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5 Places To Taste Taiwanese Cuisine In Taipei (Besides Night Markets!)

BY WENDY HUNG

Facebook 山海樓 手工台菜餐廳 Mountain and Sea House

Facebook/山海樓 手工台菜餐廳 Mountain and Sea House

Looking for a good Taiwanese restaurant in Taipei isn’t a difficult task, in fact, there might be far too many options. Besides Din Tai Fung (our #1,) you must be wondering where you should go for a taste of truly local flavors. Undoubtedly, most people will direct you to the night markets. While Taiwan is famous for them, there are resto gems that you should absolutely explore. Here are some of my personal favorites, where I would take any travelers to.

1. Din Tai Fung 鼎泰豐

110, Taiwan, Taipei City, Xinyi District, City Hall Rd, No. 45 Basement of Taipei 101 Mall (map, website)

Call: +886 2 8101 7799

No one ever visits Taipei without stepping foot inside Din Tai Fung to indulge in its famous soup dumplings, or xiao long bao, that have the entire world bowing wow-ed away. So much so that more than 75 restaurants have opened throughout the world. But the best tasting locations still remain in Taipei (there’s something about the local pork, yum!) There are several locations in the city, but Taipei 101’s location is the largest if you hate waiting in lines for hours. Besides the soup dumplings, do not hesitate to order the shrimp fried rice, vegetable steamed dumplings and shrimp shumais are also to die for.

Click here to read our exclusive interview with DTF’s owner Mr. Warren Yang.

Din Tai Fung

Photo: Din Tai Fung

2. Shin Yeh 欣葉台菜創始店

110, Taiwan, Taipei City, Xinyi District, Songshou Rd, No 9, 8th floor (map)

Call: +886 2 8786 1234

Since travelers may be confused about what exactly is Taiwanese cuisine, Shin Yeh is a great place for a delicious introduction. Taiwanese cuisine is what local grandmothers make, what our parents grew up eating. Lots of seafood (often friend, YES!), marinated meats, and steamed vegetables. At times, it’s a fusion of island food with Japanese or Chinese influences. At Shin Yeh, make sure to order three-spice chicken, fried oysters which comes with dipping salt, rice noodles with pumpkin and braised pig trotters with peanuts are heavenly.

Instagram: floravdree

3. Mountain and Sea House 山海樓

Taipei City, Zhongshan District, Zhongshan North Road, Section 2, Alley 11, No. 16. Taiwan 104 (map, website)

Call: +886 2 2581 5760 

If Shin Yeh is a traveler’s introduction to Taiwanese cuisine, then Mountain and Sea House is profoundly a closer taste of the history and the art of local dishes. Tucked inside a side alley next to Okura Prestige Taipei Hotel, this alluring restaurant showcases a vintage Taiwan on exterior, with a charming terrace as if you’re entering a private home but stepping back thirty years in time. Every dish is made from fresh and organic ingredients. This will be a pricier meal but you won’t regret it after devouring in fried spare ribs, five-topping tofu, and four treasures soup with salted duck egg.

Facebook 山海樓 手工台菜餐廳 Mountain and Sea House
Facebook/山海樓 手工台菜餐廳 Mountain and Sea House

4. Lu Sang or LV Sang 呂桑食堂

No. 12-5, Yongkang St, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106 (map, website)

Call: +886 2 2351 3323

A trip to Taipei isn’t complete without a stroll through Yongkang Street which is embedded with adorable boutiques and highly delectable restaurants. One unforgettable eatery is Lu Sang, featuring local cuisine from Yilan – a province on the east coast of Taiwan. Walking up to the restaurant is a corner of plated windows so you can peek inside its small but busy kitchen. Kickstart your meal with a juicy bowl of braised pork rice or lu rou fan, be sure to accompany the rice with gao zha or deep fried chicken broth – a Yilan staple – along with my personal favorites: sliced cold chicken and sliced pig’s liver. If rice aren’t your thing, order a bowl of Taiwanese minced pork noodles.

P.S. The menu does not come with English translation, but the entrance is lined with tons of photos. So point and order!

Facebook 呂桑食堂

Facebook/呂桑食堂

5. Si Zhi Tang 四知堂

No. 18, Section 3, Jinan Rd, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106 (map)

Call: +886 2 8771 9191

Taiwanese-born fashion designer Jason Wu prefers this rustic but modern joint. Si Zhi Tang has a menu written in Chinese calligraphy featuring solely local ingredients, particularly unique vegetables travelers would rarely see on a typical Asian menu. Owned by a record label executive, this restaurant is low key, perfect for those who want a poetic or a less rowdy dining experience in Taipei. Even if it isn’t very Taiwanese, don’t miss the souffle for dessert! #LightAsAir

*Menu is completely in Chinese.

Flickr Christopher Adams Si Zhi Tang Taipei

Flickr/Christopher Adams

What do you think of these Taiwanese restaurants? Do you have anything to add? Let us know in the comments.

Wendy Hung contributor profile Taipei

 

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