Wondering where locals love to eat in New Taipei City? This handy guide shows you some of the popular spots in the city. With its long coastline and rich fishing waters, is home to many Japanese restaurants. Here, you'll find delicious dishes made with seasonal ingredients, such as the Sankansoubo sashimi platter (shan jian hua cai ci shen), white lion's mane fungus (bai yu hou tou gu) and mackerel with mirin (qing yu wei lan yi ye gan). You can also enjoy seafood in Chinese restaurants, with specialties such as crab cream porridge (xie gao zhou) and lotus chicken soup (lian hua ji tang) that’s cooked with forest-raised chicken and has a unique rich flavor.

    Well-established restaurants popular with locals include those serving smoked goose. If you visit in winter, make sure you don't miss the popular hot pot restaurants in New Taipei City. If you take a walk in Tamsui, you can try authentic Italian pasta at a popular bistro.

    1

    Sankansoubo

    Enjoy Japanese cuisine on a mountain top

    • Families
    • Food

    Sankansoubo, an abandoned warehouse converted into Japanese-style vegetarian restaurant, is located on a mountain above the MRT Nanshijiao Station in the Zhonghe district. The restaurant has a tin exterior but inside it is zen-like, simple and unpretentious. The floor-to-ceiling windows make you feel like you are in the mountain and forest. You'll need to book in advance. Based on the 5 elements of Chinese Taoism, the elegantly presented dishes are made with seasonal fruits and vegetables, using Japanese cooking methods.

    The result is an exquisite and stylish selection of healthy vegetarian food. Specialties include Sankansoubo sashimi platter (shan jian hua cai ci shen), white lion's mane fungus (bai yu hou tou gu) and Sankansoubo nigiri sushi (shan jian wo shou si), alongside creative dishes for certain seasons and festivals. Sankansoubo is thought to have developed more than 100 types of nigiri sushi and Hobayaki (po ye shao) is a popular signature dish cooked on magnolia leaves. Upon serving, a fire is lit under the magnolia leaves to infuse this special dish.

    Location: No. 124, Lane 399, Section 2, Xingnan Road, Zhonghe District, New Taipei City, Taiwan 23566

    Open: Daily from 11.30 am to 2.30 pm and from 6.30 pm to 9.30 pm

    Phone: +886 (0)2294 06616

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    2

    Liubiju Chao Zhou Yipin Earthenware Pot Porridge

    The first of its kind to open in Taiwan

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    • Food

    Chao Zhou Yipin Earthenware Pot Porridge is located on Zhongshan Road in the Banqiao District. This was the first restaurant in Taiwan to serve earthenware pot porridge, a flavoursome dish studied by the chef on mainland China. The restaurant has been enormously popular in the Banqiao District since it opened in 2004, so you'll need to book several weeks in advance. It serves different types of earthenware pot porridge. Every pot is freshly cooked, so you'll have to wait at least 30 minutes, but more and more people are willing to queue to taste the restaurant's dishes made from fresh seafood, chicken bones and radishes, enhanced with its secret 'nut sauce' recipe.

    The thickest dish is the crab cream porridge (xie gao zhou) cooked with fresh red wonton, sand prawns, pearl shells, fresh cuttlefish balls, broth and raw rice. The plump, golden crab cream gives the porridge a richer taste and is a favorite of many connoisseurs. Popular stir-fried dishes like song ban pork with 3 cups sauce (san bei song ban rou), squid rolls with honey sauce (mi zhi zhong juan), sautéed prawn with pineapple (feng li xia qiu), and soy sauce chicken (you ji), are also worth trying.

    Location: No. 160-3, Section 1, Zhongshan Road, Banqiao District, New Taipei City, Taiwan 22065

    Open: Daily from 11.30 am to 2 pm and from 5.30 pm to 11.30 pm

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    photo by siaosiao (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    3

    En Japanese Cuisine

    Relish in Japanese seafood dishes

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    EN Japanese Cuisine is located in Mega City Department Store in the Banqiao District. Adhering to the spirit of Japanese cuisine and 'harmony' of food, the restaurant makes a soup each day using traditional methods and seasonal ingredients so that diners can enjoy their original flavor. EN Japanese Cuisine's specialty is grilled dry fish (yi ye gan), where dishes are created following a special process. It offers a safe and secure dining experience. This season's chef's recommended dishes include fourfinger threadfin (wu zi yu yi ye gan), clam and tomato udon (ge li fan qie wu long mian), and mackerel with mirin (qing yu wei lan yi ye gan). They are all worth a try.

    The Mackerel with mirin deserves a special mention. Norwegian mackerel is first infused and then air-dried in traditional style and the cooking method retains the fat of mackerel and sweetness of the mirin. The crispy crust, fresh, juicy flesh and the delicate taste create an endless aftertaste. The EN Huaishilong Special Set Meal is also popular. It includes 5 special appetizers, paired with fresh and sweet sashimi, followed by a main dish, all elegantly presented.

    Location: 11F, No. 28, Xinzhan Road, Banqiao District, New Taipei City, Taiwan 22041

    Open: Daily from 11 am to 10 pm

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    photo by Tzuhsun Hsu (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    4

    Wen Yan Wen

    Spicy hot pot that locals love

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    Wen Yan Wen is a popular spicy hot pot restaurant in the Banqiao District. It serves only 3 types of soup: shu spicy soup, black garlic soup and kelp soup. The black garlic soup is the restaurant's hallmark. After lengthy fermentation, the garlic turns from milky white to dark brown and acquires a less spicy taste. The signature shu spicy soup is a firm favorite among foodies and doesn't dry out your mouth.

    The restaurant also serves 4 types of beef, Angus black beef, snow rouge beef, grain-fed fatty beef, and top boneless beef. The meat is soft and smooth, with a rich and delicate taste. If you also order the shu spicy soup, you won't be able to stop eating. Seafood ingredients are also fresh; the shrimp is plumper than in other restaurants and tastes sweeter. Wen Yan Wen offers many different dishes but so as not to waste ingredients, it only serves 8 to 12 at a time. Enjoying Haagen-Dazs ice cream is the perfect way to end a meal here.

    Location: 2F, No. 6, Lane 50, Section 1, Zhongshan Road, Banqiao District, New Taipei City, Taiwan 22063

    Open: Daily from noon to midnight

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    5

    Haidilao Hot Pot

    Hot pot and entertaining acts

    • Families
    • Food

    When the Haidilao Hot Pot first opened in Taiwan, it attracted a lot of attention from the hot pot industry. It is famous for the extra dining services it provides like performances, massages, manicures, and shoe-shining. Haidilao was founded in 1994 and the cuisine is based on Sichuan flavors and includes local features.

    Haidilao Hot Pot's soups include tomato soup, mushroom soup, kelp soup, pork belly chicken soup, delicacy soup and spicy soup. The filling traditional spicy hot pot, made of Sichuan pepper, pepper, spice, and broad bean chilli sauce, has an authentic Sichuan taste. Spiced beef with green onion in Delicacy soup is served as a first course. The dishes are rich and made of the finest fresh ingredients. There is also a self-service area in the restaurant, and side dishes, fruit and soups are free. Haidilao also offers a regular Sichuan face-changing opera and noodle pulling performances, which are both highly entertaining.

    Location: 5F, No. 28, Xinzhan Road, Banqiao District, New Taipei City, Taiwan 22041

    Open: Daily from 11 am to 3 am

    Phone: +886 (0)2296 41328

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    photo by Chen Zhao (CC BY 2.0) modified

    6

    Acheng Goose

    Enjoy it salty or smoked

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    Acheng Goose has been in business in the Tucheng District since 1990. This reasonably priced establishment has been serving tasty food for 30 years and is a busy and popular dining choice. This has led it to open 3 other branches. The Jilin Store was awarded a Michelin Bibendum recommendation in Taipei in 2019. The Acheng goose dish has 2 signature flavors, namely salty and smoked. Smoked is the most popular.

    The Michelin recommendation has made it a famous, must-order dish for miles around. The selection of goose is highly important. The owner, Chen Guoan, sources 100-to-120-day old geese from Yunlin, which are immediately smoked with cane sugar. The meat is tender and juicy, with a slight hint of the cane sugar. The breast is lean while the leg is tender and sweet, creating an endless aftertaste. Other recommended dishes include rice with goose soup (e you ban fan), Makino bamboo shoots (gui zhu sun), and spicy duck blood (ma la ya xie). All of them are amazing and well worth trying.

    Location: No. 78 Qingshui Road, Tucheng District, New Taipei City, Taiwan 23652

    Open: Daily from 11 am to 8 pm

    Phone: +886 (0)2254 15238

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    photo by MiNe (CC BY 2.0) modified

    7

    Da Shu Xia Three Dish Tofu

    Delicious tofu dishes by the old camphor tree

    • Families
    • Food

    Da Shu Xia Three Dish Tofu dates back over 30 years. This popular restaurant in Shenkeng Old Street is symbolized by the old camphor tree growing next to it and has antique interior design. Even though it has 3 floors, there are still long queues outside at meal times. Popular signature dishes include the three dish tofu (dou fu san chi), sliced cold free-range chicken (bai zhan fang shan ji), braised Makino bamboo shoots (lu gui zhu sun), and stinky tofu with pork intestine and duck blood (chang wang ya xie chou dou fu).

    Each one is fascinating. The three dish tofu includes tofu soup (dou fu geng), containing bamboo shoots, black fungus, egg drops and tofu, sprinkled with coriander. The second dish is tofu fish with broad bean chilli sauce (dou ban dou fu yu), unfilleted deep-fried seabass with crispy skin and tender juicy flesh, which is even more delicious with the special sauce and broad bean chilli sauce. For the braised tofu (hong shao dou fu), fresh tofu is made daily and cooked with green onion, pepper and other seasonings to add color and taste. A delicious spicy dish that goes well with rice.

    Location: No. 163, Shenkeng Street, Shenkeng District, New Taipei City, Taiwan 22243

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 8 pm (closed on Wednesdays)

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    8

    Zhan Ji Spicy Hot Pot

    Home of the best duck blood in Taipei

    • Families
    • Food

    Zhan Ji Spicy Hot Pot Xinzhuang's main store was founded in 1994 and has been popular for over 25 years, attracting many curious customers. The tender, juicy duck blood (ya xie) is especially famous and is known as the best duck blood in Taipei. This spicy hot pot restaurant attracts celebrities from mainland China and Hong Kong.

    The Zhan Ji Spicy Hot Pot contains the signature duck blood and tofu. The soup, made from pork bones and vegetables is sweet and refreshing, with a rich aroma of Sichuan pepper and spice. Crispy pork ribs are added to heighten the flavor. You should try both types of soup, and other popular ingredients like the unmissable tender and smooth pork jowl; beef tendon, tripe, large intestine, and black feather chicken leg can also be added. Fresh ingredients are always used and the restaurant attracts a lot of customers.

    Location: No. 187, Xintai Road, Xinzhuang District, New Taipei City, Taiwan 24242

    Open: Daily from 5 pm to 1 am (closed on Mondays)

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    photo by bryan... (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    9

    Shi Yang Culture Restaurant

    A tranquil tea place with a strong oriental air

    • Couples
    • Families
    • Food

    Shi Yang Culture Restaurant is housed in the black building near the pond on Xizhi Mountain. The decoration is elegant and simple, with stone walls, ink paintings, spacious floor-to-ceiling windows, thick solid wood floors and tatami, giving it a strong oriental air. There is even a quiet space for tea-making and tasting on the second floor. The owner, Lin Binghui, returned to the mountain and forest when he was in his 40s, and since then has devoted himself to learning Zen and coexisting with nature. His aim is to offer customers original flavors.

    Shi Yang Culture Restaurant homemade dishes include handmade mountain spring peanut tofu (shan quan shou gong hua sheng dou fu), vegetable sashimi cold dish (qing shu ci shen leng pan), rice with scallops and sweet bean (gan bei tian dou ban fan). The Lotus chicken soup (lian hua ji tang) is the most famous dish and it attracts many diners. The aroma comes out when the chicken broth is served and the dried lotus flower petals slowly unfurl with the heat. This sweet, delicious soup is made from a variety of ingredients like lotus seeds, lotus root, yam, willow mushrooms and chicken. The taste is indescribable and one you won't want to miss.

    Location: No. 6, Lane 366, Section 3, Xiwan Road, Xizhi District, New Taipei City, Taiwan 22176

    Open: Tuesday–Wednesday and Friday–Sunday from noon to 3 pm and from 6 pm to 9 pm, Thursday from noon to 3 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +886 (0)2264 62266

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    10

    Eiles Bistro

    Italian cuisine in the heart of Tamsui

    • Families
    • Food

    Hidden in the business area of the Tamsui shopping district, Eiles Bistro was founded in 1995 and is currently run by the second generation of owners. Rockie, who traveled to Italy to learn about cooking, added elements of Italian cuisine to the restaurant like making his own noodles as the flour, temperature, humidity and fold times are all important and should be carefully considered when making chewy noodles. Eiles Bistro offers a wide variety of pasta, including spaghetti, gnocchi, tagliatelle, and agnolotti dal plin. The most popular dishes are Rosemary focaccia, oyster and ham noodles, and handmade lamb noodles.

    The signature family dish, German pork feet, Rockie's mother's specialty, is also popular. Customers rate highly the thick skin and tender meat, enhanced by the sourness and crispness of the sauerkraut. Eiles Bistro also serves new dishes from time to time, so next time you are in Tamsui, come in for a drink and a taste of real pasta.

    Location: No. 117, Dazhong Street, Tamsui District, New Taipei City, Taiwan 25156

    Open: Friday–Monday from 11.30 am to 2.30 pm and from 5.30 pm to 10 pm (closed from Tuesday to Thursday)

    Phone: +886 (0)9059 82117

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