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.
$ = 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.Read More