10 Essential Street Food Dishes in Taipei, Taiwan

By hungryintaipei on August 25th, 2015


Taiwan has a long tradition of great food - from the native Taiwanese dishes to the influences of neighboring Fujian, and eventually, Japanese, and the huge influx of mainland Chinese who came to Taiwan after 1949. These people all brought with them their own regional specialties, making Taiwan the perfect melting pot for Chinese street food.

The country is beautiful, the people are kind, and the food is some of the best in the world. No wonder it often ranks high on the lists as a foodie destination, known for its many night markets and vibrant, dynamic food culture.

Here are some of our favorite street food dishes to get while in Taipei, Taiwan.

10. Stinky Tofu - Shenkeng Tofu Street

stinky-tofu-Credit- Flickr user JLim02.jpg
Courtesy of JLim02

Stinky tofu, or chòu dòufu, is a form of fermented tofu that has a strong odor. Some say it is reminiscent of strong body odor. Popular in Taiwan as a street food dish, the traditional method of producing stinky tofu is in a brine of fermented milk, vegetables and meat. You can tell right away when you walk by a stinky tofu stall, whether in a subway station or at a night market. Despite its pungent smell, which earned it the nickname of the “blue cheese” of tofu, it is delicious. For the best stinky tofu, visit the old Shenkeng Tofu Street on Shenkeng Street in Taipei, Taiwan.

9. Oyster Vermicelli Noodle Soup - Shilin Night Market

Courtesy of projectbabyboiron.wordpress.com

Oamisoir (Taiwanese: ô-á mī-sòa) is a popular noodle soup dish containing oysters and misua (Taiwanese vermicelli) and, sometimes, pork intestines. The unique tan color comes from the caramelized wheat noodles used in the dish and it can be found at street food stalls throughout Taipei, from Shilin Night Market to Ningxia night market. 

8. Oyster Omelets - Yuan Huan Bian Oyster Omelet

Courtesy of tastychomps.com

Oyster Omelets, often sold in night markets, consists of an egg omelet with a filling primarily composed of small oysters. Starch (typically potato starch) is mixed into the egg batter, giving the dish its thick consistency. A savory sauce is often poured on top of the omelet for added taste.

7. Gua Bao Pork Buns - Lan Jia Steamed Sandwich Shop

guabao-credit-opensourcefood-com - Copy1.jpg
Courtesy of opensourcefood.com

Gua bao (pinyin: guàbāo; literally: “cut bread”), is a Taiwanese street food consisting of a slice of stewed meat, usually pork belly, and other condiments sandwiched between flat steamed bread. Also known as “Taiwanese hamburgers,” the traditional filling for gua bao is a slice of tender braised pork belly, dressed with pickled mustard greens, fresh cilantro and ground powdered peanuts stacked between a fluffy steamed bun.

6. Beef Scallion Breakfast Crepes - Niu Rou Jian Bing  - Yuanyuan Xiaolongtangbao

Beef Scallion Breakfast Crepes - Niu Rou Jian Bing2_cropped.jpg
Courtesy of tastychomps.com

Jian bing, a traditional snack often eaten for breakfast, is a fried crepe made from a batter of wheat and grain flour that is fried on a griddle with an egg and beef, and can be topped with scallions and cilantro. It’s like a delicious Chinese morning breakfast burrito.

5. Mango Shaved Ice - Ice Monster

Mango Shaved Ice.JPG
Courtesy of tastychomps.com

For a perfect way to fight off the summer heat, try the mango shaved ice dessert. Made with heavenly, delicate shaved slivers of creamy ice (known as bao bing in Chinese), it is often topped with chunks of mango fruit and condensed milk or syrup. Other toppings include mung beans, strawberries, sweet potato, taro and more. 

4. Giant Fried Chicken Chop - Ji Pai - Hot-Star Large Fried Chicken 

Courtesy of tastychomps.com

Hot Star Large Fried Chicken serves their deep-fried chicken breast in the form of a large cutlet, spiced with garlic powder, Chinese five spice, sugar and other chili spices. The chicken is as large as your face and is a fun street food to snack on as you explore Shilin Night Market.

3. Taiwanese Sausage Wrapped in Sticky Rice Bun - Shilin Night Market

Courtesy of tastychomps.com

Small sausage in large sausage (small intestine wrapped in large intestine) is made of sweet and savory Taiwanese pork sausage wrapped in a sticky glutinous rice “sausage” bun. Chargrilled and served with garlic and sauces, this snack is similar to a Chinese hot dog.

2. Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup - Niu Rou Mian  - Lin Dong Fang

Courtesy of tastychomps.com

Beef noodle soup is the Taiwanese national soup. Made of stewed or red braised beef, beef broth, vegetables and Chinese noodles, it is often stewed and simmered for hours. Beef noodles is served with suan cai (Chinese sauerkraut) and scallions on top. At beef noodle soup shops in Taiwan, you also can find cold side dishes such as braised dried tofu, seaweed or pork intestine. 

1. Xiaolongbao Soup Dumplings - Din Tai Fung

Courtesy of tastychomps.com

Originally from Shanghai, xiaolongbao soup dumplings at the renown, Michelin-starred Din Tai Fung are silky smooth and are a must-try for visitors to Taipei. Xiaolongbao are usually filled usually with pork or a combination of pork with minced crab meat and roe. The soup inside the dumpling is created by steaming the gelatinous meat aspic soup that melts during the steaming process.


Meet the author


Joan H. created Hungry in Taipei in 2005 when she moved from California and couldn't find much information online about restaurants in English. She has since blogged about more than 600 restaurants, found places to fulfill her Mexican, cupcake, barbecue and pho cravings, and explored Taipei's night markets, shaved ice, dumplings and fine dining scene. She says Taipei has changed a lot in the last few years, and it's exciting to witness (and docum…... More