Summer is here, but if you were looking to experience the heat in somewhere else other than Singapore, let us point you to Hong Kong, which takes the season quite seriously with a slew of activities. Other than heading to the city’s beachside restaurants or ice skating rinks, there are plenty of places to put on your seasonal “must-do” list. Another way to best enjoy the outdoors is in the city’s best alfresco spots. You may have your tried-and-true favourites, but for those itching to try something new, you’ve ended up in the right place. We’ve lined up 10 of the best terraces and alfresco restaurants in Hong Kong to fill up the rest of your warm-weather weekends with drinking, dining, and lounging outdoors.
Hong Kong has such an amazing skyline and postcard city views that are well worth soaking up. And what better way to soak ups both these views and the amazing summer heat than to dine outdoors at these best alfresco restaurants? Whether sky-high or along the street, this is the ultimate summer dining experience that you can’t miss.
From Paper Moon in Kowloon to Central’s H Queen’s and Southside at Komune, from tapas to very indulgent (but very necessary) afternoon teas, Hong Kong’s new decks and open-air hangouts are satisfyingly diverse for any occasion and mood, and are each worthy of a visit in their own right. All you have to do then is slather on that sunscreen, gather your BFFs and enjoy the best season of the year with good food.
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10 best alfresco restaurants in Hong Kong today:
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There’s so much to be impressed about at The Magistracy. You’ll love the botanical garden and the alfresco dining it offers. But the cherry on top is that this restaurant was once Hong Kong’s Supreme Court—for over 100 years! It laid dormant for about 40 years until Black Sheep Restaurant restored it to glory as a dining establishment. The dining room takes inspiration from restaurants in the UK, while the outdoor botanical garden serves as an urban oasis. Sip on the refreshing gin, tonics, and wine and try the flavourful dishes from the food menu. Dressing to impress is part of the experience, so be sure to come wearing your best.
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Perched atop H Queen’s in the bustling Central district, Plume offers some of the best views of Hong Kong’s skyline. The outdoor setting boasts some of the most stunning views. Think lounge chairs and a relaxed vibe, all amidst the backdrop of the downtown cityscape. Plume has an expansive wine list and world-class French dishes courtesy of its two-Michelin-starred sister restaurant, Écriture.
The old Aberdeen Street Social at PMQ may have been stripped down to make way for the colonial-style fancies of Julien Royer’s Louise, but the patio framed by swaying plants and trees remains one of the best spots in the neighbourhood to enjoy a drink and nibbles outdoors. Grab a glass of vino at the bar, then lounge back on the breezy patio as you tuck into the restaurant’s signature homemade pâté and Polmard beef tartare, slurp creamy Prat-Ar-Coum oysters, and dive into the wonderful selection of speciality charcuterie and cheeses from MOF cheese artisan Xavier Bourgon.
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Classic cocktails and a relaxed ambience reign at Portico, the outdoor annexe to the elegant Italian restaurant Spiga. Renowned designer Joyce Wang has imbued her magical touch into the design of this striking 7,000-square-feet space, and the alfresco patio is the perfect place to imbibe a few pre-dinner cocktails or glasses of wine before moving into the dining room. An eclectic mix of low-slung sofas and bar tables create a cosy ambience, with hanging baskets and plenty of greenery adding to the chilled-out vibes. Try the barrel-aged cocktails, which are well-mixed and robust or opt for a glass of vino — you can’t go wrong with the 350-reference wine list handpicked by head sommelier Maurizio Severgnini.
Image credit: PorticoHongKong/Facebook
Sip an artisanal cocktail and imagine yourself somewhere off in the mountainous terrain of Peru, courtesy of Ichu Terraza. The alfresco bar is one of Central’s hidden gems. The bright blue bar stools and colourful throw pillows, all framed by a verdant garden wall, make for a lively place to enjoy a range of delicious bar bites and refreshing craft cocktails. Have a glass of Amazonia featuring a bright hit of chlorophyll mixed with Genever (Dutch gin), as you snack away on fried okra, sweet potatoes with chalaca tartar, and mouth-puckering ceviches.
We’re big fans of La Rambla’s flavour-packed Spanish fare, best enjoyed on the massive wooden deck overlooking the harbour. From the folks behind Elephant Grounds, this spacious Catalan dining room includes a 100-seat terrace prime for summer. Keep your eyes peeled for Catalan-style red prawn paella and the 16-hour slow-cooked Iberico pork ribs, which arrive fall-off-the-bone tender. In the evenings, particularly on weekends, you can expect live music performances to lend an upbeat vibe to this Central go-to.
Beach lovers, this one’s for you. Fronting Repulse Bay, Fratelli is a laid-back artisan pasta bar from the same group as Rummin’ Tings and pizzeria Amalfitana just a few doors down. Considering Hong Kong’s pasta obsession, Fratelli’s head chef Michel Degli Agosti brings us his nonna’s pasta recipes complemented by fresh salads, antipasti and grilled specialities. While it has indoor seating, the open-fronted restaurant nestled up to the sandy beach will whisk you instantly away to the Amalfi Coast — perhaps where you wish you were this summer.
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Perched on the edge of Harbour City’s Ocean Terminal, Paper Moon almost feels like a restaurant floating between Central and Tsim Sha Tsui. Most would make the trip here just for the view, which is especially breathtaking at sunset with red-sailed junk boats drifting right past you. Paper Moon first came to fame in Milan. Choose from a selection of cold and hot antipasti, tomato- and mozzarella-loaded wood-fired pizzas, fettuccine bolognese and spaghetti. Tuck into the rustic Italian fare matched with accessible wines as you dine on the restaurant’s large wraparound terrace, watching the sun set slowly over the horizon.
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Komune adds colour to the Wong Chuk Hang neighbourhood with its playful dishes inspired by international classics. The view is an anomaly on this list, providing a perspective dominated by mountains, sky and greenery compared to the rest of the concrete and glass harbour-facing venues. Komune serves up a vibrant collection of imaginative Mediterranean menus created by the talented Chef Raul Tronco Calahorra, the executive chef of Ovolo Group.
Opened in 2017, Kerry Hotel on Hung Hom’s waterfront has several options for taking advantage of the hotel’s unique location to soak in panoramic harbour views. The Lobby Lounge, for example, is home to lush gardens, water features and some of the most impressive pieces of the hotel’s art collection. However, Red Sugar on Level 7 is not one to be overlooked. With a massive 270-degree wraparound terrace, Red Sugar is a rare green expanse compared to its more constricted Hong Kong peers. You can almost get lost in this resort-style plateau with unobstructed views of the Hong Kong Island skyline from Tai Koo to Central.
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This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Singapore