Taipei

I popped over to Taipei for a night during my visit to Hong Kong. Taiwan has been on my bucket list for a long time, largely due to one reason: food.

I’ve been thinking of re-adopting vegetarianism, but I was in full carnivore mode when I went to Taiwan in February. The best way to experience Taiwan is by eating everything that’s put in front of you. It’s going to be delicious – and cheap!

I intended to eat my way through the whole city, but little me only managed to scratch the surface in the 36 hours I was there. However, I got overexcited and researched enough for a week’s worth of meals. So here’s a non-exhaustive list of places you need to eat at while you’re visiting Taipei.

“Street Food”

Lin Dong Fan Beef Noodles: This is the first place I went to in Taipei (with my friendly Airbnb host of all people) and was served a bowl of salty deliciousness. No extra hot sauce needed.

Fuhang Soy Milk: Located on the second floor of Huashan Market serving soy-based breakfast. It can easily be spotted thanks to hour-long queue.

Tian Jin Onion Pancake: Scallion pancakes are a great grab-and-go snack, and the dude at Tian Jin does the best ones.

Lan Jia Gua Bao: Best steam buns in town stuffed with yummy pork belly and peanut sauce.

Purplehood: Great-looking donuts served out of a brightly-coloured shop.

Coffee

Kiosk: A Melbourne-inspired cafe that was located around the corner from my airbnb and made a solid flat white. Pass me the loyalty card!

The Kaffa Lovers: Cosy, hole-in-the wall coffee shop with delicious drips. Combine with a visit to the Huashan Creative Park.

Paper Street Coffee Company: Well-lit coffee shop with floor to ceiling windows that make it great for people watching.

Stone Espresso Bar: You could pluck this coffee shop out of Taipei and put it any neighbourhood in the world, and it’ll still feel like a “neighbourhood” coffee shop. They only do Aeropress and espresso brews; no pour overs.

The Lobby of Simple Kaffa: Located in the lobby of Hotel V, this is the home of the 2016 World Barista Champion, Berg Wu. Drink the award-winning Geisha.

Best Dinner

After walking around the busy streets of Taiwan all day, you deserve to pamper yourself over dinner, right? I picked Mume after several recommendations from various food bloggers. This place doesn’t disappoint. Well-balanced, good-looking dishes that melt in your mouth. Top points for presentation and usage of foliage. One constructive criticism is I wish they had bar seating for solo travellers like myself.

I’d highly recommend Taipei to all foodies. My only gripe is that there wasn’t enough to do in between all the meals. You should definitely pop by Taipei 101, and climb Elephant Hill for a cheaper view. I spent a lot of time in the Huashan 1914 Creative Park – it’s a 20th century wine factory that has been restored into a multi-purpose arts space. It’s also a great shopping spot for design enthusiasts.

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