I am now back from Taiwan and so excited to share all of my plant-based finds with you 🙂 First off, let me state that being a vegan in Taiwan is incredibly EASY! Due to the primary religion being Buddhism, there are countless vegetarian/vegan restaurants all over the country. I was amazed at the long, long list that came up when I opened my Happy Cow App. It also helped that my mum and sister are both vegetarian so there were never any arguments about where to eat. We spent the first 3 days in Taipei and the remaining week in Taichung where my sister is actually living at the moment. I will divide this post between the two locations and share with you my favourites. Needless to say, I never went hungry and the wide variety of tasty options did not disappoint!
KAYA KAYA CAFE
Located in the Da’an District, the Kaya Kaya Cafe is wonderful for vegans due to the menu clearly stating what items contain dairy and eggs. I ordered this vegan banana and flaxseed muffin which was warm and fluffy. The staff are also incredibly friendly and always happy to assist with any dietary questions you may have. If you are looking for somewhere to eat breakfast, I would highly recommend checking out this hot spot!
OOH CHA CHA
You can find this 100% plant-based and organic cafe on Nanchang Road. Most of the items are predominately raw but I ordered the Tofu Banh Mi which comes with a tahini side salad. They also sell nutritious smoothies and desserts. If you are looking for healthier, lighter options, visit Ooh Cha Cha and enjoy the variety!
i VEGAN SUPERMARKET
Yes there is an all vegan supermarket and it’s huge! Located in the Wenshan District, you can easily find it by following the signs. I was in absolute heaven walking through the cruelty-free store and picking out lots of snacks. If you are staying in a place that has a kitchen or even living in Taiwan, there is no need to go out for food. This supermarket literally has it all.
DIN TAI FUNG DUMPLING HOUSE
Quite possibly my favourite meal in Taipei, the Din Tai Fung Dumpling House has chain stores in several countries; recently including Melbourne! You will find this two-storey restaurant in the Xinyi District. Vegans can enjoy the Mushroom Vegetable Dumplings (pictured), Red Bean & Taro Buns. I ordered them all! As a dumpling enthusiast, I’ve tried many in my time but none have compared to these. I’m hoping the Melbourne counterpart will be exactly the same…
If you are ever stuck for food (which I highly doubt you will be) there are stores called Family Mart all over Taiwan. You will literally find one on every street. Inside, they sell whole baked potatoes without oil, salt or butter. They are beyond delicious and I began having several of them for breakfast every morning when I was on the go! This is especially good news for those following a HCLF vegan diet.
Omg did I love these?! This shop is located inside the large and beautiful Taipei Train Station. There are several flavours that are completely vegan and one of them was the Sweet Potato which I bought two of. There are literally chunks of steamed sweet potato inside. Need I say more? If you have time, pay this place a visit!
This was definitely one of my foodie highlights on the trip. It wasn’t so much for the food (although it was delicious) but rather for the experience. Located in the Xitun District, this cafe is also 100% vegan. You begin by grabbing a small green basket and picking from an array of green vegetables. Then you move to the protein station (tofu, taro, mock meats) and finally finish off by picking your carbs (noodles etc…). You hand your basket to the chef and he cooks your selection either as a soup or dry. The end result is pretty darn delicious!
HOT POT – QING JINGZE
Without a doubt, this was the best meal of my entire holiday. Unfortunately, I only have the Chinese name of the restaurant (listed above) and that it is a beautiful and large Hot Pot restaurant. It is not 100% vegan, however if you ask for the vegetarian option (minus egg) you will receive this colourful harvest above. If you aren’t familiar with Hot Pot, you have your own cooker to pour of all of your ingredients inside until they are cooked. Once soft, you eat them in a broth with rice and vegan sauces. It was the tastiest, most satisfying meal and I was so full from all of the food I didn’t eat until lunchtime the next day!
FU SHI WU
Let me just say: YUM! This restaurant was located on Zhongmei Street which was conveniently next to our hotel. It is 100% vegan and serves the most amazing ramen. The only thing to be aware of is the menu is completely in Chinese and the staff do not speak English. We were lucky to have a translator but even if you pick a random item, you will still get a vegan dish 🙂
There are fruit vendors literally everywhere so invest in healthy, fresh fruits for breakfast or snacks. Again, this is a great place if you are following a HCLF vegan diet. Also, Taiwan is known for its delicious pineapples so try them whilst passing through!
I hope you enjoyed yet another vegan foodie travel blog. There were so many other delicious things I ate but I just wanted to list the best in this post. I don’t believe I will be travelling again until my honeymoon later in the year so stay tuned for that and as I mentioned earlier, Taiwan is beyond vegan friendly so don’t be afraid to visit! It’s a beautiful country and very accommodating.
Peace & Love xoxo