On the western end of Hong Kong Island, Kennedy Town is a vibrant, seaside neighborhood with great coffee shops, parks, and delicious food. Convenient to central Hong Kong, it's a great place to live or just explore for a day. In this neighborhood guide, I'll show you what you should do to make the most of one day in Kennedy Town. Plus, share my favorite places to eat and drink in K-Town!
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A Little Bit about Kennedy Town
Kennedy Town, or K-Town, is located on the western side of Sai Wan on Hong Kong Island and is part of the Central and Western District. It was named after Arthur Edward Kennedy, the 7th Governor of Hong Kong, who served from 1872-1877.
In 2014, Kennedy Town got its very own MTR (Hong Kong's metro system) station and the neighborhood started to gentrify. But that doesn't mean that K-Town has lost its local charm.
Cha chaan tengs, noodle shops, wet markets, and car repair shops and other small shops are interwoven with the new coffee shops, restaurants, and craft beer stores. This blend of old and new Hong Kong gives Kennedy Town a cool vibe and makes it a fun place to explore.
Why Visit Kennedy Town?
With a variety of activities to do and excellent places to eat and drink in Kennedy Town, it's a great place to spend a day. K-Town is family-friendly and dog-friendly with a pretty casual vibe. Though it also has some great date-night spots that are worth the trip over to the west side.
Thinking about Moving to Kennedy Town?
If so, I highly recommend it! Jeremy and I moved to Kennedy Town a few weeks after moving to Hong Kong back in November 2017 and we still love it.
K-Town is a convenient ~20-minute commute to Central Hong Kong by MTR. Yet it's off-the-beaten path enough that when Hong Kong is flooded with tourists (been a while, right?), it's still on the quiet side in Kennedy Town.
And while I love how convenient the neighborhood is and all the bars and restaurants at my fingertips, the thing that sold us was the view from the apartment. It's hard for me to imagine living anywhere else now if it doesn't come with this spectacular view!
Getting to Kennedy Town
As I mentioned above, one of the best things about Kennedy Town is how convenient it is. The easiest way to get to Kennedy Town is via MTR. Kennedy Town Station is the last stop on the western end of the Island Line.
But it's also a major bus hub on HK Island as well as the western terminus for Hong Kong Tramways. So you have a lot of transportation options for getting to Kennedy Town.
If you're coming from Central or Sai Ying Pun, you could also walk along Victoria Harbour on the Central and Western Promenade to reach Kennedy Town.
One-Day Itinerary in Kennedy Town
In this one-day itinerary, I'll show you how to spend a day discovering the gems of Kennedy Town. And after you visit, you may just decide it's the neighborhood for you!
Start with a Hearty Breakfast in Kennedy Town
To make the most of your day, get an early start on the MTR as you make your way to Kennedy Town. Fuel up for the day with breakfast at a local cha chaan teng (diner) or dim sum at a neighborhood favorite - Sun Hing Restaurant. Open super early and with delicious dumplings and egg custard buns, Sun Hing is a perfect option for early risers.
If you're in the mood for a western breakfast, grab a coffee, juice, and a delicious sandwich at Little Cove Espresso. You might recognize the name from the ever-popular café in Sai Kung. The Kennedy Town location delivers the same open and airy feel and delicious food!
Pro Tip: Little Cove Espresso is extremely popular on weekends so you might have to queue. The line normally moves pretty quickly though.
Grab a Coffee
Kennedy Town is home to so many awesome little coffee shops that it'll be hard for you to choose where to get your caffeine fix.
Here are a few local favorites I'd recommend. If you're a coffee lover like me, you'll probably try a couple of them in one day!
1) The Cofftea Shop
One of the oldest coffee shops in Kennedy Town, The Cofftea Shop is a corner café serving (primarily) premium Italian coffee, as well as cakes and muffins. Since it only has one small table, it's mostly for takeaway. The park across the street by The Merton is a great place to sit and enjoy your beverage though.
Address: 78-86 Catchick Street, Kennedy Town
This cozy coffee shop on Hau Wo Street encourages you to have "an affair with coffee", which is the inspiration for its name. With inside seating, AFFEE is a great retreat from the summer heat, plus the coffee is delicious!
Address: 19 Hau Wo Street, Kennedy Town
3) Winstons Coffee
With locations in both Kennedy Town and Sai Ying Pun, Winstons Coffee is wildly popular for their delicious coffee and friendly-neighborhood vibe. Plus, the K-Town location has outdoor seating which is a perfect spot to chill with your pup as you sip your coffee.
Address: 11 Davis Street, Kennedy Town
4) % Arabica
Since % Arabica has five stores across Hong Kong, I might recommend skipping it while you're in Kennedy Town and going to one of the smaller shops. However, they serve delicious coffee. Plus, their 2-story shop is right on the seaside which means great sea views - a perfect backdrop for Instagram as well as enjoying a cup of coffee.
Address: No. 1 Davis Street, Kennedy Town
5) For Single
One of the newest coffee shops + bars to open, For Single is already a popular "instagrammable" place in Kennedy Town. It's serving single-original coffee and single-malt whisky and provides a unique tasting experience. This is one coffee shop where I'd recommend sitting and appreciating the ambiance vs. takeaway.
Address: 6-18 Hau Wo Street, Kennedy Town
Hike up Mount Davis to See Ruins
After powering up with delicious food and coffee, it's time for a walk! One of my favorite outdoor workouts in Kennedy Town is walking up Mount Davis - the westernmost hill on Hong Kong Island. This is an easy hike with an elevation gain of 269 m (882 ft) and is mostly on a paved road.
Mount Davis was an important British artillery depot in the early 1900s and was heavily bombed during WWII. You can find many old ruins as you explore the hillside.
If you're not a hiker but still want to visit, you can take a taxi up to the Youth Hostel which is almost at the summit.
Route to Mount Davis from Kennedy Town MTR Station
Starting out at the Kennedy Town MTR Station, take exit C and turn left on Forbes Street. Walk around the bend and when you get to Victoria Road, turn left to begin walking towards Mount Davis.
Check out the Sai Wan Swimming Shed
Shortly after you pass the last building complexes in Kennedy Town, you'll see a path off to your right. This is the entrance to the Sai Wan Swimming Shed at which I recommend stopping for some beautiful sea views.
If you're around for sunset in Kennedy Town, you might want to head back to the Sai Wan Swimming Shed for awesome sunset views.
Hiking Up Mount Davis
After walking for ~1.5 km, you'll reach the University of Chicago's Francis and Rose Yuen Campus. Across the street, you'll see a small road called Mount Davis Path. Turn onto this path to begin climbing Mount Davis. Then, when you reach a fork in the path, go left.
As you climb, you'll see a variety of trails leading off the road to ruins. Explore these trails to discover some of the ruins scattered around the hillside. You can also use some of these trails to climb Mount Davis instead of walking on the road. Depends on whether climbing stairs or a more gradual road.
Once you reach the Mt. Davis Youth Hostel, you'll only have a few dozens stairs to climb to reach the top. At the summit, you'll find old buildings and artillery depots through which to wander and explore. Make sure to go down to the sitting out area behind the exercise park to find amazing views of Kennedy Town and across Victoria Harbour to Kowloon.
Returning to Kennedy Town from Mount Davis
To return to Kennedy Town, just go back the same way you hiked up. Or, you can continue around on Mount Davis Road, then head down to K-Town on Smithfield Road for a loop route.
If you're looking for a more challenging hike in the Kennedy Town neighborhood, try the Mount High West Hike. This hike is steep with lots of stairs helping you gain the 494 m (1,620 ft) in elevation. But the 360-degree views at the top are a great reward.
Cool off with a Swim
If you're feeling toasty after all that hiking, why not go for a swim? The Kennedy Town Swimming Pool is a 3-story public pool complex with a variety of indoor and outdoor swimming pools. In addition to its lap pools, the K-Town Swimming Pool complex has a training pool (inside) and a leisure pool (outside) so it's fun for the whole family.
Check the LSCD website for opening hours and more information.
Time for Lunch
After a morning of activity, I bet you've worked up an appetite! Nothing quite hits the spot for me like noodle soup. And Kennedy Town has some great options for satisfying this craving. Here are a few of my favorite spots for a big bowl of noodles!
1) Shanghai Lao Lao
Shanghai Lao Lao is a modern Shanghainese restaurant which specializes in xiaolongbao (soup dumplings) and handmade noodles. If you sit at the bar, you'll even be able to watch them pulling the noodles as you eat! My favorite dish is the Dan Dan noodles, though on the menu they're called "Noodles in Spicy Sesame & Peanut Soup with Minced Pork". Quite a mouthful!
Address: 16-30 North St, Kennedy Town
2) Thai Heng
An authentic Thai restaurant in Kennedy Town, Thai Heng always makes me feel like I've traveled to Southeast Asia. My favorite is the Thai Suki in Soup which reminds me of the Suki I used to order for lunches when we lived in Vientiane. And Jeremy's favorite - Pad Kra Pao - is always nice and spicy as he likes it.
Thai Heng's lunch menu is very affordable with dishes costing only ~HK $50+.
Address: 38 Catchick St, Kennedy Town
3) Bún Chả Vietnamese Café
With several locations across Hong Kong, you don't have to visit Bún Chả Vietnamese Café in Kennedy Town. But it's my go-to place for a bowl of pho in the neighborhood so I'm including it in my noodle recommendations!
Address: 6-18 Hau Wo St, Kennedy Town
Time for More Coffee?
At this point in the Kennedy Town one-day itinerary, I'd be searching out more coffee. Making it through an afternoon without my coffee is not something you'd want to see!
If you're like me, then hit up one of the places I mentioned earlier that you didn't try in the morning. Since it's afternoon, you might even be ready for an Espresso Martini at Winstons. No judgement here!
Visit the Lo Pan Temple
Hidden up in the pedestrian terrace streets in Kennedy Town, the Lo Pan Temple is a hidden gem. Built in 1884, this historic temple with a jagged roof has the largest number of wall-paintings on Hong Kong Island. Plus, it's the only temple in Hong Kong dedicated to Lo Pan - the patron saint of Chinese builders and contractors.
To reach the temple, use the elevator on Sands Street, then continue walking onto the escalator right outside of it (or climb ~65 steps) to reach Ching Lin Terrace. You'll find Lo Pan Temple at the end of the terrace street.
Pro Tip: When you visit, be sure to go up to To Li Terrace - the one just above Lo Pan Temple - so that you can admire the colorful rooftop of the temple. The temple roof against the backdrop of the modern skyscrapers is one of my favorite views!
Walk around Belcher Bay Park
Once you've admired the Lo Pan Temple and strolled the terraces, head back down to sea level to Belcher Bay Park. This neighborhood park has a lovely path around which to stroll and large playgrounds for the kids to enjoy.
In the morning, Belcher Bay Park is home to those massive group aerobic exercises that ladies here like to do. These group workouts never fail to entertain and are one of the things I love about Hong Kong.
Catch a Movie at the Golden Scene Cinema
In spring 2021, an exciting new addition opened in Kennedy Town - a movie theatre! Golden Scene Cinema shows a variety of films from around the world in a variety of languages including English, Cantonese, Korean, Japanese, and Danish.
Visit the Golden Scene Cinema website to see what's playing, get showtimes, and reserve your seat.
Watch the Sunset on the Belcher Bay Promenade
Since Kennedy Town is on the western side of Hong Kong Island, it's a fantastic location to watch the sunset! And the best spot in Kennedy Town to see the sunset is the Belcher Bay Promenade on Shing Shai Road.
This waterfront open space has a variety of facilities such as picnic tables, rolling pallets on which kids can play, a dog park, as well as public toilets. Since the park is open and mostly concrete, it's also a popular place for kids to scooter and skateboard.
Kennedy Town Belcher Bay Dog Park
Bring your dog along to Kennedy Town and let him/her to make friends at the Belcher Bay Dog Park. It's a large area with a mix of grass and concrete where dogs can run around and play off-leash.
Pro Tip: Parents of large dogs should be aware that the wall around the Belcher Bay Dog Park is fairly low. As a result, large and determined dogs (or young, energetic pups) can easily scale it.
Fantastic Dinner Spots in Kennedy Town
Now that you've thoroughly explored Kennedy Town, it's time to relax over a delicious dinner. With new places popping up all the time, K-Town is a great spot to dine. Even if you're not visiting for the entire day, head over for an evening of fun.
1) Tequila on Davis
My favorite Tex-Mex place that reminds me of places I'd go back home (in the U.S.) is Tequila on Davis. Dishes come in large portions and are always loaded with cheesy goodness and tasty guacamole. Our favorites are the nachos with chorizo and the beef enchiladas. Plus, the Golden Great Margaritas always hit the spot.
Address: 1 Davis Street, Kennedy Town
2) 11 Westside
For traditional Mexican cuisine, 11 Westside is the place to go in Kennedy Town. Guacamole made at your table and tacos bursting with flavor are the highlights for me. And beautiful and delicious hand-crafted cocktails elevate the dining experience. At the back of 11 Westside, you'll find Kennedy Town's very own speakeasy bar - The Wilshire.
Fun fact - 11 Westside is headed by Mexican native Chef Esdras Ochoa who was featured on Netflix's show - The Final Table.
Address: 11 Davis St, Kennedy Town
For pizza and craft beer, look no further than Alvy's on Holland Street. Their sourdough thin-crust pizzas are delicious and I love trying out the new specials. Plus, Americans craving Arby's curly fries (random, I know), will be in heaven with Alvy's curly fries.
Address: 8 Holland Street, Kennedy Town
More exciting news for craft beer lovers like me, a new gastropub opened in Kennedy Town in May 2021! Grain is a partnership between the Woolly Pig restaurant group and Gweilo Beer - a local Hong Kong brewery. The menu features upscale bar snacks like Wagyu Beef Tartare and Pork and Beer Malt Sausages. Many dishes have a beer-inspired theme.
But the best part of Grain is the Gweilo Brewlab. In this research and development facility, they're creating unique beers which you can taste here before anywhere else.
Address: 3-5 New Praya, Kennedy Town
A fun neighborhood wine bar, Comptoir serves a delicious array of tapas perfect for sharing. Jovial and welcoming staff make you feel at home and the cozy seating around the bar always provides a boisterous atmosphere. Perfect spot for date night with a nice bottle of wine.
Address: 42 Forbes Street, Kennedy Town
6) Pici Kennedy Town
Although I haven't visited yet, I'm excited to try Pici's latest location which just opened in Kennedy Town last week! Part of the Pirata Restaurant Group, Pici serves hand-made pastas and other delicious Italian dishes at reasonable prices across Hong Kong. I've always enjoyed its locations in Central and Wan Chai, so I'm sure I'll love the one in K-Town too.
Address: 55 Cadogan Street, Kennedy Town
How to Spend the Evening in Kennedy Town
If you're not completely exhausted from the long day, perhaps you'd like to stay for a while. Here are some ideas for how you could spend the evening in Kennedy Town.
Play Games at Wheat and Wood
This board games café in Kennedy Town is the perfect spot to hang out and play some games with a group of friends over drinks. If you're hungry, you munch on some small bites to go along with your games.
Located in an alley between Sai Cheung Street and Holland Street on the Belcher's Road side, the first game you play is finding Wheat and Wood!
Address: Shop 6, Ground Floor, Brilliant Court, 28 Praya, Kennedy Town
Pick Up Craft Beers and Hang Out by the Harbour
Because the Kennedy Town waterfront is such a great place to hang out, why not buy some beers at one of the local bottle shops to enjoy by the harbour?
I recommend stopping by Tramline, KTown Liquor, or Saffron to peruse the fridges full of craft beer. Either take them home with you or drink them on the waterfront!
Where to Stay in Kennedy Town
Is one day not enough time for you to fully explore Kennedy Town? Or, are you considering moving to K-Town and want to see what it's like to live there? Then why not spend a couple days checking it out?
Mia Casa Hotel
The Mia Casa Hotel on Hau Wo Street is where I'd recommend staying while you're in Kennedy Town. Since our apartment is so small, we've had visitors stay there. But we've also stayed there a couple times ourselves - including when we had an unexpected water issue in our apartment in February!
This three-star hotel is conveniently-located in the heart of Kennedy Town. It has a variety of room options from a standard hotel room to a 2-bedroom apartment with a small kitchen. And the rooms on higher floors have lovely sea views!
Considering that this is a 3-star hotel, the amenities at the Mia Casa are quite good and the hotel is very clean. To me, it felt like I had everything I needed for a short stay. Plus the staff was friendly, welcoming, and worked to accommodate us. The only downside for me was that the beds were rather firm, but that is not uncommon throughout Asia.
As you can see, Kennedy Town has a lot to offer in terms of activities and places to eat delicious food! It's a great place to get away for a weekend or to spend the day with family and friends.
Other Articles You Might Enjoy
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What activities would you like to try in Kennedy Town? Leave me a comment and let me know!