Begin your morning with a bowl of soy milk paired with Taiwanese-style fried fritters and clay oven rolls (known as shaobing in Chinese). Dip your fritters in the soy milk and chew away. Fu Hang Dou Jiang, or Fu Hang Soymilk (inside Huashan Market near Shando Temple MRT station Exit 5), is loved by locals and tourists alike, but expect to wait in a line for at least 30 minutes before you get to chomp on crunchy shaobing. Another favorite is Yung Ho Dou Jiang (102, Section 2, Fuxing S Rd).
Also read: Trying stinky tofu in Taipei
For carnivores, slurping a bowl of beef noodles for lunch is as Taiwanese as you get. Lin Dong-fang (274, Section 2, Bade Rd) is a great spot for this. You can order pure beef, pure tendon, or both for your bowl of noodles. Enjoy it with their savory signature bean curd dish (or hua gan). Once the noodle is served, add the secret spicy paste into the soup to elevate the experience. Take the MRT to Zhongxiao Fuxing station and leave at Exit 5; the restaurant is about 10 minutes away on foot.
After lunch, it would be a great time to explore the numerous tea and coffee shops in Taipei. Minsheng Community is an unrivaled spot for an afternoon adventure, with countless independent cafés and shops. Stop by Rokucyoume, which means “Land Lot Number Six” (7, Lane 6, Xinzhong St; facebook.com/rokucyoumecafe) when you get tired from walking. Enjoy this Japanese-style café’s matcha latte and matcha rolls. Nearby is Sometimes Bean (9, Alley 4, Lane 36, Section 5, Minsheng E Rd; facebook.com/sometimesbeans), which sells Taiwanese red-bean paste and custard pies, which are best enjoyed hot. The shop also offers its unique cheese-and-potato pie; order Taiwanese tea to go with your tiny snack.
Fried and trusted
Once voted the best fried rice in Taipei, the Minsheng Fried Rice (entrance of Lane 27, Section 5, Minsheng E Rd) street stall has a limited number of seats. Their salty fish fried rice and a bowl of veggie soup are well worth the 30-minute wait. If you can’t queue that long, just ask what the chef is cooking next and try that; you can never go wrong here, no matter what you order.
This article originally appeared in the April 2016 issue of Smile magazine.