Vegetarian’s Guide to Local Restaurants

To be clear and upfront, this post is not about vegetarian restaurants in Hong Kong. Rather, this is a list of recommendations on what to order at any typical local restaurant. Also, this is for vegetarians who are less strict, meaning you’re OK with your food being cooked in a kitchen that also serves meat. For example, the oil used to deep fry some of these items may have also deep fried meat products. If you are pretty strict, stick with fully vegetarian restaurants.

OK, let’s get to the food!

Hong Kong Style Cafes

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Egg Sandwich 蛋治
Simple yet delicious: scrambled eggs between two slices of bread. You can also get the bread toasted for an additional fee (HK$1-3).

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Hong Kong Style French toast 西多士
In this localized version of French toast, you will find peanut butter sandwiched between two pieces of white bread, dipped in egg, and deep fried to perfection. You can adjust the butter on top and syrup to taste.

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Pineapple Bun with Butter 菠蘿油
This iconic cafe staple was listed as one of Hong Kong’s intangible cultural heritages in 2014! Crispy and slightly sweet on the top, soft and fluffy on the bottom, this classic is commonly eaten with a thick slab of butter melting in the middle. For more information on pineapple buns and the different varieties, check out our blog post about it.

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Photo credit: http://m.spyl.zhaoshang01.com/

Scrambled Eggs and Tomatoes Over Rice 鮮茄炒蛋飯
Saucy, sweet and savory, this tasty dish will be sure to fill you up and leave you satisfied.

Eat this with a local insider

Noodle Shops

As a general rule of thumb, all noodle soups should be avoided because the soup base is generally a meat stock (pork, chicken, shrimp, fish, etc.)

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Ginger and Scallion Mixed Noodles (Lo Mein) 薑蔥撈麵
These light egg noodles are topped with a healthy serving of ginger and scallions for flavoring. This dish will come with a side of soup, but avoid drinking this as it will probably be a meat based soup.

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Boiled Veggies with a side of oyster sauce 油菜
As a side to the noodles, add a plate of boiled veggies. The options for the type of veggie will change with the seasons. There is oyster sauce that comes with it so if that is off limits, order it without the sauce.

Street Food

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Rice Rolls 齋腸粉
One of the most common street foods, rice rolls are made with ground up rice and then steamed. When fully loaded with sauces, it will come with soy, sesame, hoisin, and hot sauce and then topped with white sesame.

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Eggettes 雞蛋仔
With a batter made from eggs, flour and evaporated milk; this is a favorite snack for the both kids and adults. Besides the original flavor, sometimes they will come in a variety of other flavors such as chocolate chip, matcha, taro, etc. For more information on eggettes and crazy flavors, check out our blog post about it.

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Waffles 格仔餅
Made with a similar batter to the eggettes from above, Hong Kong style waffles are topped with butter, peanut butter, condensed milk, sugar, and then folded in half for easy consumption. Warning: have extra tissues because this does get messy.

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Photo credit: https://girleatworld.net/

Noodles in a Bag
This DIY snack allows you to choose the type of noodles and a variety of toppings, which can include vegetarian options such as corn, cucumbers, bean sprouts, and black fungus. They even have spinach noodles!

To learn more about popular street foods (although not all vegetarian), check out our video!

Congee (rice porridge) Shops

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Plain Congee 白粥
This is the base version of the rest of the congees. It’s just boiled down white rice. Although plain and simple in taste, it will go well with the following two items!

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Chinese Donut 油条
Even though it’s dubbed as the Chinese donut, it is far from the donuts of the western world. First and foremost, it is savory instead of sweet. It comes in a pair and people commonly use their hands to rip it apart and dip into their congee, like this…

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Soy Sauce Fried Noodles 豉油皇炒麵
A Hong Kong classic, this dish of fried noodles will have bean sprouts, yellow onions, green onions, and sometimes carrots.

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Zha liang 炸兩
As a variety of the Chinese donut, zha liang is a Chinese donut that is wrapped in a sheet of rice roll, sliced, and topped with soy sauce. The ideal zha liang will have a soft and tender outside from the rice roll and crispy inside from the donut.

We know it’s hard sometimes because there is so much hidden meat in everything, but we hope this list will make your life a little bit easier.

Sam the Local connects you to people so that you have access to word-of-mouth knowledge that can’t be found through forums or Top 10 lists. Our Locals build an itinerary based on your interests and then take you to see the things based on the itinerary. Pick a Local to book for your Outing, and please reach out if you have any questions.

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