People are always telling us wistfully that Hong Kong is so behind cities like London, Sydney or New York when it comes to healthy eating. A couple of years ago, we would have nodded our heads in agreement but today, there really is so much more choice when it comes to finding healthy food on the go around town. That’s one of the reasons we launched our Green Queen App. We wanted Hong Kongers to be able to see just how many fantastic options are out there. Below, we profile ten rapidly-expanding companies that make the +852 just that little bit healthier.
Bless Cold-Pressed Juice
Bless Cold-Pressed Juice is the fastest growing chain on the list with ten shops- most of which opened in 2016. They make cold-pressed fruit and vegetable juices accessible: they have locations all over Hong Kong including ones in Kowloon and the New Territories, where there tends to be a dearth of healthy food offerings. They also make raw juices affordable (single flavor juices start at HKD 18). For office workers looking to complete their five-a-day, this is the perfect healthy pit stop.
Locations: Central, Mid-Levels, Admiralty, Causeway Bay, Quarry Bay, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hung Hom, Sai Kung, Kwai Hing and Yuen Long.
Genie Juicery founders Cara and Melanie first became famous for their online cold-pressed juice cleanses but today, Genie is so much more than a juice company. The founders have a keen sense of where Hong Kong’s healthy eating habits are headed, and are always innovating. When it comes to raw vegan food and plant-based takeaway, their three shops (and counting) are real pioneers with a diverse and ever expanding menu of cold-pressed juices, smoothies, non-dairy hot and cold drinks, raw dishes (zoodles, acai bowls, coconut yogurt pots, chia puddings), ‘nice’ cream, superfood salads, snacks and now soups.
Locations: Central (ifc mall, Hollywood Road) and Sai Ying Pun.
Sister-business of the incredibly popular social enterprise Green Monday, Green Common is the first chain of dedicated plant-based grocery store-cum-cafe. On top of their impressive selection of veggie-friendly pantry foods, they also offer a vegan takeaway range including juices, teas, coffees, sandwiches and salads. Their third store in the Landmark’s basement and their fourth in Harbour City have a stronger focus on getting working Hong Kongers to choose healthier, plant-based meals, with more floor-space dedicated to the dining-in crowd.
Locations: Wan Chai, Central Des Voeux Road, Central Alexandra House and Tsim Sha Tsui.
What started out as a healthy lunchbox delivery has turned into a one-stop-shop for what the company calls ‘fitness meals.’ At one of their three locations, you choose your protein source (chicken breast, sole fillet, grilled tofu steaks or lean ground beef with black beans), pick your carb (quinoa, white rice, sweet potato mash) and add your greens (broccoli, spinach, green beans). Gymbox is flexible (you can do half quinoa, half mash), the macro are balanced, the ingredients are organic and the price is right (HKD 62-78).
Locations: Sheung Wan, Wan Chai and Quarry Bay.
There’s no arguing that Just Green was way ahead of the wellness curve- they opened their first shop back in 2011, way before everyone went gaga for gluten-free this and organic that. In terms of sheer range, no one can beat Just Green’s ever-evolving selection of brands and products. And while they don’t have a huge prepared food selection, you can definitely find something healthy to munch on at one of their nine locations across Hong Kong like non-dairy yogurts, plant-based energy bars, and many other clean-label snacks.
Locations: Kennedy Town, Sai Ying Pun, Central, Soho, Wan Chai, Repulse Bay, Sai Kung, Lamma Island and Discovery Bay.
There’s no doubt that Korean food has made its way into the foodie zeitgest, after all, gochujang is definitely the new Sriracha. With everyone and their mom living la vida sans gluten, rice-based takeaway chain K-Roll has experienced renewed popularity for their selection of bibimbap, japchae, dukbokki and ramen, all of which are packed with veggies and fermented foods. They currently have three locations on the island and are working on the opening of a Kowloon shop soon.
Locations: Sheung Wan, Central and Wan Chai.
An offshoot of Pure Yoga and Pure Fitness, nood food is now the largest healthy and organic takeaway food chain in town with 17 shops so far, and unbeknownst to many, nood is open to the public, not just Pure members. While cold-pressed juices and raw snacks was their focus at the beginning, they have broadened their menu to include everything from salads, wraps, sandwiches, snacks and breakfast foods and in their Nood Nation locations, they have a full food menu with a salad bar, hot & cold dishes and made-to-order beverages and coffee.
Locations for Nood Nation: Central, Admiralty and Quarry Bay, Juice Bars: Central (Kinwick Centre, Asia Standard Tower, California Tower, ICBC Tower, ifc mall), Admiralty, Quarry Bay, Causeway Bay (Lee Theatre Plaza, Soundwill Plaza), Repulse Bay, Tsim Sha Tsui and Mong Kok (Langham Place Office Tower) and Fridge Locations: Central and Quarry Bay.
Today, everyone loves a good poke bowl and Hong Kong now boasts over five different poke concepts, but back in 2014 when Pololi first opened, there was a lot of awareness building to do for the raw fish dish, Hawaii’s answer to sashimi. Pololi cleverly aligned itself with the city’s growing population of fitness fanatics, offering options like salad as well as rice and light poke styles like spicy shoyu Ahi tuna and yuzu pinenut salmon. At midday, the lines are long, and the customers happy.
Locations: Sheung Wan, Central and Wan Chai.
Pressed Juices started out with a cold-pressed juice and smoothie concept (their claim to fame is that the juices are cold-pressed in Australia with homegrown produce), but now offer all sorts of takeaway raw and vegan food options like chia puddings, acai bowls, macro bowls, trail mix, zoodle pots and gluten-free wraps. The company is on their fourth location already, with more to come soon.
Locations: Central, Causeway Bay, Quarry Bay, Tsim Sha Tsui and Kwun Tong.
Spicebox Organics founder Punam Chopra has the very unique distinction of being the first health food retailer to get an organic certification for the shop itself! The company recently opened a third store in Kennedy Town after their Mid-Levels launch last year with a to-go prepared food selection that includes organic salads, wraps, their famous samosas, soups, drinks and snacks- they also have hot drinks on order including bullet coffee and coconut milk lattes.
Locations: Kennedy Town, Sai Ying Pun and Mid-Levels.
Images courtesy of each company’s Facebook page.