Monday, October 10, 2011

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Food in Hualien

10/10/2011 Taiwan Explorer
Eastern Taiwan's food paradise

Food in Hualien is exceptional and very tasty. Just like in most Taiwanese cities, you will be able to find food stalls on every corner, bustling night markets in selected neighborhoods and exquisite upscale restaurants scattered all over the city. However, there is more to Hualien than that and I want to tell you, what else can your taste buds expect, if you come to visit this lovely city. There are three dishes Hualien is especially famous for: Wontons 餛飩, a kind of a delicate dumpling, muachi 麻糬, Japanese rice cake and tiramisu 提拉米蘇, the famous Italian dessert. This shows, that the food is a mix of international and local, something that is well reflected in the lifestyle and atmosphere of the city. But there's even more than these three dishes, that made Hualien famous all over Taiwan. You can find extremely popular restaurants and stalls, where people stand in line for half an hour or more. I have nowhere seen an image like this and believe me, I've seen a lot of Taiwan. Since I had such a good experience with food in Hualien, I've put together a small collection of the must-try food, if you chance to stay in this beautiful city.

My list of recommended food, stalls and restaurants in Hualien:

1. Wontons 餛飩

These wontons are produced in huge numbers every day at many popular stalls.

Everyone, who comes to Hualien, would love to try one.

2. Xiaolongbao 小籠包 at 周家蒸餃

Here are two of the most popular restaurants in Hualien.

We first went to 周家蒸餃 to eat xiaolongbao. The food was delicious and surprisingly cheap. Most people queue for takeaway, so just go inside and have a seat.

These delicate xiaolonngbao are so tasty. Find the restaurant on the map here.

3. Steamed buns at 公正包子

The steamed buns can be bought in the nearby restaurant called 公正包子 or in the same one as above called 周家蒸餃. If you don't know, where to eat, I would recommend you the latter, as I truly enjoyed the xiaolongbao more.

4. Roasted meat at 第一家烤肉串

This is probably the most popular night market vendor in all of Taiwan! We waited 70 minutes to get our dish and some others had to wait over 2 hours. You get a number and then you can walk around and eat something else. Never seen anything like this before.

The roasted meat is delicious, no doubt, but not sure, if I will wait over an hour next time. It's located in Ziqiang Night Market.

5. Steak on hot plate in a pepper sauce 夜市牛排

We had the chance to eat this delicious steak in the same night market . It was so yummy!

6. Hot pot at 三媽臭臭鍋

This shop is called 3rd Mama, you can find the location on this map.

The hot pot was one of the best I've ever had in Taiwan.

7. Tiramisu 提拉米蘇

You should definitely try the tiramisu in Hualien. I had this one in a café near the Pine garden above the Meilun river. It was very tasty.

8. Muachi 麻糬

The muachi is really famous in Hualien and near the main station you can find many gift shops, that only sell this popular dessert.

The photo above was taken a little outside town, it's a muachi chain store, that can be found in other parts of Taiwan as well.

I hope I could help you with finding the right food. I may update this post, when I revisit Hualien in the future.