The Complete Vegan Guide to Taiwanese Street Food
A vegan street food heaven
Taiwan offers one of world’s most exciting street food scenes and there is no exception for vegan street food. Taiwanese street food markets can boast to have more than 40 different vegan dishes. One can find street food from early morning to midnight, either at morning traditional markets, with street vendors, small eateries, food stalls, tea stalls, juice bars, or at night markets. Morning markets offer the best prices for local fresh fruits, vegetables, soy products, breakfast and brunch, whereas night markets are usually more pricey.
You will be glad to know that many traditional Taiwanese foods are vegan and most popular dishes have vegan version (see Taiwan local food guide)
More good news for those who wish to experience the night markets in Taiwan: there are 2 veggie night markets touring around Taiwan (see here). You can also get a veggie map (see here) for Taichung’s most popular Feng-Chia night market. There are also much vegan street food at Taipei Shilin night market & Keelung night market.
List of vegan street food
Here is a short list of vegan street food one can find in Taiwan.
V = Vegan; VO = Vegan Option; VA = Vegan Alternative; GF = Gluten Free.
*Sweet soy milk 豆漿（dòu jiāng) – V, GF.
*Savoury soy milk 咸豆漿 (xián dòu jiāng) – VO, GF.
*Rice (&peanut) milk 米漿 ( mǐ jiāng) – V, GF.
*Roasted sesame flatbread 燒餅 (shāo bǐng) – VO.
*Chinese donut 油條 (yóu tiáo) – V.
*Steamed bao 包子(bao zi) – V, VA.
*Steamed bread 饅頭 (mán tou) – V, VA.
*Rice porridge & side-dishes 清粥小菜 (qīng zhōu xiǎo cài) – V, VO, VA, GF.
*Turnip savory cake 蘿蔔糕 (luó bo gāo) – VA, GF.
*Sticky Rice Roll 飯團 (fàn tuán) –VO, GF.
*Spicy vermicelli soup 麵線羹 (miàn xiàn gēng) – VA.
*Sticky rice vermicelli soup 米粉羹 (mǐ fěn gēng) – VA, GF.
*Bamboo rice dumpling 素粽 (sù zòng) – VO, VA.
*Nori rice roll 海苔飯卷（hǎi tái fàn juǎn) – VO, GF.
*Fresh steam spring roll 潤餅(rùn bǐng) – VO, VA.
*Taiwanese steam meat ball 肉圆 (ba wan) –VA.
*Soup dumplings 湯包 (tāng bao) – VA.
*Flaky scallion pancake 蔥油餅 (cong yóu bǐng) – V, VO.
*Flaky Toona pancake 香椿餅 (xiāng chūn bǐng) – V.
*Taiwanese burger 刈包 (guà bao) – VA.
*Mini steamed dumplings 小籠包 (xiǎo lóng bāo) –VA.
*Pan-fried buns 水煎包 （Shuǐ jiān bāo）- VA.
*Pan-fried Jiaozi 煎餃 (jiān jiǎo)- VA.
Dinner or Evening Snacks
*Taiwanese oden 甜不辣 (tián bù là) or 關東煮 (guān dōng zhǔ) – V, VA.
*Sticky Rice Sausage 糯米腸 (nuò mǐ cháng) – VA, GF
*Stinky tofu 臭豆腐 (chòu dòu fu) – VO, GF.
*Deep-fried Veggie foods 鹹酥 (xián sū jī) – VO, VA, GF.
*Braised Veggie foods 滷味 (lǔ wèi) – V, VA, GF.
*BBQ Veggie foods 素食燒烤 (sù shí shāo kǎo) – V, VA.
*Roasted rice ball 烤飯團 (kǎo fàn tuán) – VO, GF.
*Braised veggie « pork » rice 魯肉飯（ sù lǔ ròu fàn ）VA.
*Veggie « beef » noodles soup 素牛肉麵 (sù niú ròu miàn) VA.
*Mochi 麻糬 (má shǔ) – V, VO, GF.
*Maki Sushi 壽司(shòu sī) – VO, VA.
*Veggie takoyaki 素章魚燒 (sù zhāng yú shāo) or 丸子燒 (wán zi shāo) – VA.
*Fried sweet potato balls 地瓜球 (dìg uā qiú) – V, GF.
*Aiyu jelly 愛玉（ài yù) – V， GF. This crystalline jelly is made from the seeds of a creeping fig. Typically served with fresh lime juice & sugar cane syrup.
*Herbal jelly 仙草 (xiān cǎo) – V, GF. This jelly is made from herbal grass & tapioca flour.
*Carwheel cake 車輪餅 (chē lún bǐng) or Red beans cake紅豆餅 (hóng dòu bǐng) – VA.
**Candied sweet potato 地瓜拔絲 (dì guā bá sī) – V, GF.
*Shaved ice mountain with toppings 刨冰 (bàobīng) – V, VO.
*Bubble tea 珍珠奶茶 (zhēn zhū nǎi chá) – VO, VA. The famous ice milk tea with tapioca balls, many tea bars recently also offer plant-based milk options.
Chang-Yu Tan was born and grew up in south Taiwan, then moved to England in 1994. After she discovered her 1st child’s allergy to eggs & dairy, she decided to embrace a whole-foods vegan diet in 2004.
Today as a vegan family of 5, they live in the countryside of southern France, and have travelled to more than 25 countries around the world. She loves to share her family’s experience in whole-foods vegan lifestyle with other like-minded folks.
The Veganary highly recommends anyone going to taiwan to check out her facebook page full of precious information for anyone heading to Taiwan: Discover the Hidden Vegan Heaven – Taiwan