Have you ever heard about how Taiwanese people greet each other? The younger people sometimes adapt new greetings from other cultures by saying hi and hello, but the traditional way to greet people is to ask them “Have you eaten?” Reading a guide book about Taiwan, you might find 70 percent of them are about food!
The best food in Taiwan is the vendor food. I think the vendor food is why many Taiwanese feel nostalgic while traveling to other countries. Taiwan is a place where you can find a lot of places to eat all day at reasonable prices. When I say all day, I mean 24 hours! In addition, because of Taiwan’s locations and its long history, there are diverse authentic exotic foods as well. Yet, many places sell the same foods. When it comes to the taste, it really depends on personal preference so I want to encourage you to try the foods that are appealing to you instead of just following other people’s opinions what is on the list. This is another reason I think eating is so much fun in Taiwan is because many places will have the food cooked and presented in front of the customers so they have ideas about what they are going to eat. In average, the food tastes pretty good in Taiwan, and sometimes the ingredients are very interesting!
Taipei Season for Chef
The Web site contains handy information about finding good dining places in Taipei. By gathering various opinions from diverse people, below are some of their favorite restaurants.
Yungho Ching Chou. Dorjian Da Wong
Add: Taipei, Fushing South Road, Section 2, #132
The name of the restaurant reads “Yungho Congee. The King of Soy Milk.” Some places use the name of Da Wong that symbolizes the king of a certain kind to tell the customers what they specialize for. Congee is rice cooked with water, and dorjian is soy milk. This restaurant is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. There are over 100 dishes for customers to choose from, and the congee and the soup are free with food order.
Shihai Dorjian Da Wong
Add: Taipei, Fushing South Road, Section 2, #140
The store says it is the king of soy milk, and I totally I agree. It is open 24 hours every day, and the leading role in this restaurant is the soy milk. Soy milk can be served hot or cold. Customers can also decide if they want unsweetened, sweetened or salty. Compared with the previous place, which just couple doors away, Shihai serves Taiwanese breakfast food. Although it is only breakfast food, there are more than 50 items to choose from so bring in your empty stomach. This restaurant is my personal favorite. Please try the unsweetened soy milk and egg pancake.
On Fushing South Road, there are a total of ten restaurants open 24 hours. If you have time, take a tour and look at them. Then, pick one that visually tempts you! This strategy works for many people.
Din Tai Feng
Add: Taipei, Shinyi Road, Section 2, #194
The restaurant is listed as top ten restaurants of the world so the price is a little bit higher and other places that sell shiao long bao, and there is usually a long line at the door. The only item in the store is shiao long bao-steam buns with pork and vegetables. Shiao long bao is originated from Shanghai, China, but many people said that the steam buns at Din Tai Feng has better taste. Although there is a long line in front of the restaurant, the waiting time is not too long!
Add: Taipei, Shihlin District, Chungshan North Road Section 7, #165
Shing-Peng-Lai is one of the few restaurants that are specializing in Taiwanese style. The Taiwanese food is a mixture of Fuzhou style and Japanese style. The dishes are very different from the vendor food.
Tandoor Indian Restaurant
Add: Taiepi City Ho Chiang Street, 73 Alley, #10
Tandoor is one of the oldest Indian restaurants in Taipei. The chef insists on using the herbs directly imported from India to provide the customers fine Northern Indian cuisines. The most famous dishes in Tandoor include lamb curry, fish curry and chicken tandoori. It is also the only place that carries King Fisler (Indian beer). Dining here you might run into the Indian representatives who live in Taipei.
Add: Taipei City Chung Hsiao West Road, Section 1
Cafe 45 is the highest eatery in town, and my mom used to work here! It was serving food with Western cooking styles. It is owned by the Howard Hotels and Resorts chain. The location is the main reason that attracts most of the customers. Cafe 45 is in the Shin Kong Building, the second tallest buildings in Taipei right across the street from Taipei Railroad Station. Variety is another reason for its popularity. One of the renowned dishes is Wellington lamb chop. At the time I am writing this article, there is a rumor that Cafe 45 is planning on transforming the restaurant into a French Japanese style, which means a big change on the menu as well. Please check with the restaurant before making reservations. Comfort is another reason that people choose to dine here, relaxing music, yummy food, excellent staff and great view from the 45th floors. However, if you are afraid of heights, this is not a good place for you to have meals.
Shi Men Ding Area
Walk or ride bus or Metro from Taipei Railroad Station, the area is about 15 minutes away from the station. Many young people hang out here after school and on the weekends. This area is like a shopping center and food place. That is, a bigger version of night markets. There are places selling assorted merchandise and food!
Add: Taipei, Ermei Street, #8
A-chong Noodles is a famous vendor in Shi Men Ding. The key to find the food stand is looking for people who are standing with bowls and spoons on the street. There is no chair at this food stand, and the only item is the delicious noodles. Its business hours are from 2 p.m. to 12 a.m. every day.
Add: Taipei, Wuchang Street, Section 1, #65
In the summer, Taiwan is very humid and hot. Ice cream becomes a popular desert. Shei Wong (Snow King) is a place that only sells ice cream, and it is busy in the winter as well. Except from the regular popular flavors such as taro, passion fruit, and banana, the store carries a lot of unique flavor like chicken, pork and Shaoshing wine. Shei Wong has a total of 100 flavors of ice cream, and customers usually travel to Taipei to purchase.
In Taiwan, you can find many vegetarian restaurants. This Web page has collected several popular vegetarian restaurants in Taipei. Because of the popularity of Buddhism and Taoism, many people choose to be vegetarian, and many of the restaurants listed on the Web page do not use garlic, green onions and ginger in the food because of the religious purposes. Besides, many places can make the food the way you want it so just ask for special vegetarian dishes.