Hong Kong's cafe scene continues to push the boundaries with each new opening. Find out where to enjoy a cuppa this month
Hong Kong summers mean alternating between sweltering heat and torrential downpours—all the more reason to stow away to some of the 13 new cafes we're featuring this month. Whether it's a dog-friendly cafe, a minimalist coffee bar seemingly transplanted from Seoul, or a cafe inspired by a David Bowie hit song, there's plenty to choose for a bit of caffeine-fueled escapism this June.
1. Barcode Coffee
Don't be fooled by the name of this Central cafe and bar opened by Gagan Gurung of Tell Camellia and former The Old Man bar manager Natalie Lau—far from a technologically-inclined hideaway, Barcode is a portmanteau of its three main offerings: bar, coffee, and desserts. Sit back amidst the whitewashed interior (punctuated by ultramarine accents that so happen to mirror the facade of the historic St. Paul's Church opposite), and sample the specialty dirty coffee, pulled pork sandwich, and molten tiramisu.
Barcode Coffee, G/F, Glenealy Tower, 1 Glenealy, Central, Hong Kong
2. Major Tom
Hong Kong may be seeing an influx of hundreds of new cafes recently, but among them, only Major Tom can claim to be a space-themed coffee bar. Inspired by David Bowie's 1969 hit, 'Space Oddity', Major Tom serves coffee to the Sham Shui Po locale during the day using a rare Faema E61 Legend coffee machine from the same era; while at night, the LED panels on the ceiling light up in brilliant sunset colours as the space transforms into a bar serving original cocktails like the martini-inspired Agravic Dream (gin, dry vermouth, roasted rice tea, CBD) and Earth (vodka, vanilla, citric and malic acid, Ramune soda). In case you're a little short of breath after a drink or two, the menu helpfully notes that "free oxygen is provided".
Major Tom, 14 Nam Cheong Street, Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong
3. Appendix Coffee & Bar
Found in the lobby of a Causeway Bay office tower, this coffee counter features an open-plan layout conducive to escaping the summer heat in. Give the thirst-quenching espresso tonic a try, or alternatively, the Ethiopia Guji Guduva natural hand drip which is handily served in a whisky dram glass—all the better to appreciate the scent of the coffee. Those feeling a little peckish will delight in the full lunch menu, featuring dishes like the whole roast spring chicken and USDA steak with fries.
Appendix Coffee & Bar, Shop 301, 3/F, Tower 535, 535 Jaffe Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
4. Missing Link
This bijou cafe on chic Yiu Wah Street is practically built for Instagram thanks to its pleasing cream and ochre palette, booth tables cleverly built into circular recesses, and spring-loaded stools that have been making the rounds on social media. Coffee-wise, Missing Link offers beans like Ethiopia Guji washed, Uganda natural and Colombia fully washed that have been roasted locally; while the food menu offers both savoury dishes like butter shoyu pasta with Japanese mushrooms and bacon, and pastries like strawberry matcha roll cake.
Missing Link, G/F, 10 Yiu Wah Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
5. Dancing Kettle
Dark and moody, this entirely black-tiled cafe in Cheung Sha Wan is the place to go for—you guessed it— black coffees, such as the Ethiopia Yirgacheffe washed ice drip. Committed to roasting its beans in-house, this is one cafe that takes its coffee seriously. The shakerato, a coffee drink format that is increasingly being popularised, can also be found here. While Dancing Kettle lacks a full menu, they do offer an excellent cinnamon bun to snack on, alongside other pastries.
Dancing Kettle, Shop 59, G/F, Manor Centre, 218 Fuk Wing Street, Cheung Sha Wan, Hong Kong
6. Trois Cafe, Wan Chai
Dyed in beautiful pastel hues, Trois Cafe's third location is certainly one of the most eye-catching cafe openings in past months. Channeling a minimalist '80s-inspired aesthetic with its use of geometric interior elements and dramatic lighting, the cafe has an abundance of corners for photo-taking, and being dog-friendly, your canine companions can get in on the fun, too. In addition to black and white coffee drinks, Trois serves refreshing alcoholic spritzes; meanwhile, the food menu is inspired by Taiwanese snack cuisine and includes dishes like savoury baos and Taiwanese fried chicken, as well as pastries like the ever-popular black sesame roll cake.
Trois Cafe, G/F, Centre Point, 181-185 Connaught Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
7. Loft & Scone
Tucked away in Central's Gilman Bazaar, Loft & Scone is a photogenic Korean-style cafe that specialises in baked goods made fresh in-house. Originally a bakery that sold its pastries online, this cafe makes no bones about the quality of their scones—imparting a satisfying outer crunch, the scones manage to retain a moist, buttery interior, and are served with a generous dollop of mascarpone cream. Among their other offerings are lemon cakes, pretzel bagels, and dainty roll cakes. Meanwile, the coffee is made using roast beans from nearby The Porter.
Loft & Scone, 6 Gilman Bazaar, Central, Hong Kong
Originally opened near HKU, this Japanese-inspired cafe has recently expanded to Kowloon City. Known among coffee enthusiasts for its extensive range of single-origin espressos, from Ethiopia Guji Shakisso to El Salvador Shekinah, Blossom offers guests the brewing options of filter or syphon to best accommodate different preferences. The tiramisu is also worth making the trip for, thanks to a house recipe that goes heavy on the rum and calls for lady fingers dipped in four types of coffee.
Blossom, 45 Nam Kok Road, Kowloon City, Hong Kong
9. Wan Land
Taking the term "pet-friendly" to the next level, this Tai Kok Tsui cafe serves a menu designed just for furry companions—the salmon and pumpkin taiyaki looks to be a crowd favourite. Humans will also find sustenance in specialties like the club sandwich, Japanese pastas, croffle with vanilla ice cream, and chocolate cheesecake from Solight Studio. The coffee doesn't disappoint either, as it's sourced from Taiwan's award-winning Simple Kaffa.
Wan Land, 26 Li Tak Street, Tai Kok Tsui, Hong Kong
10. After Ten
With its high ceiling and Eames lounge chairs, After Ten is a classy yet laidback affair in the heart of Yuen Long. Serving a neighbourhood that has so far avoided the bulk of the cafe boom, this cafe is a simple affair, offering your usual lineup of coffee drinks, sandwiches, pastas, pastries and salads.
After Ten, Shop 3, G/F, 75 Kau Yuk Road, Yuen Long, Hong Kong
11. First Place Coffee
Not far from the Tin Hau MTR station is First Place Coffee, a neighbourhood cafe featuring an industrial aesthetic, all the better to avoid detracting from the coffee itself. Depending on your preference, the baristas can prepare your drink via hand drip using either the ceramic V60 dripper, the metal Kalita Wave, or the syphon method. Artisanal Chinese and western teas are also available, as are chai and hojicha lattes. Sweet tooths will be richly rewarded here, with the menu offering two types of single-origin chocolate from the Congo and Bolivia.
First Place Coffee, 26-36 King's Road, Tin Hau, Hong Kong
12. Kactus Koffee
First opened in Sham Shui Po's Kactus Hotel, Kactus Koffee has moved to a larger venue in Jordan after a brief hiatus. With a material palette of raw concrete and brushed aluminium, the cafe channels Seoul vibes down to the Korean-speaking owner. The menu offers some inventive takes on coffee, including the Vienna style of capping a base of cold brew with fresh milk cream; and the dolce triple latte, which combines fresh and condensed milk with three shots of espresso, topped with whipped milk cream. The house-made croffles and tiramisu desserts are also a particular highlight.
Kactus Koffee, G/F, 47 Man Ying Street, Yau Ma Tei, Hong Kong
13. Peninsula Boutique & Cafe
Perhaps in a sign of the times, The Peninsula has opened a cafe and boutique space in the basement level of its shopping arcade to offer a more discreet alternative to the bucket-list afternoon tea upstairs. The highlight of the menu is, of course, the Afternoon Indulgence tea set, which does away with the traditional three-tiered cake stand for a porcelain Peninsula page hat that houses the scones (one with raisins, one without) and the jam and clotted cream, accompanied by the customer's choice of sweet and/or savoury bites, and macarons on small porcelain stands in the shape of Peninsula page bears. With its plush surrounds, this is a classy hideaway for a sweltering Hong Kong summer.
The Peninsula Boutique & Cafe, The Peninsula Arcade, Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong; +852 2696 6969