Té's Guide to Taiwan


 City of Taipei

Taipei City Tea Houses
    Wistaria Tea House:
    A beautiful tearoom in an old Japanese styled wooden house that was built in the 1920's. You can make your own tea at the table for multiple steepings or just order a cup of tea if you are caffeine sensitive. The small tea snack menu has a list of traditional fare that is quite nostalgic. A must if you love tea.
    Cans Bookshop:
    Modern tea cafe with modern teaware that you would absolutely want to bring home. They run tea ceremonies and many cultural events.
    E2000 Vintage Tea Collector:
    Tiny tea store hidden in the back of an alley. They specialize in vintage oolongs and puerh. Most teaware and furniture in the store are vintage like their teas!
    San Coffee:
    Taiwan produces delicious coffee too! This is a modern coffee bar specializing in coffee beans that are only sourced on the island itself. They make pour overs and you can try coffees both hot or cold at the same time. 
    Anta Pottery:
    Teaware that's reasonably priced and good quality. Some are more commercial than others. There is something for everyone at Anta and they have multiple locations around Taipei.

    ____

    Ding Tai Fung Taipei

    Places to Eat & Drink
    Shin Yeh:
    Traditional Taiwanese food. This is a MUST when we go to Taiwan for tea sourcing. Do get the baby oysters with black bean sauce & the rice crepe roll. They have a few branches but we prefer the original location on 雙城街 in Taipei.
    Ding Tai Fung:
    Couldn't remember a time we went to Taiwan without going there at least two or three times. Their food and service is not only excellent but inspirational. Extremely consistent and the soup dumplings are truly exceptional. Spicy dumpling, fried rice, and stir fried vegetables are a must and don't forget to save room for red bean and taro dumpings for dessert. 
    Ah Zong Mian Xian:
    Garlicy short noodles with intestines. It's pretty divine any time of day-- yes even for breakfast.
    Taoyuan Street Beef Noodle soup:
    You can't tell people you visited Taiwan without having any beef noodle soup. This one is 3 floors and has served 5 things on the menu over the decades. We get the beef noodle soup with partial tendons, pickled cabbage, rice and short ribs in bamboo steamers. 
    Yong He Soy Milk King:
    Get there early. If you arrive on EVA air at the crack of dawn, drop off your stuff and head straight there to avoid the crowd. Savory soy fried dough wrapped pastry rice balls should be part of the order. They have real soy milk unlike the ones we get in America that is filled with natural flavors. Toasted rice and peanut milk is a thing there. Delicious when you dip in the strands of fried dough. 
    Lee Chi Pastry:
    Yum yum yum. Pineapple cakes and mini mung bean mooncakes. Lots of them. They have remodeled many times in the last few years. It used to be a hole in the wall.
    Zhou Ji Noodle Shop:
    Bowls of noodles of different textures and thickness, seasoned with fried shallots and pork fat served in soup or simply with minced pork. Make sure you get the smoked shark meat (yes, shark meat) and steamed pork liver as a side. These side dishes are served with thick soy, neon green wasabi and an abundance of julienne ginger. 
    Night Market:
    Night markets are super fun but can be overwhelming. Get everything that looks interesting to you. They are typically $1 or $2 per serving. Try the fried stinky tofu if you want bragging rights. We love the grilled corn and shaved ice.
     Taipei Night Market: Go2taiwan.net

    ____

    Day Trips Outside of Taipei
    Yinge Pottery Town:
    Teaware. All over this town has teaware. You can take the light rail from Taipei station and it's about a 35 min trip. Bring sturdy canvas bags if you are looking to take something home.
    Jiu Fen: tea house with a view:
    Adorable small town away from the big city. Many small tearooms, design shops and snacks to munch on as you stroll the streets.

     

    Sun Moon Lake:
    Stay at the Lalu hotel, if you don't mind paying the pretty hefty price tag. But it's worth it if you want to stay around the lake. Most are too expensive for the quality of the stay. We love the Lalu for their service, quality of meals and the resort itself is extremely comfortable. The views are unbelievable and out of this world. The hotel has a pathway behind the infinity pool that you could take to walk around the lake. Do so at 6am. We highly recommend it. Plus, delicious black teas from Taiwan are produced in the nearby town that's a short drive away. 
     
    Taroko gorge National Park:
    Beautiful National Park. A must visit if you have a day or two for natural scenery. There are trains that takes you directly to Taroko from designated stations in Taipei. Try a beautiful stay at the Silk Place that won't break the bank.