Gourmet Guide

When it comes to food, Taiwan is the place that can satisfy all your needs. Countries from all corners of the world are represented here, leaving you with the difficult task to choose from the great variety of food available, ranging from international dishes to traditional Chinese delicacies and authentic Taiwanese snacks. Finding something to eat in Taiwan is not only easy, eating itself proves to be a joy time and time again.

To the Taiwanese, eating is an art and a cultural expression. Because of Taiwan's specific historical background, its food culture has become extremely diverse. Not only are Chinese dishes enhanced, the finest food from around the world converges here, so whether you feel like having some traditional Chinese food or would like to try something different, its all there. All you have to do is choose from the endless array of American, European, Italian, Asia-Pacific or even Mediterranean dishes. It is for good reason that Taiwan is called the "Republic of World Cuisine".

Chinese cuisine goes back to ancient times and achieved its present level through the accumulation of thousands of years of practical knowledge of and experience in cookery. Emphasis is placed on the perfect combination of color, aroma, flavor and shape, through which the most common ingredients are transformed into culinary tours de force. Chinese cuisine has therefore become well-known around the world and continues to attract gastronomes alike. In Taiwan, cooking techniques from all areas of China have merged, and the Taiwanese do not only master the traditional local Chinese specialties, but also continuously use traditional techniques to develop new culinary treats. It is therefore that each year Taiwan attracts many tourists who come to savor these Chinese specialties, ranging from small steamed buns to water-boiled dumplings. Traditional Chinese food to be found in Taiwan, next to Taiwanese and Hakka-style dishes, mainly includes dishes from from Fujian, Guangdang, Jiangxi, Shanghai, Hunan, Sichuan and Beijing.

Following we'll give an introduction to the characteristics and different cooking styles of dishes from each region :

  • Taiwan : Natural original flavors are preserved and there is a focus on light, fresh and simply flavored dishes, influenced by the Dutch and Japanese, raw and slightly water-scalded food is widely accepted.

  • Fujian : Dominated by seafood, preferably steamed, mainly light, sweet, and sour flavorings.

  • Guangdong : Great variety of ingredients, focus on light, fresh, smooth, sweet, tasty and tender dishes, main methods of food preparation consist of frying, baking, stir-frying, steaming, and boiling.

  • Jiangxi : Focus on original flavors, main methods of food preparation consist of stewing, braising, steaming, stir-frying, and cooking, for all of which temperature control is the most important aspect, flavors are light but do not lack taste, bones are removed while keeping shapes intact, although smooth and tender dishes have kept their taste.

  • Shanghai : Dishes breathing international fame originate here, local flavors are adhered to and dishes are mostly oily, drowning in sauce and brightly colored.

  • Hunan : Sour, hot, and rich flavors are the secret behind the popular dishes from this area, a well-known specialty is the smoked bacon, dishes from Hunan and Sichuan show some similarities as many are hot-flavored because of the use of large amounts of red pepper.

  • Sichuan : Ffamous for its hot-flavored dishes as preferably dried and fresh red pepper is used during preparation, fish and other seafood is favored, extremely popular among those who favor strongly-flavored food.

  • Beijing : A combination of flavors from all corners, magnificently and delicately prepared, dishes combine color, shape, flavor, and nutrition, and are mostly light and tender.

  • Hakka : Dried and preserved materials form important ingredients of the Hakka kitchen; dishes are mostly strongly flavored (burnt, flavored, well-done, salty, fat).

Next to these Chinese delicacies, the enormous variety of typical Taiwanese snacks is unique in the world and most perfectly illustrates the important place that the food culture takes into the lives of the Taiwanese people. Famous and unique Taiwanese snacks range from oyster omelets to fried rice noodles, tempura, Tainan Tan-tze noodles, Taiwanese spring rolls, rice tube pudding, and braised pork rice. Food is cheap and delicious, and by no means inferior, while each specialty gives you an insight in the people of the area it originates from. Typical Taiwanese snacks are found everywhere, but Taiwan's night markets in particular, each night market having its own traditions and characteristics, are the places where these snacks can be found in abundance. Trying out these snacks, tourists will be able to learn about different specialties, cultures and people from different areas, adding a whole new perspective to traveling.

Famous night markets in Taiwan

Night Market Characteristics Location

Keelung Night Market

The cuisine in Keelung Temple street night market is very famous, for example: pot-edged pancake soup, shaved ice, Tenpura, fried sandwiches, bean noodle thick soup,and shrimp Taiwanese balls.

The cuisine stands on Ren 3rd Rd. near the Dianji Temple in Keelung City and on Ai 4th Rd.

Shihlin Night Market

There are various cuisine in the night market, including steak, Teppanyaki,hot stuffed dumplings, little cake wrapped in big cake, sliced noodles, lever soup, squid thick soup, oyster omelets & etc.

Along Wenlin Rd., Da E. Rd., and Anping Rd.

Raohe Street Night Market

This is the first tourist night market in Taiwan, and the total length is about 600 meters. There are many herb-steamed sparerib restaurants here, which provides a good opportunity for nourishment in winter.

Intersection of Sec. 4, Bade Rd. and Fuyuan St.in Taipei City to Ciyou Temple on Bade Rd.

Huaxi Night Market

This is the most famous tour night market in Taiwan, which attracts many foreigners and natives for sightseeing. The famous cuisine includes snake meal and snake wine, pot-edged pancake soup, salty rice pudding, fresh water turtle meal, seafood, etc.

Between Xiyuan Rd. and Huanhe S.Rd. in Taipei City.

Jingmei Night Market

Many vendors and shops selling hardware, cassettes, clothes, and accessories are gathered in the 30-years-old Jing-mei old street. Moreover, there is a "Jing-mei Public Market" of various food and beverage stands and shops on Jing-mei new street.

Jingmei St., Taipei

Tonghua Street Night Market

You can go eating and shopping at the same time. There are plenty of groceries sold on Linchiang Street, the way to get there is to go on Keelung Road and turn to Linchiang Street, then pass Tong-hua , which is the part with stores of clothes and quilts.

Between Sec. 4, Shinyi Rd. and Sec. 2, Jilung Rd. in Taipei City.

Lianning Night Market

The famous cuisine includes goose, seafood, rice tube pudding, sandwich from Middle East, oyster omelets, marinated vegetables and meat. Besides, the alleys near Liou-Ning Street stand many featured coffee shops and restaurants. That's why this area is named "coffee street"

Between Changan E. Rd. and Jungshing senior high school in Taipei city.

Hsinnan Night Market

A night market with wide road and neat stores, there are various shaved ice stores here, which forms the main feature of the market. Moreover, there are many grocery stores selling various kinds of low-priced goods in this market.

Consist of Shinyi St. and Lane 410, Jingshin St. inJunghe city, Taipei

Hsinchuan Night Market

The cuisine here like mushroom and meat thick soup,red bean cake, Taiwanese meatballs, cake,oyster thin noodles,shrimp thick soup are talked by everyone's libs.The trace of hundred years of history is hidden among the streets and alleys,for example,ancient remains,and shops of hundred years like blacksmith workshop,to-fu factories, old brand cake store&etc.

Situated on the back of the Hsin - Chuan junior high school, on Hsin - Chuan Rd, Hsin - Chuan city,Taipei

Nanya Night Market There's a 30-years-old ceremonial arch in the entrance of the market, the position of the stores are settled neatly here. Among them, most are food stores, only few are clothes and grocery stores.

In Nanya E. Rd., Banchiau City,Taipei

Hsinming Night Market Almost all of the stores are of history. Visitors can try various snacks and buy noted products of Taiwan here. All kinds of hardware, groceries, Hong Kong and Korean clothes, shoes, hats, stockings are available here.

On Shinming Rd. between Jungyang W. Rd. and Mintzu Rd. in Jungli City, Taoyuan

Chenghuang Temple Night Market Most of the old stands in Cheng-huang Temple are of 50-years-old history, the famous snacks here are Hsin-chu meat balls, pork balls, spring rolls, braised pork rice, cuttlefish thick soup, rice noodles, and cow tongue shaped cakes.

Cheng-huang Temple and falian shrine square

Chunghua Night Market It gathers all kinds of Taiwan cuisines,including tawanese snacks,Taichung meatballs, spring rolls,angelica ducks ,oystur omelet,stirifried cuttlefish broth,meat thick soup , rice pudding , Singapore sparerib soup.

On Junghua Rd. , near Gungyuan Rd. and Mintzu Rd.,Taichung

Tunghai VillaHight Market

The stores are fixed here, most of them offer food and beverage, others offer clothes and daily necessities here. There's an "Art Street" On the Kuo -chi Street aparted from Tung-hai Villa by Chung-kang Road, the shops on the street are very unique, which are antique shops, tea shops, and coffee shops.

The hottest section is the intersection of Dungyuan Lane and Shinshing Rd. in Thichung City.

Fengchia Night Market

"Low prise,all included"is the main feature,and it sells various of cuisines,clothes and accessories.

On Fushing Rd. , Fengjia Rd.and Wenhua Rd. , between Sec . 2 , Shituen Rd. and Shian St. ,Taichung

The food of Lugang

The cuisines of Lugang includes seafood like sturgeon, eel, oyster, atoad, huatiao fish, bivalve, river shrimp, and Chinese oyster, and deseert like bird-eye cake, lard cake, cow tongue shaped cakes , shortcake , peanut candy, Chinese bread&etc. Among these shops, Yu-chen chai had operated from Ching dynasty for one hundred years.

Lugang Jen, Changhua
Wenhua Night Market

Thousand of venders gather here,and there are various cooked cuisine. Among these cuisines, "fountain chicken rice","Kuo-jing-chen flat noodles soup"and"fried preserved cabbage and shrimp egg"are the famous dishes.

At fountain traffic circle on Jungshan Rd. extend to Chuei-yang Rd., Chiai

Hsjaopei Night Market

This night market is nice and neat, and every stand has it's own number. There are many kinds of cuisine, including sea food, coffin cakes, pot-edged pancake soup, Eel noodles, spear fish simmered by soy bean sauce and sugar, thick soup of meat, sticky tofu.

At the intersection of Shimen Rd. and Lin - an Rd.,Tainan

Liuhr Night Market

Dainties of all lands and seas, food and beverage, special products are all available here, and the plentiness of flavorful food of Liu-hr Night Market is famous in Taiwan. Among these cuisine, papaya milk, salt-steamed shrimp are the main feature.

Liu-hr Rd.,Kaohsiung
Hsinshing Night Market

There are many cuisines in the night market. Besides, clothes shops, shoes shops get very closely here, many shops and stands have twenty-years-old history, like liao-li sparerib soup,fried mutton, mushroom and meat thick soup of pei-gang&etc.

Nanhua Rd.,Kaohsiung
Mintsu Rd. Night Market

This night market has history for seventy years,and it is the paradise for gluttons.The cuicide includes spearfish thick soup, mushroom and meat thick soup,meatballs of Pingtung,vegetarian gelatin,stick rice dumping,refreshed taro&etc.

On Mintzu Rd., under Fushing Rd. bridge , in Pingtung City

Luotung Night Market

The native cuisines including salty rice macaroni ,smoked ducks, meat thick soups, lung-feng legs ,tofurolls, thick rice noodles ,seafood , sausage stuffed pork and sweet potato powder, sausage stuffed tofu,oystur omelet&etc

At the center of Luodung Jen and around Jungshan Park in Yilan County

Tea sampling in Taiwan is like wine-tasting in the West. The quality of tea is extremely important and varies with the different producing areas, and tea picking, drying, roasting, storing and brewing methods. Although Oolong tea might well be the most popular tea in Taiwan, other varieties such as Iron Buddha tea, Paochung tea and Lungching tea are also widely available. Tea is produced in five main areas, namely Northern Taiwan, the area that covers Taoyuan, Hsinchu and Miaoli, Central-Southern Taiwan, Eastern Taiwan and the high mountain areas. Those who would like to do some tea sampling of their own, should consider visiting some interesting places such as the tea houses of Maokung in Taipei City and Jiufen in Taipei County, the tea museum in Pinglin, and the Luku tea garden in Nantou County.

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Information provided by Tourism Bureau, Rep. of China.


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