Apart from slants and slopes, Sai Ying Pun is also home to dainty shops and cutesy cafés. The neighbourhood is a one-stop destination for art galleries, famous dim sum and a seaside open space for a breezy walk. If you’re considering a chill day out on the west coast of Hong Kong Island, you know where to look. Follow our guide to Sai Ying Pun and enjoy the town like a native.
Things to do
Looking to shop eco-friendly? Lucky there’s a zero-waste store in Sai Ying Pun. Live Zero has everything you need to go green. Apart from its wide selection of organic quinoa, pumpkin seeds and flour in bulk, the one-stop-shop also holds an array of kitchenware, cleverly designed and sustainable.
Live Zero, 33 High Street, Sai Ying Pun, 9433 3394
Since we’re talking eco, the neighbourhood happens to have a thrift shop too. Venture to Green Ladies to shop preloved clothing and fashion goods. The second-hand shop has been promoting eco-friendly habits and clothing recycling programmes since 2008. Classy work attire or a casual Sunday fit? They’ve got you covered.
Green Ladies, G/F, No. 168 Queen ‘s Road West, Sai Ying Pun, 2110 3483
Books & Co.
Whether you’re a bookworm or a Notting Hill fan, this rustic book shop will leave you happy. Beneath the red bricks and green window frames, Books & Co. stores literature of every genre. Get ready to indulge in the sea of famed novels while discovering hidden gems and new favourites. And yes, the shop also serves coffee and tea, so be prepared to spend your afternoon there.
Books & Co., 10 Park Road, Mid-Levels, Sai Ying Pun, 2559 5199
The Hong Kong Arts Collective
On the artsier side of things, the neighbourhood is not short on culture. The Hong Kong Arts Collective started calling the neighbourhood home when a group of local artists established the gallery to nurture emerging and developed creators in Hong Kong. From time to time, the centre showcases original works and hold events with budding artists to flourish the local art scene.
The Hong Kong Arts Collective, 41 Water Street, Sai Ying Pun, 9092 1315
Like the Instagram Pier, Art Lane is another photogenic spot for Instagrammers. Having multiple walls of mural art, the unassuming alley adds a vibrant touch to the old buildings nearby. Created by local and international artists, don’t miss out on the iconic scene when you’re in town.
Artlane, across Ki Ling Lane, Shek Chan Lane & Chung Ching Street, Sai Ying Pun
Read more: Best zero waste and bulk food stores in Hong Kong
Where to eat
If you’ve missed Little Birdy in Sheung Wan, lucky the Australian chicken joint has made a comeback on High Street. Big Birdy serves flame-grilled Peri Peri chicken and a selection of chicken sandwiches and burgers. Piled high with buttermilk fried chicken and American cheese, it comes as no surprise The Heisenberg burger ($130) is already a crowd favourite.
Big Birdy, Shop 11, 48-78 High Street, Sai Ying Pun, 2360 0968
Bâtard is a special collaboration project between Bistro du Vin in Kennedy Town and wine importer The Fine Wine Experience in Sai Ying Pun. On the menu, you’ll find simple, comforting fare like house-made duck rillettes on toast ($160), crispy skin suckling pig ($320) and roast chicken with pilaf rice ($790) that needs to be preordered – plus a well-curated wine list to match.
Bâtard, Shop E, 165-166 Connaught Road West, Sai Ying Pun, 2318 1802
Hidden in one of Sai Ying Pun’s alleys, Lucale is another promising Italian eatery in the area. Founded by four epicurean Hong Kong natives, Lucale boasts a star-studded team featuring chef Alessandro Angelini and chef Luca De Berardinis of ex-Conrad. The casual Italian restaurant offers a variety of pasta, prime cuts and seafood while placing emphasis on using high-quality artisanal ingredients imported from Italy. A fan of truffles? Try its homemade Chitarra style spaghetti dazzled with black truffle, “pienza” pecorino cheese and walnut breadcrumbs ($198).
Lucale, Shop A, 100 Third Street, Sai Ying Pun, 3611 1842
Read more: All of Hong Kong’s latest restaurant openings: December 2020
Saam Hui Yaat dim sum
The hipsterfied precinct still preserves the most essential local elements. Apart from the long strand of dried seafood stores, Sai Ying Pun hosts one of the most longstanding dim sum places in town. For fourty years in Sai Wan, Saam Hui Yaat has been serving steamy siu-mais ($18) and authentic har-gaos ($18) in its compact shop. Freshly handmade everyday, you won’t be disappointed by their hearty and sumptuous creations.
Saam Hui Yaat, 11 Pok Fu Lam Road, Sai Ying Pun, 2547 3917
Sitting next to Feather and Bone, Homeslice stands out with its bright neon sign. Bringing its lively and casual vibe indoors, the pizzeria is perfect for a friends-night-out. Choose from 13 delectable 12-inch pizzas, from classic four cheese to the breakfast pizza. And in case you’re not craving for pizzas, opt for their sharing plates like a ‘Bowl O’Clams’ ($180) with garlic puree.
Homeslice, Shop 3, 321 Des Voeux Road West, Sai Ying Pun, 3619 4026
Read more: Best hidden bars and speakeasies in Hong Kong
Where to drink
Today Is Long (TIL)
Sai Ying Pun is easily a go-to for coffeeholics. While the list goes on, Today Is Long is a much anticipated new neighbour in the area. With a white and copper-toned aesthetic, the corner cafe serves Australian-style coffee using roasts from Melbourne’s Small Batch. For bites, fans are swooning over the buttery creation – Croffle ($48), which is essentially a waffle made with the decadent French pastry, served with sweet or savoury toppings.
Today Is Long, G/F, Kin Hing Building, 172 Queen’s Road West, Sai Ying Pun
A warm latte in hand and a book in another. This cosy cafe on First Street is the perfect spot to wind down and catch up with a friend. Also serving homemade bakes, desserts and savoury plates, the coffee shop prides themselves of handpicked beans from around the world.
Detour, G/F, Shop A, 35-37 First Street, Sai Ying Pun, 2759 1872
Situated next to the escalator, this cafe is embracing the rustic industrial look with a hint of vintage flair. Although it reminds you of a Hong Kong teahouse in the 80s, So High offers coffee by day and tipples by night. Sip your cappuccino ($40) from a china cup while savouring the area’s calm and easy atmosphere.
So High, G/F, 49 High Street, Sai Ying Pun, 2612 1711
Read more: Your neighbourhood guide to Kennedy Town
As the night falls and you’re looking for alcohol instead of caffeine, the laidback Balinese eatery is the place to go. Known for their flavourful Indonesian menu, Potato Head also hosts a hidden music bar and a lounge bar. Pisang Colada ($140) is Kaum’s take on the cocktail classic Pina Colada. Just like the rest of their cocktail menu, the Bali blend is infused with Southeast Asian elements like coconut, pineapple and tropical spiced rum.
Potato Head, G/F, 100 Third Street, Sai Ying Pun, 2858 6066
Ping Pong Gintoneria
As you have probably recognised its neon backdrop, the next bar needs no introduction. Disguised as a ping pong equipment shop, the underground drinkery serves Spanish gins and flavourful concoctions. Follow the staircase down and you’ll be taken into a dimly lit room against the mixologists’ station.
Ping Pong Gintoneria, LG, Nam Cheong House, 129 Second Street, Sai Ying Pun, 9835 5061