Taiwan Food Trip – What and where to eat
If you could only afford to do one thing in Taiwan, it should be eating. Lots of it. You’d probably go crazy with the huge amount of food choices there that you would simply give up and taste everything you see.
Taiwan is home to some of the best foods you’ll ever taste in your life and that’s no exaggeration. It simply is amazing. Now, I realize that I should be very thankful that I live in Asia. This big-ass continent has no doubt, the best cuisines in the world. Man, I can’t wait for our trip to Japan this year.
In this post, I’ll share our short experience of our food adventure in Taiwan. 2 days isn’t really enough to explore their cuisine but I hope you can perhaps get an idea of the food scene there. We ate mostly street foods and whatever we saw that looks good.
For recommended accommodation in Taiwan, read Hey Bear Capsule Hotel Review – New Taipei City.
The hunt for cheap Xiao Long Bao
I know some of you would really recommend to eat at Din Tai Fung and yes I know they are very good but in Taiwan, we’re not after eating at big time restaurants but just street foods and at small eateries. And besides, we have Din Tai Fung here in the Philippines 😀
We ate Xiao Long Bao twice and we tried it first at Hangzhou Xiao Long Bao just at the back of CKS Memorial Hall. An 8 pcs order of the pork and green onion XLB is priced there at 150 NTD as far as I recall. Cheap compared to DTF but definitely good too. We paired it with a hot and sour soup – we love it. It’s like Batangas lomi
Then there’s a small restaurant 3 minutes’ walk away from Hey Bear where we had 7pcs of Xiao Long Bao for just 55 NTD. It’s good considering its price.
There are lots of places to try Taiwan’s street foods and they’re mostly located in markets. Below are the places where we sampled some of Taiwan’s finest.
Ximending is like the Myeongdong of Seoul and if you’ve been to Myeongdong, you do know that besides the clothes and cosmetics, there are lots of street foods as well. Ximending market has a number of them too and we tried some of it.
Stinky Tofu – We love it. For me, it’s not that stinky. Abnoy (pancake rotten duck eggs) is stinkier. Love the spicy sauce that comes with it. A box of 6pcs of stinky tofu cost 50 NTD.
Taiwanese pancake – You gotta love their pancake too. You can choose the ingredients you want and they’ll put it in your pancake. Some of the ingredients are corn, ham, egg, bacon, pork floss, veggies, tuna, chicken, etc. We chose to have corn, egg and pork floss for 60NTD.
Taiwan sausage – In Taiwan, you’d see lots of food stalls selling different kinds of sausages too. I bet all of them taste good.
We also had some bubble almond tea (50 NTD) and Corn dog (25 NTD)
Tamsui is a coastal district located at the northern tip of Taiwan. It is a very popular location among locals especially on weekends where they just laze around, walk, bike and of course… eat. Since the place is sea-side, you’d expect lots of seafood goodies here. There are restaurants serving oysters, lobsters, shrimps, crabs, etc. But since we’re streetfood maniacs, we opted to feast in food stalls in Tamsui Old street and Fisherman’s wharf. See some of these sinfully delicious street foods we binged on:
Taiwanese spring rolls – Very delicious and kinda healthy. They put veggies, nuts, peanut powder and I think some tofu too. One roll is 45 NTD.
Iron Egg – We passed several stores selling these and we got very curious and eventually bought one just to sample. They call these Iron eggs. This specialty egg-based dish originated from Tamsui. At first sight they look like big grapes or duhat but they are actually recooked red cooked eggs that were chewy and taste really great. 3pcs of this cost 15 NTD.
Street foods in Taiwan are often fried and there are lots of it in Tamsui Old Street.
Quail egg Takoyaki – Don’t forget to try their quail egg takoyaki. So good! Cooked with the same process of Japanese Octopus Takoyaki but using quail eggs and adding silver fish or dulong. A stick cost 25 NTD.
Wash up with some Bubble tea. Cost 35 NTD.
or have a soft serve ice cream for dessert. Cost 30 NTD.
At Fisherman’s Wharf, we only tried one street food. But this one is super delicious and very worth it. Deep fried octopus tentacles – One of our most favorite. Deep fried breaded octopus tentacles (or maybe giant squid) sprinkled with salt, pepper, spices and maybe other special seasonings as well. A must try!
Prior to our travel, I’ve read about people raving about the food in Shilin Market. What I all read was true. It was indeed a foodie paradise. But unfortunately for me, I think my blood pressure is shooting up due to binge eating so we toned down a little bit on our food fiesta.
There are lots of food stalls in Shilin Market and too many choices of amazing food. Once you got out of Jiantan station, you’ll see what I’m talking about. If you have a companion with you, my advice is to order different foods and share it amongst yourselves. Here are some shots of the food scene there:
Also read: Seoul Food trip
Here’s what we ate:
Shaved ice mulberry flavor – This is the bomb. Whoever thought about this dessert is a hero. Heavenly amazing food. We ordered the Mulberry flavored one and we love the combination of the sweetness of the milk and a little sourness from the mulberry fruit.
Sesame bun – On our way back to the MRT, we bought this popular food in Taiwan.
Okay, some more pictures to end this post. On our way to Taipei 101 we got really hungry so we sat down in a small eatery with good and kind people who patiently tried to explain their menu to us. I wanted to get a beef noodle but I know wifey doesn’t like beef or pork soup so we opted for a vegetable dumpling noodle soup.
At the vicinity of Hey Bear Hotel, there’s a bakery store nearby. They bake some of the finest breads we’ve ever tasted.
I think that’s it! Just so you know, my body recovered fast and almost immediately hungered for Taiwanese food since 2 days is not enough and I’m very regretful that we didn’t get to try it all. So after two weeks, I took wifey out to Din Tai Fung to end our craving for Taiwanese food… or so we thought. It just made us want more Taiwanese food! Food in Din Tai Fung is heavenly! And yes, we finally ordered beef noodle and it was amazing.
Hope you like our Taiwan food trip and I really hope there’ll be a part 2 of this. 🙂
For more of our Food adventures, click here.
Looking for where to stay in Taiwan? Check our review of Hey Bear Hostel here.
- How to get a Taiwan Travel Authorization Certificate for Filipinos
- Taiwan DIY Budget Travel Guide 2D2N for 10K pesos
- Hey Bear Capsule Hotel Review – New Taipei City
- Tamsui in Pictures; A place to relax and forget
- Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall