Where To Eat In Taipei For Food Lovers // Taipei Restaurant Guide
While Taipei’s bustling food streets and the city’s most famous restaurant are definitely foodie hot spots, I hope this article about Taipei’s top restaurants and eateries will help you decide where to eat in Taipei on your next trip.
This article and accompanying video will show you what a diverse range of food options are available in Taipei, far beyond the Shilin Night market and Din Tai Fung!
From super quick (and cheap) bites in Ximindeng or to eating at Michelin Star Restaurants, eateries overlooking tea plantations and quirky hot pot joints, I’m going to take you on a mouth-watering week-long food tour of Taipei – which has to be one of the top foodie destinations in the world.
Here’s my pick of the top 8 restaurants plus 3 extra bonus option for guaranteed taste-bud heaven.
I started my Taipei trip with a visit to Neo Tien Beef Noodles, home to the best bowl of beef noodle soup in the country. On entering you will see that this small roadside restaurant has been featured in many top newspapers and they have framed their reviews with much pride.
It’s small inside with only 4 or 5 small tables and definitely not suitable for big groups. We grabbed a small table, ordered their specialty dish and waited in anticipation as some delicious small side dishes of pickled cucumbers, bamboo and smoked PIGS EARS were placed on our table.
I’m not as adventurous as I would like to be but I tasted everything and pigs’ ears are damn delicious.
A few minutes later my bowl of beef noodles soup arrived, complete with extremely think rice noodles, chunky pieces or incredible tender (and most crumbly) beef and covered with a sprinkling of spring onion. You can add a bit of hot sauce for an added kick and sit back and enjoy as the beef practically melts in your mouth as you slurp up the delicious noodles and beef broth.
For just 280 dollars, which works out at about 7 euro, it was a real budget eat and energized me for the day ahead. Definitely one of the top places to eat in Taipei, even if you’re only in town for a long weekend.
The PERFECT start to my Taipei food adventure.
Address: 91 Kunming Street, Wanhua District, Taipei City
2. Golden Formosa
For dinner on our first night, we got a group together for dinner at Golden Formosa, another Michelin Star restaurant but this one much larger and a little pricier but with the same top-notch food.
The set up was fun – we were seated in a private room with a huge lazy Susan on the table in the middle – where endless dishes of meat, fish, seafood platters, tofu, vegetables, and big soup broths kept arriving.
We also tried some of Taiwan’s famous (and very potent) 58 percent alcohol which both my friend Aly and I struggled with swallowing. This place is known for its heavily seasoned dishes, always served with an endless flow of alcohol.
When I say the food kept arriving, In honestly mean more and more dishes quickly filling up the table every time I looked up from my plate. It seems in Taiwan, especially if out for dinner with a group, almost one of everything on the menu is ordered so you can have a taste of everything. It can seem a little overwhelming but between the 10 of us, we managed to finish MOST dishes served.
A fun dinner and a place I would definitely recommend if you have a group even if its just 3 or 4 people.
Address: No. 101號, Tianmu East Road, Shilin District, Taipei City.
3. Rice and Shine
For lunch on our second day, we (thankfully) didn’t indulge in a huge lunch but instead opted to go to a very beautiful traditional restaurant in Dadaocheng district called Rice and Shine.
This area is known for its urban regeneration, with the government spending a lot of money to save this historic district and offering large incentives to businesses that move here and open up inside the buildings of ancient grain stores and rice markets.
Think a charming red-brick street with the stores hidden behind a long tunnel of arches, complete with wooden panelling, quaint shopfronts and hanging lanterns – filled with art galleries, artist hangouts, handicrafts and traditional Taiwanese restaurants.
When it comes to the interior and the presentation of the food, Rice and Shine was definitely my favourite of them all. They have a selection of about 6 meals (one vegetarian) where you simply pick your main course dish and wash is served on a small wooden tray with many small side dishes included.
Again we were shown to a small private room upstairs, with beautiful views out the paneled windows down to the pretty street below. I had a taste of both he pork ball and the chicken, of which I loved both, and I think if I was staying in Taipei longer I definitely would have come back here for lunch again.
Especially seeing as each meal, despite being immaculately presented, came in at less than 10 euro per person.
Address:No. 329, Sec. 1, Dihua St., Datong Dist., Taipei City 103,
4. Beeru Craft Beer Hall
For dinner, on our second night, we decided to mix things up and went to a very popular local hang our called the “Craft Beer Hall”. German un style, with extra-long tables filling up the restaurant Oktoberfest-style and with pour-you-own-beer taps at the end of each table!
You can imagine the excitement on the face of my travel buddy Aly and I – and English gal and an Irish gal let loose in an all-you-can-drink beer bar.
The food was still mainly Chinese, but with a selection of deep-fried chicken, lightly fried golden fish pieces, sweet potato fries and a few platters of interesting-looking sausages!! As always there was an endless choice of dishes and we left, no thanks to the beer, feeling very fat indeed!!
Dishes ranged in price from about 100 Taiwan dollars to 500 Taiwan’s dollars, so you can probably expect to pay the equivalent of about 20 or 30 dollars per person for a decent feast.
For lunch on our third day, we stopped off at Din Tai Fun, the most famous restaurant in Taipei. We actually didn’t go to the original restaurant however, as we had plans to ascend Taipei 101 in the afternoon so oftenfor that branch of the famed eatery instead.
I couldn’t believe how busy it was with waiting times for a table up to 40 minutes. They have a cool system where you will be given the menu while in the queue and you can order ever before you get your table, so once your seated your endless baskets of dumplings will be placed in front of you in no time.
I loved how you could watch the chefs making the dumplings at lightning speed, rolling out the dough, stuffing with whatever desired filling was ordered, then twisting the top to seal. All done at incredible speeds, and apparently every last dumpling must weigh the same, and the twists at the top to seal must be no more and no less than 18 twists!
Our waitress was brilliant and very chatty and helpful, speaking fluent English and Russian, and pouring out a mix of vinegar and soy sauce for all of us to dip our XaoLongBao into.
My favourites ordered were the hot and spicy dumplings, the chicken dumplings and the dessert dumplings which were filled with melted chocolate and made me happier than I ever knew possible!
Address: Taipei 101 Mall (Undergound)
6. Raohe Night Market
By the evening of day 3 it was most definitely time to check out a night m market, and as I have already been to Shilen Night market we decided to try out Raohe Night market – which is basically one long street with red gates at either end and hundreds of small food stalls.
Despite arriving quite early, maybe around 6.30pm, the market was already full of life and got even busier as the hours progressed. At one stage it was so busy I wondered if we would ever make it the end of the street without having to fight off the crowds.
As someone who doesn’t eat seafood, and being within 20 feet of that stinky tofu makes me feel nauseous, I didn’t actually find TOO MANY food choices at the market. It’s very fish and squid and seafood heavy, and my travel partner found it even more difficult to find even a single vegetarian option.
In the end I had some Korean fried chicken, gigantic fries made from mashed potatoes put into a noodle maker, some local craft beer and some pros dumplings. We also both had some juices – which were probably the highlight, and once our weary feet could walk no longer, we headed back to the hotel to sleep.
7. Maokong Big Tea Pot Restaurant
On our 4th and final full day in Taipei, we went up the Making Gondola to go tea tasting and check out the beautiful tea plantations just outside the city -fully accessible by public transport using your metro card for the bus and cable car.
We found a beautiful restaurant at the top called Big Teapot with sweeping views of Making hills and tea plantations. Again a feat was had, accompanied by a big pit of locally brewed tea, of course.
I especially love the noodle dishes, and marinated creeds, sweet and sour pork ribs and colourful bread dumplings that we had at the end of our meal.
Address: Maokong Village after you get off the Gondola (16, Taiwan, Taipei City, Wenshan District, Lane 38, Section 3, Zhinan Road, 37之1號)
8. Hueige Hot pot
For our last dinner with our group, we went to a super fun shabu shabu hot pot restaurant – the kinda place I would have been scared to enter without Chinese-speaking friends as the outside seemed quite nondescript and the entire menu was in Chinese! That said, I highly recommend you be brave, bring google translate with you and most definitely enjoy one of the best hot pots of your life!
It’s especially good for solo travelers, as everyone gets their own hot pot and you can choose both what broth you like and what meat you like – and yes, m they even have vegetarian options/
I picked a sort of sweet sugar cane and chicken broth, beef as my meat of choice and then the staff brings out a massive bowl of cabbage leaves, mushrooms and tofu to cook in your own private hot pot.
They will start the cooking process for you, browning the meat ever so slightly, then you sort of cook the food yourself until you feel its all ready to eat
Such a fun experience, and the beef broth combined with thick noodles to finish up the meal, was the perfect amount of food and unique experience for our last meal.
Address: No. 5-5, Lishui Street, Da’an District
While these are my top 8 picks for food in Taipei, I have three more bonus options that you should try if you have more than a few days in the city, in which case you should also check out my week-long Taipei travel Itinerary.
Where to eat in Taipei for quick bites
9. Shilin Night Market
The first is Shilin Night market, the largest night market in Taipei, and in my opinion one of the best in all of Asia. This is where unique and quirky street food is BORN and they have streets and streets and streets lined with some of the tastiest fire-roasted beef, bite sized-pork dumplings, squid on a stick, egg tofu, milk tea, bubble tea,, mini pancakes, mocha balls, takoyaki, okonomiyaki, Korean fried chicken, spicy rice cakes – honestly you name to and they probably have it here.
It’s cheap and fast and busy and the atmosphere is ecstatic – you honestly can’t visit Taipei without dropping into SHILIN NIGHT MARKET some evening.
10. Ximindeng street food
While Ximindeng is most famous for its neon lights, oversized billboards, street entertainment and of course endless shopping options, there’s also a handful of much visit food options in the area.
Top foodie places here include the most famous bubble tea shop in Taipei, bubble waffle cones filled with ice-cream, hot star chicken (its located right below KFC on the Main Street) and a Korean fried chicken place near the metro station exit that ALWAYS has a crazy long queue and is said to be one of the most famous chicken joints in the city.
11. Dessert cafes
Finally, while more about the interior than the food itself, if you’re into crazy freak shakes, colourful desserts, and neon drinks, then stopping off at one of Taipei’s quirky theme cafes is a must.
From colourful meals at Gudetama Chef to strawberry cheesecake in Rilakkuma Cafe or an enormous chocolate sundae in an Alice in Wonderland themed cafes – there’s no shortage of dessert cafes for those sweet loving travellers out there.
I hope enjoyed this list of top places to eat in Taipei city and surrounds and that hopefully, it has given you a taste of what’s awaiting you in one of the world’s top foodie destinations. If you have any tips of your own about where to eat in Taipei, I would love to hear them in a comment here or on YouTube.