Blink and you’ll miss ’em: food trends come and go soooooo fast on this food-obsessed island that tasting the latest craze usually involves a long line that snakes around the block or snagging a difficult-to-make reservation. But!! If and when you do manage to get your hands on to that coveted food or meal; well it’s usually guaranteed to be 110% worth it.

food trends in taipei

Maybe some things just taste better when they’re harder to get?

Regardless, you’ll want to snap lots of pictures before you dive in (you’ve waited this long after all), and then be sure to share the experience with your friends in a Doko Zine!

Here are the hottest food trends in Taipei / Taiwan for Summer 2017…

1) Fine European Dining Using Traditional Taiwanese Ingredients

Raw Taipei
RAW Taipei: A Top 50 in Asia Restaurant. Image courtesy @raw_taipei

A host of fine restaurants have popped up recently whereby the chef has trained in Europe or elsewhere abroad and brought back his culinary expertise to us lucky people. Utilizing fresh and traditional Taiwanese ingredients, the result is often spectacular. Just look at those images above from RAW

[Dribbles  a bit]

There are too many great places in this vein to mention here – so we wrote a separate blog post on the fine dining in Taipei trend!

2) Western Health-conscious/Vegetarian Offerings

Macrobiotic Tempeh Bibimbap
The best-selling Macrobiotic Tempeh Bibimbap at Plants. Image courtesy: @plantseatery

With more of us being conscious of our waistlines, health vitals and where our food comes from, these Western-inspired eateries tend to focus on lighter meals using more natural ingredients. The result is a restaurant and menu that wouldn’t be out of place on the West Coast of the USA.

This is GREAT news if your vegetarian, vegan or just love salad; check out Plants, Urbn, Herban, Mia Cucina and Purelab Foodie for some creative and fresh offerings.

Even if a place isn’t strictly vegetarian, many restaurants and cafes across Taipei are now offering more plant-based options and / or a focus on organic ingredients: Cafe de Riz is a great example of this.

The Antipodean is a great place to get light, healthy brunch options – think acai bowls and avocado toast…

antipodean taipei
Brunch at The Antipodean, an Australian-inspired cafe. Image courtesy @theantipodean

… and Tamed Fox offers healthier desserts.

tamed fox taipei
Sweet potato biscuits from Tamed Fox, Taipei. Image courtesy @tamedfox.cafe

4) More Korean Joints 

It’s so darn tasty that K-food is simply never going to go out of style in Taiwan, but we’re noticing more Korean joints than ever popping up around town. Many are, naturally, Korean BBQ (e.g. Honey Pig, Meat Love, Samwon and more), whilst others offer K-infused sustenance such as Churro K – where, as the name suggests, you’ll find Churros with an Asian twist!

Churro K
Churros and green matcha tea. Image courtesy: @churrok_ig

5) Great Japanese Food, Including Authentic Ramen Joints

If you want authentic Edo-mai sushi without a trip to Tokyo, there are many “purist” sushi joints opening up across the city. (Fortunately, not a cashew in tofu skin sushi in sight…)

Once again you can save your plane ticket money and transfer it to your ‘food fund’ because there’s also a steady stream of famous Japanese Ramen joints setting up shop in Taipei. Yatta!

Ippudo, Totto, Santouka are all popular places to get your noodle and broth on … and (best news ever!) Ichiran is coming to town in June.

Ichiran Taipei
We’re eagerly awaiting the opening of Ichiran, Taipei! Image courtesy: @Ichiranny

6) Creative Drink Desserts (aka Diabetes in a Cup)

In case you were worried that Taiwan was getting all healthy and sh*t, I’m here to assure you that we’re not. For want of a better term, “Drink desserts” are smoothie/shake-like creations that are packed with dessert ingredients.
Dessert drink from Ridoasan. Image courtesy of @ifoodie.tw
They might be traditional dessert ingredients such as red/azuki beans, matcha and brown sugar mochi balls, or it might be ice cream and bits of cake.
Whatever they’re made of, there is usually a layering of soft, crunchy and chewy items, resulting in an (albeit blood sugar raising) explosion of tastes in your mouth.

7) Fresher / Less Processed Bubble Tea Drinks

With it being so darn hot on the island in the summer, you’d think we’d lose our appetite.
Not so! We just drink our calories rather than nom them 🙂 This explains why sweet drinks are simply never going to go out of style here, and why there’s always some new drink or new drink chain popping up.

With tea shops competing for custom, a new trend that we’re noticing is bubble tea drinks that focus on using fresher and more natural ingredients. With food safety a growing concern and constantly in the media, fresh milk and honey trump powdered milk and artificial sweeteners.

Image courtesy of @ifoodie.tw

Milk Shop, for example, own their own dairy farm, and 圓石 (Oregin) focus on not using processed sugar, additives and using non-toxic plastic for their cups. You also get a discount if you bring back your cup making them a much more environmentally-conscious option. Now there’s a trend we can get on board with.

Have you noticed any other food trends in Taipei? Leave a comment so we can go visit! Or, even better, make a Zine in the DOKO app and share it with us: laura[@]dokonow[.]com.


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Posted by:LauraPepWu

<p>Writer, DOKO blog editor, Yoga Teacher-in-Training & MOST importantly… New Mummy. Pitch her via Twitter: @Laurapepwu / find her on Instagram @pepwu.</p>

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