Breakfast | A combination of soy milk and deep-fried dough
This fresh soy milk is also called doujiang is a favourite drink of many Taiwanese people in the morning. Soy milk is a staple breakfast drink in Taiwan, combines with deep-fried dough also known as youtiao. An iconic breakfast food throughout Taiwan and mainland China, nothing can beat this freshly fried dough fritter. Walking down the side streets and food markets of a morning, this is the smell you will be smelling. This sweet dough isn’t all too healthy, but absolutely irresistible.
The traditional Taiwanese cong you bing is otherwise known as a scallion pancake. As the name suggests, it is a kind of pancake containng scallions baked into the dough and usually over a fried egg. It is doughy and chewy, and made with dough instead of batter like the Western pancake. But, the batter is equally as sweet. This pancakes can be found everywhere in Taiwan, and can be eaten as a breakfast food or simply picked up as a snack, since they are a popular street food item in Taiwan.
Lunch | Xiao long bao
Xiao long bao may be a Shanghai delicacy, but some argue the Taiwanese perfected them. Taiwanese restaurant Din Tai Fung does its Shanghai comrades proud with its succulent pork-soup dumplings. Din Tai Fung's bite-sized xiao long bao have a consistently high quality. Their paper-thin wrappings hold rich hot broth and tender pork meatballs. Gasps can be heard intermittently at Din Tai Fung as diners brace for the scalding hot soup that squirts out upon biting the dumpling.
Pork belly, pickled greens, cilantro, and powdered peanuts in a flat steamed bread bun. It sounds like a strange concoction, but it’s actually very tasty and a great option for a light (ish) lunch. Some stalls sell them with different condiments but generally speaking, the base ingredients remain the same.
Dinner | Beef noodle
Taiwan’s most famous dish, this consists of a meat broth, greens, slices of beef, and of course noodles. The beef used varies from store to store with some people preferring fatty beef over lean and vice versa. To say beef noodles are popular is a serious understatement. In fact, so strong is the local passion for beef noodles, that people will pay a lot of money for the right bowl.
Braised pork rice
A Chinese rice dish that is commonly seen throughout Taiwan and Southern Fujian. The flavor may vary from one region to another, but the basic ingredients remain the same: ground pork marinated and boiled in soy sauce served on top of steamed rice. It is a type of gaifan dish.
Dessert | Douhua
Douhua is a Taiwanese dessert made with the softest of tofu. The tofu disintegrates and melts as soon as you take a mouthful of this sweet treat. It can be served on ice in the summertime with a gingery sweet syrup to flavor it. Douhua is also delicious heated up in the wintertime, topped with peanuts, boba, mung beans and more.
Street food | Bubble tea
While tea served in the traditional way is popular here in Taiwan, bubble tea is even more so. It’s so popular that it is now served across the globe and more commonly known as bubble tea or boba tea. Created here in Taiwan, this tapioca ball-filled drink is fast becoming the island’s official drink and with good reason. As far as afternoon snacks go, it takes some beating.
This is the dish that everyone has heard of, and very few have tried. And the reason for that is that many tourists simply can’t get past the smell. It really is as stinky as you’d expect fermented tofu to be, but if you can ignore the aroma, it’s actually pretty tasty.
Snack | Pineapple cake
Taiwan is truly the birthplace of these delicious pineapple cakes. These buttery pastries have a pineapple filling in the center. There are so many famous brands selling pineapple cake, one of the most outstanding among them is Chia Te.
Suncake, also known as "tai yang bing" is a popular Taiwanese pastry with sweet fillings originating from Taichung. Traditionally, a good suncake is one with good condensed malt sugar filling and a soft, flaky crust. Nowadays, they're available in a wide variety of flavors including green tea, sesame, and pork floss.