Ah, good ol’ Wan Chai. Although it is known for its infamous red-light district and crazy nightlife, Wan Chai is actually home to some of the best cafés, restaurants, coworking spaces and cultural hotspots in the city.
It’s also one of the BOOQED team’s favorite districts. It’s conveniently located between Causeway Bay and Admiralty, has a ton of great workspaces, and we can’t resist the intoxicating cocktail of old-school wet markets, looming skyscrapers and trendy boutiques dotted around the neighborhood.
Want to see what the fuss is all about? Stay in the know with our handy guide to the ‘Wanch’, where we’ll cover the best things to see and places to work, eat and drink.
Where to Eat
Our Wan Chai food recommendations could easily take up an entire blog post by itself, but we’ve narrowed it down to the top favorites we can’t help but go back to again and again!
First off, we can’t talk about restaurants in Wan Chai without mentioning Samsen. Since opening in 2016, Samsen has gained a solid fan base and a reputation for serving the best Thai fare in town, evident by the queue that frequently stretches down the street before it opens for lunch at noon and for dinner at 6:30pm.
With its delicious array of mouthwatering Thai street food classics, this little walk-in eatery is worth the wait. You can’t go wrong with a classic Pad Thai or their indulgent crab fried rice, but don’t forget to save some stomach room for their pandan coconut dumplings too!
For a taste of France, mosey over to La Crêperie just down the road. The vibe is casual and welcoming, and we can never say no to one of their savoury crepes. It’s also surprisingly quiet! Perfect if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city for a catch up with friends or casual breakfast meeting.
Where to Caffeinate
We’re happy to report that the quest to find good coffee in Hong Kong has become easier over the last few years. After all, there’s nothing better than a strong cup of joe after a crepe or three!
Blend & Grind is your typical friendly neighbourhood café. Its charming storefront is located on a quiet corner of Sun Street so you can settle in with a good book or get some work while enjoying their ethically sourced brews or freshly squeezed juices.
We’ve heard the brunches here are pretty spectacular too!
Le Pain Quotidien, meaning ‘daily bread’, is another must-visit around Wan Chai serving delicious seasonal food and a wide range of drinks. They’ve got the standard coffees such as americanos, lattes and more, but as a Belgian bakery, they also serve a special Belgian Mocchacino!
Their large outdoor terrace area – decked with fairy lights and hanging flower baskets – is a great place to spend a few hours, and ideal for small, one-to-one meetings.
Now an artisanal coffee shop and roastery with four locations across Hong Kong, it’s hard to believe that 18 Grams first started as a little espresso bar. If you’re a fan of Australian-style coffee, this is the place to go. 18 Grams is managed by a world-class barista and serves coffee made from fresh, locally roasted beans. Come check them out the next time you’re in Wan Chai to get a taste of the coffee that’s dominated Hong Kong’s foodie scene.
Things to Do
We know, we know – this is a work blog so we probably shouldn’t advocate heavy drinking. But let’s face it, you wouldn’t have the full Wan Chai experience if you didn’t go bar hopping on Wan Chai Wednesdays! With so many bars and clubs lined up along the infamous Lockhart Road, you’d be spoiled for choice, especially with those irresistible Wednesday drink deals.
If you’re in Hong Kong and on the hunt for a new electronic device, and we mean any electronic device, the Wan Chai Computer Centre is the place to go. Located in the heart of Wan Chai, the computer centre is a three-story mall with hundreds of independent retailers selling every type of gadget you could ever need or dream of.
Need to replace the cracked screen on your iPhone or get some new GoPro accessories? Look no further. This place is sure to satisfy even the most demanding tech enthusiasts.
One thing to keep in mind: if the price sounds too good to be true, it’s probably a grey market item and might not be as well-made as a legitimate manufacturer so be sure to do your research beforehand.
Where to Work
When you walk through the shiny new pavements of Lee Tung Avenue, it can be hard to believe that the area used to be known for cheap booze, fast men and loose women a mere half century ago.
Instead of sleazy girly bars and cheap, old housing estates, Wan Chai has been transformed into a high-class business district filled with luxury residential and commercial developments and a distinguished array of restaurants.
With a space spanning three floors, Garage Society Wan Chai has everything you might need for a workspace: private and shared desks, a café and even an urban farm in their spacious outdoor terrace!
They also place a lot of focus on serving their community, so offer tons of events targeted at helping businesses learn new skills or build a network.
Explore Wan Chai like a Local with BOOQED
Want to try any of the spaces or cafés mentioned above? You can get a hot desk, meeting room or café table instantly for an hour or the day through the BOOQED app. Simply download the app to get started (Available on both Android and iOS).
Plus, you can use the code HK50 to get 50% off your first booking!