Last December, I got the opportunity to travel to Taiwan. It was my first time to travel with a friend and my first time too in East Asia. Though I did not enjoy that trip because I got sick, Taiwanese food compensated for it. It was like food for the soul, comfort food for the sick. So here is the list of my personal favorites.
My list of favorite Taiwanese food
- Din Tai Fung dumplings
- Clam soup
- Tea eggs
- Fried cuttlefish
- Fried squid
- Taiwanese pork sausage
- Boba milk tea
- Taiwan beer
Your Asian trip or Taiwan trip will not be complete if you did not have any Asian noodles. Noodles are popular in Asia. Do not forget to try Taiwan’s beef noodle soup. Best during winter times. It has the basic noodle dish ingredients, beef, veggies, broth, and spices. What makes this dish different is that it has that distinguished savory and spicy taste.
Also read: What to eat in Turkey
Din Tai Fung dumplings
Din Tai Fung is a famous Taiwanese restaurant that has branches all over the world. And just like the restaurant, the food menu was famous too. I had the dumplings in their Taipei 101 branch. Would you believe that I waited for an hour and a half just to be seated? So my advice was to get a reservation first and then go for your shopping or visit the view deck so that you do not need to wait. Of course, their tea was one of a kind perfect for the winter season when I visited Taiwan. Better try their Xiao Long Bao (soup dumplings). The soup was so appetizing and perfect to start your entire meal.
While strolling along the streets of Taipei, I came across this small restaurant that served authentic Taiwanese food. A bit hesitant but I entered. When I checked the menu I just randomly selected food items. I asked the server what was their best seller and she suggested the clam soup. When I had my first sip, I was like in heaven. It has that umami taste. I finished a big bowl of soup.
I booked a free walking tour from Klook to see Taipei from the eyes of a local and I did not regret doing it. We roamed around the city learning more about Taiwan. When we came across a small street that was a cultural center back in the days, I found this vendor selling black colored eggs. I found out that it is Tea eggs. This food is a common snack among Taiwanese. Eggs were boiled in water, soy, and spices which gives a flavorful taste to the eggs.
I think this is one of the famous Taiwanese snacks available everywhere in Taiwan. I had this fried cuttlefish along the rails of Jiufen. Where the famous lanterns were flying. It is an existing working rail and one of the most Instagrammable places in Taiwan. The area was packed with crowds. Along the rail were several shops and restaurants. I found this fried cuttlefish snack that looks yummy. The cuttlefish was coated with breading and spices and then deep-fried. Best eaten when hot.
Aside from the cuttlefish, fried squid is another thing to try in Taiwan. It is calamari with dipping sauce on the side. You have to eat it with the stick or your fingers. Perfect while walking along the Jiufen rails or shopping in one of Taiwan’s famous night markets.
Taiwanese pork sausage
As an Asian, we do love grilled street food. From the streets of Manila to Bangkok there were several grilled street foods. I had this pork sausage when we went to Maokong gondola. You need to ride the cable car to reach the end. There were many Traditional Taiwanese restaurants and along the street, vendors were selling different kinds of street food. I immediately went to have this pork sausage and I was hooked. I can’t control myself but to buy more pork sausages. And it is so cheap.
It has been my hobby that every country I visit, I must taste their locally made beer, wine, or spirits. And that is what I did in Taiwan too. Imagine having huge servings of soup and buns plus a big bottle of Taiwan beer on the side. Is it too much? No, Taiwan beer is so refreshing. I had it on top of the mountains after doing that Maokong gondola ride. But for sure you can find it anywhere. It is just a rewarding treat after that lengthy cable car ride.
Boba milk tea
Is there any Filipino not familiar with Boba milk tea? I think no. Because it is everywhere in the Philippines. Boba milk tea originated in Taiwan so I did not miss the chance to taste the original milk tea. It is a tea-based drink shaken with Ice and topped with the sugary tapioca pearls. I am not a fan of sweet food or drink but I just can not control myself when it comes to milk tea. I think I can finish a tower of it.
This is a sweet treat everyone must try. While waiting for the reservation in Din Tai Fung, I managed to buy some stuff from the supermarket. I came across the shelf of mochi. This is made from glutinous rice shaped into a ball. Coated with sugar powder and stuffed with a filling that adds flavor. My favorite was peanut butter and macha.
Taiwan indeed is the food Mecca of Asia. When I visited it last December 2020, I did not enjoy it. First I was sick which irritated me. And secondly, most of the attractions in Taipei were far from each other. But then their cuisine compensated for it. I am planning to go back to Taiwan again and give it another try. In addition to the Taiwanese food which invites me to come back.
Have you visited Taiwan? Did you enjoy Taiwanese food? What are your favorites? Share it below.