Eating and drinking cheaply in Hong Kong

To be honest, I can be a pretty extravagant spender. With nice coffee, three full meals out and a couple craft beers at a hipster bar, it is not unusual for me to go through hundreds of HK dollars in one day. However, on my student budget, this kind of lifestyle is unsustainable. I’m quite a foodie and a beer enthusiast, so lately I’ve been struggling to find a cost-effective way to enjoy both good cuisine and drink.

In this post, I have pictured two of Hong Kong’s truly affordable joys: street food and 7 Eleven beer. I usually go for curried fish balls, a Hong Kong staple, and I try to buy Japanese beer brewed in Japan. Don’t be fooled by the handsome, tan and gold cans of Kirin that say “Imported”. This simply means that they were “imported” from Kirin’s satellite beer factories in mainland China.

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The beer selection at 7 Eleven stores varies throughout Hong Kong, and even within particular districts. I tend to go for the Japanese imports, as local Hong Kong beers have not yet made it to convenience store shelves.
Once you purchase your happy hour drink and snack (I recommend purchasing the beer first so that you do not carry a potentially messy serving of fish balls into a convenience store), you then need to find a comfortable place to sit. Hong Kong does not have as strict open alcohol container laws as the US, so most public sitting areas will do. Of course, use good judgement when choosing where to plant yourself. I tend to go where a group of people are already sipping brews, such as the Tsim Sha Tsui harbor promenade or a small park in a working class district. My friend recently showed me a great little park south of the tram line in WanChai. She calls it her “drinking park” because it’s right across from a 7 Eleven. Last time, we drank, chatted and people watched for a fraction of the price of a trendy bar in Soho.

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