Believe it or not, it’s fashionable to go vegetarian in Taipei. Taipei delivers some of the most creative and diverse vegetarian dining culture in Asia. From delightful local food stalls to chic upscale restaurants, you are guaranteed a vegetarian feast like nowhere else.
Here we delve into the off-the-beaten-path vegetarian diners in Taipei. These eateries truly show how vegetarian food has become an integral part of the local’s daily life. To explore the more lavish choices, check these out.
Ji-Yuan Vegetarian Restaurant 吉緣素食
There is a saying in Taiwan that you are guaranteed to spot vegetarian diners at three venues – temples, hospitals, and local markets. So if you find yourself standing in front of the LongShan Temple, the prestigious center of Taiwanese religion, then you know you are guaranteed some vegetarian gourmet. Nestled between a beverage stand and traditional sweets shop, Ji-Yuan Restaurant may fly under your radar when you first pass by.
However, Ji-Yuan provides one of the most down-to-earth and unique Taiwanese veggie dishes. Try out the Pickled Vegetable Noodle (雪菜乾麵), a local favorite, literally plain noodles embellished with the indigenous “Pickled Vegetable”. Or else, take a leap of faith and order the Toon Rice Bowl (香椿拌飯) and Soybean Skin Soup (豆皮湯). The Toon Rice Bowl may look like mashed-spinach at first sight, but as the toon’s flavor blend perfectly with the rice underneath, its tastiness is worth the try.
● How to Order?
As this is a truly local restaurant, you’d expect the shop owners to be extremely amiable but non-English speaking. But no worries, we have your back covered. Order with the bilingual menu below!
Angelica Vermicelli 當歸麵線 NTD 65
Pickled Vegetable Noodles 雪菜乾麵 NTD 35
Pickled Vegetable Noodles with Soup 雪菜湯麵 NTD 65
Spicy Noodle 麻辣乾麵 NTD 35
Toon Noodle 香椿乾麵 NTD 35
Toon Rice Bowl 香椿拌飯 NTD 25
Wonton in Chili Oil 紅油抄手 NTD 40
Sesame Oil Rice Bowl 麻油拌飯 NTD 25
Soybean Skin Soup 豆皮湯 NTD 30
Angelica Soup 當歸湯 NTD 40
Around the Corner Of course you would have to visit the LongShan Temple, located just a few steps away. Literally “Dragon Mountain Temple”, LongShan Temple is one of the oldest and most awe-inspiring shrines in Taiwan. What’s more, its Chinese Cupid is voted the most efficacious one in the nation. Come witness for yourself!
Budget: Main dish starts ranges from NTD 25 to 65 (USD1-2)
Chan Guo Vegetarian Buffet 全國健康素食自助餐
Chan Guo Vegetarian Buffet seldom graces blog recommendations, but often leaves my foreign friends with the most impressions. It is very different from the high-priced buffet westerners are used to. As a pay-by-weight diner, Chan Guo provides local residents with bargain meal choice.
However make no mistake, Chan Guo most certainly did not sacrifice price for quality. Its dishes are not only tasty, but are as varied as any regular Taiwanese cuisine. If you’d like to have some traditional hand rolls, green bean noodles or fungus salad, feel free to grab their vegetarian versions. If you’d simply like a detox from meat overload, you’d have an extremely wide range of seasonal vegetables to choose from. In the end, you can very much get a full plate of veggie savory for just under 100 NTD.
● How to Order?
This is a pay-by-weight diner, so just grab whatever you desire into your plate, and have them weighed at the counter. If you’d like some rice, order them at the counter too. Free soup is included. Around the Corner The Long-Hua branch, one of the plenty branches of Chan Guo Buffet, is right in front of Confucius Temple. You might recognize Confucius as the prominent Chinese philosopher, but he is also a traditional deity in Daoism. After visiting the intricately built Confucius Temple, you might also want to compare its architecture with the Baoan Temple nearby. Hear from the expert here.
Budget: Pay-by-weight, but NTD 100 (USD 3) can very well get you a full plate
If you are a foodie, you must take these tours:
- Culture Tour – Soup Dumpling DIY
- Night Market Tour in Kaohsiung!
- Pine Apple Cake DIY In Taipei
- Shilin Night Market Tour