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Top 10 Taiwanese foods to try and enjoy on a Taipei holiday

Taipei is a foodie heaven with food on sale around the clock. Explore bustling Shilin and Raohe night markets and check out trendy Ximending in search of succulent pork sandwiches, steaming chunks of fried chicken and hot custardy bites. Read on as Skyscanner shows you 10 must-try foods in Taipei.

1. Taiwanese breakfast

Get your Taipei holiday off to a winning start with a satisfying Taiwanese breakfast. In general, breakfast consists of a deep fried dough stick (you tiao), a pancake stuffed with egg (dan bing) a baked wheat cake stuffed with egg or beef (shao bing) and washed down with a cup of soybean milk (bing dou jiang). This is a breakfast of champions and will keep you going for hours!

Where to find Taiwanese breakfast: Fu Hang Dou Jiang

Address: 2/F Hua Shan Market, 108 Zhongxiao East Road, Section 1

How to get there: Shandao Temple MRT

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A Tawainese breakfast will keep you going for hours. Photo credit: Yun Huang Yong / Flickr

2. Deep fried milk

The Taiwanese favour a good deep fry at their night markets and generally come up with lip smacking results. One of the greatest triumphs to leap out of the scalding oil is deep fried milk. This is one of the city’s most popular treats and a must try. In essence, this dish is a sweet milk batter that is deep fried and comes out as a joyous warm fluffy nugget of custard.

Where to find deep fried milk: Raohe Street Market

Address: Raohe Street, Songshan District

How to get there: Songshan Station MRT

Deep fried milk. Can you resist these morsels of joy? Photo credit: Calgary Reviews / Flickr

3. Taiwanese fried chicken

Fried chicken is a dish that has global appeal. Among aficionados it is commonly held that the people of Taiwan have mastered the art of preparing this tasty morsel. The chicken is served in tasty bite-sized pieces, with batter that is thin and crisp. Seasoned with salt and pepper, the pieces are then dusted with chilli as required.

Where to find Taiwanese fried chicken: Ji Guang Xiang Xiang Ji

Address: 121 Hanzhong Street, Wanhua District

How to get there: Ximen MRT

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Taiwanese fried chicken is guaranteed to pull in the punters. Photo credit: See-ming Lee / Flickr

4. Gua bao (pork bun)

Gua bao translates into English as “sliced bread”, but this Taiwanese snack is so much more exciting than that. A generous slice of stewed pork belly is sandwiched between a circle of flat steamed bread, and topped with grated peanuts, coriander and some pickled mustard leaves making for a tangy and rich meaty treat.

Where to find gua bao (pork bun): Lan Jia Guo Bao

Address: No. 3, Aly. 8, Ln. 316, Sec. 3, Luosifu Rd., Zhongzheng Dist

How to get there: Taipower Building MRT

One of these beauties is never enough: Gua Bao. Photo credit: Ron Dollete / Flickr

5. Da chang bao xiao chang (big sausage wrapped in a small sausage)

Put your diet on hold for this treat. This is the Taiwanese version of the hot dog, and despite the name, there is only one pork sausage in play. This snack is a Chinese sausage served on a bun of sticky rice and chargrilled until ready to eat. There are usually a range of condiments including wasabi, garlic and pickled bokchoi to perk the dish up.

Where to find da chang bao xiao chang: Shilin Night Market

Address: 101 Jihe Road, Shilin District

How to get there: Jintan MRT

Photo credit: Hungry in Taipei

6. Xiao long bao

Taipei is recognised as one of the best places in the world to grab a steaming bamboo basket of xiao long bao. These little treasures are usually filled with well-seasoned pork, though in Taipei it’s common to find them stuffed with pork and crab roe and steamed until the aspic turns into scalding soup. Have a little nibble of a corner, let a bit of the heat out and then dunk in Chinese vinegar and ginger before popping the little bite of heaven in your mouth.

Where to find xiao long bao: Kao Chi

Address: 1 Yongkang Street

How to get there: Dongmen MRT

Visit their website Kao Chi

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Xiao long bao in Taipei are cooked to traditional perfection. Photo credit: Charles Haynes / Flickr

7. Taiwanese beef noodles

Hungry characters start queuing up around 11am for their lunchtime bowl of beef noodles. This noodle dish has it roots in the Muslim Hui community from Ningxia and was brought over during the civil war on the mainland. Take your time to look into the soup pot and the more strange looking cuts of cow, bobbing blobs of fat and bone you can see, the tastier your noodle soup is going to be.
Where to find Taiwanese beef noodles: Lin Don Fang

Address: 274 Bade Road, Section 2, Zhongshan District

How to get there: Nanjing Fuxing MRT

Enjoy a comforting bowl of beef noodles when you visit Taipei. Photo credit: Alpha / Flickr

8. Mochi

Originating in Japan, mochi have made their way into the hearts of the Taiwanese. Traditional mochi were filled with red bean paste and lightly dusted with grated peanuts, but nowadays, it’s quite common to find mochi with sweet fillings including chocolate, strawberry paste or green tea fondant. One of the best to try is the charcoal-looking black sesame – it’ll make your teeth a bit black, but the tender, elastic bite is out of this world!

You can find out more about mochi and try making them at the Royal Mochi Museum

Where to find mochi: Ijysheng

Address: No. 51, Sec. 3, Xinglong Rd., Wenshan District

How to get there: Xinglong Road MRT

Mochi are a wonderful sweet treat at anytime of the day. Photo credit: sstrieu / Flickr

9. Blood cake

This might not be on the top of your culinary bucket list. But throw away those preconceptions as this is an iron-rich taste sensation with a texture somewhere between a delicate mochi and slightly firmer rice cake. Pig’s blood is mixed with sticky rice and a broth and reduced until thick and firm and then fried or steamed and coated in flecks of grated peanuts.

Where to find blood cake: Chen’s Pig Blood Cake

Address: 187, Section 3, Tingzhou Road, Zhongzheng District

How to get there: Gongguan MRT

Take a bite of blood cake. It’s exotic and yummy. Photo credit: LWYang / Flickr

10. Smelly tofu (or Stinky tofu)

Smelly tofu is considered to be the blue cheese of tofu and the worse it smells, the better it tastes. The tofu is fermented in a brine that may include fermented milk, salt water, herbs and shrimps and left for months to work magic. In Taiwan, smelly tofu is served as a snack and may be found fried and topped with pickled vegetables or barbecued.

Where to find smelly tofu: Shengkeng Tofu Street

How to get there: Take bus number 660 from Gongguan MRT.

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Looks innocuous. Smells terrible. Tastes heavenly. It must be smelly tofu. Photo credit: uniquenikki / Flickr

Ready to get those tastebuds raging and sample the best Taiwanese foods in Taipei? Book cheap flights, hotels and car rental via Skyscanner or check out and download our free mobile app for easy browsing and booking on the go.

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Originally published on 7 June 2016 and updated in September 2017. Any prices are lowest estimated prices only at the time of publication and are subject to change and/or availability.

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