6 Eateries You Should Try In Ximending

Ximending (西门町), also known to some as the ‘Shibuya of Taipei’, is a popular shopping destination for both locals and tourists alike. The myriad of goods and services available at Ximending Pedstrian Area is dazzling, attracting around 3 million visitors per month.

For sure, there are many dining options in Ximending. In this list, you will find eateries that are recommended by many travel guides, which we had also tried.

Without further ado, here are the 6 eateries which we think you should try while in Ximending.

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1. Charcoal Roasted Mochi (日本冲神碳烤麻糬)

This popular stall is located at the entrance to a side alley but it’s quite easy to spot as there is usually a queue.

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Mochi is Japanese rice cakes made from a type of short-grain glutinous rice. The rice is pounded into paste before being moulded into the desired shape. At this stall, sticks of Japanese glutinous rice cakes (mochi) are roasted over charcoal flames to give them a fragrant and slightly crisp outer layer before being flavoured to order. Both sweet and savoury flavours, such as chocolate, brown sugar, tom yam, are available.

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This is not their top-seller but it’s our favourite flavour: roasted mochi draped with condensed milk.

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It taste best while hot, so do eat it soon after purchase.

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2. Cheng-Du Starfruit Ice Shop (成都杨桃冰)

This shop is located near Ximending MRT station. Started in 1966, the interior of the shop looked frozen in time.

Sales of their salted plums, pickled starfruit and pineapple ice desserts (李盐冰, 杨桃冰, 凤梨冰, 杨桃汤, 凤梨汤) are brisk.

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The preserved fruits are available for sale too, if you’re inspired to replicate the dessert at home.

Limited sitting area is available in the shop.

Address: No. 3, Chengdu Rd, Wanhua District, Taipei City
Opening hours: 1pm to 10.30pm

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3. Ay-Chung Rice Flour Noodles (阿宗面线)

阿宗面线 sells only one dish; their signature mee-sua (thin wheat flour noodles) with thickened broth. A deceptively simple yet flavourful meal accompanied by slices of pig intestines and a few leaves of basil. The popularity can be seen by the queue and crowd in and outside the shop. It’s easy to order since the only choice you’ll get to make is the size of your bowl: medium or large.

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Seasoning is available by the side for self-service. Do eat your noodles with a dash of black vinegar, chilli and minced garlic for extra flavour.

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There’s no seating area so get ready to stand outside the shop and enjoy the hot meal.

Address: No. 108 Section 1, Zhonghua Rd, Wanhua District, Taipei City
Opening hours: 10am to 10.30pm




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4. Fong Da Coffee (蜂大咖啡)

Fong Da Coffee is old-style coffee shop established in 1956 located across the road from the Pedestrian Area. Without a lighted signboard from the outside, it may be difficult to spot.

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It has a wide selection of freshly-brewed coffee to choose from and pastry are sold at the shop front too. To enjoy both together, order your coffee first before heading to the shop front for your pastry purchase. Pastry sold here includes the traditional favourites such as pineapple cakes, walnut biscuits, greenbean cakes. If you’re keen to have a nice brew at home, various types of roasted coffee beans are also available for purchase.

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Every cup of coffee is freshly brewed from grounded coffee beans. As each cup is brewed individually, patience and time are definitely needed as it may take some time before your order arrives. Ours took almost 25 minutes.

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We were seated close to where the coffee grinder was, so from time to time, we whiffed the fragrance of freshly grounded coffee.

A good place for coffee buffs and catch your breath after intense shopping but temper your expectation of warm customer service as you may be disappointed.

Address: No. 42 Chengdu Road, Wanhua District, Taipei City
Opening hours: 8am to 10pm
Facebook page: 蜂大咖啡

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5. Mei Guan Yuan Japanese Food (美觀园日本料理)

美觀园日本料理 started their business in 1946 and since then, they have grown well-established and highly recommended by a number of Chinese travel guides.

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The restaurant spreads over 3 floors in the building and usually crowded during meal times. Interior-wise, the furniture layout looks a bit dated but functional.

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We have dined here twice, both times we came off satisfied with the food. Of the different food we tried, our favourite is their Chirashi bowl with thick slices of sashimi, makes my mouth water just thinking of it.

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Service-wise, there is room for improvement. We ordered a saba fish set with rice and soup. The fish was served without the rice and soup which we had to keep reminding the service staff.

Address: No. 36, E’mei Street, Wanhua District, Taipei City
Opening hours: 11am to 9pm
Website: 美觀園 Official Website

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6. Mala Hot Pot (马辣顶级麻辣鸳鸯火锅(西门店))

马辣顶级麻辣鸳鸯火锅(西门店) is one of 马辣’s 8 branches in Taipei, offering buffet style hotpot with a solid food, dessert and beverage selection. We had been to this branch twice and the 忠孝店 once, but still prefer this branch for the overall dining experience.

Lunch and dinner are priced at NT$498 and NT$598 respectively on weekdays, and NT$598 all-day for weekends and public holidays. On top of this, there is a cleaning surcharge of 10% on the bill. Dining is limited to 2-hours.

There are 5 choices of soup, though we always went for their ma-la (马辣麻辣锅) and collagen broth (膠原蛋白锅).

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The wide variety of ingredients for hotpot with the usual crowd favourites such as flower crabs, oysters, prawns and scallops.

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When we were there, they had a staff stationed nearby to replenish food that was running out. So even with a full-house dining crowd, we were impressed that the different types of ingredients rarely ever ran out. Cuts of pork, lamb and beef had to be ordered through the service staff, but there was no limitation to number of orders.

For beverage, they had soft drinks, tea and coffee, flower tea and even cans of beer in fridge. Whereas for desserts, the selection includes fresh fruits, jelly, pudding, Häagen-Dazs and Mövenpick ice cream.

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The restaurant is always fully-booked so reservations are strongly recommended. Do note that reservations are accepted one month before date of meal. For international customers, they currently only accept phone reservations (according to information on their Facebook page on 13 Jan 2017). There is a link on their official website for online booking but it is not working as of now.

We always leave the restaurant bloated. Thankfully, there were always shopping nearby for us to burn off some calories.

Address: No. 62, Xining South Road, Wanhua District, Taipei City
Opening hours: 11.30am to 5.00am
Website (in Chinese only): 马辣顶级麻辣鸳鸯火锅(西门店)
Facebook page (for reservation information): 马辣顶级麻辣鸳鸯火锅 粉丝俱乐部

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