02 June 2024

Where to eat in Taipei: best coffee & food guide

If you still need a reason to travel to Taiwan… the food is fantastic! The charming street food stalls on every corner, the amazing night markets, the strong influences from both Chinese and Japanese cuisine, and of course, authentic Taiwanese food. In this Taipei food guide, I’ll show you where to eat in Taipei. Sharing my favorite spots for restaurants and the best coffee in Taipei.

Taipei Eats Food Tour

I always find a food tour a great way to quickly learn more about local food. If you, like me, are not yet familiar with Taiwanese food, I highly recommend doing a food tour in Taipei during your first few days.

I took the ‘Iconic Food Tour’ from Taipei Eats. With an English speaking local you visit various restaurants and street food stalls to get acquainted with typical Taiwanese dishes in about four hours . You also visit a market to learn more about local ingredients. Make sure you come with an empty stomach because you will get plenty to eat!

This food tour helped me enormously in choosing what to eat at the night markets for the rest of the trip. There is so much choice that you otherwise wouldn’t know where to start. My favorite is the gua bao, which is a steamed bun with tender pork belly, also known as a Taiwanese burger.

And have you ever heard of stinky tofu? If not, you will at least smell it regularly in Taiwan. It’s an aroma (or let’s be honest: stench) that you can’t avoid when walking through a night market. Most Taiwanese love this fermented tofu snack (it’s also said to have some health benefits), so I definitely wanted to try it. And a food tour is perfect to have your first stinky tofu experience.

The restaurant where Taipei Eats takes you is specialized in stinky tofu. You get to try two different types, varying in the strength of fermentation. The mild variant is what you’ll mostly find at night markets, while the strong one is for true enthusiasts. I’m not a difficult eater, but this was really a once and never again experience. Still, it’s something you should try.

Another reason to do this tour at the start of your trip is that afterwards they send you an incredibly helpful where to eat in Taipei document with great recommendations.

Food guide Taipei: Best coffee

If you’re a coffee lover, you’ll have a great time in Taipei. There’s a thriving coffee scene in Taipei with so many nice specialty coffee shops that you won’t be able to try them all. Whenever I’m in a busy city like Taipei, I love taking a break with a delicious cappuccino. Below are my favorite coffee spots.

Kite Coffee

Although I had found some coffee shops in advance,  I discovered Kite Coffee when I was walking around the Da’an district on my first day in Taipei. And what a great place! It’s run by super lovely people who clearly love great coffee. The doormat reads ‘bad couple offer good coffee,’ but I couldn’t find anything ‘bad’ about it. In fact, when I clumsily (probably due to jet lag) knocked over my cup and spilled half my coffee, I immediately got a new one.

Address: No. 6, Lane 676, Guangfu S Rd, Da’an District, Taipei City

Summer Savage

Summer Savage in the Zhongshan district is not a café but more a coffee kiosk in a quiet street. It looks very photogenic with the wooden elements, but they also make very good coffee. There are a few benches on the side and across the street where you can relax and drink your coffee. But most people take their coffee to go.

Address: No. 1, Lane 330, Songjiang Rd, Zhongshan District, Taipei City

Le Cinq

Based on the name and the photos, you would think you are in France. And Le Cinq does indeed look European. I was there on a warm day, but with all the open windows and doors, it was delightfully cool. Besides enjoying my cappuccino, I also had a super delicious cinnamon bun. A great place for lunch.

Address: Ln 83, Section 1, Keelung Rd, Xinyi District, Taipei City

Beam Coast Coffee

Another unexpected discovery, this time on the day before I flew back to the Netherlands. Because of that I unfortunately couldn’t enjoy it more often, but Beam Coast Coffee definitely belongs on this list of the best coffee in Taipei. Like Summer Savage, this is also a coffee kiosk and not a café. And it’s close to my hotel, Proverbs, in the Da’an district. A perfect place to get your caffeine kick in the morning before you start exploring the city.

Address: No. 19, Lane 52, Section 1, Da’an Rd, Da’an District, Taipei City

Where to eat in Taipei: great restaurants

You can make eating in Taipei as cheap or expensive as you want. Every city I visited had one or more night markets where you can eat super tasty food for a few euros. In Taipei, you will find about twenty of them. There are even a few stalls with a Bib Gourmand mention in the Michelin guide!

On the other hand, there are the modern, luxurious restaurants where you pay at least as much as you’d pay at home. For example, the restaurant Raw, with two Michelin stars, is super popular and therefore must be booked well in advance. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to eat here.

Below I share some of my favorite restaurants in Taipei where I ate during my trip.

Din Tai Fung

Coffee and food guide to help you where to eat in Taipei. Din Tai Fung restaurant in Taipei 101, Taiwan

If you’ve been reading more about where to eat in Taipei, it won’t surprise you that Din Tai Fung is mentioned first. It’s almost as if a trip to Taipei isn’t complete without eating at Din Tai Fung. That’s how popular it is.

Din Tai Fung started in Taipei and now has several restaurants in Taiwan and internationally. My first time eating at Din Tai Fung was when I visited Singapore. They are especially famous for their pork soup dumplings (Xiao long bao). The Michelin guide even awarded it a Michelin star. Despite this, the food here is very affordable.

As famous as they are, that’s how infamous their waiting times are. At the entrance, you see a sign with the average waiting time, and on the busiest days, this can go up to 1.5 – 2 hours. If you want to eat here, get a ticket with a number on it first. When your number is called, the staff will take you to your table.

Luckily, I only had to wait 15 minutes. On my first day in Taipei, I was so jet-lagged that I could eat no matter what time it was. I went to the Din Tai Fung restaurant in Taipei 101 on a weekday at 11:15 am and was seated fifteen minutes later.

Address: Taipei 101 Shopping Center, City Hall Rd, Xinyi District, , Taipei City

Tamed Fox

Looking for a nice brunch or lunch restaurant in Taipei with healthy, western dishes on the menu? Go to Tamed Fox. They have two locations in Taipei. I went to their restaurant in the Da’an district; the other is in the Xinyi district.

I very much enjoyed my sandwich and green smoothie. This was on my last day in Taiwan. And while I greatly enjoy the local food, at some point, I’m just craving fresh bread. Fortunately, they have that at Tamed Fox.

Address: No. 5, Lane 76, Siwei Rd, Da’an District, Taipei City

Ossu Handroll & Bar

As I mentioned earlier, eating out in Taipei is not always cheaper than at home. But my dinner at Ossu Handroll & Bar was really worth it. So when you’re deciding where to eat in Taipei, I would recommend going here.

The restaurant opened in 2023, so it hadn’t been around long when I was there. The concept is very nice. All guests are sitting at the bar while they serve you different handrolls. It’s a set menu of 8 dishes plus dessert. Super tasty!

Address: No. 58, Lane 233, Section 1, Dunhua S Rd, Da’an District, Taipei City

Addiction Aquatic Development

When asking people where to eat in Taipei, most of them will recommend going to Addiction Aquatic Development. It’s hard to describe exactly what Addiction Aquatic Development is. Yes, you can eat here (you should). But it’s also a kind of luxury supermarket for exclusive ingredients. And upon entering, you walk past huge fish tanks.

As for the food, you can also take dishes to go, but I would recommend staying. There are different options for eating at Addiction Aquatic Development. I chose the Sushi Bar, where you don’t get a chair but a place to stand at the bar. On the other side of the bar, the food is prepared for you. A treat if you love Japanese food. Note that payment is cash only, so make sure you have enough with you.

Address: No. 18, Alley 2, Lane 410, Minzu E Rd, Zhongshan District, Taipei City

Beef Noodle

One of the dishes that you should try in Taiwan is beef noodle soup. There are so many places where you can get it that it’s not really necessary to name a specific restaurant here.

I had lunch at a tiny restaurant called Beef Noodle (what’s in a name?) after visiting the Ximending district. It’s a bit hidden in an alley, but the line of locals that are waiting to get in shows you’re in the right place. The line moves quickly though.

There are a few other options on the menu, but basically, it revolves around one dish that is served to you at record speed: beef noodle soup. The only question you need to answer is whether you want the soup spicy or not spicy. I chose (very cowardly) not spicy but immediately regretted it when I looked around and saw that I was really the only one. All the locals opted for ‘spicy.’ To be honest, the not spicy soup tasted a bit bland, but the meat and noodles were delicious. Here too, they ask you to pay with cash.

Address: No. 15, Taoyuan St, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City

Ningxia Night Market

When it comes to eating in Taipei, it’s really all about the night markets. If you want, you can go to a different night market in Taipei every night and eat delicious food on a budget. It’s also the best place to try authentic Taiwanese dishes or snacks.

I loved visiting Ningxia Night Market. Thanks to Mark Wiens’ video (recommended), I had an idea of which stalls were worth visiting and what to order. It can be quite overwhelming when you walk around.

Food guide Taipei-Ningxia Night Market-street entrance

What I really enjoyed was lu rou fan, braised pork belly over rice. I got this at the first stall at the entrance. And the ‘Taiwanese burrito’ from Wu Wang Tsai Chi, which received a Bib Gourmand from the Michelin guide.

Another very popular night market is Raohe Night Market.


12 Useful Taiwan travel tips for first-time visitors

12 Useful Taiwan travel tips for first-time visitors

Taiwan is an amazing country to visit. It is quite modern, so you don’t have to worry much about getting from A to B or finding places to sleep. However, for many of us it’s a country on the other side of the world with from time to time its own ‘instructions’. Are...