There is so much good food in Taipei City! Whether you’re a certified foodie or just a regular tourist, you’ll love the local dishes, along with Korean, Japanese, and other-influenced food here. Here we’ve listed the must-try food in Taipei City!
1. Braised pork rice
How can a simple dish be so good?
Braised pork rice (also known locally as lu rou fan) is white rice topped with minced braised pork in dark, flavorful sauce. You can order it as a meal of its own or with side dishes.
Braised pork rice is a beloved comfort food in Taipei (along with beef noodles).
It’s served in countless restaurants in the city, but the most popular one is Jin Feng.
2. Traditional Taiwanese Breakfast
The traditional Taiwanese breakfast consists of a warm bowl of soy milk (do jiang) and carbs such as scallion pancakes, egg-filled pancakes, steamed buns, and fried dough.
You can enjoy this in numerous breakfast joints in Taipei. If you’re looking for a specific place, head to Fu Hang Soy Milk, a Michelin-starred restaurant that gets a daily queue of hungry customers.
3. Beef noodles
Beef noodles is one of the best dishes in Taipei. Sweet and savory noodle soup served with tender beef chunks are great meals no matter the weather.
It can be found in numerous restaurants, and some of the best ones are in Yong Kang Beef Noodles, Liu Shandong, and Niou Dien Beef Noodles.
4. Stinky tofu
This is the most popular streetfood in Taiwan.
Stinky tofu is basically fermented tofu, which emits a pungent smell. It is prepared in different ways: steamed, stewed, and fried. Fried tofu is the most popular and the least smelly, so it’s the easiest to eat especially if it’s your first time. It’s usually served with pickled cabbage and garlic sauce, with optional chili sauce for added heat.
You can easily find stinky tofu in night markets in Taipei City.
I tried stinky tofu not in Taipei, but in Shenken Old Street which is several minutes away from the city. At that time, I thought it was just regular tofu because the smell wasn’t as strong as the stinky tofu I’d tried in Kuala Lumpur. It was actually quite nice and the chili broth it came with complements the mild tofu flavor perfectly.
5. Oyster omelette
This is another popular street food in Taipei. The omelette is cooked with fresh oysters and topped with sweet, hot sauce.
Yuan Huan Pien is a long-standing stall that serves oyster omelettes. You can also find this dish in night markets.
6. Taiwanese Fried Chicken
Who doesn’t like fried chicken?
Taiwanese fried chicken (also called popcorn chicken) are bite-sized boneless chicken fried until golden brown. It’s tossed with special seasoning and sprinkled with fried basil leaves. It is salty and crispy, with good aroma from the basil leaves.
Taiwanese fried chicken can be found in night markets. Aside from the popcorn version, you can also find whole chicken cutlets.
Xialongbao (or soup dumplings) are steamed dumplings with small pockets of gelatinous broth. This is one of my favorite food in Taipei! The dumplings are so delicious that you’ll definitely want to order more than a plate.
Xialongbao is hugely popular in Taipei and it’s served in most restaurants. Of course, the most popular place to get it is Din Tai Fung. This is a Michelin-starred restaurant that has already expanded in various countries, including the Philippines. The original branch of Din Tai Fung in Taiwan is located in Xinyi District. However, it’s often crowded so if you want to get immediately seated it’s best to go on a mid-afternoon on a weekday or head to its other branches including the one in Taipei 101 building.
8. Pork pepper bun
Pork pepper bun (hujiao bing) is a type of baked bun which originated in Fuzhou, the capital of Fujian Province in China. The bun is filled with marinated minced pork and cooked in a charcoal oven until it’s crispy outside and juicy on the inside.
Pork pepper buns are a staple in night markets in Taipei.
9. Pineapple cakes
Pineapple cake is the most popular dessert in Taiwan.
Back in the Japanese era, there was a huge export on pineapples. When demand decreased, bakeries instead used the pineapple as jams for pastries and that’s how the Taiwan pineapple cakes came to be.
You can get them in SunnyHill Taipei which is famous for their farm-to-bakery concept, as well as other food shops. If you plan on bringing a pack home, you can even buy them on stores in the airport.
10. Mango shaved ice
Mango shaved ice is an iconic dessert in Taiwan. A generous bowl of shaved ice is served with milk, mango ice cream, and chunks of mango fruit. You can have it with regular shaved ice or flavored ones, including black sesame, coffee, and milk tea.
The best place to get mango shaved ice is Ice Monster.
11. Bubble tea
Bubble tea is a Taiwan classic drink. It was invented in the 1980s and is hugely popular in the country.
Bubble tea is essentially milk tea with “bubbles” — which can be anything from tapioca to fruit jellies. Nowadays, there’s a wide variety of bubble teas available. You can get a traditional milk tea with tapioca, brown sugar milk or milk tea, and trendy variants such as milk tea with gold foil and organic rose.
Food Tips in Taipei
Here are some tips to help you get the best out of your foodie experience in Taipei City:
- Taiwan has a lot of great night markets. In fact, the best food in Taipei can be found in night markets, as well as mom-and-pop restaurants and street stalls. The best night markets for food tripping are Shilin Night Market and Raohe Night Market.
- Aside from single orders, don’t forget to try hotpots and shabu-shabu as well.
- Taipei also have a lot of fresh, delicious shop. Forgot the expensive slices you can find in night markets. Instead, head to fruit shops where you can buy the fruits for cheap, including pineapples, melon, lychee, rose apples, and kyoho grapes.
- Taipei City has great food, but if you really want to delve into the food scene in Taiwan, you should also head outside it. Tainan, Kaohsiung, and Taichung are great foodie destinations.
- There are Taipei food tours you can book for the ultimate food tripping experience!
Has our guide on what to eat in Taipei City been helpful to you? If you have more suggestions, let me know in the comment section below!
What to read next:
Planning a trip to Taiwan? Here are important guides:
- First-Timers Guide to Taiwan
- 5 Days Itinerary in Taiwan
- One Day in Taipei City
- Best Day Trips from Taipei City
- What to Eat in Taipei City
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Katherine Cortes is a 30-something freelance writer/editor. She likes beaches, snorkeling trips, and relaxing staycations (preferably with bath tubs!).