The Taiwanese capital of Taipei is a hustling, bustling metropolis packed with futuristic skyscrapers, centuries-old colonial lanes, upscale shopping malls, and world-class attractions. It's also got some of the best night markets in Taiwan, along with a street food scene that's going to blow you away. Fried Taro Balls, Ba-Wan, Iron Eggs, Stinky Tofu, Ice Cream Runbing... whatever snappy little bite you're in the mood for, you're going to find a vendor to suit. But while cramming your face full of street goodies is part and parcel of the quintessential Taipei experience, sometimes, street food just won't cut it. Sometimes, you're going to want to sit down and enjoy a leisurely meal without hundreds of tourists and locals bumping into you. So, where should you be heading for some of the best food in the city? Which restaurants are going to offer you the best food for the best prices? Find out for yourself as we take a look at the ten best Taipei restaurants.
1. Peacock Bistro
Where: No. 197, Section 1, Dihua St, Datong District, Taipei City, Taiwan 103
Peacock Bistro is a charming little bistro boasting a menu packed with admirably authentic Taiwanese and European classics. If you're in the mood for a light bite, try the duck gizzard salad. If you're craving something more substantial, the chicken with black octopus should leave you feeling more than satisfied.
2. RyuGin Taipei
Where: 5F, No.301 Lequn 3rd Rd, Taipei, Taiwan
If you're feeling flush, do your tastebuds a favor and head to RyuGin Taipei. It might be one of the city's most expensive restaurants, but it's also one of it's very best. Chef Seiji Yamamoto's avant-garde approach to Japanese cuisine has earned him three very prestigious Michelin stars, not to mention an army of zealously loyal fans. All ingredients are sourced locally to ensure the freshest, most authentic tasting experience possible.
3. Yen Bar
Where: No.10, Sec.5, Zhongxiao E Rd, Xinyi Dist 31F, Xinyi District, Taipei 110 Taiwan
In fairness, the Yen Bar dishes up a great range of American classics and European delights. The British themed 'afternoon tea' with cakes and finger sandwiches is about as good as it gets, while the fried chicken and fries is pure home comfort. The local delicacies are worth shouting about as well - the dragon bear shrimp mousse with water chestnuts is positively masterful. But truth be told, you don't come here for the food. You come for the view. Set on the 31st floor overlooking the ritzy Xinyi district, the Yen Bar's panoramas are worth writing home about. For a sophisticated dining experience that's going to live on in memory long after the shock of the bill has passed (yep, it's expensive), it's unparalleled.
4. The Jade Lounge
Where: No.158 Dunhua North Road, Songshan, Taipei 10548 Taiwan
Street markets are great, but sometimes, you can't help craving a more comfortable dining experience. And a comfortable dining experience is exactly what you'll find at The Jade Lounge. Located on the ground floor of the Mandarin Oriental, it offers a fine dining experience in exquisitely sumptuous, luxurious surroundings. If you're in the mood for a traditional afternoon tea, you'll find their selection of pastries and teas hard to fault. Even if you don't usually have a sweet tooth, one bite of their earl grey tea scone with homemade jam and clotted cream will be enough to convert you.
5. The Kitchen Table
Where: 10 Zhongxiao East Road, Sec. 5 W Hotel Taipei, 10F, Xinyi District, Taipei 110 Taiwan
With its funky interior, its upbeat vibe, and its cheerful service, The Kitchen Table has more swagger and charm than any restaurant has a right to. Serving up a huge range of local and international dishes, it's a great place to head for a fun, casual meal and some downright excellent service. Portions are generous, prices are reasonable, and by all accounts, the seafood is some of the best in Taipei.
6. Din Tai Fung
Where: No. 194, Section 2, Xinyi Road, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106
It's rare for a chain to make it to a 'Best of' list, but then again, it's rare for a chain to be as good as Din Tai Fung. With a premise that revolves around xiaolongbao (soup dumplings), Din Tai Fung has made an artform of cheap, simple cooking. With locations in Taiwan, Japan, mainland China, Singapore, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Thailand, Australia, and the USA, there's no denying its popularity. And as one bite of a dumpling will tell you, there's no denying the reason. On the flipside, popularity comes with long lines, so be sure to do as cs.hotels.com suggests and prepare for a very long wait.
7. Lin Dong Fang
Where: No. 4-3, Andong Street, Zhongshan District, Taipei City 10491, Taiwan
If you want beef noodles, there's only one place to head - Lin Dong Fang. Despite its modest appearance, the restaurant has achieved almost legendary status among locals, something that rests entirely on the strength of its generously portioned, gorgeously unctuous beef noodle soup. If you visit at lunchtime, don't be surprised to see a mile-long queue snaking out the door.
8. Bravo Beer - Taipei Civic Store
Where: No.185, Sec.4, Civic Blvd, Songahn Dist MRT Zhongxiao Dunhua, Songshan, Taipei 105 Taiwan
As a heads up, you're not going to find much in the way of authentic Taiwanese food at Bravo Beer. What you are going to find, on the other hand, is a great range of hearty American dishes, Italian classics, and some of the finest Belgium beers this side of Brussels. If you want somewhere fun, casual, and cheerful, it's hard to fault.
Where: No.301, Lequn 3rd Rd, Taipei, Taiwan
Eater ranks Raw as the finest restaurant in Taipei. It's not hard to work out why. Under the direction of acclaimed chef André Chiang, the restaurant has evolved into one of the finest dining experiences in the capital. Serving up a carefully curated menu of regional fare with a Western spin, it's a classy establishment that may test the limit of your credit card, but will still leave a very satisfied smile on your face.
10. Matsusaka Tei
Where: No. 19, Songgao Road 6F, A4, Xintiandi, Shin Kong Mitsukoshi Xinyi, Xinyi District, Taipei 110 Taiwan
At the time of writing, Matsusaka Tei enjoys 356 5-star reviews on Trip Advisor. No easy task for most restaurants, but considering its excellent Japanese menu, world-class wine list, and exceptional service, a piece of cake for Matsusaka Tei. Better still, the prices are more than reasonable considering the outstanding cooking on display.
You can also read:
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson