Taiwan is such a gorgeous country, featuring breath-taking mountain scenery, traditional Taiwanese culture and a bustling capital city – all on an island one quarter of the size of Michigan! There is so much to do and see in Taiwan, so I thought I’d at least make the food part a bit easier for you by creating a Must Eat Foods in Taiwan list! All of these foods can be found in the capital, Taipei, and throughout the island.
Must Eat Food in Taipei
Taiwan has always had a vibrant food culture. It’s closest neighbours are the Phillippines, Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea, but most of these are over 500 miles away, so while you can definitely see similarities or common dishes between the two cultures, Taiwan’s versions are completely unique unto themselves.
While you can get amazing food at any time of day in Taiwan, you absolutely have to experience their Night Markets!
Night Markets are composed of many street vendors selling every sort of Taiwanese food imaginable. Taiwanese street food is on another level from anything you’d find in North America, but you will find even more than that at night markets – from cocktails to sit-down meals, and plenty of merchandise and entertainment.
Raohe and Ximen (“Ximending Youth Shopping District”), are two night markets worth checking out – Ximen has put out many viral Asian food trends, while Raohe is still somewhat “under the radar.”
No matter which night market you visit, you will leave dazed, full and with some amazing stories.
Whether you eat these treats at a night market, or seek out traditional restaurants to enjoy them at, I hope this list of the Top 10 Must Eat Food in Taiwan helps you navigate the overwhelming options available in this vibrant country!
12 Must Eat Foods in Taiwan
Every culture brings their own take to this classic, and the Taiwanese are no different!
Popcorn chicken actually finds it’s roots in Taiwanese Fried Chicken – small, bite-sized pieces of juicy chicken with a crunchy coating. You can find lots of individual takes with different seasonings, honey or cheese fillings and add-ons like fried basil leaves or pickles.
Flaky scallion pancakes
Similar to dosa, I could eat my body weight in these savoury, crispy pancakes. They are available on their own but I really enjoy eating them alongside soup.
Whether you’re a fan of soup dumplings, or have never tried them, your life will never be the same after trying the Xiao Long Bao from Ding Tai Fun.
Pork Pepper Buns
These Pork Pepper Buns are found just outside Roahe Night Market. Amazingly seasoned, cooked inside a traditional tandoori oven and served piping hot.
Candied Hawthorn Berries
Growing up in Asia, I have an affection for these candied skewers which are ubiquitous in Taiwan. The hawthorn berry (often called haw berry) is tart, almost to the point of sourness, and when candied in a thick caramelized sugar, it takes on a chewy texture that contrasts beautifully with the sweet, crunchy coating.
It’s kind of like the Asian equivalent to our candied apples!
Beef Noodle Soup
Rich, flavorful broth with lots of beef and chewy noodles. You’ll be given pickles and fat to add to the soup, too.
A classic that you can find and enjoy at any time of day, Taiwanese chefs load their oyster omelets with sooo many oysters – you will not be disappointed. It’s thick, filling and topped with a savory sauce.
Oyster noodles are another classic that are just loaded with oysters!
I love love love turnip cakes, but I cannot find it locally and, besides, it really is something that you want to eat outside of your home. (The smell can be quite pungent and absorbed by other foods in the fridge.)
Like crab cakes, these are a savory, crispy cake with a rich earthy flavor that is often spiked with onions and spices.
If you’re more in the mood for a traditional cake, pineapple cake is a sticky, gooey treat with all of the sweetness you’d expect. You can often find these packaged as souvenirs to take home, which makes a great gift!
Lurou fan (braised pork w rice)
Braised pork and BBQ pork with rice are staples you will find all over Taiwan. I’m personally not a huge fan because I dislike anise and I’ve never had a pork bowl without picking up that flavor. Most people love it, though.
We have many bubble tea spots in our city, but nothing will prepare you for the decadent options on offer in Taiwan! My personal favorite? Bubble tea with Bailey’s!
Either you love it or you hate it – there isn’t often an in-between response to this delicacy, shown above prepared in two ways.
It’s fermented tofu and one of the most popular snacks in Taiwan!
If you’re a fan of kedgeree, you will love this congee-like porridge which features plenty of milkfish, a white fish with a pleasant taste that is very popular in Taiwan. You often will be served it quite plain and then given an assortment of condiments to dress it up however you’d like!
Shaved Ice Mountain
Nothing like the shaved ice you get here with artificial syrup flavorings, these are piled high with fresh fruit and sweetened with juice and sweetened condensed milk. These are usually big enough to share and the perfect way to end your evening at the night market!
This blog post was sponsored by Taiwan Tourism, all opinions, pictures and text are my own.
Pin this List of Must Eat Taiwan Food for Your Future Taiwan Vacation Planning!
Did I leave any of your favorites off this list of Must Eat Taiwanese Food?