5 Cheap Meals In Taipei
If you're in Taipei and on the prowl for some bargain eats, you're in the right place. Check out this guide for 5 inexpensive dishes that are sure to give your taste bud a hit!
Yi Sang 伊桑
The sight and smell of chargrilled meats slowly cooking on the grill lures a constant stream of passersby at Yi Sang. There are six grilled meat sets to choose here all priced at a ludicrously low price.
The go-to dish here is their Thai-style charcoal grilled chicken leg. The chicken bursts with juices, and the skin on top is richly seasoned without being too salty. Biting into each strip, you will ponder how a meal so generous in quality and volume can be so unbelievably cheap.
As if this wasn't already enticing enough, you can self-serve unlimited bowls of chicken soup and rice, plus cups of sweet freshly made soy milk.
Milkfish House 虱目魚之家
Take a day off from your diet and head to Milkfish House to try Taiwan's famous braised pork rice, luroufan. Known for being cheap and filling, a bowl of luroufan will satiate even those blessed with bottomless stomachs.
Feeling particularly peckish on the day we visited, we opted for a large bowl. The luroufan here is devilishly gluttonous, and each cube of meat is unashamedly fatty. The meat here has been braised in a wonderfully rich, sticky sauce and is presented with a bright yellow pickle on top.
Da Ji Dumplings 大李水餃
There is no need to explain the comfort that comes from a plate of freshly made dumplings. The boiled dumplings at Da Ji Dumplings are so satisfying that it's tempting to order copious servings. With most priced at only TWD$5 dumpling (a minimum order of 10 dumplings per variety), it would be a shame not to try them all.
Our favorite dumpling variety here is the Chinese chives and pork dumplings. While there's no shortage of shops selling dumplings in Taipei, there's something special about the combination of vegetables and meat in the dumplings here that make them particularly addictive.
The beef, prawn, and cabbage and pork dumplings will also soothe your grumbling stomach.
Hakka Bantiao Noodles 客家粄條
Serving every kind of fried rice you could dream of, you can't go wrong at Hakka Bantiao.
Our fave is the prawn fried rice. The generous quantity of fried prawns are coated in a slight batter, which gives them a nice crunch and an added punch of flavor. Pieces of egg, shallots, and onion mixed throughout the rice serve as a nice complement, bringing a satisfying charred quality to it.
Complimentary soup is self-serve and changes regularly, providing another excuse to come back. The service here is a bit rushed due to the demand for a seat, so come before midday to beat the lunch rush.
Mazu Noodle House 馬祖麵館
It’s not often that food renders us silent, but when our meal arrived at Mazu Noodle House, we were taken aback by the gigantic wontons on the plate before us. This particular dish, House Specialty Dry Noodles, stars four deliciously mega-sized prawn wontons encased in a delicate, silky skin. The wontons barely peek out of the generous serving of tofu pieces cooked in a punchy brown sauce.
The cherry on top is the sprinkling of fluffy egg strips. Mixed with the sauce, it complements the wontons to a tee. With no soup in sight, you can enjoy the subtle flavor that the light coating of sesame oil adds to the hand-stretched noodles.
As you try to create the perfect mouthful by loading a bit of everything in your pair of chopsticks (including the blanched Chinese greens), you might be lucky to catch the cooks sitting only a few seats away, meticulously hand-making countless dumplings before the inevitable rush of customers.