Yilan's most popular restaurants serve a wide range of exquisitely prepared and delicious dishes. The first must-try is the award-winning cherry duck cooked five ways at Red Lantern Chinese Restaurant. Lancheng Parkway’s amazing buffet is paradise for lovers of exotic cuisine. If you're a fan of garlic, the popular national dish of thick pork soup with garlic is definitely one to try. For the more adventurous, Qingshan Shiyi Restaurant has no menu and serves diners a variety of exotic, elegant and ingenious dishes. At Le Grand Bleu Restaurant, you can enjoy delicious European cuisine while soaking up the atmosphere of this century-old monument. At Miaokou Red Yeast Squid Restaurant, you can experience the delicacy that has enjoyed popularity for more than 50 years. If you're a fan of curry rice, don't miss the chance to visit MQ Grandpapa. The Chinese banquet-style dishes and reasonably priced stir-fries at Yuchiao Shabu will definitely please your palate. At Wu's Harbor Cuisine, you can enjoy fresh seafood while contemplating the incredible seascape. The freshly caught seafood and luxurious fruit platter at Fu Ge Seafood Restaurant will satisfy even the hungriest of appetites.

    1

    Red Lantern Chinese Restaurant

    Red Lantern Chinese restaurant is located in Silks Place Yilan Hotel on the sixth floor of Luna Plaza in Yilan County. The restaurant's red retro-style Chinese decor creates a festive, yet elegant ambience. Red Lantern Chinese restaurant topped the "Top Taiwan Roast Duck Restaurants" list on the yam.com website. Its original cherry roast duck is prepared in five creative ways and combined with Yilan's local ingredient, Sanxing green onion. It's an addictive delicacy with a taste that lingers in your mouth. To allow diners to fully enjoy the crispy and juicy roast duck as soon as it's served, the restaurant designates a chef to serve each table, giving diners the opportunity to see the chef's duck carving skills in action. The restaurant also serves chef's signature dishes such as duck oil mapo tofu and special desserts. It's an excellent venue for a family dinner. The restaurant only offers set menus on vacations and does not accept à la carte orders. Booking a table in advance is recommended to avoid crowds.

    Location: Sixth Floor, Silks Place Yilan Hotel/Luna Plaza, No. 36, Sec. 2, Minquan Rd., Yilan City, Yilan County, Taiwan 260

    Open: Daily from 11 am to 3 pm and from 5 pm to 9 pm

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    2

    Mihan Jiaoxi Restaurant at Wellspring by Silks Hotel

    Mihan Jiaoxi Restaurant is located in Wellspring by Silks Hotel in Jiaoxi Township, Yilan County, and is famous for its all-you-can-eat sukiyaki and hot pot dishes. The restaurant employs Michelin-starred chefs and selects seasonal ingredients from the local area to provide guests with a premium dining experience. Sukiyaki and top-quality hot pot dishes are served with a wide variety of fresh vegetables, as well as delicious local seafood such as lobster and sea bass, along with soy sauce, tender boneless beef short ribs or Japanese Kagoshima pork. The dishes are flavored with sesame dressing, ponzu sauce and other delicious sauces. It's hard to stop yourself from trying all the dishes all at once. In addition to premium fresh ingredients, the restaurant offers first-class service. The service staff provide attentive and meticulous service to ensure that you have an exceptional dining experience. Compared with other restaurants in the same category in Taipei, Mihan Jiaoxi Restaurant offers much better value for money. If you're visiting Jiaoxi Township in Yilan County, why not treat yourself to one of the top-quality hot pot dishes at Mihan Jiaoxi Restaurant?

    Location: 11th Floor, Wellspring by Silks Hotel, No. 67, Wenquan Rd., Jiaoxi Township, Yilan County, Taiwan 262

    Open: Breakfast: daily from 7 am to 11 am Dinner: daily from 5.30 pm to 7 pm and from 7.30 pm to 9 pm

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    3

    Qingshan Shiyi Restaurant

    Qingshan Shiyi Restaurant is located near National Ilan University. Its exterior is a modern building with classic Chinese elements. The restaurant's interior decor features antique sewing machines and gramophones along with Chinese and European style tables and chairs to create a nostalgic and retro feel. The restaurant provides no menus, but offers basic dishes such as salads, sashimi and main courses (meat or seafood). The service staff will ask guests in advance about their dietary preferences and any ingredients that they may possibly be allergic to. The restaurant uses fresh, carefully selected seasonal ingredients as much as possible. The tableware is elegant with some unique design touches, such as the placing of toothpicks in exquisitely embroidered shoes. The tableware presentation and cooking styles are creative and ingenious, providing a feast for both the eyes and the taste buds. If you're not used to raw food, you can use the slate provided by the restaurant to heat it. The service is meticulous and thoughtful, and will make you feel right at home. You can admire the amazing decor while enjoying a delicious meal. Booking is essential, so you'll need to reserve a table in advance to avoid disappointment.

    Location: No. 21, Yizhong Rd., Yilan City, Yilan County, Taiwan 260

    Open: From 11 am to 2.30 pm and from 5 pm to 9.30 pm, closed on Thursdays

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    4

    Le Grand Bleu Restaurant

    Le Grand Bleu Restaurant is located at the site of what was once the entrance to Yilan Penitentiary. It is part of Silks Place Yilan Hotel in Yilan City and a historic restaurant with a history stretching back more than 100 years. The restaurant's exterior features Western-style blue and white color tones, making it stand out from the monotonous urban landscape. The comfortable retro-style leather chairs and the cute school desks and chairs inside create the illusion of going back in time. If you're up early, come here to enjoy brunch dishes such as omelet, fried bacon and steak croissant sandwiches before the lunchtime rush starts. Lunch mainly consists of light meals such as pasta and sandwiches. If you love rich-flavoured meat, treat yourself to the Western-style barbecue steak served at dinner. Along with the delicious main courses and high-quality service, another highlight of the restaurant is the chef's special bread. It may look simple in appearance, but has a deliciously crisp outside and pillowy soft inside. Served with creamy butter, it is a delicacy highly recommended on many food websites.

    Location: No. 117, Sec. 2, Shennong Rd., Yilan City, Yilan County, Taiwan 260 (Located at the former entrance to Yilan Penitentiary and next to Luna Plaza)

    Open: Weekdays (Monday to Friday): lunch from 11.30 am to 2 pm; dinner from 5.30 pm to 8 pm Weekends (Saturday and Sunday): lunch from 11.30 am to 2 pm; dinner from 5.30 pm to 8.30 pm

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    5

    Yuchiao Shabu Restaurant

    Yuchiao Shabu Restaurant is located on the Outer Ring Road of Yilan City and is surrounded by green rice fields. You can fully enjoy the beauty of nature when you dine here. Despite its remote location, the restaurant has a thriving business and is highly recommended by Yilan locals for its inexpensive seafood. Freshly caught seafood is more expensive, but most of the dishes are reasonably priced, with a wide variety including à la carte stir-fried dishes and Chinese dishes suitable for a gathering of multiple persons. The restaurant's signature dish is the delicious must-eat white meat hot pot served with pickled Chinese cabbage. The restaurant provides open seating as well as private dining rooms. Yuchiao Shabu Restaurant is known for its seafood and quick stir-fries, including fresh sashimi, Kyoto pork ribs, seasoned sausages and cheese shrimp balls. With so much choice, you can enjoy a satisfying meal that won't break the bank. There's a carpark at the back of the restaurant. The excellent value for money makes this a must-try restaurant.

    Location: No. 192, Dongjin 1st Rd., Yilan City, Yilan County, Taiwan 260

    Open: Daily from 11 am to 2 pm and from 5 pm to 10 pm, closed on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month

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    6

    Wu's Harbor Cuisine with No-Choice and Set-Menu Dishes

    Wu's Harbor Cuisine is located at Wai'ao Beach in Toucheng Township, Yilan. It was opened by the owner of a well-known B&B called Sealuv. There are five fishing ports and one mountain (Guishan Island) in Toucheng Township, hence the name Wu's Harbor. The building housing the restaurant is designed with a blue-and-white, Greek-style architecture, making you feel as if you are on the shores of the Mediterranean. The interior features chairs made of natural stone and driftwood to create a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere. All the ingredients used by the restaurant are personally purchased by the discerning owner from the local fishing port. Top-class steam ovens are used to retain the freshness of the ingredients without overcooking them. The restaurant's signature dish is tender and juicy broiled fish. The bone separates easily from the flesh, so you can eat without the worry of a fish bone sticking in your throat. Fresh fish and delicious side dishes make this restaurant an absolute treat for seafood lovers. Take in the magnificent sea views facing Guishan Island as you enjoy your meal. The no-choice menu must be ordered the day before, and set meals are also available. If seafood isn't your thing, there are other main courses to choose from.

    Location: No. 70, Sec. 2, Binhai Rd., Toucheng Township, Yilan County, Taiwan 261

    Open: Wednesday to Sunday: from 11.30 am to 4 pm and from 6.30 pm to 8 pm Monday: from 11.30 am to 4 pm, closed on Tuesdays

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    7

    Fu Ge Live Seafood Restaurant

    Fu Ge Live Seafood Restaurant is located on the main street of Dongshan Township in Yilan County. Although not close to the sea, the restaurant serves fresh seafood that is highly recommended by Yilan locals. The restaurant provides no menus. Just go directly to the aquarium to choose your live seafood. If you're afraid of ordering too much and exceeding your budget, ask the price before ordering. Most of the restaurant's other dishes are very reasonably priced. The restaurant owner runs his business in his own unique way and doesn't accept extra orders, so make sure to include everything you want when ordering. If you're a seafood lover, you'll be spoiled for choice with the huge range of dishes, including the simple-looking but delicious fried rice, fried noodles and signature fresh seafood dishes such as fish, shrimp, crab, squid and baby clams, all of which are served with a selection of vegetables. At the end of the meal, the restaurant's legendary luxury fruit platter is served, but be aware that this is not available if you don't book in advance, or if you come late or settle your bill early. The restaurant tends to be full at mealtimes, so booking a table in advance is recommended.

    Location: No. 87, Guangxing Rd., Dongshan Township, Yilan County, Taiwan 269

    Open: Daily from 11.30 am to 3 pm and from 5.30 pm to 9 pm

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    8

    Chuancheng Garlic Meat Soup Restaurant

    Chuancheng Garlic Meat Soup Restaurant, located on Jiucheng North Road in Yilan, was opened by the youngest daughter of the founder of Yilan's original garlic meat soup restaurant. As soon as you walk in the door, you can smell the garlic aroma that permeates the entire restaurant and stimulates your appetite. Most of the dishes served here are based around garlic meat soup, but there are also minced pork dishes. The restaurant carefully selects the pork shoulder to prepare the meat soup. The shoulder is marinated according to a secret recipe, coated with cornflour and fresh fish paste, and then put into the boiling soup. The rich garlic flavor lingers in your mouth, enticing you take one bite after another. Even after a full meal in the restaurant, you'll still want to order a takeout. Chuancheng garlic meat soup is a family tradition. It's reasonably priced and its excellent flavor is much loved by locals. If you love garlic-based dishes, this restaurant is definitely worth a visit. The restaurant now offers an online ordering service, but with a limited selection of dishes. You can order online if you can't get to Yilan or don't want to eat out.

    Location: No. 148, Jiucheng N. Rd., Yilan City, Yilan County, Taiwan 260

    Open: From 9 am to 8 pm (closes early if sold out), closed on Wednesdays

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    photo by Yawen Lin (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    9

    Miaokou Red Yeast Squid Restaurant

    Miaokou Red Yeast Squid Restaurant is located on Zhongshan Road in Yilan City. Founded in 1968, it was originally a food stall in front of the entrance to Zhaoying Temple in Yilan. It was later relocated to a restaurant not far from the temple entrance, but has retained the Miaokou sign. The restaurant serves just two dishes: red yeast squid and mushroom oatmeal. The red yeast squid used to be broiled, but is now deep-fried to save time. The meaty Argentine squid is marinated in red yeast and more than a dozen secret ingredients, and then deep-fried over a high heat. The dish is served with sweet and sour Taiwanese kimchi, which perfectly complements the deliciously chewy squid. You can order half or the whole squid and pair it with a plain broth or red yeast. The mushroom oatmeal is a bone broth with a flavor that is both rich and refreshing. You can ask the restaurant owner to add more soup if you want more. The two simple dishes that the restaurant has been dedicated to for more than 50 years are much loved by customers, who often order a takeout to bring home after dining.

    Location: No. 153, Sec. 3, Zhongshan Rd., Yilan City, Yilan County, Taiwan 260

    Open: Daily from 12 pm to 10 pm (You can call in advance to ask about seat availability in the evening.)

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    10

    MQ Grandpapa Restaurant

    MQ Grandpapa Restaurant is located near National Lan-Yang Girl’s Senior High School in Yilan. The restaurant is just a 10-minute walk from Yilan Railroad Station. The restaurant is named after the owner's family, Ma, and the osmanthus tree at the restaurant's entrance. The restaurant is hidden down an inconspicuous alleyway and there's nowhere convenient to park. However, the inexpensive and delicious curry rice charged at less than TWD 100 has become hugely popular on Instagram, attracting long queues of hungry customers. The interior is decorated in an understated and elegant style. The dishes are simple, and only three types of curry are served: sauteed chicken, pork with soy sauce, and mixed curry, all of which are freshly cooked to order. The tornado omelet is silky and tender, and the extra cheese melts slowly due to the residual heat of the egg. The contrast between the omelet and the curry rice makes the dish both beautiful to look at and delicious. The restaurant's side dishes and miso soup are also popular. MQ Grandpapa Restaurant has only a dozen seats and doesn't accept phone bookings, so if you want to sample the delicious food served here, it's recommended that you arrive 30 to 40 minutes in advance.

    Location: No. 3, Ln. 41, Zhonghua Rd., Yilan City, Yilan County, Taiwan 260

    Open: From 11.30 am to 2 pm and from 5 pm to 7.30 pm, closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays

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