Eating out in Taiwan – a foodie’s paradise!

One of the great joys of living in Taiwan is the abundance of amazing foods, from snacking at night markets to sit down family-style meals and formal banquets. I also had the chance to try several vegetarian restaurants at Buddhist monasteries.

The night market is the place to go for everything fried and grilled: tempura, takoyaki, taiyaki, duck tongue, pig’s blood cakes, sausage, and chicken feet.

Grilled squid

Glazed stinky tofu
  
Takoyaki (fried octopus batter)
  
 

Family-style dining includes a variety of meat, seafood, and veggie dishes served all at once; you simply take your bowl of rice and load up with whatever looks good. The food is served on a large lazy Susan for ease of serving. 
  

 
Finally, hotpot restaurants are enormously popular, particularly spicy hotpot. At its simplest, it’s a bowl of boiling broth (meat, seafood or veggie) that you add raw meat and veggies to. You replenish the stock, bring to a boil, and continue adding ingredients until you’ve used them up. Each diner controls their heat via a knob under the table. 

  

   
Due to the large numbers of Buddhists, vegetarian restaurants are very common. Some of the most delicious meals I had were at Buddhist monasteries. My first night in Taiwan, I found an organic vegetarian Buddhist grocery store; I finally felt like I belonged!

  

   
Taiwanese are very fond of sweets, both Asian and Western. During Taiwan’s long, hot summers, shave ice desserts topped with sweetened condensed milk and fresh fruit are very popular.   

  

Matcha ice with red beans and tapioca pearls
  
  
   

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