Taipei, Taiwan – With so much good food in the city, Taipei has some of the most vibrant night markets and street food scene to satisfy your hunger pangs. Other than street food, there are some local eateries and restaurants which we frequent whenever we are in the city, such as getting a bowl of Ah Zong Mian Xian and heading to Jin Feng Braised Pork Rice for some really good pork rice. Here are some of our favourite places to get a taste of the local food scene if you only have limited time, with a random inclusion of our favourite Japanese Yakiniku restaurant Da-Wan Yakiniku restaurant.
Jin Feng Braised Pork Rice 金峰魯肉飯
One of our favourite stops in Taipei, Jin Feng Braised Pork Rice is a foodie’s paradise. It’s a no frills setting in a rustic and old coffeeshop ambience, which adds to the charm of visiting this eatery every time we are in Taipei. No prizes for guessing, our favourite dish is the Braised Pork Rice, topped with ultra tender pork slices and that to-die-for sauce over the fragrant rice. Prices are very reasonable, with the largest bowl of the Braised Pork Rice at NT$50.
Where: No. 10, Section 1, Roosevelt Road, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan
Fuhang Soy Milk (阜杭豆漿)
豆漿油條 or Soy Milk with dough is one of the locals’ favourite snack, and Fuhang is one popular brand familiar with both locals and tourists alike. The accessible location from Shandao Temple Station also means that you can pretty much expect to queue for at least fifteen to twenty minutes. Choose from hot or cold Soy Milk, and pair it with the You Tiao or dough which comes in thick or thin slices, with or without fried egg. The space here is a foodcourt setting, where it is fairly easy to grab a seat despite the huge crowd.
Where: 100, Taiwan, Taipei City, Zhongzheng District, Section 1, Zhongxiao E Rd, 108號
Tian Jin Flaky Scallion Pancake (天津蔥抓餅)
If you love street snacks, one not to be missed is Scallion Pancake (蔥抓餅). The stall at the intersection of Yong Kang Street Lane 6 is fairly popular among locals and tourists, where you get to choose from various flavours such as plain, with egg or cheese. The pancake is crispy, portion is huge and it definitely makes for a good munch as you explore the rest of the street.
Where: No. 1, Lane 6, Yongkang Street, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106
Lin Dong Fang Beef Noodle (林東芳牛肉麵)
Many people flock to Yong Kang Street for beef noodle but Lin Dong Fang Beef Noodle (林東芳牛肉麵) house is much less touristy and in my opinion much better. The shop along Blade Road is small, cramp and I took great pleasure watching all the boiling action right in front of the stall. Go for the half-tendon/half-beef option for the best of both worlds, cooked in the broth which I thought must be the best beef noodle broth ever.
Where: No. 274, Section 2, Bade Rd, Zhongshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 104
Lan Jia Gua Bao 藍家割包
Located near Gongguan Night Market is a famous eatery called Lan Jia Gua Bao, which specialises in Gua Bao, otherwise known as pork belly buns. I had the takeaway bun which was filled generously with pork and pickled vegetables, the kind of piping hot takeaway I like to try along the streets of Taipei. The well-marinated pork has this very tender texture which made it a great combination with the soft bun. If you are not in a hurry, you can grab a table and try the other dishes such as intestine soup and rice dumplings.
Where: No. 3, Alley 8, Lane 316, Section 3, Luosifu Road, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan 100
Fuzhou Shi Zu Black Pepper Bun (福州世祖胡椒饼)
When CNN lists it as the Top 40 Must Try Taiwanese Food, you ought to expect a long queue. Located at one end of Raohe Night Market is this popular stall which makes its Pepper Buns on the spot, one of the most popular stalls at Raohe judging from the crowd. The hot buns are oven-baked in the traditional clay oven to give it that crisp texture, filled with generous minced pork fillings with hints of peppery flavour. I can only imagine how much better this will taste in Winter.
Where: Raohe Street Night Market, Raohe St, Songshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 105
Ho Ho Mei (好好味港式菠萝包) – Shida Night Market
Shida Night Market is one of my favourite Night Market in Taipei as the layout is fairly easy to navigate, with a good mix of food and shopping options despite its relatively small size. I was initially skeptical about trying Polo Bun here, but this stall is an absolute must try. The signature is its Bun with butter, which puts those in Hong Kong to shame in my opinion. The butter works magic, and those buns simply have that perfect crisp, fluffy and buttery flavour which I can’t stop at one.
Where: No. 19, Lane 107, Section 1, Fuxing S Rd, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106
Lai Ji Oyster Omelette (賴記蚵仔煎)
Ningxia Night Market in Taipei is one of those usually neglected by most tourists as most will flock to Shilin or Raohe. I like it because it has a stronger local vibe, less touristy and there is almost every type of Taiwanese street food you can find here at the same time despite the fact that it is not huge. If you are walking from Shuanglian station towards Ningxia Night Market just before its entrance, there is a popular local oyster omelette eatery Lai Ji where you can get your craving fixed.
Where: No. 198之22號, Minsheng West Road, Datong District, Taipei City, Taiwan 103
Linji Mochi 林记烧麻糬
Another stall which left an impression is this stall in Ningxia Night Market called Linji Mochi 林记烧麻糬. It sells Muah Chee in hot or shaved iced version. The hot and freshly prepared Muah Chee had a very soft texture, coated with fragrant and delicious peanut. Go for the shaved iced Muah Chee!
Where: Ningxia Night Market in front of No. 35, Ningxia Road
Ah Zong Mian Xian (阿宗麵線)
And of course, no trip to Taipei is complete without a visit to the ever popular Ah Zong Mian Xian, which needs no further introduction. Ah Zong Mian Xian is one of the most famous Mee Sua eatery in Taipei, as evident from its perpetual queue at its Ximen stall. Queue to order the medium or large bowl, and be prepared to eat by the street as there is no dine-in at its Ximen outlet. Check out that thick bowl of Mee Sua, which is ever so comforting as street food pitstop.
Where: No. 8-1號, Emei Street, Wanhua District, Taipei City, Taiwan 108
It’s tough to get reservations at this ever-popular Japanese Yakiniku restaurant near Zhongxiao Dunhua station, and it is not difficult to understand why. Da-wan has already been around for ten years, with only one outlet in Taipei. The predominantly counter-seating restaurant is not big, but you get personalised service where dedicated staff will help you grill your meats to the perfect texture. The various parts of the Australian Wagyu I had were all succulently grilled, with an intense marbling flavour which rivals that of the Ines I had in Singapore or Japan. Book well ahead to avoid disappointment.
Where: 106, Taiwan, Taipei City, Da’an District, Lane 177, Section 1, Dunhua South Road, 22號
Ranted by The Ranter