One lunch and dinner in Taipei
My husband and three year olddaughter will be staying in Taipei for two days visiting family. We have meals planned with relatives at din tai fung (lunch) and shin yeh (followed by night market) and will be saying at San want hotel. We have another full day unplanned and are looking for A good lunch spot not too far from the hotel, national museum or CKS memorial as we will be going around to all the sights on our last day. We don't have a car but can take the metro or cab. We are adventurous eaters and interested in local cuisine especially anything that is special to Taiwan than would be hard to find in other areas. After our two days in Taipei we are headed to south Taiwan and then china. Thanks!
for something fun, you should stop by Dazzling Cafe which has many outlets around Taipei. Treat this as a ... afternoon tea / snack time. One of their famous items are the honey toast box. http://www.dazzlingdazzling.com/#home.php or you can check out my last visit here >> http://www.jasonbonvivant.com/2011/09/travel-taipei-aug-2011-day-1-4.html
Another good spot for afternoon tea (wonderful scones and sandwiches) is Smith & Hsu. Many outlets as well so do check out their website here > http://www.smithandhsu.com/ our my blog here > http://www.jasonbonvivant.com/2011/09/travel-taipei-aug-2011-day-2-4.html
true that my picks are not really ... Asian but those are places where you can relax yet experience how the Taiwanese take such cuisines to the next level.
For lunch or dinner, maybe check out one of Mitsui Japanese > http://www.mitsuitaipei.com.tw/
One of my favourite restaurants in Taipei is Shao Shao Ke(勺勺客: #15, alley 41, RenAi Rd. section 2, Taipei, Taiwan 台北市仁愛路二段41巷15號), walking distance from CKS.
They specialize in Shanxi cuisine, and the food is excellent, the decor is unique, and the prices reasonable (Under 400 NT per person for a very filling dinner, with beer). Phone for reservations, in part because you have to pre-order the deep fried cheese wonton dessert, which is fantastic. I highly recommend the pork rib that's steamed and then deep fried into crispy tender goodness, and the shredded potatoes with chilies and vinegar. Also good are the lamb skewers and the soup with torn up bits of bread in it. The betel-nut flower vegetable dish is also unusual and tasty.
There's 度小月 (tu hsiao yueh), which has multiple branches around Taiwan, including one near the original Din Tai Feng on Yongkan St. They do Tainan style pork noodles, plus a wide array of side dishes, including 烏魚子 (mullet roe), a local delicacy.
For a casual lunch, there's 龍涎居 (don't know the English pronunciation), which has multiple branches, and does traditional medicinal chicken soups plus side dishes. You pick your soup, and your grade of chicken (regular up to free range black skinned). May be a bit hard for a three year old, as the chicken is hacked into pieces, and has lots of little bones.
Another interesting dinner place is Mushroom Park (http://www.baigu.com.tw/) with multiple branches. They do mushroom hot-pot which is tasty and interesting.
There's a restaurant complex next to the palace museum, with a food court and some sit down restaurants. Silks Palace there is on the pricier end, but very good.
For a buffet type place, theres Jogoya, (http://www.jogoya.com.tw/) which has a mix of Japanese, Chinese and Western food. About 700 per person, but there's a wide variety of foods so you can try a lot of stuff (sushi, deep fried stuff, carving station which had Beijing duck when we were there, individual hot-pots, seafood, stewed dishes, soups, dumplings, deserts). Includes beer, wine and non alcoholic beverages (the wine is dreadful, the beer is Taiwan beer).
I love Tu Hsiao Yeh, but the OP mentioned they will be traveling to Southern Taiwan, and if that includes Tainan, THY is originally from there, and will probably be better off going there.
The Yongkang street branch does have an eclectic menu that include signature Tainan delicacies (including grilled milkfish belly, but OP will surely do better in the south).
If you could squeeze in a snack of beef noodle soup, I recommend 72 beef noodles
their signature clear broth beef noodles 清燉牛肉麵 is a milky white broth that takes 72 hours to boil 1.5 kg of ox bones down to liquid form, no MSG. Top notch stuff (especially for this style of beef noodles), and no MSG added. The Himalayan rose salt adds a nice accent to the whole bowl, and you can ask for a refill of broth (if you can speak Mandarin) at no additional charge.
Ningxia Road Night Market 寧夏夜市 screams 200% Taipei, as it is considerably less touristy than Shihlin, and offers many old style classic 1950s era Taipei night market dishes. Something quite wacky is 蛋黃芋餅, which is a deep fried ball of taro+pork floss + salted duck yolk
There's also a beef parts specialist there (beef mama) 牛媽媽, where they do a fantastic beef tripe soup (that doesn't have any gamey taste, and the tripe tastes like...short ribs)...and their sacha beef stir fried noodles is excellent.
There are two+ great oyster omlette specialist shops, 賴記雞蛋蚵仔煎 is one of them, and the other has a blue sign with white letters that is better or equally good.
If you need dessert, this is the go to stall at Ningxia Night Market
It's basically the Taiwanese take on Japanese imagawayaki 今川焼き and can be taken home (or hotel), reheated and it could pass off as a quickie breakfast.
re: K K
re: Ting Ting
Good to hear from you, Ting Ting. Unfortunately, I can't help you here since my last trip to Taipei was in May 2010 - ancient history in our Chowhound site where up-to-the-minute recs are sought. But whilst waiting for other CHs to respond to you, why don't you glean thru our fellow Hound, Peech's blog since he was based in Taipei till very recently: