Taipei is a beautiful city filled with equally beautiful people. What made our short trip to the capital of Taiwan more pleasurable was the never-ending food trip! From restaurants with specialties to night markets where you can sample a wide range of snacks, food is what makes any trip to Taiwan exciting.
Amidst the bustling streets of Taipei, you'll see a variety of street food stalls hawking delicious items – from an ice cream spring roll with cilantro to the popular spicy tofu that I wasn't courageous enough to try – specifically at night markets, where locals and tourists gather up for mouthwatering meals.
There are unlimited food choices available, but here are a few we are thankful we didn’t miss out on:
1. Fried Dough
What's a night market without fried food? You'll find a number of stalls selling fried dough dusted with sugar. You'll even find some fried milk!
Munch on some freshly roasted chestnuts while roaming around the night market and scouring for delectable bites!
3. Candied Fruit Sticks
Think of those apples coated with chocolate or caramel sold in amusement parks only that with these candied fruits, you get to choose among plump strawberries, cherries and other kinds of fruits that are perfectly glazed and served on skewers.
4. Beef Cubes
Tender beef cubes cooked using a flame torch and dusted with your choice of pink salt, lemon pepper salt, cumin powder, wasabi pepper, paprika, black pepper, cheese powder, curry powder, teriyaki sauce or shichimi.
5. Pork-Wrapped Scallions
The locals' only advice is to look for the stalls with long lines and this was one the many stalls with the longest queue at Shilin night market. These are grilled scallions wrapped in thinly sliced pork.
6. Ice Cream Run Bing (spring roll)
A runbing is a kind of spring roll made with wheat flour wrapper. It is typically stuffed with shredded pork and bean sprouts but it can also come in dessert form. This type of runbing has peanut brittle shavings, generous scoops of ice cream and chopped cilantro rolled up in fresh spring roll wrapper.
A soft silky tofu pudding treat similar to that of our local favorite, taho. It is usually doused with brown sugar syrup and garnished with assorted toppings like red bean, coconut meat strips and taro among others.
8. Pig Legs
Slow-cooked in aromatic soy sauce with five spices, these pig legs found on the streets of Taiwan is best eaten for a bowl of Lu Rou Fan which is minced pork rice, a very popular Taiwanese dish.
9. Grilled Meat
When you see smoke, there's probably a stall nearby that's grilling something! Go follow the smoke and indulge in a slew of mouthwatering eats.
10. More Grilled Fare
11. Hot Pot
Where else can you get authentic hot pot? You can put anything you want – tofu, vegetables, seafood, fish/meatballs, sliced beef, pork, lamb, mushrooms, noodles and more. There are actually quite a few places which offer eat all you can hot pot and ice cream. What a combination, huh?
The sausages which are obviously for sharing if you plan on eating from different stalls are air-dried and flavored with rice wine and garlic. At night markets, these sausages are served grilled on a stick with raw garlic. There's actually this snack which has small sausage tucked in a larger sticky rice sausage and is grilled before serving. Talk about a sausage-ception!
These glutinous rice balls can be found all over Taiwan. Its texture is soft as marshmallows and filled with sweet or salty elements. Traditionally, mochis are filled with red bean paste and rolled in peanut powder. However, today, mochis are multi-flavored and filled with different flavors like green tea, strawberry and peanut.
14. Pig's blood rice pudding
This combination of sticky rice and solidified pork blood is a delicacy which came after WWII when the community began eating blood to replace meat. Before serving, the pudding is coated with sweet peanut powder and fresh cilantro. These sticks are steamed inside wooden baskets so it's soft and warm when you bite into it.
15. Aiyu Jelly Drink
Most of the time dubbed as frog's eggs because of its cart's design, Aiyu is a jelly drink that's served in water with sugar syrup and lemons which make for a refreshing drink in between snacks.
Bonus: Modern Toilet
Did anyone say they're eating 'Poo Poo Ice Cream?' This popular themed restaurant called Modern Toilet serve their dishes in miniature toilet seats while you sit down on, well… toilet seats.
What are your food favorites when in Taiwan? Let us know in the comments down below so we can try it on our next visit!