Time is a flying by. It’s crazy how fast the year is going. So many amazing experiences, sights, and FOOD. For this blog post I thought it’d be fun to give you a glimpse into some of our favorite restaurants over here. The eating life for us in Taiwan is much different than it is at home. Looking back at home life in GR, it’s pretty crazy how much money we spend on groceries and eating out. The culture of food here is quite different. It’s more expensive for us to buy groceries from the local supermarket than it is for us to go out. We tend to eat most of our lunches at home, but go out for a meal every night. If you eat local, you can easily have a hearty meal of rice, tofu, pig blood, stinky tofu, and meat vegetables for just a couple bucks. When you want to “splurge” and go out for a nice meal, it will hardly put you back $20. Here is a glimpse at some of our favorite restaurants in Taipei.
This is my all-time favorite restaurant in the whole world. My first time in Taiwan, my roommate Tuukka and I, happened to stumble on this place when we were on a break from class…my life hasn’t been the same since. It’s a mediterranean/grilled cheese sandwich joint. It’s a hipster place and is a local foreigner hangout. My sandwich of choice is the four cheese grilled cheese while Sarah’s is the pesto, goat cheese sandwich. We probably eat at Toasteria two times a month…although I could eat here every single meal!
Ah, the delicious steamed dumplings. Our favorite dumpling place was originally at our local 737 night market and it was always jam-packed. Huge lines of people waiting to eat the pork filled steamed dumplings and the hot and sour soup. The stall has now moved into a store front down the street from the night market in order to take on the growing demand for the fantastic dumplings. Ten dumplings for the low cost of $2…can’t beat that. We eat dumplings probably once a week. Soo good.
3) Korean BBQ
We found this restaurant within the first few months of being here while roaming the streets of the Zhongxiao Dunhua area. This is probably the most “expensive” restaurant we eat at, and is a fan favorite of all our visitors. The meal is composed of two elements. The hot pot and the grill. You start by ordering a soup or broth and choose your favorite vegetables to boil in the hot pot. Next, you order your favorite meats from an enormous selection ranging from lamb and chicken legs to oyster balls and pig intestines. It’s a not your typical sit down and eat-your- plate type of restaurant as the grill and hot pot are directly in front of you on the table. It’s a constant grill, stir, and eat sequence. The best thing about this place? It’s all you can eat and all you can drink for 2 hours for a reasonable price of $15 per person.
4) Beef Noodle Soup Place
This is a new favorite of ours and one that was discovered when the Brower parents and Hannah were visiting. We were wandering our neighborhood looking everywhere for somewhere to eat and we just decided to try it. What a great discovery! It doesn’t have a name but serves some of our favorite beef noodle soup. It’s definitely a hole-in-the-wall as it’s tucked away, basically inside a house. We’ve been eating here at least once a week ever since, and for $2, we are stuffed.
5) 737 Night Market
I’ve talked about this night market numerous times, but it HAS to be included into the list of our favorites places to eat. Terry serves up a mean “Terry’s special,” which is Chinese vegetables, lamb or chicken, with a chili and garlic-induced peanut sauce. His son and daughter-in-law’s stall serves a delicious chicken and rice and Sarah’s favorite sweet tofu. On top of those specials, and if you happen to come on a night when people are generous, you are garuaranteed to try something you have never even heard of. The pigs blood on the other hand…not so good.
6) Yvonne’s Restaurant
It’s not officially called Yvonne’s Restaurant, but we gave it that name because our friend Yvonne introduced us to this great place. It’s become one of our favorites and is usually our Thursday night spot after we finish teaching. It’s located in the Neihu business district, one MRT stop from our apartment and is frequently home to a lot of business people grabbing a meal after work. Each dish is around $3 and we usually order two to four plates to share. We love this restaurant because it has a great atmosphere and it’s fun to order multiple dishes to pass around. The only downfall to this restaurant is the garlic…so, so, so much garlic. Let’s just say when you wake up the next morning, you think you have a garlic clove permanently stuck in your mouth. How about that for morning breath? Oh, it’s also a Heineken bar, so it’s the closest thing to a bar we have around our apartment 🙂 Can’t beat an ice-cold Heineken after an exhausting day of teaching our lovely students 🙂
This is just a taste of some of our favorite restaurants. Sarah and I always say we already miss the food here in Taiwan and we haven’t even left yet! The food in Taiwan is so freaking delicious and we are going to miss eating all of it so much when we head home. I guess we just have to eat it up while we can!
Hope you all have a great week!
Kyle and Sarah