There’s a good reason so many families flock to this happening neighbourhood!
A lot has changed in Sai Ying Pun over the past few years, and there’s a lot to love for families! When the MTR opened in 2015, the transformation began. Luckily, there is still a lot of the old-school Hong Kong charm as you wander past the low-rise buildings, local vendors and even the pungent aromas of the bustling wet market.
It is on the side of the hill, so it may be best to leave the stroller at home, but you can navigate your way up along Centre Street using the escalators. The MTR exits are also conveniently scattered from the bottom of the hill on Des Voeux and Queen’s Road West, halfway up on Second Street and all the way at the top on Bonham Road — make sure you check where you’re going so you don’t come out the wrong way!
You can easily fill a whole day in Sai Ying Pun, start with breakfast or a coffee in one of the fantastic, kid-friendly coffee shops, have a play in King George V park, or pack a picnic and chill by the waterfront at Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park (while the kids run around on one of the best grassy patches in Hong Kong) and finish it all off with dinner at one of the family restaurants on High Street. Don’t forget to stop in and do some shopping along the way too!
Family-Friendly Restaurants In Sai Ying Pun
There are a ridiculous number of family-friendly restaurants in Sai Ying Pun. It is actually impossible to try them all! A lot of the more western options are found along High Street (in between Centre and Western Streets) so if you want to wander around and pick something that looks good, this is the area to head to. One block further along High Street (between Centre and Eastern Streets) you’ll find more quick and cheap eats with Vietnamese, Thai, Korean and Chinese all on the menu. Further down the hill on Third Street, you’ll find smaller eateries and down around Queen’s Road West, there’s a huge variety of local restaurants and street food where you can be sure of picking the kids up a treat. Here are just a few of our favourites!
If you’re after pizza in Sai Ying Pun, Homeslice is where to head to. This neighbourhood pizzeria serves up Neapolitan-style pizzas, complete with an array of inventive toppings. Opt for classics such as the Quattro Formaggi or the spicy Diavola, or go a little different with the gorgonzola, walnut, pear and honey offering. Along with pizzas, Homeslice serves up a range of family-friendly sharing plates, desserts and milkshakes (which we know the kids will devour).
Homeslice, Shop 3, G, 321 Des Voeux Road West, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, www.homeslice.com.hk
This Aussie restaurant sits on High Street and its ambience is warm and welcoming. High chairs are readily available for your littlest ones, and as well as a varied breakfast, lunch and dinner menu, there’s also a crowd-pleasing kids’ menu for those whose opinions really matter. The menu has everything from pizza, pasta and steaks, to small plates, salads and dessert.
Another staple from Castelo Concepts (like St Barts and Ollies which are also on High Street). High Street Grill is a versatile option whether you are after a hearty breakfast, quick set lunch, dinner (be sure to check out the mid-week deals) or an afternoon happy hour drink in between. They’ve got a satisfying kids menu, and many of the dishes on the regular menu are sure to be all-round crowd-pleasers as well. It can get a bit noisy during peak times so just be aware if taking tiny tots. This local mama has been known to do a mama happy hour catch up here while the toddlers eat their dinner — cheers to multi-tasking!
With beautiful artwork adorning its walls, the atmosphere at the Flying Pig is as delicious as the food. Known for serving up hearty dishes such as burgers, fish and chips, brunch favourites and even a Sunday Roast (including all the trimmings and free-flow drinks!) it’s a great place to go with a group of friends and the menu is kid-friendly although space can be a bit tight.
If you’ve got the kids (or pets) in tow, try the sister restaurant, Flying Pig Deli on Centre Street. It’s a more casual affair which also offers takeaway options. There’s a sitting-out area directly outside so the kids can be let loose and there’s extra space with a large TV that can be used for events, along with the outdoor area.
Flying Pig Bistro, 62 High St, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong
Home Town Dumpling
If your family needs some cheap Chinese eats on the run, head to Home Town Dumpling for a selection of authentic noodles, rice and stir-fried dishes, along with plenty of cheap and delicious homemade dumplings!
Home Town Dumpling, 418 Queen’s Road West, Hong Kong
Situated next door to butcher, Bones & Blades, Quarter Master’s philosophy thinks beyond each ingredient and considers the environment from which it came, and only serves up top-quality steaks and burgers. Show me a family who doesn’t like a burger!
Another authentic Thai restaurant to try out in the Pun is Krua Walaiphan. All food here promises to be MSG-free, and the generously-sized portions are full of flavour and are reasonably priced, making it a winner in our books! This mama can’t get enough of the red curry or the pomelo salad. It can be a little cramped with young kids so maybe opt for a takeaway or delivery if you’ve got tiny tots in tow. We’re sure the kids will love the mango sticky rice dessert (ok maybe I just want a serve too!).
This little Indian restaurant on High Street serves up cheap and affordable Indian favourites. The lunch set is a great deal and there are also bargains to be had (like free naan or rice Monday to Thursday) when ordering home-delivery directly from the restaurant.
Family-Friendly Cafes In Sai Ying Pun
Mamas in need of caffeination are in luck — there seems to be a new coffee shop opening in Sai Ying Pun every other week! Some do brew better than others and not all have the space to accommodate our babyccino-loving little ones. These are our tried and tested favourites for everything from lattes to long blacks, or maybe a good cuppa tea.
Serving up a great selection of coffee and speciality teas, Polygon is perfect for your morning coffee on the run or lingering a little longer. We love the courtyard out the back which is perfect for containing little ones, as well as welcoming four-legged friends.
You can’t go wrong with a coffee from Coffee Academics (we’re big fans of the breakfast menu here too). The Sai Ying Pun branch isn’t the most kid-friendly (no high-chairs etc), but right outside is a small playground so grab your latte to-go and let the little ones have a runaround. This is also smack in the middle of the new Art Lane precinct, so it’s well worth wandering the laneways and checking out some of the colourful murals.
The Coffee Academics, Artisan House, 1-17 Sai Yuen Lane, Sai Ying Pung, Hong Kong, www.the-coffeeacademics.com
With locations popping up all over Hong Kong, NOC is well and truly taking over the island’s coffee scene. The roastery and café in Sai Ying Pun is where the magic happens, as all of its in-house blends and single origin coffees are roasted to perfection here. The large and airy space is lovely to kick back and enjoy your morning cuppa, or to grab a coffee whilst on the go. Expect expertly crafted coffees of all varieties, along with a selection of tasty food items, including brunch favourites, healthy salads and baked goods.
NOC Roastery, 321 Des Voeux Road West, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, www.noccoffeeco.com
This butcher’s shop, deli and restaurant hybrid offer quality products to eat in and take away. The dine-in menu serves an array of meaty plates for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and the in-house deli stocks everything from oils, spices and herbs, to dairy produce, pasta and much more – not forgetting the well-stocked butcher’s counter – just the thing if you’re hosting at home. Let them know you’re bringing little ones and high chairs can be provided.
With branches all over the city, French bakery and patisserie Eric Kayser has set up shop in Sai Ying Pun. We know our kids can’t say no to a croissant and it takes all our willpower not to indulge in all the fresh breads, cakes and pastries every time we visit. You can also pick up a range of to-go items such as sandwiches, salads and coffees. The tables are spacious (big enough to pull up a stroller) and high chairs are readily available.
Maison Eric Kayser, 75 High Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, www.maison-kayser.com.hk
This little cafe is super popular amongst the local expat crowd. Drop in for a hand-crafted coffee (or buy its speciality roasted beans to take home) and a delicious bite from the all-day dining menu — the avocado toast is a winner!
A favourite coffee shop of ours in the city has got be Winstons. It also has a location in Kennedy Town, but the branch in SYP is the original. Found right by Sai Ying Pun MTR Exit A1, we can’t get enough of the Aussie, hipster vibes and great coffee and food. There’s not a whole lot of room inside, so this one is great for your morning coffee on the go, or maybe on the way over to Sun Yat Sen Park.
Winstons Coffee, 213 Queen’s Road West, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, www.winstonscoffee.com
Another cute coffee shop to know about in SYP is Coffee by Zion. Opposite Exit B2 of the MTR, this coffee shop also offers bagels, sandwiches and more breakfast-friendly options alongside its coffees. Although small, we like it for its quirky vibes.
Where To Shop – Food And Groceries
While the wet markets can be a little daunting, they are a great option for sourcing fresh fruits, vegetables as well as seafood and meat if you’re game! The wet market in Sai Ying Pun is split across two buildings either side of the Centre and Second Street intersection. On the northwestern corner, you’ll find fruit, tofu, egg (10 free-range eggs for $16!) and flower stalls. There are also several cooked food stalls and on the lower level, you’ll find some alterations services (perfect if you need something simple like having pants taken up).
Across the road on the south-west corner (the two buildings are also connected by an overhead bridge), there is the vegetable market (see A-Tao’s below) as well as the fresh seafood market.
Sai Ying Pun Market, 44 and 45 Centre Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, www.fehd.gov.hk
If organic veg is what you’re after, then head over to this shop in the Sai Ying Pun Market on Centre Street, where they are always on hand to help you find what you are looking for. I go here to purchase most of my fresh vegetables and just love the affable service. A-Tao’s has also opened another shop, Honest Market, a little further down on Third Street.
A-Tao’s Vegetables Organic Corner, Sai Ying Pun Market, 43-47 Centre St, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong
As Hong Kong’s first, completely zero-waste and packaging-free grocery store, Live Zero stocks a huge array of organic products such as flours, grains, legumes, nuts, oats, granola, herbs, spices, pasta, oils and vinegar (to name but a few!). On top of pantry staples, the store also sells everything you need to reduce your plastic consumption, such as cleaning utensils, reusable cups, lunch boxes and cutlery, as well as stainless steel straws.
Live Zero, G/F, 33 High Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, www.livezero.hk
Whether you live in Sai Ying Pun or are just passing by, Bones and Blades is a great spot that is is worth knowing about. Stop by and pick up some quality cuts for your next family dinner. A butcher and delicatessen for conscious carnivores, it stocks a wide range of cuts, from chicken to sausages, beef rib, lamb rack, pork belly, sirloin steaks and more.
Read more: Top Tips For Shopping At The Wet Market
Where To Shop – Everything Else
Following on from the success of sister store, Live Zero, Live Zero Bulk Beauty is the city’s first plastic-free cosmetics store. Sticking to the same principles as Live Zero, the shop stocks only zero-waste and packaging-free products, with everything on offer from makeup and skincare to feminine products – even stocking biodegradable glitter! Along with its bulk-buy items (you can either bring your own containers or pick up some there from the selection of metal bottles, glass cosmetics jars and vials on offer!), you can also shop an array of reusable diapers and wipes, snack bags, food wraps and lunch boxes.
Live Zero Bulk Beauty, 24 High Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, www.livezero.hk/pages/bulk-beauty
This cool and decorative home goods store has everything from rugs and home décor, to furniture, textiles and more. Tried and tested, it’s a Sassy Mama favourite for all things interior design. A go-to for gifts, Thorn & Burrow also has a great range of toys, puzzles and reusables for the whole family.
Thorn & Burrow, 1/F, 30 High Street, Sai Ying Pun, www.thornandburrow.com
This hole-in-the-wall baby shop is easy to miss, but a godsend to new and expecting parents! The local owners are lovely and helpful and stock all the major brands like Medela and ErgoBaby (although they may need to order special items in). They’ll also match prices to the bigger retailers (although to be honest it’s normally cheaper here anyway!). For mums delivering at a public hospital, it stocks a hospital bag ready to go with all the items on your list and is conveniently located around the corner from Tsan Yuk Hospital, so you can pick it up after your prenatal appointment.
Petit Tippi is an online shop based here in Hong Kong which aims to provide Hong Kong parents with easy access to safe, sustainable, innovative and eco-friendly toys for babies. It has a showroom in Sai Ying Pun that’s currently only available by appointment for online order pick-ups and workshops but there are plans for a physical shop in the future. The list of brands that Petit Tippi carries is lengthy, so you’re sure to find whatever toy you’re looking for, as well any other eco-friendly baby-related supplies you might need too.
This little social enterprise welcomes your high-quality secondhand ladies wear and will sell it on consignment (giving you up to 30% of the sale price!). It’s a great little option for sourcing vintage designer wear at a bargain price point, while doing your bit for sustainable fashion. The branch in Sai Ying Pun only stocks ladies wear, but be sure to check out the Wan Chai and Tsuen Wan outlets for the kids’ edition “Green Little“.
Tak Chong Sum Kee Bamboo Steamer Company
This delicate yet busy little shop, situated on Western Street, is one of the very few standing shops left where all the items are still made by hand. This dying craft mesmerises us every time we enter this treasure trove. If you’re looking for a little bit of HK for your kitchen then head over to this store and marvel at a craft that is slowly being lost.
Tak Chong Sum Kee Bamboo Steamer Company, Hong Kong, 12 Western Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong
Things To Do With Kids In Sai Ying Pun
Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park, Sports Centre and Swimming Pool
Play for free at the Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park and enjoy the fragrant harbour whilst setting up a picnic on one of the very few wide open grass spaces HK has to offer. The grounds are sprawling and include top-notch facilities like basketball courts, a swimming pool complex and a football pitch, but we like just taking a stroll and enjoying the fresh sea breeze, before finding ourselves a relaxing spot on the grassy lawn, near a statue of Sun Yat Sen himself.
The kids will love scootering around the circular pathway and playing in the playground. For those days when it is just too hot outside (or too rainy, or too polluted), head indoors to the Sports Centre to take advantage of the free indoor playroom!
Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park, 16 Eastern Street North, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong
Central And Western District Promenade
Just around the corner from “Instagram Pier”, you’ll find a fantastic waterfront playground, right next to a little coffee shop (All Blue Coffee – not a huge menu, but will do the job if you need a caffeine hit) and a waterfront promenade that links up with Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park. While technically this playground is in Shek Tong Tsui, it’s close enough to SYP to mention in our guide!
Central And Western District Promenade, Western Wholesale Food Market, Shek Tong Shui, Hong Kong
King George V Memorial Park
This has become a favourite stomping ground for our little boy! There is a great playground with swings, a small slide for little ones, as well as a bigger pirate ship, climbing frame with more slides, a soccer pitch and basketball courts. Our toddler loves doing laps of the full, shady park and this mum appreciates that it is completely separated from the road so there is no risk of little ones escaping! If you want to get your kids involved in some activities, MiniSports runs regular public classes here too.
King George V Memorial Park, Hospital Road, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong (there is also an entrance on the corner of High and Eastern Streets)
The area around MTR Exit B3 has quickly become an Instagram hotspot known as Art Lane! There are works by some renowned Hong Kong-based artists, as well as international contributors. Take the kids down and get them to strike a pose! You’ll find murals adorning the walls along Chung Ching Street and Ki Ling Lane as well as the little alleyways and steps in between. Our favourites are “Transformation” which shows a modernising Hong Kong, as well as “Music Town” inspired by Viennese shop fronts.
Art Lane, Chung Ching Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on 29, September 2015 and updated by Jess Mizzi on 17, January 2020.