72 Hours In Taipei
Condé Nast Traveller India|February - March 2020
72 Hours In Taipei
Mile-high shaved ice. Crispy golden crullers. Steaming vats of rich noodle soup. Here’s what a long weekend in Asia’s most underrated food city looks (and tastes) like
Sue Li

In Taipei, you can eat out-of-this-world soup dumplings with skin so thin it’s almost translucent, like you’d find in Shanghai. Mouthnumbing noodles with crunchy chilli oil, like in Sichuan. The crispiest Peking duck with shattering skin just as good as in Beijing. But the capital of Taiwan, a small autonomous nation claimed by China, also has a cuisine all its own. Steaming bowls of beef noodle soup with meat so tender it’ll melt in your mouth. Finely shaved ice dotted with chewy tapioca balls and drizzled with sweetened condensed milk. It’s one of the reasons I often return to the city I was born in. My brother, parents and I emigrated from Taipei to North Texas in 1990, trading our language and the city’s colorful alleys for strip malls and pickup trucks. Each time I return, I am delighted and surprised by my hometown. And I love to introduce my friends to the city, which is how Alex Lau ended up with me on a whirlwind 72-hour tour, watching vendors roll out flaky flatbread at 5 am sampling stinky tofu after dusk and capturing it all on film.

SOUP DUMPLINGS

Visitors line up for hours to score a table at the now-international Din Tai Fung. Which makes sense: its soup dumplings are perfect. (dintaifung.com.tw)

BUBBLE TEA

Before your mom said she was “into” bubble tea, it was on street corners all over the city of Taipei. This one’s from Qi Li Ting Teahouse. (136, Ruian Street, Da’an District)

DONGMEN MARKET

Wet markets with fish, meat, etc., are as worthy a stop as the famed night markets. Don’t fear the aggressive grandmas—they’re just shopping for dinner. (Zhongzheng District)

CHINESE BREAKFAST

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February - March 2020