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10 Best Family-Friendly Restaurants in Hong Kong



Food is one of the staples of Hong Kong conversation, and a large family meal is one of the week's milestones for a great many residents. Take a look at the large groups clustered around the table at a dim sum restaurant on a weekend morning: grandparents, parents, children and even babes in arms, all enjoying Hong Kong's signature breakfast. The scene at a restaurant like the Luk Yu Teahouse is a prime example. 

So it's no secret that family-friendly dining is a given in Hong Kong. Many restaurants feature special kids' menus, or will serve dishes in smaller portions on request. And children are welcome just about anywhere, as long as they are reasonably behaved.

The food served up at family-friendly restaurants is of a consistently high standard. And the surroundings can be fun as well – like at the Jumbo Floating Restaurant in Aberdeen, long a beacon on the tourist trail and a truly atmospheric slice of old Hong Kong. And for a family-friendly meal that doesn't cost an arm and a leg, a trip to one of the numerous branches of Cafe de Coral is a tasty and economic answer.

Families large and small can look forward to some great eating in Hong Kong.


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Cafe de Coral
Photo courtesy of Cafe de Coral


It's very hard to fault Cafe de Coral, whose Chinese name translates at Big Happy Family. It's by no means gourmet, but for a handful of dollars (mains are about HK$35) you get a full meal that looks and tastes good. No wonder there are lines at all its branches at breakfast, lunch and dinner and quite a lot of the time in between. The (bilingual) menu is predominantly Chinese, with a few international dishes as well. The best deals are the set meals. If you would like extra sauce or pickle or similar, the staff are usually happy to oblige. There's good reason why Cafe de Coral caters to more than 300,000 diners daily.

Recommended for Family Friendly because: For families on a budget, there are few better options than Cafe de Coral.

Ed's expert tip: There are more than 100 Cafe de Coral outlets in the city.

Read more about Cafe de Coral →


8
Dan Ryan's Chicago Grill
Photo courtesy of Dan Ryan's


To call Dan Ryan's a Hong Kong institution would be a massive understatement. It's one of the most popular restaurants in the city: partly for its food, partly for its service and, perhaps most of all, for its all-American ambiance. After operating for many years in Admiralty, it moved to the new foodie district of Taikoo Shing, with a prestigious location in the Cityplaza mall. Diners are presented with a choice of sitting at the bar or in one of the comfortable booths, while there are views of the chefs strutting their stuff in the open kitchen. All the Dan Ryan's favorites are here: the super green salad with a base of fresh baby spinach, quinoa and rocket leaves, the deluxe chili burger, the US prime tomahawk steak, seared Hokkaido scallops and that absolute triumph known as the dessert sampler comprising house-made carrot cake, apple pie, cheesecake, double fudge brownie and Asian-inspired matcha truffles. There's a good selection of craft beer, non-stop sports TV, and the edifying sight of packed tables all around filled with customers getting their fill of a very American meal.

Recommended for Family Friendly because: This is a very lively restaurant, and what's more, kids are given crayons to draw on the paper table cloths.

Ed's expert tip: Grab a table with a view of the open kitchen to sharpen your appetite.

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Jimmy's Kitchen


Jimmy's is, perhaps, Hong Kong's most famous restaurant. Move than somewhere to eat, it's an icon, a place that Hong Kongers were brought for a treat as youngsters, and in turn take along their children and grandchildren. Located on Wyndham Street, this Continental-style restaurant has a definite Western atmosphere. Menu options span the globe from New Zealand shellfish to North American beef and Western European corned beef and cabbage. After more than 80 years, Jimmy's is still popular with Hong Kong's expatriate community, especially as a place to meet up for a good lunch. Reservations, therefore, are suggested. MTR: Central.

Recommended for Family Friendly because: Kids will love this old-style restaurant, with its lovely ambiance and friendly service.

Ed's expert tip: What's sometimes called "nursery food", that is, dishes which recall childhood, is one of Jimmy's specialties.

Read more about Jimmy's Kitchen →


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Ye Shanghai


This modern deco-style restaurant is located in Pacific Place, one of the city's most popular shopping, dining and entertainment venues. The staff is efficient, and most of their dishes are portioned large enough to share with others. The menu features items that are reasonably priced, and most bear the influence of traditional Shanghainese cuisine. On Friday nights at Ye Shanghai, you can hear live jazz while you dine, so not surprisingly, this is one of Ye Shanghai's busiest evenings. Unique to Ye Shanghai is the fusion of Shanghainese dishes with Cantonese dim sum, served during lunch hours. Reservations are suggested. MTR: Admiralty.

Recommended for Family Friendly because: The live music and the exotic dishes will keep kids entertained.

Ed's expert tip: Hong Kong's dim sum is some of the best in the world, particularly because it is so fresh.

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5
Central
Watermark
Photo courtesy of Watermark


Watermark offers unparalleled waterfront dining. Boasting a stunning 270-degree view of Victoria Harbour,it offers the perfect backdrop for any occasion. Serving Continental gourmet fare, including dry-aged steaks and fresh seafood specialties that are meticulously prepared by its culinary team with a strong emphasis on creativity, freshness and the seasonality of ingredients, together with its impressive selection of fine wines and cocktails, guests have everything they need to fully experience all that a waterfront restaurant has to offer. A semi-private room on the mezzanine floor is also available for any events. Lunch here is good, but the views (neon, moonlight) are best in the evening.

Recommended for Family Friendly because: Watermark is one of the few restaurants right on Victoria Harbor, Hong Kong's raison d'etre.

Ed's expert tip: Watermark is right next to the Star Ferry, so handy for wherever you are staying in the city.

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Bombay Dreams
Photo courtesy of Bombay Dreams


Indian food is quite popular in Hong Kong, given the city's substantial Indian population, so purveyors of the piquant cuisine are a dime a dozen. Bombay Dreams earns high marks, though, for its exceptional cooking. A wide variety of appetizers includes several soups not ordinarily found on Indian restaurant menus, such as Murg Shorba (chicken) and Tamatar Ka Shorba (tomato based). The selection of main courses is extensive as well, with numerous fish and seafood dishes along with vegetable, chicken and lamb based favorites. The buffet lunch is quite popular with local office workers, and really very reasonably priced. MTR: Central.

Recommended for Family Friendly because: There's a certain amount of theater with the show kitchen, and an exciting decor that kids will enjoy.

Ed's expert tip: If your youngsters are not used to spicy food, check with your server for mild dishes.

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Wan Chai
Grappa's
Photo courtesy of Grappa's


Grappa's offers a trattoria-like environment right in the heart of one of Wanchai's liveliest streets. The pizza, pastas and attractive salads are popular with the lunchtime crowd, and Grappa's also boasts admirable beer and wine lists. A sure indication of Grappa's excellence is that it has been running for many years, as quite a few restaurants in Hong Kong close down after a short time. Service is especially good, with the staff offering helpful and informed advice while always ensuring they are not intruding on the dining experience. Large windows ensure a great view of the bustling scene outside. MTR: Wanchai

Recommended for Family Friendly because: Kid-friendly food and staff who obviously like children make this place very family friendly.

Ed's expert tip: The restaurant tends to fill up come midday so get here early.

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Luk Yu Teahouse
Photo courtesy of Hong Kong Tourism Board


Luk Yu has the distinction of being Hong Kong's oldest still-operating tea house. It opened back in 1933, and not much about the place has changed since. The setting is still charming, with ceiling fans, wooden booths, marble tabletops, wood paneling and stained-glass windows. During the day it's packed with regulars who swear by the dim sum; in the evening there's a truly vast dinner menu. Service is notoriously indifferent (some might even say a bit rude), but this is a place you come to for an old-school local ambiance. Many of Hong Kong's A List come to dine here.

Recommended for Family Friendly because: The old-world decor and service will seem like something out of a fairy tale for kids.

Ed's expert tip: Luk Yu's dim sum menu rotates weekly. Make sure to order the pig liver siu mai and steamed chicken buns if they are available.

Read more about Luk Yu Teahouse →


Jumbo Floating Restaurant
Photo courtesy of Jumbo Floating Restaurant


In operation for decades, the Jumbo has become something of a landmark. Renovated to create a modern and stylish interior, expansions over the years include a tea garden, banquet and party facilities and a museum exhibit of bronzeware. The restaurant offers an extensive menu and is a popular dim sum spot on Sunday morning, when it opens early. For lunch and dinner, you can choose from a la carte options, or select from one of about a half dozen set menus in varying degrees of opulence. Opinions differ on the overall quality of the experience, but one thing is for certain: the Jumbo Floating Restaurant is quintessential Hong Kong.

Recommended for Family Friendly because: This is one of Hong Kong's great dining excursions and kids will love the romance of it all.

Ed's expert tip: Bring your camera as Jumbo Floating Restaurant is moored in one of the most scenic parts of Hong Kong.

Read more about Jumbo Floating Restaurant →


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