10 Reasons to Visit Hong Kong's NoHo

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Illustration: Stella So for TIME

Just a few minutes away from Hong Kong's buzzing SoHo district is NoHo, its hipper, more laid-back younger cousin. Lying (as you might guess from its acronymic name) north of Hollywood Road, and occupying the length of Gough Street between Aberdeen and Shing Wong Streets, it was once mainly home to family-run shops and small printing presses. These days, though, NoHo is an enclave of independent boutiques and contemporary-art galleries, chichi cafés and old-school dai pai dong or cooked-food stalls. Here are 10 reasons to visit.

For those who crave strange and unusual designer items, Addiction (15 Gough Street) is an ideal fix. Showcasing up-and-coming designers from around the world, it purveys the kind of quirky creations you never knew you wanted, or needed, until it was too late. Look out for things like hand-knitted "creature" toys, ceramic-pigeon lamps or plaster-cast wall hooks fashioned in the shape of disarmingly expressive hands.

Recycling rules at this furniture and accessories store (8 Gough Street), where items come with an environmentally friendly twist. Choose from funky handbags created from candy wrappers, intricate necklaces and bracelets made from "eco-plastic," coffee tables fabricated from discarded milk cartons, and the like.

Beef-brisket noodles are a Hong Kong specialty, and many say that this neighborhood stalwart (21 Gough Street) serves up the city's best. Brave the inevitable queues to sample the rich, deeply flavorful beef broth, the firm, springy egg noodles and the deliciously tender, stewed-for-hours brisket, which yields to the gentlest bite.

No trip to NoHo is complete without a visit to Homeless (29 Gough Street). The flagship store is packed to the brim with home accessories from international underground brands in addition to its own designers. Look out for specially commissioned pieces by Hong Kong artist Carrie Chau.

Duck inside this 14-month-old art space (1 Shin Hing Street) to view fresh work by emerging artists from Hong Kong, China and East Asia. An exhibition by Beijing-based avant-garde photographer Chen Wei runs until Dec. 5.

This two-story gallery (6 Shin Hing Street) offers fine selections of local and international contemporary art. Showing until Jan. 16 is "Multi{ple}," a group exhibition exploring mechanization versus hand production.

Hong Kong fashion doyenne Ranee K (16 Gough Street) trades in original clothing made from retro prints and fabrics — think cheongsam wrap dresses, tailored chemises, feminine shrugs and fitted jackets — alongside vintage accessories collected over the course of her travels. Antique clocks, old toys, treadle sewing machines and a pink chaise longue contribute to the feel of an old curiosity shop.

This unusual hair salon (93 Hollywood Road) turns into a jazz and blues speakeasy on the first and third Saturday night of every month, when an intimate circle of music lovers gathers to quaff whisky or wine while soaking up the sounds of local jazz greats like guitarist Eugene Pao and pianist Ted Lo.

Just next door, Thai ceramicist Somluk Pantiboon's sculptural earthenware is on display at Earth (91 Hollywood Road). His glaze work is especially fine; the tenmoku, or "eye of heaven," pieces radiate with a surreal, otherworldly beauty.

Part shop, part art space, Gallery de Vie, (45 Gough Street) combines an eclectic assemblage of fashion and lifestyle goods — from funky handbags and hipster wristbands to Holga toy cameras and Moleskine notebooks — with regularly changing art exhibitions of a decidedly offbeat nature.