Eating is one of the best things about Taiwan. The city of Taipei is full of restaurants, shops, parks and people. There are food choices everywhere you look and part of the adventure of traveling (especially with kids!) is to wander around and try different things. There are many fine dining spots throughout the Taipei districts, along with traditional Taiwanese snacks at the night markets.
There are also blogs and articles about some of the best fine dining or highly rated restaurants in the city.
So for this, we’ve focused on a few spots that are particularly fun for kids, along with convenient for families. Sometimes you need to grab something before going back to the hotel for an early night if you’re all dealing with jetlag for example, or sometimes the kids just can’t wait until 6 or 7 pm for a fine dining dinner reservation.
Here are our 5 family favorites:
1. Ijysheng Bakery
This bakery is very much a local spot. It’s a chain with locations scattered around the city. They have delicious Taiwanese milk breads, stuffed breads and all kinds of treats.
The smells are free and you’ll have to keep your kids from grabbing everything in sight, but it’s a fantastic stop for a snack during a busy day wandering around, or grab a few meat-stuffed breads for a light, early dinner.
2. Mala Hot Pot
Hot pot is a type of Asian food that you cook at the table in a broth. Mala Hot Pot is a popular restaurant with multiple locations throughout the city.
It has a large buffet of raw vegetables and meats to cook in your hot pot at your table. Kids will love picking out what to cook, as well as helping cook the food right there at the table. They won’t mind the bottomless Haagen Daaz ice cream for dessert either.
3. Juice Stands and Bubble Teas
You may notice while wandering around Taipei that there are many fruit stands. Fruit is fresh and plentiful in Taiwan and going to a fruit stand for freshly made juice will be a highlight of your trip.
Watch the locals and do as they do: point to the fruits that you want and then they’ll blend it up for you. One similar concept though in a larger, more descript chain storefront and a mix of choices other than fruit juice is Taipei Milk King. You can get juices, papaya milks and other drinks made freshly for you.
Another must try while in Taiwan is a milk tea or bubble tea. Bubble teas are complicated business in Taipei. Many stands will allow you to pick the amount of sugar, amount of ice, type of tea, size of tapiocas and more. It’s fun to order, and even more fun to drink!
4. Modern Toilet Restaurant
While this restaurant is a draw almost exclusively because everything is toilet themed, it’s a must visit with family as the kids will get a kick out of it.
There are a few locations throughout Taipei and if you go to the Ximen or the Shilin locations, you can browse a nearby night market after dining out of toilets.
Food is fine, nothing special, but there is a lot of variety to please everyone. You’ll be greeted by the sound of a flushing toilet and have loads of opportunities to take pictures of yourself and your family sitting on, and eating out of, toilets.
5. Bento Box
If you wander to the less touristy neighborhoods of Taipei, such as Da’an or Zhongshan districts, you will surely see many day time markets with hot foods and people getting Bento boxes full of their choices. This is a cheap and delicious way to eat and try some Taipei food. It also allows kids to see the food they’re going to eat and choose what they want.
Follow the locals lead, pick your box and point to the items you want. Then eat at one of the small tables if available, or take your picks to a park for a family picnic.
There are countless restaurants in Taipei that cater to kids and families. Many even have playgrounds or play areas within the restaurant. A great resource for those with young kids is this blog: A Toddler in Taipei. It has awesome resources on family-friendly restaurants (and other things to do in Taipei as well).
Take some time before you go, do some research and pick a couple of places that you definitely want to try. Then wander around for the rest!
For more information on traveling in Taiwan visit:
- 10 Favorite Family Activities in Taipei, Taiwan
- Where to Stay and How to Get Around Taipei
- Two Awesome Taipei Day Trips