The Ultimate Food Guide to Hualien, Taiwan

Hualien, Taiwan’s largest county, is best known for its mountainous beauty and coastal landmarks. Home to the Taroko National Park, Hualien lures tourists in with its natural attractions and scenic landscapes but that’s not all to Hualien. The charming city is teeming with culinary treasures, like a bonus food haven for every Taiwanese cuisine lover. Follow KKday as we guide you on an exciting food journey to uncover the must-eats and local delights of Hualien.

1. Lao Pai Scallion Pancake with Eggs

Lao Pai Scallion Pancakes With Eggs (William Tai)

Everyone fancies an oozy egg yolk, and that is exactly what the scallion pancakes in Hualien are about. Even though scallion pancakes are readily available in most Hualien night markets, the queue for Lao Pai scallion pancakes begins way before Lao Pai is even open for business. The scallion pancakes are crisp on the outside whilst the yolk on the inside literally explodes on bite; it’s no wonder the crowds are going gaga over it.

No. 2, Lane 110, Fuxing Street, Hualien City, Taiwan

Operating Hours:
1pm – 7pm

2. Gong Zheng Bao Zi

Gong Zheng Bao Zi resembles the usual steamed pork buns
Gong Zheng Bao Zi’s Xiao Long Baos in Hualien (Sou-Yi Yang)

Amidst the bustling streets of Gong Zheng Bao Zi lies a culinary gem for the big fans of Xiao Long Baos, otherwise known as soup dumplings. Different from the typical paper thin dumpling skins, Gong Zheng Bao Zi encases a fragrant pork filling with a thicker skin, comparable to that of our usual steamed buns. Highly recommended by locals in Hualien, it is almost a crime for any foodie to miss out on Gong Zheng Bao Zi when on a holiday.

No. 199-2, Zhongshan Road, Hualien County 970, Taiwan

Operating Hours:

3. Shaved Ice Dessert

The shaved ice in Hualien is accompanied with a variety of traditional ingredients
Shaved Ice Dessert in in Hualien (Dao-Hui Chen)

Practically the Taiwanese version of Patbingsu, 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 and chewy tapioca balls, the shaved ice dessert of Hualien definitely hits the spot for all dessert fanatics.

No. 165, Bo’ai Street, Hualien City, Taiwan

Operating Hours:
10.30am – 10.30pm (Closed every Tuesday)

4. Miao Kou Red Tea

Miao Kou Red Tea serves authentic Taiwanese-style tea with food sides such as dumpling soup
Miao Kou Red Tea in in Hualien (Jeff~)

Well known for its unique system of drinks preparation, Miao Kou Red Tea, also referred to as Miao Kou Steel Tea, sends its Taiwanese-styled tea down from the second level to the first via metal pipes. In addition to the drinks, Miao Kou Red Tea offers sides such as dumpling or peanut soup — perfect with a cup of hot tea on a chilly day.

No. 216, Chenggong Street, Hualien City, Taiwan

Operating Hours:
6am – 12.30am (Closed every Wednesday)

5. Dai Ji Bian Shi

Dai Ji Bian Shi offers dumplings that may look simple but are absolutely delicious
Dai Ji Bian Shi in in Hualien (迷惘的人生)

You know something is good when it’s the sole item on the menu, and the shop owes its fame to it. Bian Shi, otherwise known as wantons or dumplings in Hualien, is a signature dish at Dai Ji Bian Shi. The dumplings at Dai Ji are a gourmet legend — nothing fancy, no gimmicks, yet tje dumplings boast meat fillings full of flavor and zest. The most unbelievable part of it all? It’s dirt cheap.

No. 120, Zhonghua Road, Hualien City, Taiwan

Operating Hours:
7.30am – 12.30am

6. Mei Qi Roasted Corn

Available only in limited quantities daily, Mei Qi Roasted Corn in Hualien is a popular street snack well-loved amongst locals. Despite its time-consuming process, the Mei Qi Roasted Corn‘s vendor insists on roasting their roasted corn in a specific manner such that every kernel basks in the essence and goodness of their house sauce during the barbecuing process.

No. 71, Xinyi Street, Hualien City, Taiwan

Operating Hours:
4pm – 11pm (Or until the roasted corn is sold out)

7. Hai Pu Oyster Omelette

The Hai Pu Oyster Omelette are prepared freshly upon order
Hai Pu Oyster Omelette in Hualien (獅子男)

A family heirloom recipe passed down through two generations, Hai Pu Oyster Omelette is easily identifiable from its snaking queues. With fresh oysters atop a bedding of fluffy eggs, the oyster omelette from Hai Pu is a delicacy not to be missed in Hualien. If you’re deterred by the queues, don’t fret — the chefs are pretty quick with their hands, so just sit back and await for your order of the best oyster omelette in Hualien.

No. 86, Ziyou Street, Hualien City, Taiwan

Operating Hours:
5.30pm – 11pm

8. Chiang’s Family Coffin Toast

A photo posted by YuanWeijing (@cyan0429) on Feb 28, 2016 at 6:34am PST

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, the coffin toast from Chiang’s Family is one of Hualien’s most renowned snack. Highly recommended by various Taiwanese media outlets, be sure to pop by Tze Chiang Night Market for the food experience of your lifetime.

Tze Chiang Night Market
(At the intersection of Tze Chiang Road and Heping Road),
Hualien City, Taiwan

Operating Hours:
4pm – 12.30am (Closed every Tuesday)

9. Lai Sang Sushi House

A photo posted by Guanhong (@chi791014) on Apr 5, 2016 at 3:05am PDT

Craving for some fresh seafood in Hualien? You’re in good hands with Lai Sang Sushi House. Offering a wide selection of Japanese dishes on their menu, a true blue Hualien local will know where to go for their sashimi fix. From nigiri to maki, Lai Sang Sushi House will have any traveller hooked and coming back for seconds.

No. 90, Linsen Road, Hualien 970, Taiwan

Operating Hours:
11.30am – 2pm, 5pm – 9pm (Closed every Monday)

For more travel activities around Hualien:
>> Classic Day Tour to Taroko Gorge, Hualien
>> Meet Whales and Dolphins at Hualien
>> The Adventure of River Trekking in Hualien

For more travel food guides about Taiwan:
>> Surprise Surprise, Taiwan Isn’t Only About Oyster Omelette and Braised Pork Rice
>> 5 Hidden Breakfast and Brunch Places to Discover in Taipei
>> Visit These 5 Cafes in Taiwan to Curb Your Matcha Addiction