Experience local living and modern life in the quaint Hong Kong Island locality of Tai Hang! With a thriving restaurant scene, rich local culture and lots to do with kids, it’s well worth a visit!
Think Tai Hang, and the first thing that usually comes to mind is the ‘Fire Dragon Dance’ — the Mid-Autumn Festival tradition in which a 67-metre-long dragon is made of more than 70,000 burning joss sticks. That and the reputation of the Tai Hang restaurant scene boasting everything from quiet-cool nightspots to Japanese joints!
But don’t count this little neighbourhood out if you’re looking for options to do something off the beaten track with the kids. There’s literally a surprise around every corner of Tai Hang with restaurants, cafés, bakeries, garages, specialty shops and historical landmarks tucked away in its network of crisscrossing streets. It’s almost too easy to get side-tracked.
So, if you want to plan an easy family day out in this quaint spot on Hong Kong Island, it’s time to check out Tai Hang!
Getting To Tai Hang
The closest station to Tai Hang is Tin Hau MTR. Get out at Exit A2 and take a left on to Hing Fat Street. Then cross Causeway Bay Road, walk for less than five minutes past Queen’s College and you will find Fire Dragon Path on your left. Head down this path (and read up on its history on the signboards while you’re at it) until you emerge at the bustling intersection of Tung Lo Wan Road and Wun Sha Street. Alternatively, you can take a bus to the Tin Hau Station Public Transport Exchange and take the same walk to Tai Hang from King’s Road. The closest tram stops are Victoria Park (Westbound) and Hing Fat Street (Eastbound) on Causeway Road.
Sassy Mama tip: The pavements on the main streets of Tai Hang, such as Tung Lo Wan Road and Wun Sha Street, are broad enough for strollers. But if you’re planning to explore Tai Hang’s busy inner roads and alleyways, which have narrow pavements, we suggest bringing the carrier instead.
Tai Hang Restaurants — Where To Eat With Kids
When you run a search on Tai Hang restaurants, your results will feature the cosy eateries, cool bars and indie cafés that have given the area its hipster rep. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any child-friendly options around here. There are quite a few restaurants with roomy seating and menus extensive enough to cater to picky and adventurous eaters. If you’re planning more of a grab-and-go sort of meal, there are loads of takeaway-only bakeries that serve up fresh cookies, doughnuts and cakes.
Sassy Mama tip: Head to the Wun Sha Street playground or Lin Ka Fung Garden to unwind after a big brunch or to work through the inevitable sugar rush after a bakery binge.
Ask For Alonzo
This upscale trattoria is, perhaps, better suited to families with older children. Its semi-alfresco setup and big portions lend themselves nicely to a relaxed meal in a buzzing corner of Tai Hang. Try their signature dishes like the Roman Meat Balls, Penne 4 Formaggi and Rigatoni Amatriciana, or go all out with their extensive brunch. Ask For Alonzo also offers party catering.
Got a Young Sheldon in the family? Then a meal at Café Locomotive should be on your Tai Hang bucket list. In keeping with the trademark Tai Hang love for all things vintage, the restaurant is designed like a classic train. Its walls are lined with luggage racks that hold old-fashioned suitcases of all shapes and sizes. This restaurant fills up quickly when it opens for lunch and is known for its unfussy Vietnamese fare.
This dessert joint opened in February 2021 and started out by selling cookies chock full of gooey goodness in standard-issue flavours (Epic Chocolate and PB&J) and some left-of-field ones (Matcha Macadamia White Chocolate Chip and Key Lime Cream Oatmeal Cookies). In November, it started making doughnuts and their Original Glaze will satisfy anyone who misses the Krispy Kreme version. If you’re in luck, you may be able to get hold of their signature Pookie — croissant on the outside and cookie on the inside with a lava filling — which is available only after 12 pm on certain days of the week.
Elementary Tai Hang
Yes, the restaurants in the heart of Tai Hang are on the cosy side, but Elementary has a bit more breathing room than its counterparts. Plus, its share-plate concept is perfect for nibblers. It’s a popular brunch spot and patrons swear by the Oriental omelette and Elementary French Toast. FYI: Elementary doesn’t accept reservations for brunch on weekends and public holidays, so it’s best to get there early if you want a table.
Fineprint — Tai Hang
Many a Sassy Mama have fallen fast for Fineprint’s brew and beans. The Tai Hang location is the home to its famous homemade sourdough. If you want freshly roasted beans delivered to your door, check out its subscription options.
This little bakery run by pastry chefs Camille Moënne-Loccoz and Dominique Yau caters to anyone with a hankering for a taste of Paris. Plumcot specialises in all manner of French bread and pastries and is known for its artisanal ice creams. It also does seasonal specials like Galette des Rois for Epiphany and gift boxes for Lunar New Year. You can pre-order from their website or stop by the store to pick up their weekend-only goodies.
Shun Hing Dai Pai Dong
No trip to a typical Hong Kong neighbourhood is complete without checking out a dai pai dong. Shun Hing is a favourite among residents for its baked pork chop rice and char siu silky egg rice topped with a homemade soy sauce. It’s generally packed, so be prepared for a bit of a wait if you want a sit-down meal.
Shun Hing, 5 Ormsby Street, Tai Hang, Hong Kong, 2576 6577
Tai Hang Bar & Grill
If you’re familiar with Castelo Concepts, you’ll know that its restaurants are famed for their extensive menus and sprawling seating. So, it’s hardly surprising that Tai Hang Bar & Grill, which is owned by the group, is one of those rare spacious and front-open Hong Kong Island restaurants that makes it an ideal family dining destination. Its menu features diverse cuisines, such as Vietnamese, Indian and Italian, and they have weekday specials — think Tuesday Ribs Night and Friday Burger Night, plus a great kids menu.
Tak Shing Tea Stall
This retro Hong Kong joint started out as two carts in a Causeway Bay alley but is now a full-fledged diner on Tung Lo Wan Road. Pop in here for the milk tea or pineapple buns that the 852 is renowned for or sit down to a breakfast set combining macaroni with oxtail or shredded imitation abalone. Rice and noodle dishes dominate the lunch menus, while special dishes like Fried Fish Fillet in Sweet Corn Sauce and Stir-Fried Squid With Celery in XO Sauce are served after 6 pm.
More Tai Hang Restaurants:
- Bing Kee Cha Dong – Busy, traditional dai pai dong
- Classified – Popular chain with kid-friendly dishes, also available for birthday parties
- Chin Jor Fan Tong – A small, build-your-own-noodle-soup joint (you can also opt for take-away)
Things To See In Tai Hang
Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance
The first Fire Dragon Dance was said to have taken place in 1880 after a plague struck the village of Tai Hang. In a bid to end the plague, the villagers made a fire dragon with joss sticks and set off firecrackers on the day of the Mid-Autumn Festival — and legend has it that it worked! Ever since, the residents of Tai Hang perform the Fire Dragon Dance for three consecutive nights during the Mid-Autumn Festival. Unsurprisingly, the locals take it very seriously and they recruit and train 300 dancers as early as July every year, as well as more than 20 children who walk in front of the dragon while holding lanterns.
Lin Ka Fung Temple
This is said to be the oldest temple on Hong Kong Island dedicated to Kwun Yam, the Goddess of Mercy. The temple is unique from an architectural standpoint as it has two side entrances as opposed just to one from the facade, and its front hall has a half-octagonal shape. Most importantly, it is the starting point of the annual Fire Dragon Dance. And in case you need to take a bit of a walking break over a croissant and a cup of takeaway coffee, hop over to the neighbouring Lin Ka Fung Garden.
Lin Ka Fung Temple, Lily Street, Tai Hang, Hong Kong
Haw Par Mansion
The famed Tiger Balm Garden of Haw Par Mansion had the distinction of being Hong Kong’s first theme park, with its sculptures and figurines that depicted ancient Buddhist beliefs. While the garden has since been replaced by a residential complex, the mansion with its blend of Chinese and Western architecture remains and is a Grade I historical building. It now houses Haw Par Music and is open to the public. Walk-in visitors can explore the main hall and private garden for free, while those who register for guided tours can access the upper floors of the mansion.
Garages And Licence Plates
The warrens of Tai Hang are dotted with garages that are sure to tickle any motorhead’s fancy. It’s well worth taking a stroll down School Street to check out what the local mechanics are working on. You’ll definitely spot some souped-up cars and, if you’re lucky, a couple of vintage beauties. Once you’re done, head over to Lily Street. Here, you’ll find The Leemanplate, the only licence plate manufacturer in Hong Kong that still makes handmade plates. Don’t need a custom-made plate? Then check out the automotive trinkets and accessories on display.
This Grade III historical building — a five-storey tenement (or tong lau) that dates back to the 1930s — has been restored and is now an art gallery. It currently houses exhibitions that rotate every one or two months. The space has showcased everything from paintings and photographs to mug-cups and antique typewriters.
The Shophouse, 4 Second Lane, Tai Hang, Hong Kong, www.instagram.com/theshophousehongkong
Tai Hang Street Art
Soho and Sheung Wan may be the top picks for street art in Hong Kong, but there are quite a few murals in Tai Hang’s streets and bylanes. If you’re on the lookout for Insta-worthy shots of the kids with funky backdrops, check out the artwork on Cafe On The Corner, No. 13, and the shutters of Chin Jor Fan Tong. Though ENVY and One-Half Bagel & Bar may not be exactly kid-friendly, they have some edgy street art that’ll really pop on your IG feed.
What To Do With Kids In Tai Hang
Candy-Making Workshops At Papabubble
At Papabubble, they aim to make the candy-making experience immersive. If you pop into the store to pick up their rock candies or lollipops, there’s a good chance you will see their candy-makers at work. If you want in on the action, sign up for one of the workshops, which are an hour long and suitable for children aged 3 and over. Kids between 3 and 12 must be accompanied by an adult, who can participate in the workshop for free.
Art Classes At Art Circle Atelier
If you want your child to tap into their inner artist, Art Circle Atelier has a comprehensive painting course that may be just the thing. The art courses are divided into four stages, the first being suited to K1-aged kids and the fourth is for P4-aged children and older. You can book a single class or up to 24 lessons. There are also watercolour and acrylic classes for kids aged 6 and above. Want to learn a new art skill together as a family? Then make a group booking for any of their workshops.
Shopping In Tai Hang
Part of the fun of Tai Hang is wandering and window-shopping. Does your love for all things vintage extend to home décor? Then you need to stop by The Minimal for its curios like pocket watch-inspired wall clocks and jade ashtrays placed alongside Star Wars and Peanuts merch.
For Japanophiles, a visit is incomplete without stepping into Kanamono Hardware Store. Its walls and shelves are packed with construction tools like magnifier flashlights, measuring tapes and multi-tools from all over the world, as well as bits and bobs from Japan like password locks, deluxe puzzle toolsets and plastic toilet signs.
Looking to liven up your home with a few potted plants, flowers or even start a home nursery with your kids? Wild Wander HK on Sun Chun Street has all manner of tropical plants from countries like Thailand and Indonesia. Tommy’s Garden on Tung Lo Wan Road is a cheerful shop filled with potted plants and garden accessories.
This vintage clothing store has been a fixture on the Tai Hang retail scene for more than a decade. It features vintage and new over-the-top designer streetwear such as tiered ruffled skirts and pants, upcycled sweatshirts and cut-out quilt pants in vibrant neon shades reminiscent of the ’80s and early ’90s. And since no Asian streetwear-inspired store is complete without a Japanese touch, Microwave also stocks outfits from Harajuku boutique Punk Cake and has collaborated with illustrator Aki Ishibashi.
Moon Of Silence
You won’t find a place that’s more wholeheartedly Hong Kong than Moon of Silence. Its rotating and eclectic stock includes locally made seltzers from Dragon Water, lagers from H.K. Lovecraft and oriental botanical liqueur from Magnolia Lab. Need a source for exotic veggies like burgundy broccoli and red coral lettuce or organically grown eggplant and kohlrabi? Place an order for them with Zen Organic Farm and Chun Kwan Organic Farm via Moon of Silence’s Facebook page. Keep an eye on their socials to get a heads-up on pop-up events for bamboo foodware from Yiwooo and beer from Black Kite Brewery, among others.
One Of A Kind
Founded by designer Olivier Caouette in 2020, One Of A Kind specialises in blinged-out accessories such as earrings, bracelets, necklaces and headbands. Caouette’s designs have the distinction of being worn by Hong Kong star Carina Lau, as well as international celebrities like Dua Lipa, Paris Hilton and Lana Del Ray. Since the store opened during the pandemic, its biggest draws are beaded and jewelled face masks. It also has a DIY counter where you can customise your jewellery for a special occasion, and if you wish, over a drink with friends.
Staycation — The Little Tai Hang Hotel
There are plenty of staycation options in nearby Causeway Bay, but if you want to spend a weekend in a more relaxed atmosphere steeped in local history, we definitely recommend Tai Hang. Little Tai Hang has hotel rooms and serviced apartments across three buildings: The Corner House, The Lane House and The Garden House, located between Lin Ka Fung Street West and Lin Ka Fung Street East. Depending on which unit you book, you get a bird’s eye view of the hustle and bustle of the city, a street view of life in Tai Hang or both. If you don’t feel like stepping out too far for a meal or a drink, head to Little Tai Hang’s in-house offerings, such as Tipsy for modern European fare or Maka Hiki for a tiki chic experience.