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 MRTCompare & book cheap flights to Taipei here Book Taipei hotels here
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 MRTCompare & book cheap flights to Taipei here
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 ChiCompare & book cheap flights to Taipei here
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
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.Compare & book cheap flights to Taipei here Book Taipei hotels here
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.
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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