Wakey Wakey, You Don’t Wanna Miss These Breakfasts in Tainan!

Breakfast — something we often skip due to our busy schedules — is ironically the most important meal of the day. When you’re on vacation in Taiwan, it’s time to slow down, enjoy Taiwanese‘s slower pace of life, and get yourself some hearty breakfast fit for a king! Fancy a bowl of steaming hot beef soup or milkfish porridge to start your day? KKday sniffed out five breakfast places in Tainan worth waking up for! (Photo: Matthew Hine)

The Reason Behind Their Simple Yet Hearty Breakfast

Panoramic shot of the paddy fields (Tony Tseng)

Most citizens of Tainan used to be farmers; to preserve strength and increase their stamina for the laborious job, they need to fill their body with food rich in carbohydrates and nutrients. Tainan, home to Taiwan’s largest beef abattoir and its fish farm accounts for over 60% of Taiwan’s milkfish, is a place loaded with everything you possibly need. For the same reason, Tainan has the best beef soup and milkfish porridge!

1. Beef Soup

The most basic and classic breakfast choice in Tainan. But what makes Tainan’s beef soup so special? The cow is butchered daily to maintain its freshness and cut in to thin slices, the hot piping soup is boiled with huge beef bone, Chinese herbs and other secret ingredients known to only shop owners themselves, then be put together with the beef slices. Mhmm, do we need to say more?

Tainan’s famed beef soup 菜頭布丁

The freshest ingredients coupled with simple cooking methods to bring out the natural sweetness of the ingredients, Tainan is hands down the best place to enjoy a bowl of steaming and heartwarming beef soup.

2. Milkfish Porridge

Dried milkfish (Woodford Yang)

Milkfish? The fish known for having approximately 200 bone its its body? YIKES. We lost count of how many times our friends refuse to have anything to milkfish BUT! Let Tainan work its magic and give the poor dish a chance.

Milkfish porridge with dough fritter (Dal Lu)


Tuck in to a bowl of boneless milkfish porridge as you savour the succulent, tender and fragrant milkfish. One mouth of Tainan‘s favourite breakfast and you will never look at milkfish the same way again.

3. Calamari Rice Noodle Soup

Calamari rice noodle soup Formosa Wandering

If you’re a rare Asian who doesn’t like rice, Tainan doesn’t discriminate — a dash of pepper and paired with a couple of simple ingredients, voila, you have Tainan‘s Calamari Rice Noodle Soup!

What sets rice noodle apart from your usual beehoon in Singapore is that it’s thicker than beehoon so it doesn’t absorb the essence of the calamari, making sure the soup retains the natural sweetness of calamari. Rice noodle also has a sort of tanginess to it, leaving you with a bounce after every bite.

4. Dumpling & Miso Soup

Dumpling and miso soup with sliced dough fritter (tenz1225)

“Aren’t dumplings eaten only during Dumpling Festival?” Not in Tainan, where it’s common to have dumplings for breakfast. The main point is to enjoy the dumpling with youtiao soaked in miso soup. Oh my, what a different way but heavenly of savouring dumplings.

5. Savoury Rice Pudding & Milkfish Potage Soup

Rice pudding and milkfish pottage soup (tzejen)

Don’t tell anyone you’ve been to Tainan unless you tried their delightful rice pudding — a dish so popular it got the whole of Taiwan talking. Pair it together with some milkfish potage soup for an ultimate reminiscent of your childhood.

Eh? We can hear your stomach growling all the way from KKday! Don’t forget to stopover at Tainan for a day or two the next time you’re in Taiwan to get a taste of these delectable breakfasts. While you’re there, check out these activities for a complete Tainan experience:

>> One day tour to Tainan Beimen Crystal Church
>> One day tour at Tainan Coastal Ecology 
>> Four hour chartered day tour to Tainan

For more Taiwan travel guides:

>> Your Complete Guide to Kenting
>> The Most Comprehensive Guide to Green Island
>> 10 Things you Must Eat in Penghu