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.
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!