Taipei Food 101
Taipei food is literally the stuff of legends! I spent a few days in Taipei and was thoroughly impressed with the different styles of food and variety of interesting flavors available. I was able to visit two of the best night markets in Taipei as well as a third more low-key one with a couchsurfer that hosted me on my last night. Considering Shilin and Roahe night markets are only 9.5 km away from each other it’s very easy to visit both in one night if you have time.
If you’re into Dim Sum, you can expect to see several food carts offering traditional favorites like steamed shrimp dumplings, siu mai, barbecue pork buns, and various other popular options.
If you like seafood then don’t be surprised to see huge piles of prawns, crabs and other kinds of tasty cooked aquatic creatures.
One super popular style of food in Taiwan is called Oden, which is basically boiled meats and vegetables which you can hand pick and they prepare for you.
Some places even have a delicious gravy that they add to your dish after you make your selections. You can also see two popular options that are not offered at all Oden stands, one is the steamed egg soup on the top and the other is the black pigs blood and rice seen in the bottom right.
Since there is so much Japanese influence in Taiwan you can also expect to find some pretty amazing sushi too!
Whether you want crab, shrimp, clams or snails the seafood options are plentiful.
The semi-tropical beaches on the east side of the island provide a bounty of saltwater snacks to appease your appetite.
If you’re a vegetarian there are many options for you as well! From vegetable springrolls, easy snacks like edamame, boiled vegetables, and even stinky tofu!
Don’t be discouraged as you should have no problem finding something vegetarian as well.
If you have a particularly sweet tooth then Taipei Food has you covered there too! One of the most interesting selections I saw and tried were these sweet pancake burrito style ice cream wraps served with ice cream and shaved candied peanuts and cilantro! If you feel like a new flavor sensation then try this, it will confuse your taste buds with the seemingly odd selection of ingredients that result in a rather delicious and unique treat!
These fried sweet potato balls are another excellent option for dessert.
Not all markets are created equal, Shiping being the most touristic location and Roahe being a little more lowkey, they both offer a first-time traveler many new experiences worth seeing.
Outside of the street markets, I would also recommend trying some Taiwanese hot pot! I was lucky enough to enjoy a traditional hot pot with the friends I made on Couchsurfing who hosted me for one night. This is a great way to spend time with family and friends.
If you want to know what the ingredients look like which they use for the hot pot broth then here it is! It’s an interesting combination of various spices and plants seen below.
One thing I would not recommend trying and is not for the faint of heart is a Century Egg!
This egg is very popular with Chinese and Taiwanese people but had me gagging. It was tough to swallow but I managed, although it is not recommended to eat it whole as I did! If you’re not up to the task but want to try something equally as popular and interesting then I would suggest the Tea Eggs.
I am not exaggerating when I say that Taiwan was probably the most impressive country I’ve eaten food in a while! With most of their food being inspired by the best combinations of Chinese and Japanese favorites, it’s no wonder Taiwan has grown a reputation as a popular food tourist spot. If you plan on visiting, then I would recommend getting out of your comfort zone and trying some new food here!
Taipei Food 101
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