Cover Here are the places to get your Korean culture and food fix in Hong Kong (Photo: Getty Images)

Missing South Korea? These places in Hong Kong will satisfy your Korean culture and food cravings

It’s no secret that there are plenty of Hongkongers who love Korean culture. This is thanks in part to the rise of Korean dramas such as Squid Game, K-pop such as BTS, K-beauty brands like Sulwhasoo, Korean movies such as Parasite and K-fashion including Korean celebrities selected as ambassadors for luxury brands like Louis Vuitton and Prada. South Korea is among the top destinations for Hong Kong travellers, while Hong Kong remains a top pick for Korean events such as the Mnet Asian Music Awards.

With international travel still largely on hold, many eager Hongkongers can’t visit South Korea. Instead, events like Festive Korea are popping up to cure our wanderlust but also provide a taste of Korean culture in Hong Kong. But besides these events, there are plenty of spots in Hong Kong to get your Korean culture and food fix.

Missing South Korea? We rounded up the best places in Hong Kong to discover and satisfy your Korean culture and food cravings.

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Korean Culture Centre in Hong Kong

If we’re talking about Korean culture there’s no better place to experience that than in Korean Culture Centre in Hong Kong. Spanning three floors in PMQ, the centre provides a platform to share Korean culture with Hongkongers through a variety of cultural activities such as exhibitions, workshops and events.

They also allow artists from South Korea and Hong Kong to collaborate and build their networks. Whether you love Korean music, art, food or literature, Korean Culture Centre have that for you to enjoy. At the K-Food Experience Zone, you can see Korean culinary cultures while the sarangbang (Korean traditional house) is where you can learn the Korean living culture from the past.

At times, the centre will host cooking classes. Over at the K-Food Cooking Class, those who love cooking or Korean food can learn Korean royal court cuisine. Meanwhile, the K-pop Zone will offer K-pop culture and songs in different eras to showcase the history of K-pop. Other facilities include seminar rooms to learn Korean, a library that houses Korean books and a gallery that exhibits Korean-related artworks.

Korean Culture Centre in Hong Kong, 6–7/F Block B, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2270 3500, hk.korean-culture/org.en

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Kimberley Street

While Hong Kong doesn’t have its own Korean Town, Kimberley Street in Tsim Sha Tsui is considered by many as Hong Kong’s Little Korea due to the sheer amount of Korean restaurants and grocery stores along the street. Whether you're a big spender or on a budget, there's bound to be one that'll catch your attention.

If you're looking for Korean barbeque, we recommend Seorae while Chibee is best for Korean fried chicken. Those who have the energy to party can do so at Dalin Pocha, based on the bar tents that you would see in South Korea. Looking for something a little quieter? OppaCoffee Bar Restaurant serves coffee and snacks. Meanwhile, those on the hunt for Korean products can head over to long-standing grocery stores, Jinmi Store or Korea Mart.

Kimberly Street, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong

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Mong Kok

Mong Kok is the centre of youth and pop culture in Hong Kong—a haven for Japanese fans who like anime and Korean fans who like Korean dramas or music. Sino Centre is among the most popular choice to get your Korean products. There’s plenty of shops on the lower floors that will make your head spin.

Still in Mong Kok but over at Argyle Centre is most K-pop fans’ go-to store: Ideal Square. This yet humble store has been running since 2017 by a couple who are certified BTS fans. They have everything from magazines, photo cards, posters, CDs and more. If the item isn’t available yet, they also accept pre-orders and make sure the merchandise arrives in your hands. The store also occasionally partners with other small businesses such as restaurants and bubble tea shops to organise K-pop related events.

Sino Centre, 582–592 Nathan Road, Mong Kok, Hong Kong

Ideal Square, S65A, 2/F, Argyle Centre Phase I, 688 Nathan Road, Mong Kok, Hong Kong, +852 9322 2522

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Soluna Fine Art

For those in need of some Namjooning—a term coined by BTS’ RM to mean taking time for yourself by doing activities such as visiting art exhibitions, cycling, reading and appreciating nature—can pay a visit to Soluna Fine Art, a gallery specialising in Asian fine art and objects but with deep roots in South Korea.

While Soluna Fine Art also showcases the work of other Asian artists, their roots in South Korea makes them one of the more prominent galleries in the city to occasionally exhibit the works of Korean artists. Recently, their exhibition, Ripple Ripple features Ki Young-hun’s oil paintings that show the traditional Korean painting technique, Hyuk-Pil. They also had the Full Moon exhibition which highlighted Moon Jars made by various South Korean artists.

Soluna Fine Art, G/F, 52 Sai Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, +852 2955 5166, solunafineart.com

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K-Wave Zone in Madame Tussauds

While it’s hard to see our favourite Korean celebrities in person unless they’re having a concert or a fan meeting event in Hong Kong, the K-Wave Zone in Madame Tussauds gives us a taste of that. The zone provides an opportunity for fans to explore Seoul with Korean stars including one of South Korea’s highest-paid stars, Kim Soo-hyun, heartthrob Lee Jong-suk and the “Nation’s First Love” Bae Suzy.

K-Wave Zone, Madame Tussauds, Shop P101, Peak Tower, 128 Peak Road, The Peak, Hong Kong, madametussauds.com

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Bubble tea shops

Bubble tea shops are not the most obvious place to get your K-pop fix in Hong Kong but they are. Shops like Rabbit Rabbit Tea and Bubble Tea Work organise celebrity-related projects and campaigns during special occasions such as a certain member's birthday or debut anniversary.

During these projects, the shops will be a K-pop wonderland, covered in K-pop pictures and memorabilia. They will also offer limited edition cup sleeves, gift items, photo cards and posters. You not only have a refreshing drink but also can take pictures with your favourite K-pop groups.

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Karaoke bars

When talking about Korean culture, noraebang or Korean-style shouldn't be missed. A noraebang is what you would call, a karaoke bar in Hong Kong except it’s in a private room for just you and your friends or colleagues or family. Hong Kong had its first noraebang in 2019, but the establishment shut down due to the tough social distancing measures implemented last year.

Still, there are a number of private karaoke bars where you can belt out your favourite Korean songs. Some of these include Cosmos@RedMr, Sonder and Neway.

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