Top 10 Western-Style Restaurants in Taiwan (to satisfy those cravings…)

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Sure, you’re in Taiwan to soak up the unfamiliar culture of this beautiful island. Ok, Taiwan has been called the food capital of the world by CNN, and the home of the best street food by The Guardian. And yes, we haven’t met a foreigner yet who didn’t find something they love to eat in Taiwan. But, every traveller has felt the “McDonald’s moment” at least once before, right? The old refrain is familiar, isn’t it? “Can’t I just eat something that I recognise tonight? Maybe I’ll just eat McDonald’s…”

If that’s you, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve compiled a list of the top ten western-style restaurants in Taiwan, all of which beat McDonald’s hands down. These restaurants sell hamburgers, ribs, fish & chips and hearty brunch. While you will certainly have satisfied your craving for western food by the time you leave, we think the best thing about our selections is that the Taiwanese touch is still present. Taiwanese people have specific taste-buds- even McDonald’s has been Taiwan-ized (spicy chicken burger was invented in Taiwan!). In other words, don’t be surprised if you find some quirks, just embrace it and get some comfort food into you!

Egg Milk Tree: Vegetarian pasta that carnivores love too!

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This little eatery changes the way you think about vegetarian food and is a distinct contrast to other ‘same-old’ pasta shops in Taiwan, probably because the chef here has had to innovate a sauce that suits a vegetarian diet. The toppings of cheese and cream, as well as the quality of the pasta used, makes this an option that meat-lovers will also happily scoff down. Remodelled from a previous residence, this is a modest little restaurant that gets the thumbs up from us.
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Conway’s: Taiwan’s Best Fish & Chippy

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Racking our brains to think of a good fish and chippy in Taiwan, this is the one that comes to mind. The fact that it only seats fifteen people makes eating here an intimate experience. The food is cooked by the British/Taiwanese owners themselves, so you’re tummy might grumble as you wait. The Taiwanese believe the positive emotion of the chef can imbue food with good taste (“吃起來充滿感情”). As you chit-chat with the friendly owners, trust that their best “emotion” is going into your meal. Kaohsiung’s own little version of Britain is well worth a try.
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Ed’s Diner: All-Western Fare

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This is a busy little American restaurant much in demand near Taipei’s Miramar Ferris Wheel. People are willing to queue here to get a taste of traditional American cuisine cooked by western chefs. The most famous dish is the pork ribs, tender and slightly scorched. The cheese-covered hamburger and French Fries are other favourites for the hordes of Taiwanese and foreigners waiting for a seat. Choose this place over the plethora of other western style restaurants popping up all over cosmopolitan Taipei. You won’t regret it.
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Old England: Food with a View

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While we can’t speak too highly of its food, Old England’s architecture will certainly be enough to distract you from the below-average menu. A traditional English mansion on the road up to Cingjing Farm, this place is Tudor-Britain to a key. The mansion’s featured sculptures, lanterns and furniture have all been imported from the UK itself, giving it an authenticity that other places might struggle to achieve. While you might be disappointed that the food doesn’t match the beauty of the surroundings, Old England makes the list for anyone craving a British experience.
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Danny’s Steakhouse: Glamour and Glitz

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This may be one of Taipei’s most expensive steakhouses, but it is also one of its most glamourous. Customers tend to be in suits or celebrating birthdays, making the most of the free chocolate birthday cake. The dry-aged beef here might explain why the restaurant is so expensive, or the interior design, which features chandeliers, a high-ceiling and dim lighting might be what makes this dining experience so special. Perhaps it is the appetizers and desserts which make this place worth its cost- trust us, they really do hit the spot. In any case, this place keeps people coming back for good old (glamorous!) steak again and again.
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Oma’s Berlin Bistro: Beyond Beer

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European cuisine is rare in Taiwan, and German cuisine is even rarer. Mention “German”, and most Taiwanese will answer “beer”. This place reminds us there is a lot more to German food culture than hops! Pretzel and German pancakes are among the must-try’s here. But don’t take our word for it. Wander over to one of the five branches to see the charming interior through the huge glass shopfronts. Then find a place to seat, indoors or outdoors, and relax to the taste of Germany.
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Second Floor Café: Brunch Like its Served Back Home

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Days start and finish late in hot Taiwan, so brunch has become a real hit. Second Floor Café is a popular brunch destination in Taipei and Taichung. The branch in Neihu Technology Park is busiest of all so bookings are absolutely essential. The interior design of these restaurants is understated and warm, featuring natural lighting, warmth in winter and coolness in summer. The Fruit Puff Tower (鮮果泡芙塔), a combination of puff, cream and fruit, is particularly recommended- but make sure you share it with others, it is huge!
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Hungry Jacob: The Best Burgers in Taiwan

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This is hands down THE place to go if you find yourself in need of a burger-run in Taiwan. Featuring flavours from many different countries, you can find Swedish (cheesy), British (deep-fried fish) and Korean (kimchi) options. Seeing as though you’re in Taiwan, why not try the “Taiwanese” Sesame Peanut Butter Beef Burger (芝麻花生醬牛肉堡), for a combination you won’t forget. With limited seating providing a comfortable dining space for customers, sit back and enjoy the taste of burgers from all over the world.
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Aunt Su’s Pizza House: Where Pizza Comes with a Dash of Quirk and Extra Cheese

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With a twenty year or so long history, Aunt Su’s Pizza House is something of an institution in Taipei. The atmosphere here is bizarre: Buddhist altar fittings vie for space beside a retro chandelier and close-packed seating. But pizza here is really good. Spread with a thicker layer of cheese than you’ll find elsewhere in Taiwan, it is comfort food at its best. Or try the crispy golden chicken drumsticks for a taste of what people queue for. This is old-school food that works.
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Le Blé d’Or: Beer and Grub

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Last but certainly not least comes Le Blé d’Or, one of the oldest private breweries in Taiwan. Using three different grains (barley, wheat and rye) to brew beer, its product is distinctive. German Eisbein and sausage, pizza, French Fries, risotto and Taiwanese fried chicken are all perfect options to wash down with your beer. On weekends, live music means you may not be able to hear your neighbour, but at least you’ll get to hear fantastic local musicians.
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