The topic of today's post is one that is, and always has been close to my heart. Any guesses what that could be?….FOOD!
In the past I have written extensively about various Chinese dishes and delicacies, ranging from the humble dumpling, to the stomach twisting stinky tofu(stomach twisting for most foreigners, that is). But I haven't written much about specific places for you to go eat. I have done a few reviews of night market stands, but not much besides that. I also have written next to nothing about all of the amazing Western influenced food you can get in Taipei.
Today, we rectify this. Because, chances are, if you stay in Taiwan as long as I did, you're going to start to feel a little homesick for some good ol' Western cooking! Without further ado, I give you my top 10 places to eat Western food in Taipei!
1. NY Bagels
This place is just great. Located in Taipei's 東區(other places in Taiepei as well, such as City Hall station), this is my top destination for a midnight Western style breakfast after I've read my fill over at the 24 hour ESLITE bookstore just down the road. French toast, pancakes, scrambled eggs, they do it all! Granted, there are some pretty awesome mom and pop western style diners in Taiwan, but I like the food here the best. Give them a try, you won't be dissapointed!
2. Evan's Burger
With several locations around Taipei, and two in the vicinity of Shida Night Market, this so one of the best places to go for a burger in town. The style is very authentic, and besides burgers you can get all kinds of other great American foods, and their shakes are awesome! Another reason I love eating at Evan's Burger is that they have my all time favorite soda imported from back home…DR PEPPER BABY! You would not believe hard difficult the stuff can be to get in Taiwan!
This place has great burgers, and quesadillas and loads of other stuff as well, but the real fun about going here for me is the books. I'm a nerd, what can I say? The dining are here is surrounded by bookshelves just jam-packed full of English novels, and if you dig through them, you'll not be surprised to find some awesome reading material(scifi, fantasy, general fiction, whatever, they've hot it all!). The books are all second hand(though I'll wager they've seen more than just a pair of hands!) and you can trade in your old books too! Check them out in the NTU area! tons of other great restaurants around there too!
4. Amy's Kitchen(La Casita)
This place has the best Mexican food you can get in Taiwan, period. It's all very authentic, not as good as what you'd get back here in Texas, but as close as you can reasonably expect considering where you are(and it's worlds better than the Chinese-style Mexican food you can get at other places in Taipei that just don't get it right).They've also got great margaritas(I don't drink anymore, but I'm sure they can make a virgin one as well). They also allow you to write on the wall with a permanent marker, offering some interesting atmosphere to the restaurant and a time you'll never forget! They're a little tough to find, your best bet is to google the Chinese address and show it to a cab driver.
5. Macho Tacos
When I went to college in Austin, Freebirds and Chipotle style gigantic burritos were a staple of my diet(maybe one of the reasons I was so fat when I graduated and moved to Taiwan in the first place!). While Macho Tacos isn't a carbon copy of either major American chain, they do offer a pretty similar dining experience, and have by far, the best burritos in Taiwan. Too bad this joint didn't pop up sooner, I was always on the lookout for Mexican food during my early days on Taiwan, Check them out in the Shida night market area.
6. Alley Cats
Best pizza in Taiwan, seriously, just try them and I'm sure you'll be a believer too! Located on the back side of Ximen Ding's famous Red House, Alley Cats has been serving up awesome pizza to Taipei's night owls for a long time, which is pretty easy, considering they're surrounded by bars! Their pizza is Chicago style, thin-crusted and delicious! They're also affordable, considering how much good Western food can cost in Taipei, not cheap, but affordable.
7. West-15 Diner(西十五牛仔很忙)
This place has all of the essentials, and lots of them! The menu consists of burgers, fries, pasta, salad, soups, wings, and much more! Oh, and it's buffet style, so the staff will keep bringing you dishes to your table until you burst! It's a little pricey, but you can get your money's worth, for sure, especially us guys. Besides the great food, another reason this place is so popular is because the owner dresses like a sexy cowgirl, and so do the rest of the waitresses, none of which are hard on the eyes. The place is within walking distanced Liuzhangli station, and google can get you the rest of the way from there.
8. Mary's Hamburger(茉莉漢堡)
This one is a little out there if you are located in the heart of Taipei, but if you are in the neighborhood, it's a good place to stop for dinner. Located in Tienmu, just by the American school, it shouldn't be hard to find. They have great burgers and fries and I would recommend checking them out next time you're in the area to peruse the flea market, take a bus to Yangming Mountain to hit up the hotspring resorts, or whatever it is that brings you there.
9. Casa Della Pasta
I love spaghetti and lasagna, but it can be super difficult to find a really good pasta place in Taiwan. Taiwanese spaghetti is generally served with a pretty watery sauce, not the meaty kind that Westerners love, and never has enough Parmesan cheese. Enter Casa Della Pasta. With several locations around Taipei, This place has great Italian food, and you can get as much parmesan as you want to go with your pasta, just expect to pay a little more than you would at other spaghetti places around town. Remember you get what you pay for.
I know what your thinking, and stop it, okay! This fine establishment made it on the list because of the great American style good, right?…Awww, who am I kidding, we all know why Hooters is popular with the guys, pretty obvious. The foods great, and they have a hula-hoop show, and some of the girls can swing 10+ hula-hoops at a time! Now that's something you've just got to see! Check them out, they're conveniently located by the Nanjing E. Rd. station.
That's my list. It's not all inclusive, there are tons of other places to get great Western food in Taipei, so feel free to share your favorties below!
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