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Where to find delicious food in Taiwan?

Taiwan is a food lover's paradise, boasting a rich culinary heritage that reflects its diverse cultural influences and abundant natural resources.

From bustling night markets to elegant fine dining establishments, Taiwan offers a variety of delicious dishes that cater to every palate. In this blog post, we'll explore some of the best places to find mouthwatering food in Taiwan and explain the different types of restaurants and food that make the island a gastronomic wonderland!

Night market: The foodie heaven that never sleeps!

One of the most iconic aspects of Taiwanese food culture is its night markets. These vibrant hubs of activity are scattered throughout the island, offering a wide variety of street food that is both affordable and delicious. Some of the most famous night markets include Shilin Night Market in Taipei, Fengjia Night Market in Taichung, Wusheng Night Market in Tainan, and Liuhe Night Market in Kaohsiung. Of course, they are not the only ones - inquire with locals for their opinions as everyone might have their own favorite!

Tip #1: Night markets are known for their casual atmosphere and affordable prices - you should be able to have a feast with just a couple hundred Taiwanese dollars (US$10~15). Remember that most vendors only accept payment in cash, so bring enough with you!

Tip #2: When arriving at a night market, you might be dazzled by the countless options presented by the yelling vendors (they’re just calling for business - don’t be alarmed!) and the mixture of delicious smells. Here are some recommendations for you so you don’t get overwhelmed!

If you want to try something but don’t want to take chances:

  • Taiwanese popcorn chicken (鹹酥雞 xián sū jī)

  • Pepper bun (胡椒餅 hú jiāo bǐng)

  • Flaky scallion pancake (蔥抓餅 cōng zhuā bǐng)

If you are a bit more adventurous and eager to eat like a local:

  • Stinky tofu (臭豆腐 chòu dòu fǔ)

  • Taiwanese pork sausage with sticky rice (大腸包小腸 dà cháng bāo xiǎo cháng)

  • Taiwanese vermicelli with intestines (大腸麵線 dà cháng miàn xiàn)

Tip #3: Night markets usually open after 6 pm and stay open until about midnight, so if you are an early bird, you can find many street food stalls in day markets and along city streets instead! They also offer flaky scallion pancakes, pork buns, and sweet potato balls. These stalls are perfect for a quick and tasty bite on the go!

Rechao and other traditional eateries where locals go every day!

Beyond night markets, Taiwan has countless traditional restaurants serving authentic Taiwanese cuisine. These places are often managed by a family or a small group of staff and usually focus on using fresh, locally sourced ingredients to create flavorful and comforting dishes. While Google Maps is your friend when searching for a place to eat, remember that many of these traditional restaurants might not even show up on a digital map — you will have to explore the streets the old-fashioned way!

One of these traditional types of restaurants that are widely popular with locals and foreigners is the Rechao (熱炒, which means hot stir-fry) restaurant, where you are served fresh and mouth-watering dishes. Here are some of our recommendations when it comes to Rechao!

Tip #1: Most Rechao restaurants provide guests with cheap or unlimited rice. Make sure you feed yourself but avoid wasting food!

Tip #2: Rechao restaurants often have a wide selection of local alcoholic beverages and some local dishes you can’t find elsewhere. Make sure you order the following to get the full experience:

  • Taiwan beer by the bottle (台灣啤酒 táiwān pí jiǔ)

  • Scallion and beef stir fry (蔥爆牛肉 cōng bào niú ròu)

  • Hakka-style stir-fry (客家小炒 kè jiā xiǎo chǎo)

  • Shrimp ball with pineapple (鳳梨蝦球 fèng lí xiā qiú)

  • Three-cup chicken (三杯雞 sān bēi jī)

  • Fried egg with pickled turnip (菜脯蛋 càipǔ dàn)

  • Any vegetable stir-fry (時蔬熱炒 shí shū rèchǎo)

Tip #3: Rechao restaurants are often open until hours past midnight, so many will linger here on weekend nights to catch up with their friends. Try not to disrupt the neighborhood when leaving the restaurant!

International chain restaurants that started in Taiwan!

For those looking for a more upscale experience, Taiwan has many internationally franchised dining restaurants that offer gourmet versions of Taiwanese cuisine and international dishes. These restaurants often feature exquisite presentations and a focus on high-quality ingredients. And here is the best part: they won’t drain your budget!

One of the most popular and affordable local dining experiences can be found at Din Tai Fung, an internationally acclaimed Taiwanese restaurant chain that started in Taipei. Now a worldwide phenomenon, the high quality and consistency of its food have earned Din Tai Fung a loyal following both locally and abroad. The restaurant is best known for its exquisite xiao long bao (soup dumplings), which are carefully weighed and meticulously hand-crafted to perfection with the signature 18 folds. Also, remember to eat the dumplings with a golden ratio of 3:1, black vinegar to soy sauce! 

Here are the local tips when dining at Din Tai Fung:

Tip #1: No matter where they are, Din Tai Fung restaurants are always crowded during peak hours, so make sure to call and make a reservation or show up earlier to queue up!

Tip #2: Other than the must-order soup dumplings, Din Tai Fung also offers a range of other delicacies, such as shrimp fried rice, spicy wontons, and sour and hot soup - don’t miss out while you’re there!

Tip #3: To try everything at Din Tai Fung, it will cost you about US$20~30 per person and a 10% service fee - they usually take credit cards but it is best to ask in advance! Din Tai Fung hosts and servers are also known for their multilingual skills and top-notch service, so you won’t have to worry about running into a grumpy employee.


Taiwan's culinary landscape is incredibly diverse, offering something for everyone. Whether you're wandering through a night market, enjoying a meal at a traditional restaurant, or indulging at a food stall, you're sure to find delicious food that will leave you craving more. 

Embark on a culinary journey in Taiwan with us and savor the flavors that make this island a true food paradise!

Only have limited time in Taiwan? Join our Taipei Food Tour!

“You have to do this tour. You'll never be the same after! We went to 7 different stops and had so much food and fun. Definitely the highlight of my trip to Taipei.”

“Highly recommended! Excellent primer for a Taipei first-timer!”

“I was totally stuffed when I left! And I hadn't eaten at all before.”

On our Taipei Food Tour, Like It Formosa will take you to the much-celebrated Yongkang Street at Dongmen Station of Taipei, where guests will be shown a glimpse of the Taiwanese gourmet culture that locals take pride in, ranging from seasonal fruit to beef noodles, shaved ice, and bubble milk tea!

Within 2.5 hours, you will be able to try out 7 different types of classic Taiwanese cuisine and know Taiwan - the nation of street food and snacks - at the tip of your tongue. Make sure to come with an empty stomach, as it will be an afternoon that not only opens your eyes but also challenges your appetite!


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