Taiwan is known for being a foodie paradise, but to have the best experience you need to know what the best foods to eat in Taiwan are. This is the official Taiwan Eater list of Taiwanese food you must eat in Taiwan.
G-Woo is a Must Eat In Taipei destination because of their unbelievable chicken soup. If you’re imagining American chicken soup, it’s completely different. The style is a thick and flavorful broth with chicken so tender that it just breaks apart as soon as you grab it with your chopsticks. If you’ve had a pork bone ramen broth (tonkotsu), this is like a chicken version that’s just as thick and hearty.
Recommended Location: Taipei G-Woo Review
Beef Noodle Soup
You’ll definitely find beef noodle soup on any list of Taiwan famous foods. It’s a common dish that many restaurants serve, but few master. That’s why you should go to Master Spicy Noodle, master is right in the name. Their beef noodle soup is a must eat in Taipei because they take a modern twist on their dish by separating the noodles so they keep their consistency. Taking influence from the tsukemen ramen style, Master Spicy Noodle will leave you craving for more. Their noodles alone are one of the best foods in Taiwan.
Soup Dumplings (Xiaolongbao)
Probably the most famous Taiwanese food is xiaolongbao (soup dumplings). Made popular by the Din Tai Fung restaurant chain, which you can actually find in many parts of the world. Xialongbao are literally little soup dumplings. If you’ve had a dumping before, imagine a super tasty soup inside. It adds a whole new experience and should be on anyone’s list for what to eat in Taiwan.
Although Din Tai Fung is the most famous internationally, you can find xiaolongbao in many Taiwanese restaurants. It’s definitely one of the must eat in Taiwan dishes.
Black Pepper Bun
The black pepper bun has got international recognition from Michelin and from the anime Food Wars, making the black pepper bun something you must eat in Taiwan. A black pepper bun (Chinese: 胡椒餅 Hújiāo bǐng) is made from a pastry style exterior, with scallion black pepper, white pepper, pork and baked in a Chinese vertical over…it kind of looks like an oil drum. When looking for this Taiwan famous food, most people go to Fuzhou Ancestral Pepper Cakes. That’s an awkward translation, but I can confirm it’s delicious and I’ve eaten there many times. It’s one of the best foods in Taipei for only NT$55 (US$1.78).
Chinese Pizza (Green Onion Pancake)
Although nicknamed “Chinese Pizza”, the green onion pancake is a popular food that you must eat in Taiwan. It’s actually a very common dish that you can find at many Taiwanese restaurants and night markets. First off, it’s anything like your typical pizza. It’s a Taiwan famous food because it can be made quick and it’s tasty. The Chinese pizza is like made from dough and when cooked well, has a flaky pastry. Each order can be customized with various ingredients depending on the restaurant, but typically you’ll have egg, cheese, beef, pork, corn and more as toppings.
The first time I had a Chinese pizza, it was at Tian Jin Onion Pancake 天津蔥抓餅 in the popular Yonghe street. It took 30-minutes waiting in line to get it and I had high expectations. After the first bite, this made me fall in love with Taiwan. Visit Tian Jin Onion pancake because it’s a must eat in Taipei destination. Although many places serve Chinese pizza, few master it.
Recommended Location: Tian Jin Onion Pancake
Dumplings! There are so many places to buy good dumplings in Taiwan, but few will leave you on a food high. Hsu-ji Dumplings will give you your fix.
Located in the college area of Taipei, you can find Hsu-ji Dumplings in Shida night market. Their open starting at 11am and serve up delicious pork dumplings all day. It’s absolutely one of the best foods in Taipei and it happens to be the most affordable. You can get 5 dumplings for NT$40 (US$1.30). It’s been featured in many popular food outlets which makes it a must eat in Taiwan destination.
Recommended Location: Hsu-Ji
Once you smell stinky tofu, you’ll recognize it everywhere you go. It’s a unique Taiwan famous food that is popular with the locals and you can literally smell it from the distance. Stinky tofu has a strong, pungent aroma that makes you question your will to live. But! That all changes once you try this must eat in Taiwan dish! It can be served in many ways, I prefer it deep fried for that crispy texture. The stinky tofu has an oddly sour yet delightful taste. Don’t be intimidated by the name or the smell and try it. You’ll live to tell the tale.
No recommended location, but you can definitely find stinky tofu in any night market in Taiwan.
Fried Chicken Steak
The absurdly large fried chicken steak, to me, is the best food in Taiwan. If you like fried chicken, you’ll absolutely love the fried chicken steak at one of the many restaurants in Taipei that serve it. There’s two places I recommend, Hot Star Chicken and Hometown BBQ.
Hot Star Chicken is a popular international chain and it’s THE Taiwan famous food that people love taking pictures with. It’s a chicken breast that’s flattended, breaded, deep fried and seasoned to perfection. The result is an XXL sized fried chicken steak that’s bigger than your face. Due to the flattened chicken, each bite stays surprisingly crispy. I always get order spicy because Hot Star chicken has the best spicy seasoning. I would put that on everything. You can get this must eat in Taipei food for only NT$75 (US$2.50). Due to it’s size, this thing is a meal by itself.
My other recommendation is Hometown BBQ. You can find this at most of the night markets in Taipei. They do the fried chicken steak a different way than Hot Star because it’s not flattened. The chicken is marinated in BBQ sauce, breaded, deep fried and the marinated again! Each bite is super juicy and sweet. They don’t do spicy here, so try it out if you’re looking for a sweet chicken.
Crispy Fried Spareribs
Heaven. Sweet sweet heaven. The crispy fried spareribs are one of the best things I’ve eaten in my life. They are crispy, juicy and each bite makes you appreciate how lucky you are in the world to have the opportunity to eat the best food in Taipei. This is actually the most item at the list because you’ll need to make reservations at Golden Formosa, a Michelin rated restaurant in Taipei. For 3 pieces of the crispy fried spareribs at Golden Formosa, it will cost you NT$350 (US$12). That’s US$4 for each piece, which is pretty small.
Deep Fried Green Onion Pancake
Okay, I mentioned the “Chinese Pancake” earlier, but this is even better because it’s deep fried! The deep fried green onion pancake is one of the best foods in Taiwan and personally one of the best things I’ve eaten in my life. You have a few options to go spicy or non-spicy and to add an egg or not. I always go spicy with an egg. The dish is cooked precisely so that the yolk stays runny while the pancake is crispy. You’ll have a few minutes to eat it before the yolk starts to cook.
It’s also called an egg bomb, because as you bite into it, the yolk explodes on to the pancake. You’ll have to eat slowly. Each bite is crispy, savory and unbelievably delicious. Unfortunately, there aren’t any great locations that serve this Taiwan famous food in Taipei. There are two amazing locations (right next to each other) located in Hualien.
You’re probably wondering, “Where’s Hualien?” It’s far. 2-hours from Taipei. Is it worth it to try best food in Taiwan? Yes, it is! Big bonus, Hualien is known for it’s beaches and mountains. Check out the Taroko Gorge while you’re out there.
Braised Pork Rice
What to eat in Taipei for a more traditional taste? Try braised pork rice! You can find this Taiwan famous food at MANY local restaurants. It’s braised pork belly with lots of fats that’s been stewed for hours. Super tender and super satisfying. It’s some of the best food in Taipei at the lowest price. A bowl of braised pork rice (lu rou fan) can cost you NT$30 (US$1).
The most popular place to eat in Taipei is at Jin Feng Braised Pork Rice. They’re practically open all day and night because they are constantly busy. There’s always a line here, but don’t worry it moves fast. In super traditional Taiwanese style, you will just end up sharing a table with strangers…and possibly new friends. Okay, most people keep to themselves but don’t let that stop you.
Roasted Duck Nigiri
On the east side of Taiwan, you can find the Red Lantern restaurant in the small city of Yilan. Yilan is known as a surfing destination, but can offer up some of the most amazing food in Taiwan. One of which, roasted duck nigiri.
This is probably one of the most expensive must eat foods in Taiwan, but it’s worth it at least once in your lifetime. It’s the crispy skin and meat from a slice of roasted duck, all rolled around sushi rice and cheese. Each bite is extremely juicy, crispy and savory. It’s an absolute unique experience and I would eat here much more if it was within my budget.
The only problem is you need a team of people to eat with you if you want to eat here on the weekend. Each meal comes starting as a set for 4, 6 or 8 people. Each order is pretty much an entire duck.
Recommended Location: Yilan Red Lantern Restaurant
And that’s the TaiwanEater what food to eat in Taiwan list. If you’re looking for desserts that will be on in another post. Until then, Bon Appétit!