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Sassy Mama’s Guide to Family-Friendly Vegetarian (and Vegan!) Restaurants

EatPost Category - EatEat - Post Category - Eating OutEating Out

Now mamas, we know how difficult it is to be a vegetarian in the 852 unless somebody in the family’s cooking! Luckily, we’ve found the best family-friendly restaurants in Hong Kong that not only have a great (or even exclusive) range of vegetarian and vegan options, but they all taste amazing as well! Whether you want to make a day of it and go for a cultural break with the kids to Chi Lin Vegetarian in Diamond Hill or head over to Choice Cooperative to make the most of their fabulous jungle gym and veggie-friendly menu, we want to make your entire family gets the culinary experience you all deserve. See our faves below and mamas, ‘lettuce’ eat!   

alioli

Ali Oli Bakery and Café
Ali Oli Bakery and Café is something of a Sai Kung institution, having opened in 1986, and is one of the best veggie-friendly cafes in Hong Kong. Offering a wide range of Western-style vegetarian options (alongside a handful of meaty ones for the grumbly carnivores in your family), we absolutely love the sound of their lemon and herb zucchini mushroom pie! They’re open to bookings for children parties as well and it’s no surprise that their apple pies go down by the numbers with the little ones. We know how hard it is getting the kids to sit still for a whole meal and thankfully, their Sai Kung store has outdoor seating with a playground just opposite – you’ll be able to keep an eye on the kiddies while you and your partner finally get a chance for some real conversation. Note: Only the Sai Kung branch has high chairs.

Ali Oli Bakery and Café, 11 Sha Tsui Path, Sai Kung, Hong Kong, 2792 2655, www.alioli.com.hk 

artichoke canteen

Artichoke Canteen
It’s easy to get run ragged micro-managing the fam in bustling Hong Kong and mamas, you deserve to relax and recharge on inspiration! Enter the newly reopened Artichoke Canteen, Ap Lei Chau’s trendy vegetarian restaurant that uses only the freshest organic ingredients available in each one of their delectable dishes. (Never fear mamas, there are fish and chicken options for stubborn carnivores in your family too.) The dog-friendly restaurant has beautiful indoor and outdoor seating strewn with rustic vintage style furniture, however you may want to keep a watchful eye on the kids if they’re running about on the balcony. You don’t have to worry about your kids getting bored or going hungry here: Artichoke Canteen’s got drawing pads and child-friendly drawing materials for your tiny master artists (Little Picasso even does workshops sometimes!) and a selection of pizzas and pastas that will make everyone happy. If your little has big dreams of being on Junior Master Chef, Artichoke Canteen can organise pizza parties for groups of 10-20 children where everyone learns to make their own pizza under their chef’s watchful eye – even Gordon Ramsay’s heart would melt.

Artichoke Canteen, 3/F Canteen, Harbour Industrial Centre, 10 Lee Hing Street, Ap Lei Chau, Hong Kong, 9684 9964, www.artichokecanteen.com 

bookwormcafe

Bookworm Café
Get away from the hustle and bustle of the main island and take a day trip to Lamma Island! This cute vegetarian breakfast and brunch café looks like the funkiest converted classroom we’ve ever seen, with artful bookshelves upon bookshelves of secondhand books and an awesome blackboard sign. If you’ve got a novel reader in the family, they’ll be entertained for hours on end. Located on the main street of Lamma Island, this little restaurant is easy enough to find and has both alfresco and indoor seating. Make a day of it and wander down to Hung Shing Yeh beach for a cheeky swim afterwards – but remind the kids they can only get in the water after an hour!

Bookworm Café, 79 Main Street, Yung Shue Wan, Lamma Island, 2982 4838, www.bookwormcafelamma.blogspot.com

cafe o

Café O
This stylish chain is amongst those at the forefront of easy and healthy eating, with three restaurants in Central and a simple and clean aesthetic which’ll set any mama at ease. Everything is made fresh daily in their kitchen using only the best ingredients around; while they’re not a specifically vegetarian restaurant, there are options for days perfect for a great family day out. There are gorgeous juices, salads, paninis and soups (we love the pumpkin and ginger one) for mamas and papas, whereas your children can hunker down with some of their signature vegetarian pastas and pizzas – you can even ask for a wholewheat base for an even more nutritious option! Their Queen’s Road Central location isn’t exactly conducive for families with young children, as the downstairs area is quite cramped and there’s a big flight of stairs leading to the more spacious second story, however, the speedy service makes it a great option for the family on the go.

Café O, See locations and telphone numbers herewww.cafeo.hk

chilinvegetarian

Chi Lin Vegetarian
Why not take a cultural break with the fam and head over to Nan Lian Gardens? Hailed as one of Hong Kong’s greatest ‘open museums’, these beautiful Tang dynasty gardens are frequently overshadowed by the Big Buddha looming in the background. But if you and the kiddies decide to sneak behind the Silver Strand waterfall, you’ll find Chi Lin Vegetarian – a Buddhist vegetarian restaurant founded on a devoted respect for nature. As both a stroller friendly and relatively easy location to get to despite its distance, there are even high chairs for the littlest little and changing stations in the bathrooms. Rather than resorting to faux meat substitutes, Chi Lin Vegetarian’s menu is focused on bringing out the natural flavours of the fresh vegetables they use, rather than forcing them to taste like something they’re not. Grab a seat next to the window if you can: you and your kids will be utterly enraptured by the waterfall rushing past all meal long!

The afternoon tea menu is priced at roughly $55, whereas regular meals require a minimum spend of $85. Reservations recommended.

Chi Lin Vegetarian, Nan Lian Garden, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 2658 9388, www.nanliangarden.org 

choicecooperative

Choice Cooperative
Mamas, is it any surprise that we’ve featured Sassy Mama fave Choice Cooperative on this list? While it’s not exclusively a vegetarian restaurant, their gluten-free and veggie options always have us finding any excuse to bring the family back. We’re massive fans of their freshly baked gluten-free bread (you and your family don’t have to settle for cardboard disappointments anymore mamas) and there’s a selection of meals sure to put a smile on even the surliest child’s face, whether it be a scrumptious quinoa or a cheeky sweet treat sandwich! They’ve recently opened an amazing indoor playground jungle gym too – practically a family fun dream!

Want to know more? Take a look at our in-depth review here!

Choice Cooperative, 7/F, BT Centre, 23 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Aberdeen, Hong Kong, 2677 7808, www.theonlychoicehk.com, Facebook 

grassrootspantry

Grassroots Pantry
If you’ve been haunting Sassy Mama for a little while now, you may have noticed we’ve taken our darlings over to Grassroots Pantry before for a tasty vegetarian bite. We absolutely love That Girl Chef Peggy’s vegan-friendly creations and we’re sure your children will too. While they don’t have a kids menu per se, we’ve been told that the team at Grassroots Pantry can cater to any of your littles’ dietary requirements and can make child-sized portions of more intimidating adult ones. If their incredible juices and delectable veggie dishes don’t have you sold, their adorable rustic décor and gorgeous open air patio perfect for summer sunshine will do. Since our review a couple of years ago, they’ve stocked up on high chairs and child-friendly utensils, meaning that even the littlest foodie can get their fill!

See our full Sassy Mama review here!

Grassroots Pantry, 12 Fuk Sau Lane, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, 2873 3353, www.grassrootspantry.com

high street grill

High Street Grill
This classy little resto is located in one of the coolest up and coming districts in Hong Kong, Sai Ying Pun, and perfectly fits in. As a sister restaurant to K-Town Bar and Grill, you know you can expect quality, quality, quality with every dish and mama – High Street Grill knows how to pack a menu! This veggie-friendly restaurant has a number of dishes for vegetarians and carnivores to choose from, whether you and your family want to share one of their Ooey Gooey Camemberts, served with garlic toast and green olives, or indulge in Asian fare with their fresh veggie Vietnamese Rolls. With more standard fare like pasta and salads as well as more unusual choices like grilled vegetable burritos and tacos, don’t let your family skip out on their creative ice cream desserts – anybody up for an Ice Cream Chimichanga?

High Street Grill, Shop 4&5 on G/F, Hang Sing Mansion, 48/78 High Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, 2559 2638, www.casteloconcepts.com

kungtaklam pinImage sourced from Pinterest 

Kung Tak Lam
This vegetarian resto is something of a local secret and as such is constantly flooded with people. Offering traditional Chinese veggie dishes as well as mock meat stuff (we’ve only heard great things about their imitation xiao long bao), this restaurant is always in high demand and we’d recommend you make reservations first. Unfortunately there is going to be a little bit of a language barrier if you don’t happen to speak Cantonese, but we imagine it’s nothing a few seconds of goofy gesturing won’t fix.

Kung Tak Lam, 10/F, World Trade Centre, 280 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, 2890 3127

life cafe

Life Café
Life Café’s menu is comprised of modern eats for the modern vegetarian, and mama, they’re worth every bite. Located on the Mid-Levels escalator in Soho, Life Café’s first Hong Kong restaurant has an awesome, relaxed vibe with chilled-out music and a rustic teak wood interior that’ll make it your new Sunday haunt for years to come. Vegetarians will have a ball of a time here with their exclusive vegetarian menu, however vegans and gluten-free mamas will find that there’s something for their families too – whether they’re slurping down the vegan soup of the day or the signature Life Organic Burger served with tantalising sweet potato fries. For those of you out on the outlying islands, don’t worry about making the trek over – Life’s recently opened a café out in Discovery Bay as well!

Life Café10 Shelley Street, Soho, Central, Hong Kong (Across from Pure Fitness on the Soho Escalator), See more locations here, 2810 9043, www.lifecafe.com.hk 

manafastfood

Mana! Fast Slow Food
Mana’s a place for all you mamas to kick back and relax with your little ones and soak in the restaurant’s eco-friendly ambiance, whether you’d rather opt for their alfresco seating or to take a seat inside on those piercingly hot summer days. While they don’t have a kids’ menu, we’ve heard from a source that previous mini-sized customers have gobbled down the veggie burgers and mana choconanas (rolled up flatbreads filled with bananas, chocolate and peanut butter). Environmentally minded and with an option to take away food if you’d rather spend your weekend at home, this restaurant is the perfect introduction to vegetarian food for your children that goes beyond unambitious boiled vegetables. It is, however, a little cramped and not entirely stroller-friendly.

Take a look at our full review here!

Mana! Fast Slow Food, 92 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong, 2851 1611, www.mana.hk

mask of si chuen

Mask of Si Chuen & Beijing
This modern Sichuan eatery not only has an exclusive vegetarian menu, but there’s even a range of mouth-watering options for the carnivores in your family. The old school cha caan teng is a long away from this urban restaurant, with soft lighting and unique decor choices (spot the vibrant masks hanging overhead!), making for a great atmospheric day out with the family. Thankfully, it’s pretty close to the East Tsim Sha Tsui station which makes it a little more convenient to get to if you’re coming by train, and its spacious layout makes pushing strollers around a dream.

Mask of Si Chuen & Beijing, Shop 33, G/F, MTR East Tsim Sha Tsui Station (Exit K), Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, 2311 9233, www.kingparrot.com

maya-cafe-hk

Maya Café
Mamas, who doesn’t love Mediterranean food? Luckily, the leading ladies over at Maya Café have put together a Mediterranean inspired vegetarian, raw and vegan menu that’ll have something even your little ones can get excited about. We love the sound of their Sir David dish, a terrine of ratatouille accompanied by a delicious side of potatoes that’ll have your kids excited to watch the film all over again! Or maybe their meatless balls in a wholesome tomato sauce sounds a little better to you? (Don’t tell your children there’s no beef in them, see if they can tell the difference!) For the vegan families out there, Maya Café also does a selection of refreshing zucchini pastas with nut and herb based sauces that will leave you healthy and happy. Using only organic food, their restaurant channels all the spirit of a laidback home in Morocco with a gorgeous outdoor terrace and Turkish chandeliers for a dose of atmosphere. Mamas with littles in strollers, keep in mind that there isn’t an awful lot of space inside the restaurant. However if the week’s taken its toll and you can’t bear the thought of leaving home, don’t worry – their delivery service is practically a godsend!

Maya Café, 5 Moon Street, Wan Chai, 2529 3319, www.mayacafe.com.hk

mum

Mum
We all live in a multicultural city mamas, so why not exploit that with Mum’s Asian and Western veggie-friendly menu? This restaurant is the perfect place for a lazy summer afternoon with a relaxing atmosphere that will rejuvenate even the most frazzled mama. Serving both vegetarian and vegan food with an aim to provide Hong Kong’s community with good home style cooking, we’ve heard this family-friendly restaurant’s vegetarian wontons put meaty options to shame and there’s always a new and exciting daily special. We’re sure your family will have a great time, but this’ll be our little secret mamas – Mum’s the word!

Mum, G07, G/F, One Island South, 2 Heung Yip Road, Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong, 2115 3348, www.mum-hk.com

nam-kee-h-laksa

Nam Kee H
Nam Kee H is the little sister of local favourite Nam Kee. The ‘H’ stands for health, hope and happiness, which is just what you want from a bowl of hearty noodle soup! There’s lots of veggie options on the menu, even for littlies, including vegetarian chicken satays and vegetarian laksa. For strict vegetarians, you’ll be pleased to know that Nam Kee H uses mushroom broth for the vegetarian Vietnamese pho instead of the traditional beef broth. This place gets super packed around lunch time, and like any traditional Chinese noodle joint, you have to take a number and wait to be seated. It might be best to go earlier or later than regular mealtimes to avoid the rush.

Nam Kee H, 1/F Kai Tak Commercial Building, 66-72 Stanley Street, Central, Hong Kong, 2536 0626, www.namkeenoodle.com.hk

oolaa

Oolaa
Chances are if you’ve wandered along Bridges Street, you’ll see this cool cat sprawling across the sidewalk. This 6,000 square foot restaurant is the place to be and be seen, designed with a laid back breezy atmosphere in mind, and feels like a gigantic outdoor terrace. The menu’s more a mature one here mama, with slightly pricier yet more innovative vegetarian options as well as meaty ones like pumpkin and mascarpone ravioli, however you’ll find the usual kiddy culprits like a buffalo mozzarella margarita pizza. With a constantly evolving menu with no end of options in sight, the gorgeous cocktail selection and wine list make this a great option for da ate night as well.

Oolaa, G/F, Bridges Street, CentreStage, Soho, Mid-Levels, Hong Kong, 2803, 2083, www.casteloconcepts.com

pure veggie house

Pure Veggie House
The words dim sum and vegetarian are two that most Hong Kong people probably don’t assume go together, but this family-friendly restaurant prides itself on its solely organic and additive-free veggie dim sum menu! Based around the concept of natural harmony, all of their ingredients are grown on their own ecological farm to ensure the best quality, meaning that every bite your littles take will be tasty and eco-friendly. With traditional seating on one side and more comfortable regular seating on the other, try to book in advance because this resto’s a bit of an open secret.

Pure Veggie House, 3/F, Coda Plaza, 51 Garden Road, Central, Hong Kong, 2525 0552, topstandard.com.hk

Top image sourced from Pinterest

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