Taiwan is a nation obsessed with food.
We’re talking festivals for beef noodle soup, museums for milkfish, and cult followings for fried chicken cutlets. In the capital of Taipei, you can eat wondrously for weeks from the city’s buzzing night markets; but where to go for a cozy coffee date, a killer quick lunch, or a lazy Sunday breakfast? We asked three HotelQuickly staffers in Taipei to show us around the island’s culinary hotspots.
Which are your favorite Taipei cafes?
Leila Lin, Marketing and PR Manager – Taiwan: Cafe Junkies is where I go to sink into a cozy chair, enjoy good coffee, light rock music and just forget the time. Le Part Cafe: in a redecorated old house is an excellent spot to work.
Annie Huang, Sales Intern: I really like the salad and donuts at Drip Cafe. They have three stores in Taipei, but call ahead for a reservation or you may need to wait for seats.
Chloe Chen, Sales Manager – Taiwan: Starbucks has several great outlets in Taipei, but the Bao’an store is my favorite. It’s located in an elegant, red-brick mansion dating back to 1926.
What’s your favorite spot for breakfast on the weekend?
LL: VVG Restaurant’s front yard and balcony is a relaxing space to have a graceful brunch. Even Taiwanese celebrities like to have their weekend mornings here.
AH: My friends all say you cannot miss Chen Gen Zhao Cha in Xin Yin District. Their egg pancakes with cheese and toast are mouthwatering!
CC: Daylight Cafe near the Taipei Arena serves a nice, fresh breakfast and is in a perfect spot for shopping afterward.
What’s your favorite buffet in town?
LL: Whatever cuisine I fancy, Eatogether always satisfies my stomach. Be prepared for a long queue in front of the restaurant – it’s that popular!
CC: The buffet at W Hotel is my first choice in town, not only for the wide selection of fresh choices but also because they have a great view of the city and Taipei 101.
What’s your favorite spot for a quick and tasty lunch?
LL: Laing-Chicken Rice is my top spot for lunch. Chicken rice is cooked with chicken oil to heighten its flavour, then topped with diced chicken to give you extra protein. An over-easy egg is the best partner for this dish.
AH: If you come to Taiwan you can’t miss the traditional lunch box bento. The one from Taipei Railway Station is the best. Buy one before taking the train to your next destination, then enjoy the amazing food and views along the way!
What are some dishes visitors can’t leave Taipei without trying?
LL: Spicy hotpot, omelets with dried radishes and bitter melon with salted egg — these are all classic Taiwan-style dishes.
AH: You cannot leave Taipei without trying Ding Tai Fung and Chun Shui Tang! Ding Tai Fung is famous for indescribable dumplings; and Chun Shui Tang has awesome bubble milk tea!
What’s your favorite open-air food venue?
LL: Raohe Street Night Market – right next to the Songshan MRT — is one of the oldest and best Taipei night markets. Must-try dishes include pepper pork buns, pork chops in Chinese medicine soup and grilled corn. Bring your food to the park nearby to enjoy it with a romantic river view.
AH: You can find a great variety of vendors at the Shilin Night Market, a place famous for traditional Taiwanese street food.
What’s your favorite bar in town?
LL: MOD is a cool spot to go. The bar has a variety of whisky and cocktails, and plays rock music all night long to shake your stress away. For something lighter try A Train. It’s a good place to just relax, listen to some jazz and spend time with friends.
CC: There’s one bar I frequent called Digout. It’s small but warm, a good place to drink with friends after work and the bartenders treat you like old friends.
Ready to eat your way through Taipei? Fire up the HotelQuickly app to see the best hotel deals in the capital now, and don’t forget to tag us in your foodie adventures on Facebook and Instagram!
Melissa is a passionate foodie, travel writer, and editor working in media internationally and in the USA. She has lived in Bangkok since 2004 and has a background in the travel industry. Melissa’s writing has been published globally in many prestigious online and print magazines for over a decade. Her motto for life is “You cannot live or love well if you have not wined and dined well!”