Our List of Must-Try Food in Taiwan!

If you have ever looked into living in Taiwan, you have undoubtedly stumbled upon the praise of the local food in Taiwan. A common factor amongst all the praise would have been the night markets. This is the heart of the Taiwanese street food culture, they offer a diverse range of food for a cheap price.

While the food in Taiwan has heavy influence from Japanese and Chinese cuisine, the food is still authentic to Taiwan. Herbal, aggressively sweet, and acutely umami flavors are centric to any local dish in Taiwan.

Regardless of where it is, whether it be in a bustling night market or a high-end restaurant. If you have plans to visit this magnificent country and try its well-renowned cuisine for yourself, here is what to expect and how to best prepare for it.

Best Food in Taiwan

Nearly all Taiwanese cuisine is amazing and a must-try. However, this can be difficult as it just might take your whole lifetime to do so. To accommodate for the limited time you may have available, here is a short list of food in Taiwan you simply can’t go without trying:

Beef Noodle Soup:

Food in Taiwan:  A Bowl of Delicious Hot Noodles with Vegetables and Nuts

Beef noodle soup is a must-try food in Taiwan. Considered the national dish, it will be different from similar culinary experiences you might have had elsewhere. This dish is so integral to Taiwanese culture, that Taiwan hosts the Taipei International Beef Noodle Festival every year, where it’s consumed in gallons. If you want to taste the best, opting for a high-demand restaurant can cost as much as $10,000 TWD. Or you can head down to your local joint and enjoy the dish for as little as $150 TWD.

Stinky Tofu:

Food in Taiwan:  Stinky Tofu

Now this is a tough one, some people love it while others even refuse to go in its vicinity. It is the first dish that comes to mind when people think of food in Taiwan. As the name may suggest, this isn’t the most pleasant smelling dish. The tofu is fermented in a brine consisting of Chinese herbs, dried shrimp, bamboo, mustard, and many other odd ingredients. However, no Taiwanese experience is complete without trying this peculiar dish. However, be careful as a pleasant experience can’t be promised for everyone.

Scallion Pancakes:

Food in Taiwan: Scallion Pancake

Unlike the traditional western pancakes, the scallion pancakes in Taiwan are a savory and flaky flatbread. Amongst the best traditional street vendors, you can see them spinning, flipping and puffing the pancakes so the end product you receive is a crispy yet fluffy pancake. You can choose to eat it on its own or with a variety of different toppings, either way, you won’t be disappointed.

Hot Pot:

Food in Taiwan: hot pot

Hot pot is one of Taiwan’s most central culinary experiences. So much so that each household tends to have a dedicated hot pot burner. With close to 5,000 restaurants dedicated to hot pot across the nation, it is almost difficult to avoid them. Similar to Beef Noodles, the price and quality of hot pots can vary quite drastically. From fast food-type eating houses to high-end restaurants, you have a wide variety to choose from.

Shaved Ice:

A dessert option that you can find nationwide. A block of ice is shaved into ice flakes and soaked with a dose of condensed milk or ginger syrup. You can also choose and customize your plate with toppings such as fresh fruit, red beans, mung beans, taro, tapioca balls, and grass jelly. It is often a perfect way to finish off a meal, especially in the humid months of summer.

Pineapple Cake:

This is another dessert popular in Taiwan. This one is an homage to the pineapple-growing history of Taiwan. These are palm-sized shortbread tarts stuffed with tangy pineapple. There is a tradition of gifting these to family and friends, as pineapple traditionally symbolizes wealth, fortune, and prosperity. Even if you don’t try it here, it can be a perfect souvenir gift for your loved ones back home.

Visiting Taiwan

If you are eager to try the local Taiwanese cuisine and are planning a visit, you will be glad to know that this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what’s great about Taiwan. This is a truly incredible country, with some incredible sights, the culture trip does a great job of suggesting the best of them. From unforgettable sceneries in the countryside to an endless list of activities within the city.

To truly experience the beauty of Taiwan, you will at least need a month, which is made possible by the low cost of living. Daily expenses such as food and travel spending will be considerably lower than the Western standard. The food in Taiwan is truly out of this world, however, this still can’t outshine the rest of its beauty. So, when you visit Taiwan, make sure to do so properly and experience it to the fullest.