Eating Around the World is a delicious series exploring blogger’s favorite foodie cities! Each month, we’ll highlight a different city known for it’s culinary prowess, and hit the streets on search for best foods they have to offer. First up, we travel to Taipei, Taiwan with Lena from Social Travel Experiment.
Taipei, Taiwan is a culinary heaven. I feel like in general Taipei is under appreciated as a destination in South-East Asia, even though it has so much to offer! On my 3 days in Taipei last year, I was actually surprised how much I liked it, and I want to visit for a longer period as soon as possible. One of the main reasons I fell in love with Taiwan’s capital was the delicious food I got to eat. And I was eating constantly, believe me.
If you have never been to Taipei, Taiwan and don’t know much about the food scene there, I recommend you start off your culinary adventure with a food tour organized by Taipei Eats.
During the 3-hour long tour, you will have the opportunity to try a variety of delicious Taiwanese foods and also learn a lot about the city and the food culture from the very knowledgeable guides. The tour starts at a local market where you get to try fresh or freshly prepared foods popular with the locals. The next stops include small local shops preparing traditional foods such as dumplings, gua bao, and stinky tofu, along with more modern restaurants.
What we liked most was the bubble tea from Milk Shop which we liked so much we had it again the same day. Since it is possible to choose the sweetness and amount of ice in your drink it is possible to mix a drink that is exactly to your liking.
Visit a (Night) Market
Another great way to familiarize yourself with the foods that Taipei has to offer is visiting a local market. There are markets around many MRT stations, these are more aimed at the locals rather than foreigners and are cheaper and much more authentic than the famous markets like for example Shilin market which is overrun by foreign tourists in the evenings.
One market we thoroughly enjoyed because of the delicious food was Linjiang Night Market where we tried different foods from the many food stalls and had fun taking pictures of the colorful booths, carts, and vendors offering their wares in loud voices.
Eating only street food is, of course, a valid option, and there is such a great variety that you can’t really get enough, but sometimes it is also nice to sit down at a restaurant and enjoy your food in a more relaxed atmosphere.
The thing that surprised us most was the way you order food at most restaurants. You write your order right on the menu, or on a sheet of paper provided for the occasion. Just put the number of items you wish to receive.
Don’t forget the Desserts
A culinary overview of a place wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the desserts you should try.
During our food tour, we tried some fresh fruit on the market seasoned with plum powder and salt. The sweet, sour, and salty taste was a well balanced and refreshing experience. You can get many delicious fresh fruits in Taipei, with one of the most popular being guava, which comes in two colors, green and pink.
Another treat you shouldn’t miss is the Mango shaved ice from King Mango. You will need to bring a very big appetite to be able to eat one portion of ice on your own, and we decided to share one between the two of us. Still, it was almost too much. Only the delicious taste of mango and sweet condensed milk on milk shaved ice kept us going until our bellies hurt. That’s how delicious it was.
I hope this short little overview of Taipei, Taiwan’s food scene inspired you to visit. I know I want to go back and experience more of the delicious food as soon as possible.