Start your day like a local with original Taipei breakfast!

The notion that breakfast is the most important meal of the day is shared by many cultures, but in Taiwan, it takes on a special meaning in the springtime, for spring is traditionally viewed as the time to set precedents for the coming year. One Taiwanese saying goes: 

Make your annual plan in the spring and start each morning right to ensure the day goes well. 

Of course, if youre visiting Taipei, theres no better (or culturally appropriate) way to start your day than with a traditional Taiwanese breakfast. First-time visitors to Taipei are often amazed at the breadth and depth of whats available for breakfast on the streets of Taipei (not to mention how early breakfast joints start opening  the Taiwanese tend to rise early). 

Some traditional Taiwanese breakfast items have western counterparts, while others will be familiar to anyone whos traveled in China, Japan or South Korea. But a few items are definitely uniquely Taiwanese. 

In this article, well be looking at a few dishes that Taipei people eat in the mornings and suggesting a few spots for visitors to find them during their early-morning journeys around Taipei. 

清粥小菜 | Congee Served With Side Dishes

Congee Served With Side Dishes Like many traditional dishes, this Taiwanese breakfast has humble beginnings. Back in the day, Taiwanese families tended to be poor, and breakfast was generally the leftovers from the previous days supper, which in most cases was rice and vegetables. 

Water would have been added to the rice the night before to make it more like a porridge (easier to digest in the morning), with a few pickles, fermented vegetables and maybe some pork floss thrown in for extra calories and flavors. 

Unsurprisingly, as Taiwan grew richer, this breakfast staple came to be associated with the poverty of the past. This association has lessened considerably in recent years as Taiwanese people, having become more health conscious, have realized that the breakfast staple of their grandparents is actually a pretty healthy way to start the day. 

Congee is also a good hangover cure (or even a hangover prevention), which may account for the brisk business done after the bars close at the restaurants along Taipeis Fuxing South Road serving different varieties of congee along with side dishes ranging from light vegetables, sweet potato chunks, stewed tofu and heavier items like sauteed pork and whole grilled fish. 

As a staple breakfast item, youll find congee at the breakfast buffet table of everything from the humblest guesthouse to the fanciest hotel. Therell always be a good variety of items to mix into your congee ranging from pickles and fermented vegetables to peanuts and pork floss. Be creative! 

🍚 Xiaolizi Congee 小李子清粥小菜 

🏠142-1, Sec.2, Fuxing S. Rd., Daan Dist. | 小李子清粥小菜 台北市大安區復興南路 2  142-1  

🕓Monday to Sunday, 5 p.m. – 6 a.m. 週一至周日,下午 5:00-上午 6:00 

🍚 Zhouji Meat Congee 周記肉粥店 

🏠104, Guangzhou St., Wanhua Dist. | 周記肉粥店 台北市萬華區廣州街 104  

🕓Monday to Sunday, 6 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. | 周一至周日,上午 6:00-下午 4:30

燒餅油條豆漿 | Shaobing – Youtiao – Soy Milk 

Shaobing (燒餅), or baked cake, and youtiao ( ), a crispy-fried cake not unlike the western cruller, are two local staples. Both are delicious and filling, though the baked shaobing is probably a bit healthier for those looking to save their cholesterol intake for later visits to the night market. 

And while either item goes well with that most ubiquitous (but hardly traditional) breakfast beverage, coffee, for the full Taiwanese experience youll want to have yours with a bowl of warm, freshly made “doujiang” (豆漿, soy milk). Though sweet soy milk is available, its more traditionally served as a slightly savory, salty broth. And yes, its considered perfectly acceptable to dip either youtiao into your soy milk. In fact, many breakfast places will serve youtiao and doujiang together in a bowl. 

🍚Fuhang Soy Milk | 阜杭豆漿 

🏠108, Sec. 1, Zhongxiao E. Rd., Zhongzheng Dist. | 臺北市中正區忠孝東路 1  108  

🕓Tuesday to Sunday, 5:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. | 周二到周日,上午 5:30-下午 12:30 

🍚Dingyuan Soy Milk 鼎元豆漿 

🏠30-1, Jinhua St., Zhongzheng Dist. 鼎元豆漿 台北市中正區金華街 30-1  

🕓Monday to Sunday, 4 a.m. – 11:30 p.m. | 周一至周日,上午 4:00-晚上 11:30 

豬血湯和炒麵 | Pig’s Blood Soup & Fried Noodle

Pigs Blood Soup & Fried Noodle File this one under advanced Taiwanese tastes, as its unlikely that youd find this particular dish back home. This dish contains cakes of congealed pigs blood in a savory soup. Its broth can be clear or thick, depending on the chef, and is often spiced with onion and garlic. 

Pigs Blood Soup & Fried Noodle File this one under advanced Taiwanese tastes, as its unlikely that youd find this particular dish back home. This dish contains cakes of congealed pigs blood in a savory soup. Its broth can be clear or thick, depending on the chef, and is often spiced with onion and garlic. 

The texture is somewhere between foie gras and tofu, and the flavor, though unmistakable, isnt as strong as liver, kidney or other organ meats considered by some to be sought-after delicacies. Like Taiwans infamous stinky tofu, eating pigs blood soup is a good way for any foreign visitor to Taiwan to earn instant cool points with locals. 

🍚Mama Fang方媽媽小吃店 

🏠2F, 100, Shidong Rd., Shilin Dist. 方媽媽小吃店 台北市士林區士東路 100  2  

🕓Tuesday to Sunday, 7:40 a.m. – 3 p.m. | 周二至周日,早上 7:40 – 下午 3:00 

🍚Lus Noodle 呂巷仔口麵食館 

🏠2-1, Lane 76, Heping E. Rd., Daan Dist. | 呂巷仔口麵食館 台北市大安區和平東路 76  2-1  

🕓Tuesday to Sunday, 6:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. 周二至周日,早上 6:30 至下午 2:00

  台灣蛋餅和糯米飯糰 | Taiwanese Egg Crepe & Sticky-Rice Roll  

File Taiwanese Danbing (蛋餅, egg crepe) under Taiwanese breakfast items similar to western counterparts – with a local twist. The concept is simple – a scrambled egg cooked with other items into a rolled-up thin flour crepe. 

Firstly, while some items inside the crepe are familiar to western palettes (cheese, ham or bacon), other items, like tuna or pork floss, are distinctly Taiwanese. And secondly, after rolling, the Taiwanese egg crepe is cut up into bite-sized portions easily held with chopsticks and usually dipped in sauce. 

“Fantuan” (飯糰, sticky-rice roll) may seem a bit strange to western visitors, though Japanese visitors will find them a bit more familiar. These breakfast snacks are made by wrapping rice around youtiao, egg and pickled vegetables. “Fantuan” are often made by street-side vendors, and some of them are quite creative with their “fantuan” recipes, switching out less-nutritious white sticky-rice for super-healthy Taiwanese-grown red and purple rice blends, which makes them not just a convenient breakfast option, but a downright nutritious way to start your day. 

🍚Weiding Egg Crepe 味鼎蛋餅 

🏠3, Ln. 21, Longjiang Rd., Zhongshan Dist. 台北市中山區龍江路 21  3  

🕓Monday to Friday, 5:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. Saturday & Sunday, 5:45 a.m.  1 p.m. 

周一至周五,上午 5:45 – 上午 11:45 

周六和周日,上午 5:45 – 下午 1:00 

🍚Liu Mama Sticky-Rice Roll 劉媽媽飯糰 

🏠88, Sec. 2, Hangzhou S. Rd., Zhongzheng Dist. 劉媽媽飯糰 台北市中正區杭州南路 2  88  

🕓Tuesday to Sunday, 5 a.m. – 11:30 p.m. | 周二至周日,上午 5:00 至晚上 11:30

This article is reproduced under the permission of TAIPEI. Original content can be found at the website of Taipei Travel Net. | 本文經《台北畫刊》許可轉載。 看更多精彩內容詳見台北旅遊網。 


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