Finding vegetarian food in Taiwan isn’t always the easiest, but it’s there if you know where to look! Taipei is a city known for its food scene, and this increasingly includes vegan and vegetarian restaurants, or at the very least least places with vegetarian and vegan options. So, to help you plan for your visit, here are the vegetarian meals you must eat in Taipei!
The classic: Din Tai Fung
What you’ll eat: Award-winning Taiwanese dumplings
What you’ll pay: Around $15 USD per person
Let’s be real: you’re probably going to want to stop at one of the many Din Tai Fung locations for some dumplings at some point during your stay in Taipei. After all, this may be the most famous food of Taiwan (well, this or bubble tea), and some would say that it’s the best restaurant in Taipei. But are there vegetarian options at Din Tai Fung? Yes! Well, some.
Vegetarian options are clearly marked on the menu with a green leaf. (Vegan options are not indicated). In addition, if they notice that you’re ordering mainly vegetarian dishes, the staff will ask if you’re vegetarian, just to make sure you don’t end up with any surprise meat. We’d recommend the vegetarian mushroom dumplings and vegetarian mushroom buns as our top favorites!
Things to bear in mind: as a vegetarian, large portions of the menu will not be available. For example, none of the famous xiaolongbao (soup dumplings) are available in vegetarian forms. If you’re a pescatarian, there is a shrimp and veggie xiaolongbao available.
Also keep in mind that the wait times for Din Tai Fung are looooong, particular on weekend nights. Like, 90 to 130 minutes long. You’ll need to show up well before your ideal dinner hour to get a number, and then wander around until that number is called. Din Tai Fung’s app is handy for looking up wait times at various locations in advance, but unfortunately there’s no way to get a number on the app; you just need to show up in person.
(Bear in mind that Din Tai Fung is not only found in Taipei, so if you have to skip it, you can always go elsewhere. It has branches across Asia, as well as in North America and Australia. BUT it was founded in Taipei, and there are branches conveniently located near seemingly every MRT station, so we’d recommend carving out the time to visit!)
The budget option: 修圓素食
What you’ll eat: Authentic vegetarian noodle soups with the locals
What you’ll pay: Less than $3 USD per person
This all-vegetarian Taiwanese restaurant is as cheap and as local as it gets. This is the spot for really authentic Taiwanese dining! When you arrive, you’ll be greeted by an employee who tells you “no meat!” and hands you an English menu. Prices are amazingly low, and there are a large variety of vegetarian noodle soups available, all with different broths and different noodles. You’ll need to check off your order on an all-Chinese-language order sheet, which is a challenging (but fun) matching game if you don’t speak Mandarin!
We’d recommend the dumpling noodle soup – it was great! But with prices so low, why not sample a few dishes? Can’t go wrong!
For the vegans: Flourish
What you’ll eat: Delicious international/Asian vegan food
What you’ll pay: Around $8-$12 USD per person
The vegan food at Flourish is SO tasty. And the whole menu is vegan! Definitely recommended for any vegetarian or vegan in Taipei. We loved everything, but a special highlight was the fresh summer rolls. Our cauliflower and tofu dishes were also fantastic. Love. In our humble opinion, this may be the best vegetarian restaurant in Taipei.
Indian food favorite: Mayur Indian Food Kitchen Vegetarian Restaurant
What you’ll eat: Vegetarian dishes from across India
What you’ll pay: Around $12 USD per person
Vegetarian and vegan travelers are most likely already in the habit of searching out Indian restaurants. There are always veggie dishes available, and Indian food is available in most major cities all over the world.
That said, Mayur Indian Food Kitchen Vegetarian Restaurant stands out from the crowd. This is a chain of Indian food restaurants across Taipei, but this branch only serves veggie options. That means that the vegetarian menu is far more extensive than at most Indian restaurants. Additionally, it features local dishes from several regions in India that are harder to find, than, say, saag paneer. The dosas here are particularly excellent!
For Western brunch: ACME Breakfast Club
What you’ll eat: Avocado toast and so forth
What you’ll pay: Around $10-15 USD per person
We’re a little hesitant to even recommend this here, because… it’s a little embarrassing. It’s full of Taipei’s Instagram set, shamelessly selfie-ing and food photo-ing. The lengths that the ‘grammers go to to get the perfect food shot are a bit mind-boggling… After fifteen minutes in the spotlight, aren’t your eggs cold?
But, we’re recommending it anyway. Why? Because the avocado toast with poached eggs was actually really tasty. And the coconut milk latte… also great. So, if you shamelessly want your regular Western-style brunch, and you’re willing to brave a little social media ridiculousness, this is your spot. (Confession: we went twice.)
What’s your favorite vegetarian food in Taipei? Let us know in the comments!
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