If you’re a certified street food lover, Taiwan is your destination. As the sun goes down and night time starts to creep in, many of its streets turn into night markets serving as food haven for both locals and visitors. From the capital city of Taipei to the southern city of Tainan, Taiwan draws visitors to its delectable street food.
Navigating the streets with a plethora of food choices can be difficult for visitors, especially first time night market adventurers. What to order? Can I handle the taste? These are just some of the questions that cloud over a visitor’s mind. To save you from trouble, here are ten must-try street food in Taiwan.
1. Deep-fried squid with salt and pepper
Large deep fried squid skewered on a stick, with their crispy tentacles spreading outwards, it is hard to miss this street food. Its mere size creates curiosity, but it serves as a reminder of the maritime nature of Taiwan, rich in marine life. Crispy, this is a good treat to nibble as you explore the rest of the night market. If the size bothers you, many stalls offers bite-sized deep fried squids as well.
2. Torched Beef Cubes
With a myriad of choices, there are some street in Taiwan that has captured the hearts of visitors – and they seem not to get over with it! One of these is Taiwan’s torched beef cubes. This flame-grilled wagyu has now been brought in other countries like Singapore. First, beef are torched for five minutes before cutting them into bite-sized pieces and seasoned with salt. The result is a melt-in-the-mouth meaty treat.
3. Castella Cheesecake
The Portuguese introduced sponge cake in Nagasaki and became the famous Japanese cheesecake. In Taiwan, it is made even better, or should we say, fluffier and tastier. Castella Cheesecake is the product superstar of Le Castella Bakeshop of Taiwan. The Taiwanese cheesecake version is light with the smell of freshly cooked eggs. The baked cake is displayed to customers before it is cut into 10 slices. Quite addictive, be prepared to queue for Castella Cheesecake.
4. Rice Sausage, Taiwanese Sausage
Quite unique in Taiwan, Taiwanese sausages can be meat or glutinous rice ( surprise, surprise!). From the more familiar meat sausage, Taiwan also has the rice sausage and considered a comfort food among locals. Now order the so-called ” small sausage in large sausage”. The “small” sausage is the meat sausage while the ” big” sausage is the rice sausage. Basically, it resembles a hotdog in the bun with the rice sausage as the bun. Isn’t it cool?
5. Taiwanese Breaded Chicken or Ji-Pai
Fried chicken seems like a global comfort food and in Taiwan, they do there fried chicken quite better. Known as Hao Da Ji Pai or simply, Ji-Pai, it is the country’s version of breaded fried chicken. Tastes different, less oily, and from the looks of it, it is unique – it is almost 12 inches wide! First served in 1992 by Hot Star, it is hard to miss this food in any night market across Taiwan. Chicken breast is pounded until steak-sized, marinated, coated, and then deeply-fried. Best for sharing! Or maybe not.
6. Prince Cheese Potato
Take your baked potato with cheese to the next level when food tripping in Taiwan. For cheese and potato lover, don’t miss scouting for Prince Cheese Potato. Mashed potato is stuffed with boiled egg, coated with breadcrumbs and then fried. For the sauce, it’s cheese. Lots of cheese. And bacon bits, ham, corn, pineapple. It’s a symphony of ingredients. Delicious.
7. Coffin Bread
If you happen to be traveling in the Tainan City, don’t miss this street food – coffin bread. Nothing to fear, this is Taiwan’s version of clam chowder bread bowl. Similar to its western version, this bread bowl bowl is made from hallowed deep-fried ( or toasted) bread then poured with a creamy soup of chicken, seafood, mushrooms, and other local ingredients. To complete its look, it is then covered with a bread served like a lid. Voila! Coffin bread!
8. Scallion Pancake
A breakfast and snack staple in Taiwan, spring onion pancake or scallion pancake is also widely available Taiwan’s street market. If you are looking for cheap street food in Taiwan or a light food to nibble during your night market tour, this flaky flatbread wont disappoint.
9. Peanut Ice Cream Roll
One of Taiwan’s classic snacks, Peanut Ice Cream Roll looks like an ice cream spring roll or burrito. With this treat, you get two scoops of cream, peanut brittle shavings, and coriander wrapped in spring roll wrapper. The different flavors like the coriander and contrasting textures of the peanut candy and ice cream tingles your palate.
10. Sea Salt Latte
Taiwan has been synonymous with Bubble Tea or Pearl Milk Tea, but another drink that Taiwan is slowly exporting to other countries is Sea Salt Latte. Brought by 85°C Bakery Cafe, adding salt aims to give more kick to your coffee. Chinese has been adding salt to their fruits to bring out its sweetness and the same thing applies to the brew. It teases your tastebuds and once you acquired the taste, the salt in the froth brings out the coffee flavor to your drink.
One of the things to do when in Taiwan is to discover and taste its street food. A feast not just for the tastebuds but to the overall psych of a visitor, get to know more about Taiwan with every bite of its street food.
Check out other fun things to do in Taiwan with Indiway.com!
Spend an interesting half-day learning, exploring, seeing, doing and cycling as you join us on the ➡ Taiwan Dongshan River Tour
Discover ➡ Taiwan A Lang Yi Trail Hiking Day Tour for an epic hiking tour!
You can also visit the gorgeous ➡ Taiwan Thousand Island Lake & Pinglin Tea Plantation Tour