Taipei is a city that is known for its amazing street food – beef noodles, mee sua, stinky tofu, chicken cutlet, Taiwanese sausages, and more. But at the same time, it also has many good restaurants and trendy cafes that are worth checking out.
Here is a list of places to eat in Taipei.
One of my favourite places in Taipei is Smith & Hsu (No.33, Zhong Xiao E. Road, Sec. 5 Taipei City Tel: +886 02 2747 4857) – an all day afternoon tea place. After going there, I am convinced that someone should open a similar concept in Singapore. You can order a three tier dessert set (NT$1200 or S$50) to share among 2-4 people. Or just get the cream tea set (NT$260 or S$10) which comes with two home-made scones, clotted cream, English farm jam, and a cup of tea. Their scones are easily one of the best that I’ve had.
Kick-ass awesome tonkatsu from Anzu Restaurant. A rosu set is only NT$350 (S$15). They also have tonkatsu sets that are suitable for girls with small appetite. For those of you who love tonkatsu, Anzu is definitely a must-visit when you are in Taiwan.
For a hearty brunch, The Diner (ATT4Fun No. 12 Song Shou Road Tel: 02 7737 5055) near Taipei City Hall is the place to go. Favourites like big breakfast, banana & chocolate pancakes, and steak & eggs are reasonably priced between NT$280 to NT$560 (S$12 to S$24)
I like Solo Pasta Italian Restaurant (No. 29-1, Section 1, Anhé Road, Daan District Taipei City Tel: +886 02 2775 3645)b because the Italian restaurant has good pasta at affordable prices ranging from NT$240 to NT$330 (S$10 to S$14).
One of the places to go for American style breakfast is NY Bagel Cafe (No. 122, Section 5, Xìnyì Road, Xinyi District Taipei City Tel: 02 2723 7977). Besides having a range of bagels, they also have breakfast food like French toast, pancakes and eggs. But the main reason why people like to come here is because the cafe opens till late on weekdays, and twenty-four hours on weekends.
Dazzling Cafe ( No. 11, Alley 7, Lane 205, Section 4, Zhongxiào East Road, Daan District Taipei City Tel: 02 8773 9238) should be a familiar name for those who often visit Taipei. It is the ‘IT‘ place in town, and people queue up for their signature honey toast.
Another trendy cafe that you should also check out is Melange Cafe (1F, 23, Lane 16, Zhongshan N Rd Sec 2, Taipei City Tel: 02 2567 3787). Go there for breakfast, and have a cup of coffee with their signature Belgian-style waffles.
I’ve always made it a point to splurge on at least one good restaurant whenever I travel, and in Taiwan, I dined at Abu Authentic Cuisine (28 Siwei Rd, Taipei City Tel: 02 2707 0699) as my friend Joan highly recommended it.
The meal that I had at Abu Authentic Cuisine – one of those nondescript restaurants that you will walk past without knowing – was indeed very good. While they have a good set lunch, I would suggest coming for dinner as the degustation menu (NT$2,680 or S$110) can give you the full experience. Reservations are required.
Tartine Bakery (#13-1, Lane 49, Sec. 1, Anhe Rd., Taipei City Tel: 02 2778 8831) is a pretty patisserie that serves French desserts like Saint Honoré, mille feuille, eclairs and macarons.
If you love desserts, you must also go to Room for Desserts (No 46, Alley 161, Section 1 Dun Hua South Road, Da An District, Taipei city Tel: 02 2711 2465). The cosy cafe is the perfect place to have a slice of cake and a cup of coffee, while catching up with your friends.
And of course, everyone must eat xiaolongbao from Din Tai Fung (No. 194, Section 2, Xìnyì Road, Daan District Taipei City Tel: 02 2321 8928). Go to the original branch located on Xinyi road at the corner of Yong Kang Street.
While you are at Yong Kang Street – one of the most popular streets that has many good restaurants and eateries – you should also try Kao Chi (5 Yongkang Street, Taipei City Tel: 02 2341 9984), which like Din Tai Fung, is known for their xiaolongbao.
Nobody leaves Taiwan without having shaved ice mountain – a popular dessert with fresh fruit toppings like mango, strawberry, on top of a pile of shaved ice. When you ask locals to name their favourite place, most of them would reply Yong Kang 15 (15 Yong Kang Street., Taipei City; Tel: 02 2321 3367).
Sweet Tea (No. 45 Shifu Rd, 4F Taipei 101 Tel: 02 8101 8177) – a tea salon by the famous Stay Restaurant – is a nice place to have afternoon tea. They have really good desserts, I’d recommend it when you are in Taipei. My only grouse is they have a minimum spending of NT$380/pax (S$16).
Coffee Alley (ATT4FUN, 3 floor No. 12, Song Shou Road Tel: 02 7737 0700) is perhaps, one of the most popular cafes in Taipei. It serves simple food like salad, sandwiches, desserts, and good coffee. Go during off-peak hours, or be prepared to queue for at least half an hour.
When Joan told me that Sumie Nouvelle Cuisine Japanese (4th Floor San Won Hotel, 172 Chung Hsiao East Road, Sec 4 Taipei City Tel: 02 2781 6909) is her favourite Japanese restaurant in Taipei, I knew that I had to make a trip there. A meal at Sumie isn’t cheap, but trust me, it is worth a visit. They have executive set lunch menus – ranging from NT$720 to NT$980 (S$30 to 41) – which are pretty value for money.
When one talks about fine dining restaurants in Taiwan, the name Joël Robuchon would instantly come to mind. If you are like me, a fan of his restaurants, then there’s no way you can miss L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon (5/F Bella Vita, 28 Song Ren Rd, Hsin Yi District Taipei Tel: 028729 2628).
And lastly, before you leave, you should drop by Sadaharu Aoki. Besides Tokyo and Paris, Taipei is the only city that has Sadaharu Aoki ((No.28 Song Ren Road, Xinyi, Bellavita B2F Taipei City Tel: 02 8729 2759) so you must go there for their macarons and pastries.