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Farley Elliott

The 38 Essential Taipei Restaurants

Where to find Taiwanese hamburgers, lamb hot pot, and those signature steaming bowls of beef noodle soup

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The herby, salty-sweet, soulful cooking that serves as a hallmark of Taiwanese food is a mirror of its cultural past, which includes decades under Japanese rule and deep gastronomic roots in neighboring China. The island’s capital city, Taipei, weaves these influences into its famed night markets — evening bazaars chock-full of food vendors — that stretch into the wee hours of the morning. Thanks in part to the enthusiastic appetites of its denizens, Taipei is now the epicenter for what’s become one of the world’s most lusted-after cuisines; its umami-saturated soup dumplings and the satisfying “Q” texture of tapioca pearls have won fans across the globe.

The city’s most essential eateries run the gamut, from street stalls doling out fluffy scallion pancakes and steaming bowls of beef noodle soup, to modernist, Michelin-starred interpreters of Taiwanese traditions. Whatever you’re looking for, it’s all here.

Price key:

$ = 100 to 300 TWD (3 to 10 USD)
$$ = 400 to 600 TWD (12 to 19 USD)
$$$ = 600 to 1500 TWD (19 to 48 USD)
$$$$ = 1500 to 5000 TWD (48 to 153 USD)

Stephanie ZY Hsu is a freelance writer and UX designer based in Taipei.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
樂群三路301號 No.301, Lequn 3rd Rd
Taipei, Taiwan

For Taipei’s single-best fine­ dining experience, head to Raw, where acclaimed chef André Chiang serves a carefully curated tasting menu in a stunning space. Chiang (who is perhaps best known for his eponymous restaurant in Singapore) is a Taiwan native who offers traditional local fare with a Western twist. The experience might start with giant oysters topped with tiny pearls of sago followed by fatty pork over rice creatively layered with puffed rice and mushrooms. The star dish is the duck breast. [$$$]

Raw restaurant
Farley Elliott

2. RyuGin Taipei (祥雲龍吟)

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樂群三路301號5樓 5F, No.301 Lequn 3rd Rd
Taipei, Taiwan

One of the most expensive tables in town, RyuGin is also one of the city’s finest kaiseki destinations. It hails from the Roppongi district of Tokyo, where chef Seiji Yamamoto was awarded three coveted Michelin stars for his avant-garde take on Japanese fine dining. The Taipei location is appropriately fixated on Taiwanese ingredients — imagine lightly grilled fish sprinkled with mullet roe, or wax apple, a fruit unique to south and Southeast Asia, marinated in ginger syrup. [$$$$]

A starter at RyuGin Taipei
祥雲龍吟Ryugin/Facebook

3. Addiction Aquatic Development (上引水產)

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Lane 410, Minzu E Rd & Alley 2, Lane 410, Minzu E Rd, Zhongshan District
Taipei City, Taiwan 104

A photogenic temple to seafood offering platters of fresh sashimi and premade bento boxes that can be eaten on the spot. Also a fish market, hot pot destination, sushi bar, and restaurant. Think Dean & DeLuca meets Tsukiji fish market. (See our full guide to the AAD complex here.) [$$]

Offerings from the stand-up sushi bar at Addiction Aquatic
Clarissa Wei

4. Gabee Coffee

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Alley 25, Lane 113, Section 3, Minsheng E Rd & Alley 21, Lane 106, Section 3, Minquan E Rd, Songshan District
Taipei City, Taiwan 105

Award-winning barista Van Lin opened Gabee in 2004, and a month later he won the Taiwan Latte Art Championship. Compared to other coffee shops, the menu is extensive. There’s carbonated coffee and a fascinating repertoire of concoctions that take advantage of Taiwan’s seasonal gourds and vegetables. The sweet potato coffee is Taiwan’s answer to pumpkin spice latte — hearty, sweet, and topped with a slice of caramelized potato. [$]

A caffeinated concoction at Gabee Coffee
Clarissa Wei

5. Peacock Bistro (孔雀)

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No. 197, Section 1, Dihua St, Datong District
Taipei City, Taiwan 103

Taipei’s historic Datong district thrived in the early 20th century as a major harbor for merchant ships and their wares, but lost its luster as eastern sections of Taipei began to boom in subsequent decades. A recent revitalization of the district has led to a profusion of hip eateries, boutiques, and speakeasies springing up among the old dried-goods warehouses. Tucked behind the lush courtyard of an elegant stone mansion (fronted by the quaint bakery Salt Peanuts Cafe [鹹花生]), Peacock Bistro boasts a stunning bar lined with glass jars containing a myriad of infusions, mimicking the area’s traditional medicine shops. The menu features light dishes that wink at Taiwanese classics, like the delicate oyster fritter (a modern spin on traditional Taiwanese fried oysters), or fried chicken made with a sake- and peanut-infused batter. [$$]

6. SunnyHills (微熱山丘)

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Alley 4, Lane 36, Section 5, Minsheng E Rd, Songshan District
Taipei City, Taiwan 105

Shortcakes stuffed with condensed pineapple jam are unique to Taiwan and commonly given out as presents. While other companies might add winter melon to cut costs, SunnyHills’ recipe is pure pineapple and made by hand. The product only has a 15-day shelf life, so don’t wait to scarf these down. [$]

The famed pineapple cake from SunnyHills
SunnyHills

7. Fujin Tree Taiwanese Cuisine & Champagne (富錦樹台菜香檳)

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10548, Taiwan, Taipei City, Songshan District, Lane 199
Dunhua North Road, 17號1樓

Another venture from the Fujin Tree Group, whose Taipei empire spans cafes, specialty stores, and clothing — Fujin Tree Taiwanese Cuisine & Champagne offers traditional banquet dishes such as dong po rou (fatty pork belly braised in soy sauce) alongside an extensive champagne menu. The usual banquet restaurant signifiers — brocade tablecloths, bottles of Taiwan Beer — are absent, replaced by a minimalist interior peppered with ethereal dried flower sculptures and polished wood furniture. [$$ - $$$]

8. Lin’s Family Lamb Furnace (林家蔬菜羊肉爐)

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Jilin Rd & Lane 132, Songjiang Rd, Zhongshan District
Taipei City, Taiwan 104

Lin’s is the best place for dinner on a cool Taipei evening. The menu is strictly lamb — unlike its hot pot competitors, it is devoid of typical ingredients like fish balls or tofu. The point is to focus on the meat. The broth is a hodgepodge of herbs that includes goji berries. Bitter, leafy vegetables are recommended as supplements; opt for chrysanthemum greens when in season. The restaurant closes its doors in July, August, and September: It’s too hot and humid for lamb hot pot. [$$]

Hot pot at Lin’s Family Lamb Furnace
Clarissa Wei

9. Mountain and Sea House (山海樓)

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No. 16, Lane 11, Section 2, Zhongshan N Rd, Zhongshan District
Taipei City, Taiwan 104

Mountain and Sea House is an ode to Taiwanese banquet food, and thus best when enjoyed in a large group. The organic fare is sourced entirely from local farms, including the owners’ own farm in Nan’ao — an indigenous township in the southern part of Yilan County, Taiwan. The menu’s pièce de résistance is a whole pig baked inside a salt-­based meringue, cracked open with a hammer. But don’t skip the fried rice layered with powdered mullet roe and abalone, seasoned with aboriginal spices. [$$$]

A seafood dish at Mountain and Sea House
Clarissa Wei

10. My Stove (My 灶)

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No. 9-1, Lane 100, Songjiang Rd, Zhongshan District
Taipei City, Taiwan 104

Fatty pork over rice is a splendid Taiwanese comfort dish and has become, over the years, the main draw at this quaint Taiwanese restaurant, an intentional flashback with lanterns and papered walls. It’s all small shared plates, and both the fried squid balls and white­-cut chicken are lovely ways to start. There’s also creamy mapo tofu cooked with eggplant and sesame oil-laced chicken over sticky rice. [$$]

Pork over rice at My Stove
Clarissa Wei

11. Raohe Night Market (饒河夜市)

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饒河街, Taipei
105, Taiwan

Historically, Taiwan’s legendary night markets were formed around temples — an organic response to the crowds of people looking for something to eat after paying their respects. So began Raohe Night Market, one of the oldest evening bazaars in Taipei. Find the stand at the main entrance to partake in the market’s famous Fuzhou-style black pepper buns stuffed with pork. The dish comes out piping hot and is well worth the long line. (See our full guide to Raohe Night Market here.) [$]

The entrance to Raohe Street Night Market
An Rong Xu

12. Liu Mama Cold Noodle (劉媽媽涼麵)

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No. 37號, Section 5, Civic Blvd, Songshan District
Taipei City, Taiwan 105

A favorite haunt of Taipei taxi drivers (always good sign), this sprawling street stall beneath a busy highway overpass serves up heaping plates of liang mian, literally “cold noodles.” Dressed with silky sesame sauce, julienned cucumbers, and chile oil, the noodles are typically paired with steaming bowls of miso soup swirled with egg and gong wan, hearty Chinese meatballs. Insiders know not to skip the equally revered re chao, or quick-fry eatery next door, with open-air tables dishing out fresh, stir-fried seafood until the early hours. [$]

13. Ay-Chung Flour-Rice Noodle (阿宗麵線)

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Section 1, Zhonghua Rd & Emei St, Wanhua District
Taipei City, Taiwan 108

Pig intestine vermicelli served in a thick pottage soup sounds unconventional, but don’t overlook it. The silky-thin rice vermicelli, cooked in a starch-heavy broth of aromatics, harmonizes with the chopped intestines, which have a rubbery texture and aren’t at all overpowering. Sambal on the side is a wonderful addition for spice lovers. [$]

Pig intestine vermicelli soup at Ay-Chung
Clarissa Wei

14. Fu Hang Dou Jiang (阜杭豆漿)

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Zhongzheng District
Taipei City, Taiwan 100

Fu Hang has gained a cultish following for its Taiwanese breakfast, drawing crowds as early as 8 a.m. All the traditional offerings are available here: Roasted flatbreads are nicely crisped on the outside and the salted soy milk is capped with the perfect combination of toppings — a sprinkling of fried dough, miniature shrimp, pickled vegetables, and chile. [$]

Soy milk breakfast at Fu Hang Dou Jiang
Ben Bussman

15. Shao Shao Ke (勺勺客)

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No. 27, Section 1, Hangzhou South Road, Zhongzheng District
Taipei City, Taiwan 100

Shao Shao Ke is an ode to the cuisine of Shaanxi, a province in China with a strong love for cumin and noodles. On the menu, anything with lamb and noodles is fair game. This may be the only place in town with fried Chinese cheese: Served in deep­-fried dough and topped with powdered sugar, the dish must be reserved ahead of time. Paomo, crumbled flatbread served in broth, is also a must. [$$]

A dish at Shao Shao Ke
Clarissa Wei

16. Ice Monster

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No. 297號, Section 4, Zhongxiao East Road, Da’an District
Taipei City, Taiwan 106

Ice Monster is a champion for shaved snow — frozen flavored milk shaved into creamy ribbons and accessorized with toppings. The “mango avalanche,” which comes topped with cubed mangoes and mango sorbet, is the best seller. Over the years Ice Monster has become a Taipei institution, so prepare for extremely long lines. Avoid on the weekends. [$]

The shave ice at Ice Monster
Ice Monster

17. Dragon Inn Dumpling House (龍門客棧餃子館)

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No. 19號, Lane 61, Linsen South Road, Zhongzheng District
Taipei City, Taiwan 100

Though Taipei may be known more for its soup-filled xiao long bao, thick-skinned steamed dumplings remain a staple of Taiwanese cuisine. Quick-serve canteens spread across the city dole out platters of hot dumplings filled with juicy, scallion-flecked meat to busy commuters and students. If it’s a question of atmosphere, nothing comes close to Dragon Inn, a Shandong restaurant frequented by denizens of the Linsen South Road area as well as political and business heavyweights. The ramshackle storefront and aged-wood interior could double as a setting for a kung fu flick. While Dragon Inn is famous for its generously stuffed dumplings (don’t forget a splash of dark vinegar and sesame oil in the soy dipping sauce), there’s also an unmissable spread of soy-braised seaweed, tofu, and a variety of meats at the chaotic front counter. [$]

Dumplings at Dragon Inn
Samuel TJ Ho/Facebook

18. Eastern Ice Store (東區粉圓)

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No. 38號, Lane 216, Section 4, Zhongxiao East Road, Da’an District
Taipei City, Taiwan 106

Taiwan has a storied tradition of xiao chi, a variety of “little eats” doled out from street stalls and hole-in-the-wall restaurants all across the island. This particular dessert specialist, located on the food-laden Alley 216 in the city’s East District, has garnered a loyal following for its fen yuan, sweet treats made by mixing mashed taro or yam with sweet potato flour. This provides the coveted chewy Q texture beloved in Taiwanese desserts. A base of shaved ice supports your choice of toppings, anything from green and red bean, stewed peanuts and taro, gingko, aiyu (a refreshing jelly made from fig seeds), and of course, the crowd-favorite fen yuan. [$]

Fen yuan at Eastern Ice Store
Sara Lin/Facebook

19. Orange Shabu Shabu House (橘色涮涮屋)

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No. 29-2號, Section 4, Ren'ai Road, Da’an District
Taipei City, Taiwan 106

With large pots of broth served alongside sumptuous spreads of ready-to-cook meat and vegetables, restaurants specializing in huo guo, or hot pot, are ubiquitous in Taipei. Orange has separated itself from the pack with its luxe lounge-like setting with semi-private booths and a full-service wait staff that cooks diners’ selections in signature orange-tinted copper pots. The main draw here is the high-quality seafood, ranging from photogenic platters of emperor crab and plump oysters to buttery scallops and fat filets of fresh fish. [$$$ - $$$$]

A luxe hot pot spread at Orange Shabu Shabu House
Orange Shabu Shabu/Facebook

20. Yu Chocolatier (畬室法式巧克力甜點創作)

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仁愛路4段112巷3弄10號
Taipei, Taiwan

There’s been a French-pastry boom in Taipei in the last decade, in part because many local pastry chefs who trained in Paris returned home to open their own space. Yu’s chocolates are no doubt the best in the city and the space is arranged like a jewelry shop, washed in an elegant turquoise blue. Keep an eye out for cake made out of a passionfruit milk-chocolate mousse and fruit gelee draped over a delicate hazelnut-praline crunch. [$$]

Fanciful pastries at Yu Chocolatier
Yu Chocolatier/Facebook

21. Tua (攤)

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No. 15-1, Lane 44, Siwei Road, Da’an District
Taipei City, Taiwan 106

In Taiwanese Hokkien, the term “tua” refers to a gathering of loved ones over a meal. This unassuming two-story restaurant in the city’s East District feels like the setting of an intimate dinner party, with dim lighting, antique furniture, and bursts of greenery. The food — listed on a hand-lettered menu — is like a homey version of Taiwanese fine dining, with twists on traditional preparations and an emphasis on seasonal ingredients. Think sausage infused with gaoliang (the local sorghum-based liquor), a fried rice-like risotto topped with fish roe, and braised beef with notes of kumquat. To finish off the meal, choose from a selection of French pastries made in-house. [$$$]

22. Xiao Lin Seafood Restaurant (小林海產店)

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No. 574-1號, Guangfu South Road, Da’an District
Taipei City, Taiwan 106

Eateries dishing out re chao are an integral part of Taiwanese dining culture. The atmosphere at these ultra-casual eateries tends toward large, raucous groups, and the food — salty, oil-drenched, and inexpensive — is the ideal accompaniment for bottle after bottle of cold Taiwan Beer. The city is inundated with re chao, typically festooned by red lanterns. Xiao Lin has garnered cult status for its exceptionally fresh seafood, ranging from fried clams, thick slices of sashimi, shrimp balls laced with pineapple and mayonnaise, and buttery, fat prawns dipped in soy sauce and wasabi. You’ll also find reliable versions of grilled steak and other re chao staples like three-cup chicken and stewed stinky tofu. [$ - $$]

A dish at Xiao Lin Seafood
Airbnb/Xiao Lini

23. Shin Yeh (欣叶)

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No. 7, Section 5, Xinyi Rd, Xinyi District
Taipei City, Taiwan 110

While Shin Yeh has locations all throughout Taipei, this one has the best view in town, from the 85th floor of Taipei 101 — the tallest building on the island (and the tallest building in the world until 2010). It’s a grand space with crystal chandeliers and white tablecloths, yet the food is approachable. Think squid, deep­-fried oysters, lots of lobster, and heaps of abalone­. [$$$]

Shin Yeh

24. Din Tai Fung (鼎泰豐)

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信義路二段194號, Taipei
106, Taiwan

With locations around the world, Din Tai Fung has become one of Taiwan’s most famous exports and the international gold standard for soup dumplings, aka xiao long bao. Flavor-­packed and enveloped in delicate wheat-flour wrappers, the pork-and-crab dumpling is a classic and the most traditional of them all. Prepare for extremely long waits — the original location has become a mecca for dumpling enthusiasts around the world. [$$]

Clarissa Wei

25. Yongkang Beef Noodle (永康牛肉麺館)

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Section 2, Jinshan S Rd & Lane 31, Section 2, Jinshan S Rd, Da’an District
Taipei City, Taiwan 106

Yongkang has been around since 1963 and is known for its incredibly earthy beef noodle soup. Beef shanks are cooked in a deep broth of five-spice, star anise, and soy, creating a reddish-­brown sheen — the result of hours of cooking. While beef noodle soup can be found throughout Taipei, Yong Kang stands out for its extremely heady seasonings. [$]

The signature soup at Yongkang Beef Noodle
Clarissa Wei

26. Slack Season Noodle (度小月)

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No. 9-1, Yongkang Street, Da’an District
Taipei City, Taiwan 106

Danzai noodles — chewy wheat strands in a fragrant pork-and-shrimp broth, topped with a simmered meat sauce — are a beloved source of nourishment and nostalgia across the island. Slack Season Noodles originated in Taiwan’s old southern capital, Tainan, as a humble street stall more than a century ago, and has now expanded to a cluster of sleek locations around Taipei. The name stems from the shop’s founder, a fisherman, who began selling the minced pork noodles to supplement his income during the fishing “slack season.” The modern iteration offers a crash course on Taiwanese classics: the shop’s signature danzai noodles — theatrically cooked in a bubbling cauldron — accompanied by fried oysters, deep-fried tofu, and hot spring loofah stir-fried with clams. [$ - $$]

“100 Year” danzai noodles from Slack Season Noodle
Noodle1895

27. Wu Pao Chun Bakery (吳寶春)

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No. 124, Section 5, Xinyi Road, Xinyi District
Taipei City, Taiwan 110

Owner Wu Pao-chun won a reputation as one of Taiwan’s top bakers after seizing the top bread prize at the 2010 Bakery Masters competition in Paris. His rose-lychee bread has especially won the hearts of his enthusiasts; it’s made with millet wine, fragrant rose petals, and dried lychee. Red wine and dried longan fruit bread is another specialty of the shop, and definitely do not miss the flatbread stuffed with green olives. [$]

Baked goods at Wu Pao Chun

28. Jin Feng Braised Pork Rice (金峰魯肉飯)

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No. 10, Section 1, Roosevelt Rd, Zhongzheng District
Taipei City, Taiwan 100

Taiwan’s ultimate comfort food is undoubtedly lu rou fan, a steaming bowl of rice topped with a generous scoop of fatty, glistening, minced braised pork. Perfecting this single dish has been Jin Feng’s claim to fame, as evinced by the ubiquitous line of hungry patrons waiting outside the humble canteen. It typically serves as the foundation of a meal that includes a galaxy of side dishes, including steamed greens, braised egg, and tofu slices. But the lu rou fan is always the star. The best versions, like Jin Feng’s, have a precise proportion of fat to lean meat; the pork should be tender enough to melt into the bed of rice below, saturating it with oily swirls of soy sauce, cinnamon, and star anise. Those searching to up the hedonism can opt for an accompanying slab of uber-fatty braised pork belly. [$]

Braised pork rice and side dishes at Jin Feng
Kang-Lun Fan/Facebook

29. Mume

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Siwei Rd, Da’an District
Taipei City, Taiwan 106

Chefs Richie Lin, Kai Ward, and Long Xiong have, between the three of them, worked at Noma in Copenhagen, Per Se in New York, and Quay in Sydney. Their small-­plates restaurant Mume is a combination of their experiences. Expect chicken liver, made into a brulee and enhanced by Shaoxing wine, and elegant appetizers like scallop ceviche thinly layered with shaved daikon and ginger. Short rib sprinkled with pastrami spices makes a savory finale. [$$$]

Clarissa Wei

30. Gēn Creative

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No. 24號, Lane 63, Section 2, Dunhua South Road, Da’an District
Taipei City, Taiwan 106

Though now cooking under the name Gēn Creative (“gen” being the Chinese term for “root”), chefs Eric Liu, Hansang Cho, and Melanie Garcia are still dishing out their signature brand of culinary creativity. The menus rotate periodically — all the better to showcase their farm-to-table artistry, utilizing seasonal ingredients and produce sourced from around the island. A mainstay on their menu: the addictive “fried soup” bites — a past version involved hot-and-sour soup in a crispy breaded crust.

One of the ever-changing dishes at Gēn Creative
Gēn Creative

31. Mr. Meat (肉大人 肉舖火鍋)

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Section 2, Dunhua S Rd & Lane 81, Section 2, Dunhua S Rd, Da’an District
Taipei City, Taiwan 106

Mr. Meat is obsessed: Even the walls are adorned with meat paintings. Hot pots feature meats from around the world: There’s precious Iberico pork from Spain and cherry duck thigh from Taiwan, Berkshire pork belly comes from the States, and New Zealand is tapped into for its low-fat venison. The standard broth is sour cabbage soup — the acidity helps cut all the fat. [$$$]

Hot pot at Mr. Meat
Clarissa Wei

32. Leputing (樂埔町)

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No. 67, Section 2, Hangzhou South Road, Da’an District
Taipei City, Taiwan 106

This lovingly restored turn-of-the-last-century Japanese dormitory houses a restaurant, garden, and art gallery. The structure’s original features have been tastefully incorporated into a minimalist space, creating a peaceful dining experience where the vitality comes from the cuisine. The set menus — a fusion of French, Japanese, and Taiwanese ingredients and techniques — change regularly with the seasons to make the most of the local produce sourced from small farms around the island. [$$$ - $$$$]

*Don’t miss the gallery, which focuses on the restoration of traditional Chinese and Taiwanese aboriginal dyeing techniques and offers an array of scarves and accessories available for purchase.

The historic Japanese monastery that now houses Leputing
樂埔町 Leputing/Facebook

33. James Kitchen (小隱私廚)

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No. 42之5號, Yongkang Street, Da’an District
Taipei City, Taiwan 106

James Kitchen is a shrine to classic Taiwanese cuisine. Though it opened only a few years ago, the eatery — tucked just off the busy commercial bustle of Yongkang Street - is bedecked with retro memorabilia and old Taiwanese and Japanese ballads drift softly through the air. Owner James Tseng has spent almost his entire life in the kitchen, working to perfect the art of jia chang cai, or homestyle cooking. The menu is a celebration of hearty dishes like fried eggs with dried turnips, deep-fried oysters, and the ever-popular lion’s head meatballs made from crab and pork and braised with cabbage until tender. The star here, though, is lard-topped rice heaped with sauteed scallions, soy sauce, and rendered pork fat. It’s a dish borne of scarcity, but decades later, the combination remains as potent as ever. [$$]

The outside of James Kitchen
Eating in Taipei

34. Xiao Lizi Rice Porridge (小李子清粥小菜餐廳)

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No. 142之1號, Section 2, Fuxing South Road, Da’an District
Taipei City, Taiwan 106

One stretch along Fuxing South Road is famous for its row of late-night eateries, popular with revelers and nocturnal diners. The most beloved institution dishes up congee, a savory rice porridge, with a lavish buffet spread offering staples like cabbage sauteed with garlic, and Taiwanese delicacies like duck blood stewed with salted mustard greens. As the evening progresses the vibe shifts from a family hang into a prime spot for watching Taiwan’s rowdy night-owls. [$]

35. Wenzhou Street Radish Pancake (温州街蘿蔔絲餅達人)

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No. 186-1, Section 1, Heping East Road, Da’an District
Taipei City, Taiwan 106

To call this city-wide institution a “shop” would be an overstatement. But while insignificant in size, this street stall amid the bustle of National Taiwan Normal University on Heping East Road draws a gargantuan line of hungry patrons, regardless of time of day or even weather conditions. The reward for their patience? The shop’s luo bo si bing, or radish cake. Seasoned strips of radish are stuffed into a pastry shell and deep-fried to perfection, resulting in a crispy exterior and steaming, crunchy inside. Another star is the cong you bing, or green onion pancake: Green onion gets rolled into a flaky dough, which is then fried in oil and served with the optional runny egg topper. [$]

Wenzhou Street Radish Pancake
溫州街蘿蔔絲餅粉絲團/Facebook

36. Wistaria Tea House (紫藤廬)

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Section 3, Xinsheng S Rd & Lane 16, Section 3, Xinsheng S Rd, Da’an District
Taipei City, Taiwan 106

When it comes to teahouses in Taipei, nowhere is as iconic as Wistaria; owner Chou Yu is responsible for shaping the pu-erh tea scene both in Taiwan and abroad. Pu-erh is a fermented aged dark tea that originates from Yunnan. Go for the comprehensive selection, and to soak in some history: Wistaria used to be a clandestine gathering place for artists, intellectuals, and political dissidents during the struggle for Taiwanese democracy. [$$]

Wistaria Tea House
Clarissa Wei

37. Longtail

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No. 174號, Section 2, Dunhua South Road, Da’an District
Taipei City, Taiwan 106

Chef Lam Ming Kin has worked his way through some of the world’s most prestigious kitchens in cities like Paris, New York, and Hong Kong. Longtail, his latest effort (Lam already helms the French-leaning restaurant ChouChou), further showcases the chef’s affinity for menus featuring contemporary cuisine with an alchemic mix of flavors inspired by his travels. Expect a wide range of Southeast Asian and East Asian elements starring in complex dishes, like shrimp sliders with pickled onions and Sriracha mayo and a pork chop with sukiyaki sauce and taro. The impressive cocktail menu and late-night kitchen cater to after-hours diners. [$$ - $$$]

A dish at Longtail
Longtail/Facebook

38. Lan Jia Gua Bao (藍家割包)

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Section 3, Roosevelt Rd & Shida Rd, Da’an District
Taipei City, Taiwan 106

It’s hard not to love the gua bao, Taiwan’s answer to the hamburger: a fluffy white bun enclosing stewed, fatty pork belly. The delicacy reportedly has its roots in China’s Fujian province, but gained traction in Taiwan, where it’s a festival food during the annual Weiya celebrations. At Lan Jia, there are two types of fillings — lean or fatty pork — and you want half­-and-­half. The bun is garnished with traditional pickled mustard greens and peanuts dusted with sugar and cilantro. [$]

The massive gua bao at Lin Jia
Clarissa Wei

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1. Raw

樂群三路301號 No.301, Lequn 3rd Rd, Taipei, Taiwan
Raw restaurant
Farley Elliott

For Taipei’s single-best fine­ dining experience, head to Raw, where acclaimed chef André Chiang serves a carefully curated tasting menu in a stunning space. Chiang (who is perhaps best known for his eponymous restaurant in Singapore) is a Taiwan native who offers traditional local fare with a Western twist. The experience might start with giant oysters topped with tiny pearls of sago followed by fatty pork over rice creatively layered with puffed rice and mushrooms. The star dish is the duck breast. [$$$]

樂群三路301號 No.301, Lequn 3rd Rd
Taipei, Taiwan

2. RyuGin Taipei (祥雲龍吟)

樂群三路301號5樓 5F, No.301 Lequn 3rd Rd, Taipei, Taiwan
A starter at RyuGin Taipei
祥雲龍吟Ryugin/Facebook

One of the most expensive tables in town, RyuGin is also one of the city’s finest kaiseki destinations. It hails from the Roppongi district of Tokyo, where chef Seiji Yamamoto was awarded three coveted Michelin stars for his avant-garde take on Japanese fine dining. The Taipei location is appropriately fixated on Taiwanese ingredients — imagine lightly grilled fish sprinkled with mullet roe, or wax apple, a fruit unique to south and Southeast Asia, marinated in ginger syrup. [$$$$]

樂群三路301號5樓 5F, No.301 Lequn 3rd Rd
Taipei, Taiwan

3. Addiction Aquatic Development (上引水產)

Lane 410, Minzu E Rd & Alley 2, Lane 410, Minzu E Rd, Zhongshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 104
Offerings from the stand-up sushi bar at Addiction Aquatic
Clarissa Wei

A photogenic temple to seafood offering platters of fresh sashimi and premade bento boxes that can be eaten on the spot. Also a fish market, hot pot destination, sushi bar, and restaurant. Think Dean & DeLuca meets Tsukiji fish market. (See our full guide to the AAD complex here.) [$$]

Lane 410, Minzu E Rd & Alley 2, Lane 410, Minzu E Rd, Zhongshan District
Taipei City, Taiwan 104

4. Gabee Coffee

Alley 25, Lane 113, Section 3, Minsheng E Rd & Alley 21, Lane 106, Section 3, Minquan E Rd, Songshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 105
A caffeinated concoction at Gabee Coffee
Clarissa Wei

Award-winning barista Van Lin opened Gabee in 2004, and a month later he won the Taiwan Latte Art Championship. Compared to other coffee shops, the menu is extensive. There’s carbonated coffee and a fascinating repertoire of concoctions that take advantage of Taiwan’s seasonal gourds and vegetables. The sweet potato coffee is Taiwan’s answer to pumpkin spice latte — hearty, sweet, and topped with a slice of caramelized potato. [$]

Alley 25, Lane 113, Section 3, Minsheng E Rd & Alley 21, Lane 106, Section 3, Minquan E Rd, Songshan District
Taipei City, Taiwan 105

5. Peacock Bistro (孔雀)

No. 197, Section 1, Dihua St, Datong District, Taipei City, Taiwan 103

Taipei’s historic Datong district thrived in the early 20th century as a major harbor for merchant ships and their wares, but lost its luster as eastern sections of Taipei began to boom in subsequent decades. A recent revitalization of the district has led to a profusion of hip eateries, boutiques, and speakeasies springing up among the old dried-goods warehouses. Tucked behind the lush courtyard of an elegant stone mansion (fronted by the quaint bakery Salt Peanuts Cafe [鹹花生]), Peacock Bistro boasts a stunning bar lined with glass jars containing a myriad of infusions, mimicking the area’s traditional medicine shops. The menu features light dishes that wink at Taiwanese classics, like the delicate oyster fritter (a modern spin on traditional Taiwanese fried oysters), or fried chicken made with a sake- and peanut-infused batter. [$$]

No. 197, Section 1, Dihua St, Datong District
Taipei City, Taiwan 103

6. SunnyHills (微熱山丘)

Alley 4, Lane 36, Section 5, Minsheng E Rd, Songshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 105
The famed pineapple cake from SunnyHills
SunnyHills

Shortcakes stuffed with condensed pineapple jam are unique to Taiwan and commonly given out as presents. While other companies might add winter melon to cut costs, SunnyHills’ recipe is pure pineapple and made by hand. The product only has a 15-day shelf life, so don’t wait to scarf these down. [$]

Alley 4, Lane 36, Section 5, Minsheng E Rd, Songshan District
Taipei City, Taiwan 105

7. Fujin Tree Taiwanese Cuisine & Champagne (富錦樹台菜香檳)

10548, Taiwan, Taipei City, Songshan District, Lane 199, Dunhua North Road, 17號1樓