Anyone with a big appetite will surely be tested in Taiwan, where food is literally around the corner. Nearly every corner of every street in Taiwan has a street food cart/stand filled with many a savory or sweet concoction that can be purchased for a mere pittance (a few cents to one dollar USD for a bun/fried pancake/cup of passion fruit juice).
Taiwan’s vegan scene has also blossomed into a vibrant, socially conscious community that knows how to create some damn good food. Here, we list our top ten favorite spots all around Taiwan.
- Soul R. Cafe – 忠孝東路3段217巷1弄6號 Taipei, Taiwan 106If there was ever a restaurant that could encompass the words “trendy, orgasmically delicious” and “sexy,” this would be the place. With entrees that have names like Vegan Black Pepper Filet Mignon and Aegean Sea Vegan Squid Ink Spaghetti, it’s easy to see why this sophisticated eatery made it to the top of our list. Be sure to order from their set meal menu for maximum impact!
- Miss Green – No. 28, Ln. 63, Sec. 2, Dunhua S. Rd., Da’an Dist., Taipei CityMillenials will find the compelling messaging and chic earth-hugging vibes of Miss Green especially attractive, though in no way does that overshadow how tasty everything on the Miss Green menu is. Standout dishes include the Nutty Pesto, Creamy Alfredo Basamico and their decadent Death by Chocolate cake (cake selection varies daily).
- Mei Xin Vegan Restaurant – No. 75, Minguo Rd., Hualien City, Hualien City 97049, TaiwanFirst off, this place is NOT vegan as it says in its moniker. They have mostly vegan items but some do use milk. Having said that, visitors are sure to thoroughly enjoy the vast selection of expertly cooked mock fish, eel and pork as well as the immense wonton soup with melt-in-your-mouth wontons.
- Herban Kitchen – 台北市大安區忠孝東路四段101巷27號 Taipei, Taiwan 10691Matcha almond milk na-teah (latte in Chinese) with a side of youthquake, anyone? This hipster-heaven, instagrammable joint is helmed by a staff that looks to be all under the age of 25. That might up the trend factor by at least 30%, but it also ups the wait time to about 15% longer. And it wasn’t even that busy! Still, we did enjoy the eats after having waited 20+ mins for it. Pictured above is the Baked Eggs with Feta, which tasted fresh and light, perfect for travelers on-the-go.
- 修圓素食 – No. 6-5, Huaining Street 懷寧街6之5號 Zhongzheng District, 台北市 100This place was open at 7 AM, a boon for many a jetlagged tourist! Unfortunately, most vegan spots in Taipei don’t open till around 10AM (Taking it easy much, guys?!). The restaurant does not have an English name variant, so time to flex those copy + paste muscles to get to the good stuff: and yes, it is good stuff. Mock meats, flavor-rife noodle soups and expertly cooked fried soft tofu were just a few of the supremely toothsome edibles on the menu (be sure to ask for the English menu!).
- Yu Shan Ge – 14 Beiping E. Rd. | 1 Floor, Taipei 100, TaiwanWe had high hopes for this restaurant that had glowing reviews on Yelp, Tripadvisor and Happy Cow but were a bit underwhelmed. Presentation seemed like the most important factor in creating the meals here, and flavor took a bit of a backseat. Still, the experience of trying out an “upscale” type-vegan establishment was not regrettable, but it’s no big deal if time is of the essence.
- Mos Burger – various locationsMos Burger is a chain that originated in Japan and which is now wildly popular, having taken over pretty much all of East Asia (locations in Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore Indonesia, South Korea) and Australia. By far, it’s the most convenient way to fill a belly if you’re out late or out super early (as jet lag will most likely cause you to do), and certainly is a healthier (and far tastier) choice versus eating ramen or ten granola bars. Mos has one vegan burger that is filled with a delicious medley of veggies, and their red tea (hong tsa) is not cloyingly sweet, like soda can be.
- Veggie Grill – 49, Lane 19, Alley 2, Chang’an West Rd (at Nanjing West Rd), Taipei, TaiwanThis place had every reason to be higher up on this list, the only reason it wasn’t being that they only had two vegan selections. The place is super small with a max capacity to fit about 8 people, so budget accordingly! There are two vegan selections: the focaccia hash brown burger and the pesto mushroom burger. Both were stellar, though we liked the hash brown burger more. They also had a lovely lemonade libation that is freshly made (which we ordered seconds of) and a bunch of other coffee drinks.
- Ooh Cha Cha – No. 207 NanChang Road, Section 2, ZhongZheng District, Taipei
This husband-and-wife operated cafe has a clean, minimalist vibe and matching eats, which range from homemade veggie burgers to noodle bowls. They also custom-make raw vegan cheesecake, which is pretty awesome as it’s probably not easy to buy a whole vegan cake in Taiwan.
- Farmer’s Kitchen – No. 407, Zhongshan Road, Hualien City 970, TaiwanBeing that Hualian is a more remote part of Taiwan, we were worried there wouldn’t be too many vegan choices. Not so! This cute restaurant is easily found on HappyCow as well as Yelp. Vegetable pizza, healthy fruit smoothies and calzones. Though the place is vegetarian (they do serve omelettes), it’s not a problem with the easy-to-read English menu.
Image credits: Terry Chao