This is not one of those Taiwanese street foods that simply has an odd name, stinky tofu really does stink. However, once you get past the initial assault on your sense of smell, this is a national treasure that every tourist must try at least once. But with so many street food vendors throughout Taiwan, where is the best place to try it for the first time?
Lehua Night Market
Enter the night market through the Zhongshan Road entrance and a two minute stroll down the street will bring you to Yong He’s finest purveyor of fermented tofu. The stand is on the left hand-side of the market but to be fair, to find this vendor, all that is needed is a good sense of smell. They have a few tables and seats where customers can get an instant hit of stinkiness in the open air of the night market.
Regulars at this stand usually make sure to add some of the owner’s signature spicy duck blood. This is a common addition to most stinky tofu dishes, but at this place, it’s so velvety smooth that it melts in the mouth. Lehua is currently under pressure from local authorities and residents to cut down on the number of vendors there, but we can’t see this incredibly popular stall going anywhere anytime soon.
Jin Da Ding
The old street in Shenkeng is a great day trip for those staying in Taipei and in particular those that are in search of a stinky tofu paradise. The old street is famous for being one of the best places in the country to sample the delights of fermented tofu, and while the shops are many, the oldest one on the street takes the most plaudits from locals and tourists.
Jin Da Ding has been in business for over five decades and is showing no signs of slowing down. Their skewered tofu served with pickled cabbage is the stuff of dreams and the cabbage, which gives the tofu a real run for its money in the stinkiness stakes, complements the tofu perfectly.
Dai’s House of Stinky Tofu
Also known as Dai’s House of Unique Stink, this is perhaps the most famous and definitely the stinkiest place on this list. For a true stinky tofu experience then you have to do it like a local, and no shop, stall, or vendor comes close to topping this place. In fact, the tofu is so stinky that well known Travel Channel food freak Andrew Zimmern couldn’t stomach it.
The greatest thing about this place though is not the fact that it beat a Bizarre Food eater but the variety of options on the menu. Often at stinky tofu vendors, you get one or two options, but here at Dai’s, there’s a whole menu to choose from.