Come on all you Taiwanese Chowhounders - I know you're out there: let's give janixes some good recs for an unforgettable Taipei visit.
In the meantime, my rec would be Shin Yeh for Taiwanese cuisine:
You should also *not* miss Taiwanese beef noodle soup:
Also, the night markets which are a treasure trove for street eats (the best-known is Shilin):
After all these years, Shin Yeh remains the go-to place for consistent Taiwanese cuisine. There are others which have more interesting dishes, but for first timers you can't go wrong. We also go there for some family gatherings ourselves.
My other go-to place for visitors (when I'm going with them) is Lu Sang, with 2 locations serving regional specialties from Yilan. http://lvsang.myweb.hinet.net/
For reviews, perhaps some of the others can tell you where to look, since I'm not allowed to do any self-promotion here...
I am not sure if you speak Mandarin or read Chinese…
Just about every neighborhood will have a local restaurant that serves up beef noodle soup.
For excellent Peking Duck, try 宋厨菜館 (Sòng chú cài guan) which is very close to Xinyi. They claim some type of lineage to Beijing’s original Quanjude Qianmen branch. I’ve been visiting this place over the years. You might need to call ahead to get a reservation.
宋厨菜館 - Sòng chú cài guǎn
MRT City Hall exit.
Near every major university it seems will be a Buddhist vegetarian restaurant. Near the Culture University’s Taipei branch in the Da An district (大安區) is 喜像堂素食館 (Xǐ xiàng táng sù shí guan). Ask around if there is a vegetarian restaurant near you and if you find yourself around Section Two of East Heping Road, drop in here! It's casual for sure. Better call to make sure they are still open. Buddhist run vegetarian spots in Taipei are hard to beat.
喜像堂素食館 - Xǐ xiàng táng sù shí guǎn
Tel: (02) 2705-1207
See also A Hungry Girl’s Guide to Taipei:
Wow, ScoopG, thanks for this.... we ate 3 different Beijing ducks during our visit to Beijing in 2006 and the Qianmen Quanjude was by far the best, by a long shot. The duck had a rich smokiness that the others didn't come close to matching.
We're visiting Taiwan in October, so this is great timing for us... I've already instructed my wife to call 宋厨菜館 on Sep 1 :)
My wife is from the little village of Daya, on the outskirts of Taichung, so if you have any other suggestions for this area, I'd love to hear them. We will, of course, be visiting Taipei and Khaosiung as well... we'll be scuba diving on Green Island, too.
By the way, her father has a friend whose family runs a beef noodle soup place in Taichung, truly fantastic. I'll try to remember to get a business card for the place and post here when I return.
re: Mr Taster
re: Mr Taster
Wow, so sorry for not reporting back. We did, in fact, get a reservation for 宋廚 and found the place strange and oddly underwhelming. We asked if they were affiliated with any of the famous duck houses in Beijing, and they told us they were not. We asked if we could see their duck roasting oven, and they told us we could not. Getting the reservation was a huge hassle that involved repeatedly calling for 30 minutes on the first of the month until someone picked up the phone. And the duck itself was not evenly cooked-- although the skin was crispy, some of the meat was moist, some of it was very dry, and none of it was imbued with the deep smokiness that was the hallmark of the duck at the Qianmen Quanjude. They pushed several other dishes, none of which I can remember very well, at this point, unfortunately. But I don't recall anything being particularly bad.
As for the beef noodle soup in Taichung, sadly the old man who cooked the soup died a couple of years ago, and the son was now running the place. Sadly, the soup was not nearly as good as I recalled. I did take a business card, and he has a Facebook page which I'm trying to find. But it was not what I remember, sadly. Taichung was not the culinary highlight of our trip.
I did hit up a really good dough slice noodle place in Taipei. The clear soup with tomato was wonderful. http://hungryintaipei.blogspot.com/20...
2. The shops along YongKang Rd next to the original DTF
- Kao-chi's Shanghainese
-Taro Soup cart behind a stair (芋头大王）
-A Japanese Ramen place called Happy Noodle House:
No. 7, Lane 10, Yǒngkāng St (Original taste soup
)-A Shanghai place one street west from YongKang St. 2-1 LiShui St. Famous for its shredded pork noodles
3. Soup Dumplings:
I found 12 recommended ones in Taipei but only tried out 4-5.
Recommend SuHang's gourd and shrimp ones.
4. Beef Noodles.
Tried many but one place that stood out was ShangDong Liu 劉山東牛肉麵 (establish 1951) in an alley near Taipei Main Station. No 2, Alley 10, Sec 1 Kaifeng St. I like their clear soup with slim noodles.
Street food: not too far for you is the Raohe night market where there is a stand famous for their peppered meat buns (hujiaobing 胡椒餅). It's a pretty touristy night market (like Huaxi/Snake Alley [if I remember correctly, there's a danzaimian shop there) and there's not that much else that's really great there. For better snacks and more variety, try Ningxia (lots of goose parts and seafood) and Linjiang night markets.
My favorite creamy evenly-textured xuehuabing is found at the Shilin Market at:
No. 1, Andong St, Shilin
(Apologies if the following link doesn't open: http://www.ipeen.com.tw/shop/27481-%E...)