Taiwan delivers a unique culinary offering due to its geographical and political influences. Geographically, the country is a mountainous island surrounded by big bodies of water, making it the perfect place to grow some of the best quality of fruits and vegetables + a great spot to catch the freshest seafood in the region. Politically, it has been greatly influenced by the island’s ancestral aboriginal tribes, immigration wave from China, occupation by Japanese, and the colonization of the West. Clearly a cultural melting pot, it’s not a surprise why Taiwan has constantly been recognized as one of the best food destinations in Asia. Look to the left and you’ll see a small local food shop with a long line of regular buyers . Look to the right and you’ll see a newly opened international restaurant headed by a Michelin-starred chef. Whatever food you crave for, Taiwan’s got you covered.
After frequently going to Taiwan for the past few years, I finally came up with my own list of 50 must-eat spots I personally love (and keep going back to). Hope this guide helps you in your next Taiwan adventure. Happy eating!
PS: This article was also featured in a print magazine! Check it out here- http://blog.biancasing.com/travel-now-magazine-the-ultimate-taipei-food-guide/
The most important meal of the day, having a good brekky is a must! A typical Taiwanese breakfast involves a lot of carbs + eggs + soy milk.
1. Fu Hang Dou Jiang 阜杭豆漿
Be strategic when visiting this store to avoid lining up for long (I arrived at 7am but still spent 1 hour queing). Their signature item is the Thick Shao Bing stuffed with Fried Cruller.
Address: 2nd floor, Hua Shan Market; No. 108, Zhongxiao East Rd., Sec. 1, Zhongzheng District, Taipei, Taiwan
Opening Hours: 5:30am-12:30pm (Tue-Sun); Closed on Mon
2. Yong He Dou Jiang 永和豆漿
If you want to enjoy an authentic Taiwanese breakfast, this is the place to be. There are many branches of this shop all over Taipei so it’s not hard to locate one. Also, it’s open for 24 hours a day, making it my usual 1st stop from the airport upon landing at 2am every time I go to TPE. My favorite here would be their soy milk. Yes, you heard it right. I strongly believe that not all soy milk drinks are made the same and I love how rich and flavorful theirs is!
Address: multiple branches (one of the most famous ones is located here: No. 102, Section 2, Fuxing South Road, Daan District)
Opening Hours: 24/7
SNACKS AND STREET EATS
Ranging from iconic pastries such as pineapple cakes to side street staples, you should definitely take time to explore and enjoy Taiwan’s local treats.
3. Chia Te 佳德糕餅
I believe that the best Pineapple cake in Taiwan can be found here. I always buy a box or two as my gift for my family and friends back home (or pasalubong, as we say it in the Philippines). Oh, by the way, I also love their Milk Sun Cakes! They only have 1 branch in the whole country so make sure to go early as their pastries tend to go out of stock early in the afternoon.
Address: No. 88, Sec 5, Nanjing East Road, Taipei, Taiwan
Opening Hours: 7:30am-9:30pm (Mon-Sun)
4. Hot Star Large Fried Chicken 豪大大雞排
One of the iconic brands of street food in Taiwan! I know Hot Star has expanded to different countries already but of course, it’s still a different experience to enjoy this chicken in its original birthplace.
Address: Shilin Night Market
5. Lan Jia Gua Bao 藍家割包
“Gua Bao” is like a Chinese version of hamburger. Some people call it as Pork Belly Bun too. This shop definitely serves the best version of this snack. PS: to those who don’t like cilantro (like me), you can have it removed before they start preparing your order!
Address: No. 3, Alley 8, Lane 316, Section 3, Roosevelt Rd, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan 100
Opening Hours: 11:00 am – 12:00 midnight (Tue – Sun); Closed on Mon
These homegrown restaurants serve the most authentic local dishes. Some of them are even making waves in the international food scene!
6. Din Tai Fung 鼎泰豐
Who doesn’t know about DTF? What started out as a cooking oil retail shop in Taiwan back in 1958 blossomed into this Xiao Long Bao (steamed dumpling) empire and has now already made it to more than 13 countries around the world!
Address: All over Taipei but for some throwback feels, check out their original branch in Yong Kang Street or another popular branch is the one in Taipei 101 ’cause it’s convenient for tourists checking out the tallest building in the city.
7. Shin Yeh 欣葉
Din Tai Fung might be famous for tourists but if you are visiting and you have local Taiwanese relatives, for sure they’ll bring you here for some good family style classic Taiwanese meal.
Address: Original Branch- No. 34-1, Shuangcheng St., Zhongshan Dist., Taipei City
Opening Hours: 11:00am– 12:00am (everyday)
8. Yong Kang Beef Noodles 永康牛肉麵
Taiwanese LOVE beef noodles. So much actually that there used to be a “Beef Noodles Festival” held annually. Being around since 1963, Yong Kang Beef Noodle Shop is, of course, already an institution in the beef noodle game.
Address: No. 17, Lane 31, Section 2, Jinshan South Road, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106
Opening Hours: 11:00am-9:00pm (everyday)
Taiwan experiences winter season and in Taipei, it gets really pretty cold around December-February every year. Once the temperature drops, it means one thing- it’s hotpot season!
9. Wu Lao Guo Elixir Healthpot 無老鍋養生火鍋
The one who started the health hotpot or “beauty in a pot” trend! Make sure to order their Collagen-based soup (and don’t forget to call for a reservation to secure a table beforehand!)
Address: No. 143, Section 3, Civic Blvd, Zhongshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 104
Opening Hours: 11:30am-2:30am (everyday)
10. Mala Yuan Yang Hotpot 麻辣火鍋
Unlimited shabu-shabu with eat-all-you-can Häagen-Dazs? SOLD! Their price scheme is simple: TWD 498 for lunch and TWD 598 for dinner + weekends. I believe it’s one of the most value-for-money restaurants in Taipei.
Address: No. 62, 108, Taiwan, Taipei City, Wanhua District, Xining South Road
Opening Hours: 11:30am-4:00am (everyday)
I LOVE ramen so I just purposely dedicated a whole sub-category for it! Being a city heavily influenced by Japanese Cuisine, Taiwan is definitely the 2nd best place to enjoy Japanese food (after Japan, of course).
11. Ramen Kagetsu Arashi
Cap off your full day of shopping around Ximending with a bowl of delicious ramen with tamago in this ramen shop!
Address: No. 29, Section 2, Wuchang St, Wanhua District, Taipei City, Taiwan 108
Opening Hours: 11:00am-10:00pm (Sunday-Thursday); 11:00am-11:00pm (Friday-Saturday)
Originating from Tokyo’s Ikebukuro District, this is the ramen place to go if you’re looking for that kind of not too oily, not too salty– just the right mix of broth for your ramen.
Address: No. 36, Lane 187, Section 1, Dunhua South Road, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106
Opening Hours: 11:00am-11:00pm (everyday)
13. Totto Ramen
Instead of the popular tonkatsu pork bone broth, this ramen place uses chicken broth. Having only 20 seats available, make sure you go early to secure that perfect spot to enjoy their bowl of chicken paitan ramen.
Address: No. 9, Alley 5, Lane 107, Section 1, Fuxing South Road, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106
Opening Hours: 11:30am-10:00pm (Sun-Thurs); 11:30am-4:00am (Fri-Sat)
Tsuta is best known for being the first Michelin-starred ramen shop after its Chef, Onishi Yuki, opened its first branch in Tokyo way back in 2012. Luckily, Taipei is the second overseas location where this famous truffle oil-infused ramen has been made available (first one was in Singapore).
Address:No. 36, Section 1, Zhongxiao West Road, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan 100
Opening Hours: 11:00am-10:00pm (everyday)
There has been a tremendous boom in the restaurant scene in Taipei in the recent years and even if the restaurants below might be on the pricier side of the spectrum, with the quality food that they serve, you’ll definitely say… “It’s super worth it!”
15. Da Wan BBQ
Best Japanese yakiniku experience in Taipei- A++ quality of meat paired with the most personalized service- ‘buff said.
Address: 106, Taiwan, Taipei City, Da’an District, Lane 177, Section 1, Dunhua South Road, No. 22
Opening Hours: 6:00pm-12:00am (Sun-Thurs); 6:00pm-2:00am (Fri-Sat)
16. Lawry’s Steak
Being in the business for 90 long years, Lawry’s is definitely a legend already in the steak industry. No need to fly all the way to LA to have a taste of their amazing prime rib!
Address: 10, Taiwan, Taipei City, Xinyi District, Songren Road, No. 105
Opening Hours: 12:00am-3:00pm & 6:00pm-10:00pm (everyday)
17. Le Blanc
Craving for good steak frites and lobster? Then this is the place to go! Opened by Chef Long Xiong, he wanted to share the taste of his hometown (Boston, New York) to Taipei.
Address: No. 183, Section 1, Da’an Road, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106
Opening Hours: 11:30am-1:00am (everyday)
18. Mitsui Cusine M
Misty Food and Beverage Group runs the most famous Mitsui chain of Japanese restaurants across Taiwan, including the famous modern fish market Addiction Aquatic Development, so there’s definitely no doubt on the quality and freshness of Japanese seafood that they serve there
Address: No. 30, Nong’an Street, Zhongshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 10491
Opening Hours: 11:30am-2:00pm & 5:30pm-9:20pm (everyday)
19. Sen Sushi
Omakase lunch is really worth every cent here! Make sure not to miss their signature dish: the sea urchin + foie gras + scallop “burger.”
Address: 105 Taiwan, Taipei City, Zhongshan District, Lane 59, Section 2, Zhongshan North Road, No. 7
Opening Hours: 12:00pm-2:00pm & 6:00pm-10:00pm (everyday)
20. Shang Palace by Shangri-La Taipei
We all know that Shangri-La Hotels worldwide know how to serve excellent Cantonese cuisine very well- and Shangri-La Taipei is no exception. Ahhhh I’m dreaming of that glorious Peking Duck I’ve had here a few years ago. Definitely one of the bests I’ve tried in my whole life!
Address: 6th Floor, No. 201, Section 2, Dunhua South Road, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 10675
Opening Hours: 11:30am-2:30pm & 6:00pm-9:30pm (everyday)
21. Yen by W Taipei
Located at the top most floor of W Taipei, Yen doesn’t only serve contemporary Chinese cuisine but is also a great location to view the beautiful Taipei city skyline.
Address: 31st floor, 10 Zhongxiao East Road Sec. 5, Xinyi District, Taipei, Taipei City, Taiwan 110
Opening Hours: 11:30am-2:30pm & 6:00pm-9:30pm (everyday)
Hong Kong, Japan, and Thailand have long been the fine-dining go-to cities in Asia for foodies all over the world but you should definitely start including Taipei in your list. With the various innovations and progress seen in Taipei’s contemporary fine dining scene in the recent years (mixing East and West + harmoniously integrating Taiwanese local produce in the dishes), Taipei is definitely making a mark in the culinary map.
22. L’ATELIER de Joël Robuchon Taipei
Robuchon was the 1st restaurant opened by a Michelin-starred chef in Taipei and it has definitely paved the way to other internationally renowned chefs to take a gastronomic bet in this city.
Address: No. 28, Songren Road, Xinyi District, 5th Floor, Bellavita, Taipei, Taiwan
Opening Hours: 11:30am-2:30pm & 6:00pm-10:00pm (everyday)
Awarded as the No.18 Best Restaurant in Asia, the Highest Climber Award, and getting its first Michelin star this 2018, Mume is definitely THE restaurant to watch for. Here, Chefs Kai Ward, Richie Lin, and Long Xiong serve Nordic dishes with a unique Taiwanese twist.
Address: No. 28, Siwei Road, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106
Opening Hours: 6:00pm-11:00pm (everyday)
Famous for his 2-Michelin starred restaurant in Singapore, Chef Andre Chang went back to his roots and opened this restaurant in his hometown, Taipei, back in late 2014. Offering a unique kind of “bistronomy,” Raw offers a one-of-a-kind gastronomic adventure using nothing but the best Taiwanese produce. Because it is the hottest dining destination in Taipei, I’m not going to lie, this has got to be one of the hardest places to get a reservation form so make sure to plan your visit way ahead.
Address: No. 301, Lequn 3rd Road, Zhongshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 104
Opening Hours: 11:30am-2:30pm & 6:00pm-11:00pm (Wed-Sun)
The Taipei branch of Ryugin isn’t an exact carbon copy of its original 3-Michelin star branch from Roppongi, Tokyo. Yes, they use the same philosophy and Kaiseiki menu, but what’s noteworthy here is their usage of Taiwanese ingredients in the dishes that they serve.
Address: 10491, Taiwan, Taipei City, Zhongshan District, Lequn 3rd Road, No. 301
Opening Hours: 6:00pm-11:00pm (Tues-Sun)
No trip to Taiwan is complete without visiting one of their famous night markets. What started out as an informal gathering of vendors has now turned into an important DNA of Taiwanese culture. Make sure to grab some of the Taiwan Night Market staples including: Pepper Bun, Peanut Roll with Ice Cream, Sausage Stick, and Steak Cubes. Let the snacking begin.
26. Gong Guan Night Market 公館夜市
This is the biggest night market in the South district of Taipei. Being close to the National Taiwan University, majority of the people you’ll see here are students.
27. Ning Xia Night Market 寧夏夜市
Don’t forget to grab the famous oyster and egg omelet in this food-centric night market
28. Raohe Night Market 饒河夜市
One of the oldest and most traditional markets in the city, this night market offers more than just food- you can also get handmade Taiwanese items here!
29. Shilin Night Market 士林夜市
This has got to be Taipei’s most famous night market. From the main food hall, the stalls (not just food but a lot of entertainment ones) spill out into the streets with more than 500 stores!
30. Tong Hua Night Market 通化夜市
Lesser known to the tourists, 90% of the night-market goers here are locals- the place to be if you want to have the most authentic night market experience.
31. Addiction Aquatic Development 上引水產
This is technically not a night market but still a market for that matter. Craving for fresh seafood, sashimi, and sushi? This is definitely the place to be. This massive structure is like a fish market, ut with a modern twist- its interior design is is upscale and chic and they even play upbeat music while you’re eating inside!
Address: No. 18, Alley 2, Lane 410, Minzu East Road, Zhongshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 10491
Opening Hours: 6:00am-12:00am (everyday)
The (unofficial) national drink of Taiwan… the birthplace of the international bubble milk tea craze.
32. Chen San Ding 陳三鼎
Many people consider this to be the best bobba tea in town but funnily, this drink doesn’t contain any tea at all! Instead, its ingredient list is as simple as: sweetened milk + steeped in brown sugar tapioca pearls + milk + caramel.
Address: No.2 Alley 8, Lane 316, Section 3, Luosifu Road, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan 100
33. Chun Shui Tang 春水堂
Known as the teahouse that claimed to invent the Bubble Tea in Taiwan, they have expanded from just serving Pearl Milk Tea to adding noodles and rice meals to its menu now.
Address: B1, No.9, Songshou Rd., Xinyi District Shinkong Misukoshi A9, Taipei
34. SOMA Tea & Cocktail
Destination for milk tea with a twist.
Address: No. 23, Lane 187, Sec.1, Dunhua Rd., Da’an District, Taipei 106, Taiwan
Other famous chains (that even have several international branches already):
36. Qing Xin 清心
37. 50 Lan 50嵐
38. Ten Ren 天仁茗茶
Because there’s always room for dessert…
39. City Milk
Get their Papaya Milk!
Address: 106, Taiwan, taipei City, Da’an District, Lane 51, Section 1, Da’an Road, No. 21
Opening Hours: 10:30am-10:00pm (Mon-Fri); 11:30am-10:00pm (Sat-Sun)
40. Lady M
Originally hailing from New York, this famous mille crepe brand has finally landed in Taiwan! Their classic vanilla flavor is definitely a must try.
Address: No. 3, Lane 39, Section 2, Zhongshan North Road, Zhongshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 104
Opening Hours: 10:00am-9:00pm (everyday)
41. Smoothie House
Beat the Taipei heat with Smoothie House ‘s famous Mango Shaved Ice
Address: No. 15 Yongkang Street, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106
Opening Hours: 10:00am-11:00pm (everyday)
42. Wunique Patisserie
This patisserie located in one of Taipei’s small alleys is definitely a hidden gem! Some of their famous cakes include Lemon Tart and Mille Feuille.
Address: No. 6, Dan Taipei, Lane 184, Section 2, Anhe Road, Taiwan 106
Opening Hours: 12:00pm-7:00pm (everyday)
43. Yu Chocolatier
Paris trained pastry chef and owner Yu returned back home to start his own shop that definitely set a bar in the chocolatier game in Taipei. He uses up to 5 coverture chocolate brands in all of his cake creations that he does daily.
Address: No. 10, Alley 3, Lane 112, Section 4, Ren’ai Road, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106
Opening Hours: 12:00pm-8:00pm (Wed-Mon); closed on Tues
Taipei is a heaven for cafe lovers. What’s good about this city is that the shops are actually clustered together, making it easier to do cafe hopping for everyone.
44. Da’an 大安區
- getmore lab
- Tamed Fox
- One Fifteen
- Sugar Pea
- Alpha Black
- Rufous Coffee
- Stoppage Time
45. Dunhua 敦化
- Costumice Cafe
- Polar Cafe
- The Lobby of Simple Kaffa
- Coffee Alley
46. Fujin Street 富錦街
- Cafe Mode
- Fuji Tree 353 Cafe by Simple Kaffa
- Kyushu Pancake Cafe
- Restaurant Pinecone
- Bean and Beats
- Au Petit Cochon
47. Yong Kang Street永康街
- Biscuit & Rabbit Cafe
- Boite de Bijou
- Bu Er Tang
- Cafe Xiaomijo
- Duke Rabbit Cafe
- Eating Time
- Ecole Cafe
- Elephant Machine Coffee
- For Good Cafe
- LaDouceur Patisserie
- Petit Pot
- Rose House
- The Green Steps
48. Zhong Shan District 中山區
- Melange Cafe
- Fika Fika Cafe
- M One Cafe
- Guang Yi Cafe
- Spot Cafe Lumiere
- Jia Dee
- Yellow Lemon
49. Song Shan District 松山區
- La Chaudiere Coffee
- coffee & work
- but, we love butter
- Coffee Essential
50. Zhong Zheng District 中正區
- Coffee DPT
- Paper St. Coffee
- Wibeck Cafe