I’ve always wanted to travel to Taiwan because everyone who has been there has talked about how wonderful the food was there… and I was not disappointed. What my friend said may be true‐ that when you’re in Taiwan, you’re bound to gain weight in a week.
Here are some of the favorites that I’ve had there.
Deep Fried Stinky Tofu
This was my first time trying the stinky tofu, and I loved it! Crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, covered with a sweet and salty sauce, and topped with coriander. One plate was too much for two people… my friend and I were too full to enjoy the other great things to eat at the night market.
“Rice hot dog”
This is officially called the “small sausage in large sausage,” but I like calling this the rice hot dog. What looks like a big white sausage is filled with rice. This sausage is cut in half, filled with vegetables, hot sauce, and the smaller sausage, which is the one with meat. You can ask for how spicy you want it to be.
Squeeze and twist the bag from bottom-up to eat it up!
My friend told me that the number one Taiwanese souvenir would be the pineapple cake. There were many brands, and we were able to sample different ones after we climbed the Taipei 101, but my friends and I all agreed that the one at Red Sakura was the best one.
They have the traditional pineapple cake, and then a Hello Kitty version one, which is the same taste, but more expensive for its package and shape. Red Sakura has multiple locations, and there are some that only sell Hello Kitty themed treats.
Dintaifung is a Taiwanese chain located all over the world, and the original is located in Taipei. There are so many fans that on weekend lunches, there is a two hour wait. It was amazing to see how the staff in charge of the reservation list was fluently speaking in multiple languages.
The original is the Xinyi Store. From subway Dongmen Station exit 5, you just have to go straight and you’ll see a big crowd.
Locals say that there is no big difference between the locations, so if you don’t care about going to the “original” just go to one of the other ones to save time. There are multiple types of xiaolongbao, but the original one is definitely the best. I also liked the one with truffles, which is triple the price of the other ones.
Tea leaf eggs
When we were about to enter a convenient store, my friend warned me to be not surprised with the smell of it. Taiwanese convenient stores has this distinct smell because they always have tea boiled egg served in a hot pot for customers.
Along with some Taiwanese beer, it was great having some fried tiny crabs. They were perfect snacks to munch on.
Taiwanese hot pot
This was not new to me because I’ve had them in SoCal, but it’s also a great dish to have if you want to have food that is unique to Taiwan.
Don’t forget to make your own sauce and get your own utensils.
Soft-serve ice cream on top of Maokong
From Taipei Zoo Station, you can take a 40 minute gondola ride up to Maokong. There are tea houses, restaurants, and gift shops located at the top.
The characters for Maokong says “cat-sky.”
Hope you enjoyed this list! But this is biased because I’m allergic to some tropical fruits and I can’t enjoy the full extent of Taiwanese desserts. My friends also loved the papaya milk from Xin Bei Healthy Papaya Milkshake.