For many years, Taichung, Taiwan was renowned as a hub of industry. Unfortunately, this led to many overlooking the city as a potential destination for holidays and weekend sojourns. Nevertheless, in recent years, the city has significantly redeveloped and is now a great place to visit with numerous dining options and local food attractions.

Today, many regard Taichung as the heart of culture and art in Taiwan, home to numerous interesting museums, cultural venues, and food. 

Some of Taiwan’s famous local food recommendations include sun cakes, deep-fried water chestnuts, oyster congee, and taro balls, all readily available from some of the best restaurants in Taichung.

When planning a trip to Taichung, deciding what and where you should eat is crucial in making the most of your stay. We have curated some of our favorite local food attractions to include some of the best restaurants in Taichung you should seriously consider.

Qin Yuan Chun

Established in 1949, Qin Yuan Chun is one of the oldest restaurants in Taiwan, renowned for its delectable Chinese cuisine. The dishes you’ll discover are as much Shanghai as any you’ll find, even in China, more than some Shanghainese restaurants you can find on the Chinese mainland.

Providing a rustic, casual ambiance and heavy, dark wood furniture, Qin Yuan Chun has resided in the same place since its foundation nearly seven decades ago. This old-school eatery is a favorite among local food recommendations in Taichung and overseas visitors desiring authentic Chinese flavors.

Qin Yuan Chun provides some of the best food in Taichung, including the iconic xiao long bao, a delicate purse of meat balls with hot broth. Thin dough encases a small, tender ball of savory sweet minced meat dripping with hot, delectable broth.

QYC is also famous for the bean-paste bun. This humble Shanghai staple is a fluffy snowy skin over an ebony, mildly sweet bean paste. The paste is creamy, smooth, and rich with a slightly sweet taste of sugar.

Xie Shi (Traditional Breakfast Shop)

Xie Shi has consistently served high-quality, traditional breakfasts for over 50 years. This breakfast shop is the kind of Taiwanese breakfast that is messy and made by the hands of traditionalists; serving up some of the best breakfast food in Taichung, perhaps all of Taiwan.

Considering the many recommendations for the best restaurants in Taichung, Xie Shi resides at the top of nearly everyone’s local list. However, be careful over-ordering; the food is fantastic and comes reasonably priced.

Lovingly prepared by ladies adorned in bandanas and aprons, Xie Shi serves Taiwanese breakfast staples such as bean curd, sandwiches, and fried dough sticks. 

While some may find the offerings at this locale somewhat basic compared to other elevated cuisines from restaurants in Taichung, Xie Shi provides a charming atmosphere and hearty menu items that feel like home.

Taichung Second Market

Formerly a farmer’s market dating back to the Japanese Colonial Era, Taichung Second Market was once a gathering place for trading commodities. Fast forward to today, and you’ll discover a place to experience historical architecture and one of the finest restaurants in Taichung.

For anyone visiting Taichung, you must try Taichung Second Market as one of the best culinary highlights of the city. Its buildings surround a hexagonal courtyard designed to trade and distribute goods.

Taichung Second Market is an eatery where locals like to hang out, socialize, and eat. Most of this locale’s vendors sell produce, including local vegetables and fruit. However, you can additionally discover coffee shops, clothing stores, tailors, and snacks.

One of the most famous restaurants in Taichung is a cooked food stall right at the southern entrance to the market, renowned for its radish cake prepared with a fried egg and a tangy sauce.

Some of the other eateries located in the Taichung Second Market include:

  • Arashi Braised Minced Pork Shop

  • 聰明擔仔麵 (Clever Danzai Noodles)

  • Lai’s Tea Shop

  • Mei Jian Tea

  • 山河魯肉飯 (Shanhe Lu Pork Rice)

Chun Shui Tang Tea House

Founded in 1983, this is one of two restaurant chains claiming to invent bubble milk tea. Founded by Mr. Liu Han-Chieh with the idea of serving traditional Chinese tea cold in the early 1980s after visiting Japan, where he saw them serve coffee cold.

Unlike other more modern eateries, Chun Shui Tea, or Spring Water Hall, retains traditional Chinese teahouse elements and experiences. Nevertheless, half the menu is occupied by drinks alone, though they do provide braised bean curd with rice cakes, seasoned snap beans, handmade dry noodles with minced pork sauce, and various other dining options.

With Chun Shui Tea, you can taste the care and quality invested in every menu item. Despite numerous other teahouses in Taichung and throughout Taiwan, Chun Shui Tea accounts for over 40 shops while retaining the old-world charm and subtle touch.

Miyahara Ice Cream

Residing in a building constructed in 1927, Miyahara Ice Cream’s location was one the largest ophthalmology clinics in Taichung. Today, Miyahara is a popular attraction known for its fascinating architecture and refreshing ice cream sundries.

This eatery is one of the “cool” spots for desserts in the Taichung locale. Situated in the nearby Taichung Train Station on the bank of Luchuan, Miyahara visitors can appreciate the red-brick, history architecture while enjoying signature ice cream flavors, bubble tea, and pastries wrapped in thoughtful, nostalgic packaging.

The Miyahara Ice Cream shop is an exceptionally popular restaurant in Taichung for residents and visitors, best known for its pineapple cakes. However, the eatery remains beloved for its unique ice cream flavors that patrons can try from their small shop beside the main store.

Keep in mind that ice cream in Taiwan provides less evident dairy, delivering a final product that is less creamy than in other countries like the United States and Japan. Taiwanese ice cream tastes like a cross between ice cream and sorbet. Nonetheless, it is a unique, delightful confection.