WildTaiwan co-founder, Wendy Kung, is a food lover to the core.
Not only is she well-versed on the many food offerings Taiwan has to offer, but she’s also acutely skilled at explaining the nuances of Taiwanese cuisine to those new to the scene. Following her deep dive article into Taiwanese cuisine, and her time spent writing the Taiwan Lonely Planet, Wendy has zoomed in further to share her personal guide of where to eat in Taipei.
Mountain and Sea House, located in a luxurious mansion, brings an atmosphere of glamour from the 1930s. They offer local Hakka food served with French flair, combining modern and traditional cooking techniques to create authentic Taiwanese cuisine. In 2021, Mountain and Sea House achieved a remarkable milestone by being awarded Taiwan’s first-ever Michelin Green Star. The achievement was marked by paramount importance being given to the quality of the food, emphasizing locally-sourced ingredients from nearby farms, guaranteeing the freshest and most seasonal produce for all their dishes. Sustainability is also a part of their philosophy, sourcing free-range chickens and pigs. The cherry on top? All of this is accompanied by delectable Taiwanese food and exceptional service. They are open daily for lunch and dinner, and reservations are recommended.
Wendy’s favorite dishes: Roast Suckling Pig 金銀燒豬, Deboned Chicken Braised in Pork Tripe 肚包雞 and Stir-fried Rice Noodles 古早味炒米粉
Location: No.94, Sec. 2, Ren’ai Rd., Zhongzheng District 中正區仁愛路二段94號
The legend of Din Tai Fung needs no introduction. With branches all over the world, most travelers will have at least heard the name, if not also personally dined on the famous soup dumplings. What makes this specific Din Tai Fung location special though, is that it is the very first one, having initially opened its doors in 1958. While many visitors to the city hit the Taipei 101 branch of Din Tai Fung, the locals mostly frequent this one. Waiting is part of the experience here, so take a number and explore the surrounds, but rest assured that once inside Taiwan’s most revered restaurant an array of specialties await.
Wendy’s favorite dishes: Pork Xiao Long Bao 小籠包, Spicy Shrimp and Pork Wontons 紅油抄手 and Hot and Sour Soup 酸辣湯
Location: No. 194, Section 2, Xinyi Rd, Da’an District 信義路二段194號
James Kitchen is popular among just about everyone, locals and international chefs alike. Anthony Bourdain even dined here as part of his The Layover TV series (season 2 episode 8). James kitchen is the definition of a hole-in-the-wall; the unassuming building looks more like a home than a restaurant, which is apt, as the food features the best of Taiwan’s home cooking. Nestled at the top of the ever popular Yongkang Street in Taipei, this local haunt is often busy, so reservations are recommended for those planning to dine before 8pm. Open daily, for dinner only (17:00–23:30).
Wendy’s favorite dishes: Cold cut pork with kumquat sauce 桔醬白切肉, Scallop and pork gravy over rice 干貝肉燥飯 and Omelet with Pickled Turnip 菜脯蛋
Location: No.65, Yongkang Street, Da’an District 大安區永康街65號
Yang Shin is the first vegetarian dim-sum house in Taipei. Their culinary skills are off the charts, earning them a 2022 Travellers’ Choice award on Tripadvisor. Prepare to be amazed by their innovative vegetarian dishes, offering a delightful variety for all tastes. Using only the freshest organic ingredients, they’ve perfected the art of seasoning with just the right amount of oil, sugar, and salt, delivering dishes bursting with flavors that are both nutritious and satisfying. Their mission goes beyond the quality of food though, aiming to create a healthy, happy, and enjoyable dining experience for everyone. So, whether you’re a devoted vegetarian or just up for trying something new, Yang Shin promises an unforgettable veggie adventure that’ll leave you wanting more.
Wendy’s favorite dishes: Three-Cup Lion’s Mane Mushroom 塔香猴頭菇, Pine Nut & Vegetable Cheese Roll 松子起司蔬菜捲, Stir-Fried Crispy Mushroom & String Bean 柳松乾煸四季豆 and Deep-Fried Radish Cocoon Pastry 蘿蔔絲酥餅
Shi-Yang Tea House is a beloved local Omakase restaurant where simplicity meets zen. Nestled within a serene forest area, approximately an hour’s drive from Taipei, this hidden gem promises an unforgettable dining experience. To secure your spot, a phone call reservation is a must—one week in advance for weekdays and a remarkable six weeks ahead for holidays. The restaurant welcomes guests from Tuesday to Friday, with an exclusive lunch service available only on Thursdays.
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