Food And Drink

Taipei food & beverage guide: 10 things to attempt in Taipei, Taiwan


As among the travel world’s most underrated gems, Taiwan’s capital provides on culture, variety, history and, most notably for foodies, food

If you’re going to the geographical location called Taiwan, the Republic of China (ROC) or Chinese Taipei for the very first time, a journey to capital city, Taipei, is an outright must. It is, obviously, the cultural, political and monetary heart of the nation. The island itself and its surrounding islets are something of a natural marvel– with Portuguese sailors and cartographers calling it ‘Formosa’ (stunning island) when they saw it for the very first time.

With a long history that has actually seen the island’s self-reliance challenged by the Dutch, Japan and Mainland China, Taiwan is a nation that maintains a cultural identity different from MainlandChina As such, this has actually resulted in Taiwan’s individuals producing arts and food that is rather unique from its geographical neighbour. This separation of identity is best seen throughout the breadth of Taipei’s 12 districts– which are jam-packed filled with dining establishments and street suppliers. Here are 10 of the leading things you must consume while you enjoy your remain in Taipei.

XiaoLong Bao (SoupDumplings)

These steamed soup dumplings are, rather most likely, the nation’s most well-known meal– both locally and worldwide. Despite coming from Mainland China (in Jiangnan to the south of the Yangtze River), the meal is an outright Taiwanese experience and is finest delighted in with a serving of side meals. Available with a number of various proteins such as chicken, treated ham and shrimp, the pork version stays the most popular.

Where to attempt: If you’re going to taste Xiao Long Bao (or XLB) when you remain in Taipei, then you need to go to Michelin starred DinTai Fung(No 194, Section 2, Xinyi Rd). This chain of dining establishments is mainly accountable for the meal’s extensive appeal beyond the nation. For dumplings that are a little thicker and much heavier, head to HangZhou Xiao Long Bao(No 17, Er Section, Hangzhou South Rd).

Xiao long bao steamed buns in a small bamboo basket
Xiao long bao steamed buns in a little bamboo basket

StinkyTofu

While it does not have the most enticing name or, obviously, the most enticing odor, smelly tofu is a definite hit with residents and visitors to the nation– a lot so that it is an exceptionally popular meal. The name originates from the distinct odor emitted by the fermented tofu that can either by steamed and stewed or deep-fried. It’s frequently served with a side meal to balance out the tofu’s greasiness.

Where to attempt: As it’s a kind of street food, smelly tofu is finest experienced when purchased from street suppliers. The outstanding StinkyTofu Boss(No 6, Lane 313, Section 2, Zhonghua Rd) discovered its method onto the Michelin Guide’s 2018 Bib Gourmand Selection for its steamed vegan smelly tofu. For option,Raohe Night Market(RaoheSt) has lots of suppliers using smelly tofu every day from 4pm to midnight.

Stinky tofu
Stinky tofu

HujiaoBing (PorkPepper Bun)

Batches of rolled, specific dough balls are filled with peppered, minced pork prior to they are stayed with the side of a round oven– something like a tandoor– to be baked. The outcome? A yummy, piping hot pork pepper bun called hujiao bing. This meal originates from Fuzhou– the capital of Fujian province in Mainland China– and is typically discovered throughout Taipei’s night markets and food stalls.

Where to attempt: It’s another street food special and FuzhouShizu Baked Pepper Bun(No 249, Raohe St) stall at the Raohe Night Market in Songshan district is thought about the very best– however anticipate to wait in a line! Another stall, HuJiao Bing Kao Di Gua(GuangzhouSt), can be discovered in Wanhua district.

LuRou Fan (BraisedPork with Rice)

The meal includes marinaded braised pork– cut into cubes and soaked in gravy– which is then put onto a bed of steamed rice. The meat and gravy sauce will then gradually plunge into the rice– if you have not currently blended it together, that is. While braised pork is frequently the primary active ingredient, it can be switched for braised tofu or braised boiled eggs. As rather of a nationwide meal, it’s an outright favourite of the Taiwanese population who consider it to be home cooking.

Where to attempt: As a staple of Taiwanese food, you’ll discover the meal any place food is served. The dining establishment most renowned for the meal in Taipei is JinFeng Lu Rou Fan(No 10 -1, Section 1, Roosevelt Rd) where there is constantly a crowd. It can feel a little disorderly, however it deserves it. You needs to likewise take a look at HuangJi Braised Pork Rice(No 28, Lane 183, Section 2, Zhongshan North Rd).

Lu rou fan over rice with boiled egg and pak choi
Lu rou fan over rice with boiled egg and pak choi

ScallionPancakes

These scallion (spring onion) pancakes are extremely comparable to the Mainland Chinese variation however are served in numerous unique methods. They can in some cases be served flaky and light, or they can be served deep-fried. There are likewise other kinds of active ingredients that can be utilized in the pancake, with a popular option being daikon (radish). Some dining establishments and stalls use garnishes– such as ham and cheese– too. Whatever version you wind up with, pancakes in Taipei are quite tasty and a must-try.

Where to attempt: One of the most popular locations for the lighter variation of the meal is TianJin Flaky Scallion Pancake(No 1, Lane 6, Yongkang St). If you wish to experience the deep-fried variation that numerous residents delight in, head to WenzhouJie Radish Pancake(No 186 -1, Section 1, Heping East Rd).

Stack of fried scallion onion pancakes on a wood board

NiuRou Mian (BeefNoodle Soup)

Considered to be THE ‘national dish’ of Taiwanese food, a bowl of beef noodle soup becomes part of every day life inTaipei While its origin is challenged, there are numerous theories detailing how the tasty meal endeared itself to the Taiwanese individuals. One is that wartime provisions supplied by the American Army were blended with in your area produced noodle meals, while others track it back to Szechuan- design beef noodles. Whatever the case, individuals are simply pleased it exists– as apparent by the numerous stalls and dining establishments that have actually developed their organization around the meal.

Where to purchase: With no less than 8 Taipei food joints that specialise in beef noodle soup winding up on the prominent Bib Gourmand list from Michelin, you’re going to be ruined for option. For a standard, real experience, check out LaoShandong Homemade Noodles(No 70, Xining South Rd) in Basement 1 of the Wan NianBuilding For a more westernised spin on the meal, take a look at NiuDian Beef Noodles (No 91 Kunming St).

Niu rou mian
Niu rou mian

TaiwaneseFried Chicken

Taiwanese fried chicken is understood all over the world– however under the somewhat various name of‘popcorn chicken’ This basic yet profoundly popular meal is common in the night markets throughout the city. The chicken is covered in flour and spices prior to then being fried in little, bite-sized pieces.

Where to purchase: One of the leading locations for fried chicken bites is ShiYun Taiwanese Fried Chicken, which has actually existed in the Shida Night Market given that1984 Hot-StarLarge Fried Chicken(No 12 -2 Underground St) now has chains all over the world, however it at first traded from modest starts at Shilin NightMarket Their bigger version of fried chicken cutlets will certainly leave you complete and pleased.

Taiwanese fired chicken with basil
Taiwanese fired chicken with basil

Tsuabing(ShavedIce)

While it might not sound the most appetising, Taiwan definitely likes shaved ice– likewise understood by the names tsuabing, baobing and cuabing. Ice shavings are either made by hand or by maker prior to being flavoured with a range of garnishes and sauces. Common garnishes consist of condensed milk, mung beans, tapioca balls and, when seasonally proper, fruits. Two of the most popular fruit versions are mango and strawberry.

Where to purchase: There are numerous dessert homes established to offer you with contemporary variations to match the more youthful generation’s cumulative craving for sweets. For the more standard variation of the meal, check out Bingzan(No 2 Shuanglian St) in between April and October (Mango season). If you desire the sweeter variation, head to the SmoothieHouse(No 15 Yongkang St) in Da’ an.

Green tea flavoured tsuabing
Green tea flavoured tsuabing

PineappleCake

When it concerns dessert, Taiwanese individuals have an excellent affinity for pineapple cake. This historic holdover can be traced back to when pineapple was an important product to Japan– which ruled Taiwan from 1895 to1945 Pineapple was imported to Taiwan to be processed, after which it would be exported to Europe and the U.S.A.. When the need for pineapples fell, residents utilized the remaining pineapple to make jam fillings that might be utilized in pastries. Today, these profoundly popular sweet deals with are made with flour, sugar, eggs, butter, Chinese squash and, obviously, pineapple jam.

Where to purchase: Due to being popular with travelers, it’s rather simple to discover pineapple cake being served in the majority of dining establishments or packaged in corner store. For fresh pineapple cake, head to ChiaTe Bakery(No 88, Section 5, Nanjing East Rd) if you wish to sample what numerous think about to be the very best variation. If you intend on taking some pineapple cakes house with you, AmoBakery is preferably situated at Taipei MainStation This is where you get the train to Taoyuan InternationalAirport Additionally, you’ll discover the Chia Te Bakery cakes being offered in travel packages at the airport too!

Pineapple cake with caramel
Pineapple cake with caramel

BubbleTea

While it’s now a quite popular beverage all over the world, bubble tea has its origins inTaiwan Its appeal with the youth of the country all however ensured that it would be an around the world experience. The origin story, just like numerous meals, is dirty. One story states that the beverage was produced in 1986 when a teahouse owner in Tainan observed pearl-like white tapioca balls and chose to make a tea utilizing the balls. This is why it is in some cases called‘pearl milk tea’ As that alternate name recommends, it’s extremely milky and decadently abundant.

Where to purchase: Another origin story states that the developer was the owner of ChunShui Tang(1B1,No 9 Songshou Rd) café. Given that the brand name now has almost 100 branches, the story plainly resonates with the Taiwanese individuals. Either method, it’s finest to attempt the so-called ‘original’ on your own. If you seek a fruity version of the tea, head over to YiFang Tea(No 66, Section 4, Minsheng East Rd) in Songshan district where you’ll discover all way of fruity permutations.

Homemade milk bubble tea with tapioca pearls
Homemade milk bubble tea with tapioca pearls

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