Every country has their version of street food – if you’re looking for a true authentic local dining experience in Hong Kong, you’re in for a real treat at Dai Pai Dongs. Roughly translated as the “restaurant with a big license plate”, Dai Pai Dongs provide a casual outdoor venue and a quick, cheap meal option. Unfortunately this dining trend is slowly disappearing in the city, so before it becomes fully extinct, you should experience the beauty of Dai Pai Dong:
If you hang around Central on a daily basis, you’re probably sick of seeing pompous bankers in expensive suits and snobby waiters who judge you for ordering soup at an expensive restaurant. Since when did eating out become such an extravagant experience? For those who simply want to taste the exciting flavours of local food, Dai Pai Dong will provide a true down to earth experience. After all, you’re basically eating on the streets.
Everyone loves to unwind with a beer in hand and watch the world go by from time to time, but when beer is overpriced at typical bars and restaurants, this takes a toll on your wallet and affects the overall experience. One of the greatest pleasures in life is eating quality food and drinking alcohol, so the next time you’re at a Dai Pai Dong, order a big bottle of Tsing Tao beer and create a perfect combination with the delicious food.
Avid smokers have it hard out there – due to the outdoor smoking ban enforced by the Hong Kong government a few years ago, smokers can no longer enjoy a good smoke unless they stand next to a dirty rubbish bin. Since Dai Pai Dongs provide an ashtray on every table, you can let loose and smoke your cigarettes while sipping on cheap beer.
Authentic local culture
When you ask your local friends to take you to an authentic local hotspot, most of them would probably take you to a gweilo-friendly place that lacks character and uniqueness. The next time you hang out with your local friends, ask them to take you to the grimiest Dai Pai Dong they can think of, so that you can experience how the working class dines in this city. To maximise this dining experience, it is always better to go with a local who can read the menu and order in Cantonese!.