One of the best things about traveling to Taiwan is the food! Taipei in particular is a great place for street food and cheap eats and this starts at breakfast. Here’s our list of the top Taiwanese breakfast dishes you must try when traveling in Taiwan.
At home, we are not big breakfast people. Even on the road, we tend to stick to basics and save room for lunch or dinner. But, in Taiwan, we went out several times in search of typical Taiwanese breakfast foods.
Planning on having a great breakfast in Taiwan? If you’re a traveler and you’re thinking of making a pit stop in this fabulous country, here are a few things you need to know.
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What Do Taiwanese People Eat For Breakfast?
What makes Taiwan interesting, you say? Taiwan is a small island nation in East Asia. With Taipei as its capital city, the state has no borders. Apart from Mandarin, they also speak other languages like Hokkien and Hakka amongst others.
Random interesting fact? Most of the students in Taiwan wear school uniforms which makes them look collectively sharp and bright-looking. If you’re middle-aged, you’re also in for a treat. Respect for elders is one of the most important traditions over there. Another thing that’s more interesting than that? The cuisine. A Taiwanese experience lives rent-free in your head for a long time. From breakfast to snacks, there are several varieties of foods in Taiwan that it’s hard to not at least have one, or ten.
Here are some of the best Taiwan breakfast foods from the Taiwanese cuisine you must try before you can be fully said to have had the complete Taiwanese experience.
8 Taiwanese Breakfast Dishes For You To Try
|🍽 Breakfast Item||🇹🇼 Taiwanese Name|
|🥮 Turnip Cake||Lu Buo Gao|
|🥛 Salted Soy Milk||Doujiang|
|🥞 Scallion Pancake||Cong You Bing|
|🥞 Sweet Pan Cake||Xiang Su Su Bing|
|🍩 Twisted Cruller||You Tiao|
|🧋Bubble Milk Tea||Zhenzhu Naicha|
|🥚 Taiwanese Egg Wrap||Danbing|
|🍜 Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup||Hong Shao Niu Rou Mian|
If you’re in Taipei and want to learn more about the local cuisine, check out our recommendations for the best food tours in Taipei.
Taiwanese Breakfast You Must Have If You’re In Taiwan
One of the things we love about traveling for food in Asia is the diversity of the cuisine. While Vietnamese, Thai, and Malay use similar ingredients, the results are unique to those cuisines. The same can be said of Taiwanese dishes, including breakfast dishes. Here are some must-try dishes we’ve simply loved.
Turnip Cake (Lu Buo Gao)
If you want to sit and take in the scenery while you eat, one of the dishes that compliment the environment all the time is the Turnip cake or the Lu Buo Gao. One of the things that makes this dish unique is its flavored taste and soft texture when you bite into it. It’s served in a lot of restaurants so there’s a high chance that you’ll get one of those anywhere. Made with ingredients like dried shrimp and onions, this is one of the greatest delicacies you’ll have in the area. Fun fact? The turnip cake is actually not made of turnip. It’s made of a radish mostly used in Asian kitchens called Daikon. You can also refer to it as white radish or mooli. It’s a must-have traditional Taiwanese breakfast.
Salted Soy Milk or Doujiang
You want to have a taste of Taiwan, it’s better to get into the soul of their cuisine straight away and the best way to do it is to have a helping of this delicious food. Something is interesting about salted soy milk or doujiang. Most of the time, people prefer to have it as a drink. Imagine cereal but with more ingredients. And then the other time, people opt to have it salted and served as a classic breakfast dish. If you do not want to load up too much on carbs, this is a great alternative for you. Salted soy milk is one of those Taiwan breakfast foods that opens your taste buds to the kind of dishes you will have as long as you’re there.
Cong You Bing (Scallion Pancake)
If you’re in a hurry and you need food for the road, you need to get one of these then. The scallion pancakes are fried with enough oil to give them a smooth flaky texture and a delicious aftertaste. Then the main ingredient, Scallions are evenly distributed on the cake to give it the Taiwanese morning rush feel. These pancakes are carefully fried so you can just grab one of them and have them with a soda or a coffee. What’s breakfast in Taiwan without the old Cong You Bing to keep you going?
Sweet Pan Cake (Xiang Su Su Bing)
This is one of the most famous pastries in any Chinese restaurant. Think of it as a dessert with seeds. The sweet Pan Cake is made with your usual milk, sugar, and flour. You know, the classic cake stuff. The chief ingredient is the sesame seeds which are all over the cake and also add more flavor to the cake and give it the indigenous look. You can also have this to go.
Twisted Cruller (You Tiao)
This is another kind of donut that’s often served with soy sauce and rice. Like most typical Taiwanese breakfast delicacies, it’s crispy on the outside and soft and tender on the inside. And again, like most Taiwanese breakfast delicacies, it is incredibly tasty. Imagine a night on the beach and a beer with this to go with it. These delicacies are incredible and also easy to cook so if you were to get one in a restaurant, it wouldn’t take time.
This dish is also served by vendors on the streets so you could always get one. It was believed that in the early days, vendors used to use some very unsafe chemicals to prepare the dish and homemade You Tiaos were preferred to the ones on the streets. These days, however, you could get one in a restaurant that complies with federal regulations when making theirs.
Bubble Milk Tea
Don’t be fooled by the Tea part of it, this beverage would fill you up instantly on a morning and get you ready to go. This is because the drink consists of filling tapioca bells that instantly make it more than enough to get you filled up. Ranked fourth on CNN’s “Taiwanese Foods We Can’t Live Without”, the bubble Milk tea is a must-have in Taiwan.
This drink is made in several drink stalls and shops all over the streets of Taipei so this would be easy and instant to get. Breakfast in Taiwan is not complete If you don’t have a bubble Milk tea If you have the time, try all flavors of the tea to see which one would be your favorite but if you don’t, make sure you don’t leave without trying the brown sugar version.
Taiwanese Egg Wrap (Danbing)
What’s a complete and wholesome breakfast dish without eggs? If you like to have a nice breakfast in the morning, then this dish is for you. A typical Taiwanese Egg Wrap is one of the best ways to know a professional restaurant from an amateur one.
Most pros use fresh and quality ingredients while others might just let it go with something mediocre like premade wraps and you deserve the best of the country. Why not go for the former instead? The egg wrap is a very interesting and delicious delicacy. It’s one of those dishes you just have to try before leaving. This is because it’s the classic breakfast over there so you can’t be said to have had the full Taiwanese experience if you don’t have the Egg Wrap or Crepe as others would call it.
Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup
This dish is one of those Trademark dishes that originated from Taiwan. They are also served everywhere so you can always find them around you. Spruce Eats called it a “staple in restaurants” which goes ahead to be seen as one of the most famous dishes in Taiwan.
It’s one of the hot soups that’ll keep you warm on the inside during the cold weather. The beef used in this delicacy is often carefully cooked and stewed for hours to give the soup that quality feels and taste. This dish is also second on the list of CNN’s “Taiwanese Foods We Can’t Live Without”, so really, what do you have to lose for a taste of this delicious dish?
There you have it, some of the very best of Taiwanese breakfast dishes. It doesn’t get better than this, really so if you are about to cross Taiwan off your vacation list and you haven’t had one of these incredible dishes, place down the pen and paper and go get one of these in the nearest restaurant. If you would like to have a tour of the city, you can decide to explore a little and intentionally get one of the dishes somewhere a little far from wherever you’re staying.
FAQs – Taiwanese Breakfast Dishes
There are a lot of dishes that could be considered a typical breakfast in Taiwan. You’ll find people across Taiwan eating dim sum, rice porridge, fried bread, and even steamed eggs for breakfast. For food lover, this is very exciting. Don’t worry though, you can find Western-style breakfast items as well, those are not typical.
Hands down, the most popular dish in Taiwan is beef noodle soup. You can find it everywhere in Taiwan and is absolutely delicious. Do not miss eating this dish in Taiwan.
Beef noodle soup is often considered the national dish of Taiwan. But the most famous food in (and outside of) Taiwan has to be Xiaolongbao or soup dumplings. The restaurant change Din Tai Fung has brought these delicious dumplings to the masses with restaurants around the world.