When in Taiwan, GO OFF THE GRID!
The thing we enjoyed doing most during our stay in Taipei was to eat. Everything, (as in everything) was delicious from high-end restaurants to small fare bought on the streets or even in 7-Eleven. There must be something in the water here that makes everything tastier and more appetizing.
If it isn't yet, Taiwan must definitely be on the list of top destinations in the world for foodies!
Before our visit, we did some online research on where to eat and what to try but honestly, the best food we had here wasn't from those hyped up places but rather from "unheard of", small, traditional Chinese restaurants where the menu is in full Chinese like this place in Maokong where we had this unforgettable Misua cooked in fish sauce and lots of garlic. Simple, clean and unforgettable. I often find myself craving for this:
Also, while in Maokong, the tea...The tea is unlike any other I've tried. Despite being a mixture of just tea leaves and water, the taste is delicate, round and creamy.
In the Yongkang district, we chanced upon another tiny Chinese restaurant along its side streets where I had the best tofu of my life:
It's also where I first discovered the tomatoes of Taiwan and how sweet and delicious they are. More berry than vegetable which is probably why they have it for dessert.
We discovered all of these restaurants by chance and I encourage you to do the same. Walk and follow your nose.
Don't be afraid to try new things even if you don't understand what is written in the menu. Taiwanese people are very friendly and patient. They will help you order more often than not + the food is really cheap so if you don't like it, it won't hurt your pocket so much although I doubt that happening since like I said, everything here is good! :)
Steak and Baked Potato from the night market - these two aren't the best tasting in the world but when you consider how little they cost, this is probably one of the best meals you could have for very little money (less than Php200 for both).
I know what some of you are thinking....
What is an ultra-western burger doing here???
You know what they say..."too much of a good thing is bad?" Well, same is true (at least for me) in Taipei. There is a smell here that is present almost everywhere. Not just the smell of food but I think it's something more specific like 5-spice.
After a few days I kinda got sick of it and wanted to cleanse my palette with a different flavor. That's when we discovered Evan's Burger:
Priced about the same as Chili's, Evan's has it's own charm and flavor. These fries are awesome. Crunchy on the outside, starchy inside, super good. Very generous servings too. This is a 3 patty burger that was super juicy and loaded with bacon, cheese, caramelized onions. This cost less than Php500 if I remember right.
Another non-Chinese place we visited was Fat Angelo's:
About the same price as Italianni's...the Ravioli here is generous, affordable and to die for! Large enough for sharing between two big eaters:
For those with a sweet tooth, there's MilkTree Ice Cream. Originally from Korea (I think), it's 100% "honest" and handmade with fresh and pure ingredients, topped with natural honeycomb. Super thick, rich and creamy:
Taiwan Sausage isn't all just hype. It's really good and cheap +you can find it being grilled almost anywhere:
Another thing I ordered from a random stall on the streets of Daan is this noodle bowl with Tofu. The woman selling it was old and couldn't speak a single word of English so I had to use my broken Chinese to order. From what I deduce, her stall is basically a noodle stall and you just point at the ingredients you'd like it to be topped with. I just got tofu and decided to skip all the innards + veggies.
Best meal at just Php30!
And finally, to wash it all down, Taiwan Beer!
Available in many variations, my favorite is the classic pilsner. Crisp, clean, and refreshing. One of the things I miss most about Taipei.
Read more about my trip to Taipei, Taiwan here: