Where to Play (and Eat) in Hong Kong


Maritime Museum

WHAT TO SEE Located above a ferry pier across from Art Central is the Maritime Museum, a gem of a small, private museum that documents Hong Kong’s history as a port town. Children and adults will love the KM Koo Ship Bridge Simulator and the exhibit “Water in the Balance — A Journey” (until April 30).

WHAT TO EAT: The museum’s Café 8 has a terrace with sweeping views of the skyline and Victoria Harbor. Staff members from the Nesbitt Center, which employs adults with learning disabilities, serve up homemade pies, cakes, salads, sandwiches and quiches.

Downtown Shopping

WHAT TO SEE Among the towers of power, three buildings are especially known for their art galleries: H Queen’s, the Pedder Building and 50 Connaught Road.


A dish from Le Marché, a restaurant at Art Central Hong Kong.

The newly opened H Queen’s is essentially a luxury shopping mall for art, with spaces by David Zwirner, Galerie Ora-Ora, Seoul Auction and Tang Contemporary. New tenants opening around the time of Art Basel include Hauser & Wirth, Pace and Pearl Lam, the eccentric matriarch of the Hong Kong art scene.

Ms. Lam also has another space at the elegant prewar Pedder Building, which is also home to Lehmann Maupin, Gagosian and Hanart TZ.

On the first two floors of 50 Connaught Road is White Cube, which will be showing new sculptures by the British artist Antony Gormley until May 19. From White Cube, take the elevator up to the 17th floor for Emmanuel Perrotin’s gallery.

WHAT TO EAT A downtown favorite is Duddell’s, which combines traditional Cantonese food, a fine terrace, an admirable art collection and a program of regular talks, exhibits and screenings. In March, Duddell’s will show “A Taste of the Masters II — Paintings from the M K Lau Collection.”

Lap of Luxury

EAT WHAT YOU SEE Every year during Art Basel, the Mandarin Oriental pairs an exhibit with a special menu of food creations, inspired by the art. At the Mandarin Grill & Bar, the executive chef, Robin Zavou, will build dishes based on the works of Konstantin Bessmertny, a Soviet-born artist who has long lived and worked in Macau and Hong Kong.


The newly opened H Queen’s is essentially a luxury shopping mall for art.

Rising Through SoHo

WHAT TO SEE The Mid-Levels Escalator is a marvel of urban infrastructure — the world’s longest outdoor pedestrian escalator, which travels a half-mile from Central, the business district, up through SoHo. Get off at the Hollywood Road or Staunton Street stops to wander the heart of the gallery district.

WHAT TO EAT The best stop for food is Lyndhurst Terrace, where small shops sell Chinese pork dumplings and traditional Hong Kong egg tarts.

Colonial Quarters Revamped

WHAT TO SEE PMQ, a former Police Married Quarters from colonial days, has been transformed into a creative hub. PMQ’s previously decrepit residential complex now houses studios and boutiques run by nearly 100 local entrepreneurs, selling fashion, accessories, home goods and crafts.

WHAT TO EAT Tucked behind the G.O.D. (Goods of Desire), a great shop for locally designed souvenirs, is SohoFama, which serves organic Chinese comfort food.

Asia Art Archive

WHAT TO SEE The Asia Art Archive is a hidden treasure for art history fans, who can browse a collection of 50,000 print and digital items, including catalogs, monographs, multimedia and periodicals. This quiet, sunny space, where you can sit by the window with a rare art book, offers a respite from bustling Hollywood Road.


David Zwirner’s inaugural exhibition at the H Queen’s building featured work by Michaël Borremans.

Michaël Borremans, courtesy David Zwirner, New York/London/Hong Kong

WHAT TO EAT There is an unusually good selection of international cuisines on the few streets around the archive. Dining hot spots include Upper Modern Bistro (contemporary French), Chachawan (Thai), 208 Duecento Otto (Italian) and Frantzen’s Kitchen (Nordic).

On the Outskirts

WHAT TO SEE Wong Chuk Hang, an industrial area on the south side of Hong Kong Island, has become a hive of activity since 2016, when an expansion of the MTR subway system connected it to downtown. The Blindspot, de Sarthe and Art Projects galleries are all along Wong Chuk Hang Road, although hidden in upstairs space in three buildings. They are worth the hunt, as is Gallery Exit in neighboring Aberdeen.

WHAT TO EAT For an old-school experience, sail to the Jumbo Kingdom Floating Restaurant, a neon-lit boat in Aberdeen serving fresh seafood and tourist favorites like Peking duck and cashew chicken. For something more modern, there are good bistros in Wong Chuk Hang.

Building an Art District

WHAT TO SEE The West Kowloon Cultural District, a multibillion-dollar government project, is still under construction, as is its centerpiece M+ museum. However, a waterfront park and the M+ Pavilion are already open. Until May, the M+ Pavilion will showcase local artist Samson Young’s “Songs for Disaster Relief World Tour,” an exhibit that had its debut at the 2017 Venice Biennale.

WHAT TO EAT Take a short (decidedly nonscenic) walk across a highway overpass to the city’s tallest bar and cafe on the 103rd floor of the Ritz-Carlton. From there on a clear day, you can see the dozens of construction cranes spread across West Kowloon, where a new Hong Kong art scene is being built from the ground up.

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