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About Taipei 6: Food

Wikimania 2007 Taipei :: a Globe in Accord
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Taipei is the melting pot of Chinese cuisine, the result of refugees from all provinces of mainland China settling in Taiwan after the end of the Chinese Civil War. For instance, despite the traditional Taiwanese aversion to eating beef, beef noodle soup, which was introduced by Nationalist soldiers who settled in Taiwan, is now considered a Taiwanese national dish. Taipei now styles itself as the "Beef Noodle Capital of the World," holding an annual beef noodle festival.

Chinese cuisine in Taiwan is often fined tuned to Taiwanese sensibilities, resulting in a slight difference in texture and in the use of oil and spices. For example, Northern Chinese like their green onion pancakes (葱油餅) and zua-bin (抓餅) should be crispy (酥), but the Taiwanese like it to be "Q" (chewy). Northern Chinese love thick and wide noodles, but the Taiwanese prefer extremely thin noodles.

Fresh fruit and juice

Jade watermelons, longyans, and dragonfruit are in season around August. Do not hesitate to buy fruit from a street vendor. They sometimes even help you cut them into to slices with plastic container. Juice bars are found in most department store food courts. There are stalls that sell freshly pressed sugar cane juice as well as shaved mango ice.

One vehicle of Xinyi Main Line
  • Ice Palace 冰宮
    Location: Yongkan Street (永康街) near the main branches of the KaoChi and Ding Tai Fong restaurants (see Shanghai Cuisine).
    From the MRT National Taiwan University Hospital Station or the Taipei Main Station (Qingdao) Bus Stop (台北車站青島公車站), take the Xinyi Main Line (信義幹線), which will eventually travel to Xinyi Road. When you cross Jinshan South Road and see Mister Donut (a donut shop), ring the bell to get off the bus. The name of the bus stop should Xinyi-Yongkan Intersection (or Xinyi-Yongkan Roads) (信義永康街口公車站). Once you get off the bus, go back to Mister Donut to find Yongkan Street.

Coffee shops

Starbucks and its competitors are ubiquitous in Taipei.

Fast food

If you really cannot adjust to Chinese food in Taiwan, there is Subways, Burger King, McDonalds, Dominos, Pizza Hut, KFC, Long John's Silver, MOS burger, and Yoshinoya. All Yoshinoya stores open 24 hours and select McDonalds are also open 24 hours. Western fast food restaurants in Taipei do have Asian influence: KFC offers egg tarts; McDonalds sells rice burgers; Pizza Hut has rice pizza. A McDonalds ice cream cone costs only NT$10 (US$ 0.33).

Food courts

Food courts can be found in the basement of any department store in Taipei. Expect to pay between NT$100-NT$200 for a set meal.

Bento (Biandang/便當 in Chinese)

Bento is a single-portion takeout meal that is popular in East Asian country beacuse of its easy-to-go quality. It would be a good way to have a meal done efficiently and if you have budget concerns. You can easily find Bento stores all over the city. One of the most common types are those wrapped in wooden flakes. All convenience stores also sell Bento including beef noodles, and with heating services. Prices of each Bento sold in the Bento stores are around NT$70-NT$120. And those in the convenience stores are around NTD$45-NTD$65. Traditional Taiwanese bentos include pork chop with rice (排骨飯) or chicken leg with rice (雞腿飯) which are both typically served with mustard sauerkraut (酸菜) and semi-pickled cucumbers (煙黃瓜).

Street Food & the Night Markets

Taiwan is also famous for its various street food and night market lifes. Among the entire Greater China Region, Taiwan's night markets might be the most distinguished. You can find any knid of local and international tastes here. The most commonly-known Taiwan-owned street food are Oyster omelette(蚵仔煎), Stinky Tofu(臭豆腐), Oyster Vermicelli(蚵仔麵線), and Tempura/Tianbula(甜不辣).

Cusine by Types

Taiwanese Cuisine

Main article at Wikipedia: Category:Taiwanese cuisine

  • Tian Tsi Nodddles (度小月擔仔麵)
    Chinese Website: http://www.iddi.com.tw/index.phtml
    Address: 26 Alley 5, Zhongxiao East Road, Section 4 (忠孝東路170號5弄26號); Telephone:02-2773-1244
    Take a 5-min walk from MRT Zhongxiao Dunhua
  • Shin Yeh/Zhongxiao Branch (欣葉台菜/忠孝店)
    Address: 112 Zhongxiao E. Road, Sec. 4 (忠孝東路4段112號); Telephone:02-2752-9299
    Walk 5 minutes from MRT Zhongxiao Fuxing
  • Traditional Hakka Restaurant (你家我家客家菜)
    Address: 135 Jilin Road (吉林路135號); Telephone:02-2564-1889/02-2561-1869
  • Vu Vu Rock
    It could be recognized as the only aboriginal cuisine in the city!
    Address: 3 Zhishan Road, Section 3 (至善路3段3號); Telephone:02-2880-3043

Cantonese Cuisine

  • Hung Hom (紅磡港式飲茶)
    Chinese Website: http://hungkan.wa24hr.com/
    Address: 2F, 155 Zhongxiao East Road, Section 4 (忠孝東路4段155號2樓); Telephone:02-2721-1292
    1 minute journey on foot from MRT Zhongxiao Dunhua

Hot pot

  • Kuo Bee Pen Da (鍋比盆大)
    Address: 27 Guangfu South Road, Lane 280 (光復南路280巷27號); Telephone:02-2721-3783
    Take a 3-min walk from MRT S.Y.S Memorial hall
  • Tansian Hot Pot (天香回味火鍋城)
    Website: http://www.tansian.com.tw/
    Address: 2F, 16 Nanjing East Road, Section 1 (南京東路1段16號2樓); Telephone:02-2511-7275
    5 minutes from MRT Zhongshan Station

Shanghai Cuisine

  • KaoChi (高記)
    Website: http://www.kao-chi.com
    Yongkan Main Branch: 3 Yongkan Road (Near Xinyi Road, Section 2); Telephone: 02-2341-9971; See the above Ice Palace entry for directions.
    Fuxing Branch: 1FL, 150 Fuxing South Road, Section 1 (復興南路一段150號一樓); Near the MRT Zhongxiao-Fuxing Station
  • Shanghai Shanghai (紅豆食府)
    Chinese Website: http://www.shanghaishanghai.com.tw/
    Minsheng headquarter: B1, 129 Minsheng East Road, Sec.3 (民生東路三段129號B1);Telephone: 8770-6969
    SOGO Dunghua Department Store Branch: B2, 246 Dunhua South Road, Sec.1; Telephone: 02- 8771-5511; Located near the MRT Zhongxiao-Dunhua Station.
  • Nanmen Market (南門市場)
    Located next to the MRT Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall Station. Follow signs in MRT station for directions.
    All sorts of steamed buns and Shanghai pasties are found here. Japanese tour groups frequent the place. Beside Shanghai cuisine, some neraby reatuarants also provide other kinds of food, like the famous "Gingfon"(金峰) is the authority of Taiwanese "pork-stewed with rice"(滷肉飯).

Peking (Beijing Cuisine)

  • Beijing-Do It True
    Address: 506 Renai Road, Sec. 4 (台北市仁愛路四段506號)
    Near the Taipei City Hall, Taipei City Council, and the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall
  • Zhou Panzi Dumpling House (周胖子餃子館)
    Address: 37 Zhongxiao East Road, Section 5 (忠孝東路五段37號)
    Located at the Taipei City Hall station, facing away from the Taipei 101; a gas station is nearby. This would be considered a best-buy restaurant.
  • Chu Chi (朱記餡餅粥店)
    Address: 106 Renai Road, Section 3 (仁愛路3段106號); Telephone:02-2702-9411
  • Tien Chu restaurant (天廚菜館)
    Address: 3-4F, 1 Nanjing West Road (南京西路1號3-4樓); Telephone:02-2563-2171/02-2563-2380

Sichuan Cuisine

  • Sichuan and Jiangsu Broker (四川吳抄手)
    Address: 250-3 Zhongxiao East Road, Section 4 (忠孝東路4段250號-3); Telephone:02-2772-1707

Chinese Islamic beef noodle cuisine (Halal/清真)

  • Halal China Beef House (清真中國牛肉館)
    Jiyan Street (台北市延吉街137巷7弄1號)
    Near the MRT Zhongxiao Dunhua station
    Business hours: 11:30~14:30 and 17:00~21:00
  • Halal Yellow Cattle Beef Noodle Soup House (清真黃牛肉麵館)
    Alley 223, No. 41 Zhongxiao East Road Section 4 (台北市忠孝東路4段223巷41號)
    Walking distance from the MRT Zhongxiao Dunhua station
    Telephone: 02-27318550
    Business hours: 11:00~14:00 and 17:00~19:30

Vegetarian cuisine

A swastika, which is frequently encountered in Buddhist temples, is sometimes used to indicate vegetarian cuisine. The Chinese character for vegetarianism is 素 (su).