Hello from Taipei!
As is the case on a visit to Taiwan, I’ve been eating all the food.
After the first week here I thought I was going to balloon into Augustus Gloop such was the frequency and gluttony of our indulgence, but it turns out that after a month here I’ve learnt the secret to staying trim on a Taiwanese diet… window shopping! As is the case in most of Asia, consumerism is rife and we seem to hop from one department store to the next on a daily basis. My iPhone tells me I’ve been easily clocking up 10,000 steps a day without even trying. Surely that calls for calories…
Here’s what’s been on the menu and in my mouth.
Western Vegetarian Food at Mia Cucina
Though Taiwan does vegetarian food well, its traditional style is fried, salty and same-y. I was craving fresh and raw and Mia Cucina did not disappoint. We ordered two salads, corn soup, portobello mushrooms, a cheese toastie and a flatbread to share between four of us. The perfect meal on a rainy Taipei day. I suggest you order more and take home the leftovers.
Location: No.48 Dexing West Road, Shilin District, Taipei 111. 111士林區德行西路48號
Coconut Chia Pudding at Cafe by Juicy Diary
Regrettably I had already eaten breakfast when we hit up Cafe by Juicy Diary but that didn’t stop me from ordering this chia pudding with seasonal fruit for elevenses. The owners hail from San Francisco and they bring fresh cold pressed juices and Instagram-worthy healthy eats to the Da’an district. My fellow diners had avocado and egg on toast and a brunch bagel. There are plenty of vegetarian options on the menu here.
Location: No. 2, Lane 14, Siwei Rd, Da’an District, Taipei City, 106. 台北市大安區四維路14巷2號一樓
Hot Pot at Kwan Xing Yuan / Easy House Vegetarian
This is by far my favourite meal in Taiwan so far. I came here 4.5 years ago and it was the stand-out place I requested we revisited. It’s a 15 minute train ride outside of Taipei but worth every minute of the journey to the commuter city of Banqiou. The menu is so good you’ll have a hard time deciding what to get – perhaps order too much so you can take it home and relive the memories?! I will certainly be coming again before we leave Taiwan – it’s also very vegan friendly.
Location: 58, Sec. 1, Zhongshan Rd, Banqiao District (opposite Taipei County Hall).新北市板橋區中山路一段158-1號. (I believe they have other locations around Taiwan – worth looking into for sure!)
Plant-based Whole foods at Plants
My friend Eva screamed when she saw hummus on the menu here. A year of living in Taiwan and being deprived of such a delicacy will do that to a girl! There’s nothing worse than bad hummus – and I wasn’t holding my breath on it being great – but this stuff hit the mark. I devoured the quinoa salad whilst Eva had a seaweed version. Plants describes itself as a “plant-based, gluten-free whole foods eatery” and as you’d expect from such a place, it’s a little pricey. Worth every penny though 🙂
Location:1F., No.10, Ln. 253, Sec. 1, Fuxing S. Rd., Da-an Dist., Taipei City 106. 106 台北市大安區復興南路一段253巷10號1樓
UDON (Japanese noodles) at Inaka Udon
Really great udon at Inaka Udon – the best I’ve had outside of Japan. I ordered a set which came with a side of tempura – the shrimp went straight to hubby 🙂 Udon is always satisfying and the portions here are big. Tofu and egg provide enough protein and there was a salad bar as part of the deal – I made 3 trips as I’ve been salad deprived!
Location: SONGYAN ESLITE SPECTRUM, No. 88 YangChang Rd. 信義區菸廠路88號
Matcha Ice Cream at Nana’s Green Tea
I simply adore anything matcha (green tea) flavoured. Nana’s Green Tea was popular when I lived in Tokyo 8 years ago and I’m delighted you can find their high quality drinks and desserts in Taipei, too. This is the matcha soft serve with rice flour dumplings and adzuki red bean paste. Simply delightful!
Location: 號, No. 96, Section 1, Wenhua 2nd Rd, Linkou District, New Taipei City, 244
Greek Food at Opa’s Taverna
Not the prettiest of photos but definitely worth including, if only for the rarity of being able to eat mediterranean food in Taiwan. My fellow diner is Taiwanese American and, having grown up in California, loves fresh food like I do. She explained to me that most Taiwanese do not – tomatoes are usually cooked, as is celery and cucumber and even romaine lettuce! So while Greek salads might not be so popular with many of the locals , we certainly enjoyed ours. We also had marinated eggplant, spanokopita (spinach pie) and dips. And yes – that is hummus you spot on the left, I’ll have to tell Eva – she’ll flip out!
Location: ATT Branch 4F., No. 12, Songshou Rd., Xinyi Dist, Taipei City. ATT 4FUN 4F(台北市松壽路12號)
Japanese Hot Pot / Set Meal at Kitaro
Kitaro does really reasonably priced set meals, and pictured above is the vegetarian version. Along with a pumpkin and bean curd skin hot pot, the set meal includes rice, unlimited tea, unlimited pickles plus coffee and dessert. This branch of Kitaro was in Taoyuan, a 40 minute train ride outside of Taipei but I’m including it because it has been one of my favourite meals so far. They also have locations in Taichung and Kaosiung, so if you’re doing any travelling whilst you’re in Taiwan, definitely look this place up.
That’s my round up of veggie eats in Taiwan – so far! Taiwan foodies, let me know if I’m missing any must-trys in a comment. Life is good when you eat good!