Taipei is known as a melting pot of cuisines, where a night out for dinner could entail anything from Nepalese vegetarian dishes to a burger and fries. But it’s the street food that really grabs food lovers’ attention. These 10 local dishes should be on every tourist’s radar.
You’ll know you’re near the night market when you can smell the stinky tofu! Some people find the smell just too much to bear but it actually tastes great. No traveler can leave Taipei without trying this national treasure. Be warned! It really does stink.
Aiyu Jelly Drink
Made from the seeds of figs and served in sugar water filled with lemons, this drink is as refreshing as it sounds. It’s jokingly referred to as frog’s eggs but fear not, there are no eggs in this tasty drink.
Small bun in a big bun
No prizes for guessing what this dish involves. Yes, that’s right it’s a crunchy and crispy bun wrapped inside another one, and the tastes can range from salty to sweet. It’s an incredibly popular snack, and the fact that you can choose what goes inside makes it a pretty safe bet for tourists.
Ice Cream Runbing
Imagine a spring roll filled with ice cream and crushed peanuts. Sounds delicious, right? That’s exactly what an ice cream runbing is. The wheat flour based wrapping is crunchy and tasty and just about strong enough to hold in all that melting ice cream.
Small sausage in a big sausage
It’s a bit of a thing in Taiwan to wrap things in other things and in this case, it’s a small pork sausage wrapped in a sticky rice sausage that is split open like a hot dog bun. It’s a wonderfully sticky, chewy, messy, and filling dish that’s perfect for late night eats on the street.
Taiwanese sausage on a stick
This is a local snack almost as old as the country itself, but it’s not the typical sausage that foreigners might expect. It’s got considerably more fat than usual, making it deliciously greasy. When served on a stick in the middle of a night market, they are like gifts from the gods.
This isn’t your Kentucky-style fried chicken but something far tastier. There are fried chicken vendors everywhere in the city, and while they also serve up vegetables, tofu, squid (and anything else they can get in the fryer), it’s the tender chicken pieces wrapped in breadcrumbs that are a must try.
A white wheat bun filled with pieces of pork belly, cilantro, and a few pickled greens, make up this Taiwanese sub/burger hybrid. There might even be a few crushed peanuts thrown in for good measure making this a rather tasty dish.
Pig blood cake
Okay so it’s not quite cake, but it is made from pig’s blood. This is quite similar to black pudding found in traditional English and Irish breakfasts, but it lacks the spice of its European cousin. The Taiwanese version is made with sticky rice, and it’s somewhat of an acquired taste.
Not your average omelet, this variation consists of sweet potato starch, egg, lettuce, and of course, some nice big oysters. But just in case it’s not tasty enough already, a sweet red chili sauce is added into the mix.