Dining out in Taipei is a culinary adventure: from South American food to finger-licking barbecue meats, if you want it, chances are it’s here in the city. If you’re a foodie and find yourself in the capital’s busy Zhongshan neighborhood, you’re in luck – here’s our pick of the area’s fantastically diverse dining options.
If you like your seafood, then this place is something akin to paradise. Located right by the fish market, this restaurant is actually three places in one: there’s a sushi bar, a hot pot area, and a Korean barbecue all under one roof. With Taipei Fish Market just steps away, the sushi here is said to be the freshest and tastiest in town. It can get quite busy during the day, and there may be a line particularly for the sushi bar, but if you visit late in the evening, it’s much quieter. Each of the restaurants opens at different times, so best to check ahead before going.
As one of Taipei’s most exclusive and famous fine-dining establishments, there’s simply no way you could leave RAW out of this list. Run by Michelin-starred chef Andre Chiang, RAW is a restaurant that offers a menu comprising haute cuisine dishes at reasonable prices. The only issue? It’s practically impossible to get a table. But regardless of how long you need to wait for a booking, it’s well worth a visit.
The best barbecued meat around | Courtesy of Baba Kevin's Barbecue
Run by an American expat (that’s Kevin by the way), this restaurant is one of a kind, offering good old-fashioned and truly authentic American barbecue food. Kevin is a very hands-on owner, and when he’s not on the barbecue, he’s chatting with the customers making sure that everyone is happy and enjoying their meal. The term “finger-licking good” is usually associated with a certain well-known purveyor of fried chicken, but trust us when we say that if it didn’t already exist, it would have been invented for this place.
Open for brunch, lunch, and dinner, Sabrina House has a great Western-style menu that is quite extensive. They do great pancakes and fantastic omelettes, and the friendly atmosphere seems to attract a regular crowd. In fact, the place is that popular that they have to limit dining time. Don’t worry though, you still get plenty of time to enjoy your meal and a milkshake. Pop in a bit later, and it’s a nice spot to sit and have a few cocktails.
Mango Sticky Rice and Coconut Milk | Courtesy of Home's Thai Cuisine
Thai food is incredibly popular here in Taiwan, and so there are so many options to choose from, but not all of them hit the mark. Home’s Thai, however, is a real treat. It’s one of the best Thai restaurants in the city and offers truly authentic Thai food that will have you dreaming of Siam. Unlike many other Thai restaurants, Home’s puts a lot of effort into their desserts. Their deep-fried banana cheese roll is out of this world.
Hot Pot 106 is one of the most popular hot pot restaurants in Taipei. Well known for their incredibly tasty and often super spicy soups, this restaurant is a big hit with both locals and tourists. The quality of the meat at any hot pot restaurant is a real point of contention for locals, but at this place they get it just right. You get really good cuts of meat and plenty of it but be warned, spend an hour at this place and you might pass out from overeating. Yes, it really is that good.
Located in Maji Square, just a short walk from the MRT, is Gaucho. It’s a little surprising that in a city with such a diverse range of cuisines on offer, that this restaurant is the only place in Taipei where you will find genuine Argentinian food. If you eat here, you simply have to try the steak; the grilled meats are the house specialty, and you’re missing out if you don’t try some. It’s also a pretty relaxing place to sit back and relax, and they even have some covered outdoor seating if you fancy eating outside.