After a dreadfully long summer, winter is finally here! We’re basically cartwheeling around the room with joy, and you couldn’t keep us inside even if you tried. At this time of year, alfresco dining is always extremely pleasant. Here are a few dining spots for an alfresco meal around town with gardens, balconies and alleyway seating for you to really make the most of outdoor meals.
Artisan Garden Cafe
Artisan Cafe’s second branch in Shek Tong Tsui (opposite Teakha Kitchen) is run by two partners, one of which (Rensis) is a vintage enthusiast whose passion for old-fashioned items starts from collectibles and ranges all the way to the clothes on his back. During his college years in New York he frequented the flea market on weekends and began his retro coffee cup collection, which he still collects to this day: now he serves coffee to his customers in them. The place is well known for those cups which he hangs on a wall in store (an Instragram favorite), but what we love equally as much is the cute garden located out back. The cosy outdoor dining area can hold more than 10 people and a little birdie tells us that for now customers are even allowed to bring a bottle wine to enjoy out there while an alcohol licence is in the cards for the future.
23 Po Tuck Street, Shek Tong Tsui, 2548-3261. Open Tuesday-Friday 8:15am-8pm, Friday 8:15am-10pm, Saturday-Sunday 10am-10pm. facebook.com/artisangardencafe1.
Bread & Beast
Behind this killer sandwich shop in Wan Chai is a cozy outdoor setup, and with the picture above you can already guess what kind of vibe is going on inside. In the fridge, there are a couple of options from Hitachino Nest — which you can also get on tap alongside local brewer Young Masters Ale. But more to the point, try the Ngau Lam Wich, a toasted beef brisket sandwich that will make you fall in love with fusion food, all over again. With cosy seating out back, lovely sammiches and beers and a excellent playlist, it’s a real top spot.
3 Swatow Street, Wan Chai, 9120-6869. Open Monday-Friday 12pm-8:30pm, Saturday 10am-8pm, Sunday 11:30am-8pm. breadandbeasthk.com.
Tucked into the back of World of Amazing Wonders (WOAW) is one of Western District’s best coffee shops and Elephant Grounds’ smallest branch, which deals in ice-cream sandwiches, soft cookies and Swiss choc mochas. More importantly, there’s a beautiful balcony at the back of the store with a few pot plants, seating and a great view of the Kau U Fong lane.
11 Gough Street, Sheung Wan, 2253-1313. Open Monday-Saturday 11am-9pm, Sunday 12pm-7pm. www.elephantgrounds.com.
Not too far from Sai Ying Pun station you can find Crispy Bistro, a small cafe and bistro with one of the city’s best kept secrets out back. Its secret garden, hand-painted by the staff themselves, makes for the perfect place to enjoy one of the breakfast sets that comes with muffins, scones and croissants with scrambled eggs ($34, add $20 for a long black on the side). In the evening this place also transforms into a mini bar open as late as 2am some days.
32 Second Street, Sai Ying Pun, 2540-9166. Open daily 8am-11pm. www.facebook.com/crispybistro.
Although it’s not technically a bar, this craft beer specialist keeps at least one of every beer on the shelf (from several different countries) in the fridge, as well as having six beers on tap. Here you can grab individual beers, 3-piece take home packs (from $100) and growlers which all can be enjoyed on one of a dozen stools outside which backs onto the same alley as Teakha (Old Kat Cheong Street).
22-24A Tai Ping Shan Street, Sheung Wan, 6274-3130. Open Monday-Saturday 12pm-9pm. craftissimo.hk
Just a couple of meters down from Craftissimo is Nana Chan‘s original Teakha branch which also offers a few seats and some sitting grass in Old Kat Cheong Street. Here you can enjoy some fresh air while you sip some of their signature floral or herbal tea (either brewed or cooked alongside a pineapple bun sandwich with scrambled eggs, tomato basil and ham or some homemade pancakes with bacon and caramelized banana ($72)
18 Tai Ping Shan Street, Sheung Wan, 2858-9185. teakha.com.