Text & photos by AJ Francisco
Do you know what’s the best way to tour Taiwan? With a good sense of smell, and a hearty appetite! Ditch the usual restaurant set-up and scour the city and old towns serving some of the most mouth-watering street food you can find.
Here’s our list of nine street eats that you shouldn’t miss:
1.Peanut Brittle and Ice Cream Roll
Considered as one of the most famous desserts in Taiwan and can be found in every night market. It starts off with a thin wrapper, freshly shaved-to-order peanut brittle, two scoops of ice cream, and an option of cilantro — weird, but yum!
2. Beef Omelette Pancakes
A divine snack for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even any time of the day! They add additional ingredients to make it more delicious: white onions, green onions, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Want to add a little kick? Tastes better with a bit of chili, too.
3.Ay-Chung Flour Rice Noodles
The most famous food stall in the busy shopping district of Ximending, Ay-Chung Flour Rice Noodles is easily located because of the number of people in line. There is really nothing Instagram worthy with the bowl of noodles, what makes people line up for it? Besides its soft and silky noodles, it’s really that distinct smoked fish flavored soup.
4.Grass Jelly Cakes
Their stall in Jiufen old street is a bit far from the main entrance, but one can surely spot it with a long line of locals and tourists buying packs and packs of these cakes. Its jelly texture is a like a softer version of a mochi. They are available in different fillings: salty tea, salty green bean and sweet red bean.
5.Pork Pepper Bun
Made from scratch, and baked in a traditional oven, and served hot, these Pork Pepper Buns are the first ones that will greet you at Raohe night market. A bite of the perfectly baked bun filled with a good amount of ground pork, black pepper, and spring onions will make your 20-minute long waiting time worth it.
6.Fried Milk Cubes
It is true that the best things in life are really hard to find. This small stall of fried milk cubes is highly likely for one to miss in Shilin night market. A stick comes with 3 freshly fried milk cubes and it tastes similar to milk jelly. One will surely come back for another not only because of the delicious and unique snack, but also because of the sweet and friendly saleslady who tries to communicate with everyone despite the language barrier.
7.Angus Beef Cubes
Who would say no to a NT100 serving for Angus beef cubes? Torched to order mouthwatering goodness with your chosen sauce: teriyaki, cheese, Himalayan salt, and more.
8.Small Sausage in Big Sausage
Watching the seller cook from the sides. it seems like they are grilling two kinds of sausages, but a closer look, and when we took a bite, to our surprise the big sausage is actually rice! The smaller sausage is pork meat, which somehow resembles a longganisa. The rice is mixed with a sweet sauce that is stuffed in sausage skin and sliced in the middle to make room for the smaller sausage and topped with their best selling garlic sauce.
9.Fresh Papaya Milk
Besides papaya milk in tetra packs that you can find in convenience stores, you can also have a fresh cup of goodness in Taiwan’s various night markets. A blend of fresh papaya, a spoon of sugar, half cup of milk, and crushed ice makes this cup of orange a true delight!