The Best Cheap Eats in Taiwan!
I’m convinced that Taiwan has the best cheap eats in all of Asia. If you’re planning a trip to Taiwan anytime soon, make sure to visit ALL of these incredible places :). A dollar can go so far at these yummy restaurants. Most of them are close in proximity so it won’t be too out-of-the-way! Plus, the subway system in Taiwan is amazing so you won’t have a problem getting around. There’s also Uber there as well! Okay, without further ado, let’s get into it!
1. Yong He Soy Milk King
This unassuming little restaurant finds its kitchen off the side of the road, buzzing with workers, chefs, and tons of people waiting to get their morning snacks. It’s not luxurious by any means, but you’ll get a damn good Taiwanese breakfast for $3 USD. If you’re not much of the adventurous type, try Fuhang Soy Milk. We heard it’s equally good but a little more bougie. :)
2. Jin Feng Braised Pork Rice
Oh my goodness.. where do I start?! If you’re a braised pork belly lover (like I am), this place will serve up the most comforting little bowls of melt-in-your-mouth braised pork belly in all the lands. I think we paid like $6 USD total for our entire meal. I wish I ordered more because looking at my pictures makes me SO HUNGRY!!!
3. Jiufen Old Street
Jiufen easily became my favorite place in Taiwan because it made me feel like I was exploring the real-life Spirited Away. Pictures can’t do this place justice. There are so many charming shops and knick-knacks you can experience. Every corner is photogenic. Most importantly, you’ll find some of the most delightful snacks interwoven along these dizzying walkways! Our favorites were the meatball soup restaurant (no idea what their name was but it’s near the official tunnel entrance), Wendirose almond milk tea (made so fresh you can smell the almond milk from down the street), and the ultra-comforting Taiwanese red bean pastries!
4. Yongkang Street Fruits
Here’s a fair warning: Yongkang Street doesn’t start popping until after 12 noon. We made the mistake of visiting at 9 AM (which I thought was already pretty late), but literally 3 stores were open. Lol! Come at noon ready to eat and Yongkang will satisfy every Taiwanese craving you’ll ever have. There’s also a fun little fruit shop there that you should check out because their fruits are HUMUNGOUS and sooo sweet. I swear I’ve never seen avocados, rose apples and soursops this size before. We later found out that Taiwan has somewhat of an obsession with big, perfect fruits, but none of the fruits we tried compared to the ones found at this shop in Yongkang. Again, not sure what this shop is called but you’ll for sure run into it because Yongkang isn’t that big! :D
5. Bobii Fruitii
Bobii Fruitii is also around Yongkang Street and is hands down the best boba I’ve ever had. Not too sweet and super high quality. Their black sesame boba is DELICIOUS. *Drools
6. Thanh Ky
For the Yongkang visitors who came too early like us, just do yourselves a favor and get in line for Thanh Ky’s yummy egg pancakes. Trust me, there WILL be a line but it will be worth it :).
7. Mango Shaved Ice at Smoothie House
You might’ve tried mango shaved ice before, but you haven’t had it from Smoothie House. Total game changer. Also located in Yongkang!
8. Shilin Night Market
Cheap eats GALORE for the adventurous traveler! Visit Shilin to see locals and tourists lining up for the most splendid mini meals— some of which come prepared with a blowdryer (see below). You might need somewhat of a stomach of steel to enjoy these dishes, but my boyfriend has the weakest stomach ever and he walked away in one piece :) so there’s hope for ya’ll sensitive people! Come with an open mind… and TRY YEBO HOME’s milk tea and desserts!!! It’s smack dab in the middle of all the hustle and bustle of Shilin but it has the best Hong Kong waffle and soft serve eVERRR.
8. Addiction Aquatic Taipei
Taiwan resembles Japan in many aspects, but Addiction Aquatic Taipei has got to be the spawn of Tokyo’s Tsukiji Market itself — but with slightly less high quality products. :) Nevertheless, I still enjoyed our standing sushi meal (where you literally stand up to eat your meal) and I highly recommend coming here for a nice night out in Taipei!
9. Chiate Pineapple Cakes
There might be a million pineapple cake brands in Taiwan, but Chiate is T H E O N L Y brand that you should buy! There’s only one store in ALL of Taiwan so the line is super crazy but it moves extraordinarily fast. These pineapple cakes aren’t cheap, but I have to squeeze this bakery in here because it is just plain amazing. You need to buy some for your relatives. Trust me, they’ll ask for it every time you visit Taiwan in the future. It’s just unforgettable. Try the one with the salted egg inside! GAME CHANGER!
That’s all I have for this list! If you’ve visited other notable restaurants or food stands in Taiwan, please feel free to share it in the comments below!