Taipei is one of the world’s greatest showcases for Chinese cuisine. Be adventurous; many places have English menus or at least photographs of food, and where one dish is the main feature, pointing will usually suffice. In addition to a vast array of restaurants, the city’s teahouses (cháguǎn) are atmospheric places to eat light meals and sip Chinese-style tea. For a cheaper, more local experience try Taipei’s vibrant night markets (yèshì), which offer a bewildering range of dishes and excellent value for money. Another budget favourite is the “Taiwan Buffets” (自助餐; zìzhù cān), which you’ll see in every neighbourhood – these canteen-style places allow you to pile up as much food on your tray as you like, with each dish incurring a small charge (it’s rarely more than NT$120 for a huge plateful). In the summer make for a shaved ice stall (bào bīng or more commonly “tsua bing” in Taiwanese) – the sweet, tasty toppings make sumptuous desserts. If it’s too hot, almost every department store has an air-conditioned food court in the basement, with the biggest under Taipei 101.

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