Taitung Food Guide: Where and What To Eat in Taitung, Taiwan 台東美食懶人包

This is not a full travel guide to Taitung, but rather a food guide as I find many people ask and wonder what exactly is there to eat here? This is a high level summary of mostly places I have been, taken by local folks or folks who have since lived here for years.  Finally, this is by no means exhaustive. These are just some of my favorites that I would personally recommend and even the ones I havent been to, I can say they have been vouched by locals and visitors alike.

Taitung

Taitung County is a long narrow county on Taiwan’s Southeast Coast. It has become increasingly popular over the last decade. Folks come here for a variety of reasons. It is an internationally ranked and renowned Surfer’s paradise with some world-class surf tides. It has amazing ocean views and activities as well as beautiful mountains/hiking/hot springs and natural wonders to explore. It also has one of the most dense populations of Indigenous people in Taiwan with multiple tribes calling Taitung area their home. It is also unspoiled. It attracts backpackers, surfers, outdoor enthusiasts as well as the rich and famous who flock here to build their vacation/retirement homes in the pristine and calm landscapes of the region. In some ways it is Taiwan’s Bali before Bali became overrun by tourists. 

Getting To Taitung

Flight from Taipei Songshan Airport to Taitung is around NTD$3000 (USD$104) roundtrip. Flight time is around 1 hour. Both Mandarin Air and Uni Air operate the route. This full fare price is most often valid for a year for the exact same route, refund fee is around $NTD150. Domestic flights in Taiwan are very efficient, safe and comfortable.

Train from Taipei Main Station: Depends on which train to take but for comfort and speed of travel down the East Coast (there is no high speed rail on this side) I recommend taking the Puyuma or Taroko Express, travel time is just under 4 hours, although these tickets are extremely hard to get. Tickets for express trains open for sale around 2-3 weeks prior to date of travel at midnight Taipei time, and usually get sold out in seconds, but because people have 24 hours to pay, many tickets open up the next day, there are also always tickets blocked by travel agencies that can become available too. Just note you and family/ friends may not be seated next to each other. These tickets cost around NTD$783 (USD$28) one-way, you can even opt to pre-order a Taiwan railway bento box for the journey, delivered to you at your seat after Hualien station. Tickets are easily changeable/ refunded, except for no-show scenario. There is also the local train that takes anywhere from 5-7 hours.

NOTE: if you want to start your journey in any of the towns along the Rift Valley 縱谷, you can purchase your train ticket to end at any of those stations. Popular ones include ChiShang 池上, GuanShan 關山, LuYe 鹿野 (Where the annual Taitung Hot Air Balloon festival is held every summer). Other stops past Taitung are TaiMaLi 太麻里 and the ZhiBen 知本 hot springs. 

Getting Around Taitung

The foremost way is to rent a car and drive around the county. Whether you start or end in Taitung City or any of the cities along the rail line. If you want to go along the coast where there is no train access, you really have to rent a car or hire a driver/ transport. Taitung is a long and narrow county, it is not recommended to rent scooter/motorbikes. Taxis are available at train stations and airports but they are really only economically feasible to get your around Taitung City or to and from your accommodation. Taxi fare beyond Taitung City is quite expensive, just from Taitung Airport to your Taitung City Hotel can cost almost NTD$250-$300, and that is only a 15-20 minute ride. While you still need to follow general traffic rules, when it comes to parking in Taitung almost anything goes so long as you are not blocking a clear path for other cars to go and not blocking any entryways/exits to buildings/ clearly marked parking lots. 

There are buses, but beyond Taitung City, the buses dont run frequently. That is about the only public transit available. Taiwan Rail connects Taimali/Zhiben Hot Springs to Taitung and Northwards towards the Rift Valley before heading into Hualien. As mentioned, no trains along the Taitung coastline. 

Food

NOTE: many of the listed places below are cash only and quite a few unfortunately do not speak English nor are there English menus. As the old travel tip goes, point and smile and use your hand gestures if needed! Or perhaps this guide is somewhat of use? 

台東市Taitung City

黃記蔥油餅_仁和店 HuangJi Scallion Pancake

No. 37, Renhe Street, Taitung City, Taitung County, Taiwan 950

950台東縣台東市仁和街37號

2-6PM

劉媽媽古早味 LiuMama Noodles

No. 115號, Lane 339, Zhengqi North Road, Taitung City, Taitung County, Taiwan 950

950台東縣台東市正氣北路339巷115號

10:30AM-2PM

5PM-8PM

Closed Sunday

Wonton Noodle soup 餛飩湯麵 and braised kelp and dried tofu 滷海帶豆乾

太麻里文創咖啡館 Taimali Coffee House

No. 307號, Fujian Road, Taitung City, Taitung County, Taiwan 950

950台東縣台東市福建路307號

10AM-6PM ,closed Tuesdays

刈ㄧˋ圓堡Taiwan Burger|台東美食宵夜

No. 114號, Zhengqi Rd, Taitung City, Taitung County, Taiwan 950

950台東縣台東市正氣路114號

4-11PM, Closed Thursday

Pork belly bao

幸福綠豆湯 XinFu Mung Bean soup

No. 164號, Zhongzheng Road, Taitung City, Taitung County, Taiwan 950

950台東縣台東市中正路164號

10:30AM-9:30PM, (6:30PM sundays) 

木可蘿蔔糕、柯家早點、寶桑蘿蔔糕MuKe Turnip cake breakfast

No. 125號, Baosang Road, Taitung City, Taitung County, Taiwan 950

950台東縣台東市寶桑路125號

6AM-2PM, Closed Mondays

寶桑小吃(寶桑蚵嗲)Fried Oyster Puffs

No. 135號, Baosang Road, Taitung City, Taitung County, Taiwan 950

950台東縣台東市寶桑路135號

2:30PM-6:30PM

仙草屋 Grass Jelly House

No. 148號, Baosang Road, Taitung City, Taitung County, Taiwan 950

950台東縣台東市寶桑路148號

4:30PM-11PM

阿咪米台目 Ah-Mi Thick Rice Noodles

No. 78, Fujian Road, Taitung City, Taitung County, Taiwan 950

950台東縣台東市福建路78號

7:30AM-8:30PM

dried rice noodle 幹米苔目,小的small portion

中華早點(台東市)Zhong Hua breakfast

No. 283號, Section 1, Zhonghua Road, Taitung City, Taitung County, Taiwan 950

950台東縣台東市中華路一段283號

5:30AM-11:30AM

Chu Chu Studio 出出實驗坊

No. 671, Section 1, Siwei Road, Taitung City, Taitung County, Taiwan 950

950台東縣台東市四維路一段671號

12-7PM weekdays

11am-7ppm weekends, close Mon/Tues

夏安居草食堂 XiaAnJu Vegetarian

Delicious Vegetarian food, including amazing vegetarian pot-stickers and braised mushroom noodles/rice.

No. 147號, Section 1, Zhongxing Road, Taitung City, Taitung County, Taiwan 950

950台東縣台東市中興路一段147號

Closed Sundays

11:30M-2PM/ 5:30PM-9PM

GUANSHAN 關山

關山臭豆腐 Guanshan Stinky Tofu

956, Taiwan, Taitung County, Guanshan Township, Heping Road, 87-5號關山公有零售市場

9AM-4PM, Closed Thursdays

Guanshan Night Market, 關山夜市

Thursdays 6-10PM

台東關山和平1村 Peace village Shipping Container food court

No. 1-25號, Heping Road, Guanshan Township, Taitung County, Taiwan 956

956台東縣關山鎮和平路1-25號

11AM-10PM, Closed Mondays

池上 ChiShang

ChiShang is famous island-wide for its 1) Rice 池上米飯 and 2) Bento 池上便當, must have both when you come here. The bento obviously comes with the local rice.

大池豆包豆皮豆漿店 DaChi Tofu Skin/Soy Milk

Tofu Skin/ Soy Milk, must arrive early or they sell out

958, Taiwan, Taitung County, Chishang Township, 大埔鄉39之2號

7AM-12PM or until sold out, closed Wednesdays

吉本肉圓 JiBen Taiwanese Steamed Meatball

No. 118-1號, Zhongshan Road, Chishang Township, Taitung County, Taiwan 958

958台東縣池上鄉中山路118-1號

10AM-8PM, Closed Thursdays

池上豐禾日麗 文田館

BnB with Restaurant

No. 3-3 號, Wentian Road, Chishang Township, Taitung County, Taiwan 958

958台東縣池上鄉文田路3-3 號

ChangBin 長濱

齒草埔料理人的家

Up and coming tasting menu restaurant along the ocean. 

962, Taiwan, Taitung County, Changbin Township, 齒草埔16號

962台東縣長濱鄉齒草埔16號

12-1:30pm

6PM-7:30PM

Reservation must, must arrive on time. 

Juda Shaonian Cafe巨大少年咖啡館

ONE MAN coffee house, be patient he got attitude but is nice

962, Taiwan, Taitung County, Changbin Township, 1號

962台東縣長濱鄉1號

10:30M-5:30PM, check facebook for update openings

Sinasera 24 法式餐廳

French-Taiwanese nouveau cuisine, refer to my review.

962, Taiwan, Taitung County, Changbin Township, 號

962台東縣長濱鄉號

12PM-3:30PM

6-9:30PM

Reservation must, stay at the upstairs BnB

ChengGong 成功

旗遇海味 QiYu Seafood Restaurant

No. 19之8號, Gangbian Road, Chenggong Township, Taitung County, Taiwan 961

961台東縣成功鎮港邊路19之8號

10AM-8PM

Sky 快閃店/漢堡/台東/成功

Burger joint opened by Akame chef’s brother

No. 136, Zhongshan Road, Chenggong Township, Taitung County, Taiwan 961

961台東縣成功鎮中山路136號

10:30AM-1:30PM

5-7:30PM

Closed Mondays

Chenggong Douhua 成功豆花

No. 63號, Zhongshan Road, Chenggong Township, Taitung County, Taiwan 961

961台東縣成功鎮中山路63號

9AM-6PM/8PM

王記 鬼頭刀專賣店 WangJi Fried Mahi Mahi

Super tasty fried sticky rice cakes/ fried fish/ fried fish balls

No. 53號, Xinsheng Road, Chenggong Township, Taitung County, Taiwan 96143

96143台東縣成功鎮新生路53號

11AM-8PM

DongHe 東河

舊街東河包子 Old Street DongHe Pork Buns

Do not go to the one directly across from 7-11 on the main road, this is the one guides and books will say to go, but its not the best nor is it original. To have original and local favorite’s DongHe pork bun must go to this store.

959, Taiwan, Taitung County, Donghe Township, 東河村395號

959台東縣東河鄉東河村395號

6AM-5:30PM

幸福時光 Happy Times Breakfast

Breakfast, for their 蛋餅egg crepe they hand make the skin using millet instead of the usual flour, giving it an extra Q texture

959, Taiwan, Taitung County, Donghe Township, 12鄰331號

959台東縣東河鄉12鄰331號

6am-1pm

台東很熱 Taitung So Hot

Shaved ice, with seasonal flavors. Must try the signature Black Sesame with Swordfish floss (sounds weird but I guarantee you its amazing). The environment is insta-worth with swing chairs and a small tub to soak your feet or let your kids play in. It even has cool moisture sprayers to cool you down in the Taitung heat.

959, Taiwan, Taitung County, Donghe Township, 266號

959台東縣東河鄉266號

10AM-6PM

Yasu’s Japanese YaSu 屋

Laidback Japanese izakaya run by Japanese surfer turned local Yasu

959, Taiwan, Taitung County, Donghe Township, 南東河123號

959台東縣東河鄉南東河123號

6-10PM

Concluding Thoughts/ Other Mentions

If you are lucky and meet some amazing local folks, they may invite you to a pig roast, which is a fantastic experience.

I hope this little guide helps you find some tasty foods around Taitung. Now, if all else fails remember there is always 7-11. If you are staying in Taitung City, there is also uber-eats and FoodPanda. Further, if you are staying in a AirBnB or Taiwanese BnB you can always count on either having breakfast as part of the deal or simply going to 7-11 or a wellcome or local market to grab some groceries. Why not visit a harbor like ChengGong harbor and grab some fresh catches of the day to BBQ yourself and have a beer and enjoy the moonrise on Taitung’s ocean? There are also a ton of famous bakeries, mostly in DuLan 都蘭, run by expats who have settled in Taitung. Such as 馬利諾廚房 Marino’s Kitchen. For Marino’s I highly recommend you either arrive early or call ahead and order a loaf for the next day or to pick up later in the day as they run out, one of my favorites is their Cinnamon raisin toast, its so good. Dulan is also dotted with lots of charismatic cafes that are all worth checking out as each has its own vibes and you will definitely find one that suits your’s.

At the end of the day, just enjoy Taitung’s laidback nature and the friendly locals. Maybe have a beer with them and sing and dance late into the night. 

Bon Apetite!

TheGastronomicTraveler

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