The Definitive Guide to Souvenir Shopping in Taipei
Souvenir shopping can often be a stressful experience, especially when an “I Heart Taiwan” mug won’t cut it. We’ve taken the pain out if searching by narrowing down on the best gifts to suit even the fussiest of folk on your list.
For foodie friends
Spend a day in Taiwan and you’re bound to catch sight of what has become eponymous with Taiwan’s souvenir market—pineapple cakes. The crumbly shortcake casing doesn’t give any hint of the devilishly sweet and sticky golden pineapple mixture awaiting inside.
If any old pineapple cake won’t do, Sunnyhills’ take is beautifully packaged and absolutely delectable.
Surprisingly, another popular sweet treat here is nougat. Sugar and Spice’s original milk and coffee caramel have a huge cult following, so you can’t go wrong with that.
Another tasty buy are Kuo Yuan Ye’s homey moon cakes.
For your organization-obsessed colleagues
We all know someone whose stationery buying habits are cause for slight concern. You’ll do nothing to alleviate the problem when you enter Eslite’s 24-hour book store and realise you simply must buy everything in sight (for them of course, right?).
Every design book under the sun seems to be here, and in the surrounding boutiques beautiful pens, paper and desk accessories abound.
For your fun-loving friends
If you really just want to discover a haven of cute and kitsch souvenirs (no judgment, we promise!)— do we have the place for you! Ximending is like a rodeo show for Taiwan branded nick-nacks, punny T-shirts, and novelty wares.
If you’re feeling particularly daring, you can pick up a takeaway box of penis-shaped cakes to give to that friend who will appreciate the hilarity—you know the one we mean.
We’re also unashamedly obsessed with the entertaining and foodie-certified Taiwanese Snacks Poker Cards by MIIN which feature mouthwatering pictures of Taiwan’s must eats and include a restaurant guide to boot.
Or for a safer choice, most night markets offer cheap fish eye lens and selfie sticks to add a kick to the usual selfie session.
For super sippers
It would be a crime to not bring tea home from a country famed for it. Feng Pu Tea House is a family run, conveniently located tea museum reputed for their oolong and green teas.
But for that one person you really want to knock the socks off, you can’t do any better than a bottle of Kavalan, the world’s best single malt whisky, proudly brewed in Taiwan.
For art and craft creatives
If you’re after pieces which proudly represent the innovation and creativity of Taiwanese design, a meander around Lovely Taiwan is non-negotiable. Catch yourself in awe at the stunning craftsmanship of the homemade bags, tailored fashion and wooden wonders created by members of Taiwan’s Aboriginal tribes.
The Taiwan Handicraft Promotion Center additionally has an overwhelming number of handmade art, pottery, sculptures and jewelry for you to gawk at.
And if it’s jade you’re after, spend the afternoon at the Jianguo Holiday Flower and Jade Market and walk away dripping in this diamond of the East.