What do I think of the food we ate in Taipei, Taiwan? (Reviews)
There are so many food recommendations from friends and social media. However, we didn’t eat all but those near where we were staying or hanging out. I’ve listed down the food we ate in Taipei, along with a short review. I’ve also pinned these places on Google Maps: https://maps.app.goo.gl/AuPM9ZpzVAGLeHjh7.
p.s. If you are looking at Maps from mobile, you need to scroll from the bottom up (e.g. RollFive first in this article, is the last on mobile Maps).
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After ice skating at the Taipei Arena, Grace and I went downstairs for a late lunch at RollFive. We ordered the beef steak quesadilla (烤牛排起司餅) and top-up NT59 for drink and potato wedges. The whole set costs only NT$204 (US$6.40, S$8.80). Compared to the Mexican food in Singapore, the meal was definitely value for money. More importantly, the food tasted good, and both of us liked it!
Don Don Donki 【Zhongxiao Xinsheng】
At Donki (Zhongxiao Xinsheng), we found similar bentos to those in Singapore. However, those we picked were not quite as warm.
We found comfort in the familiar setting of McDonald’s (“MCD”), from the interior design to the self-ordering kiosk. Joy doesn’t like the burgers in MCD Singapore but finally found a burger she likes in Taiwan – the beef burger with mushrooms (蕈菇安格斯牛肉堡). It’s a similar concept to the Mushroom Swiss burger at Burger King. Another burger not found in Singapore is this chicken thigh burger (嫩煎鷄腿堡) which has a mild spiciness to it.
p.s. You can find a MCD stall at Taipei 101 foodcourt.
Their menu is similar to the one in Singapore, except you can find squarish hashbrowns (yummy!) and rice burgers mixed with brown rice. Sadly, they didn’t have mustard for the nuggets or chilli sauce.
p.s. You can find a MOS Burger stall at Taipei 101 foodcourt.
On IG story, someone mentioned he ate 爆Q美式炸雞 every day while in Taiwan. A local had introduced it to him. The staff recommended the chicken leg/wing (Set 1,2,4) over the chicken steak to me. However, I had to wait for about 15 minutes for them to fry the chicken. It came piping hot. The chicken tasted quite tender, but I don’t know why it just doesn’t hit it for me. Perhaps Jollibee has set a new standard.
Oh, but the one in Taitung (阿鋐炸雞) made me want to go back for a second serving. It had a little twist – black pepper sprinkled over chicken and fries.
San Ya Mi 【三亞米】
Sandwiches and Burgers
This is in relation to two eateries that I will mention under ‘Chinese Food‘.
We had the Lao Wang Ji meesua for lunch but my children don’t like to eat meesua. So we went searching for another lunch spot. Grace saw and wanted to eat in 三亞米, a restaurant selling sandwiches and burgers.
The small place was crowded and it would be hard to squeeze in an open stroller with Joy sleeping). And we had burgers just the day before? What’s more, the rain was coming. We better run to the sheltered train station first – we had an appointment later. So we gave this place a miss.
But alas, I checked the review as I wrote this. It is 4.9 stars with 283 reviews (as of Sep 23)! We missed a good food spot, but at least we were warmly welcomed into the Lao Xian Jue Gongfu hotpot shop.
Food Court and Night Market
Eslite Spectrum Songyan Food Court【松烟 誠品食堂】
We were roaming around Songshan Cultural and Creative Park when our tummies started growling. I couldn’t find any food nearby and thus was glad to find a foodcourt in Eslite Spectrum Songyan mall which was located in the park.
The chicken leg rice and vegetables from Cuisine Minji (明吉) were satisfying and kid-friendly. The beancurd from Xiaonanmen Traditional (小南門傳統豆花) was smooth in the mouth too. Turns out they have many branches in Taipei. More on Xiaonanmen under ‘Chinese Food‘.
Sidenote: Eslite Songyan is slated to take over the 24-hour mantle from Eslite Xinyi which is closing in Dec 2023.
Eslite Xinyi Food Court 【信儀 誠品食堂】
The food court is bustling with people and there’s a good variety of food. We ate a Katsudon set meal with corn soup and they were good. Can’t remember the shop’s name now, but it’s in a corner.
Taipei 101 Food Court
Meals at Taipei 101 food court look more premium and expensive than Eslite’s food courts. However, I have better memories of the food in Eslite than over here. MCD and MOS burgers are also part of the Taipei 101 food court.
八色烤肉mini (Korean BBQ Meat): I ate a yummy 8-flavoured beef in Korea and so was excited to see one in Taipei. But turns out, I could only order one out of the eight flavours. Still, it’s nice to be able to have a mini BBQ for one pax. It’s pretty delicious but I think the salt and sauces played a big part in it.
Kaidon (Beef Bowl): Not bad, but not wow. We had a better one in Taitung.
Raohe Night Market【饶河夜市】
The most famous and biggest night market in Taipei has to be Shilin Night Market (士林夜市). That’s a good place to settle for dinner if you are there for the Taipei Astronomical Museum or kid’s amusement park. Another night market you can explore is Ningxia Night Market (宁夏夜市).
We went to Raohe Night Market (饶河夜市) because it is quite sizable yet not too humongous. More importantly, it was very near to our accommodation at NK Hostel. We tried these:
- Meat in a crusty bread, also known as 肉夾饃 (Rou Jia Mo) from 多多肉 肉夾饃. It is referred to as a Chinese hamburger. It is pretty tasty but would be nicer if it had more meat.
- QQ 凉圆 in red and green bean flavour. It’s basically jelly with a mild flavour. Not really a fan of it, but Grace likes the chewy and QQ texture. It’s not expensive, so worth trying!
- Churros with a good choice of flavours. It didn’t disappoint!
- Peanut roll with traditional Taiwan ice cream from 一路花. I’m not a fan of the flavours, but worth giving it a try once, especially if you like peanuts.
Xiao Chen 【小陳牛肉麵 虎林街店】
Braised Beef Noodles
小陳牛肉麵 (“Xiao Chen”) at Hulin Street is definitely a place I go back to on my next visit to Taiwan. Our Airbnb owner recommended this and said he grew up eating this and it’s popular among locals.
I don’t really like braised beef noodles (even from Din Tai Fung), but this is so good. The portion is huge so I don’t think I can finish the small bowl by myself. Our family of four (2 adults and 2 children) shared two small bowls- one braised and one clear soup. Note that the clear soup can still be a little spicy. From the looks of it, they were cooked in the same spicy broth but just “washed” and served in clear soup.
We went for a repeated visit the day after, but it was closed on Monday (and Sunday). So we tried the shop next door, which is also good. Hubs went back the next day to satisfy his craving. He also likes their mixed plate of braised beef and pork. You can choose the different parts to order – just let the auntie chopping meat at the front of the shop know.
Niu Wei 【牛味 虎林街店】
Braised Beef Noodles
We went to this shop when we found out their neighbour Xiao Chen was closed. Think this is more popular among tourists. The food is as yummy! But if given a choice, I will head back to Xiao Chen. I shared the big bowl with my husband and the portion was just nice.
Lao Wang Ji 【老王記】
There are famous stores that see long queues for Taiwanese Oyster Mee Sua (Orh Ah Mee Sua), such as Ah Zhong Mian Xian (阿中面线).
However, we found a hidden gem near the church we visited: Lao Wang Ji, 老王記 (大腸/蚵仔/赤肉) 手工麵線. Good enough to satisfy my meesua craving. If you are nearby, head over to eat without the long queues. There is also a small seating area for you to enjoy the meal. I remember having a tough time eating Ah Zhong while standing in the summer heat.
Lao Xian Jue Gong Fu 【老先覺功夫窯燒鍋 松德店】
A story that goes beyond food review.
So we gave San Ya Mi 三亞米 a miss and hurried our way to the train station. Halfway through our journey, the rain suddenly poured and the wind was blowing so strongly that trees bent. We were stranded but at least we found a shelter and a small bench outside a hotpot shop. Grace is destined to eat in this place. No other food was around and she had not had lunch. However, hubs didn’t want to eat hotpot and there’s minimum spending for adults (hubs and I just ate meesua). So we waited for the rain to stop soon.
Then a staff came out from the hotpot shop and asked us to come in and sit comfortably. He said the storm was not going to stop for another hour. “Have some drinks and ice cream too,” he beckoned us into the shop with free flow of drinks and ice cream. “It’s on the house,” he added.
He warmed our hearts. He reminded me of the hospitality Taiwan used to have more during my last visit 6 years ago. And also brought this bible verse to mind:
“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” – Hebrews 13:2
We felt a bit shy about accepting his offer but he kept insisting. So we decided to kill two birds with one stone. We took up his offer and ordered a hotpot set for hungry Grace. :) Hubby and I would share the set with her.
By right I was still quite full from my meesua lunch, but the hotpot was really delicious and I couldn’t stop eating. Could the food also be made nicer by the hospitality or the cold rainy weather? I would probably go back to try again during my next trip to Taiwan to determine. We ordered 法式牛奶锅 (French Style Milk) as the soup base.
Fu Le Bao Breakfast【福樂寶 早午餐】
Usual Taiwan Breakfast Shop
The burgers were good, but note that the Devil’s Burger (惡魔雞腿排蛋堡) is spicy. The egg pancake is not bad too, but best served hot.
Ba Fang Breakfast【八芳早餐】
Usual Taiwan Breakfast Shop
It’s a breakfast shop near to our accommodation at Via Hotel (highly recommend this hotel). The shop is crowded in the morning with the office crowd, but the food is very normal and reflects their 3.4-star google rating.
Shi Hai You Long【四海游龙】
Dumplings (锅贴, 水饺) and Noodles
Shi Hai You Long 四海游龙 has about 200 outlets in Taiwan, specialising in fried dumplings (锅贴). We ate once in Taipei and another time out of convenience in Taitung. Personally, I prefer their fried dumplings over their other food. The food is not spectacular but good enough if you are looking to eat some dumplings (锅贴 and 水饺).
The dumplings come in a variety of flavours, such as mushroom pumpkin and mushroom kimchi. The dumplings are big, but prices are on the high side. Grace likes them, but I think they are not good enough for me to visit again. The fried rice was nice though.
Shi Ji Ju Le Bu【司機俱樂部】
Braised Pork Rice (滷肉飯) and Chicken Rice
This eatery was just beside our accommodation NK Hostel. Our flight got delayed and then it was hard to get a taxi ride because of the weather. So by the time we reached our accommodation, it was close to 9:30 PM. We haven’t had dinner except for the late lunch onboard.
“Do you want to eat this?” I asked Grace as we stood outside 司機俱樂部. I was hoping she said no because I couldn’t share much with her. I was too tired to stomach any food.
“Yes, I’m hungry.” Good thing they had a small bowl option and it was affordable too. The small bowl cost only NT$35 (US$1.10, S$1.50) and the portion is just nice for Grace. It was her first meal in Taiwan and the lady who served us was friendly to us too. Was that why Grace kept wanting to get the food there? We did so two more times. I like their chicken rice too, but Grace stuck to her favourite braised pork rice. Worth a try if you are nearby.
Din Tai Fung Xinsheng【鼎泰豐 新生店】
We went to Din Tai Fung’s first-ever outlet (Xinyi) but it has since been converted to a takeaway branch. They now have a newly built restaurant (Xinsheng) on the opposite street, about a 5 to 10-minute walk away.
The service is so excellent I felt like I was in a fine dining restaurant. Grace, hubs and I think that the food is nicer here than in Singapore. Is it the service that elevated our food reviews? Or was it truly the food? Nevertheless, make a trip here if you are in Taipei and enjoy a Michelin experience!
Cafes and Restaurants
Homey’s Cafe is on the second floor, and the entrance looks like a door to a home. A homely cafe indeed. A good place to work in – free wifi, power plugs (sockets) and unlimited hours. However, seats might be limited during peak. Different seat configurations throughout the cafe. The club sandwich was not bad and its portion was too huge for me. They packed the leftovers for me upon request.
Mr Brown Cafe 【NTUT Shop】
Mr Brown Cafe is a Taiwanese coffee chain. The branch near NTUT is a good place to work in. Super big shop with free wifi, power plugs (sockets), and unlimited hours.
I got their matcha latte in the morning and for lunch, I got their Rice Gratin with Chicken in Pesto Sauce. Ala carte at NT$200 (US$6.20, S$8.50) and set meal with drinks and soup at NT$280 (US$8.70, S$11.90). The pesto sauce was overpowering initially, I almost gave up the dish. But it became an acquired taste and I like the dish in general, more so if they didn’t use pesto.
think cafe: An option I considered bringing my laptop to work in.
Second Life Coffee【第二人生咖啡館 士林店】
Burger and Pasta
If you are looking for burgers after a trip to the Taipei Astronomical Museum or amusement park, Second Life Coffee is the place to go. Their burgers and wedges should satisfy your cravings. It is near to Shilin metro station.
Lagsana and Desserts
2J Cafe is near Da’an playground. I would recommend their lasagna and not so much their honey toast. We were there about 6:15 pm and it’s already bustling with life. Initially, they turned us away because we didn’t make any reservations. Later, they managed to squeeze us in but we had to finish our meal by 7:30 pm, which was quite alright for us. So make reservations to ensure you get a table!
Bread and Dessert
Xiaonanmen Traditional Beancurd 【小南門傳統豆花】
As mentioned above, I first ate Xiaonanmen‘s beancurd at the Eslite Songyan food court. It was smooth in the mouth. There’s no need to make a trip to the food court because Xiaonanmen has many branches in Taipei.
Hubby found out about them himself and loves it too. I had it 3 times during my trip. However, the shop has a low star rating on Google reviews. If I have read it, I might not have tried it!
Yuciren Happy Waffle【魚刺人雞蛋糕】
I ordered this waffle from Yuciren at Vacanza Accessory – Vacation Club (Zhongshan) which sells accessories. NT45 (US$1.50, S$2.00) for 5 round egg waffle (egglet). For the price, I can buy many more pieces in Singapore, albeit smaller. This is more expensive per piece, but it’s thick, flavourful and yummy. I think the staff re-did the waffle when it was slightly burnt or out of shape. I can see their sincerity in the food and packaging.
We went to buy bread from Buckoo for breakfast, which was quite nice. We didn’t know they are famous for their pineapple tarts and this blog even said the walnut pineapple tarts are better than SunnyHills and ChiaTe. Wasted!
Oolong Tea Project【得正# 虎林街店】
I like the drinks from Oolong Tea Project! Try it if you pass by the shop – we bought from the branches at Hulin and Shilin MRT. The milk tea had a mild roasted tea smell. We went back for more.
The shop at Hulin (near the beef noodles mentioned above) was perpetually filled with delivery orders. Do bring a cup sleeve carrier to Taiwan because the shops don’t give plastic bags unless it’s a big order. I even saw a delivery guy taking four cups with no carrier.
Mister Donut is everywhere in Taiwan! And with no crazy queues like in Singapore. We were not bought over when we first tried it in Singapore. But soon we got addicted to it while in Taiwan. Have your fill!
What food do you want to eat most in Taiwan? Or what do you miss? Let me know so I can include it in this list too. Love to try it if I’m going back!
Before you go, you might want to check out my other posts on Taiwan. Leave your comments or questions below. Love to hear from you. :)
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