Hong Kong is one of the leading gastronomic capitals of the world. Restaurants, cafes and bakeries dot every inch of the city. Hong Kongers are passionate about their food choices. In spite of a well-defined dining out culture being prevalent in the city, Hong Kong residents do cook at home. As a result, the city features a multitude of food shopping locales including supermarkets and ‘wet markets’. Many Hong Kong’s grocery stores and supermarkets offer services like home-delivery and free parking for in-store shoppers. Aside from brick and mortar stores, the city also has quite a well-developed online grocery shopping culture. Purveyors of fine and imported meats, specialist foods and even popular supermarkets offer online shopping with varied payment options including ‘cash on delivery’, a rarity in the west.
Additionally, most supermarkets and even ‘wet markets’ have sections, which offer cooked and prepared foods aimed at office workers and those shoppers whorather or cannot cook at home. All these various services make food shopping in Hong Kong a breeze, though there are minor inconveniences in the form of non-availability of products at certain times. This situation arises because Hong Kong as a duty-free port imports much of its food needs, and sometimes there is a time lag between shipments. So even though Hong Kong’s grocery stores have a ready availability of foods from around the world, there will be times when you will find that your favorite foods are ‘out of stock.’
Wellcome and Park n Shop are the biggest and most visible supermarket chains in Hong Kong. Most neighborhoods in the city host at least one if not both outlets of these chains. Aside from regular stores, both these chains also have bigger, ‘superstores’ which tend to operate round the clock and carry a much larger selection than a neighborhood outlet of the chain.
Aside from their regular stores, Wellcome and Park n Shop also operate upscale supermarkets, which carry a wide range of international food and beverages. Stores like Jason’s Market Place, Oliver’s, and Three Sixty are owned and operated by the Dairy Farm International Company. Dairy Farm is the holding company of the Wellcome stores in Hong Kong. Similarly, the A.S. Watson group is the parent company behind the Park n Shop brand.
The company also owns and operates the Taste, International, Fusion supermarkets around Hong Kong and the Great Food Hall in Pacific Place. Besides these two main supermarket chains, food shopping options are also available at outlets of various other smaller supermarket chains such as CitySuper, Aeon MaxValu Prime and Jusco Living Plaza. More reasonably priced food shopping options are available at stores belonging to groups like DCH Food Mart, Kai Bo Food Market, and Vanguard.
In addition to these supermarkets, the food-shopping scene in Hong Kong also features stores that sell frozen meats and fish imported from around the world. One such well-known frozen meat supplier is Woo Hing Hong situated at the corner of Leighton Road in Causeway Bay. Such is the store’s popularity that it is not uncommon to see long lines outside its doors during business hours.
Large open-air, as well as covered market areas, are visible throughout Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s food and produce markets are commonly referred to as ‘wet’ markets. These markets, usually, feature vendors of fresh produce, meat, fish and poultry along with several other small businesses offering a variety of non-food related products.
Most local Hong Kongers visit these wet markets for their food shopping needs daily, but the wet markets with their many sights, sounds and smells take some getting used to for new arrivals into Hong Kong
Hong Kong’s most animated wet markets such as the Wan Chai Market, the Bowrington Road Market (Causeway Bay) and Chun Yeung Street Market (North Point) are popular tourist attractions as well.
Hong Kong’s farmer’s marketsare a fairly recent addition to its food-shopping scene. These markets like the Island East Marketsfeature many vendors of organic and fresh produce along with other artisan food producers. This market is held every Sunday at Quarry Bay from 11.00 am to 5.30 pm and is a hugely popular ‘foodies’ destination.
Hong Kong is home to a large international population. Folk who move to Hong Kong to live and work as well as well-traveled Hong Kongers and the SAR’s resident gourmands have a penchant for fine foods from around the world. This growing demand has given rise to a proliferation of food suppliers importing organic and fine food products from all over the globe. These purveyors of imported foods have both an offline and online presence.
Some of the most frequented outlets include:-
South Stream Seafoods- http://Wwww.south-stream-seafoods.com
Jett Foods- http://www.jettfoods.com
Il BelPaese -http://www.ilbelpaese.com.hk
Tenderloin Fine foods -http://www.tenderloin.com.hk
Monsieur Chatte- http://www.monsieurchatte.com
The Butchers Club- http://www.butchersclub.com.hk
The Kinoa Shop - http://kinoa-shop.com/organic-food/en/
Olive Tree Hong Kong - http://www.olivetreehk.com/store/
Hing Lung Food Place - http://www.meat.com.hk/english/home/default.asp
Gourmet online -http://www.gourmet.com.hk
Going locavore in Hong Kong
During recent times, Hong Kongers have developed a healthy interest in eating locally produced, in-season foods. The city now hosts various food outlets providing fresh, organicproduce and foods procured from small farms in Hong Kong itself. Popular names include: -
Homegrown foods- http://www.homegrownfoods.com.hk
In order to cater to the food shopping needs of Hong Kong’s various ethnic communities, Hong Kong has a well-developed network of specialist grocery stores.
South Asian Grocery Stores
Hong Kong is home to a significant South Asian population. Hence, grocery stores carrying South Asian fresh and packaged food products can be found in almost every neighborhood of the city.
The constantly changing directory of names currently includes: -
Trinity Taste of India –
Spice Box organics-http://www.spiceboxorganics.com
Greens Hong Kong -http://www.greens.com.hk
Spice Store Hong Kong-http://www.spicestore.hk/
Maharaja Indian Emporium- Phone-+85227565611/23662941
Indian Provision Store at Chung King Mansion – Phone + 852 2368 2158
Indian Provision Store Bowrington Road Market- Phone+852 2891 9104
Kiran’s Provision Store –Phone- +852 2736 781/ 27235672
Ali Baba Provision Store–Indian and Pakistani Foods- +852 9580 5173
Pearl Lanka Sri Lankan groceries and foods -http://www.pl3hk.com
Japanese foods and ingredients are easily available at many local Hong Kong supermarkets. Additionally a larger selection and choice of these goods is available at the Japanese supermarkets housed within Hong Kong’s Sogo, Yata and Apita department stores. Japanese food products are easily available at stores belonging to the Aeon MaxValu Prime and Jusco Living Plaza chain of stores.
Thai, Filipino and Indonesian Groceries
Hong Kong’s foreign domestic helper population hails from countries like the Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand. Hence, stores offering fresh, prepared and packaged foods from these countries are present in many wet markets around the city.
The Shing Fat Coconut and Spices limitedis one a family-run establishment, located in the heart of Wan Chai market. The store offers a wide array of South-East Asian foods and spices including exotic ingredients like cold-pressed coconut oil, freshly grated coconut, curry pastes and so forth.
US-made packaged foods are hugely popular in Hong Kong. The city thus has stores like Prize mart, Gateway, A&M US Groceries and the American Grocery in MongKok that offer a wide range of packaged foods and toiletries directly imported from the USA.
The Koshermart located within the Jewish Community Centre adjacent to the Ohel Leah Synagogue at Robinson Road in the Midlevels offers a wide range of kosher foods directly imported from the USA and Israel.
The citywide branches of the Marks and Spencer’s chain of stores house-in-store supermarkets offering an assortment of British eats.
Korean cuisine is also much favored in Hong Kong. Most local Hong Kong supermarket chains carry a selection of Korean foods. Kimberley Street in TsimShaTsui is widely regarded as Hong Kong’s Koreatown and located here are many excellent Korean restaurants and grocery stores like Korea Mart.
Taiwanese foods are also stocked at various local Hong Kong grocery stores though Huang Shang Huang in Kowloon Bay is a specialized Taiwanese grocery store in Hong Kong.
South African Foods
If you need to follow a gluten-free diet for health or fitness reasons, you need not worry. Hong Kong abounds with stores, which sell a wide array of gluten-free eats suitable for adults and children imported from all over the world.
The best stores offering gluten-free foods in Hong Kong include: -
Little Giant Hong Kong-http://www.littlegianthk.com/en_index.php
Health Essentials - http://www.health-essential.net/index.php?lang=en
Just Green - http://justgreen.com.hk
Nature’s Blessing - http://www.naturesblessing.com.hk