Taiwan street food is sold at outdoor vendors working out of portable stalls which include finger and fast food. Fast food is typically cheaper than eating at a restaurant and street vendors use some of the freshest ingredients, which are usually purchased the same day. Taiwan street food is well-known in Asian culture. Taiwanese people enjoy foods such as oyster pancakes, flour rice noodle soup, fatty pork sandwiches (gua bao) and freshly grated white wasabi root.
Some of the best Taiwan street food is enjoyed at night markets located throughout Taiwan. This is a great place to try many snacks or small eats. Sweet pork sausage is a local favorite, grilled with your choice of dressing. The sausage comes out with a crispy skin and is piping hot and tender in the middle.
Flour-rice noodle soup is another favorite. This dish is found in the Ximending District in Taipei. It is a vinegary-flavored soup made with thread noodles, pig intestines, bamboo shoot and other flavorful ingredients. It’s typically a thick soup, which is served with cilantro on top and hot sauce on the side. It may not sound appetizing, but it’s actually very tasty.
Taiwanese gua bao is a sandwich made with fatty pork braised until it is tender. This popular sandwich is served in a steamed bun with a sweet sauce, cilantro, sweet and sour pickled vegetables and crushed peanuts. This is a must-try when it comes to Taiwan street foods. The flavors will surprise you.
White wasabi root is a Taiwan specialty that is cultivated locally. The root is actually white in appearance and has more flavor than what you purchase in a regular store. Local merchants freshly grate the root and it’s a little less hot than the typical wasabi sauce that is mass-produced. If you can get can your hands on this, it's definitely worth trying for it’s bold flavor.
The oyster pancake is one of Taiwan’s most beloved snacks. It is made from a sticky, glutinous batter and fried with oysters, eggs and lettuce. It traditionally accompanies a sweet, red sauce and it’s very filling. These are sold at street vendors all over the country and because of its popularity, this cuisine should be fairly easy to find.
The next time you are looking to enjoy Taiwan street food, look for some of these local favorites. Local street vendors are very friendly and more than anxious to talk about the cuisine they have to offer. If you are not sure of what something is, just ask someone nearby. Not all street vendors speak other languages in Taiwan, so you may have to get creative when trying to place your order. Don’t be intimated, though. Try new things because Taiwan street food vendors have some of the best fare around.