This is a work in progress, so updates will happen over time. Please note that Taipei is a modern city with frequent changes and restaurants close all the time, so plan ahead.
Grand Hyatt Taipei - I've always enjoyed this hotel, even though it is on the pricey side. It has good food options, is located in an excellent part of the city and offers an excellent base of operations.
- Room Service - Decent options, but the best thing is the cheeseburger. It is fabulous, and an excellent option as your first meal after flying into Taipei
- Cafe - Their breakfast buffet as excellent options, one of which I always check is their Indian option for the day. Lots of variety. Expensive. Dinner buffet is nice, but also expensive. Some months they have a theme for the month, such as India or Singapore.
- Cheers - A decent bar, and also offers the same cheeseburger as room service. They offer a dessert buffet that looks interesting, so you may want to check it out
- Irodori - This is a Japanese buffet that offers sushi, sashimi, teppanyaki, tempura, yakitori along with other options. Very tasty, but you absolutely should make a reservation if you're not dining alone
- ZIGA ZAGA - Interesting fusion Italian food, decent taste but does tend towards being more modern. Turns into a nightclub later in the evening, so be aware of your timing
- Other benefits
- The Spa/Fitness on the 5th floor has a decent pool that is outside, two exercise areas and a spa. The actual spa area has a Japanese hot bath and cold bath, both near the steam room and dry sauna. The general lounge is nice, and there is a nice and quiet relaxation room that is very easily one of my favorite places to relax and take a nap. Be aware that the bath areas are no-swimsuit areas. Nudity is normal, so be aware
- Club Lounge - If you have access, it is one of the best Hyatt Clubs you can find. Rotates through food options every day. Their meatballs with veal stock sauce is amazing. Decent bar as well
- Convention Center - Not in hotel per se, but the hotel attached to both the 101 and the Taipei World Trade Center. Conventions take place all the time, and are usually affordable. Notable ones I've attended are the Taipei Game Show and Book show. Check their calendar
Taipei is a fabulous town for dining. If you're willing to walk down side streets, you can find all sorts of places to eat. Some places I've enjoyed are listed below:
- Der Lowe - Excellent German food. Offers deals on schnapps, proceed with caution because they are made of fire.
- Baba Kevin's American Barbecue - Has two locations, one a bit out of the way and one that just opened in Sept 2017 next to the Taipei 101 (Xinyi location). Offers decent BBQ. Not too expensive, but can feel a little lean on the portions. Decent brisket and pulled pork, and the Xinyi location offers 200NT$ cocktails.
- Honey Pig Korean BBQ - Open 24 hours, you order raw meats and veggies, and they will grill it all at your table in front of you.
- Brass Monkey - Decent pub style place, specializes in showing sporting events around the world. Decent steak. Lots of beer options. You can watch live sports events from all over the world. Has two locations, one in Xinyi, the other in Fuxing
- Toast Chat - This is a cafe that offers decent coffee and desserts, but it also has a decent collection of cats inside. Not a traditional cat cafe as you don't pay for time, but you can try to play with the cats
- Hestia Tapas Bar - Spanish restaurant out of the way in the middle of a residential area. VERY GOOD SPANISH FOOD. Reservations probably a good idea. As a Spaniard I recommend the drive. Located about 10 minutes walk from the weekly TWFighter meetup.
- MVSA Spanish Restaurant - Decent offerings, but availability of items on the menu can be a very real issue. Also somewhat more expensive than I would like, but still decent food
- Street Churros Taipei - Decent churros in Taipei, who would have thought it? Fried to order. Lots of dipping sauce options. Several locations.
- SALTO Pizzeria Napoletana - Good pizza options, in the thin Italian style
- Din Tai Fung - What really needs to be said? The non-local standard for Shao Long Bao (Shanghai style soup dumplings). I say non-local standard because they are expensive by local Taipei standards. Be aware that in the evenings and on the weekends, the 101 and Xinyi locations all tend to have long wait times. Be prepared to wait.
Things to see and do:
- Taipei 101 - The observatory requires tickets, and can take a while to wait through the line to get entry. Look into booking online. The view from the top is spectacular if you enjoy heights. You can buy lots of coral based art and other tourist merchandise at the top. The mall is one of the most expensive malls in Taiwan. Nice to browse, but everything you can get here you could get cheaper back in the USA. The basement floor is filled with food options (including the busiest Din Tai Fung), along with a supermarket named Jason's for imported food. Decent selection of alcohol, but be prepared to pay.
- ATT 4 Fun - Shopping center with a walkway attached to the 101. Decent shopping and food options. The area around here has lots of dining and shopping in general, so take a walk around.
- Commune A7 - Across from ATT 4 Fun. Semi-permanent food truck/mini-restaurant location for several vendors. More costly than normal mall food courts. Options rotate frequently.
- Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall - Impressive structure, and its courtyard area is used by many groups for various gatherings (sport groups, drama clubs, dance clubs). Not too much information in English, but has a changing of the guard every hour, on the hour from 9AM to 5PM. It's super interesting to watch. Also, the area immediately to the West of the Hall contains a large number of restaurants. You can walk up and down the streets and find any kind of food (several of the above locations I recommended are in this area).
- Taipei City Mall (warning, link to Danny Choo website, mostly because this is the only relevant link to the Japan Pop Culture stores) - Huge mall, including an area with lots of Japanese Pop culture. Take exit Y17 and be prepared to walk a good distance. You can find retro video games, manga, anime, figures and more.
- Ximen/Ximending - General area for shopping for younger people. Some food options, but you have to be willing to walk around. Lots of events in the area.
- Kavalan Whiskey - Taiwan is one of the highest per-capita consumers of Whiskey in Asia. It has an award winning distillery named Kavalan, and it is well worth trying out. Kavalan has their own set of stores throughout Taipei. Most of their whiskey bottles are expensive, but you can often purchase small sample bottles to taste before buying larger bottles. Pricing is pretty consistent throughout stores and even in the airport. Taiwan's climate has had an unexpected effect on the aging of whiskey, by making it take far less time. They tend to be strong, but smooth in flavor.
- Taipei Wikitravel - Has good general information on things to see and do
- A Hungry Girl's Guide to Taipei - The best English language resource for places to eat in Taipei. Has been maintained over several years, so some places have closed and their entry hasn't been updated. Also not the easiest to search, but still an excellent resource.