What to Eat in Taipei: Taiwan’s Street Food Culture

Where to go for Local Flavors of Taipei: night markets and famous landmarks in this food guide for first time visitors to Taiwan.

honey milk tea at seven-eleven in Taiwan

Discovering the Local Cuisine in Taipei

Taiwan’s food scene is amazing! It’s a place where you can find incredible flavors everywhere you go. Whether you’re exploring the lively night markets and trying delicious street food, visiting charming family-run shops for traditional dishes, or discovering beautiful cafes and coffee houses on every corner, Taiwan is a food lover’s paradise. The local cuisine is a delight, and the friendly people make the experience even more memorable. I couldn’t get enough of the mouthwatering food and the warm hospitality during my trip.

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6 of My Favorite Taiwanese Street Foods

Raohe Night Market
Songshan Ciyou Temple
Fuzhou black pepper bun, Stinky Tofu, and Peanut Ice Cream Roll
Pineapple Cake
Raohe Night Market favorites
Niu Rou Mien

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Where We Stayed in Taipei

I am adding my hotel because it includes breakfast. I made a beginner’s mistake by accidentally booking the hotel for the wrong dates. When I realized my error, the hotel was already fully booked for our intended stay, leaving me in a panic to find an alternative. Eventually, I managed to find another hotel, but unfortunately, it was located in a neighborhood quite far from the main attractions I had planned to visit.

Taiwan’s Green World Songshan– the best place to stay when you visit Taipei.

The hotel I booked was Green World Songshan. Songshan is the district to the far east of Taipei. It’s almost 40 minutes from the airport and costs us a whopping $50 USD to get to our hotel. So make sure you look at a physical map before booking a hotel in Taipei because the city is huge and traffic is pretty bad too.

Click on the links below to check out the hotel we stayed at in Hoi An and Danang, Vietnam.

Green World Songshan Taipei

Songshan is an old part of Taipei City, with narrow streets, original architecture, and tons of family-owned shopping. The hotel is modern, with strong wi-fi, and flat-screen TVs with free HBO, Cinemax, and Showtime. The room was small, the bed, was a bit hard and wedged into a corner of the room. The bathroom, lit with a window looking into the bedroom, included a Japanese toilet, tub, and shower. It was compact so the the sink was placed in the main hallway next to the closet, safe and refrigerator. I booked a balcony room, but quickly regretted it because it didn’t come with any seating to enjoy it.

Remember, the electricity is 110V (like in North America). Most people in Taipei speak Chinese, Taiwanese, and English. And the city has a very good public transportation system.

The hotel includes breakfast from 0630-1030 daily. And although it wasn’t very good, the cafe had yummy coffee, fruit, and salad in a very pretty environment.

I still ate well when we were in the hotel because the local cafes and the Seven-Eleven directly across the street had delicious snacks. My favorites: the bubble teas loaded with boba and fruit and the curry rice cakes. I seriously thought about bringing some of the latter back with me. Don’t sleep on the Seven-Elevens when you travel around Asia– they always have really good local snacks.

But one of the best places to eat in Taipei is the Raohe Night Market which is about a 15-minute walk from the hotel. Now, let’s explore Taipei together.

Raohe Night Market

The Raohe Night Market is just one of the night markets in the city. The first thing you will notice at all of them is that they are located near the river and a temple. The temple next to Raohe Night Market is stunning.

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Songshan Ciyou Temple

The facade of the Songshan Ciyou Temple in Taipei is truly captivating. It features intricate designs and vibrant colors that immediately catch the eye. The entrance is adorned with impressive dragon sculptures, symbolizing power and protection. The overall structure showcases traditional Chinese architectural elements, with beautiful carvings and ornate details throughout. The roof, with its ornamental tiles and elegantly crafted eaves, adds a touch of grace and charm. When the sunlight illuminates the facade, it creates a delightful play of light and shadow.

Here are a couple of my favorite temples around Asia; click on the links to check them out. Daegu, Singapore, and Thailand.

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Exploring the Raohe Night Market

Raohe Night Market is a vibrant and bustling market located in Taipei, Taiwan. With over 600 stalls, it offers a good variety of local foods and a lively atmosphere including both locals and tourists. The market started in 1987, making it one of Taipei’s oldest and most iconic night markets.

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The most famous dish at this market is the “Fuzhou black pepper buns.” The buns are baked in a traditional clay oven and filled with minced pork, green โธonions, and a generous sprinkle of black pepper. You can also try the pungent “stinky tofu” and “peanut ice cream roll,” a burrito-style dessert made with shaved peanut brittle, cilantro, and a scoop of ice cream wrapped in a thin crepe. Another delicious Taipei dessert is the infamous pineapple cake– more like a cookie.

We strolled the entire market, dodging bouts of relatively hard rain. By the time we returned to the hotel we were both drenched. Alas, my poor canvas sneakers never dry out. However we enjoyed the variety of foods at the Raohe Market. Some of our favorite dishes were the strawberry donut, massive deep-fried chicken, egg and oyster omelet, and tuna omelet topped with dried fish and cilantro. Afterward, we washed it down with delicious mango juice. However, if tonight is an example of what we will eat here in Taipei, we are both extremely excited for the next 4 days.

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Niu Rou Mien

One must-try dish is the beef noodle soup called Niu Rou Mien. Visit Lao Pai Niu Rou Mien for the best noodle experience. It’s a little off the beaten track. But the thick, spongy noodles and fall-off-the-bone braised beef are well worth it.

Taiwanese Breakfast

Sadly, I did not enjoy every meal we ate during our Taiwan adventure. The traditional Taiwanese breakfast left me perplexed and so carb-loaded that I was ready to run a marathon. Only one of the five dishes had any discernible flavor. I enjoyed the thinly sliced beef and peppers in a greasy toasted tortilla. It was the one dish not recommended, and it ended up being the only thing I finished, along with the iced black tea with honey.

Everything was either wrapped in rice, egg, or dough. Don’t get me started on the warm soy milk, which tasted burnt. It was accompanied by greasy fried dough that you could dip into the milk. They say you breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but that breakfast felt like a food challenge rather than a nourishing start to the day.

Itโ€™s always great to try local cuisines while traveling, as it is an integral part of the experience. Sometimes you find things you love, and sometimes not so much. Either way, it adds flavor to the journey.

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