85 degree cafe taiwan

Best Restarants To Count On in Taipei For A Qiuck Meal or Snack

So, you’ve landed in a new country and are still trying to learn the ropes. It can be tough figuring out where and what to eat, how to order (especially in places where you no little to none of the language), and how much things should cost. During the first little while, we always anticipate that we will?spend more, get hungry more often and take more time to find places for food and drink.

While we typically enjoy finding local culinary treasures and trying new food?we also enjoy finding our ‘go-to’ places that we either label our favourite or have on standby in case of an urgent hunger pang – we tend to get distracted while travelling and only notice when we are too hungry to think.

Our word for the times we get so hungry we?become moody and angry? Hangry. And we use?the ‘go-to’ places we find as a way?to quash the hanger as soon as possible.

We usually identify?at least one place in each city and town we visit but it can take time to find and is not always in the most convenient of locations. ?In Taiwan however, there are 5 such places that we frequent when needed, or when the craving strikes, and we have found each one of each of those in almost every city we have visited.

If you are headed to Taiwan and want to be able to find a few reliable chains to tide you over while you look for your own favourite places or local flavours, here’s a list that will guide you through!

50??Bubble Tea

50 bubble tea logo taiwan

One of THE most famous ?authentic Taiwanese drink is the bubble tea. Originating in Taichung in the ’80s, this beverage has found it’s place in pretty much every city and town in the country with a seemingly unending number of shops. ?This beverage is made with either milk tea, a fruit or herbal based tea and contains balls (sometimes called pearls or bubbles) of tapioca at the bottom which are sucked up through the straw while drinking. We read somewhere?that as of 2013, there were over 16,000 stores selling bubble tea! We’re positive that number has increased since but we definitely aren’t complaining.

50 bubble tea taiwan

While it may not be the healthiest of choices, we often order a bubble milk tea or ‘zhen zhu nai cha’ but figure since we ask for it with half sugar and fresh milk and walk most of the day it probably balances out, right? Since we look for our fix of bubble tea almost daily, we’ve managed to try quite a few different brands.

What we settled on as our favourite is 50 Bubble Tea. Their yellow and blue sign brings a smile to our faces whenever we see it in the distance and almost inevitably beckons us to the counter. We’ve found a 50 in pretty much every city we’ve visited, from Hsinchu County to Tainan, from Kaoshiung to Kenting and up through Hualien and the east coast.

Since we find drinking a bubble tea staves off intense hunger until we can find a restaurant,?we occasionally stop for a bubble tea at another shop?if we need,?but our preference, and a reliable source of our bubble milk tea, is 50.

85?C?Bakery Caf?

While bubble tea shops are abundant, don’t think that you won’t be able to find a cup of coffee while in Taiwan. These shops are numerous as well and many chains can be frequently seen while travelling through Taipei or the whole of Taiwan. We found however, that?85?C Bakery Cafe?was one of the most reliable of coffee shops throughout the country with pretty good beverages including a sea salt coffee that, despite sounding circumspect, is actually tasty. While the style of the shops differ -?from indoor seating, outlets and WiFi to outdoor seating only, the reasonably priced menu allows you to get that caffeine fix almost everywhere you go.

85 degree coffee sea salt

First opening in Taipei, 85 Bakery Caf? can now?be found in China, Australia, Hong Kong and the U.S.A. and while we’ve yet to try one of their delicious looking cakes or breads, the option is always there if our hunger gets the best of us!

8 Way Dumplings / ????

8-way dumpling house taiwan

We were told about this chain of dumpling houses, 8?Way in?English,?by friends we made from MovingMeowtains and we visited this restaurant all along the coast of Taiwan as we travelled and inevitably found ourselves hungry and looking for a quick bite.? Easy to pick out by it’s yellow and red sign, 8-way is one of our ‘go-to’ restaurants for three reasons: 1. they serve some really good potstickers with several flavours 2. it’s cheap and 3. there are many locations.

This dumpling house has more than just potstickers and dumplings and often times the types of other dishes, such as their soups, differ depending on which location you are visiting.? We like it when we find something new on a menu to try. While we don’t eat at 8-way too regularly, we definitely keep it in mind wherever we go in Taiwan?and usually know where we can find the nearest one – in case one of us becomes hangry!

If you are looking to find an 8-way, be aware that it is known in Taiwan by it’s Chinese name and asking directions to ‘8-way’?will probably not be fruitful. Fortunately, simply doing a google map search for ‘8 way’ will provide you with most of the?locations in your area.

Sushi Express

You only need to be in Taiwan for a short while before you notice the influence of Japanese culture on the country as a whole. ?Though Japanese rule in Taiwan lasted only 50 years, a lasting effect of that time can be seen?on the transportation systems, urban?development and the culture itself, extending to an obvious love of Japanese food judging by the number of Japanese and sushi restaurants. Among those is?the popular chain Sushi Express.

sushi express taiwan conveyor belt

Like the conveyor?belt sushi restaurants of Japan, Sushi Express delivers plates of food?on a circulating conveyor belt. At only 30NT (roughly 1 USD) per dish (1 dish?= 2 pcs of sushi or rolls, 3 pcs sashimi, or a plate of?one of their sides)?it offers an affordable meal with fresh fish and enjoyable dishes with all you can drink green tea. Sushi Express is also readily found around the country. When we are just too hungry to look around or are?craving some sushi, as often happens, we head to Sushi Express for an enjoyable and filling meal.


7-eleven sign taiwan

Alright, we know how this sounds, especially to those of us who grew up with the 7-Eleven as a place to get junk food and a Slurpie, but this is actually a good option for finding some food when hunger strikes at inconvenient times.? Yes, it’s true that there are usually several rows of delicious – err junk – food, and that we’re not sure whether or not the refrigerated meals section (they heat them up for you) with noodle and rice dishes are good for you, they also have a variety of fruit and veggie cups, salads, fresh made soups, steamed pork buns, and boiled eggs, amongst other options. They will also make you feel like you’re eating at a restaurant as most have a caf? area with tables and chairs or counters with chairs along the windows.

The great thing about the 7-Eleven in Taiwan is the sheer number of them. To try and explain how easy it is to find a 7-eleven, you can imagine it like this: all you have to do is stand at the entrance to one of the 7-elevens in the country. Look to your left and you’ll probably see another 7-Eleven sign, look to your right, there’s another – no exaggeration, especially in the larger cities.

Whether you’re looking for a quick snack, hungry during the night, or really just enjoy those prepared salads like we do, the 7-Eleven is an unexpected, but constant, chain you can count on to find food in Taiwan.

Chains vs. Local?Shops

We did pause for a moment when we decided to write this post. We?love to?write?about traditional foods and local customs. We are big advocates of finding local restaurants and cuisine and immersing oneself in the culture and community, however we also have realized that things such as chain restaurants are also a part of the country and the cultures we visit. We’ve come to the understanding that whether we’re sitting down at Sushi Express or that small restaurant with two tables and some stools and no menu in sight, we are still amongst the local people and are still allowing ourselves to be a part of the culture.

25 replies
    • onemoderncouple
      onemoderncouple says:

      Definitely a good choice too! We didn’t usuallly deviate from our bubble milk tea but if we did that was a good second choice! We also had a melon tea with bubbles in Tainan that was delicious!

    • onemoderncouple
      onemoderncouple says:

      Haha, bubble tea seems to be one of those love or hate things. There’s really no middle ground! Perhaps that’s why these shops always serve so many different drinks without the tapioca!

  1. Toccara
    Toccara says:

    I love this post for so many reasons! I’m totally guilty of getting hangry! Just like you said, you’re in a new place, don’t want to spend too much money, don’t know what’s good, etc. etc. And then you almost get to the point of no return! Thanks for pointing out ideas of places to stop the hanger in Taiwan! LOVE 7-11. Always a good go-to!
    Toccara recently posted…The Very BEST of Buda and PestMy Profile

  2. Mia Herman
    Mia Herman says:

    I love this! I get hangry and I’m always looking for a quick spot to eat when my hunger strikes. I can get on board with all of these places, especially the dumpings, but not the bubble tea. I have a thing with textures and I have never been able to drink the stuff. However, it’s good to know that the 7-11’s are the same as the ones in Japan. When I lived there, we used to go there after a night out because they had such a great selection.
    Mia Herman recently posted…GRAND PALACE & WAT PO – BANGKOK, THAILANDMy Profile

    • onemoderncouple
      onemoderncouple says:

      7-11s in Japan are our favourite – even after Taiwan – because the sushi there is as good as any restaurant back home!! Who would have thought!? And the texture of the bubbles in the tea is definitely something that would be off putting if you have a thing with textures! The milk tea is still delicious :)

  3. Vicky and Buddy
    Vicky and Buddy says:

    Haha! You definitely don’t want to get hangry!! Tere’s nothing wrong with going to chains for a quick bite to hold you over. I’d like to try the bubble tea since it looks pretty cool. And I’d like to check out the 7-11s, they seem a lot fancier than the ones we have here in the US lol.

    • onemoderncouple
      onemoderncouple says:

      Bubble tea is addictive so be careful!! :) and we still talk about the 7-11s in Taiwan (and Japan as well) and all the great food we could buy there compared to the junk food in every other country’s convenience stores!

  4. Henry
    Henry says:

    I just got back from Taiwan, and have to say that 8way saved me. I’m not much on fried rice dishes, but love dumplings, so the two times we had 8way’s inexpensive but delicious dumplings and post stickers saved me from the hunger that otherwise would have resulted from my lack of appetite for fatty rice dishes.

  5. Kevin
    Kevin says:

    Will have to give Sushi Express a try. I’ve had all these other places. In terms of boba, I would add Qing Xin to this list as they’re everywhere and have pretty good milk teas.


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