Kennedy Town Neighbourhood Guide: Hong Kong Island’s Laid-back Seaside Suburb

Posted in Where to Live
Kennedy Town - Neighbourhood Guide

For a long time, Kennedy Town’s seaside locale and its distance from the city’s major commercial hubs without convenient transportation links have given it the character of a sleepy fisherman’s suburb. Kennedy Town is at the end of the tramline running along Hong Kong Island, and previously only reachable via car or bus.

But since the MTR was introduced in 2014, the area has been fast gentrifying, with old vehicle repair shops and local greasy spoons making way for luxury high-rises and upmarket bars and restaurants. Still, the area retains its charm and affordability with a mix of old walk-up properties and street-level shopping. At the same time, it has also been attracting scores of young couples, families and foreigners who love the stylish new pads and remodeled loft-style abodes.

With its proximity to various prestigious schools in and around the Central and Western District — particularly bilingual or international schools such as Island Waldorf School, Harbour School, Kennedy School, not to mention the University of Hong Kong, this western district on Hong Kong Island has been particularly popular for growing families and older students alike.

Residences to Know

With many apartment buildings practically at arm’s reach to the waterfront, Kennedy Town’s residences often boast of sea views and are typically equipped with harbour-facing balconies. 

The Merton (Image credit: Wiki Commons)

Located in the six-block radius of the town centre and just minutes’ away from the MTR, one of the most well-known residences in Kennedy Town is none other than The Merton, a three-phase luxury high-rise complex built by New World Development in 2005, with units ranging from 276-802 sq.ft. Just two minutes’ walk away is Cadogan, one of the area’s newest and most stylishly appointed apartments completed in 2014, featuring small to mid-sized homes from 346-911 sq.ft. Close by is Manhattan Heights, completed in 2000 with also small to mid-sized homes spanning 434-714 sq.ft. Part of the property is operated as serviced apartments.

Cadogan (Image credit: Wiki Commons)

Larger families will want to head outwards from the town centre in favour of more space. The Belcher’s is a popular choice: Shun Tak Property Management’s longstanding six-building complex was completed between 2000 and 2001, and comprises 2,213 units ranging from over 800 to more than 3,300 sq.ft. For added convenience, it’s attached to Westwood Mall, which provides various eateries and shops for day to day necessities. Harbour One is also popular with tenants looking to stretch their legs, with apartments ranging 662–2,624 sq.ft. and equipped with well-appointed amenities, including an Olympic-sized swimming pool.

With modest apartment sizes ranging 285-323 sq.ft., millennials and young couples may prefer to flock to the stylish surroundings and conveniences of Eight South Lane. It’s one of the newest residences in the area, completed in 2015, and is just steps away from the HKU MTR station.

Over at the western cusp of Kennedy Town you’ll find The Sail at Victoria, a single-building luxury property by Hongkong Land, one of Hong Kong’s most highly regarded property developers, built in 2009. 

With a mix of residences new and old and of various sizes — from studio apartments to four-bedroom family abodes, older structures to lavish developments built in the last five years, Kennedy Town properties can fetch selling prices between HK$4–20 million, while rents can range from HK$6.2k to just over the HK$100k mark a month.

Where to Eat & Drink

% Arabica

Arabica’s Kyoto flagship was founded by coffee enthusiast Kenneth Shoji, world latte art champion Junichi Yamaguchi and architect Masaki Kato. Rapidly expanding throughout the region, it’s considered one of the most stylish coffee shop chains in Hong Kong. This two-storey Kennedy Town location boasts sea views and ample space to lounge to go with winning brews.

% Arabica (Kennedy Town), Shop 4, G/F, Grand Fortune Mansion, 1 Davis Street, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong, +852 2326 4578

Alvy’s

Alvy’s is a neighbourhood taproom by local brewery Young Master. Craft beer aficionados who want to pair their local tipple with a New York-style slice will want to make a beeline for this charming tavern. The pies here are made in-house with brewer’s yeast, perfectly paired with one of the refreshing seasonal brews.

Alvy’s, 8 Holland Street, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong, +852 2312 2996

Bistro Du Vin

Living in the heart of Kennedy Town can be encapsulated with experiences like this — charming neighbourhood eateries that offer that certain je ne sais quoi and can satisfy cravings easily on any day of the week without breaking the bank. Bistro Du Vin is a friendly bistro serving up familiar provincial French dishes — think coq au vin or escargots on bone marrow — that are perfect for sharing with loved ones.

Bistro Du Vin, Shop 1D, Davis Street, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong, +852 2824 3010

Little Creatures

Kennedy Town locals love a waterfront stroll at the New Praya, and one of the quintessential pit stops would be Little Creatures. Hailing from Fremont, Australia, this craft brewery set up shop in a former sugar and flour factory space, boasting high loft ceilings and an airy, convivial atmosphere to taste test some excellent new brews — all made in-house.

Little Creatures, 5A New Praya, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong, +852 2833 5611

What to See & Do

Instagram Pier

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Day and Night #西环码头

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Originally a cargo dock, this strip of industrial land by the sea is a motherlode of Instagrammable backdrops featuring Victoria Harbour — hence its playful moniker. On the weekend, you’ll catch young couples and friends, dog owners and keen anglers spread out about the quay, selfie sticks (or fishing rods) in hand. Head here if you’re looking to snap your next handsome new profile photo. It’s also a fantastic spot to catch the sunset. 

Western District Public Cargo Working Area, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong

Wheat and Wood

If you’ve got a few hours to while away on an afternoon or evening, head over to Wheat and Wood, Kennedy Town’s thriving board games bar for a strategic game or three. Test your wits with games such as Articulate!, fool your friends and foes with Avalon, or settle down for a round of Monopoly — or pick from dozens more on their ever-growing shelf.

Wheat and Wood, Shop 6, G/F, Brilliant Court, 28 Praya, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong +852 2399 0433

Lo Pan Temple

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#temple #KennedyTown

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A Chinese temple dedicated to the patron saint of carpenters, builders and contractors, Lo Pan. First built in 1884, Lo Pan temple is listed as a Grade I historic building in Hong Kong and is also part of the Central and Western Heritage Trail. The building sees significant celebrations during the 13th day of the sixth lunar month each year — also known as Lo Pan’s birthday. Those belonging to the construction industry flock here to pay their respects and pray for success and safe work in the coming year.

Lo Pan Temple, 15 Ching Lin Terrace, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong

Evelyn Lok
When not trying out the latest beauty and wellness trends, Evelyn is likely enjoying a perfectly balanced negroni or exploring some of Hong Kong's best new places to eat and drink. She covers everything from the biggest events in town to interviews with Hong Kong specialists, with topics spanning art, food and drink, health, tech, and travel.