All the reasons to visit Hong Kong in 2023
The city is finally open fully to international travellers, which means it’s time to get reacquainted with this dynamic hub of food, drink and culture
Monday 16 January 2023 By Gavin Yeung
There’s no denying that Hong Kong has undergone some of the toughest years in recent memory, but as the city finally drops all border restrictions, there’s no better time to explore all the new sights and experiences that it has to offer.
A lot has changed, so get your bearings with our guide on what to eat, see and do in Hong Kong this year – including a long-awaited return to Soho House Hong Kong for many of us.
Best restaurants to book
Mora: Chef Vicky Lau of two-Michelin-starred Tate Dining Room branched out into soy-forward food last year with casual fine-dining restaurant Mora, where tofu (made at Lau’s own soy factory, no less) is king across the tasting menu.
The Chairman: Previously crowned number one on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, The Chairman offers innovative Cantonese food made to seem timeless in new digs inspired by proprietor Danny Yip’s home. Don’t miss the camphor wood-smoked goose and steamed flower crab.
Wing: Having made his name by reworking French fine dining with Cantonese elements at VEA, chef Vicky Cheng fully leaned into his roots with the opening of Wing in 2021, where Chinese food is reconstituted in creative, modern and surprising ways.
Hop Sze Restaurant: For no-fuss, home-style Cantonese dishes, head to the new location of this cult favourite in the food lovers’ neighbourhood of Tin Hau. The soy sauce chicken and shrimp toast are unmissable.
Big JJ: Hotpot is a year-round national pastime for Hongkongers. Experience it at this irreverent eatery where the best cuts of local beef are served with a wine curation that rivals many fine-dining establishments, with a healthy helping of classic Cantopop.
Best places to grab a drink
Soho House Hong Kong: No matter the time, grabbing a drink at Soho House is always a good idea: whether you’re after post-brunch Champagne in the Pool Room or ending your night with a Picante in the club. There’s always something fun going on at the House, so if a party is what you’re after, then check the SH.APP to find the right event for you.
The Aubrey: Crowning the top of the Mandarin Oriental, this Japonisme-inspired bar serves a menu of shochu-forward cocktails in glamorous surroundings.
Argo: Innovation is the name of the game here, with a seasonal thematic menu and a list of boundary-breaking spirits served within a stunning, double-height space of concentric design.
DarkSide: Old-world sophistication defines a drinking experience at Rosewood Hong Kong’s cocktail bar, with cigars, chocolate, aged spirits and live jazz performances to boot.
COA: We would be remiss not to recommend this mezcal-focused bar, which has placed at the top of Asia’s 50 Best Bars for two years running. You can’t go wrong with ordering the Bloody Beef Maria.
Best places to explore
M+: A world-class museum of visual culture with one of Asia’s most comprehensive collections of modern art and design.
Tai Kwun: A cultural centre with an art museum, theatre, restaurants and bars inside a sprawling, colonial-era former police station.
Lei Yue Mun: Peek into Hong Kong’s history with a walk along this fishing village, ending with a dinner at one of the area’s many seafood restaurants.
Cheung Chau: Get away from the hustle of the city with a day trip to this charming island.
Sham Shui Po: Hong Kong’s grittiest neighbourhood is also ground zero to a pandemic-era boom in cafes, as well as home to a number of youth-oriented boutiques.
Best places to stay
The Upper House: A sleek luxury hotel designed by homegrown name André Fu, the rooms here are spacious and offer panoramic views of the city on all sides.
Eaton Hotel: It’s all quirky interiors and nods to Hong Kong’s subcultures here, serving as the perfect launchpad into the nitty-gritty of Kowloon.
Tuve: With its spartan concrete interiors laced with gold, this is one hotel where contemplation is at the heart of the experience.
The Fleming: Decked out in cardinal red, brass accents, and the same shade of green as Hong Kong’s iconic Star Ferry, to book a room here is to immerse yourself in the visual motifs of the city’s colonial era.
Landmark events in 2023
Clockenflap: Hong Kong’s flagship music festival makes a return this March after four years of cancellations, with headline acts such as Arctic Monkeys, Phoenix and FKJ announced so far.
Art Basel: March also marks the city’s descent into a frenzy of all things art, led by competing fairs Art Basel and Art Central. Galleries across town also save their best exhibitions for this time.
Dragon Boat Festival: Hong Kong is blanketed in the sound of drums every June, when this traditional festival takes place across the city’s many bodies of water. It’s imperative to eat zong (steamed glutinous rice dumplings) during this time.
Planning a trip to the city? Book a dinner at Soho House Hong Kong. To apply for membership at Soho House Hong Kong, click here.