Find the Temple Street Night Market south of Sham Shui Po in the Yau Ma Tei area.
The bustling market scene is primarily one wide walking avenue that stretches about five blocks long.
Restaurants spill into the streets with crowded tables adjacent to clothing stands, art and jewelry vendors, and shops with assorted souvenirs for sale make for an all-in-one nighttime bazaar.
Whole fried fish is a popular choice at street stalls in and around the Temple Street Night Market. The fish are typically served whole filled with roe.
An assortment of snacks from the Jeun May stall nearby the Temple Street Night Market might include fish balls, stuffed peppers, Chinese sausage, eggplant or tofu, all of which is fried.
Chicken wings, "stinky tofu," intestines and bacon-wrapped vegetables are among the popular nighttime treats served up at stalls lining the market.
A hearty stew featuring beef tripe is prepared at the Jeun May stall.
Yuen Fong Dumplings prepares dumplings in the Northern Chinese style, which is characterized by thicker, heartier dough stuffed with pork or vegetables, as opposed to the Cantonese wonton with pork or shrimp in thin dough.
These women may prepare 5,000 dumplings per day. Dumplings are cooked and served in the kitchen and sold by the box to be cooked at home. The shop owner opened the store in this location specifically to provide a low-cost dining option for his working class neighborhood.
Dumplings may be steamed and served in soup, including this variation with fish broth. The dumplings are designed for the colder climate of Northern China.
Dumplings are most popularly served pan fried. Stuffing options include pork and watercress, and pork and cabbage.
Rice rolls are a popular snack or breakfast dish in Hong Kong. Known as "ju cheong fun," the slippery, gluttonous noodles are made from rice flour and corn starch and are cut into bite-size pieces eaten with a toothpick. Load up a serving with hoisin and chili sauces, plus soy sauce and sesame seeds. Try the dish at Hop Yick Tai in Sham Shui Po.
Roast goose is one of Hong Kong's most well-known specialties. Serving options include a regular cut, or a thigh cut, with the latter being more expensive.
King of Goose displays roast geese in the Sham Shui Po District. The color and shape of the geese are both precisely honed.
Sun Ming Kee presents thinly sliced beef for an order of hot pot. This local's haunt is several alleys down from the main Temple Street Night Market avenue.
An electric heater is brought to the table for every order of hot pot. Different broths are available to start, including this variety with Chinese herbs.
The fun of hot pot is in the hands-on creation and customization of the dish. Thin slices of beef like this cook in seconds in the boiling broth, so it's best to quickly dunk one bite at a time.
Snake soup is served from Sher Wong Yip in Sham Shui Po. The hearty soup includes mushrooms and lemongrass along with sliced snake meat.
Live snakes are kept in boxes in the shop, stowed somewhat ominously above your head among the ceiling rafters.
The shop owner proudly shows off one of the snakes he'll soon prepare in his soup. His shop proudly showcases a photo of "Bizarre Foods" television host Andrew Zimmern, who once visited.
Bamboo egg noodles are served with shrimp roe, a dish known as "ha zi lo mein," at Lau Sum Kee Noodle. The shop is one of a few who stick by the traditional methods for making bamboo noodles, with the cook hopping up and down on a long, thick bamboo trunk to roll out the dough to the correct texture. The noodles here are made with duck eggs.
The noodles and roe are quite dry together and are therefore served alongside a rich seafood broth.
Pineapple buns, or "bor lo bao," do not include any pineapple, but are named for the yellow color and cracked surface which are somewhat reminiscent of the fruit.
The popular breakfast pastry is prepared at Kowloon Restaurant, an all-day cafe. The sugary top layer baked into the bun provides a crunchy texture which contrasts with the soft, fluffy interior.
Kowloon Restaurant prepares Hong Kong-style milk tea with a filter that resembles a stocking, giving the drink the nickname of silk stocking or pantyhose tea. The drink is ubiquitous across Hong Kong.
A1 Tofu Company makes a variety of soy-based dishes and desserts, including soybean milk, or "dau jeung," and tofu dessert, or "dau fu fa." The latter is texturally reminiscent of panna cotta and served in thinly scooped slices.
Dau fu fa is served with hot water and is available with a variety of flavors and seasonings, including with ginger syrup and sugar cane powder.
Fresh butchered beef and pork cuts hang from an open-air street vendor's shop in Sham Shui Po.
Cuts of carp are displayed at a fishmonger's street stand. Heads, tails, bellies and lean cuts are all on offer.
The fish head is typically the most prized and expensive portion. It's commonly used to make fish head soup.
Intact fish hearts are left attached and still beating, indicating the freshness of the catch.
A streetside butcher prepares the portions and cuts requested from customers, some of whom may return on a daily basis.
Street shops in Sham Shui Po may offer quick bites to take on the move, such as dumplings, scallion pancakes or Chinese pork buns.
Crispy fried rice is loaded with Chinese sausage, chicken and scallions from a busy street stall in Sham Shui Po.
All types of dried seafood can be found in shops in Sham Shui Po. Sold by weight, offerings may include dried scallops, mussels or whole fish.
Whole fish and shrimp are commonly available from dried seafood vendors. The items may be rehydrated for food preparation or used to create strong and often pungent sauces or seasonings.
Whole dried squid are common in dried seafood shops, along with offerings such as manta ray gills or shark fins.
Dried sea cucumbers are sought after for their purported medicinal benefits.
Swim bladders, found in bony fish, are popular as "a delicacy with medicinal function," Yan says. The bladders are typically used to make fish maw soup.
The swim bladders, prized for collagen, are quite expensive, with the largest pieces going for upwards of 20,000 HKD (about $2,500).
Geckoes, always in a male and female pair, are sold from medicinal specialty shops to make gecko soup.
Small bowls from street stalls may be loaded with a variety of treats, such as dumplings, chicken feet, eggs or fried rice.
Varieties of cured Chinese sausage, known as "lap cheong," are commonly found among street vendors. Sausage flavors range from smoked to soy, as well as sweet and savory combinations.
Among the unique produce, whole lotus root is dug up from muddy environs and resembles a potato. You may recognize the item more clearly when sliced and strewn with holes.
Whole sugar cane stalks are for sale. Among the many potential applications, sugar cane juice is a popular refreshment in Hong Kong.
Brightly colored dragon fruit and wax apples are easy to find.
Produce signs at street stalls indicate price and information such as country of origin.
Chicken feet are popular street snacks in Hong Kong.
Chicken intestines and innards are sold by the stick at many street vendors. They're typically dyed a brighter, more appealing orange.