10 Best Cantonese Restaurants in Hong Kong

For anyone new to Cantonese cuisine, dim sum (literally: "little heart") is the place to start. Normally served from early morning up to and including lunch, dim sum embraces a selection of small dishes such as dumplings and spring rolls. In the more traditional restaurants, the staff push trolleys loaded with dim sum between the tables, calling out the dishes they have on board. Dim sum is essentially a meal taken by a large group, washed down with tea, and as much a social occasion as a time for eating. For overseas visitors, just watching the dim sum "circus" is part of the experience. There are hundreds of Cantonese restaurants in Hong Kong, from relative newcomers like Zen, to old stalwarts like Yung Kee.  It's said that if it flies and isn't an airplane, or if it's got four legs and isn't a table, Cantonese will eat it! Joking aside, Cantonese is one of the world's great food cultures, and Chinese aver that the best Cantonese is served in Hong Kong. It's as much about the atmosphere as the food, with big noisy restaurants filled with large groups yacking and clattering their chopsticks and enjoying every minute of it. Any Cantonese meal is a great insight into local culture.

Wan Chai
Canton Room


In search of authentic Chinese and Cantonese cuisine? Visit the Canton Room at the beautiful Luk Kwok Hotel. Located in the Wan Chai neighborhood of Hong Kong, the restaurant provides a flawless Eastern setting and menu. Catering to the health conscious but lacking nothing in taste, the menu features dim sum plates and traditional Chinese fare made with low-calorie and low-oil ingredients. Pairing wine with Chinese food is becoming a minor art form in Hong Kong; ask the staff for advice on what wine best suits your dining choices. Reservations are advised especially when major events are taking place at the nearby Convention Centre. MTR: Wan Chai.

One Harbour Road


This beautifully decorated restaurant is well known for its huge dining area fountain, great views of Victoria Harbour, and superb seasonal menu. Menu specialties include fowl, fish, and seafood dishes, each accompanied by freshly prepared vegetables. Like many upscale Hong Kong restaurants, One Harbour Road attracts high-powered business executives, tycoons, and other members of the wealthy elite. It's not really somewhere to drop by, but more like a place to dress up for and celebrate. Naturally, the wine list is superb. Ask the expert sommelier for recommendations when pairing Chinese food with wine. Reservations are strongly suggested. MTR: Wan Chai.

Man Wah


This sophisticated Cantonese restaurant is located in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel and offers some rather brilliant views of Victoria Harbour. The traditional décor is replete with rosewood, wood statues and silk portraits. The elegance of the interior is surpassed only by the quality of the food served here, such as the beggar's chicken which is one of the restaurant's signature dishes. The restaurant is also renowned for its traditional Chinese delicacies, including shark's fin and abalone. For dessert, Man Wah offers a delicious, and uniquely Chinese, take on pudding and fruit dishes; the poached pear in tangerine tea is a must-try. Reservations are recommended. MTR: Central

Yan Toh Heen


Despite a couple of name changes and some rather extensive renovations, this respected restaurant has stayed remarkably focused, offering exceptional Cantonese cuisine for over 20 years. Absolute freshness is paramount, of course, and the menu changes frequently to take advantage of seasonal produce. Dim sum is de rigueur at midday, and set lunch and dinner menus are quite a bargain. The a la carte menu is lengthy and features time-honored and difficult-to-do-well dishes like "Braised Supreme Quality Shark's Fin in Brown Sauce" and "Braised Fish Maw and Goose Web." You really cannot go wrong here, whatever you order. MTR: East Tsim Sha Tsui.

Shang Palace


The Shangri-La Hotel's signature restaurant, Shang Palace specializes in Cantonese cooking, Hong Kong's signature cuisine. The food is very well prepared, and the choices are varied and include both traditional dishes and more contemporary preparations, so even folks accustomed to Westernized Chinese fare should be pleased. Old World décor in vivid red with accents of black and gold is punctuated with picturesque Chinese lanterns suspended from the ceiling. As in all of Shangri-La's hotels, the staff are endlessly efficient and appear to relish their role guiding diners along the road to a really superlative Cantonese meal. MTR: Tsim Sha Tsui.

Super Star Seafood Restaurant


Get your seafood quota here! The tanks filled with lobsters, crabs, prawns and a plethora of fish leave no doubt: Super Star's specialty is super fresh seafood. Usually your selection will be plucked straight from the tank, quickly prepared and presented steaming hot to your table. Stone fish, a favorite with Chinese, is the exception, taking about an hour to cook. It's worth the wait, though! And if you're not a big fan of ocean-based food, there are plenty of other choices like barbecued pork and crispy chicken. This place is extremely popular, and has won numerous local awards. While it caters mainly to a local crowd, an English menu is available on request.

Yung Kee


The famous Yung Kee is enormous and one of Hong Kong's oldest and most popular Cantonese restaurants. The roasted goose is their signature entrée, but the menu also features a fairly large list of award-winning dishes. The restaurant offers four floors of dining space, from the casual first floor serving barbecued meats, to the exclusive fourth floor offering the finest Cantonese cuisine. Set menus will guide those unfamiliar with Cantonese fare to a full and satisfying meal that samples the best of the restaurant's bill of fare. Take-out orders are accepted. The restaurant is usually fairly busy, so reservations are suggested. MTR: Central.



What started in 1948 as a catering business is today a thriving restaurant serving what many people consider to be the best Cantonese cuisine in Hong Kong. The food is labor-intensive and refined, with numerous double boiled soups and the more exotic of traditional Chinese ingredients (bird's nest, fish maw) making frequent appearances. Abalone is a specialty, and Fook Lam Moon ages theirs carefully for the tenderest results. The food far outshines décor and service, but if you're looking for authenticity, Fook Lam Moon delivers admirably. This is the lunchtime favorite for many tycoons, who arrive in plush limos accompanied by bulky bodyguards!

Tsim Sha Tsui
T'ang Court
Photo courtesy of T'ang Court


T'ang Court has won a stack of local and international awards, including recognition by Travel + Leisure and Gourmet magazines. The food certainly warrants a wealth of praise, from exquisite soups to sautéed prawns and crab roe. In keeping with the Langham Hotel's approach, the service is impeccable, and the décor is simply beautiful; it's traditional Chinese without being overbearing. In addition, there is a respectable wine list, with selections that go particularly well with the dishes on the menu. A fine choice for sampling the best Cantonese cuisine has to offer in the heart of Kowloon. MTR: Tsim Sha Tsui.

Causeway Bay


Hong Kong cuisine is Cantonese-based with a bit of international influence. To promote it, the Hong Kong Tourist Board bestows a number of annual awards for exceptional cooking, and Tai Woo regularly wins several. Surprisingly, for such a well-regarded restaurant, it is still something of a hidden gem. Its award-winning dishes include delicious crunchy shrimp ball and mini lobster casserole, sautéed sea whelk with spicy sauce, and crispy juicy stewed beef. It gets bonus points for staying open until the wee hours, and even then it's busy; dining late here provides one of the best eating atmospheres in the entire city. MTR: Causeway Bay.


Meet Ed Peters

Ed Peters has been based in Asia for much of his life.