If you’ve watched at least one food video on Taiwan, it’s likely that you’ve heard of a little place called Din Tai Fung.
For years we watched YouTubers travel to Taipei and eat the famous pork xiaolongbao (soup dumplings), and we dreamed of the day when we could do the same. Finally, we planned our trip, and eating at Din Tai Fung was at the top of our list.
Our Journey to Din Tai Fung:
Now that we had completed the step of actually getting to Taiwan, we had to figure out the hardest part; getting a table at Din Tai Fung.
There are multiple locations throughout the country, but since we stayed near Taipei 101 for most of our time in Taipei, we decided to visit the restaurant at the base of the tower.
It took three separate trips over the course of our time in Taipei to finally have the time and willingness to wait in line. After two attempts to get in line, and then realizing the wait time was over 200 minutes, we decided to go as soon as the restaurant opened at 11 a.m.
We got up early, packed up our things, and headed over to the restaurant. The attendant took our names, and handed us a beeper and an order slip. There are so many people that come to eat here that you place your order while you wait. Genius.
Because we arrived about an hour before opening, we waited a fraction of the usual time, and got in really quickly. What boggled my mind, however, is that as we walked in, the restaurant was already packed. There were hundreds of people digging into plates of soup dumplings when the restaurant had supposedly only opened minutes before…a bit suspicious, if you ask me.
As we walked to our table, we passed by a window where you could watch the chefs making the delicate soup dumplings, and because we had already placed our order while we were in line, our food came only minutes after we were seated.
So was it worth it?
There’s no denying that Din Tai Fung is so well-known and loved for a reason. The process of eating a soup dumpling is fun, and they are really delicious. That’s where the “yes” comes in.
But where the “no” comes in to play is when we got our bill. We went in knowing that we were going to spend the most here than any other place we chose to eat in Taipei. Sure, this isn’t the only “pricier” restaurant in Taiwan, but it was for us.
Our food budget was about $30 a day (some days even less!), so when our entire lunch bill came to a little over $20, we cringed a little bit. Sure, we made the intentional choice to eat there, but would we go back? Probably not. For two plates of dumplings & a plate of green vegetables, it wasn’t really worth it.
There were so many other places and foods in Taipei that we loved just a little bit more, so it’s hard to say that Din Tai Fung stuck out as the best.
Things that stuck out about Din Tai Fung:
The Service: The service at Din Tai Fung was great! The staff was very kind, they got us in as quickly as possible, and got our order perfectly even with the hundreds of other guests. The only complaint I had about the service is that I did feel rushed. They got us out of our table as quickly as they brought us to it. It was difficult to find someone to ask for water, and everything happened so fast that I didn’t feel like I could completely enjoy my meal.
The Quality: The quality of the food and presentation at Din Tai Fung was definitely high. Each soup dumpling was perfectly made, and even our appetizer of sautéed green beans was pretty. I also really liked that you could look into the xiaolongbao making room and see how fast and accurate the chefs are.
The Wait: The wait is long. Be prepared to wait, and wait, and wait some more. Don’t give up though. It’s worth visiting at least once.
Visiting Din Tai Fung:
Locations: Din Tai Fung has locations in 13 countries (including the U.S.!). Click HERE to find a location nearest you.
Price Range: $$ We ordered two plates of xiaolongbao & a plate of green beans, and our bill came to about 20 USD (about 600 NTD).