Overshadowed by its more popular neighbours such as Japan and Korea, Taiwan is one of the most underrated tourist spots in Asia. Besides the Taipei 101 and Elephant Mountain, this bustling nation has a plethora of experiences to offer, especially for foodies looking for a melting pot of various cuisines to dive into!
Each city in Taiwan has its own delicacies to offer. If you’re visiting for the first time, here is a list of must-tries that are available anywhere in Taiwan, and they’re sure fire delights that will tickle your taste buds!
- Stinky Tofu. You don’t need to search hard for this delicacy on the streets – you’ll most likely smell it even before you find it. With a smell that rivals month-old unwashed gym socks (we’re not kidding!), this unique street food is definitely an unforgettable one. There can only be two outcomes: you either love it or you don’t. Give it a go and see which side you’re on!
- Taiwanese Sausage. The Asian take on its German counterpart, the Taiwanese sausage has garnered quite a fan base with its sweet and savory flavour profile. It’s commonly grilled and eaten on its own, with condiments, or wrapped within a blanket of sticky rice. These sausage vendors are almost everywhere, but they’re commonly found at night markets where locals and tourists alike can grab a quick bite on the go.
- Pork Paper. When you see these dried and crispy treats at the night market, don’t hesitate – just bag one! Sink your teeth into one of these thin pork jerkies and you’re guaranteed a mouthful of flavours. Get them piping hot while you can because these babies get snapped up pretty fast!
- Taiwanese Crispy Chicken. This street snack is a testament to the phrase “go big or go home”. Flattened and tenderised chicken thighs are battered and deep fried to a crisp perfection, and the end product is this irresistible nibble that is almost the size of your face! It’s normally served with a seasoning of your choice so you can’t wait to dig in. Resistance is futile – trust us on this one.
- Pepper Bun. Another night market staple, these pepper buns are to die for, especially during the winter nights. Follow the warm, robust scent of pepper in the air at the night market and you can’t go wrong. The toasty exterior and juicy meat filling and peppery juices are a match made in heaven. Rumor has it that the best pepper bun is in Raohe Night Market, but who are we to judge? The next time you’re in Taiwan, try it for yourself!
- Gua Bao. Just think of Asian burgers – that’s basically Gua Bao. However, instead of a common patty, Gua Bao uses a melt-in-your-mouth pork belly laden with fragrant spices and sauces. It’s then served in between a slightly toasted mantou bun. The spicy chili sauce packs a punch, but it will leave you craving more!
- Toffee Fruit. Neatly arranged in rows of shining, shimmering, splendid glory at the night markets, toffee fruit is really just a fancy name for candied fruits. Those with a sweet tooth will enjoy this refreshing summer treat where skewered ripe cherry tomatoes, plums, apples, strawberries and other seasonal produce are dipped in syrup and left to harden. Pick one up and just enjoy your sweet treat on the go!
- Milk Tea. Taiwan is most famously known as the original birthplace of milk tea, bubble tea, or Boba, and we can’t think of a better place to enjoy this heart-stopping guilty pleasure than where it all started. From the OG bubble milk milk tea to Yakult Green Tea with Lemon and other tantalizing flavours, take your pick and sip away to your heart’s content!