My food adventure through Taipei was blissfully enlightening and sadly enfattening. Sigh. But… I’d do it all over again! Walking through food markets counts as exercise, right?
Here are the sweetest eats I devoured while on my fullfilling journey of Eating My Way Through Taipei.
Crispy Donut // $25 NT or $1.10 CAD
This is no Tim Hortons donut. Although, I could really go for a honey cruller right about now. Those are still on the Timmys menu, right?
The crispy donut from Kari Donut is hands down one of the best donuts and all-around best desserts I’ve had in my life. That says a lot, considering that I don’t even really like donuts all that much! Except for the occasional honey cruller paired with a Double Double, of course.
Kari serves these up fresh from the fryer and douses them in a mountain of seasonings. This one here is the original, covered with a disgustingly good heaping of sugar and cinnamon. Other flavours on the menu included: red bean, peanut, chocolate, sweet potato, grape jelly, milk cream, milk powder, cheese, and curry.
The outside of the donut is super crispy like a chip, while the inside is fluffy like a cloud. I have since realized that this contrast is the essential make-up for the perfect donut.
A huge line-up outside the small shop confirmed the level of perfection of these donuts. I waited fifteen minutes for mine. Good things happen to those who wait. It was definitely more than good.
Where to find it: At Kari Donut, just a 2-minute walk from Taipei Main Station.
Take the MRT to Taipei Main Station. Leave at exit 1 and walk left along Civic Boulevard until you’ve reached Section 1, Chengde Road. Make a right and then a first left onto Huayin Street. Towards the end of the first street you will see a huge line-up on your right hand side, that’s it! It is directly across the street across from Star Hostel.
No. 183, Huayin St, Datong District, Taipei
Peanut Ice Cream Roll // $45 NT or $1.90 CAD
I’m nutty for ice cream. And I love nutty ice cream!
So, somewhere in the universe, some stars must’ve aligned for me to stumble upon the “Peanut Ice Cream Roll” vendor at the Ningxia Night Market.
This burrito-style ice cream was definitely nutty, and I’m not just talking about the peanuts. I mean, who was crazy enough to think up such a heavenly creation?! Because, I think there’s a definite possiblility that we’re actually soul mates.
The vendor starts by scraping away at a massive slab of peanut brittle with a wooden scraper. The result – an enormous pile of peanut brittle shavings, which is laid out on a thin spring roll wrap.
Then, two scoops of ice cream are placed on the mountain of peanut brittle. I chose taro ice cream, which seemed to be the most popular choice, over pineapple, peanut, sweet potato, or red bean. Then, the final, key ingredient to this magical ice cream burrito is cilantro. Thank goodness I’m not one of those people who have a genetic predisposition to hate cilantro. Bring on the cilantro! Everything is then wrapped up tightly and served in a plastic bag.
The combination of sweet and creamy with salty and crunchy, makes this the ultimate dessert burrito. I may have had more than one during my week in Taiwan.
Where to find it: Various night markets throughout Taiwan. I inhaled this one at the Ningxia Night Market.
Take the MRT to Zhongshan Station. Leave the station at exit 4, turn right and walk down Nanjing West Road until you’ve reached the large roundabout. Make a right and proceed straight, following the heavenly smells of steamed dumplings, deep fried seafood, and cilantro.
Ningxia Road, Datong District, Taipei
Taro Ball Sweet Soup // $60 NT or $2.55 CAD
Who knew soup could be oh so sweet?
This small shop along the boardwalk at Fisherman’s Wharf, serves up yummy, dessert soup. The soup I had, yu wan, was made with red and green bean, taro and sweet potato balls, and peanuts. There were other options on the menu that had different flavour combinations.
I was confused when I was asked if I would like my soup hot or iced. I didn’t know that soup existed in an iced form. I chose the hot soup, as this seemed to be what the other patrons were ordering.
The soup was steaming hot. Naturally, I burned my tongue multiple times, as I’m incapable of self-control. There was an enjoyable chewiness with the taro and sweet potato balls. And, the perfect amount of sweetness coming from the red beans.
I highly recommend making the trip out to Fisherman’s Wharf to slurp down a bowl of this soup. Oh! And for the awesome views of the pier. I’m still suffering from a burnt tongue, which is a huge testament of how much I enjoyed it.
Where to find it: At the Tamsui Fisherman’s Wharf.
Take the MRT to Tamsui Station. Exit the station and take the local bus (#836, 857, or Red 26) headed to Fisherman’s Wharf. Cross the big, white bridge. Underneath the bridge, on the left-hand side is Joufan Taro Balls.
251, Taiwan, New Taipei City, Tamsui District.
Egg Tart Stuffed With Red Bean // $25 NT or $1.10 CAD
I have this thing for egg tarts. Since having this particular egg tart, I have now developed a thing for egg tarts that come with different fillings. I didn’t even know that this was possible! And now, I don’t think I could ever have a plain egg tart again.
This egg tart came with a red bean filling, which I uncovered while biting into the deliciously creamy custard. The tart shell was super flaky and crumbly.
Where to find it: At the Ningxia Night Market.
See above for directions.
Lemon Aiyu Jelly // $25 NT or $1.10 CAD
Jell-O? Juice? I still can’t figure out what I had here.
This was some sort of a hybrid between the two.
A fig fruit seed is rubbed together with cold water, producing a slippery, silky jelly. This is then combined with lemon, sweetner, and water to separate the jelly, which results in a strange drink!
Similar to a lemonade, this was super refreshing, especially while walking through the clouds of hot steam coming from the vendors at the night market.
Where to find it: Every food market in Taiwan! I slurped this one down at the Ningxia Night Market.
See above for directions.
Pastry Stuffed With White Radish // $20 NT or $0.85 CAD
A super simple, but super tasty pastry that is extremely common in Taiwan and other parts of Asia. What made this one special was the filling. Usually, these are stuffed with red bean. This one here was stuffed with white radish. This was a first for me! The pastry was semi-sweet, which was also a first for me. This was the perfect last pastry to consume after a week of bingeing on sugar-ladened desserts.
Where to find it: Everywhere around Taiwan!
This one I grabbed off of a food stall on Shifen’s Old Street during my day trip along the Pingxi Railway Line.
As always, happy eating, everyone!
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