Taipei, the capital city of Taiwan, is a city for foodies. I’ve found that a lot of the social life in Taipei revolves around food, and with that being said any itinerary in Taipei is going to be centered around eating as much as you can fit in. So wear something with an adjustable waistline, and come hungry!
First and foremost, you’ve got to get your hands on some soup dumplings (or xiao long bao). They’re a Taiwanese staple, and absolutely the best in the world. The most famed outlet is Din Tai Fung, which has locations throughout Taipei. Many people prefer the original location on Xinyi Road, but personally I like the outpost located in the basement of the Taipei 101 building. It seems to have more spacious seating, and if you’re only in Taipei for a short time it’s a good way to condense sightseeing since the Taipei 101 is not something you will want to miss. Either way, I’m confident this will be one of the most memorable meals of your life.
Next up is Yongkang Street – another stop on the foodie checklist in Taipei. You can find some of Taipei’s best beef noodles and the most popular mango shaved ice in town here. You can also choose to line up for the unbelievably delicious scallion pancakes stuffed with egg and cheese at Tian Jin, located about halfway down Yongkang Street.
Don’t even think of visiting Taipei without making your way to one of it’s renowned night markets. Shilin Night Market is the largest and most well-known market in Taipei, located a little bit outside of the city but is well worth the trip. Take the MRT to the Jiantan stop (right before the Shilin stop). You can wander for hours amongst the labyrinth of food stalls, clothing shops, and games. Save plenty of room for snacking on popular Taiwanese street foods like dumplings, oyster omelettes, caramelized tomatoes and almond tea.
Stinky tofu is a topic of debate amongst tourists in Taiwan, much like the durian fruit. If you are brave enough to try stinky tofu, a night market will be the place to do it. Trust me, you will have no problem finding it.
Ximending is where teenagers come to hang out during the weekends in Taipei. Ximen walking street is full of the bright lights and exciting sounds of Asian pop culture. If you haven’t gotten your Bubble Tea fix in Taipei yet, you can do so at the various stalls in Ximending. If for some reason you don’t count Bubble Tea as a food group like I do, the Ay-Chung Flour Rice Noodles storefront on Emei Street is perpetually crowded (always a good sign in Asia).
Last but not least, no visit to Taipei would be complete without a visit to a themed-restaurant, and you won’t get funnier photos than at Modern Toilet. Your food will be served in a fake toilet bowl, and you can opt to have your drink served in a urinal. Just remember that the food is not the draw here so much as the ambiance, making it a perfect last stop once the waistline on your pants have gone past their breaking point. Don’t feel pressured to try everything on the menu aside from what will make for the best photo opportunities.
We hope that this article has inspired you to visit Taipei. If you have any questions about the destination please leave these in the comments below.
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