I’ve often said that eating is a national past time in Taiwan. There is no shortage of Taipei restaurants to choose from, and you can find everything from simple Taiwanese street food dishes to five-star international cuisine all over the city.
Eating out in Taipei is a lot of fun, and while it’s rare occurrence for me to stumble across a restaurant that I don’t like, it can still be tough to find restaurants that will blow your mind with their creativity and delicious offerings. These are the best restaurants in Taipei, in our opinion. We hope you’ll like them too!
If you’re looking for information on Taiwanese Street Food, you’re in the wrong place. Head over to my Guide to Taiwanese Street Food and let me know what you think!
The Kitchen Table at the W Hotel Taipei is one of my favorite buffet restaurants in Taipei. There is no better way to start your weekend (or end it) at The Kitchen Table for their Bubblissimo Sparkling Weekend Brunch.
Their dinner service buffet is also awesome, but we like the brunch option because it’s just a nice way to start your day.
Bubblissimo is an all-you-can-eat buffet with an opt-in all-you-can-drink sparkling white wine option, which makes it the perfect place for a not too boozy brunch. Two hours fly by in the blink of several glasses of sparkling wine and many plates of food.
There is something to please every taste bud at this incredible buffet restaurant, which is located on the 10th floor of the W Hotel in Taipei’s Xinyi District.
This American-style burger joint offers the best burgers in Taipei, in our humble opinion. We know, because we’ve tried most of them, and while there are some truly excellent burger restaurants in Taipei, Bravo Burger has been our reigning champ for the past three years. Their burgers are thick, juicy and well seasoned, and they’ve mastered the art of offering the perfect bun with their burgers.
Taiwan isn’t well known for its American food, but if it’s a gourmet burger experience that you’re seeking, look no further! Bravo Burger has been so successful over the past four years, they’ve opened three branches in Taipei, and they’re ALWAYS busy. Meals are reasonably priced at NT$240-NT$350 including a side and drink. They’ve got a wide range of burgers from traditional classics like their bacon cheeseburger to unusual concoctions such as their peanut butter burger. They also offer great milkshakes.
Located at: No. 13, Lane 24, Section, Roosevelt Road, Taipei at Gongguan MRT Exit 4, No. 2, Lane 140, Section 3, Minquan E. Road, Taipei at Zhongshan Jr. High School MRT Station, and No. 72, Section 4, Civic Boulevard, Taipei at Zhongxiao Xinsheng MRT Exit 1. Featured photo to the left: Bravo’s Jumbo Burger.
Calcutta Indian Food
Indian food can be expensive in Taiwan, but Calcutta is very affordable and they offer good value for the price. Calcutta has recently moved to a new location in Ximen. They operate out of a food court, but they have a full-scale restaurant that serves an excellent array of Indian favorites. The restaurant is owned by a brother-sister team who lived in Bengal City. Dishes are priced between NT$190 and NT$280. Our favorites are the vegetarian daal, butter chicken, and the chicken vindaloo, but I’ve tried pretty much everything on the menu and it’s all good!
Located at: 70 Xi Ning South Road (B1-2) in Ximending, Taipei
Din Tai Fung
Din Tai Fung is known all over the world now, thanks to its famous xiaolongbao and dumpling recipes. You’ll find Din Tai Fung franchises in places like Los Angeles, Shanghai, and Hong Kong, but we bet you didn’t know that it got its humble beginnings in Taipei. The restaurant is so popular, even Tom Cruise had to give it a try when he visited Taiwan in the summer of 2013!
Soup dumplings and dumplings are on order here, and at any given time, you’ll see a team of cooks in Din Tai Fung’s open concept kitchens pumping out handmade dumplings at a frantic pace.
We like Din Tai Fung because it’s cheap and delicious, and we know our food will be served piping hot and made to order. Plus, it’s always a quick meal. They don’t take reservations though, and it’s not uncommon to have to wait for your table for up to an hour if you arrive between during lunch hour or dinner hour. Lucky for us, they’ve got several locations throughout the city of Taipei. Taiwanese dumplings from Din Tai Fung featured to the left.
Located at: Various locations throughout Taipei, including Taipei 101, SOGO Fuxing, and Zhongxiao Dunhua MRT.
Dozo Izakaya Dining Bar
Dozo is an upscale Japanese beer hall that is beautifully decorated. It’s one of the trendiest places in town, the service is terrific, and the food can’t be beat. The menu is stocked with yummy treats like meat skewers, seafood dishes, and sushi rolls, but our favorite is the Seven Spice Flavored Tun, which is served cold with romaine lettuce.
We only go to Dozo once or twice a year because their dishes aren’t cheap. Dinner for two will probably set you back at least NT$2,000-NT$3,000, but it’s certainly worth visiting at least once while you’re in Taipei! Photo featured on the right.
Located at: Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall Station.
Hyatt Buffet at Cafe, Grant Hyatt Hotel
John and I have been going to the Hyatt buffet for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas dinner since we arrived in 2006. We also go for dinner from time to time throughout the year because their buffet is one of the best that we’ve been to in Taipei. It’s pricey, but it’s well worth the money spent. They’ve got a full salad bar with cold appetizers, a bread and cheese bar, a seafood bar, a dessert bar, a Chinese buffet offering at least 20 dishes, a fruit juice bar, a noodle bar and a full Western bar that offers everything from roast beef and turkey to glazed carrots and roasted potatoes. They once had brussel sprouts on offer, and those are next to impossible to find in Taipei. John loves the seafood bar, and he always gets his money’s worth of French and Canadian imported oysters. I have never had a bad meal at the Hyatt Cafe, and it has become an annual tradition of ours to have Christmas Eve dinner at the Hyatt. I’ve heard that Cafe also offers a brunch buffet, and that it’s excellent. I have no doubt that it is!
Located at No. 2 Xinyi District, Taipei City
When I want Vietnamese pho, this is where I go. I’ve tried a number of pho dishes in Taipei, but Pho Hao is exceptionally good. Judging from the number of visitors there each time I go, I’d say that others agree. This place is always packed! The prices are very reasonable, and they’re one of the few Vietnamese restaurants in town that use skinny rice noodles rather than wide rice noodles. Their broth is also bursting with flavor, good down to the last drop! There are a number of different kinds of pho on offer at Pho Hao. Try your pho wet or dry, with or without meat. We promise you’ll love it!
Located at: No. 43, Lane 190, Section 1, Dūnhuà South Rd, Daan District, Taipei City at Zhongxiao Fuxing MRT
A beautiful and enriching dining experience from start to finish, NAKED FOOD’s mission is to share their passion for life-giving food. Everything that they serve is raw vegan in its natural state, and wow, would you be amazed at how this food looks and tastes. From their raw vegan pizza with tree nut cheese, avacado, tomato, marinated onion and sliced pumpkin to their incredible raw cacao granola and chilled soups, everything on this menu will make your taste buds sing with delight.
Dishes are prepared with the utmost care and the presentation is stunning. It’s almost too pretty too eat. The restaurant is beautiful and relaxing and the staff are incredibly knowledgeable. The owners are extremely passionate about their food and this clearly shows with every details of their restaurant.
Address: No. 22-1, Lane 160, Xīnshēng South Road Section 1, Zhōngzhèng District, Taipei
There are many takes on sushi restaurants in Taipei, but there’s only one NCISushi. The dishes are fantastic and you get excellent value for your money. This is our new favorite restaurant for 2014. We visited back in November 2013, and we raved about the Salmon-licious and seared tuna to anyone who would listen until we got back to Taipei in January.
Since then, we’ve been back many, many times and we enjoy it as much as we did the first time. It’s one of our favorite date places. NCI stands for Northern Californian Inspired, and the sushi dishes here are some of the best and most unique dishes we’ve had in Taiwan.
This restaurant is one of my favorites and it seems to be one of Taipei’s best kept secrets. It also happens to be owned by my good friends Tamin Wang and Justin Robinette. We would eat at Tamin’s Place a couple times a month if they were closer to Banciao, but since we can’t, we always know we’re in for a treat whenever we visit.
Tamin serves specialty dishes such as his signature mentiko mushrooms, bbq-ed pork jowl, crispy tofu skin and grilled mackerel, as well as traditional rice dishes and udon noodles. His prices are VERY affordable. Tamin’s mentaiko mushrooms are pictured to the right.
Located at: No 23, Alley 6, Lane 621, Zhongshan District, Taipei
Thai Beer House in Ximen
This tiny family-owned restaurant is pretty much a mainstay in Taipei. It’s been around for as long as I’ve been visiting, and I’ve been going since 2006!
The lady who runs this Thai-Taiwanese fusion restaurant has been there for ages, and anyone who has been to Ximen probably knows where her restaurant is located. If you don’t, walk behind the Red House Theater and look for the Bear Bar. The Thai Beer House is located next to it. It has a Korean restaurant on the other side, and you’ll know it by the colorful photos of food pasted on the front doors.
Thai Beer House offers an English menu, and their staff mostly speak English. They offer a great mix of Thai and Taiwanese dishes, and the beer is cheap. I think they serve the best Pad Thai in town. They also make a mean spicy fried chicken breast.
Located behind the Red House Theater in Ximending.
If you’re a sandwich lover, you’ll LOVE Toasteria.
Taipei’s Home for Grilled Cheese, offers an astonishing array of grilled panini sandwiches. You won’t find Diet Coke, skim milk, or no low fat cheese at any Toasteria locations in Taipei. They only serve the good stuff!
From basic grilled cheese paninis to their pork Cubano, you’ll find over 40 panini sandwiches to choose from, all grilled to perfection and served with Toasteria’s signature fries and mustard sauce. The Cubano at Toasteria is featured on the right.
Located at: Toasteria has several locations throughout Taipei. Their flagship shop is at Zhongxiao Fuxing MRT Station.
VVG Bistro brings its patrons a unique dining experience flush with local produce and homemade recipes that are sure to knock your socks off. Bistro is one of six VVG establishments owned by Grace Wang, and each location is beautifully decorated, making your dining experience a truly special one.
I like VVG Bistro’s brunch specials best. Their rustic plate of Eggs Benedict drizzled in Hollandaise sauce, their chicken roulade and their pasta dishes are all excellent. If you’re lucky, they’ll have their chocolate and marshmallow fudge cake on display. Good cake can be hard to find in Taipei, so I always buy a few slices whenever I’m near VVG Bistro.
Whether you sit on the outdoor patio or inside its kitschy interior, VVG Bistro offers you a unique dining experience and Very Very Good food.
Located at: #20, Alley 40, Lane 181, Zhongxiao E Rd, Sec 4, Taipei at Zhongxiao Dunhua MRT Station
The Canadian in me really, really loves Whalen’s poutines. This is closest thing to authentic poutine that you can get in Taipei. All they’re missing are the cheese curds!
Whalen’s is a classic Canadian diner that serves up old-school cooking in the Da’An District. The owner makes everything from scratch, and if it’s not on the menu, he’ll do his best to make sure you get what you want. We recommend the Classic Canadian Poutine or the Lumberjack Poutine if you’re nursing a hangover. Other menu favorites are Whalen’s Cheeseburger and his breakfast skillets. The portions are extra-large, so bring your appetite!
Located at: No. 145, Section 2, Anhe Rd., Daan District
Well, that’s it. Please check back for more updates, as this is a list that will continue to grow. What are your favorite restaurants in Taipei?