Tiny dumpling place
Unfortunately we have no idea how the place was called, if it even had a name but we know exactly where it was 🙂 we tasted so many dumplings everywhere on Taiwan but this little spot had the best ones by far. They were also pretty cheap, served in a very cozy place and the ladies working there were really sweet, although none of them spoke a word of English. After some time we also got fond of their water with floating jelly. I guess in a country where bubble tea is a religion, you just have to end up liking things like that. It helps that it was included in the service 🙂
This humble steamed bun with pork belly turned out to be our favorite dish. And after trying many around the island we unanimously decided one night market won. It had the best quality of meat, least amount of fat and most coriander and grounded peanuts. From our experience the quality of food on night markets was lower and lower the bigger the night market was. So in places where it was really crowded, the food was mediocre while smaller spots maintained high quality and often prepared the food fresh on the spot. The same night market had also the best barbecue with the most variety of veggies and meats and the most decadent sweet chilly sauce. Just next to that stand there was another one with spectacular roti with either eggs, bacon or just veggies. You will find it on our map below.
Chinese food at its finest
Liu Pin Xiao Guan Chinese Restaurant was by far the most amazing restaurant we have visited on Taiwan. In this case looks are very deceiving, it seems like a so-so spot and the food doesn’t look very fancy but the taste is out of this world. They had a spectacular clam soup, noodle dishes, stir fries and fish. I honestly can’t believe they would have something disappointing.
Get fruity everywhere
The whole island has an insane selection of all sorts of fruit. The availability changes with seasons but in general you can get passion fruits, dragon fruits both red and white ones, lychees, white pineapples and so much more. I have never made so many smoothies in my life. And I really miss those.
The best fruit sorbet
With such a variety of fruit available, there are many spots offering juicy sorbet's. Nothing helps coping with the heat of the island better than a cool refreshment. After a very in-depth research we concluded that the ones sold at the Songshan Cultural Park were the best!
Beef noodles worth queuing for
Taoyuan Street Authentic Shandong Beef Noodle might look humble from the outside but their beef noodle soup is worth standing in the queue. It’s delicious and full of flavor and their beef is soft and tender.
Bubble tea EVERYWHERE!
Bubble tea is THE thing to drink on Taiwan. This tea based drink was invented on the island and rocked the whole world. There are so many varieties that the best way is to try them all and choose your favorite one. Give a chance to small businesses as well as big chains. I especially loved assam black tea with milk and tapioca balls. Jandirk was more a fan of a sweeter, fruitier type of teas with balls and fruit jellies 🙂
More traditional tea
The island is famous for its teas especially for oolong and assam black tea. For more traditional tea tasting there is just one number one in Taipei- Wisteria Tea House. It’s a beautiful spot that looks like a Japanese tea house with our favorite tatami floors. Unfortunately we didn’t have a chance to visit them. We were unlucky to find it either closed or too busy to serve us. We were more than happy with lovely number two –C-tea-loft. This is a bit more modern tea house with an insane selections of teas and a very friendly staff that will eagerly tell you all about those.
Although tea is the national drink, coffee game is getting stronger and stronger especially in the capital. There are quite some popular and nice chains like Cama Cafe where they roast their own beans at the spot or Louisa Coffee with stylish interior and more delicate coffee. Our favorite one turned out to be the very artistic Artalley Cafe. Maybe the staff was a bit clueless but the coffee was good and the interior was stunning with super comfy chairs and a massive book selection.