What to Eat in Taipei, Taiwan

Taipei City rests on the northern shore of the beautiful island of Taiwan. Taipei is a food lover’s paradise known for its stunning scenery and vibrant night markets! It boasts over 8,500 restaurants, but you can also sample delights from street vendors across the city.

Are you wondering what to eat in Taipei? We’ve rounded up the most mouth-watering Taipei dishes, snacks, and drinks for hungry travelers!

Taiwanese food is historically influenced by Chinese and Japanese cuisines. Like many Asian countries, noodles, rice, and pork are staples. But the Taiwanese put their signature spin on it!

Beef Noodles

If you’re a fan of Vietnamese Bún Bò Huế, you’re going to love Taiwanese beef noodles! Beef noodle soup is the national dish of Taiwan and locals eat it almost daily. There are many varieties, but the original version is the best place to start.

Pick up a bowl of these thick, slippery noodles topped with tender chunks of beef at almost any restaurant. But if you want the real deal, head to the famous Taipei restaurant Yong-Kang Beef Noodle place. It’s been a local favorite since 1963!

Xiao Long Bao

Xiao Long Bao, also known as soup dumplings, is a must-try! Originally from mainland China, these steamy little mounds of dough and pork are the perfect meal. And don’t forget to sip the soup for an unforgettable umami explosion.

Gua Bao

Imagine a tender slab of braised pork belly sandwiched between a fluffy steamed bun. That’s the simple beauty of the Gua Bao. Top it with pickled greens, coriander, and crushed peanuts for a beloved snack.

Minced Pork Rice

No Taipei travel itinerary is complete without a big helping of minced pork rice. Lu Rou Fan is Taiwanese soul food and another national dish on every menu in the city. It’s the simple combination of white rice topped with tender, slow-cooked minced pork.

Noodles

If you’re searching for where to eat in Taipei, head to any local-looking noodle house. There are far too many noodle dishes to cover in one list, but some standout choices include:

  • Danzai noodles
  • Misua noodles
  • Baby eel noodles

But if you’re going to try only one, go for the Danzi noodles. These have been a Taipei staple since 1895! Enjoy some thick noodles, shrimp broth, and minced pork topped with a single shrimp for a simple, satisfying meal.

Hotpot

Hotpot is a popular choice across Asia, but no one does it like Taiwan! You’ll find hundreds of hotpot shops dotted across Taipei City featuring slight differences in broth and ingredients. But the concept of dipping vegetables and meat in a boiling broth remains the same.

Shao Bing and Youtiao

Start your morning with a traditional Taipei breakfast on the go. Shao Bing is a simple Chinese sesame flatbread. It pairs perfectly with Youtiao (a stick of fried dough) and a cup of frothy soy milk. Find this energizing combination at any coffee shop or convenience store!

Dan Bing

If bread isn’t your favorite breakfast choice, pick up some Dan Bing instead. This light, fluffy crepe wraps around a fried egg and rolls up into a portable snack. Try some famous variations like bacon-filled, topped with corn, or sprinkled with ham.

Night Market Specialties

The heart and soul of the Taipei food scene are the night markets. You can find anything from clothes to electronics on these colorful streets, but the food is the main event. Explore the renowned Shilin Market for a memorable night to rival Thailand’s greatest night markets!

Stinky Tofu

The unmistakable smell of stinky tofu will flood your senses as soon as you step into any night market. But this sensational snack is worth a try, regardless of its scent! The smell comes from the lengthy fermentation process, but the taste is a deep umami flavor like no other.

Pepper Buns

Try Taipei’s famous black pepper buns if you relish a spicy challenge. They’re stuffed with minced pork and mounds of black pepper for a unique touch of heat. Then the crispy buns are baked in a tandoor style oven giving them a golden glow.

Taiwanese Meatballs

Taiwanese meatballs, known as Bawan, aren’t your typical meatball. Chopped pork, bamboo shoots, and mushrooms sit inside a unique shell. The shell is typically made from potato starch and rice flour, which puffs up and cracks open during steaming.

Popcorn Chicken

Fried chicken is a cross-generational favorite in almost every part of Asia. But there’s no feeling quite like exploring a Taipei night market with a bag of spicy popcorn chicken. Pick up a bag of crispy meat, pour on the seasoning powder, and shake until coated!

Pig’s Blood Cake

Pig’s Blood Cake is not for the faint of heart, but the adventurous will love this delicacy. A sticky rice cake is coated with pig’s blood (yes, real blood) and steamed. It then gets a dusting of powdered peanut butter and a sprinkle of coriander.

Traditional medicine practitioners claim that this snack is beneficial for the immune system. They explain that it contains vital nutrients and can detoxify the body.

Pineapple Cake

End the night on a sweet note with a piece of pineapple cake. This tiny, crumbly cake surrounds a sweet pineapple jelly for a bite-sized dessert. Bring some home for friends and family as you’ll find them in every airport and souvenir shop!

Can’t-Miss Drinks

Taiwan is a hot, humid city year-round. Grab a cold beverage to cool off and stay hydrated throughout the day!

Bubble Tea

Bubble tea, also known as boba or milk pearl tea, is Taipei’s number one drink of choice. This refreshing beverage combines tea, milk, and tapioca pearls in every mouth-watering sip. Try it with Taiwan’s unique Taro flavor!

Winter Melon Punch

Winter melon punch is a Taipei City favorite found in every street stall and market. The winter melon fruit melds with brown sugar to create a distinctive flavor. Locals also believe it helps with bloating, making it the perfect finish to your night market feast!

Kaoliang

Kaoliang is a Chinese liquor distilled from fermented sorghum featuring a light, sweet taste. It’s available in 38% and 58% varieties and is usually consumed straight. Follow the locals and sip some Kinmen Kaoliang, an island favorite brand since 1952!

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