Foodie Finds: Eat Like a Bus Driver in Hong Kong

by theowoo /
theowoo's picture
May 10, 2012 / 0 comments

Want a different Cha Chaan Teng experience? Did you know you can grab a lunch inside many of the major bus termini in Hong Kong?

You won’t normally realize their existence, even if you deliberately opt for mass transportation (i.e., the railway MTR and the bus KMB) for a more local experience of the city. Yet this KMB staff canteen is located right at the intersection of the two transport systems, above the Kowloon Tong MTR Station.


KMB staff canteen


These canteens were originally established by the bus company to cater bus drivers during lunch breaks. They are usually commissioned to operate on a small scale, serving mostly the food you would expect in a Cha Chaan Teng.

The food may not particularly cheap, though. For example, a set lunch with drinks as shown below would cost you around HKD35. But they are definitely cheaper than what you’d get in Festival Walk, the mall next to the Yau Yat Tsuen Bus Terminus.


Rice with Fish Fillet and Aubergine

Rice with Fish Fillet and Aubergine


There are only 3 tables in the canteen, which can accommodate only 15-16 customers at a time. So you’ll always find people queuing up around lunch time. Many students from schools nearby and white-collar workers will therefore get takeaway instead. Sometimes you may also see policemen, as this is one of the authorised refreshment locations for officers from the Sham Shui Po station. (Yea, so make sure you’re a legal visitor.)

Like in many local restaurants in town, they don’t have English on their menus. But you could just get what other people (bus drivers!) are having, or just pick one from the whiteboards listing the Chef’s Picks of the Day. That’ll do.

A Compact Kitchen

A Compact Kitchen


There are more than 20 such KMB staff canteens in Kowloon and the New Territories. Be sure to check them out if you are looking for some new and unique dining experiences.


22 KMB Staff Canteens in Hong Kong

22 KMB Staff Canteens in Hong Kong


Since it is such a compact canteen, you will most definitely be sharing a table with someone else. Ask them for a recommendation - maybe you’ll score a conversation or two. Bus drivers work alone all day. They are not supposed to talk to passengers while driving. But they do get sociable during lunch!

Once again, the best timing would be to visit at lunch hour. The Yau Yat Tsuen KMB Staff Canteen featured above closes at 7:30 pm.



Theo is a member of the Youth Travel Blogging Mentorship Program.

All photos courtesy and copyright theowoo