Taiwan’s Best Breakfast JointsWritten by Catherine C
A huge part of the local culture, Taiwanese breakfast foods are a vast collection of appetizing, accessible, and affordable dishes. Here is a quick rundown of the best of the best.
As is often said, breakfast is the most important meal of the day; in Taiwan, it just might be the best meal of the day. Breakfast shops are commonplace, and the menus often include everything from the traditional staples, such as Taiwanese omelettes, steamed buns, and scallion pancakes, to more Westernized options, including all kinds of sandwiches, hamburgers, and spaghetti. Students and office workers can be seen in the morning dashing into their local store for a bite on-the-go, often chatting with the owner as the food is being prepared. Here, we introduce three of the classic items you must try, as well as four spots in the Taipei area to find them.
Hive Life’s Crash Course in Taiwanese Breakfast Foods
蛋餅, known as Taiwanese Omelets, Egg Pancake Rolls, or Egg Pancakes
Perhaps the most common of Taiwanese breakfast food, Taiwanese Omelettes are best described as a combination of thin pieces of pastry (like the offspring of a crepe and a tortilla), and an egg (cooked in the style of an omelette), which are then rolled up into a tube-like shape. One can choose to have it plain or add fillings such as cheese, corn, and pork floss, or even bacon, steak and hash browns.
燒餅油條, known as Clay Oven Rolls with Deep-fried Twisted Dough Sticks, or Eggs
Clay oven rolls, shaped like a submarine sandwich, are usually paired with either deep-fried twisted dough sticks (a rather self-explanatory name) or eggs. Hot and steamy, these are great choices to warm up your mornings.
飯糰, known as Rice Rolls
Though less common in more contemporary-styled breakfast spots, rice rolls can still be found in more traditional stores. Often a combination of sticky rice stuffed with marinated white radish pieces (it tastes much better than it sounds, trust us), an egg, a deep-fried twisted dough stick, and some pork floss (fluffy dried meat). The rice roll is absolutely delicious, and will definitely keep you full.
Hive Life’s Top Spots for Traditional Taiwanese Breakfast
世界豆漿大王 World Soymilk King
Located just on the outskirts of Taipei, World Soy Milk King, or as it’s more commonly known, Yonghe Soymilk, is the only breakfast place in the city that runs 24/7. Their diverse menu has over 50 items, ranging from classic Taiwanese staples to Hong-Kong-style delicacies, and featuring vegetarian alternatives of the most iconic dishes. They even have a glass display case where they exhibit little models of all their menu items, complete with English and Japanese translations. Their thoughtfulness towards international visitors, long business hours, and authentic, delicious goods make them the perfect place for tourists to dip their toes into the Taiwanese breakfast scene.
No.284, Sec. 2, Yonghe Rd., Yonghe Dist., New Taipei City 23445
阜杭豆漿 Fu Hang Soy Milk
One of the most popular and well-known breakfast places in Taipei, as evidenced by their long, long lines, Fu Hang Soy Milk has been a local favourite since its opening in the 1950s. Their large dining space is extremely rare for breakfast spots and is chock-a-block full of patrons from the moment their doors open at 5:30 am. Their signature dish? Clay oven rolls with deep-fried twisted dough sticks paired with their salty soy milk soup. Though their prices run slightly higher, and a long wait is guaranteed, don’t let that stop you from visiting; it is definitely worth the pilgrimage. P.S. As the line moves very fast, and the menu has no English translation, make sure to have a kind-hearted local or your hotel concierge write your order down on a piece of paper first!
Address: 10050 臺北市中正區忠孝東路１段108號
No.108, Sec. 1, Zhongxiao E. Rd., Zhongzheng Dist., Taipei City 10050
康樂意小吃店 Kang Le Yi Snack Bar
If steamed buns are what you’re after, then no look no further than Kang Le Yi Snack Bar. At their modest storefront, you’ll see locals come in empty-handed but leave with their bags filled to the brim with hand-made buns. Offered in three flavours, meat, meat with vegetables, and red bean paste, these chewy buns are some of the best that Taiwan has to offer.
Address: 10080 臺北市中正區汀州路２段46號
No.46, Sec. 2, Tingzhou Rd., Zhongzheng Dist., Taipei City 10080
蛋餅坊 Bus Eggs Cake House
Situated in suburban Neihu, Bus Eggs Cake House serves piping hot, delicious Taiwanese omelettes in six flavours: original, bacon, ham, corn, pork floss and cheese. A hidden gem that tourists rarely stumble upon, the store is heavily frequented by locals, especially students, in the area. Their store has no dining area, but you can sit while you wait and watch the food get made in their bus-themed kitchen. Or, if you would like to skip the wait, simply call ahead with your request, and your order will be ready to go when you arrive.
Address: 11464 臺北市內湖區內湖路２段193號
No.193, Sec. 2, Neihu Rd., Neihu Dist., Taipei City 11464