My parents were both born and raised in Taiwan, so it was only natural that my mom and I made a stop by Taipei to see family and friends during our vacation through Asia. By stop, we meant nearly a week, which still wasn’t enough time to see everyone and everything that we wanted to see and most importantly, EAT everything that we wanted to eat! My mom and I mapped out where we absolutely had to go for Taiwanese food specialties and her childhood snacking favorites:
1. Mitsui: an upscale restaurant that served a Japanese / Taiwanese fusion of gorgeously displayed and oh so fresh seafood. We had the set menu and the chef was able to tailor the menu a bit based on our tastes. From sashimi and sushi to crab and lobster to filet mignon and grilled fish. It was all amazing and the price was so reasonable. If you’re looking for a nice dinner date out, this place is a must!
2. Soy Milk Soup (Dou Jiang) with Fried Dough (You Tiao): This is a childhood favorite breakfast food which I can’t seem to find in the U.S. There are restaurants that serve it stateside, but no one has seemed to perfect the savoriness of the soy milk soup and the crispiness of the fried dough like the Taiwanese. Although there are plenty of places serving this in Taipei, my favorite little place is literally right next to Country Hospital located at No. 61, Section 4, Ren’ai Road and tucked in the Da’an District. Unfortunately, the name of the place seems to have escaped my mind… Locals line up for this delicious and filling breakfast, but the wait is totally worth it and moves quickly!
3. Shi-Yang Culture Restaurant: A one of kind restaurant set in the mountains of Taipei serving healthy Taiwanese / Japanese fusion dishes. The food is so refreshing and beautifully displayed with flowers and vegetation from their gardens. Reservations should be made early in advance.
4. Din Tai Fung: Now a popular tourist destination, this place is THE place for steamed soup dumplings. They have become so popular that there are new locations opening up in California. I’ve literally tried every dish on the menu, as well as visited most locations throughout Asia. My favorites include the cold dishes, the dan dan peanut noodles, and the traditional pork dumplings. 5. Taiwanese Street Food: My favorite part of Taiwan is all of the amazing street food that can be found on both street corners and the many night markets in the city. Shilin Night Market is one of the larger night markets in Taipei, and Keelung Night Market is one of the more famous night markets outside of the Taipei city. But my all time favorite night market is Tonghua Night Market, where I can get my shaved ice with the famous Keelung taro sticky balls!
All of our street and night market eats:
Taiwan is the place to eat! Try everything! Enjoy!