This week we celebrated Valentine’s Day here in Taiwan…in August. Yes, you read that right! The Double-Seventh Day refers to the seventh day of the seventh month on the Chinese lunar calendar, also known as Qi Xi. While it’s not an official holiday, people still find plenty of ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day in Taipei. You might also be surprised to learn that the Taiwanese celebrate THREE days of love: Western Valentine’s Day, White Day in March and Qi Xi. This may be a little island, but the people here are big on love.
Another thing that people here really enjoy is food. Taipei does food 24/7 and you can always find something tasty to suit every budget and every palate. In honor of celebrating my third Valentine’s Day dinner this year, I thought I’d write a special post about our favorite romantic restaurants in Taipei.
Glancing through these ideas, you’ll notice that John and I like to spend money when we’re eating out for a special occasion. If you’ve got some budget restaurant suggestions, please do tell! We’d love to hear from you.
No.168 Prime Steak House – $$$
John took me to No. 168 for our anniversary a few years ago. The food here is divine. Most expats will tell you that decent steak can’t be found in Taiwan, but maybe it’s because they haven’t been to No 168! No 168’s beautifully cooked steaks will make smile with delight. Their steaks are perfectly cooked and practically melt in your mouth.
No.168 is easily our most favorite restaurant in Taipei, but if you’re thinking of going here, prepare to save before you go because a meal for two will set you back a pretty penny. It’s well worth the money spent though, plus you can’t beat the atmospher! The restaurant features a beautiful open kitchen with upscale dining space in the Grand Victoria Hotel.
Grand Victoria Hotel, 4 FL
No. 168, Jingye 4th Road
Dazhi, Zhongshan District
Nearest MRT Station: Jian Nan Road
Marco Polo Restaurant & Lounge – $$$
I took John to Marco Polo on our second wedding anniversary. Much to my pleasure, I was able to pull the evening off as a complete surprise. (If you know my husband, you know that he is impossible to surprise!) Marco Polo is an ultra-modern Italian restaurant set high up on the 38th floor of the Shangri-la Far Eastern Plaza Hotel. The restaurant and its neighboring lounge bar are meant for romance. Overlooking the city of Taipei, the restaurant serves impeccable Italian cuisine, including a white truffle dessert menu that is to die for. Kick back in the Marco Polo Lounge after your meal, where cocktails, low lights, and a stunning view of Taipei 101 are a recipe for love.
201 Tun Hwa South Road, Section 2, Taipei
Nearest MRT Station: Liuzhangli Station or Technology Building Station
DOZO Izakaya Dining Bar – $$
What could be better than a Japanese beer hall tastefully decorated with glowing Japanese lanterns, beautiful floral arrangements and low lights? Nothing really. And when you throw in the fantastic Japanese drumming performance that occurs twice per evening, this is definitely a restaurant that can’t be beat! The food is amazing, by the way. The menu is stocked with flavorful Japanese fusion snacks such as sushi rolls, meat skewers, and seafood side dishes. We really love the Seven Spice Flavored Tuna Pate. It’s served cold with romaine lettuce. You mix the spices into the tuna and spoon it into the romaine lettuce leaves.
No. 102, Guang Fu S. Road
Nearest MRT Station: Sun-Yat Sen Memorial Hall Station
Au Jardin Bistro (Bistro du Vin) – $$
This gorgeous bistro in Songshan District offers a bright, cheerful dining area that is tastefully decorated and just kitschy enough to make it a unique evening out. The atmosphere is pleasant and inviting and the service is excellent. The Italian/French dishes on offer here are served with a Singaporean flare, and the chefs make excellent use of seasonal ingredients. We especially enjoyed the parma ham and grilled peach salad and the duck confit. Everything that we tasted was superb.
Galeri Bistro – $$
Nanjing West Road is home to a gorgeous upscale restaurant called Galeri Bistro. The restaurant serves French, Italian and American dishes in a three-story mansion that dates back to the 1930s. The building was constructed during the Japanese occupation. I first stumbled upon Galeri on a friend’s recommendation. She recommended that I try the weekend brunch at Galeri and it quickly became a favorite weekend outing for me. It’s one of the only restaurants in Taipei that boasts a private outdoor patio. Galeri’s all-white interior and comfortable settings provide a luxurious ambience for diners. The food is excellent, so be ready to spend some money. If money is a concern, I highly recommend treating your loved one to brunch. The prices are very reasonable.
No#2, Lane 25, Nanjing West Road, Taipei
Nearest MRT Station: Zhongshan Station
Stream Restaurant & Lounge – $$
Stream Restaurant & Lounge opened last summer, but it has gained a cult like following as being one of the coolest and hippest restaurants in town. The restaurant offers world-class fusion cuisine with a stunning view of Taipei 101 and Xinyi District’s glittering lights. This is one of the prettiest spots in town and it’s being touted as a premier dining spot. The menu is divided into four sections; each section represents a major world river. Amazonian dishes, for example, are inspired by South America, while Rhine Style dishes are centered around Germany’s famous river.
12th floor of ATT4FUN Building
Song Shou Road, Taipei, Taiwan
Nearest MRT Station: Taipei City Hall
Flavors – $$
Another favorite of ours, Flavors offers Swedish and Scandinavian cuisine in a intimate atmosphere. Their Death by Chocolate dessert is sinfully good, and we always order our dishes to share so we can sample more. We’ve ordered the lobster tail with truffle vinaigrette on every occasion. The fact that no kids are allowed makes for an especially romantic evening. Small, quiet, and the food is simply gorgeous!
No. 13, Ren Ai Street, Alley 26, Lane 30
Nearest MRT Station: Xhongxiao Dunhua
La Mesa – $$
Paella, chorizo, calamari, and sangria are just a few of the delights awaiting you at La Mesa. A hip, new restaurant serving excellent Spanish cuisine, La Mesa offers a romantic dining space with its wooden tables, brick walls and low lights. Chef Paco has designed a unique menu offering contemporary tapas in the heart of Taipei. You’ll definitely want to check this one out!
No. 33, Lane 137, Yánjí St, Taipei
Nearest MRT Station: Sun Yat Sen Memorial