If it’s lunchtime, start with a five-minute taxi ride to Seventh Son and fuel up with some light dim sum as your first course (you have to have some dim sum every day, right?)—perhaps a few rice paper rolls, prawn dumplings, or glazed barbecued pork and scrambled eggs with prawns. The restaurant may look humble, but it’s a favorite of Hong Kong’s tycoons. Next, walk away from the harbor to Johnston Road and Tang Tang Tang Tang, the lifestyle boutique on the ground floor of a restored heritage building. Inside, you’ll find Sir David Tang’s take on modern Chinese luxury: designer rice cookers, flowing silk pajamas, eye-catching umbrellas, and monogrammed leather goods. Just upstairs, the Pawn restaurant has a gorgeous balcony on the first floor, overlooking Wan Chai’s main drag and the trams going by. (It’s a stunning place for a cocktail on a balmy evening later during your stay.) But now, it’s off to the second half of lunch on Ship Street, home to restaurants like Bo Innovation, which serves molecular, progressive (some say too progressive) Chinese food; tapas bar 22 Ships; Ham & Sherry and an outpost of New York’s Motorino Pizza. Once you’ve had your fill, it’s time to do a bit more exploring. Hit the Cupping Room on nearby Swatow Street, like Hong Kong’s coffee fanatics, for a proper cup. Continue on Johnston Road, and turn right into Tai Wong Street, the heart of Wan Chai Market, one of the oldest retail hubs in Hong Kong. While you may not need neon-blue sweatpants, quail eggs, or salted fish, the riot of colors, sounds, and smells here provides you a great introduction to local life. It’s also the way to Serge et le phoque, a very creative casual French restaurant opened by the team behind popular Paris restaurant Le Chateaubriand.
From the greenery of the Wan Chai Park Community Garden, take the Queen’s Road East back into the bustle of the city. You’ll pass Times Square Hong Kong as you approach via Hennessy Road. Wan Chai Station is nearby for an easy commute.
SEVENTH SON: ⅚ & 6/F Kwan Chart Tower, 6 Tonnochy Rd. +852-2892-2888; seventhson.hk
TANG TANG TANG TANG 62 Johnston Rd.; +852-2525-2112; tangtangtangtang.com.hk; Open 10:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday to Sunday
THE PAWN: 62 Johnston Rd.;+852-2866-3444; thepawn.com.hk
BO INNOVATION: Shop 13,2/f, J Residence; 60 Johnston Rd; +852-2850-8371; boinnovation.com
22 SHIPS: 22 Ship St.; +852-2555-0722, 22ships.hk
HAM & SHERRY: 1-7 Ship St.;+852-2555-0628; hamandsherry.hk
MOTORINO PIZZA: 15 Ship St.; +852-2520-0690; motorinopizza.com
CUPPING ROOM: 32 Swatow St.; +852-2371-2338; facebook.com/CuppingRoomHK
SERGE ET LE PHOQUE: Shop B2, Tower 1, The Zenith, 3 Wan Chai Rd.; +852-5465-2000