Many restaurants, cafes, and joints offer American food, but it can be difficult to know which are worth the visit. Find out our top picks so you can eat and be merry this 4th of July.
How to Eat Like a New Yorker in Hong Kong for a Day
by: Rubin Verebes
September 13, 2021
The great east coast city of New York shares a lot in common with its cousin in Asia, Hong Kong. New York is the food capital of the West, whilst arguably Hong Kong takes first place for the East. Cheap eats with shabby outdoor dining corner Michelin-starred three-course meal restaurants. A simple bodega or dai pai dong lunch can cost no more than HK$50.
Both cities have earned their titles as meccas for food in respect to their waves of immigration brining spices and flavors, local appetite for savory and sweet, and a lust for the delicious at every moment in the day.
New Yorkers in Hong Kong city number to the 1,000s, yet many live more Cantonese and Western in respect to what they eat and chew. But not to worry! We’ve collected the best New York-style delis, restaurants, and cafes to show how you can eat like a New Yorker for a day in Hong Kong!
Breakfast: 8:00AM - Schragels
Since its founding in 2014 by banker-turned-bagel maker Rebecca Schrage, Schragels has been filling the stomachs of upset and home-sick New Yorkers with handmade bagels.
With Cantonese and Jewish-New York blood, Rebecca has been at the helm of Schragels, striving to carry on the tradition of her grandparents’ ventures and operation of Jewish delis in New York in the 1950s and ‘60s, with the bagel recipe passed down to today’s Hong Kong bagel outlet.
Schragels opens from 8 AM till 6 PM, offering Manhattan and Brooklyn breakfast and lunch-favorites such as Loxy Lady (smoked salmon, cream cheese, capes, red onions; HK$90), Schmoked Whitefish (smoked mackerel salad, tomato; HK$90), and SchBLAT (bacon, lettuce, avocado, tomato; HK$100).
Their flagship bagel, a signature rendition of a Reuben sandwich, the SchReuben, blends bagel magic and an age-old New York tradition (bagel, brown mustard, beef pastrami, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese; HK$90). Customers can also customize their plain bagel with the “schmear me” - for HK$50 spreads of plain, honey and pecan, and scallion can be mixed with plain, poppy seed, sesame, onion, and cinnamon raisin bagels.
Location: Schragels, 37 Graham St, Central, Hong Kong
Morning snack: 11:30 AM - Main St. Deli
Operating in TST for 20 years, Main Street Deli is one of the oldest establishments in Hong Kong to sell New York-deli inspired treats. Their menu covers traditional immigrant-Jewish deli starters, from mini knish (corned beef potato cakes; HK$88), latkes (potato cakes with apple sauce; HK$88), and matzoh ball soup (with matzah meal dumplings and chicken fat; HK$98).
Their menu is grand and offers to a wide range of hungry New York expats and Seinfeld-bingers. Patrons can choose from burgers and New York- style hot dogs, triple decker sandwiches, fan favorite Bronx Beef & Bacon (portobello, lettuce, tomato, provolone cheese; HK$255), and classic New York sandwiches.
A must-try for a morning snack popping out of work is the Deli’s New York Style Hot Dog, a beef frankfurter, served with sauerkraut, mustard on a soft sesame bun (HK$ 138), or for sweet tooths, an all-American sugar-packed Signature New York Cheesecake (HK$ 128).
Location: Main St. Deli, Lower Lobby Level, The Langham, 8 Peking Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Work lunch: 1:00 PM - Fat Chad's
New Yorkers from the Upper East Side, Greenwich Village, and Chelsea sure know what a bagel, pastrami, and a knish is, but real Bronxers know what real sandwich magic is with two slices of bread and a dream filling of choice. Fad Chad’s in Sai Ying Pun is a must and go-to for hungry office workers and Instagrammers on a lunchtime break for classic New York pieces.
Curated by former Michelin-star chefs and Paris-trained culinary experts, Fad Chad’s does New York’s most famous (above 110th Street and in non-Manhattan boroughs) sandwiches the best. For one, the infamous Harlem Chopped Cheese (ground beef/lamb, provolone cheese, tomato, lettuce, onion, mayo, hero roll; HK$130/140) with ingredients rooted in Latina culture. We are always hungry for their quick easy half-sized Rueben (corned beef brisket, kraut, mozzarella, Russian dressing, sour dough HK$70).
Fat Chad’s top sandwiches include a rendition of Bronx’s The Cubano (slow cooked pork shoulder, ham, Swiss cheese, dill pickles; HK$135) and the Poulet Tikka Masala (corn- fed chicken breast, leg and liver patty, cucumber pickle, green papaya, beer naan flatbread; HK$120), an homage to the Little India Jackson Heights neighborhood in Queens.
Location: Fat Chad's, 119B Second Street, Sai Wan, Hong Kong
Afternoon coffee: 3:30 PM - The Diner
The Diner is a classic American diner located at Arbuthnot Road in Central that provides a traditional American experience, albeit the vibe and Nuevo-chic appearance that New York diners in the ‘90s brought to the city.
They are most well-known for their jam-packed cheese sandwiches, namely the McCarthy (ham, cheddar cheese, mozzarella, Monterey Jack, sourdough bread; HK$98) and the Willie Nelson (cheddar cheese, bourbon bacon jam, griddled sourdough; HK$98).
Their selection of breakfast and brunch items all offer bottomless coffee, named by some weekly patrons of The Diner as the best in the city for a cup of American Joe. Recommended all-day breakfast item is the Breakfast Burrito (HK$108), white bread tortilla, with Mexican chorizo, cheddar cheese, and scrambled egg.
Location: The Diner G/F, Shiu King Court, 4-8 Arbuthnot Rd, Central, Hong Kong
Late dinner: 7:00 PM - Morty’s
Die-hard New Yorkers and eager fans of the Manhattan deli experience have obsessed over Morty’s Delicatessen ever since its establishment in 2016. Open for all three meals of the day, all meats sold at Morty’s are smoked in-house and cured using family recipes passed down by “Morty’s great grandfather.”
Veterans and fans of the chain laud the 45-day meat aging process that perfects the smoked taste of pastrami. Sold at both Central and Wanchai branches, the signature Classic Pastrami (HK$ 125), including unlimited pickles and a choice of coleslaw, potato salad, french fries, or soup, is highly recommended. The Reuben sandwich (HK$135) is paired with Swiss cheese, thousand island dressing, and sauerkraut, topped on house rye.
The Central location, situated within Jardine House, innovates the classic deli design to a modern look in line with Hong Kong elite dining experiences. In comparison, Wanchai’s Starstreet location exudes the same appearance as corner delis found along Queens’ and the Bronx’s avenues: bright red outdoors canopy, white fluorescent lighting, and steel finishes to the tables and chairs.
Every Monday from 4 PM until close, each location holds The 1K Reuben Challenge, challenging customers to devour an entire 1-kilogram Reuben sandwich (750 grams of meat, pickle, and fries) in under 30 minutes – otherwise a hefty HK$588 is forfeited. Every Tuesday is buy-one-get-one-free for pastrami sandwiches.
Central location: Morty's, Shop 2-14, LG/F, 1 Connaught Place, Central, Hong Kong
Wanchai location: Morty's, Shop 8-10 Wing Fung Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Mid-night snack and drink: 11:00 PM - The Pontiac
Those in desperate need for a drink and pizza at the end of a tough workday, and are eager to venture back into the culture of New York’s gritty and grungy dive bars, should explore PMQ’s neighboring The Pontiac, selling a taste for New York in cheese and tomato and one’s favorite tribble.
We recommend coming for happy hour and staying. The Pontiac sells Brooklyn’s most beloved and treasured IPA, Brooklyn Defender IPA (HK$78). Their signature Defender Daiquiri (HK$88) blends rum, line, and the toted IPA for a sweet and vinegary taste. Patrons can also dive into the flavors of New York-style pizza with the bar’s Piccante Pizza (spicy salami, tomato sauce & mozzarella; HK$150).
Location: The Pontiac, 13 Old Bailey St, Central, Hong Kong
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