Jiufen is a mountainous attraction located at the Rui Fang District in New Taipei City. With the discovery of gold in the village during the Japanese Occupation, it has slowly boomed since then and is now one of the most favoured destinations among locals and tourists.
Other than being a popular filming spot, Jiufen is home to many incredible snacks and food, and traditional homemade snacks which you can bag home at really affordable prices.
Here are some of the Jiufen Must-Eats which you have to try at least once in your life!
# 1 YU WAN BO ZAI
Located at the first food stretch of Jiufen, you can easily spot this shop with its bustling crowd. Priced at NT60, the signature set comes with a bowl of piping hot vermicelli and unique balls of fish paste that are freshly beaten daily and boast a springy texture.
#2 LAI AH PO YU YUAN
Much like Blackball in Singapore, patrons can choose from the hot and cold selections, and every serving comes with handmade taro, sweet potato, green tea balls and kidney beans. It is sold at a very affordable NT35, and is the combat for the scorching sun.
#3 KUROBUTA SAUSAGES
You will be able to find this snack at almost every corner of Jiufen. When bitten into, the texture of the grilled meat is slightly more tender than usual sausages and it makes the best grab-and-go snack.
#4 AH ZHU PEANUT ICE CREAM
This stall encourages photo-taking and even has a set-up ready for you to snap your pictures. Every Instagrammer-cum-foodie should be grateful! That said, let’s focus on the goodness of this iconic snack – smooth taro ice cream is served on traditional popiah skin and sprinkled with shaved peanut bits, Ah Zhu Peanut Ice-cream is an all-time favourite and one that we think of immediately every time we reminisce good times at Jiufen!
#5 Grilled Sea Snails
For the more adventurous foodies, you might want to give this a shot! Sharing the same family tree as escargots, the sea snails are grilled freshly and then seasoned with 5-spice sauce before serving. Definitely not for the faint-hearted!
#6 CURRY FISH BALLS
The fish balls here at Jiufen are sold at NT20 per stick. Drenched in spicy curry sauce, these springy fish balls are a delight to munch on, and good for sharing. Its robust flavour is unforgettable.
#7 GRILLED MUSHROOMS
Mushroom may sound like a nightmare to many, but trust us when we say you have to try the jumbo mushrooms here at Jiu Fen. They call it the “chicken drumstick mushroom”, simply because they are huge. Grilled and coated with a sweet sauce, then cut into bite-sized pieces, this is a real treat!
#8 AH LAN HAKKA GLUTINOU RICE CAKE
The traditional glutinous rice cakes sold at Ah Lan are lovingly handmade every day, and comes in sweet red bean or salted vegetable fillings. There are many stalls selling glutinous rice cakes actually, but you just have to spot the long queue and there you have it – the most famous stall at Jiufen – Ah Lan. It is one traditional delight that you must try when you are at Jiufen.
Other than these delectable eats, you might want to visit their Japanese-inspired traditional tea houses to indulge in the art of tea, or simply stop and take in the magnificent sea view. What impressed us most was the picturesque sight of Jiufen’s ascending mountain top.
TO GET TO JIUFEN FROM TAIPEI
Hop on the train from Taipei Main Station to Rui Fang Station and board the Kee Lung Transit bus headed to Jiufen. It takes approximately an hour to get there.
Alternatively, you can also board Bus 1062 from Zhong Xiao Fu Xing Station. It takes slightly longer, but it will be great if you want to enjoy the scenic view of Northern Taiwan along the way.
For more recommendations, read our food & travel guides on the best things to see, do and eat in Taipei.