When visiting Taipei the sheer number of restaurants can leave you feeling overwhelmed when trying to choose one. We usually play safe, try the ones with the most Google reviews, or the ones in the various guides. If you like long lines, want to stay in the “safe” side of food, this is totally fine. However, it’s important to note that this approach may not offer the authentic culinary experience that Taiwan has to offer.
2 friends came to visit me, and I wanted to show them the incredible restaurant scene in Taipei. But, compiling a list of recommendations became even more challenging after living here for seven years. While I have my go to restaurants, they may not necessarily align with what tourists want to eat. The kind of food you desire when exploring a new country differs from what you crave when you’ve been living there for a while. (I have a friends admitteing that he even took his family to Yoshinoya when they visited him because he didn’t know where to bring them! 😅)
If you are a food lover visiting Taipei, I think you are in the right place:
How did I pick the restaurant?
- One of the most important factor would be the atmosphere you’re seeking, ideally in a lively environment
- The uniqueness of the food
- Waiting in line usually ruin the experience - This is why Din Tai Fung or Fu Hang Soy Milk didn’t make it onto my list
“Re Chao Dian” (熱炒店)
Starting your visit in Taiwan by going to a stir-fried food restaurants (Re Chao Dian) is a fantastic way to start your Taiwan journey. These restaurants offer a range of dishes from meats, fish, vegetables, and sometimes even sashimi! Among my personal favorites are the pineapple shrimp, a truly unique Taiwanese delicacy, and the flavorful eggplant dishes.
You will want to go there after 6pm. when is start to get lively and with lot of people.
2 I really recommend (for their vibe mainly)
- What I like: Variety of food, lively, great with a big group
- What to order: pineapple shrimp, eggplants, fried rice, beer
- Budget: 400TWD
晉江茶堂 (Hakka restaurant)
The restaurant looks like a small home, in an humble environment. The food is traditional and authentic. It’s also one restaurant my hakka friends likes to go. You’ll definitely remember this place.
- What I like: Low key, great food, friendly, authentic
- What to order: Simply take the menu they recommend. You’ll have the chance to drink the Lei Cha Tea (groun tea)
- Budget: 700TWD
- Restaurant: 晉江茶堂 - https://goo.gl/maps/U9FUUXZMA2Hyp5536
Teppanyaki in Tonghua Night Market
A friend made me me to this particular restaurant, and I absolutely loved the atmosphere and their chicken! The unique experience begins with being seated and sharing a huge pan of food with everyone else. It creates a sense of camaraderie even if you don’t know anyone, and adds to the enjoyment of the meal.
- What I like: atmosphere, the night market vibe, seating with a group of people you don’t know
- What to order: The chicken
- Budget: 300TWD
- Restaurant: 紅林鐵板燒 - https://goo.gl/maps/QL6L5G1FXeawwYTn9
Dim Sum in Zhongshan (Hung Kan)
This isn’t Taiwanese restaurant, but I think they do better Dim Sum than in HongKong. I bring my HKese friend there, and he approved. If you come after 6pm, you can then walk in the red light district that are quite interesting and remind you of the streets of Tokyo by night
- What I like: atmosphere, seat by the window, excellent food, great price
- What to order: Anything in their menu
- Budget: 500TWD
- Restaurant: 紅磡 新飲茶 - Hung Kan - https://goo.gl/maps/DHFCN3giZFM4dxVW6
Crispy “Dan Ping” - Loco Food
Taiwan offers an enormous variety of breakfast options, and my personal favorite is the Taiwanese Egg Pancake Roll. It can come in two versions: the soft skin and the crispy one. The version from Loco Food is the crispy one, with a delightful crunchy and flaky texture. It’s a perfect breakfast choice that combines the goodness of eggs with a satisfying crunch.
- What I like: Their rolls
- What to order: Paul’s roll, but try different tastes because they are all good. The kiwi/banana juice is also great
- Budget: 300TWD
- Restaurant: 樂口福 - Loco Food - https://goo.gl/maps/vkrdKtR8Ssv8tGABA
Black Pepper Bun in Raohe Night Market
Roahe is the best night Market in Taipei (in my opinion). As you enter, you’ll come across a fabulous stall selling Black Pepper Buns, Baked in clay oven! It usually has a long line, but it moves quickly (you won’t wait more than 10 minutes). The bun is crunchy outside and the meat inside really juicy. Once you try one, you’ll be tempted to order another, but I would suggest resisting that urge. You’ll find a plethora of other amazing food options waiting to be discovered.
- What I like: The way they cook it, crispy skin and delicious pork in it
- What to order: The peper bun
- Budget: 60TWD
- Restaurant: 福州世祖胡椒餅 - Fuzhou Black Pepper Bun - https://goo.gl/maps/fbHry6KgzS7ALTR4A
Shacha fried lamb in Raohe Night Market
Don’t expect top-notch service or fancy presentation when you visit this place: they serve the food with the plate wrapped in a plastic bag 😅. I wholeheartedly recommend this place for one specific reason: their Shacha Fried Lamb is the best in town. The flavors and tenderness of the lamb are simply unparalleled.
- What I like: Tasty
- What to order: Shacha fried lamb , Tofu
- Budget: 200TWD
- Restaurant: 大川鐵板炒羊肉 - https://goo.gl/maps/hwLwJrF94jhna1Ma8 (don’t pay attention to their low rating….)