One of the definite reasons why people go to Taiwan is to experience its immense range of food offerings — a diverse array of amazing dishes and beverages combined to satiate global tastes and preferences.
We’ve had a considerable experience of what is it like to do food-tripping in Taiwan from the night markets, local eateries, sidewalk food stalls, fast food, and restaurants and I could say it is indeed a haven for adventurous foodies. We’ve tried some of the top preferred food in Taiwan by tourists as stated in blogs, but we didn’t stringently follow the list. We explored with our own cravings but still we’re satisfied nonetheless.
Here’s the list of recommended food and drinks to try in Taiwan:
1. Bubble Tea | Starts at NTD 50 |Everywhere
If you’re a certified milk tea lover, then Taiwan is the best place to be. You’d see it around convenience stores, cafes and street markets. Surprisingly, the lines are not that long compared to the ones in PH. Prices are relatively cheaper starting at NTD 50, but the taste is the same.
2. Hot Star Chicken| Starts at NTD 70| Ximending
This famous huge Taiwanese fried chicken deserves all the hype and praises it receives. It’s impressively juicy and succulent, with spices you’d love. Be patient to fall in line and wait for your number to be called but it’s all worth it!
3. Stinky Tofu | NTD 35-50 | Shilin
The rotten stench of this popular Taiwanese food draws curiosity among tourists. The taste is likable for some but others get distracted by the pungent smell — and that includes me. I nearly vomited but my friend Kit liked it.
4. Beef Tendon Noodles | NTD 150 | Ximending
What more can you ask for — tender beef, rich savory soup and firm noodles? You can eat this at the restaurant or local eatery nearby.
4. Soy Milk + Fried Dough |Yong-He Chinese type breakfast shop, Ximending|
This is a famous breakfast fare but you can eat it any time of the day. The Chinese fried dough is light and perfectly matches the soy milk.
5. Xiao Long Bao |
Yong-He Chinese type breakfast shop, Ximending|
Best eaten whilst hot! Although it is served in many restaurants in Taipei, we tried this in Yong-He. Forgot the price, sorry! But it costs less than a hundred bucks (NTD).
6. Candied Cherry Tomatoes and Strawberries |NTD 35| Tamsui & Ximending Night Market
It tastes good and not overly sweet!
7. Torched Beef Cubes | NTD 100 | Shilin Night Market
Seasoned with salt, pepper, and marinated with a special sauce, the beef cubes are okay but not it’s not that melt-in-your-mouth type. It’s amazing to watch how the beef is being grilled and torched.
7. Assorted Fruits | Price Varies | Night Markets
Fresh assorted fruits are everywhere — you can buy them sliced, per piece or in kilo in different night markets. Look at the bright, shiny colors. I’ve noticed they are larger in size compared to what we have here in PH.
8. Fried Cuttlefish | NTD 90-100 | Tamsui Fisherman’s Wharf and & Shifen Old Streets
This is one of my favorite snacks in Taipei! I usually ask the vendor to cut it in small bite-size pieces. It also tastes like squid coated in crispy breading and you can choose from a selection of flavors too.
9. Baked Potato with Toppings | NTD 80 | Shilin Night Market
When I saw the potato sign, I had no doubts in mind on what to eat for dinner in Shilin. Perhaps I can make a collection of potato dishes in all the places I travel to!
Anyway, a giant baked potato is extravagantly topped with pineapple, shredded broccoli, egg, ham, corn and drizzled with cheese sauce.
10. Seafood, Sushi and Cold Cuts| Starts at NTD 200 | Taipei Fish Market
Kit’s friend Sassy treated us for lunch in Taipei Fish Market or also known as the Addiction Aquatic Development in Zongshan District. We had an amazing Japanese feast of Sushi, Sashimi and other cold cuts.
11. Grilled Skewers | Starts at NTD 35 | Wanhua District
The available skewers are chicken, beef, pork, and vegetables. So yummy!
12. Authentic Taiwanese Food at a Restaurant in Gongguan
Another Taiwanese friend treated us for dinner at Gongguan, the largest student district in Taipei. I was not able to catch the name of the place but it is like an authentic Taiwanese restaurant where tourists usually go. We had radish cakes, hot and sour soup, and vegetables with fish cake.
13. Mos Burger | Starts at NTD 110 | Ximending
Mos Burger is also one of the known burger chains in Taiwan and actually in many parts of Asia. We wanted to experience dining in a fast food chain in Ximending so we tried Mos Burger. Thumbs up for the taste and price!
14. Mister Donut | Starts at NTD 35 | Tamsui Station
Why Mister Donut? The Pon de Ring donuts are not available in the local stores in PH. Here, people fall in lines showing it is really a must-try when you’re in Taiwan.
15. Shaved Ice with Bobba and Fruits | Starts at NTD 50 | Gongguan
If you’re up for cooling down for dessert, then this is worth the try. Tapioca pearls on shaved ice with different toppings to choose from, can be found in Gongguan.
So there you have it. Taiwan has a huge selection of food to try and all you have to do is prepare your appetite and budget of course. Bring with you your adventurous palate and sense of willingness to be open to different cuisines.
The list is based on our personal experience, price may vary depending on the location. We weren’t able to try everything, but at least this summarizes a fun a food trip we will never forget.
Tips and Useful Info:
- Serving sizes are mostly good for sharing, so share with your friends to save.
- In every tourist spot, there is a unique food that may not be available in other places. Go explore.
- For cheaper finds, go to the local groceries. Prices are lower compared to night markets or convenience stores.
- Check for promos and discounts.
- Try out the free tastes. You may discover something you’d end up buying later.
- Bring your own water bottle. Restaurants do not provide free drinking water.
- Do your internet research, but ask the locals too. They know the best places.
- Always, always, clean as you go.