10 Amazing Street Food Picks for Your Next Taiwan Trip
Are your tummies ready?
(SPOT.ph) Taiwan is studded with brightly colored night markets left and right. These street bazaars, which mostly unfold after the sun goes down, add to the island nation's young and vivacious character. With hundreds of street food options to choose from, it would be a complete bummer to end your stay without a belly-bursting food trip. Good news is we've done the dirty work for you and compiled some of the best night market snacks there is.
Crispy chicken cutlet
There's a reason why we put Taiwan's famous jumbo crispy chicken cutlet first—it's lip-smacking good! This golden deep-fried snack that's about as big as your face is all over the small island nation. If an order is more than your tummy can handle, don't worry because crispy chicken cutlet stalls also offer the same juicy goodness but in bite-sized form (think chicken popcorn-style).
The rumors are true: You can smell this dish's unique funk from about six night market stalls away. But don't let its notorious stench be a buzzkill because the smellier the tofu, the tastier it is says the locals. Served either boiled or fried, stinky tofu is pre-cooked in a fermented brine for weeks or even months. This process gives it its signature tangy flavor, which is unlike anything you've had before. Try it for the experience and bragging rights—we say it's well worth it.
Your inner sweet tooth will be delighted at this yummy candied snack. Made from ripe cherry tomatoes (tomatoes are technically fruits), the sugar-dipped skewers have slices of dried plum or strawberry in between to add a bit of variety to your bite.
Spring onion pancake
For the less carnivorous, the Taiwanese-style spring onion pancake is a good bet. It's light, flaky, and toasted to a perfect crisp. Locals usually make their own at home and eat these savory pancakes for breakfast, hot from the pan. Luckily, you don't have to go knocking on anyone's door to taste the real thing because it's also available for cheap in most street markets in Taiwan.
Squid is a ubiquitous ingredient in any night market in this East Asian country. One particular snack we can't stop raving about is their deep-fried squid served on a stick. Think of this as the seafood version of the crispy chicken cutlet—crunchy, succulent, and huge!
Taiwanese pork sausage
If New York has hotdogs, then Taipei has these glistening pork sausage beauties. But unlike the hotdogs we're all familiar with, these are sweeter and a lot chewier. The Taiwanese pork sausage is normally cooked over a scorching charcoal grill and has a delicious smoky flavor.
Fresh fruits make for a refreshing snack and are probably one of the most abundant elements in any Taiwanese street market. Choose from a potpourri of banana, watermelon, dragonfruit, pineapple, guava, and more—it seems they have every fruit imaginable. Dried and candied fruits are likewise available anywhere, which are perfect to munch on to-go and bring back home.
Taiwan's octopus takoyaki is insanely cheesy and gooey. Found in most street markets, these seafood bites are best eaten hot and fresh. These balls of batter are stuffed with a medley of seafood and different vegetables to add some crunch, and then finished with mayonnaise or barbecue sauce for an extra touch of tang and creaminess.
Don't leave any Taiwan night market without trying a traditional lu wei. You know you've found a lu wei stall when it offers an overwhelming variety of braised meat and vegetables: from pork and squid balls, to chicken wings, tofu, corn, tea eggs, innards, and a lot more. Vendors will let you mix and match to your fancy before they briefly stew your picks in a savory broth.
Pearl milk tea
Go to Taiwan if you're downright obsessed with milk tea. There's a milk tea stand in almost every corner and they sell these delicious drinks at shockingly low prices starting at P45 (versus P100++ in the Philippines). While you're there, you can even hop on a bus to Taichung and head over to Chun Shui Tang, the milk tea store that started this phenomenal worldwide craze.