Updated August 2019.
These are the places I go back to again and again in Taipei when I’m craving something Western, which let’s admit is pretty damn often.
Fish & Chips
British Oysters Seafood Shed does a great job. The owner used to work at an oyster farm in the UK and now he’s back in Taipei running this place. Their fish and chips are crispy and the portion is generous.
Just go to Woolloomooloo, Taipei’s original Australian-style cafe. Their English breakfast doesn’t look like it was plated to perfection for Instagram and I especially like the homemade sourdough bread. Second Floor Cafe is another good option. They have a huge menu and a bunch of locations around town.
There are plenty of places to get pasta in Taipei, but at Antico Forno it’s made fresh in-house. The restaurant feels like a cozy neighborhood Italian place, and the other diners were mostly local Taiwanese families when I went on a Sunday night. They have a delicious cold platter for 800NT. I also loved the pappardelle with sausage, mushroom and truffle. Salt & Stone inside the Taipei 101 mall is another safe bet for pastas, pizzas and appetizers.
There’s Morton’s in Breeze Xinyi and Smith & Wollensky in the new Breeze Nanshan mall, but the best value steak in Taipei is still Le Blanc. They also serve wines by the glass which is lovely. Ruth’s Chris is now dead to me after years of loyalty.
Tacos & Burritos
El Sabroso. The Mexican chef makes everything in-house, including the salsas and tortillas, which is why they only serve tacos on Tuesdays. It’s not a restaurant though, more like a food stall. Other options: Sheep+pony make a tasty taco and 遊牧 to go NOMAD has some pretty good reviews.
Yes, potato wedges is its own category because I’m such a diehard fan of the ones at Bobwundaye. They come out so hot and crispy you’ll burn your mouth — and you’ll like it.
Baba Kevin’s American Barbecue is the only place people go to downtown. Or if you’re okay with going farther north, Ed’s Diner is a reliable option. The recently opened Bogart’s Smokehouse over by Nangang Station also got some votes. Or there’s Tony’s BBQ Smokehouse in Neihu.
The delicious chicken entree at Peruvian restaurant PICO PICO near Xinyi Anhe MRT stop is where I go for fancy chicken when I’m feeling too classy to swing by Costco and pick up a whole chicken in a bag.
I’m a fan of the amazingly crispy and juicy Southern-style fried chicken at Buttermilk restaurant inside amba Zhongshan hotel. The freshly baked biscuits are so damn good. Burger Out also has great views for their fried chicken sandwich and waffles.
If you have a sandwich itch, I recommend Liquid Bread Company. Fries are great and they serve Taihu beer on tap. If you’re lucky you’ll see locals eating with plastic gloves on. And I can’t forget Gusto Market of Taste. They make amazing sandwiches with Italian cheeses and cold cuts.
I’ve been going to Gonna at the Renai roundabout lately for fast casual food. They have freshly squeezed juices (including beet juice), clean salads, a bunch of pasta and panini options and a decent burger. Reasonably priced. It’s probably my favorite fast casual option in the city right now. There’s a second location in Neihu. Sugar Pea Cafe is a more upscale option.
Heritage Bakery near Beimen is your best bet. Their carrot cake is so rich and carrot-y. Woolloomooloo has an in-house bakery that does a great banana cream pie. For fancier stuff, I get the chocolate and lemon tarts at Yu Chocolatier.
If you have some Western food favorites — especially in any categories I’m missing — feel free to leave a comment!