Cheap and cheerful lunch options around Times Square

First a word of warning, this post is not meant to be a complete list of lunch options in Wan Chai or Causeway Bay (check out Open Rice or other blogs for this) and it is according to my own taste. It might not suit you. Also note that the places I regularly visit for lunch are options that are cheap and cheerful, so usually lunch will be around 50-70 HKD for one dish and drink.

Wan Chai snack option

Here is a list of different options, in no particular order:

Keung Kee 強記美食
G/F, Chuang’s Enterprises Building, 382 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai
This stall serves street food – and it is famous for its glutinous rice (around 30 HKD per portion – but portion sizes are small). The rice is made several times throughout the day (that’s how popular it is) and if you don’t know where this small shop is, just follow the sweet smell of the Chinese sausages! Keung Kee also sells rice noodle rolls and other snacks, but I’ve never tried those – it’s the rice that the shop owners are famous for!

Chiu Hing Fishball Rice Noodle 潮興魚蛋粉
Shop B, 364-366 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai
For a little over 30 HKD you can get a big bowl of wonton dumplings with or without noodles – and the wontons are really tasty with big and fresh prawns. I’ve not tried the fish balls, but one of my colleagues could be considered a fish ball expert – and he would say that yes, the ones that Chiu Hing sells are pretty good!

Nam Kee Spring Roll Noodle Co. Ltd 南記粉麵
G/F,1-3 Morrison Hill Road, Wan Chai
Always long queues at lunch here… so again, this is a takeaway spot rather than a dine-in. Nam Kee has several outlets on Hong Kong Island, this one is the closest to Times Square. Unfortunately the staff does not speak English, so I usually need to rely on my colleagues to help me place an order – I like the red soup base with the pork and pickled cabbage, which is sweet and spicy. Other options are the clear soup broth with the noodles and the spring rolls (the Nam Kee spring rolls are chewy and different from the crispy dim sum ones).

Nam Kee

TamJai SamGor Mixian 譚仔三哥米線
G/F, Island Building, 439-441 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay
There are two outlets close to Times Square, but this one is newer, bigger (hence more space – but still it gets very busy at lunch) and some staff members speak English. I like the peppery soup base and often go there for the soup with the pickled cabbage and the minced pork.

Sam Gor Soup

Wan Lam Noodles 雲南桂林過橋米線
G/F., 450 Lockhart Road, Causeway Bay
Another soup noodle option… this time Yunnan style, so the noodles are made from sweet potato and the soup includes peanuts. The minced pork is a good option, and I love to add turnips to my soup. Portion sizes are huge, you can eat in or out and there is a short English menu.

Wan Lam Noodles

Szechuan Restaurant 滿江紅小甜甜
G/F, 393 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai
Slightly more expensive than 50-70 HKD per person for lunch and you need to go with several people, but very good Szechuan food – hot and spicy!

Dragon Dumpling House Dumpling Pro
Wanchai rich ground floor, 243 Jaffe Road, Wan Chai
As the name says, a good place to eat dumplings – tasty, yummy and freshly made.

Dumpling Pro

New Bangkok Restaurant
366 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai
This is one of the best Thai restaurants in Hong Kong – with great lunch offer. A Tom Yum Gung soup with a drink (coconut milk or longan juice) will set you back around 40 HKD, the green curry has lots of vegetables and the fried rice can be very spicy. I’ve tried many dishes on the menu and they are all very good (just don’t go for the Vietnamese soup or the Haianese chicken – those dishes are fine, but it’s the Thai ones that are really good!).

First Korean (I think it’s now called Korea Pavilion)
232 Wan Chai Road, Wan Chai
The restaurant is tucked away in an alleyway and not easy to find. But the food is good, so do look out for it. This is slightly more expensive, but still under 100 HKD for lunch. The set menus include side dishes and tea. You can’t eat BBQ at lunch, but they still serve meat on hot plates. I usually go for bibim bap or a kimchi soup.

Kabata Japanese
3 Wood Street, Wan Chai (it’s behind CC Wu building)
A good Japanese restaurant with an extensive lunch menu at very affordable prices – it is frequented by students from close-by schools, so if you go at lunch you might have to wait! I usually eat in and have the tempura udon or the sukiyaki. But the sushi is also good!

Kabata

Hana Musubi
Shop G7, G/F, CC Wu Building, 302-308 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai
This is a shop only, so you can only do takeaway – and they do lots of rice balls, healthy soup and salads plus some warm dishes that change every other week – they range from chicken teriyaki over grilled salmon. It is a chain store, but nonetheless it is a good option for a quick and healthy lunch.

Vietnamese Restaurant 越南蔡
440 Jaffe Road, Causeway Bay
Lunch menus for around 50 HKD, they come with a starter (soup, dumplings or sausages) and a drink. The main dishes are the classic Vietnamese soups, rice dishes and noodle bowls – I like that you can ask for extra chilis, lemon and herbs and they give it to you for free. Also they are very generous with sauces and sides.

Istanbul Express Turkish Restaurant 伊斯坦堡特快
G/F, 66 Lockhard Road, Wan Chai
I am not the biggest fan of kebab for lunch and I also think that the kebab options in Hong Kong are not great – however, for some grilled meat, salad and rice, this is a solid option. I would just skip the sauces as I don’t think they are always fresh. But apart from that, this could be a good option if you don’t fancy a noodle soup or rice dish for lunch.

Istanbul Express Turkish

Anymore to add? Let me know and I will give them a go!

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2 responses to “Cheap and cheerful lunch options around Times Square

  1. What a nice, comprehensive list of cheap eateries… makes me jealous not to work in wan chai. TST mainly offers tourist traps or overpriced food. even really local shops are not as cheap as elsewhere …

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