From Night Markets to Restaurants: Exploring Healthy Food Options in Taiwan

Taiwan is well-known for its bustling night markets and delicious street food, but did you know that the country also has a growing trend of healthy eating options? In recent years, restaurants specializing in plant-based dishes and organic ingredients have been popping up all over Taiwan. So if you’re looking to explore a healthier side of Taiwanese cuisine, join us as we take a journey through some of the best healthy food options in Taiwan!

Introduction to Taiwanese Food

Taiwanese food is typically a blend of Chinese and Japanese cuisines, with influences from other parts of Asia as well. The island’s cuisine has been shaped by its unique geography and history, as well as the many different cultures that have occupied Taiwan over the years.

One of the best ways to enjoy Taiwanese food is to visit one of the many night markets that can be found across the country. Night markets are open-air markets that operate in the evening hours and offer a wide variety of street foods. They’re a great place to sample different Taiwanese dishes and find something new to eat.

Restaurants are another option for enjoying Taiwanese cuisine. There are all types of restaurants throughout Taiwan, from high-end establishments serving gourmet meals to more casual places where you can get a quick bite to eat. No matter what your budget or taste, you’re sure to find a delicious meal at a Taiwanese restaurant.

Popular Night Markets and Their Healthy Foods

With an ever-growing focus on health and wellness, it’s no surprise that Taiwan is full of delicious and healthy food options, even at its night markets. Here are some of the most popular night markets in Taiwan and the healthy foods they have to offer:

1. Shilin Night Market: This famous market in Taipei is known for its wide variety of street foods, including many healthy options. For a light meal or snack, try one of the many grilled seafood or vegetable skewers. Or go for something heartier with a bowl of piping hot soup made with fresh ingredients.

2. Raohe Night Market: Another popular night market in Taipei, Raohe is known for its “stinky tofu,” a fermented tofu dish that is surprisingly delicious and good for you. Other healthful options at Raohe include herbal tea, freshly squeezed fruit juice, and whole grain pancakes.

3. Keelung Night Market: This seaside market in Keelung City offers fresh seafood dishes like sashimi, grilled fish, and steamed shellfish. You can also find healthier takes on popular Taiwanese street foods like beef noodle soup and fried rice. Be sure to try the unique shaved ice desserts made with fresh fruits and vegetables!

Traditional Taiwanese Dishes That Help Balance Your Diet

If you are looking for healthy food options in Taiwan, there are plenty of traditional Taiwanese dishes that can help balance your diet. For example, one of the most popular Taiwanese dishes is salt and pepper tofu, which is made with fresh tofu that is fried and then tossed in a mixture of salt, pepper, and other spices. This dish is not only delicious, but also high in protein and low in fat.

Another healthy option is gong bao chicken, a dish that originates from the Sichuan province of China. This dish is traditionally made with chicken, peanuts, and vegetables stir-fried in a spicy sauce. While it can be high in calories, the mix of protein and vegetables makes it a well-rounded meal.

If you are looking for something lighter, consider ordering lu rou fan, which is braised pork belly served over rice. This dish is hearty and filling without being too heavy. The pork belly is cooked until it is incredibly tender, making it a perfect option for those who do not eat meat often.

No matter what your dietary restrictions or preferences are, there are plenty of healthy Taiwanese dishes to choose from. By exploring the many options available, you can find meals that fit your needs and help you maintain a balanced diet.

Options for Eating Healthily in Restaurants

If you’re looking to eat healthy while in Taiwan, you have a few different options. For starters, many night markets offer a variety of healthy food options such as fruits, vegetables, and lean protein sources. Additionally, there are a number of restaurants that specialize in healthy cuisine, such as vegetarian or vegan restaurants. And finally, most Taiwanese restaurants offer at least some health-conscious menu items that you can choose from.

Some specific examples of healthy foods that you can find at Taiwanese night markets or restaurants include grilled chicken or fish, stir-fried vegetables, “lighter” dishes such as soups or salads, and fruit juices or smoothies. Of course, it’s always important to use your own judgment when it comes to portion sizes and overall calorie intake. But by opting for healthier items on the menu, you can enjoy a delicious and nutritious meal without having to worry too much about your waistline.

Regional Influences on Healthy Eating Habits in Taiwan

The food culture in Taiwan is heavily influenced by the country’s regional neighbors. Taiwanese cuisine has been greatly influenced by both mainland Chinese and Japanese cuisines. The island of Taiwan is also home to a large number of indigenous peoples, who have their own unique culinary traditions.

In recent years, there has been a move away from traditional Chinese and Japanese cuisines in favor of more health-conscious options. This is especially evident in Taiwan’s growing number of vegetarian and vegan restaurants. Many of these establishments are influenced by Buddhist dietary traditions, which emphasize compassion for all sentient beings.

Taiwanese people are also increasingly interested in organic and locally sourced food. This is due in part to the rise of environmental awareness in the country. Local farms and farmer’s markets are becoming more popular as a result.

In general, Taiwanese people are becoming more health-conscious and are seeking out better quality food options. This is good news for the future of Taiwanese cuisine!


Exploring healthy food options in Taiwan is an exciting and rewarding adventure. From traditional night markets to modern restaurants, there are many ways to indulge your culinary curiosity while tapping into a wealth of local nutrition knowledge. With so much deliciousness on offer, Taiwanese cuisine allows everyone—from adventurous eaters to vegan or vegetarian diners—the chance to sample something new and nutritious every day. It’s no wonder that people come from all over the world seeking out the country’s rich culinary delights!