-1.8 C
Munich
Monday, November 30, 2020

The Ultimate Guide to vegan and sustainable grocery stores in Hong Kong

Latest News

Coffee roaster Meira reduces carbon footprint with bio-based packaging

Finland-based coffee roaster Meira has launched a sustainable range called Vallilan Paahtimo, with vegan, bio-based packaging. Finnish coffee roaster Meira has partnered with packaging manufacturer...

UK government gives live events the green light

Boris Johnson's revised guidelines for Covid-19 mean that businesses can anticipate the return of live events and conferences in the UK. The UK government's latest...

We’ve combed the city for the most ethical and vegan-friendly groceries. Here’s our Ultimate Guide to plant-based and sustainable grocery stores in Hong Kong.

When it comes to dining out, being vegan in Hong Kong is easier than ever. But nowadays, more and more people are opting to stay home and cook (well, those who have the kitchen space — this is Hong Kong, after all).

Your average supermarket will carry a decent variety of plant milks and tofu, but when it comes to vegan snacks and speciality vegan products, you’re better off looking elsewhere. Here’s the Ultimate Guide to vegan and sustainable grocery stores in Hong Kong.

Brick-and-mortar locations

Green Common

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Green Common (@green_common) on

Green Common — the Hong Kong-based company behind OmniPork and the flexitarian Green Mondays initiative — has brick-and-mortar locations across many of Hong Kong’s major districts. The concepts vary from market stalls to casual cafes, full-service restaurants and a child-friendly “future bar”. Each restaurant also has a retail space, where customers can pick up products from Green Common and other sustainable and vegan-friendly brands.

Slowood

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by S L … O W O O D (@slowood.hk) on

Despite only opening in 2019, Slowood has swiftly established itself as a force to be reckoned with (well, within the low stakes-universe of Hong Kong’s sustainable lifestyle scene). With its bright, airy feel and wide-ranging inventory comprising bulk and vegan-friendly groceries, toiletry and household product refills, slow fashion, and even ceramics, it’s no wonder the concept has taken off. Slowood has since opened a second, larger location in Discovery Bay, which includes everything the original Kennedy Town shop sells and an exclusive gardening section.

Batata Greens

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Batata Greens 甘薯葉 (@batata_greens) on

When it comes to vegan ready meals and frozen goods, there’s no question that Batata Greens has cornered the market in Hong Kong. While their retail stores stock vegan chocolates, cheese, cookies, plant milks, and meat substitutes from all manner of international brands, Batata Greens’ real showstopper is its own brand of vegan foods (which is also available at other retailers). The range is huge and covers Cantonese favourites like “squid” and “beef” balls for hotpot, classic dim sum dishes, and fried rice, as well as Western meals like burgers and pastas. They even have frozen “calamari”, in case you wake up with a hankering for vegan fritto misto.

Veggie Labo

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by VEGGIE LABO (@veggielabo) on

Founded by a Japanese vegetarian living in Hong Kong, Veggie Labo is a serene, wabi-sabi space hidden on the fifth floor of a Sheung Wan commercial building. Everything in store is vegetarian or vegan and carefully sourced from Japan. In addition to its retail operation, Veggie Labo also holds semi-regular cooking classes for people looking to explore plant-based Japanese cuisine. Most recently, they hosted a takoyaki-making class where participants created a gluten-free, vegan version of the popular snack (which is usually made from octopus) out of konjac, broccoli, and soy-based kewpie mayonnaise.

Live Zero

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Live Zero Bulk Foods (@livezero.hk) on

If you’re after natural, organic, and fairtrade groceries in bulk quantities, head to Live Zero. They have two bulk food stores in Sai Ying Pun and Sai Kung, but the former also also has a neighbouring retail space for bulk beauty products. Beyond staple products like shampoo and body wash, the beauty store also carries zero-waste and sustainable sunscreen, body butters, and even refillable toothpaste.

Wet markets

hong kong farmers market
Photo: Tamserpo/Creative Commons

Wet markets have got a bad rap in recent months, but anyone who’s actually visited one will know there’s nothing to fear. ‘Wet market’ simply refers to unenclosed markets selling perishable ingredients like fresh fruit and vegetables, tofu, noodles and dumplings — they’re essentially what people in other countries refer to as farmers’ markets.

Most neighbourhoods have their own wet markets, and they’re a great way to support local businesses while getting fresh food at affordable prices. You can bring your own reusable bags and boxes and avoid unnecessary plastic waste; because a lot of the produce is local, you can take solace in knowing that your salad doesn’t have an enormous carbon footprint.

For the true Hong Kong experience, make sure to patronise the same vendors and build relationships with them — soon enough, they’ll start setting aside your favourite vegetables or recommending that you try the freshest in-season fruit. That’s when you know you’re a proper gai fong (neighbour).

Online-only

Jou Sun

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Jou Sun 早晨 Groceries (@jou.sun) on

Okay, maybe going to the wet market every day for fresh vegetables isn’t the most practical option for people who work in offices. (We were going to say “9 to 5 schedule”, but again, this is Hong Kong.) However, you can still support local farmers by shopping at Jou Sun, an “online farmers’ market” that connects 50 local farms and importers with customers. The product selection is huge and covers fresh produce, pantry items, and miscellaneous household products.

Eden’s

sustainable stores hong kong
Photo: Eden’s/Facebook

If you’re only looking for fresh produce, Eden’s is another excellent online grocer. It’s a gourmet produce supplier that sources fruit and vegetables for some of the best restaurants in the city. Eden’s retail site just launched this summer and the selection is more limited than Jou Sun’s, but it does stock items that are a bit harder to find here, like globe artichokes, Jerusalem artichokes, quinces, and granadilla.

Foodcraft

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by FoodCraft (@foodcraft_hk) on

Seeing as it’s autumn, we had to mention Foodcraft, one of the most accessible local sources of vegan mooncakes. This eco-friendly store sells a wide variety of raw and vegan snacks, like raw puddings and yoghurts, tempeh, and plant-based protein balls. If you’ve yet to dip your toe into lockdown cooking experiments, Foodcraft also stocks sourdough, kefir, and kombucha starters, as well as all the gear you need to start fermenting. Need a bit more guidance? Just book one of Foodcraft’s classes at their welcoming Kennedy Town workshop space.

The Store

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by TheStoreHK (@thestore_hk) on

For affordable vegan snacks, pantry ingredients, and household products, you can’t beat The Store. Everything is already helpfully categorised by dietary requirement, so you can just browse through the dedicated vegan page. The Store’s team comprises self-confessed “health and fitness nuts”, so you can expect to find a lot of protein powders, supplements, and energy-boosting products alongside vegan goodies like raw cacao spread and pulled jackfruit. While The Store isn’t strictly zero-waste or carbon-neutral, the owners make an effort to stock sustainable items and import them by sea in order to keep their carbon footprint small.

KIRR Concept

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by KIRR – Keeping It Real & Raw (@kirr.hk) on

One of the newer additions to the sustainable store scene is KIRR Concept, which is an extension of vegan-friendly bakery The Cakery (not to be confused with Ms B’s Cakery). It’s a veritable one-stop shop, selling everything from vegan food to houseplants, slow fashion clothing, and even baby and pet products. The prices are on the steeper side, but many of the products (like beeswax food wraps and silicone zip-lock bags) are designed to last, so they may work out to be more cost-effective.

Annette
Annette Chan
Annette is a freelance journalist and copywriter based in Hong Kong. She has written extensively about food, travel, and culture in Hong Kong and Asia at large, and counts intersectional feminism, alternative music, and beauty as her some of her main interests.