I can’t believe it took me so long to visit Taipei. Although we were met with a typhoon that caused our flight to be delayed and trip to be shortened by a full day, I still enjoyed it tremendously. It just meant that I had to squeeze 8 meals a day, which wasn’t that big of a problem.
My trip consisted of mainly food and I wish I had more time to do some sightseeing. Read on to find out more about what to eat, where to stay and getting around.
For a traditional Taiwanese breakfast experience, do have soy milk (dou jiang) and dough fritters (you tiao) at least once! Yong He Soy Milk is a popular option for this. This place tends to get crowded, although diners don’t stay here for very long. They even have salty soy milk, which is a savoury option – somewhat like a tofu stew with soy milk that also contains a mixture of dried baby shrimp, pickled vegetables and you tiao. It’s not for everyone but it’s worth a try because I haven’t seen anything like that before.
Yong He Soy Milk King; No. 102, Section 2, Fuxing South Road, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106 (various outlets).
Calling all Red Bean lovers! If you know me, you would know that I’m a huge fan of red bean (azuki). I’ve heard so much about these pancakes from Red Bean Pastry, and was so glad that I finally got to try it. As you can see, the ones here are overflowing with red bean. It tasted as good as it looks, and is best eaten while still warm!
Red Bean Pastry; No. 41, Section 1, Da’an Road, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106 (various outlets).
Tamed Fox is a crowd-pleaser with its galaxy donuts and inviting space. That being said, they serve pretty good coffee too. When you’re there, keep a lookout for the adorable pooch that belongs to the cafe owner!
Tamed Fox; No. 56, Lane 122, Section 4, Ren’ai Road, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106.
Could this be the most Instragrammable matcha dessert of the year?
The Taiwanese love their Matcha (probably as much as bubble tea) so matcha desserts are commonplace in Taipei. La Chaudière Coffee is a hidden gem tucked away from the crowded touristy areas and is perfect for an idyllic coffee session. I ordered this donut-looking Matcha chiffon cake that has a layer of black sesame cream sandwiched in between. When cut, this delicate donut-chiffon cake hybrid had a surprise center of Matcha cream. Wash it down with some iced Matcha tea.
La Chaudière Coffee 樂初咖啡; No. 6, Lane 361, Fuxing North Road, Songshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 105.
Another must-have in Taipei is their beef noodles. YongKang Beef Noodles is a well-known restaurant serving hearty bowls of braised beef noodles. Come hungry as they serve a generous portion of beef and excellent broth! Also, be prepared to queue as they are normally busy during meal hours.
YongKang Beef Noodles; No. 17, Lane 31, Section 2, Jinshan South Road, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106.
I stumbled upon this photogenic cafe, Elephant Machine while walking along Yong Kang street, where cafes and eateries are aplenty. Could not resist ordering a cold brew to beat the sweltering heat. The front of the cafe is lined with lush greenery. This spot also serves desserts such as Matcha cheesecake and tiramisu.
Elephant Machine; No.5, Lane 37, Yongkang St.,, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106.
Was told that Smith & Hsu serves up the best scones in Taipei. I admit that I’m a scones snob and this passed my test! The scones here have the right balance of being crumbly and cake-y. The dips selection was amazing as well, my favourite was the lemon curd. I’m also a fan of their grape jelly as it is not too sweet. Smith & Hsu has various outlets in Taipei but I particularly adore this one for its natural lighting. Some of their other outlets are housed within a shopping mall.
Smith & Hsu; No. 35號, Hengyang Road, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan 100 (various outlets). Disclaimer: I can’t recall which outlet this was at.
If chirashi dons are your thing, you should definitely check out this spot. The name of the store is in Mandarin so just Google map the address (details below). If you prefer cooked or hot food, they have another restaurant under the same chain serving yakitori, just down the same street. The food here is value-for-money and they are so generous with the toppings!
瞞著爹台北八德丼飯店; No. 17, Alley 9, Lane 346, Section 2, Bade Road, Songshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 105.
One cannot leave Taipei without having been to their night markets. I visited Rao He Street Night Market as it’s closest to my accommodation (listed below). Come hungry, as you can practically eat your way through the night market. Some food highlights included the black pepper pork bun, torched wagyu, ice cream spring roll (popiah), Taiwanese sausages and deep-fried milk. If you look closely, you might be able to score some good buys at the market too!
Rao He Street Night Market; Raohe Street, Songshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 105.
WHERE TO STAY
I had one of the best night’s sleep at Home Hotel Da An. I love its warm interior and unique furniture that reminds me of woodlands and forests. It is spacious and accessible to public transport, and Taipei 101 is just a short 10 minutes drive away. Moreover, it is rather close to most of the dining spots I have listed.
GETTING AROUND WITH KLOOK
Staying connected is essential and I’m glad Klook has me covered. You can purchase your 4G SIM Card from Klook and collect it on your way out from the Tao Yuan International Airport – they have different lengths (3, 5, 7 and 10 days) so do check it out!
I would also highly recommend Klook‘s reliable airport transfer – Sedan Taoyuan Airport Transfers. It is an inexpensive way to get from the airport to the city seamlessly. So great that I used the service for my departure to the airport too!
In addition, Klook also offers fuss-free bus tours to nearby areas within Taipei such as the picturesque Jiufen and Shifen. At only S$21 per head, this free-and-easy Jiufen Shuttle Bus allows you to cover quite a lot of ground within 7 hours.