Eating out in Taipei differs from other western country in a way that different cuisines are mostly cooked by Taiwanese chefs.
In Europe, for example, you would expect a French cook preparing your meal in a French restaurant.
In Germany, most Italian restaurants consist entirely of Italian staff where the owner will be Italian as well as the chef, the waiter, bartender, busboys and even the dishwasher might have an Italian background. Most of them are family businesses anyway. This is not the case in most restaurants here.
There are some exceptions though, many of them are in Taipei. We listed some authentic foreign restaurant on this website. Every restaurant listed in our Taipei dining section has been visited by one of our members and reviewed throughly, even going into the kitchen and talking to the chefs.
For Taiwanese people eating out is not so much of a special occasion. It much more is a casual, every day necessity eating your three meals. Practically it comes down to the fact that a decent Taiwanese local meal will be very inexpensive and easily could become your main source of food. There are some problems with this of course. Preparing your own meals will always give you the most control for what is going into your body. For this reason, the so called Shabu-Shabu, a Japanese variant of hot pot, is very popular here in Taiwan. In a Shabu-Shabu restaurant you will be served the raw ingredients and cook them on a little stove yourself.
Another big difference to western food here in Taiwan is that Taiwanese people do not like to eat raw foods so much. Salad has made a little breakthrough very recently here in Taipei, however, do not expect it to be served all over Taiwan. Pretty much all vegetables and fruit vegetables undergo some kind of processing. If you ever see a Taiwanese gobbling up a carrot in public, please, take a picture and send it to us. Just take some bell peppers to work and offer them to your coworkers to see what I mean.
There are many Taiwanese with old roots here in Taiwan. These local communities also have their own very special culture and many very exotic dishes. You do not have to travel out of Taipei too far if you want to experience some real Taiwanese local food.
For most people here in Taipei the daily diet consists of Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Hong Kong food.
Take a look at our Taipei Local food section.Local Food