Dian Shui Lou
Diners are greeted with sumptuous modern Chinese furnishings and antique art pieces; the bridges, water features, carved screens and lanterns are reminiscent of a traditional Chinese garden. Ingredients are mostly from Taiwan and the kitchen specialises in Jiangsu, Shanghai and Zhejiang cuisines; the menu changes seasonally to include the freshest produce. Must-try items include Xihu fish in sweet vinegar glaze, and braised pork.
Address：No.61, Sec. 4, Nanjing E. Rd., Songshan Dist., Taipei City 105, Taiwan R.O.C.
Din Tai Fung
It’s now a renowned international chain famous for its xiao long bao and authentic Shanghainese fare, but this 330-seater four-storey flagship is where the story began back in 1972. It offers exclusive dishes not available outside of Taiwan, such as pickled cabbage, porcini mushroom soup, stir-fried bird’s nest fern, and noodles with minced oxtail sauce. Those running out of local notes can even pay with certain foreign currencies.
Address：194, Section 2, Xinyi Road, Da’an, Taipei City 110, Taiwan R.O.C.
Service is friendly and attentive at this home-style joint which has been serving the neighbourhood with old-time local delicacies since 1971. Most diners pick the catch of the day at the seafood stand; otherwise, a chalkboard menu next to it lists all their signature dishes, such as baby oysters with garlic and steamed seasonal fish with preserved winter melon. Portion sizes can be adjusted according to the number in your party.
Address：No.185, Section 2, Chang’an East Road, Zhongshan, Taipei City 104, Taiwan R.O.C.
Liu Shandong Beef Noodles
An institution in business since 1951, the owner uses beef breast, as opposed to beef shin commonly used in other beef noodle shops, for its intense meaty flavour, yet without any tendon. Two types of beef are cooked in different ways: choose between Taiwanese beef in a clear broth, or Australian beef braised in spiced soy sauce. The beef bone soup base is mixed with beef herbal stock for the perfect balance of meatiness and aroma.
Address：No.2, Lane 14, Section 1, Kaifeng Street, Zhongzheng, Taipei City 100, Taiwan R.O.C.
Tajimaya Shabu Shabu
The owner believes hot pot dinner is the perfect occasion for diners to chat and have a good time. That’s why the servers here cook the food for them so that they won’t be distracted from their conversations. Apart from local seafood and veggies, he also imports wagyu and Tajima beef directly from Japan to ensure the quality. If you feel like splurging a little, order a whole fish or a Filipino lobster to share.
Address：5F, The Arcade, 166 Dunhua North Road, Songshan, Taipei City 105, Taiwan R.O.C.
L’ATELIER de Joël Robuchon
The glamorous and moody interior uses the iconic black and red color scheme familiar to those who know Joël Robuchon’s international group. French classics are re-invented with skill, care and a great deal of aplomb; the service is engaging, confident and thoughtful. Awarded a Michelin Star in 2018
Address：5F, Bellavita, No.28, Songren Road, Xinyi Dist., Taipei City, 110, Taiwan R.O.C.
Tao Luan Ting Roast Peking Duck Palace
The third-generation owner insists on making Peking duck like the old days – there’s over 50 years of history here. Muscovy ducks from Yilan County are roasted in a wood oven and each is sliced into 36 pieces. While others serve Peking duck three ways, here you can have it six ways, including duck bone soup, deep-fried duck bones, fried duck meat with bean sprouts and minced duck lettuce wrap. Shredded radish pies are also delicious.
Address：2F, 86 Fuxing North Road, Songshan, Taipei City, 104, Taiwan R.O.C.
An intimate restaurant with 7 counter seats and several private rooms, it sources the best ingredients from around Taiwan with a few imported from Japan. Two of the fixed price menus feature wagyu beef, in hot pot or fried, while the other two are skewed towards sushi and raw fish. Quality ingredients are mostly prepared in traditional ways, delivering authentic tastes. Service is excellent and the wine and sake lists extensive.
Address：B1, Sherwood Hotel, 111, Section 3, Minsheng East Road, Songshan, Taipei City, 105, Taiwan R.O.C.
A narrow corridor with Asian antiques leads to this square-shaped and classically-styled Cantonese restaurant on the 3rd floor of the Mandarin Oriental. Semi-private booths on the sides and at the back are the ones to go for. The vast choice includes various set menus (such as hairy crab when in season) and an array of Cantonese classics, some with a personal twist added by the experienced chef. Service is efficient and formal.
Address：3F, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 158 Dunhua North Road, Songshan, Taipei City, 105, Taiwan R.O.C.
Yongkang Beef Noodle
Another shop where one always sees long queues, it sells beef shin and tendon noodle soups with heavy seasoning slightly on the spicy side. Australian beef is used for its meaty flavor and is braised in an intense Sichuanese stock for over 4 hours. An array of cold appetizers are also available at reasonable prices, with the marinated five-spice tofu being the highlight – every hole in the tofu is saturated with the flavorful marinade.
Address：17, Lane 31, Section 2, Jinshan South Road, Da’an, Taipei City, 106, Taiwan R.O.C.
Don’t be put off by this somewhat faceless hotel, because this light and airy steakhouse is worth a visit for the quality of the meal alone: their U.S. prime wet and dry-aged steaks and Australian Wagyu are not to be missed. They are first cooked on a Montague grill then smoked over hay for extra depth of flavour. It’s worth saving room for the French-influenced desserts and the wine list contains plenty of big hitters.
Address：Garden Hotel, 1, Section 2, Zhonghua Road, Zhongzheng, Taipei City, 100, Taiwan R.O.C.
The Guest House
Formerly a members-only dining club, it impresses not with its décor, but with its food. Impressive skills transform seemingly simple dishes into tasteful presentations revealing great textures and taste. The menu is largely Hunan and Sichuan in origin, but with a Taiwanese twist. Signature dishes include double-steamed soups, chicken rice with sesame oil, pork tail braised in red yeast rice, and millefeuille tofu skin.
Address：17F, Sheraton Grand Hotel, 12, Section 1, Zhongxiao East Road, Zhongzheng, Taipei City, 100, Taiwan R.O.C.
Zui Feng Yuan
At this sister restaurant to Peng Family, the chef insists on cooking Cantonese food exactly the way his great uncle did. Lamb belly hot pot is a winter speciality made with Australian lamb, red bean curd, sugarcane and ginger. Equally popular is crispy duck stuffed with mashed taro, steamed egg white custard with scallops and fish head hot pot. Service is friendly and warm and reservations are recommended on holidays.
Address：5, Lane 8, Section 3, Bade Road, Songshan, Taipei City, 105, Taiwan R.O.C.
This neighbourhood restaurant on a tree-lined street is furnished in a more classical style than its hip sister Orchid. Its accomplished French cuisine is flavoursome, well presented and modern in style while showing some subtle Japanese influences. The 6-course dinner menu offers some choice, while the lunch menu is even more flexible and is when the restaurant is busiest. Diners can watch the chefs at work in the open kitchen.
Address：21, Lane 131, Section 4, Minsheng East Road, Songshan, Taipei City, 105, Taiwan R.O.C.
Most teppanyaki chefs can put on a spectacular show and cook the food well. But it’s the details that set apart certain establishments from others. Here, any splattered oil is wiped off at once to retain the distinct flavour of every ingredient on the hot plate. Special crystal glasses are available for Bordeaux and Burgundy red wines. A private room with connecting balcony and an area for coffee after dinner also add to the experience.
Address：2F, 10, Lane 247, Section 1, Dunhua South Road, Songshan, Taipei City, 106, Taiwan R.O.C.