There’s no passing up on this classic snack when you’re in the city, which is why we’ve done the leg work for you to up some of the best egg tarts that Hong Kong has to offer.
You can’t flip through a Hong Kong guide without spotting some kind of passage dedicated to the egg tart, a palm-sized, miniature pastry that’s enjoyed endlessly in the city. The egg tart sits high above the list of other HK pastry greats: pineapple bolo bun, winter melon paste, Wife’s Biscuit, and the deceptively simple cocktail bun — just to name a few. While Singapore has adopted its own version, the Hong Kong egg tart is said to originate during the 1940s as a revamped take on the western custard tart by Chinese bakeries, some of which have Portuguese influences.
It’s a simple judge for the archetypal egg tart: a silky, creamy, custardy centre with a golden, crisp shell — be it the crumbly shortcrust or the flaky puff pastry — that’s at once sweet with a hint of buttery savouriness. In Hong Kong, there’s always a bakery, bing sutt, or local cha chaan teng serving this delicious street food snack, from inexpensive HKD 2 options to more indulgent ones that cost upwards of HKD 10. Either way, you’ll find them to be a scrumptious little treat while out and about in the city.
10 best bakeries for egg tarts in Hong Kong now:
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This one will bring a tear to your eye. Bakehouse’s little sourdough egg tarts are a well-known citywide favourite — the long, unending queues are solid proof. Swiss baker-founder Grégoire Michaud tweaks the classic recipe with a sourdough crust, the same dough used to make their croissants, to add an additional tang to your usual bite. There’s no need for introduction or explanation, but should you wish to be reminded of these tasty treasures: they’re flaky and buttery with the silkiest, smoothest, caramelised centre – kinda like a Portuguese egg tart, but (dare we say) better.
Those living in Singapore would already be familiar with Tai Cheong Bakery’s delicious offerings, but it’s still worth your time to check out the original while in Hong Kong. There are currently nine locations of Tai Cheong Bakery across Hong Kong, which is also a proven testament to their success which began 60 years ago around 1954. Self-described as the creator of the shortcrust pastry egg tart, their golden-yellow treats are sweet with a buttery, crumbly exterior. Get a side of their Chinese doughnut, or “sha yung” (沙翁) while you’re here, also a reputed favourite of the venue.
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Homegrown bakery Door Door has been in the neighbourhood for over 40 years and is enthusiastically loved for its wide rota of baked goods, including nougats, cookies, coconut tarts and especially egg tarts. Made in both traditional and Portuguese styles, you can always count on a freshly baked batch at Door Door considering their speedy sell-outs. When you get your hands on one, however, expect a warm, creamy yolk-yellow centre and extra flakiness around the edges.
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Puff pastry enthusiasts will maintain that the puff pastry egg tart is the superior version of the lot, and will go ahead to say that the best puff pastry egg tart you will find in Hong Kong belongs to Honolulu Coffee Shop, a nostalgic, 1940s-founded traditional western-style cafe. Best known for egg tarts that are made with 192 layers of puff pastry, it cradles a sweet, smooth egg custard within its flaky casing for a perfectly satisfying bite.
Image credit: Honolulu Coffee Shop Wanchai/Facebook)
An unassuming shop tucked away in the backstreets of Yuen Long, Sing Fat Bakery is run by seasoned pastry maker, Choi, for the last 60 years. His nostalgic Hong Kong-style cream cones are what people come for, but his exceptional baking skills also extend to making shortcrust egg tarts that use local ingredients and follow a traditional recipe that he has taken years to perfect.
(Image credit: @instaudreyttt/Instagram)
This family-run cha chaan teng in Cheung Sha Wan might be under the radar, but it still deserves a little part of your itinerary. Famous amongst locals for serving one of the best puff pastry egg tarts in Hong Kong, this time-tested establishment sees a thick flaky crust, thanks to its unique mix of both puff pastry dough and water dough that’s been masterfully layered and baked. Within, a rich egg custard mixture awaits, perfect with an equally indulgent cup of Hong Kong milk tea.
(Image credit: @kyhunger/Instagram)
With a name like Queen Sophie, you can count on the egg tarts here to be a royally indulgent bite. This is also credited to the talented on-site pastry chef who insists on a premium list of ingredients which includes local flour and French butter. The egg tarts here are handmade fresh daily, following traditional baking techniques originating from the ’70s which involves rolling, folding and stretching 368 layers of puff pastry dough for an extra flaky, extra buttery shell.
(Image credit: Queen Sophie)
There’s a secret to Hoover Cake Shop’s beautifully golden egg tarts: they’re made with duck eggs for an extra smooth, extra flavourful centre. Baked in two serves, either puff pastry or a crumbly shortcrust cookie base, the egg tarts by the traditional Chinese bakery claims to be one of HK’s best, so head to Kowloon City for a taste of your own — if you can make it past the queues, that is.
(Image credit: @rachjiakpng/Instagram)
The detour to Cheung Sha Wan will be all worth it when it involves a pit stop at Sun Wah Cafe, a traditional cha chaan teng that has been cooking up all the HK classics like satay beef instant noodles and soupy macaroni for the last 50 years. Just adjacent to the storefront is their in-house bakery, aka where the golden trays of egg tarts make their grand appearance: sweet creamy filling with a crisp shell famously made with 192 layers of flaky puff pastry. They only make 100 tarts daily, so arrive before 11 am to avoid disappointment.
(Image credit: @peggyky_)
Before you burn us at a stake, hear us out. KFC’s Portuguese Egg Tarts are exactly artisan nor rolled out following traditional recipes and endless layers of puff pastry. But, they’re still somehow delicious and offer the same satisfying bite of smooth eggy sweetness with a flaky buttery crust – the perfect kind that you pick up while on the go should cravings hit wherever you are in the city.
This story first appeared here.
(Hero and featured image credit: Bakehouse)
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