Top 5 Taipei Eats
In the beginning of February, I was lucky enough to travel to Taiwan with my friend who’s lived there before so she knew places to take me to. Thanks to her, my first trip to Taiwan definitely did not disappoint. It’s great because food is so much cheaper there than in Japan. Here’s a guide to the top 5 places to eat for foodies like me!
This is an all vegan restaurant and was definitely my favorite restaurant! My friend recommended the BBQ burger and although I was hesitant because I’m not a huge fan of salty saucy foods, I was so glad I ordered it by the time I finished done eating. The burger was so delicious. The texture of the patty was perfect and wasn’t dry at all (which is sometimes the case for vegan burgers) and the sauce was sweet with a bit of tanginess and the cashew cheese was the bomb. I also loved the crunch added by the burdock chips mocking bacon. Accompanied by the golden herb fries as a side, I was so happy to be eating that burger. I was so sad to have finished my meal and knew I HAD to come back the next time I visit Taipei. The customer service is very good and for burgers, since it can get a little messy, they help you out by providing you with a pair of disposable gloves so you don’t need to worry about your sticky hands. Herbivore has a large selection of foods from hearty salads to vegan junk food and even guilt-free desserts too.
2. Beef noodles
A Taiwan staple dish that was necessary for me to try it out. So many restaurants serve this dish and my friend took me to her favorite one. I had never tried beef noodles so I was excited to give them a try. The beef noodles have a distinct flavor that is nothing like Japanese ramen noodles and has more of a Chinese yakuzen sort of taste to describe it in familiar terms. I loved it! The beef was so soft and tender and it instantly melts in your mouth. The fried wontons were my favorite part though. So crispy and flavorful, I was craving for more. The soup was comforting and warmed me up on a chilly night.
I know it’s super popular even in Japan but trust me, it’s so worth it to go to Dintaifung in Taiwan. Firstly, the menu is completely different and the restaurants in Taiwan have much more variety in their menus. I especially loved the vegetable dumplings. Although there was no meat in them, it was still so flavorful and we also had the vegetable spicy wontons. The dessert was something special. We ordered dessert dim sum in the two flavors of red bean and chocolate. The red bean was very similar to anman in Japan and it was tasty, of course. Oh my gosh, the chocolate dim sum was amazing. When it was freshly served, the chocolate was still warm and oozed out when you poke it and this god’s creation explodes in your mouth.
This is a restaurant that serves stylized Asian-style cuisine that you won’t be able to find in Japan. All of the flavors were unique and something that I’ve never experienced before. We ordered three dishes. First came the Malaysian rice noodle dish similar to pad Thai but the flavor was quite different! The sweet sausage was interesting since I’d never had sweet meat! It’s my friend’s soul friend because she lived in Malaysia when she was younger. The second dish was coconut fried shrimp tower built on top of a bed of crispy shrimp cracker like ebisen in Japan! I’m a sucker for anything coconut so I loved that. The third and final dish was coconut chicken curry eaten with turmeric rice. Usually, I have a hard time eating jasmine or basmati rice because of its distinct smell, this was different and paired well with the curry.
Chunsuitang has restaurants in Japan and is famous for being the first place to serve boba! I’m a big fan of this place and I go there frequently in Japan so I was excited to try the authentic Chunsuitang in Taiwan. I was surprised by the wide selection of the menu once again! In contrast to Japan, the Taiwanese Chunsuitang has many side dishes that you could share. My friends and I ordered fried radish cake and enoki mushroom & tofu skin in a Taiwanese-style sauce. Super delicious that paired well with the kung fu noodles. The choice of bobas was also different to Japan! I had a Chinese tea flavor that’s exclusive in Taiwan that my friend recommended.
Now, for some extra information on desserts and souvenirs! Firstly, The brown sugar boba I had at Xing Fu Tang was divine. The brown sugar was so decadent and they top off the drink with milky cream and brown sugar on top which is then caramelized with a burner parallel to the famous creme brûlée. I can’t forget about this boba and I’m afraid I won’t be able to drink boba again in Japan. I’m telling you, it’s THAT good. The tapioca pearls itself were so soft and combined with the freshly made warm brown sugar, it was a match made in heaven. Secondly, the tufa in Taiwan is so cheap yet amazing! The place I visited even gives you the choice of getting it to go so you can it enjoy it in your hotel room while relaxing. Located in the food court of a department store, it was easily accessible. Finally, of course I love my classic pineapple cake, but how about a sun cake for a change? It’s a buttery pastry filled with chewy toffee that has an almond flavor that you can only buy in Taiwan. Whoever you’re buying this souvenir for is surely so lucky to be tasting this!
I hope you enjoyed reading my guide for the top 5 eats in Taiwan. I bet you could tell how excited I get for good food. I truly wish for your trip to be safe and eat without regrets!