I will be dividing Tainan Travel Guide into 3 parts : (1) Tainan Must Eat at the utmost famous Guo Hua Street, (2) Where we went on the second day + night market and (3) Exploring Tainan city area + night market. It basically covers the most of Tainan if you are aiming for a 3 to 4 days short trip.
So the most impressive and highly recommended place to sample all the Tainan local food will be at Guo Hua Street （国华街）. A busy and packed street that is full of local eateries and somehow is a 1 stop place if you want to try all the must eat in Tainan. It is opened from as early as 5am or some even earlier to some stalls that operated until 11pm and so. But for Tainan, it is best to wake up early because most of the food is only available early in the day time. So here we go, starting off with Guo Hua Street!
So Guo Hua street is a very long straits of street full of local delicacies and must eat Tainan food, if you only have 1 day in Tainan, this will be the place to go:
1. 富川麻薯 Fu Chuan Assorted Mochi ♥♥
Located along the alley from the way we stay. Not bad but not the best
2. 永和烧肉饭 Yong He Roasted Meat ♥♥
Everyone recommends this one but i like meat with thick meat. This one is slightly on the thin side but the marinated sauce is quite decent. Its slightly a little little bit dry for me.
3. 金得春卷 Spring Roll ♥♥♥
Not a big fan of fresh spring roll but this is good, the queue is long and the ingredients are so fresh. They stuffed in a variety of stir fry vegetables with some peanuts and sugar. Yums and refreshing.
4. 富盛号 Chinese rice pudding ♥♥♥♥♥
Definitely one of the must try in Guo Hua Street! One of my favourite! Its actually steamed rice pudding with meat and mushroom inside, served with savoury sauce with a pinch of sweetness. You can add garlic or wasabi sauce on top of it. Add on a bowl of soup and it says perfection
5. 阿松割包 Pig Tongue Bun with Peanut sauce ♥
I had a very high expectation on this because all the TV shows has been recommending this. This is most probably the only, or the most popular place to have sliced pig tongue served in a steamed bun accompanied by pickled vege and peanut sauce. I don’t really like it because it has a slight piggy odour on it. But i can see the locals love it a lot.
6. 好味红烧土托鱼羹 Spanish Mackerel Thick Soup ♥♥♥♥♥
A simple dish like this sparks my day! Tainan is famous for 2 types of fishes (1) Milk Fish and (2) spanish mackerel. This hearty bowl of thick soup comprises fried Spanish mackerel fish, cabbages and bamboo shoots. Slightly sour to keep you craving for more.
7. 石精臼蚵仔煎 Oyster Omelette Pancake ♥♥♥
Taiwan has too many delicious oyster omelette pancake that makes you hard to choose for the best. I definitely love this one
8. 永乐牛肉汤 Raw beef Soup ♥♥♥♥
As simple as a hot soup pouring down a handful of sliced raw beef. Tainan specialty that you gotta try. The beef is so fresh that you can eat it by just letting it to cook with the soup for about 10 seconds! Texture wise, i would say crispy. Normally you will describe beef as juicy or tender but this one is crispy. I guess this is why raw beef soup is so famous in Tainan ya. I can never imagine how people would describe it as crispy on Taiwan TV show until i actually tried myself. Now i get what they mean.
9. 老面挂包 Steamed bun with pork ♥♥
Its decent but nothing to shout about
10. 炸蛋葱油饼 Fried Egg Scallion Pancake ♥
Too greasy for my liking. I cant taste anything. T.T
11. 春蚵爹 Fried Oyster Ball ♥♥
It will be much better if they have more oysters instead of the veg. 😀
12. 修安扁担豆花 Tofu Pudding ♥♥♥♥♥
So good that we had this every night during our stay in Tainan. The texture is smooth and silky, not too sweet, just right. You can either eat it plain with brown sugar or be generous with variety of toppings!
Like this! I personally loveeee the fresh cooked yam and peanuts. So soft and mushy! Oh oh oh! Love it!! They are opened until late night so… supper time!
13. 阿娟肉粽 Glutinous Meat Dumplings ♥♥♥♥♥
Full marks for this one!!! At first we did really intended to try but when we walked pass the shop, the queue is freaking long; early in the morning. So this caught our attention and it turn out it was the best choice to queue for it! The meat is flavourful with every grain of rice packed with all the essence of the pork and sauce, steamed to perfection — Soft and almost melted in your mouth! Amen!!!!!
14. 吻饡糖半熟乳酪塔 Melting Cheese Tart ♥♥♥♥
Cheese lover would love this. Creamy and Cheesy!
15. 布莱恩红茶 Roasted Red Tea ♥♥♥♥
You can either the roasted red tea or roasted red tea with milk. I absolutely adore both. The tea flavor is aromatic and the milk is creamy. Stop by and grab one when you are feasting
16. 蜷尾家甘味处散步甜食 Home made soft serve ♥♥♥♥♥
One of the famous must eat at Guo Hua Street. They serve different flavours everyday so you will need to go there to find out. I had it for 2 days and both flavor is a bomb! Too good to be true. I had sea salt soft serve and sesame soft serve on the next day. It is worth every single cent and every minute of queue and that is how good it is.
Oh, its already an iconic must eat place in the area. People taking selfie with it.. like me! Please try!
And one more! An ice cream a day keeps the doctor away!
17. 邱家小卷米粉 Vermicelli soup with squid ♥♥♥♥
A very simple dish, vermicelli with fresh squid. The dish is solely based on the freshness of the squid. The soup is sweet and the squid is just al dente as if it just came out from the sea. The shop is normally packed with people but lucky for us, we went during the very odd hours weekday. But unfortunately they ran out of squid eggs already.
18. 碳烤旗鱼甜不辣 Bbq fish cakes ♥♥♥
I love it when everything is so fresh. The fish cakes or they called it taiwan tempura is BBQ and served with their special salt and pepper.
19. 炸鸡洋行 Fried Chicken ♥♥♥♥
Tainan food is always slightly sweet as compared to the other part of Taiwan. This fried chicken is sooo famous until it triggers my curiosity to hunt for it. It left me even puzzled when I saw the queue there regardless what time the day was.
The first day I went, the queue is so long and suddenly the vendor said they are sold out. It was around 3pm. The second day I went early in the morning and waited until the stall is open. By the time I reach there even before the they start operating, the queue is already formed. Why!
And so I queued until I get it! Now i know why it is so popular. Regardless the size of the meat, it is always juicy and tender. The skin has a very thin layer of batter on it but crunchy enough to caught everyone’s heart. Most importantly, it has a very light hints of sweetness on the skin. Oh nom nom nom nom! Perfect for lunch dinner and supper!
20. 纯意仁 Barley Dessert ♥♥♥
It is a beautiful place with beautiful dessert. The specialty is a bowl of unsweetened barley topped with some red beans and a bowl of green tea mochi balls. The verdict of the dessert is to eat it as it is first then pour the green tea mochi balls to eat with it.
Apart from Guo Hua Street, there are also some must eat food that you can reach with just a few minutes walk around the area. Featuring Must eat food nearby Guo Hua Street :
1. 阿憨咸粥 Local Fresh Porridge (Ah Han) ♥♥♥
Tainan is well known for their local fresh porridge that consist of mostly fresh seafood especially the Tainan no.1 milk fish. It is more like a watery rice soup with all the fresh seafood and a sliced of milk fish belly. Simple yet delicious, the porridge stall has been operating its business for over 50 years and was featured in discovery channel as one of the most iconic dishes in Tainan. You can also opt for the milk fish version as the rice soup is only filled with milk fish related parts. A bowl of milk fish skin soup is also their must order.
2. 刘家肉粽 Chinese Meat Dumplings ♥♥♥
One of the famous meat dumplings specialty shop in Tainan. Their traditional way of eating the meat dumplings is with a scoop of crushed peanuts, lots of cilantro and their special sauce; unlike in Malaysia we eat it just plain like this. I like the Tainan version more because both crushed peanuts and cilantro is my favourite! haha
We ordered a few more things to test, Miso soup with fried dough which is just mediocre, braised noodles not to my liking, glutinous rice with shredded pork and minced pork and steamed rice pudding with pork and mushroom which i love. Averagely the food is good but not as impressive as the ones i had at Guo Hua Street. However, good thing is you can tried all of it here if you are short of time.
Most of the shop in Tainan is only written in chinese character so I always posted the shop signboard just in case for reference.
3. 丹丹汉堡 Fast Food Chain ♥♥♥
Its Tainan version of Mcd with a twist. We were quite full by then so we only ordered 1 set to try. Not bad but if to recommend, i would recommend the set with a local twist. They have hamburger set with oyster vermicelli. Try that!
4. 阿辉炒鳝鱼 Stir Fried Eel Noodles ♥♥♥
Tainan’s local dishes, stir fried eel noodles. I am a big fan of eel in Japanese Cuisine (Unagi) but not too fancy with this particular dish. Dont get me wrong, it is delicious, its a bit of a sweet side with very crunchy eel slices but i dont love it as much as my Unagi. Hahahaa its just a personal preference thing
5. 悦津咸粥 Local Fresh Porridge (Yue Jin) ♥♥♥♥
Recommended by the locals, I prefer this much more than the [1. 阿憨咸粥 Local Fresh Porridge (Ah Han)]. For me, the bowl of rice soup here is more flavorful. They have more variety of side dishes to go with it and the milk fish here is fattier. I like fat milk fish.
Its easy to find and its nearer to Guo Hua Street. Do come and try!
6. 度小月 Du Xiao Yue (Tainan Local Specialty Restaurant) ♥♥♥♥
If you mentioned about Tainan, everyone will say Du Xiao Yue. Its like an icon in Tainan, a shop that served all the authentic tainan dishes.
I think I will do a blog post for this restaurant so for now, I will just touched on their signature dish — Dan Zai Noodle. A braised pork noodle with minced garlic and bean sprout. Read more in a separate post.
7. 矮仔成虾仁饭 Shrimp Rice ♥♥♥♥♥
Regardless the distance, please go and try this dishes! You will not regret. Its a simple rice dish with shrimp but it is so delicious that one bowl will not satisfy you. The queue is long, the portion is small and the shrimp portion is small as well but you have to try it. The rice is cooked with a special soup until all the soup is absorb into the rice so when you devour the rice, it is still very moist and packed with flavor. The shrimp they use is the fire shrimp which is extremely sweet and al dente. The only thing is that… the shrimp portion is too small. This is mostly due to the long term shortage of the fire shrimp.
Listen to me! no regrets! Highly highly recommended!
8. 阿文猪心 Pork Heart Vermicelli ♥♥
The way Tainan vendor prepare their food is with the minimal of cooking method and marination. They present their food in a simplest way with the freshest ingredient. I think they like their food to be eaten as natural as possible. This pork heart vermicelli is served as simple as it looks. A hearty bowl of clear soup with boiled pork heart slices. Pork heart is fresh and the dipping sauce adds more flavor to it. Not my favourite but its alright.
Here’s a simple map created by me so you can have a look at where the food vendor is. I am happy with my map because i think it looks so much better than the one i generated last time. hahahahahaha!
I hope my version of map helps. Most of the food is nearby or within 15 mins of walk. the one I circled with a pink patch is where I stayed called 懒洋洋 (lan yang yang) hostel. I highly recommended it and will provide more information on the hostel.
And lastly, I would like to say thank you to a very supportive reader Gina. I felt encouraged and loved every time I saw your comment. Thank you for always be around. Big love for you! At least I know someone is still reading my blog <3<3<3 I haven been replying the comment because of some access problem. I am fixing it already. See you soon!
Next Post : Tainan Travel Guide 2 : Anping Old Street, WuSheng Night Market, Du Xiao Yue, Lan Yang Yang Minsu 安平老街，武圣夜市，度小月，懒洋洋民宿