Pastry is entirely too broad a term to mean all the treat-yo’self delights that could be sweet; could be savoury. Could be a flaky croissant, could be a slice of lattice-topped apple pie, could be a variation on an egg tart — these are the best in Hong Kong, after all.
There’s something magic that happens when you mix flour with water and butter. It’s the kind of magic that inspired entire television programs — miss you, The Great British Bake Off — and the kind of magic that is good any time of day, holiday, occasion or mood. Heartbroken? Have some pie. Need a mid-afternoon sugar rush? Nothing a jam-filled doughnut can’t fix.
With a mouthful of laminated dough and a few extra happy inches to our waistlines, we’ve gone from bakery to bakery, oven to oven to find the flakiest, most golden-brown, most “I can taste the butter in this” and most awards-deserving — these are all pastry-talk for “best”, by the way — pastries in Hong Kong. (Special shoutout to our exclusive MMMs Awards sponsor, foodpanda!)
The best pastries in Hong Kong:
Bakehouse (MMMs Awards Eaters’ Choice Awards Winner)
You’d recognise Bakehouse for the cobalt blue paper bags with orange handles that are toted around the Soho slopes, but you’d love Bakehouse for its signature sourdough egg tarts, ingeniously ideated by renowned pastry chef and baker Gregoire Michaud. Make a stop for the doughnuts, too. It’ll be worth it.
Bakehouse, (various locations), 14 Tai Wong Street East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
La Viña (MMMs Awards Winner)
Sometime during the middle of 2021, basque burnt cheesecakes became a Thing. A very delicious Thing that the city seemed to can’t get enough of, for it inspired the birth of La Viña, which brings the original Spanish San Sebastián recipe to Hong Kong. From the original soft centre cheese, the bakery has since expanded to new flavour profiles like matcha, gingerbread and mixed berries.
La Viña, Shop 3, 23 Graham Street (near Wellington Street), Central, Hong Kong, +852 9612 0988
Maria’s Bakery (MMMs Awards Winner)
Maria’s Bakery began in 1966 in Hong Kong. At its peak, it expanded with 60 outlets around Hong Kong before unfortunately closing in 1998. As the first local bakery serving Western pastries, Maria popularised the classic mango cake and chestnut cake that is widely enjoyed today and was a beloved destination for egg tarts, egg waffles and muffins. Think you’ve missed this time-honoured spot? They’ve recently opened as 1966 Baking Alliance in the refurbished Central Market.
Maria’s Bakery, (various locations), Shop A , G/F, Heung Lam Building, 23 Connaught Road, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2525 8841
Dang Wen Li by Dominique Ansel (MMMs Awards Winner)
Dominique Ansel’s flaky DKA is a favourite in itself: buttery pastry, airy bite and a caramelised crust. But when it made its debut in Hong Kong as Dang Wei Li by Dominique Anesel, it took on a very Hong Kong influence, unveiling a list of pastries modelled after many Hong Kong icons like coconut and passionfruit cake in the shape of a pineapple bun, a milk tea cookie shot shaped as a Yakult and an earl grey bergamot cake Lemon Tea juice box.
Dang Wen Li by Dominique Ansel, (various locations), Shop 2, G/F, H Queen’s, 80 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, +852 3482 7735
Paul Lafayet (MMMs Awards Winner)
No, it’s not just Paul Lafayet’s macarons that has earned the patisserie its status as an acclaimed favourite in Hong Kong (though they are delicious and we’d recommend the Rose and Salted Caramel as top favourites). It’s their crème brûlée, too.
Paul Lafayet, (various locations), Shop 1104B, Podium Level One, ifc mall, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2543 9800
Jouer (MMMs Awards Winner)
Jouer’s cakes are not just pretty to look at — they’re delicious, too. Made according to classic French recipes, the cakes here are decadent creations of five beautiful, even layers that change with the season. Favourites include a red velvet cake encased in blue swirl marble, or during the summer: strawberry lemonade.
Jouer, (various locations), G/F, 1 Sau Wah Fong, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, +852 2528 6577
More pastries we love:
- Proof.: It’s probably a good thing Proof. is nestled deep in the sloping side-streets of Happy Valley, because it’s a nice trek and you need the nice trek to work off those cinnamon roll-derived calories. Because you’re going to want more than one.
- Dough Bros.: We have an entirely separate pizza category for which Dough Bros. is a well-deserved MMMs Awards winner for, but, damn it, do they make good filled doughnuts, too. The strawberry-jam OG is a non-negotiable on any DB order — and, please, say yes to the cinnamon sugar dusting.
- Lady M: One of New York City’s greatest exports, Lady M’s signature mille crêpes really need no introduction. While not quite a thousand, the LM cake alternates between twenty layers of soft cream and paper-thin French crêpes, forming a delicate cross-section of horizontal scores that’s melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
- Sift Patisserie: Sift Patisserie was one of the first in Hong Kong that introduced cupcakes into our collective dessert itineraries. While their Red Velvet is signature, the Chocolate Hazelnut Crunch tastes exactly like how you’d imagine a Ferrero Rocher to taste cupcake-ified, so you must get that, too.
- Plumcot: From Paris to Tai Hang, Plumcot is a French patisserie that specialises in very traditional Viennoiserie treats — think perfect croissants and perfect Madeleines — and very un-traditional, home-made ice cream flavours. We’re talking blue cheese ice cream.
- The Cakery: Shirley Kwok’s The Cakery turns guilty pleasures into guilt-free pleasures. With organic, sugar-free, gluten-free and vegan-friendly options, The Cakery works hard to increase the nutritional profile of their desserts so you can have your cake and eat it too. Maybe that Keto cupcake, while you’re at it. And take that vegan sourdough baguette to-go.
- Butterfly Patisserie: If you’re someone who enjoys the pomp and circumstance of afternoon tea, there’s nowhere in the city quite as beautiful and quite as indulgent as Rosewood Hong Kong’s Butterfly Patisserie. From Tahitian vanilla mille-feuilles to freshly-baked scones with all the jammy, clotted-cream trimmings, it’s course after course of the very best of finger foods. Take the iconic afternoon tea set home, here.
- Dough Beings: Dough Beings is, at its core, a mediation on mastering the art of making dough. The journey started with bombolonis — past flavours have included fresh strawberry, Everything Cream Cheese and Tiramisu — but have since forged forward with panettones. BRB, currently salivating over their panettone carrot cake.
The above list was compiled by Nathan Erickson, Sandra Kwong, Joey Wong and Lorria Sahmet.
For more delicious food, see all the winners of Lifestyle Asia Hong Kong’s The MMMs Awards 2021.