20 Best Things To Eat In Taipei (And Where To Try Them)

Taipei is a great city to visit and it has a wide variety of culinary offerings. From street food to high-end restaurants and everything in between, you’re sure to find something to satisfy your taste buds during your stay in Taipei.

In this post, I will be sharing the top foods to try in Taiwan as well as my personal dining recommendations for things to eat in Taipei, so that you can experience the best of what this vibrant city has to offer.

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WHAT TO EAT IN TAIPEI: MY 20 TOP FOOD RECOMMENDATIONS

Beef Noodle Soup (Niu Rou Mian)

Yongkang Beef Noodles - Taipei Itinerary

If you’re looking for a classic dish to try when visiting Taipei, then beef noodle soup should be at the top of your list. Originating from northern China, this hearty dish has become one of the most popular things to eat in Taipei and throughout Taiwan.

The traditional version of the dish relies on slow-cooked bone broth as its base which gives it its strong flavors and umami depth. Beef shank or flank is added as the main protein alongside vegetables such as bok choy or napa cabbage for an extra dose of nutrition.

The dish is then completed with chewy and delicious to complete a hearty meal sure to satisfy any soupy craving. If you’re looking for something delicious to eat while in Taipei, beef noodle soup should definitely make it onto your list!

Beef noodle soup - Where To Eat In Taipei Food Guide

While it can be found in tons of local restaurants and stands, there are some restaurants that you should go out of your way to try (and even wait in line for) specifically.

Where to eat:

  • Yong Kang Beef Noodles – Da’an District (my absolute fave!)
  • Liu Shandong Beef Noodles – Zhongzheng District
  • Lao Shandong Homemade Noodles – Ximending
  • Lin Dong Fang – Zhongshan District
  • Regent Taipei – Zhongshan District

Soup Dumplings (Xiao Long Bao)

Xiao Long Bao, or “soup dumplings,” are a type of steamed dumpling that is popular throughout many parts of East Asia. These tasty morsels come with an interesting twist; inside each one is a savory soup that bursts in your mouth upon biting into it! Don’t get too greedy and eat it while it’s too hot, unless you want to burn your tongue with hot soup.

Though traditionally made with pork filling, there are now many variations available with different flavors like crabmeat or even vegetarian fillings. No matter what filling you choose, one thing is for sure–a good XLB will have a thin dumpling skin and truly flavorful broth!

Enjoy hot off the steamer basket, and don’t forget to pair them with vinegar and ginger slices to bring out the full flavor.

Where to eat:

  • Din Tai Fung – multiple locations

Braised Pork Rice (Lu Rou Fan)

Brasied Pork Over Rice - What To Eat In Taipei Food Guide

If you’re looking for a comforting, traditional dish to try when visiting Taipei, then look no further than braised pork over rice. This succulent Taiwanese dish is one of the most popular local dishes and can be found in many restaurants throughout the city.

Braised pork over rice (also known as lu rou fan in Mandarin) consists of minced pork that has been marinated with traditional Chinese spices, soy sauce and sugar before being simmered in broth until cooked through. The cooked pork is served atop a bed of steamed white jasmine or sticky rice, accompanied by pickled vegetables such as mustard greens and radish.

The resulting flavor combination is sweet yet savory and makes for an incredibly comforting meal. If you’re debating whether you should try this dish, the answer should 100% be yes.

Where to eat:

  • Jin Feng Braised Pork Rice – Zhongzheng District

Pork Pepper Buns (Hujiao Bing)

Pork Pepper Buns Raohe Market - What To Eat In Taipei Food Guide

If you’re the type of person who enjoys meat wrapped up in some form of an outer carb, then pork pepper buns or hujiao bing are a must-try.

These tasty buns are popular street food in Taiwan and can usually be found at night markets. Pork pepper buns consist of an outer crust made of flour that is either deep-fried or baked until crispy on the outside, filled with a mix of ground pork, onion and Sichuan peppercorns which give it its unique flavor.

The inside of the bun is quite peppery, juicy, and flavorful from the combination of ingredients used to make it.

One really well-known spot to get this bun? Fuzhou Pepper Buns at Raohe Night Market (a Michelin-guide feature). How they cook the bun is super interesting. The bun is baked by sticking it to the side of a large and traditional-looking cylindrical oven.

It’s the very first, or last, stall you see depending on which side you enter the night market from. You can easily spot it by the long line that typically forms at the stall!

Where to eat:

  • Fuzhou Pepper Buns – Raohe Night Market

Soymilk and Fried Dough Breakfast

Yong He Soy Milk - 5 Day Taipei Itinerary

While you’re in Taipei, you need to eat a Taiwanese-style breakfast at least once! The traditional Taiwanese breakfast consists of mostly carby and eggy goodness, along with a bowl or two of warm soy milk. You can either opt for a salty version or a lightly sweetened version of the soymilk.

If you’re traveling with others, I’d recommend your group try one of each–they’re quite different from each other in taste!

Dip your youtiao (fried dough stick) into your warm bowl of soy milk, and get a side of fantuan (sticky rice roll) or the shaobing (sesame flatbread) with an egg in it.

Where to eat:

  • Yong He Soy Milk King – Da’an District
  • Fu Hang Dou Jiang – Zhongzheng District
  • Sihai Soy Milk – Datong District

Taiwanese Sticky Rice Roll (Fan Tuan)

Fantuan - Where To Eat In Taipei Food Guide

Fantuans are one of my favorite cheap eats in all of the Taiwanese cuisine. These are sticky rice rolls in the shape of burritos that are filled with traditional fixings like aromatic meat floss and preserved vegetables, followed by some fried donut for texture.

The result is an incredibly flavorful and filling meal that has become beloved all over Taiwan! It’s the perfect on-the-go breakfast or snack, and you can often find them at traditional Taiwanese breakfast places.

Where to eat:

  • Yong He Soy Milk King – Da’an District
  • Fu Hang Dou Jiang – Zhongzheng District
  • Sihai Soy Milk – Datong District

Hot Pot

Hot Pot Taipei

One type of meal that should not be missed on any trip to Taipei is hot pot. Hot pot is an interactive meal experience that brings people together and allows them to enjoy a variety of flavors and textures.

Hot pot consists of a boiling broth served with thinly sliced meats, fish balls, seafood, and vegetables like mushrooms, bok choy, tofu and noodles. As the ingredients cook in the soup, they take on its flavorful essence while still retaining their own unique flavor profile.

You can choose from numerous broth options such as mala (spicy), herbal chicken soup, spicy miso paste flavored, etc — each just as flavorful as they are fragrant.

While there are a lot of all-you-can-eat restaurants out there, the real quality can be found in restaurants that charge per order of fixings. I’d recommend starting there so you can try hot pot with the freshest ingredients first.

Where to eat:

  • Tai Ho Dien – Da’an District
  • Hai Di Lao Hot Pot – Songshan District
  • Ding Wang Hotpot – Songshan District

Grilled Squid

Shilin Night Market Taipei

This popular Taiwanese snack has become increasingly popular in recent years, and it’s easy to see why (especially if you love a little crunchy texture as I do).

Grilled squid is made from fresh squid that is marinated in garlic, soy sauce, and other spices before being grilled to perfection over hot coals or charcoal. The result is a savory dish that combines the smokiness of the grill with the rich flavor of the marinade.

The texture of grilled squid is what sets it apart from other seafood dishes – it’s chewy yet juicy with a hint of sweetness.

At the night markets, it’s usually cut up, thrown into a little baggie, and handed to you along with a few skewers to enjoy right then and there!

Where to eat:

  • Any night market should have this available for sale

Scallion Pancakes

Scallion Pancake Taipei Taiwan

One of Taiwan’s most popular street snacks is the scallion pancake. This savory treat comes in many different variations and can be found on many appetizer menus around the city.

The scallion pancake, also known as an onion or green onion pancake, combines flour, oil and sliced onions to create a crispy yet chewy texture. The batter is fried to golden perfection for a unique and tasty snack that can be enjoyed alone or with various fillings like eggs, cheese, meat or vegetables.

It’s widely available at restaurants and food stands throughout the night markets of Taiwan; however, I’d recommend Tian Jin Onion Pancake in the Da’an district, as this is the exact thing they specialize in!

Where to eat:

  • Tian Jin Onion Pancake – Da’an District

Taiwanese Oyster Omelet

Oyster is a popular filling/topping that can be found in lots of Taiwanese dishes. Also known as o ah jian in Mandarin, this savory omelet consists of eggs, oysters and vegetables. It was first created in the 1950s by a street vendor from Taipei City and has since become one of the most iconic dishes to eat in Taipei.

Due to its popularity, oyster omelets can be found at many night markets, restaurants and food stalls throughout Taiwan. While it may look simple on the surface, its unique combination of flavors makes it an unforgettable experience for any traveler looking to sample local cuisine in Taipei.

Where to eat:

  • Yuen Huan Pien Oyster Egg Omelet – Datong District
Oyster Omelet - What To Eat In Taipei Food Guide
Oyster omelet, stinky tofu, braised pork over rice.

Stinky Tofu

If you’re looking for unique food experiences when visiting Taipei, Taiwan, then you need to get your hands on some stinky tofu. Stinky tofu is a type of fermented tofu that carries a very distinct… smell, hence the name. It’s a popular street food in Taiwan and has been around since the early 1800s.

The smell itself can be off-putting to some people so it’s important to have an open mind before trying it! Stinky tofu is usually deep fried until golden brown and served with various sauces such as chili sauce or sweet sauce depending on preference.

Where to eat:

  • Any night market should have this available for sale

Taiwanese Fried Chicken

Ah, Taiwanese fried chicken, the king of all Taiwanese street snacks!

Taiwanese fried chicken, sometimes known as popcorn chicken, is made with succulent pieces of marinated chicken that are usually deep-fried until crispy and golden brown. The marinade typically includes five spice, wine, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and other seasonings to give it a unique flavor profile.

Unlike American-style fried chicken which uses breading or batter to coat the meat, Taiwanese fried chicken is simply coated with a seasoning mix before being deep-fried. This gives it an unmistakable crunchy texture that makes it hard to resist!

To make it even tastier, many places will also add toppings such as basil, five spice, white pepper with salt, or pepper flakes for extra spice and flavor.

In more recent years, a different type of fried chicken has become popular, the deep-fried chicken cutlet, first introduced by Hot Star XXL Fried Chicken. If you go for this type of chicken, you’ll be getting a humongous slab of chicken that’s perfectly fried up for you to enjoy in the streets.

Where to eat:

  • Hot Star Large Fried Chicken – multiple locations all over Taipei
  • Shi Yun Fried Chicken – Shida Night Market
  • Any night market should have this available for sale

Lu Wei

Shilin Night Market - The Perfect Taipei Itinerary

Chances are once you hit the night markets, you’re going to run into stalls that carry a seemingly endless assortment of foods. Most likely, this is a collection of food items known as lu wei.

What is lu wei and how does it work? Lu wei, also known as braised food, is a traditional Taiwanese cuisine that has been enjoyed for centuries.

This highly-customizable dish consists of a variety of ingredients, including vegetables, fish, meat, fishballs, intestines, mushrooms, eggs and tofu. The ingredients are cooked together with different sauces to create the complex flavor that makes this dish so unique.

How it works is you’ll grab a basket and fill it with your favorite fixings from a huge selection of meat, vegetables, tofu, noodles, etc. The food is then boiled in a savory broth, chopped and plated.

Soymilk Soft Serve

Soypresso Taipei Taiwan

One street food that visitors must try if they like soymilk is soymilk soft serve! This refreshing dessert combines fresh soymilk with just the right amount of sugar for a creamy and sweet treat.

It’s then served in a cup or cone, topped with whatever you like. The light and airy texture makes it an ideal snack for hot summer days! Not only does it taste great but it’s also packed full of nutrition as well – making it one of the healthiest treats to eat while exploring Taipei.

If you head to Soypresso, you can get yourself soft serve, as well as any type of flavored soymilk you can think of!

Where to eat:

  • Soypresso – multiple locations

Pineapple Cakes

Pineapple Cakes - Where To Eat In Taipei Food Guide

Pineapple cake is a light, flaky pastry filled with an assortment of pineapple jam and buttercream on top. The crust contains a mix of flour and sugar that gives it a slightly sweet taste, almost like a delicate version of shortbread.

It also sometimes contains pine nuts for crunchiness and texture. The combination of both pineapple jam and buttercream makes this dessert irresistible for anyone that has a love for all things pineapple flavored.

Pineapple cakes are usually available all year round and can be found in many bakeries across Taipei.

Where to eat:

  • Chia Te Bakery – Songshan District
  • Sunny Hills Taipei – Songshan District

Sun Cake – Taiyang Bing

滿福堂餅行 Taiwanese Bakery - 5 Day Taipei Itinerary

Sun cakes, or taiyang bing in Mandarin, are a traditional Taiwanese pastry made from syrup, lard, and flour. This combination gives the cakes their signature golden color, which is why they’re referred to as “sun” cakes.

Despite its name, they’re definitely more of a flaky pastry as opposed to a cake.

The texture of the inside can vary depending on the recipe used; some recipes call for more flour to create a flakier texture while others use more maltose syrup to create a softer consistency. No matter how it’s prepared, sun cake is sure to be a hit with any pastry lover visiting Taipei.

Personally speaking, I like taiyang bing so much more than I like pineapple cake. I’d recommend you get one of each to try out to see which you prefer.

As with pineapple cakes, these are sold at a lot of traditional bakeries and make great souvenirs to bring home!

Where to eat:

  • Ruyi Sunny Cake – Ximen District
  • Yu Jan Shin – Songshan District
  • Chia Te Bakery – Songshan District

Boba Milk Tea

Boba - Things To Eat In Taipei Food Guide

Does boba even need an explanation these days?

For those of you unfamiliar, Taiwan is the birthplace of the iconic Boba Milk Tea. This drink has become popular around the world and travelers visiting Taipei would be remiss not to try it while they are in town!

Traditional bubble tea is prepared with black milk tea as its base and topped with a tapioca pearl topping known as “boba”. The pearls are chewy, sweet, and provide a very ‘QQ’ texture contrast when combined with the milk tea.

Many stores will also add other options such as popping boba, egg pudding, grass jelly, aloe, or aiyu jelly for a different texture.

Not a fan of milk? A lot of boba shops like Yi Fang, specialize in fruit teas and non-milky drinks.

Where to eat:

  • you can find a boba shop on every corner of every street in Taipei!

Taiwanese Shaved Ice

Taiwanese Shaved Ice - What To Eat In Taipei

Taiwanese shaved ice is a popular dessert treat found throughout Taipei. Originating in the 1930s, this refreshing beverage has become a staple of what to eat in Taipei if you’re looking to cool down from the heat.

It’s made by shaving blocks of ice into thin layers and then mixing it with flavored syrup, condensed milk and other toppings like fresh fruit, chewy taro balls, or red beans. This sweet treat can be found in some night markets and is also served up at tea houses and dessert shops.

Not sure where to start? I’d say the most popular shaved ice flavors are mango, strawberry, and green tea with red bean.

Where to eat:

  • Snow Bro – multiple locations
  • Smoothie House – Da’an District
  • Ximen Mango Shaved Ice – Ximending District
  • Mr. Chef Snow & Tofu – Gongguan District

Taro or Sweet Potato Balls

Taro Balls - What To Eat In Taipei

If you’re looking for another dessert that’s unique to Taiwan, try something that features a heap of taro balls or sweet potato balls.

These chewy treats are made of either taro or yam and tapioca flour and can be found in night markets throughout the city or at dessert shops.

The taro version is light purple and has a slightly sweet flavor. Sweet potato balls are more yellow/orange in color. Both types of snacks are sold pre-packaged at most convenience stores, as well as freshly made by street vendors.

My favorite base to enjoy these fluffy balls are with grass jelly (which is black). Top it off with some sweet milk and you’ve got yourself a refreshing little bowl of goodness.

Where to eat:

  • Meet Fresh – multiple locations
  • Eastern Ice Store – multiple locations, look out for the frog logo!
  • Taiyi Milk King – Gongguan District
  • Lai Ah Po Taro Balls – Jiufen
Jiufen Old Street Taro Balls - Day Trip To Jiufen from Taipei
Try some famous taro balls in Jiufen!

Regional Fresh Fruit

Fresh Local Fruits - What To Eat In Taipei Food Guide

Taiwan is a small island, but it packs a big punch when it comes to flavor that grows from the ground. If you’re looking for something fruity and delicious to cut the grease from all the night market eats, you’re in luck!

Regional fruits such as persimmon, pineapple, guava and dragon fruit add a unique sweetness to end any meal. And if you’re looking to try a fruit that’s uniquely Taiwan, opt for the Wax Apple! Taiwan’s Wax Apple is like a cross between an apple and a pear–it’s juicy, crunchy and sweet.

Lastly, if you’re thirsty for nutrients and antioxidants and happen to pass by a fruit market, pick yourself up a bottle of freshly squeezed fruit juice!

Fresh Local Fruits - What To Eat In Taipei Food Guide

Looking for an edible gift to bring home to friends/family? Dried fruit makes for a great souvenir gift.

Dried Fruits - What To Eat In Taipei Food Guide
Dried guava, mango, pineapple, and dragon fruit

WHERE TO EAT IN TAIPEI: NIGHT MARKETS

Taipei’s night markets are famous for having Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand establishments. Here are just a few of them, plus some of my own recommendations!

Shilin Night Market

  • Chung Chia Sheng Jian Bao
  • Hai Yu Pork Ribs
  • Good Friend Cold Noodles
  • and the stall with the grilled mushrooms!
Shilin Night Market Grilled Mushrooms

Raohe Street Night Market

  • Chen Tung Pork Ribs Medicinal Herbs Soup
  • A Kuo Lu Wei – features an assortment of soy-braised marinated snack foods
  • Beef Noodles and Beef Entrails Soup – look for the cartoon bull on the lamp covers!

Ningxia Night Market

  • Rong’s Pork Liver
  • Fang Chia Shredded Chicken on Rice
  • Liu Yu Zi – deep-fried taro balls, egg yolk taro balls

WHERE TO EAT IN TAIPEI: OTHER FOOD SPOTS

  • Simple Kaffa (coffee shop) – Zhongzheng District
  • Fong Da Coffee – Ximending District
  • 甘妹弄堂 – 西門店 (Taiwanese restaurant) – Ximending District
  • 西門金鋒魯肉飯 (Taiwanese restaurant) – Ximending District
  • Ay-Chung Flour-Rice Noodle – Ximending District
  • 道樂商店 (Ramen) – Ximending District
  • Ching Cheng Hainan Chicken Rice – Songshan District
  • Addiction Aquatic Development (grab and go seafood market) – Zhongshan District

Essential Travel Tips For Taipei

  • If you plan on using the internet for Google Maps, and even random internet searches when there’s no WiFi around, I’d highly recommend picking up a Taiwan prepaid SIM card. I did Taipei without a SIM card (just used T-Mobile’s free international roaming) and while Google Maps worked fine, even basic Google searches would take ages to load. SIM card = fast internet!
  • You should get a contactless IC card (EasyCard) OR a pass that provides unlimited transportation (like the Fun Pass for tourists). These will save you the hassle of needing to purchase individual tickets and with the EasyCard, it’ll even save you money as the fare is discounted when you use an EasyCard.
  • Consider getting the Unlimited Fun Pass, which includes entrance to 25 popular attractions, as well as unlimited MRT and bus rides in Taipei and New Taipei City.
  • For public transportation, you will probably use the bus as much as you use the train. In both instances, you’ll need to tap your transportation card upon getting ON and OFF. So in total, you’ll be tapping twice per ride.
  • The MRT (subway) system is clean, timely, and super affordable, with trains running every few minutes. The bus system is a bit less reliable than the train, but still pretty good. There is good digital signage that lets you know when the next bus is arriving at your stop.
  • Make sure to download Google Maps and Google Translate on your phone. That way, you can check bus/train schedules, access maps, navigate to your stops on foot, and read food menus easily.
  • Upon arrival at TPE Airport, allocate at least 1 to 1.5 hours to get from the airport to Taipei. When traveling with lots of luggage or traveling with larger groups, we prefer to book a private airport transfer to get us from the airport to our hotel and vice versa.
  • The weather in Taipei can be quite unpredictable, and rain is not uncommon. Make sure you pack a lightweight travel umbrella when visiting during typhoon season (from May to November).
  • Make sure to wear comfortable walking shoes as you’ll be doing a ton of walking in Taipei.
  • Don’t forget to bring some cash with you while you explore the city, as some vendors (such as at night markets) don’t take credit card or EasyCard payments.

Where To Stay In Taipei

The two neighborhoods I recommend staying in are Ximending (if you want to be in a bustling district close to many shopping and dining options) and Zhongzheng (right by Taipei Main Station and centrally located, so you’re never too far away from any landmark).

These two districts are actually located right next to each other, so either area will do just fine!

Ximending Hotels

Just Sleep – Ximending – newly renovated in 2019; just a short 2-minute walk from MRT Ximen Station and Ximending Shopping Area.

Hotel Midtown Richardson – simple and sleek rooms located right next to MRT Ximen Station.

Zhongzheng Hotels

Via Hotel Taipei Station – sleek and minimalist hotel close to Taipei Main Station, National Taiwan Museum, and Ximending Shopping Area.

Hotel Resonance Taipei, Tapestry Collection by Hilton – conveniently located, modern hotel with king-sized beds, great for couples!

Beitou Hotels

And lastly, if you’re considering an overnight stay in Beitou, my top two recommendations are Grand View Resort Beitou and Villa 32.

These two hotels don’t come cheap, but if you’re open to splurging during one part of your trip, let it be this part!


Taiwan Travel Insurance

This is a no-brainer. When traveling internationally, be sure to get yourself some travel insurance.

I’ve heard of too many unfortunate experiences where friends and family have had baggage lost/stolen, hotels canceled, or have had unexpected medical emergencies while traveling where they’ve had to cut their trips short.

True story alert — in 2022, my partner even had his shoulder completely dislocated while surfing in Mexico, resulting in a $950 USD emergency room bill that we had to pay out of pocket for! Not fun and not cheap.

Without travel insurance, you would have to pay out of pocket for these mishaps. This is why I get travel insurance for all my international trips now!

One of the best budget-friendly travel insurances for those traveling outside their home country is SafetyWing.

SafetyWing Insurance provides coverage for unexpected illness or injury, including eligible expenses for hospital, doctor or prescription drugs. This means that if you get ill or injured, they will cover the medical expenses.

In addition, it provides emergency travel-related benefits such as emergency medical evacuation (much needed if you like to go hiking / trekking in the wild), travel delay, and lost checked luggage.

Click here to price out how much travel insurance would be for your trip.


Looking for more Taipei travel tips? You may also like:

The Perfect 5 Days In Taipei: What To See, Eat, and Do

3 Days In Taipei: Travel Itinerary

Transportation in Taipei: EasyCard or Taipei Fun Pass?

Taipei Fun Pass: Is It Worth The Money?

6 Best Hotels In Beitou With Private Hot Spring Baths

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