Taipei a la gastro

Four days in Taipei and I'm pretty sure I already gained several pounds! Seriously, if you're going to Taiwan, Item No. 1 on your To-Do list should be:  EAT LOCAL FOOD.  The best ones aren't those served in restos but those you can buy on the side streets.  Tried some (or should I say a lot?) of them and here are my personal recommendations:

Street food
 Would you believe that for only NTD 100 (USD 3.57), you can already have a full dinner for two? Yep.  Lined up along the streets of Gongguan are dozens of stalls that offer a wide range of street food.  During our second night, Djong and I settled for a dimsumfest.

Dimsum  Price:  11 pieces of dumplings for only NTD 100 (USD 3.57) Where to buy:  Gongguan Night Market
Our personalized platter.
And if you want something to beat the cold with, you can have some soup on the side.
Fishball soup Price:  NTD 35 (USD 1.25) Where to buy:  Jioufen Old Street
But if you want something hot and heavy, you could go for the classic beef noodle soup.
Beef noodle soup Price:  NTD 90 (USD 3.2) Where to buy:  Practically everywhere! But we had ours at the Jioufen Old Street
If you want something to fill your stomach a little more, you can try their omelets.
Oyster omelet Price:  NTD 50 (USD 1.7) Where to buy:  We had our serving in one of the low-key eateries at the Ximending Shopping District.
Of course, the wide variety of choices doesn't stop at the main dishes.  There's also my favorite part of the meal:  DESSERT!

Spring rolls.  One of the most unique spring rolls I've ever tasted--an ice cream sandwich made of ground nuts and , well, ice cream, wrapped in lumpia wrapper. Price:  NTD 35 (USD 1.25)
And then there are the classic taro balls.
Taro balls Price:  NTD 40 (USD 1.42)
And of course, you haven't been to Taipei unless you've tried their...


Stinky tofu Price:  NTD 45 (USD 1.6) Where to buy:  Just enter any night market and follow the stink :p
They say it's stinky because it's fermented tofu.  The one we tried, though, didn't smell that bad.  Or maybe I'm just used to stink hahaha.

The Modern Toilet Restaurant
 And speaking of stinky... You'd think because of it's name, it would turn off customers.  Na-ah.  The place was actually packed when we arrived and we had to wait around 30 minutes before we could get a table.
The Modern Toilet Restaurant Location:  Ximending Shopping District 2F, No. 7, Lane 50, Xi-Ning South Road Taipei, Taiwan
Instead of the usual chairs, you get sit on actual toilets!  And the tables are made up either of sinks or bathtubs.
 They even serve the food on toilet-shaped plates.  And the food ain't bad at all too!
My order Smoked chicken in cream sauce Comes with a glass of iced or hot tea and a serving of Toilet No. 12 (Ice cream) Price:  NTD 220 (USD 7.8)
Din Tai Fung Dumpling House
Din Tai Fun Dumpling House (Fuxing Branch) Location: B2F of  Fuxing SOGO Department StoeDa-an District, Taipei
It was one of the most recommended restos on the internet.  And when we went there, we saw a long queue outside.  That's why even though the dishes were a bit pricey, we decided to give it a try.
House steamed beef noodle soup (Good for 2) Price:  NTD 200 (USD 7.14)
Pork XiaLongBao (6 pcs.) Price:  NTD 114 (USD 4.07)
Steamed sticky rice and ground pork shiaomai (6 pcs.) Price:  NTD 156 (USD 5.57)
Like all of the other food we've tried, the dishes in Din Tai Fun definitely did not disappoint.  If I were to choose the best meal I've had during our stay, I'd say ALL of them! So, a little tip for anyone who plans to go to Taipei:  It's fine to go through all the night markets and other shopping outlets in the city.  But make sure to give your feet a rest every so often and let your taste buds do the shopping ;)


  1. great post...was just wondering if a stop-over in Taipei is worth it..on the way to the Philippines;-)


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