In Hualien, you can experience Taiwanese food culture at its best. Home to Taroko National Park, Hualien lures tourists in with its natural attractions and scenic landscapes. That’s not all it has to offer, though.
You can also find all kinds of food ranging from Chinese cuisine to aboriginal specialties. If you’re a food lover, you have come to the right place.
Some of the foods are definitely a must-try, and you can’t leave Taiwan without eating them at least once! Here’s a list of top 10 specialties and where you can find them in Hualien:
Stinky tofu, a local delicacy, is a type of fermented bean curd. Foreigners often avoid it because of its strong smell. It is prepared by deep-frying tofu until the outside is crispy while the inside remains soft. The taste distantly resembles its smell but is definitely not that strong. It’s served with Taiwanese-style kimchee. Sometimes, instead of frying the tofu, some shops grill or steam it while others boil it in a spicy broth. People are polarized about this food – some say it smells too bad to eat while others say it is a tasty, crunchy treat. The best part of stinky tofu is definitely its lovely crunchy and soft texture, and the spicy kimchee it is served with.
陳紀臭豆腐 Chen-Ji Stinky Tofu
No. 487, Heping Road, Hualien City, Hualien County, Taiwan 970
+886 3 833 1196
荳蘭橋臭豆腐 DoLanQiao Stinky Tofu
Opening: PM 3:00 ~ PM 9:00
No. 11, Jixiang 1st Street, Ji’an Township, Hualien County, Taiwan 973
+886 3 853 2939
The Taiwanese version is not the crispy version – it is really soft, almost sticky. Besides oysters, there are vegetables inside, and the omelet comes with a special sweet sauce. The sauce makes the omelet extra scrumptious!
There are several spots serving Taiwanese oyster omelet in Dondameng Night Market for NTD$50. You should also try Hai Pu Oyster Omelet, the most famous oyster omelet place in Hualien. It’s easily identifiable by its long queues.
海埔蚵仔煎 Hai Pu Oyster Omelet
Opening: PM 5:30 ~ PM 11:00
No. 88, Ziyou Street, Hualien City, Hualien County, Taiwan 970
+886 933 126 940
Bamboo rice is a traditional aboriginal dish, which is made by stuffing bamboo sticks with rice, meat, and occasionally other things as well. The bamboo is then sealed and steamed over hot coals. Sticky and yummy! You open it by slamming it into a hard surface, at which point it naturally breaks into two halves, allowing you to access the food inside. The package is also very environmental friendly, since you can use the other half of bamboo stick as a spoon after breaking it. Bamboo rice is quite a filling and tasty snack!
原香嘟論竹筒飯 Yuan Xiang Bamboo Rice
Dongdamen Night Market
+886 955 731 462
Flavor options are plain rice, pork meat, shrimp.
English menu available! NT$ 50 per serving.
Da Chang Bao Xiao Chang, a small sausage in a large sausage, is a snack invented in Taiwan in the late 20th century. It is made of a small sausage wrapped in a layer of seasoned rice, spicy sauce, and peppers. The seasoned rice covers the sausage like a hot dog bun, and the spicy sauce and peppers are the ketchup and mustard added that bring a flare to the dish. It’s one you have to try at least once.
Different versions are available in night market in Hualien, with condiments such as pickled bokchoi, garlic, wasabi and soy sauce paste. Price is around NTD$50.
大紅花香腸 DaHoHua Sausage
Dongdamen Night Market
Phone: 0963 097 871
福建街香腸 Fujian Street Sausage
Address: No. 205, Fujian Street, Hualien City, Hualien County, 970
Phone: 0915 625 262
The scallion pancake can be commonly seen all around the island, but it is unquestionable that in Hualien you will find some of the most authentic and delicious scallion pancakes around. If you are planning your trip to Hualien County, make sure Old Bombing Egg Green Onion Pancake is on your to-do list.
The secret to its success is the crispy, golden brown dough. Inside you can find an oozy egg yolk, which pops with flavor when you bite into it. Whole egg is deep-fried together with the pancake dough so that the egg sticks to the dough, after which it’s scooped out and brushed with soy sauce and chili before serving.
Lao Pai scallion pancakes are located on Fuxing Street at two different food trucks – a yellow one and a blue one. There are always hordes of crowds lined up in front of both of the food trucks, but these yummy pancakes are worth waiting for!
Price is NTD$30 with egg, NTD$20 without.
炸彈蔥油餅 Deep-fried Egg scallion pancake (Yellow Truck)
Opening: AM 13:00 ~ PM 19:00
No. 102, Fuxing Street, Hualien City, Hualien County, Taiwan 970
+886 931 121 66
老牌炸蛋蔥油餅 Deep-fried Egg scallion pancake (Blue Truck)
Opening: AM 13:00 ~ PM 19:00
No. 2, Lane 110, Fuxing Street, Hualien City, Hualien County, Taiwan 970
+886 955 282 038
Fresh and delicious wares here can be enjoyed by anyone looking for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even a midnight snack. One of the most popular buns with the customers is the traditional steamed bun. Steamed in baskets, chewy, and filled with fresh cooked meat filling, it always satisfies you.
For tourists arriving in Hualien, a visit to Zhou Family Steamed Wonton is a definite must. Try their delicious Wontons accompanied with fresh hot-sour soup. Every day the shop has to make over five thousand Wontons in order to keep up with demand, and, to ensure that customers have the very best culinary experience, they insist on doing all of the cooking on site. Freshness is guaranteed.
Price is NTD$50 for 10pcs steam dumplings in a basket. It’s very filling, and you don’t need to order a whole basket if you just want to try the taste.
周家蒸餃（花商店）Zhou Jia Steamed Dumplings
No. 511, Zhongshan Road, Hualien City, Hualien County, Taiwan 970
+886 3 831 0866
周家蒸餃 Zhou Jia Steamed Dumplings
No. 4-20, Gongzheng Street, Hualien City, Hualien County, 970
+886 3 835 0006
Open : 24 hours
The food is called Bian-Shi in Taiwanese. Bian-Shi is actually wonton, which is a type of Chinese dumpling. In the wrapper is a small mound of ground pork filling. Hualien Won Ton is one of the most famous wonton restaurants in Taiwan. They have been making wonton for several decades. Each wonton that goes into the bowl has its ingredients hand-picked and made according to the order.
Price is NTD$70~90 for wonton soup depending on your choice of flavors (meat only / mixed with veg / shrimp, or 3 flavors mixed together). Beside wonton, they also offer different selection of food. You can try wonton in soup, but if you love spicy, go for spicy wonton and you will love it!
You haven’t been to Hualien if you haven’t had Chiang’s Family signature coffin toast. A fusion of deep fried toast with an array of savory fillings to choose from, black pepper chicken/pork, pumpkin sea food, pineapple prawn, tuna mayo, sweet and sour fish and more. The coffin toast from Chiang’s Family is one of Hualien’s most renowned snacks. Highly recommended by various Taiwanese media outlets, be sure to pop by Dongdamen Night Market for the food experience of your lifetime.
Price is NTD$45~60 depending on your selection of the savory fillings, including a cup of ice tea.
蔣家棺材板 Jiang Jia Coffin Toast
No. 1-47, Mingyi Street, Hualien City, Hualien County, Taiwan 970
+886 935 242 414
Douhua is a Chinese snack made with very soft tofu, it’s also referred to as tofu pudding and soybean pudding. In Taiwanese cuisine, tofu pudding is served with sweet toppings like cooked peanuts, adzuki beans, cooked oatmeal, tapioca, mung beans, and a syrup flavored with ginger or almond. During the summer, tofu pudding is served with crushed ice; in the winter, it is served warm.
Tsai Ji Tofu Pudding is located right next to the Hualien Culture Park. You should also try their Grass Jelly Mike Ice and Barley Milk too. Price is between NTD$30~40 depending of your selection of food.
蔡記豆花 Tsai-Ji Tofu Pudding
Opening: PM 1:30 ~ PM 10:30
No. 73, Minguo Road, Hualien City, Hualien County, Taiwan 970
+886 3 831 3533
商校街豆花 Shangxiao Street Tofu Pudding
No. 174, Shangxiao Street, Hualien City, Hualien County, 970
03 831 0979
Open now: 11AM–10:50PM
Hualien serves refreshing shaved ice drizzled with condensed milk and caramel. Dig into the shaved ice dessert to uncover a variety of ingredients nestled beneath the layer of ice. Ranging from grass jelly bits to chewy tapioca balls added to the dish, it will hit the spot for all dessert fanatics.
Price is between NTD$45~60 depending of your selection of food.