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Kaohsiung's 10 Best Restaurants & Local Eats

Kaohsiung's 10 Best Restaurants & Local Eats

Not so long ago, Kaohsiung was simply Taiwan’s rough and ready port city, its culinary scene a far cry from the sophistication of capital Taipei. In recent years however, the city has transformed into a cultural hub, with must-visit restaurants vying for space along the revivified waterfront. From juicy European-style steaks to some of Asia’s best sushi, we’ve updated our guide to eating out in buzzing Kaohsiung.

© Alexander Synaptic LIUHE NIGHT MARKET, KAOHSIUNG

The Bayou

Diner, Restaurant, American
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Although American food is everywhere is Taiwan, good quality American food served in an all-American atmosphere is hard to find. Luckily, The Bayou is on hand for diners craving the flavours of the States and offers a classic diner experience. With cosy red walls and banquette seating, the restaurant, which is run by friendly Texan expat Cindy, serves up hearty dishes such as Chicago deep-pan pizza and sticky ribs, both big favourites with the Taiwanese and Western diners who pack themselves into the tiny eatery. As the name suggests, the flavours of Louisiana feature highly on the menu, so don’t forget to try Cajun-style chicken or corn bread while you’re there.
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© Cocktail Bistro 

Cocktail Bistro

Bar, Bistro, Restaurant, Cocktails, Beer, Wine, Seafood
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Head to chic Cocktail Bistro, where the extensive drinks menu is matched by the food on offer. The seafood at Cocktail Bistro is incredibly fresh, a legacy of the time when the stylish bar and restaurant was actually based on board a cruise ship. If seafood isn’t your thing, then Cocktail Bistro makes an excellent homemade sausage, which comes in Taiwanese, Italian or German varieties.
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Sun:
6:00 pm - 12:00 am
Tue - Wed:
6:00 pm - 3:00 am
Wed - Thu:
6:00 pm - 3:00 am
Thu - Fri:
6:00 pm - 3:00 am
Fri - Sat:
6:00 pm - 3:30 am
Sat - Sun:
6:00 pm - 3:00 am

Din Tai Fung Kaohsiung

Restaurant, Chinese, $$$
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Din Tai Fung, Kaohsiung
Din Tai Fung, Kaohsiung | © Alpha/Flickr
Din Tai Fungis much more than your average chain eatery. The restaurant chain was tipped as one of the top 10 restaurants in the world by the New York Times thanks to its stellar Chinese cuisine. Make sure to try to the xiaolongbai, soup dumplings from Shanghai that burst delicately when bitten into, releasing a wealth of flavors and textures.
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Sun:
10:30 am - 9:30 pm
Mon:
11:00 am - 9:30 pm
Tue:
11:00 am - 9:30 pm
Wed:
11:00 am - 9:30 pm
Thu:
11:00 am - 9:30 pm
Fri:
11:00 am - 9:30 pm
Sat:
10:30 am - 9:30 pm

Gang Yuan Beef Noodles

Restaurant, Chinese, Asian, Taiwanese, $$$
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Mango Shaved Ice
Mango Shaved Ice | Rubberduckee/Flickr
Gang Yuan Beef Noodles is renowned for packing an unbelievable amount of flavor into a deceptively simple bowl of noodle soup. Gang Yuan revels in the joy of rustic Taiwanese cuisine. The hearty beef, so tender it falls in soft little strips from your chopsticks, is perfectly complemented by the house speciality side dish of cold cucumber sticks with garlic and sesame oil.
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Sun:
11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Sun:
5:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Mon:
11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Mon:
5:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Tue:
11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Tue:
5:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Wed:
11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Wed:
5:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Thu:
11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Thu:
5:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Fri:
11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Fri:
5:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Sat:
11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Sat:
5:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Mango Shaved Ice Rubberduckee/Flickr

Gao Xiong Po Po Shaved Ice

Gong Xiong Po Po is the place in Kaohsiung to sate your shaved ice cravings: the unassuming stall, full of rickety stools and metal tables, serves a classic mango shaved ice piled high with chunks of golden fruit and topped with ice cream. Green tea shaved ice with adzuki bean and tofu is a filling option, and you can even ask for a side of creamy gelatin pudding, just in case you’re not full enough.

Gong Xiong Po Po, No. 135, Qixian 3rd Rd., Yancheng District, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, +886 7561 6567

Korean Ban Chan © Kent Wang/Flickr

Harmony Restaurant

Market, Restaurant, Korean
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Harmony, run by a South Korean expat who has a hand in creating and cooking all of the dishes, is perhaps Kaohsiung’s most authentic Korean culinary experience. Here in the minimal but welcoming dining room, you’ll be able to taste all the classics of Korean cuisine, such as bibimbap and mouthwatering bulgogi beef, as well as a creative selection of banchan, or side dishes.
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Hongmaogang Seafood

Restaurant, Seafood, $$$
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Hongmaogang Restaurant serves traditional Kaohsiung-style cuisine, full of fresh ingredients and clean flavors. This bustling restaurant is typically Taiwanese in atmosphere and can get hectic over the weekend, when families flood in to eat in large groups. There’s no English menu but the waiters will recommend a selection of dishes, from raw squid to crunchy fried spring rolls, to ensure you get the full Hongmaogang experience.
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Sun:
11:30 am - 2:00 pm
Sun:
5:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Mon:
11:30 am - 2:00 pm
Mon:
5:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Tue:
11:30 am - 2:00 pm
Tue:
5:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Wed:
11:30 am - 2:00 pm
Wed:
5:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Thu:
11:30 am - 2:00 pm
Thu:
5:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Fri:
11:30 am - 2:00 pm
Fri:
5:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Sat:
11:30 am - 2:00 pm
Sat:
5:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Liuhe Night Market

Market
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Taiwan is known worldwide for its incredible food markets, and Kaohsiung’s Liuhe Night Market is among the best on the island. Located in the buzzing Xinxing District, the market sees the streets light up every evening with a mind-boggling array of food stalls and local restaurants. It’s crowded and lively, with hungry market-goers jostling to get to the best stalls.
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Meinong Folk Village

Kaohsiung dining presents the perfect opportunity to try Hakka-style food, a cuisine that originated in the southern Chinese provinces of Fujian and Guangdong. Hakka meals may well be among Taiwan’s most hearty; try the classic sticky rice with pork wrapped in leaves for a good introduction to the cuisine. In Kaohsiung, locals love to go to the Meinong Folk Village, an artificial re-creation of a Hakka neighborhood.

Meinong Folk Village, 80 Lane 421, Jungshan Rd, Sec 2, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

San Antonio French Restaurant

San Antonio serves traditional French flavors in a cool and contemporary style. The presentation leans towards nouvelle cuisine, with adventurous sauces drizzled across black slate plates. The flavors and refined atmosphere, as well as the extensive European wine list, make San Antonio one of Kaohsiung’s best gastronomic evenings in town.

San Antonio, No.7-1 Hexi Road, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, +886 7533 5330