Taiwan Food: Unique, Flavorful and Varied

By | December 29, 2013

Interested in Taiwan food? This is the snack food that’s found all over Taipei City and Taiwan. I wonder how many of the foods can you identify.

If it’s more than 10, you’re well on your way to being a real gourmand of Taiwan’s food culture. In fact, anybody coming here for a visit really risks going home a few kilos heavier, and be in need of really proper dieting! Because, if you come here, you will be greeted by a dazzling array of restaurants that match any other country in the world for speed, price, range and quality!

There are a few provisos, though: first, Taiwanese foods do tend to reflect how locals see the worlds – for example, you’ll find steaks all over the island served with a fried egg; pizza flavors may not reflect authentic New York or Naples, but you will find that they have adapted the flavors to the local markets; and, while there are many great restaurants, you will need to follow the Taiwanese to the restaurants that are really good, they are invariably popular.

Word of warning: If a restaurant is empty at a regular mealtime, there’s usually a reason for that. Beware. Look for queues or groups of people tucking into something with gusto, you’ll have some idea that the food there is not just edible, but popular!

One thing to note: service standards do NOT match the standards of the Taiwan food itself, so you won’t always find the same high waitering standards you might see in US restaurants. The food itself is what determines the fate of a restaurant here, service is pretty much an afterthought!

There is no shortage of places to eat. We’ll be doing articles on each at some point. But the basic list is:

  • Full Service Restaurants
  • Department Store Restaurants (Top Floor, B1 Food, and others)
  • Eateries & Small Restaurants
  • Fast food Restaurants
  • Take Away Joints
  • Street Vendors

And you’ll also find pretty much every major cuisine that you like (though not necessarily to the standard you like), including

  • Taiwanese food: Formal eating, Hot Pot restaurants (a local favorite), BBQ restaurants, Night Markets
  • Chinese Regional & National Dishes: Beijing, Nanjing, Shanghai foods are all popular. Less so, Hong Kong Cuisine (though Dim Sum & HK eateries can be found).
  • Asian Foods, including Korean & Japanese, Thai, Indian, and other specialities.
  • Western Food, covering many of the major cuisines. French, Italian, German, American, and many minor cuisines, too.