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Taiwanese Specialities
Robert Sietsema

Where to Find Great Taiwanese Food in NYC

Noodles, pork chops, bento boxes, and bubble tea

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Taiwanese Specialities
| Robert Sietsema

Gradually, Taiwanese food is becoming more prominent. While a decade ago there were only a few restaurants in NYC identified with the cuisine, now there are dozens. The menus offer an eclectic mix of regional Chinese fare, plus, for geographic and historical reasons, dishes showing Japanese, Korean, American, European, and Southeast Asian influences. The traditional menu is a grab bag of culinary wonders, favoring pork chops, chicken with basil, elliptical rice cakes, crisp tempura, hearty noodle soups, oyster omelets, and pickled mustard greens in varying roles.

But Taiwanese food is being remade in the modern era. “It’s because young Taiwanese don’t always want to eat the food of their parents,” says Cathy Erway, author of The Food of Taiwan. She points to new steakhouses, bubble tea and snack parlors, vendors of newfangled ice creams, and fast food outlets concentrating on things like dumplings and popcorn chicken, as evidence of this trend. Here is a choice collection of the city’s best Taiwanese restaurants, old as well as new.

Note: Restaurants are listed based on geography

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Taiwan Pork Chop House 臺灣武昌好味道

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3 Doyers St
New York, NY
(212) 791-7007
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This boxy utilitarian cafe in Chinatown provides a snapshot of traditional Taiwanese fare. It begins with a series of bargain, over-rice meals and extends to soups and stir-fries that offer a choice of four noodles, with rice cakes in a separate section. Start out with pork chop over rice, an immensely satisfying meal that also includes ground pork sauce and pickled greens, with a pair of well-seasoned chops thrown on top.

2. Vivi Bubble Tea

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65 W 8th St
New York, NY
(212) 658-1588
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This ubiquitous local chain with over 20 branches in the city puts bubble tea in many permutations at the top of the menu, but also provides typical Taiwanese snacks that can be assembled to make a meal. Check out the bright red Taiwanese pork sausages skewered on sticks, or the steamed dumplings filled with a savory mixture of pork and shrimp. And Vivi claims its popcorn chicken (breaded, deep-fried tidbits) is the best in town.

3. Baohaus

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238 E 14th St
New York, NY
(646) 669-8889
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Chef, author, and television personality Eddie Huang spawned Baohaus on the Lower East Side in 2009, celebrating the Taiwanese food he enjoyed at home as a kid. This East Village branch is the last remaining here (there’s one in L.A.) The small café updates Taiwanese commonplace dishes with superior quality ingredients like Berkshire pork belly and shiitake mushrooms, including bao sandwiches and ground pork stew with mushrooms served over rice with pickled greens.

4. DiDi Dumpling

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38 Lexington Ave
New York, NY
(212) 388-1317
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A favorite of Baruch College students, DiDi specializes in Taiwan’s most characteristic style of dumplings: elongated, thin-skinned pot stickers stuffed with pork, chicken, or vegetables and griddle-cooked in the popular stuck-together style, which Danny Bowien adopted at Mission Chinese. Other highlights of the brief menu include lo mein and hot-and-sour soup, offered in a room with a stylish fast-food ambiance.

5. Red Bowl Noodle Shop

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4052 Main St
Flushing, NY
(718) 353-7683
Visit Website

The roof of this casual café right on Flushing’s main drag flaunts a giant red bowl with chopsticks protruding, said to be visible to planes landing at LaGuardia. A window sells Taiwanese sausages (including the fabled sausage within a sausage), and carryout containers are lined up on tables outside — filled with combinations of rice, vegetables, and charcuterie — but go inside to sit down and order from the fuller Taiwanese menu.

6. Main Street Taiwanese Gourmet 北港台菜

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59-14 Main St
Flushing, NY
(716) 886-8788

Flushing’s Main Street just north of the Long Island Expressway is a hotbed of Taiwanese eats and this humble coffee shop is your best choice. In addition to the usual three-cup chicken and oyster omelets, it offers a series of small dishes in a tradition not unlike dim sum. Also known as meatball mochi, da wan is one of these, a wonderful small bowl of goo in which tidbits of pork are implanted, and what could make a better brunch snack? Open every day till midnight.

7. Happy Stony Noodle

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Read Review |
83-47 Dongan Ave
New York, NY
(718) 335-0500

Decorated with black-and-white photos of agrarian scenes, this happy-go-lucky spot specializes in noodle soups, offered with a choice of noodles (our favorite: wide rice noodles), many featuring beef and some spicy as hell. But the menu doesn’t stop there. Other offerings include sweet-potato french fries, chicken cutlets, oyster and radish pancakes, squid balls, and fluffy sweet buns drizzled with sweetened condensed milk.

8. Taiwanese Specialties 老華西街台菜館

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84-02 Broadway
Elmhurst, NY
(718) 429-4818

This is one of the city’s oldest and most venerated Taiwanese restaurants and it fills up with extended families on the weekends. The setting is elegant and the food of fine quality. It’s a good place to try the dish of ground pork and garlic chives known as fly heads, sauteed kidneys, steamed whole fish, rice-cake stir fries, and Taiwan’s national dish of three-cup chicken, designated on the menu as ginger chicken with sesame oil.

9. Cheers Cut

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85-15 Queens Boulevard
Elmhurst, NY

This fascinating new fast-fooder offers humongous chicken cutlets — something like a steroidal wienerschnitzel — and big squid, perfectly breaded and deep fried. It caused a sensation when it opened recently, with long lines winding out the door. A map of the world on the wall shows where all the other branches of this chain establishment are. There’s another branch in Flushing.

10. Win Son

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Read Review |
159 Graham Ave
Brooklyn, NY
(347) 457-6010
Visit Website

Located in an obscure corner of Williamsburg, Win Son is a stylish bistro with colorful murals and chandeliers made from plastic bottles, boasting a lively bar at the far end of the room. It seeks to remake Taiwanese food for neophytes and aficionados alike, and handily succeeds while being faithful to the originals. Fly heads, turnip cakes, oyster omelets, and scallion pancakes are especially recommended.

11. Chi Ken

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5401 8th Ave
Brooklyn, NY

Chi Ken specializes in bento boxes, with a signature product the famed popcorn chicken, offered in good-size servings at a bargain price with accompaniments that include rice, kernel corn, Taiwanese sausage, ground meat sauce, steamed cabbage, broccoli, and boiled egg. Now that’s some meal!

12. Formosa Cafe

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5323 7th Ave
Brooklyn, NY
(347) 464-6878

Sunset Park’s Seventh Avenue north of 60th Street has become one of the city’s foremost Formosan dining strips, with Formosa Café name-checking the old moniker of the island (“beautiful isle” in Portuguese) during colonial times. Casual and comfortable, the place specializes in milk teas, slushes, Taiwanese yogurt, and fresh juices, served with a selection of snacks such as chicken cutlets, edamame, and burrito-like “hand grab cakes.”

13. Fu Shen Restaurant

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6003 7th Ave
Brooklyn, NY

The clientele is mainly young and the menu mirrors that of a modern American steakhouse, with important Taiwanese twists. Beautifully grilled sirloins, rib-eyes, and pork chops are served on a bed of spaghetti, on a sizzling platter with a fried egg and mixed vegetables. The main course is preceded by a salad and toasts smeared with sweetened condensed milk. The steak prices are mind-bogglingly low for good-quality meat. There’s another branch in Flushing.

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1. Taiwan Pork Chop House 臺灣武昌好味道

3 Doyers St, New York, NY

This boxy utilitarian cafe in Chinatown provides a snapshot of traditional Taiwanese fare. It begins with a series of bargain, over-rice meals and extends to soups and stir-fries that offer a choice of four noodles, with rice cakes in a separate section. Start out with pork chop over rice, an immensely satisfying meal that also includes ground pork sauce and pickled greens, with a pair of well-seasoned chops thrown on top.

3 Doyers St
New York, NY

2. Vivi Bubble Tea

65 W 8th St, New York, NY

This ubiquitous local chain with over 20 branches in the city puts bubble tea in many permutations at the top of the menu, but also provides typical Taiwanese snacks that can be assembled to make a meal. Check out the bright red Taiwanese pork sausages skewered on sticks, or the steamed dumplings filled with a savory mixture of pork and shrimp. And Vivi claims its popcorn chicken (breaded, deep-fried tidbits) is the best in town.

65 W 8th St
New York, NY

3. Baohaus

238 E 14th St, New York, NY

Chef, author, and television personality Eddie Huang spawned Baohaus on the Lower East Side in 2009, celebrating the Taiwanese food he enjoyed at home as a kid. This East Village branch is the last remaining here (there’s one in L.A.) The small café updates Taiwanese commonplace dishes with superior quality ingredients like Berkshire pork belly and shiitake mushrooms, including bao sandwiches and ground pork stew with mushrooms served over rice with pickled greens.

238 E 14th St
New York, NY

4. DiDi Dumpling

38 Lexington Ave, New York, NY

A favorite of Baruch College students, DiDi specializes in Taiwan’s most characteristic style of dumplings: elongated, thin-skinned pot stickers stuffed with pork, chicken, or vegetables and griddle-cooked in the popular stuck-together style, which Danny Bowien adopted at Mission Chinese. Other highlights of the brief menu include lo mein and hot-and-sour soup, offered in a room with a stylish fast-food ambiance.

38 Lexington Ave
New York, NY

5. Red Bowl Noodle Shop

4052 Main St, Flushing, NY

The roof of this casual café right on Flushing’s main drag flaunts a giant red bowl with chopsticks protruding, said to be visible to planes landing at LaGuardia. A window sells Taiwanese sausages (including the fabled sausage within a sausage), and carryout containers are lined up on tables outside — filled with combinations of rice, vegetables, and charcuterie — but go inside to sit down and order from the fuller Taiwanese menu.

4052 Main St
Flushing, NY

6. Main Street Taiwanese Gourmet 北港台菜

59-14 Main St, Flushing, NY

Flushing’s Main Street just north of the Long Island Expressway is a hotbed of Taiwanese eats and this humble coffee shop is your best choice. In addition to the usual three-cup chicken and oyster omelets, it offers a series of small dishes in a tradition not unlike dim sum. Also known as meatball mochi, da wan is one of these, a wonderful small bowl of goo in which tidbits of pork are implanted, and what could make a better brunch snack? Open every day till midnight.

59-14 Main St
Flushing, NY

7. Happy Stony Noodle

83-47 Dongan Ave, New York, NY
Read Review |

Decorated with black-and-white photos of agrarian scenes, this happy-go-lucky spot specializes in noodle soups, offered with a choice of noodles (our favorite: wide rice noodles), many featuring beef and some spicy as hell. But the menu doesn’t stop there. Other offerings include sweet-potato french fries, chicken cutlets, oyster and radish pancakes, squid balls, and fluffy sweet buns drizzled with sweetened condensed milk.

83-47 Dongan Ave
New York, NY

8. Taiwanese Specialties 老華西街台菜館

84-02 Broadway, Elmhurst, NY

This is one of the city’s oldest and most venerated Taiwanese restaurants and it fills up with extended families on the weekends. The setting is elegant and the food of fine quality. It’s a good place to try the dish of ground pork and garlic chives known as fly heads, sauteed kidneys, steamed whole fish, rice-cake stir fries, and Taiwan’s national dish of three-cup chicken, designated on the menu as ginger chicken with sesame oil.

84-02 Broadway
Elmhurst, NY

9. Cheers Cut

85-15 Queens Boulevard, Elmhurst, NY

This fascinating new fast-fooder offers humongous chicken cutlets — something like a steroidal wienerschnitzel — and big squid, perfectly breaded and deep fried. It caused a sensation when it opened recently, with long lines winding out the door. A map of the world on the wall shows where all the other branches of this chain establishment are. There’s another branch in Flushing.

85-15 Queens Boulevard
Elmhurst, NY

10. Win Son

159 Graham Ave, Brooklyn, NY
Read Review |

Located in an obscure corner of Williamsburg, Win Son is a stylish bistro with colorful murals and chandeliers made from plastic bottles, boasting a lively bar at the far end of the room. It seeks to remake Taiwanese food for neophytes and aficionados alike, and handily succeeds while being faithful to the originals. Fly heads, turnip cakes, oyster omelets, and scallion pancakes are especially recommended.

159 Graham Ave
Brooklyn, NY

11. Chi Ken

5401 8th Ave, Brooklyn, NY

Chi Ken specializes in bento boxes, with a signature product the famed popcorn chicken, offered in good-size servings at a bargain price with accompaniments that include rice, kernel corn, Taiwanese sausage, ground meat sauce, steamed cabbage, broccoli, and boiled egg. Now that’s some meal!

5401 8th Ave
Brooklyn, NY

12. Formosa Cafe

5323 7th Ave, Brooklyn, NY

Sunset Park’s Seventh Avenue north of 60th Street has become one of the city’s foremost Formosan dining strips, with Formosa Café name-checking the old moniker of the island (“beautiful isle” in Portuguese) during colonial times. Casual and comfortable, the place specializes in milk teas, slushes, Taiwanese yogurt, and fresh juices, served with a selection of snacks such as chicken cutlets, edamame, and burrito-like “hand grab cakes.”

5323 7th Ave
Brooklyn, NY

13. Fu Shen Restaurant

6003 7th Ave, Brooklyn, NY

The clientele is mainly young and the menu mirrors that of a modern American steakhouse, with important Taiwanese twists. Beautifully grilled sirloins, rib-eyes, and pork chops are served on a bed of spaghetti, on a sizzling platter with a fried egg and mixed vegetables. The main course is preceded by a salad and toasts smeared with sweetened condensed milk. The steak prices are mind-bogglingly low for good-quality meat. There’s another branch in Flushing.

6003 7th Ave
Brooklyn, NY

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