Taiwan Food and Drink
When looking for restaurants in Taiwan, there is often a wide variety available. Visitors and locals alike enjoy experiencing Taiwanese, Hakka, Sichuan, Cantonese, Korean and Japanese cuisine. However, the best place to experience local tastes and delicacies is at night markets where street vendors sell a range of goods from finger foods to full sit-down meals as well as drinks and sweets.
Pork, chicken, rice and soy are common staples of most Taiwanese diets, and so too are various seasonings like soy sauce, rice wine and sesame oil as well as peanuts, chilli peppers, cilantro and locally grown basil. With a large population as well as two-thirds of the country being dominated by mountain ranges, the people of Taiwan have had to look away from agriculture and farming as main food sources, instead, being an island nation, protein is found in seafood. Grouper and tuna as well as small fish like sardines and anchovies are common as well as crustaceans and squid.
Popular dishes include:
Beef noodles: this dish is a noodle soup flavoured with tender stewed beef and some pickles.
Oyster Omelette: the main ingredients of this dish are self-explanatory - eggs and oysters. However, the leaves of local chrysanthemum flowers are added and the omelette is topped with a sweet red sauce.
Auju jelly: this jelly is made from the seeds of locally grown figs. It is usually served on ice and is known for being cool and refreshing on hot Taiwanese days.
Taiwan sausage: this sausage is pork based and is usually eaten by itself with only garlic as an accompaniment.
Xiaochi (snacks in the style of Spanish tapas) are very popular in Taiwan and are traditionally found at night markets. Each market is famous for its own distinct xiaochi. Recently, some higher end restaurants have begun to put xiaochi on their menus.
Tea is a very common and popular drink in Taiwan with oolong being the most famous. Bubble Tea (a cool tea-based drink with small tapioca balls) has also become a favourite. Taiwan Beer began to be brewed in 1945 and has remained the most well-liked beer in the country. It is an amber lager beer that offers a distinct taste due to the addition of local ponlai rice. It is recommended as an accompaniment to seafood dishes. Gaoliang jiu is the local “firewater” found in Taiwan and is made from sorghum.
Things to know:
Tipping is not a traditional custom in Taiwan, however, it is becoming more common. In Taipei, hotels and restaurants may add a 10% surcharge, but tipping above that is not expected.
Drinking age: 18
Taiwan Travel Information
At Goway we believe that a well-informed traveller is a safer traveller. With this in mind, we have compiled an easy-to-navigate travel information section dedicated to Taiwan.
Learn about the history and culture of Taiwan, the must-try food and drink, and what to pack in your suitcase. Read about Taiwan's nature and wildlife, weather and geography, along with 'Country Quickfacts' compiled by our travel experts. Our globetrotting tips, as well as our visa and health information, will help ensure you're properly prepared for a safe and enjoyable trip. The only way you could possibly learn more is by embarking on your journey and discovering Taiwan for yourself. Start exploring… book one of our Taiwan tours today!
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