If you love food, Hong Kong is the place to be. It's full of high-end Michelin-starred restaurants and cheap, tasty street food. It's both incredibly modern and fiercely traditional, and its food is as international and diverse as the people who live there. If you're in town for a visit, the culinary options can be just a little overwhelming. Start with these six foods, then move on from there.
1. Dim Sum
You haven't really experienced dim sum until you've tried it in Hong Kong, with way more creative options and more luxe ingredients than you'd typically find in the U.S. This tantalizing spread of small dishes is a food lover's heaven—everything from dumplings, buns, and noodles to stir-fried clams, boiled tripe, and braised chicken feet, all washed down with endless pots of tea. Here's a tip: For some of the best dim sum in the city, check out all-you-can-eat menus at the nicer hotels in town.
2. Roast Goose
One of HK's most famous dishes, this traditional Cantonese specialty is a whole goose roasted until the skin is crisp and crackling and the meat is tender and juicy. The most authentic restaurants import birds directly from the Guangdong region, which is famous for its geese. Eating roast goose in HK is a tourist attraction in itself (in fact, some restaurants will even pack it up for you to take on the plane home!). Those in the know head to Yung Kee or Yue Kee restaurants to sample their famous birds.
3. Roast Suckling Pig
Roast suckling pig is another classic dish you'll find on many menus in Hong Kong. Be warned: It's definitely not for the squeamish; if you order a whole one it'll be presented from head to toe, literally. As with the goose, it's all about the skin—it should be shatteringly crisp and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Kimberley Chinese Restaurant is famous for its roast pig, and goes one step further by stuffing the porker with sticky rice, which soaks up all the meaty juices as it cooks.
4. Typhoon Shelter Crab
Spicy, messy, and totally addictive, this dish of fresh crab fried with scallions, chilies, and garlic is a Hong Kong specialty. It started out as a casual street food served at open-air stalls and typhoon shelters, where boats would dock to ride out bad weather. While you'll see it at various restaurants in the city, you'll find one of the best versions at Under Bridge Spicy Crab. (Even Anthony Bourdain is a fan.)
5. Claypot Rice
This warming one-pot meal is a can't-miss during the winter months. Traditional clay cooking vessels are filled with rice, then topped with everything from preserved sausage to eel to mushrooms to eggs. It's covered and cooked over charcoal, resulting in a layer of highly prized browned, crispy rice at the bottom of the pot. There are plenty of new restaurants serving more modern versions of claypot, but for something more traditional, head to Kwan Kee, a no-frills spot that's been in business for more than 20 years.
6. Street Food
In most Asian cities, you'll find tons of cheap, delicious eats sold by bustling street hawkers and stands in just about every neighborhood—and HK is no exception. The options are endless, but keep an eye out for curry fish balls, rolled rice noodles (called cheung fun), deep fried squid, egg tarts, sweet egg waffles, and stinky tofu (which thankfully tastes better than it smells).
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