Taipei: A small city in a small country with no shortage of snacks and delicious foods.
Don’t be fooled by Taipei’s size, this city is packed with foodie delights around every corner. Taipei has one of the worlds most bustling night market scenes and so many snacks, it’s impossible to count. Eating delicious food is just one of the many things to do in Tapei.
Taipei offers a plethora of snacks and goodies to sedate the pallet of any traveler. Whether you’re looking for a tasty drink, something sweet, or something savory, Taipei has a dish for you!
Today we’re going over just 14 of Taipei’s best eats, but there’s countless more, so it’s time to get exploring.
Let’s have a look at our list below with the Snacks and Foods You Must Try in Taipei:
1. Stinky Tofu
You’ll notice this dish from a mile away.
There’s no mistaking the deliciously pungent smell of this Taipei street food. Stinky tofu can be found in markets and stalls across the country. The tofu is commonly made with shrimp, salt water, fermented milk, and herbs. Its smell comes from the fermentation process which takes a few months and usually comes barbecued with pickled veggies.
Don’t let the smell get to you! This dish is an absolute must try in Taipei.
2. Gua Bao
This Taiwanese snack food has a bun so fluffy it’ll make you think you’re eating a cloud.
The typical gua bao consists of 5 main components. The bun (of course), pickled mustard greens, cilantro, powdered peanuts, and deadent braised pork belly.
3. Pepper Buns (Hu Jiao Bing)
These little buns can be found in food stalls and night markets throughout Taipei. It consists of a chewy but crispy layer of bread with a black pepper and meat filling. The traditional pepper bun will be made with pork; however, many stalls will ask for your meat of choice.
4. Scallion Pancakes (Shou Zhua Bing)
Shou Zhua Bing is the perfect complement to any Taiwanese meal. It’s delightfully thin and crispy. Not too heavy and great for dipping into a bowl of beef noodle soup! It’s easy to find this dish as an appetizer in many of Taipei’s restaurants and street vendors across the country. It’s a definite must-try food on your trip to Taipei!
5. Taiwanese sausage
These sausages are an adaptation of American and Chinese cuisine. Chinese sausages come in different flavors, shapes, and sizes. Taiwanese sausages are considered to be very sweet and can be paired with anything from fruits, garlic, wasabi, and even chocolate!
The best way to experience this popular Taipei food is at a food stall where it’s prepared as an American hot dog. Stalls will barbeque the sweet sausages and place them in a bun made of rice and topped with goodies of your choice.
6. Beef Noodle Soup
While beef noodle soup may not sound like a fancy or unique dish, it’s definitely one of Taipei’s most renowned entres.
The soup features a rich brown broth that has been simmered with spices and chili paste for hours. As the name suggests, it uses fatty braised brisket or shank chunks to give the soup it’s’ signature flavor. The use of fresh, hand pulled noodles is another must when it comes to making the perfect bowl of beef noodle soup.
Bonus!! Why not learn how to make your very own beef noodle soup? Cookly offers an amazing course in Taipei which will teach you how to make this delicious dish.
7. Bubble tea
What used to be a Taipei speciality is now a worldwide phenomenon.
This delicious sugary drink originated in Taipei and it’s claim to fame are the little “bubbles” at the bottom known as Boba. However, contrary to popular belief, boba isn’t what puts the bubble in bubble tea. It actually comes from the method used to shake the tea. It’ which creates a foamy, bubble bath like appearance.
You can find bubble tea in just about every flavor imaginable, but we recommend trying the classic milk tea flavor or the unique taro milk tea. You can’t make a trip to Taipei without trying this infamous drink!
8. Iron egg
The iron egg, most notably known for its black appearance, has climbed the rankings to become one of Taiwan’s most popular national snack. Iron eggs are typically made from quail eggs and have a tough texture. These eggs get their coloring from spending hours braising in soy sauce after which they are left to air-dry. This process is then repeated over the span of several days until the eggs reach the perfect level of black and chewiness.
Iron eggs are the perfect popable snack. It can be easy to eat 10 or more without noticing!
9. Pineapple cake
The perfect foodie souvenir!
This iconic Taiwanese dessert comes in either a traditional cake form or as a pre-wrapped snack. It consists of a pie shell filled with candied pineapple. It’s fairly simple, but has been a fan favorite in Taipei for decades. This little dessert has become so popular it’s also flooded markets throughout China.
Pineapple cake can be found across Taipei. Try some while you’re there and even bring a box home!
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also try one of Cookly’s cooking courses where you’ll get to try chef prepared pineapple cake and learn how to make some of Taipei’s best small dishes!
10. Deep Fried Milk
Yes you can fry liquids.
While this dish may sound messy, it actually holds together quite well. A special batter is created using sweet milk with enough thickness to stay intact. After spending a moment crisping to perfection, the milk comes out as a golden nugget of custard, warm, fluffy, and piping hot.
11. Xiao Long Bao (soup dumplings)
These dumplings are absolutely gushing!
Even though Taipei isn’t the birthplace of xiao long bao, it’s world renowned for serving up the best. These little dumplings may appear to be like every other bao out there, but don’t let their appearance fool you. These little guys are filled with steaming hot soup in addition to a pocket of seasoned pork.
We recommend placing the xiao long bao into a spoon first. Then bite a tiny hole into the dumpling and slowly sip the soup waiting inside. This will allow you to fully enjoy what makes this dish special without spilling soup everywhere!
The process to make soup dumplings is very delicate and time consuming. Learn how to do it yourself in one of Cookly’s amazing Taipei cooking courses!
12. Blood Cake
A vampire’s favorite snack.
Don’t let the name deter you, this snack is popular for a reason. With a tofu like texture, It’s the perfect combination of savory and crispy. Not to mention it’s packed with iron!
Blood cake is a mixture of pig’s blood, sticky rice, and broth. It’s reduced until firm and thick followed by a trip to the deep fryer and a sprinkling of grated peanuts. Sound appetizing yet? It’s not for everyone, but give it a try! You never know, it may become your favorite Taipei dish!
Who knew a stick of oil could taste so good?
Youtiao, otherwise known as “oil stick”, is a long, deep fried, and salted cruller. It’s commonly eaten for breakfast as a compliment to congee and a variety of other soups. While it’s great for dipping, youtiao is easily enjoyed as a stand alone snack. It’s crispy, but gooey on the inside and easily accessible. Many restaurants will have a container filled with youtiao right outside. All you have to do is pick which ones you like and pay inside.
14. Shaved Ice
Shaved ice is at the top of the list when it comes to Taiwanese desserts. It’s soft, sweet, and comes piled high with toppings of all sorts.
A specific machine is used to very thinly slice the ice, giving it the texture of newly fallen snow. It’s light and will instantly melt in your mouth. You’ll commonly see shaved ice in Taipei topped with condensed milk, almond jello, and mango.
Try it out the traditional way or by making it your own! Shaved ice is great with fruits of all sorts, chocolate sauce, ice scream, and even red beans. Our personal recommendation is strawberries with condensed milk.
We hope that our list of the “Snacks and Foods You Must Try in Taipei” will help you discover what to eat on your journey to Taipei.
If you’re interested in a cooking class, be sure to check out all the options on www.cookly.me.