Today I’m sharing our Top 10 food picks in Taiwan!
I’ll be ranking our top 10 Taiwanese foods from our not so favorite to most favorite dishes. There were very few things we didn’t like, which made this list even harder to create.
When we planned our trip to Taiwan, food was number one on our list of things we were most excited about, and we knew we were in for an amazing foodie experience. Taiwan definitely didn’t disappoint us, and we left with unforgettable memories of delicious seafood, sweet shaved ice, and other delectable dishes.
On Wednesday, I shared our Top 5 Night Market picks. Almost all of the things I mention here are from different markets around the country so be sure to check out that post if you haven’t already!
At Chun Shui Tang, we ordered fried taro, brown sugar mochi, and of course, milk tea. The fried taro was salty, crispy, and delicious, and the mochi was gooey, sweet, and paired perfectly with cream and black sesame.
The milk tea was the best we found in Taiwan, but overall, didn’t make the cut for our Top 10 List.
Din Tai Fung was also a hard one to rank. The soup dumplings were soft, chewy, and filled with delicious broth, and the service was faster than the speed of light.
Anyone visiting Taiwan should try and get a table at Din Tai Fung at least once because it’s definitely an unforgettable experience. But when faced with the question of whether or not we would go back, we couldn’t justify adding it to our Top 10.
Now, let’s dive into our Top 10 Foods of Taiwan:
#10. Traditional Taiwanese Breakfast; Si Hai Soy Milk King, Taipei
After seeing Mikey Chen’s video on Si Hai Soy Milk King in Taipei, we knew we wanted to try a traditional Taiwanese breakfast at least once during our stay in Taiwan.
Si Hai is a hole in the wall place that doesn’t stand out unless you’re looking for it. It’s very simple, but has a great selection of more traditional Taiwanese dishes. We ordered a bowl of soy milk, sweet brown rice milk, a plate of fried bread, and a steamed meat bun (baozi).
This wasn’t the most amazing meal we had in Taiwan, but it was one of the most memorable ones. We were the only Americans eating there, and felt like we had stumbled upon something that most tourists don’t try.
Fried chicken in Taiwan is different from fried chicken you might find in the American South, but it’s still so good that we had to include it in our Top 10 list. We tried fried chicken at both Flower Night Market and Shilin Night Market, but we’re ranking the chicken at Shilin because it was our favorite.
Hot Star Fried Chicken is one of the more popular stalls at Shilin, and for good reason! Each piece of chicken is perfectly crispy, and their spice blend brings the chicken to the next level of deliciousness. There will most likely be a long line, but it’s worth it!
When you visit Taipei, stop by the Hot Star Fried Chicken stand at the end of the market, and pick yourself up a piece of fried chicken with spice. It’s juicy, crispy, and is the size of your head! This is definitely a must eat in Taiwan.
#8 Milk Teas Galore!
Whether you find it at a night market or a convenience store, milk tea is always a good idea in Taiwan. Not only is Taiwan the birthplace of this sweet nectar, but there are so many different flavors to choose from.
My favorite night market milk tea was the Taro Milk Tea at Shilin, and was right next to the Hot Star Fried Chicken stall. We also loved the chocolate flavored milk teas, oolong milk tea, and of course, the classic black milk tea. Whatever your taste preferences are, you’re destined to find at least one milk tea that you’ll like.
Getting a bowl of beef noodle soup was high on my food list, and it didn’t disappoint! We made sure to get in line at Yong Kang before the lunch rush, and only waited about 20 minutes before being seated and served soup that was truly out of this world. The broth was rich and oily in the best sense of the word, and the meat was so tender that it fell apart in our mouths.
Beef noodle soup deserves to be on every Top Ten food list created for Taiwan because it was just that good.
#6 Pork Gua Bao; Zhiqiang Night Market, Hualien
This was the night we hoped would never come – the night our camera died. After a long day of exploring Taroko Gorge, we almost didn’t leave our hotel room for the night, but stuck with our goal of visiting a night market every night, and walked to Zhiqiang.
The walk to Zhiqiang was worth it for what we found that night; the pork gua bao. With a sweet, soft outer bun, and flavorful pork stuffed inside, the gua bao at Zhiqiang is worth seeking out. We had never eaten a gua bao before, and we could have eaten about 10 more if the line had been shorter. If you know what’s good for you, you’ll include the pork gua bao in your Taiwanese food checklist.
#5 Pork Lu Rou Fan; Jin Feng, Taipei
What is pork lu rou fan, you ask? Only one of the most delicious things we ate in all of Taiwan! It’s also the one thing we didn’t take a picture of! Check out this video (starts at 20:05)
It’s as simple as it sounds – sweet, oily pork over a plate of rice – but the flavors blew our minds. With a side of stir fried green vegetables and a stewed egg, lu rou fan is the equivalent to Southern Soul Food in America. Stop by Jin Feng and order up a big plate – they have an English menu so you won’t even need to attempt to speak Chinese.
Pancakes are always a good idea, but when you make them crispy green onion pancakes, they’re even better.
Our first exposure to green onion pancakes was at Flower Night Market in Tainan. We got a pancake freshly made, and of course, opted for the spice. This pancake was crispy, flaky, and packed with flavor. Even though we never found another one like our first, we agreed that any variety of the green onion pancake is a great choice when in Taiwan.
#3 Mango Snow Ice; all of Taiwan
As a die-hard mango lover since birth, the bowl of icy mango deliciousness that we found in Taipei blew me away. Snow ice is made up of thin ribbons of ice that are combined with flavored syrups and sometimes even condensed milk.
We got the mango snow ice, and not only was the ice infused with mango flavor, but there were big chunks of ripe mango and a scoop of mango ice cream on top.
There are a lot of different flavors of snow ice to choose from, but after having the mango, I don’t think I would choose anything different.
Liouhe Night Market ranked high on our Top 5 Night Market List, and for good reason. The prawns at Liouhe were swimming in their tank right before being grilled up and served to our table.
They were doused in flavor (MSG anyone?) and might be the most delicious prawns we’ve ever had.
Basically any seafood is a good choice, but the prawns definitely stood out as the best.
This cheese bread was so good that it deserves its own blog post, but since I’ve been writing about Taiwan for six months now, I’ll just talk about it here.
This cheese bread was unlike anything we had in Taiwan. It was a warm loaf of sweet cake that had been filled with gooey yellow cheese, and we were not only surprised by the flavor, but by the size of what we got. We paid less than $3 (USD), and had enough bread for a snack and breakfast the next morning.
The fact that it tasted good cold is a true testament to how amazing this bread really is.
Stop by the Le’ Old Time Flavour stall and get yourself a loaf of cheese bread. You’ll thank me later.