutique-cum-street-market shopping district. Just be sure to have a slice of banana bread to go with your cappuccino.
3. Cafe Deadend
Famous Chinese baking with a twist of Parisienne charm. Cafe Deadend is the place to sit down to eat the still-hot buns, scones and rolls from Po’s Atelier next door – naturally, with a cup of delicious barista-crafted coffee. The name is a tip – it’s not the easiest to find, but in a busy place like Hong Kong, that sort of charm is hard to find.