It’s one of the most popular dining experiences in Taiwan and one that many visitors to the island can’t quite get their head around. We’re talking about hotpot, and if you like the idea of cooking your own ingredients in a tasty and sometimes spicy broth then check out these amazing restaurants.
Wu Lao Guo
Restaurant, Asian, $$$
As one of the most popular hotpot places in Taipei, Wu Lao Guo sits at the top of our list. Spacious, private and comfortable, this place ticks all the boxes for a nice get-together with friends. The staff are friendly and helpful and try to make sure that you have everything you need for your meal. You get a great choice of fresh meats and if at any point you feel like your hotpot isn’t as tasty as it should be, just give the staff a call and they’ll add a few ingredients to spice it up a bit. As with many of the places on this list, Wu Lao Guo offers great value for money.
Old Sichuan is different from the majority of Taiwanese hotpot restaurants, as they use a Sichuan-style broth in all of their hotpots. They also offer some Sichuan-style braised meats and some fiery cold noodles along with pork ribs, items that you will rarely find in another hotpot restaurant. But perhaps the most popular thing about this place is the mala hotpot, which is incredibly spicy and – believe it or not – a choice for which diners go crazy.
With outstanding décor throughout, this is one of those places that feels pretty amazing before you even lift a chopstick. But it’s not all about the décor – Top One Pot offers an impressive range of meat cuts and a huge range of fresh vegetables for your pot. The staff are friendly, and there’s a real lively feel about the place. It’s also in a great location for going out in Xinyi after your meal.
Open late into the night, this Wanhua restaurant is hugely popular with locals craving a bit of spicy food. The meat and vegetables are typical hotpot fare, but it’s the sometimes insanely spicy broth that really kicks up a storm here. Not to worry though, there’s an endless supply of Haagen Dazs ice cream to cool diners down after dinner.
The unusually named 22:02 Hotpot Lohas is one of a kind in Taipei, as it places great emphasis on using organic produce. As with our other places on this list, diners will find that there’s a huge selection of vegetables and meats on offer and that it’s the sauces and choice of broth that really determines the taste of the hotpot. The décor here is somewhat rustic and homey, and there’s a nice atmosphere when it’s busy.
This world-famous Chinese hotpot chain is now open in Taiwan and is certainly giving the local hotpot restaurants a run for their money. With a huge focus placed on high-quality service, this is the kind of place that makes diners feel special from the moment they walk in the door. With tasty broths and a good choice of meats and plenty of spices for sauces, there’s very little to fault at this place. Add to that the fact that it stays open until very late, and it’s ideal for a meal during your night out.
A slightly different hotpot restaurant here with 12 Hotpot being a shabu shabu-style place where each diner has their own hotpot. This makes it perfect for those that like their broth a particular flavor or who don’t feel like sharing with everyone else. There are several locations throughout the city, and it’s not uncommon to see a crowd of people outside waiting to for a seat. For something different, this is the place to go.