Da Wan BBQ
For Japanese barbecue, head over to Da Wan BBQ. This restaurant is famous for a Japanese cooking style called Yakiniku, a term meaning grilled meat, and is a must for anyone visiting Taipei. Outfitted with only one table and limited bar seating, the tiny restaurant is located in the commercial Daan District. Guests can order from a variety of meat options, including beef, pork and shrimp. While most Yakiniku restaurants require guests to cook for themselves, the staff members here will do all the cooking. So anyone nervous about manning the grill can rest easy, have a drink and relax while the yummy food is expertly prepared. Be sure to make reservations before arriving.
Price: Fine dining
Ay-Chung Flour Rice Noodles
Visitors looking for delicious Taiwanese rice noodles should follow the crowds – literally. Established in 1975, the tiny Ay-Chung Flour Rice Noodles shop is easily visible along Emei Street; not for any flashy signs, but for the permanent throng of people standing outside its doors. The restaurant is legendary for its single menu item, soft rice noodles served in a thick, flavorful gravy. The famous dish comes in two sizes and can be topped with chili sauce, vinegar and/or and garlic. With no seating available inside or outside the shop, visitors eat standing in the street or simply take their noodles to-go.
Big Tea Pot Tea House
Though Taipei offers a lot of entertainment, shopping options and attractions, sometimes visitors need a break from the busy city center. For some peace and quiet, as well as outstanding panoramic views of Maokong Mountain, head over to Big Tea Pot Tea House. Nestled against the mountainside, this popular tea house offers Taiwanese-style dishes, as well as a variety of hot teas. Visitors can reach the tea house by either hiking up the mountain trail or by taking a gondola lift to the top.
The Kitchen Table
For anyone who can’t decide on what to eat for dinner, the international variety offered by The Kitchen Table is the perfect solution. This restaurant offers an expansive selection, with a full breakfast buffet in the morning, a light lunch buffet with colorful desserts in the afternoon, and a more hearty dinner buffet in the evening. During dinner, guests can indulge in a variety of international dishes, from Yorkshire pudding and Italian wood-fire pizza to Chinese dim sum and roasted duck. There is also a well-stocked seafood bar, as well as a dessert station where guests can top off the evening with some homemade sorbet.
Yongkang Beef Noodle
A visit to Taipei isn’t complete without sampling a bowl of beef noodle soup, one of Taiwan’s most beloved and well-known dishes. This popular dish dates back to the Tang Dynasty and is typically served with beef broth, vegetables and stewed or red braised beef. Yongkang Beef Noodle is a quaint, family-run restaurant that has been around since 1963 and is known for serving some of the best beef noodle soup in Taipei. Though the shop originated as a modest food stall, it has grown to become a favorite destination for locals and tourists alike.
Flavors Restaurant is a favorite among foodies for its tasty Swedish dishes. The restaurant is devoted to providing authentic high-quality dishes. The restaurant’s menu changes seasonally and features hot and cold dishes such as grilled rosemary scallops, smoked salmon with herb sauce, and duck breast with truffle sauce. Meal sets are filling and come with soup, salad, bread, a main course, apple cake and coffee. With delicious food, friendly service and a welcoming atmosphere, this restaurant is a popular choice for diners celebrating special occasions. Reservations are recommended.
Hidden away at the end of Yong Kang Street is the rustic James Kitchen, a cozy little restaurant beloved for its traditional Taiwanese fare. The atmosphere of the place is homey and warm, with simple wooden tables and a casual feel. Described as home-cooked and old-fashioned, the restaurant’s menu includes pork with kumquat sauce, bamboo shoots, pumpkin fried rice noodles and fresh fish that changes daily based on stock. The restaurant is open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday and also serves lunch over the weekend. James Kitchen is the perfect pick for hungry travelers hoping to get off the beaten track for a delicious, home-made Taiwanese meal.
For a special evening out, dress up and head over to J.W. Teres. As the only Bulgarian restaurant in Taipei, dining here will not only prove to be a sophisticated experience, but also a unique chance to taste traditional Bulgarian dishes. Menu items are crafted from scratch, and the restaurant’s bar features an international wine selection as well as rare and high-quality cognacs and whiskies. The old-world elegance provides the perfect atmosphere for a quiet evening or a romantic dinner. Visitors planning to dine at J.W. Teres must keep in mind that reservations are a must.
Merlot Café and Bistro
At the heart of Taipei, Zhongshan District is known for its scenic parks, abundant shopping areas and active nightlife. This district is also home to Merlot Café and Bistro, a cozy little restaurant tucked away just off Linsen North Road. The atmosphere of this hidden bistro is welcoming, with cozy seating and a bar serving a variety of wines and cocktails. Guests can satisfy their appetites with dishes ranging from pastas and risottos to lamb chops and steaks. A perfect place for dinner and drinks with friends.
Balle Balle Indian Restaurant
For affordable, authentic Indian food, Balle Balle Indian Restaurant is a top choice. Located in Songshan District, this restaurant specializes in Punjabi cuisine, a cooking style local to northern India. There are a wide variety of flavorful options to choose from, such as curry dishes, tandoori snacks, kebabs and vegetarian options. Anyone who is unsure about what to order can chat with the restaurant’s friendly manager, who is always happy to give suggestions. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and is often quite crowded. Guests may want to call ahead to reserve a table.