Below is a guest post by Mike Lee who manages TaipeiEats.com. Taipei Eats does food tours in Taipei, so Mike has a ton of experience with Taiwanese food.
I asked Mike to write a post about some of the top restaurants he recommends people check out if they are in Taipei.
Taipei has endless options of restaurants and good food. So where do you begin? We came up with a short list of recommendations to get you started with your culinary adventure in Taipei. If you’re interested in doing a food tour check out our site at TaipeiEats.com.
Din Tai Fung
The world famous Din Tai Fung is and should be on everyone’s list of places to eat in Taipei. Its xiao long baos’ signature precise 18-folds crown with hot broth is absolutely heavenly. Din Tai Fung is known for its quality and consistency, so go ahead and try anything on the menu! We also love the taro XLB for dessert.
Note: Though all Din Tai Fungs are excellent, foodies in Taipei seem to agree the Xin Yi branch tastes the best. Be prepared for a wait, but you’ll be in a great neighborhood to explore!
Address: No. 194, Section 2, Xinyi Road, Da-an district. Tel: 02-2321-8928
Sheng Yuan Luffa Dumplings
Frequented by Japanese tourists, Sheng Yuan is another fail proof xiao long bao eatery. Since they use luffas in the xlbs, the soup dumplings have a hint of sweetness and are noticeably lighter and less oily. The crab roe pork xlbs are very flavorful and definitely comparable to Din Tai Fungs. Their beef rolls are also worth a try- crispy chewy Taiwanese tortilla with beef and scallion rolled like a burrito and cut up to share. They also have a variety of traditional desserts.
Address: No. 1, Lane 25, Section 2, Hangzhou South Road, Da-An district. Tel: 02-2397-3522
Yong Ho Soy Milk King
You should not leave Taiwan without trying traditional Taiwanese breakfast! Fresh soy milk in Taiwan tastes nothing like the cartons in supermarkets. Yong Ho Soy milk King is one of the busiest locations so they are always churning up fresh breakfast goodie such as you tiao, a Chinese savory donut stick; or sou bing, a flaky Taiwanese flatbread.
One of our favorites is the sou bing (flatbread) with you tiao (Chinese savory doughnut stick) and scrambled eggs washed down with a hot bowl of soy milk. We also recommend dan bing (egg tortilla) with pork floss- a Taiwanese tortilla with eggs and dried pork floss. Did you mention this place is cheap? You can fill up for less than 2 USD per person.
Address: No. 102, Section 2, Fuxing South Road, Da-an district Tel: 02-2703-5051
Fu Hang Soy Milk
Another popular Taiwanese breakfast spot is Fu Hang Soy Milk. Both their hou bing (thick bread) and xiao bing (flat bread) have cult-like followings, making the queue ridiculously long. Their soy milk is one of the best in Taipei. You can order it hot or cold, sweet or unsweetened, or savory- with vinegar, dried shrimp peels, cilantro, preserved vegetables, and sesame oil. The vinegar curdles the soy milk making it more like a soft savory pudding.
Also, do not go there without trying the sweet xiao bing. It is a small, hot, flaky pastry with sugary syrup oozing in the middle. Be prepared for a long wait, especially in the weekends. Though we found the wait actually gets shorter near closing time around noon.
Note: Closed on Mondays.
Address: No. 108, Section 1, Zhongxiao East Road (2nd floor of Hua Shan market)
Shi Ji authentic beef noodles
Beef noodles are kind of a big deal in Taiwan. There are primarily two categories in Taiwanese beef noodles- red braised and consomme. Shi Ji’s consomme beef noodles is one of the most popular in Taipei. The milky broth is a product of hours of stewing beef broth and the thin slices of beef are a perfect complement to the broth.
Address: No. 60, Section 2, Minsheng East Road, Zhongshan district Tel: 02-2563-3836
Lao Wang Zi beef noodles
Lao Wang Zi doesn’t have a fancy store front but that doesn’t stop the loyal customers to line up daily for their famous red braised beef noodles. Don’t miss the experience slurping up piping hot noodles with the locals!
Address: No. 15, Taoyuan Street, Zhongzheng district Tel: 02-2375-8973
Tripod King hot pot
Taiwanese love hot pot. Tripod King is one of the most popular “mala” hotpot locals frequent. The house special broth include ingredients such as Sichuan chilli pepper, bean paste, fermented rice wine, and rock sugar. You can soak up the tongue numbing broth with anything from sliced meat and vegetables to house made beef balls and shrimp paste.
Address: No. 89, Guangfu North Rd, Songshan district Tel: 02-2742-1199
A trip to Taipei is not complete without eating shaved ice. Ice Monster (previously called Yong Kang 15 from Yong Kang Street) puts mango shaved ice on the map. Even though they are known for their mango ice, other shaved ice are also refreshing and tasty!
Address: No. 297, Section 4, Zhongxiao East Road Tel: 02-8771-3263
Wu Pao Chun
Taiwanese master baker Wu Pao Chun’s bakery is definitely worth a visit. The 2010 France bakery’s master competition winner’s bestselling Lychee Rose bread is made with Taiwanese flour, Puli’s organic rose petals, lychee wine, and walnuts.
The Red Wine Longan bread also won numerous baking awards. Wu Pao Chun’s green onion bread is a local’s favorite as well. The bakery is located in the Eslite Spectrum Songyan store, which is a destination on its own with lots of local products.
While you’re there don’t forget to pick up some pineapple cakes for your loved ones back home.
Address: No. 88, Yanchang Road, Xinyi district. Tel: 02-6636-5888 #1902
Le Ruban Chocolat
If you are a chocoholic, or even an occasional chocoholic, do not miss Le Ruban Chocolat. Aside from its solid cakes and baked goods, its chocolates are absolutely unique to Taiwan.
Le Ruban sources local ingredients such as rose and raspberry, oolong longan, sesame, ginger and brown sugar, coriander, and even soy sauce to combine with the subtle flavors of single origins chocolates. The results? Delicious, luxurious, creamy Taiwanese party on your tongue.
Address: No. 24, Lane 122, Section 4, Ren’ai Road, Da-an district Tel: 02-2700-8656