10 Must-Eat Food in Taiwan

Taiwan is a food lover's paradise, with a diverse range of culinary offerings that cater to all tastes and preferences. From the bustling night markets to the high-end restaurants, there is something for everyone.

One of the most popular types of food in Taiwan is street food. The night markets across the island are a haven for foodies, with vendors selling everything from stinky tofu to bubble tea. The street food scene in Taiwan is a reflection of the country's cultural diversity, with influences from China, Japan, and Southeast Asia.

But Taiwan's food scene is not just limited to street food. The island is also home to a thriving fusion cuisine, where traditional dishes are given a modern twist. This blend of old and new is evident in dishes such as beef noodles, which is a traditional Taiwanese dish that has been reinvented with new flavours and ingredients.

For those looking for a more upscale dining experience, Taiwan's cities are home to some of the best restaurants in Asia. From Michelin-starred establishments to local eateries serving up authentic Taiwanese cuisine, there is no shortage of options.

Taiwan's food scene is a true reflection of the island's rich culture and history. Whether you're a foodie or just looking to try something new, Taiwan is a must-visit destination for anyone who loves good food. Read on to discover the popular foods in Taiwan.

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must eat taiwan famous food
10 Must-Eat Food in Taiwan

10 Must-Eat Food in Taiwan

Beef Noodles

Every country has a national dish, and when it comes to Taiwan, Beef Noodles has definitely clinched that esteemed title. A dish claimed to have originated from the southern city of Kaohsiung, it is everything any food ought to be: comforting, savoury, spicy to the precise degree, and most of all - enjoyable.

The beef is stewed to the perfect tenderness, its noodles are freshly hand-pulled, the broth is mindbogglingly rich with all the flavours imaginable, and coy yet beautiful specks of green from the scallion victoriously give the dish the perfect finishing. 

Beef Noodles Taiwan
Beef Noodles or 牛肉麺 in Taiwan

Smelly Tofu

Let me begin by saying that I am personally very offended that this masterpiece is being labelled as stinky. It is unique, it has an amazing perfume and a work of outstanding artistry. The perfect snack for anytime of the day, these tofu cubes are first fermented up to a few months in a brine cocktail consisting of vegetables, meat, fermented milk, dried shrimps, amaranth leaves, bamboo shoots and an assortment of herbs.

To serve, the tofu is deep-fried and topped with pickled cabbage. Fun fact: Report from a 2012 chemical analysis discovered that there are 39 volatile organic compounds that help give stinky tofu its distinct taste and smell!

Smelly Tofu taipei
Smelly Tofu or 臭豆腐 in Taiwan

Pearl Milk Tea

Ah, the sensation that took the world by storm. Despite having a sugar content that is twice as much as a can of Coca-Cola, this drink somehow still managed to be the best-selling edibles in liquid form not just in Taiwan, but across the globe.

The most popular type of bubble tea at the moment is the brown sugar pearl milk tea, which is prepared using black tea, brown sugar syrup, tapioca pearls, water, fresh milk and needless to say: more sugar.

taiwan Pearl Milk Tea
Pearl Milk Tea 珍珠奶茶 in Taiwan

Oyster Omelette

This omelette dish is created by the Teochew Chinese, and it comes with a delicious combination of fillings consisting primarily of tiny, bite-sized oysters gloriously wrapped within a thick, silky layer of egg. Depending on the cook, some oyster omelettes might come an extra gravy serving to further elevate the taste!

Oyster Omelette in taiwan
Oyster Omelette 蚵仔煎 in Taiwan

Lu Rou Fan

Lu Rou Fan is a dish that holds a special place in the hearts of many Taiwanese locals and visitors alike. It is often referred to as the ultimate comfort food, and for good reason. This beloved dish is made up of tender, succulent pieces of braised pork that are served over a bed of steaming hot rice. The rich, flavourful meat sauce is what truly sets this dish apart, with its complex blend of spices and seasonings that create a truly unforgettable taste.

In addition to the braised pork and rice, Lu Rou Fan is typically served with a few additional toppings that add even more depth and flavour to the dish. One of the most common toppings is a hard-boiled egg that has been sliced in half lengthwise, providing a creamy and satisfying contrast to the savoury meat sauce. Another popular topping is bok choy, which is cooked to perfection in boiling water and adds a fresh and healthy element to the dish.

Lu Rou Fan Taipei
Lu Rou Fan 滷肉飯 in Taiwan

Taiwanese Fried Chicken

It's old news by now that Taiwan is famous for its "bigger than your face" deep-fried chicken cutlets, which people queue up for hours and get sold out in minutes. Almost 30 centimetres in width, the cutlet is showered generously with seasoning of choice, namely salt, pepper, chili powder, seaweed and plum.

Taiwan Chicken Cutlet
Chicken Cutlet 大雞排 is a must-try when visiting the night markets in Taiwan

Gua Bao

This dish is a ravishing Chinese-style sandwich with two primary modules: the softest, pillowy steamed buns and the juiciest, most tender braised pork belly chunks. Other additions include suan chai (pickled mustard greens), coriander leaves, coarsely chopped peanuts and a tantalizing chili dip.

Gua Bao taiwan
Gua Bao 割包 is a popular street food in Taiwan

Pig's Blood Cake

Horrified by the name of the dish? Don't be! This one of a kind delicacy is made using pork blood, cooked sticky rice and homemade soy broth before being shaped into cuboids. It is served hot and steamy on a stick and coated generously with crushed peanuts.

Ti hoeh koe
Pig's Blood Cake or Ti hoeh koe is a delicious blood pudding served on a stick in the streets of Taiwan.
taiwan Pig Blood Cake
Pig's Blood Cake 豬血糕 in Taiwan

Xiao Long Bao

Another dish that needs no introduction - little steamed buns in bamboo baskets. Xiao Long Bao is known to the world as soup dumplings as they are each loaded with hot broth within and hence, must be very carefully eaten to avoid spills and burns. Traditionally stuffed with minced pork, it also come with other variants such as chicken, crab, shrimp and roe.

taiwan Xiao Long Bao
Xiao Long Bao 小笼包 in Taiwan

Meat & Scallion Pies

Of course, we have saved the best for last! While every Taiwanese dish mentioned so far is absolutely delicious, our personal favourite (after much deliberation) has to be the country's famous pan-fried buns, or Shen Bing. These buns are a true culinary masterpiece, with a doughy wrapper that is both crispy and chewy at the same time.

But it's not just the texture of the buns that makes them so special - it's also the filling. The meat-and-scallion filling is simple yet flavourful, and when combined with the doughy wrapper and pan-fried to perfection, it creates a gourmet item that is truly sublime.

One of the best things about Shen Bing is that they are incredibly versatile. They can be enjoyed as a quick snack on the go, or as a more substantial meal when paired with other dishes. They are also a popular street food item, with vendors selling them at night markets and other outdoor events across the island.

taiwan shen bing
These crispy golden pan-fried meat pies are a must-try in Taiwan
Meat & Scallion Pies taiwan
Meat & Scallion Pies 餡餅 in Taiwan

We couldn't agree more - Taiwan is definitely a food haven! As food enthusiasts, we have had the pleasure of exploring the diverse culinary offerings of this beautiful island. The dishes listed above are all must-tries, and we highly recommend seeking them out at the night markets and street vendors.

As for our favourite Taiwanese dish, it's a tough call! There are so many incredible options to choose from. However, if we had to pick just one, it would have to be the iconic Beef Noodle Soup. This hearty and flavourful dish is a staple of Taiwanese cuisine, with tender beef, chewy noodles, and a rich broth that is packed with spices and seasonings.

One of the best things about Beef Noodle Soup is that it can be found all over Taiwan, from high-end restaurants to humble street vendors. Each place has their own unique twist on the dish, so it's worth trying it at multiple locations to find your favourite version.

Overall, Taiwan's food scene is a true reflection of the island's rich culture and history. We encourage you to explore and discover your own favourite Taiwanese dish - happy eating!

Don't forget to include @rollinggrace or #RollingGrace in your Instagram posts to share your travel and dining moments with us. Let's connect and inspire each other!


  1. everything are look so good, makes me want to go there and eat everything there...

    1. Hey Tommy, I'd totally recommend going to Taiwan just for the food. They definitely have the best dishes especially those from the night markets!

  2. why most of the dishes ada pork. i want to try steam bun. i heard it is famous in taiwan

  3. Dalam banyak makanan kat situ. Paling tahu dan suka adalah pearl milk tea. Nampak sedap betul

  4. I agree, Taiwan is a food haven. I love the street food especially. They're not all healthy, but totally worth the extra calories ��

  5. wah so many unique and amazing foods at Taiwan. hope someday i will do food hunting at Taiwan..

  6. Lain-lain tak pandang, yang smelly tofu tu sedapnyaaa... nikmat kalau makan time musim sejuk tu...

  7. semua nampak sedap !! tapi paling menarik perhatian saya, itu lah - boba tu.. hahaha~ minum sejuk-sejuk, lega tekak..

  8. I miss Taiwan so much! Hope to visit soon! With my little girl ! Nyummm!!!

  9. I wish to visit there someday, the beef noodle looks so good. Hopefully it is not too hard to find halal restaurants there.

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