Located in northeastern Taiwan, Yilan County is a small county known for its historical towns, hot and cold springs, black sand beaches and ancient hiking trails. But besides all the attractions, there are a few food speciality that you can only find in Yilan, including the famous green onion pancake.
In this post, I listed all the Yilan food you must try while travelling to the northeast coast. Moreover, I included all the best places to eat so you can easily find these Yilan restaurants.
If you consider yourself a foodie or you are excited to try new food in a new country, keep reading and I’ll show you exactly where and what to eat in Yilan Taiwan.
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Yilan Food Guide: tips for eating in Yilan
Before trying some of the best food in Yilan, here are a few of my eating tips:
- Most restaurants accept cash only, tiny mom-and-pop restaurants and most local restaurants accept cash only.
- Bring your credit card, as some places will accept credit cards.
- Check the hours of operation when you are eating in Yilan. Some are open for a few hours or for dinner and everything else in between.
- Tipping is not required in Taiwan.
Best Yilan Food: 7 food to try in Yilan
Besides all the traditional Taiwanese food, look for these special foods in Yilan:
Unique Yilan food
- Green onion pancake – Yilan green onion pancakes are thicker than the ones in other parts of Taiwan. It is made with a flour dough with lots of chopped green onions then pan fried on a flat pot of oil. Order one with or without an egg.
- Thick pork soup with garlic – a savoury thick soup with seasoned pork and lots of garlic. Add noodles, vermicelli, rice noodles or have it as is.
- Meat fritters or deep-fried meat cake – deep-fried pork tenderloin pieces marinated in soy sauce, ground pepper, and five-spice powder.
- Deep-fried shrimp cake – small shrimp and sweet potato sticks are added to a flour batter and deep fried. The end result is a large crispy cracker.
- Fresh Seafood – lots of seafood options around Yilan County. Mostly fish and shrimp. Generally, seafood restaurants are better for bigger groups. For solo travellers, you can still try fresh seafood at local restaurants, fish markets and Japanese restaurants.
Sweet treats in Yilan
- Peanut ice cream roll – start with a thin, chewy flour crepe, then add ground peanut brittle, three scoops of ice cream and coriander then rolled into a tube form.
- Cow tongue biscuits (牛舌餅) – a traditional flat cracker made with flour, sugar, and honey. The dough is thinly rolled into a narrow shape, which looks like an ox tongue.
37 places to eat in Yilan County
I also included all the best places to eat in Yilan County and separated them into different townships. Plus, I included Google Maps links to each place so you can easily find them.
Where to eat in Toucheng
Toucheng makes an excellent homebase when travelling around Yilan County because the town has many food options. Here are some of my favourites:
- Longji Beef Noodle Restaurant (龍記牛肉麵) – famous for their beef tendon noodle. I tried the dry beef noodle and it was so good!
- Lao Jie Breakfast Restaurant (老街早餐店) – breakfast goers love their scallion pancake with egg. I like their rice roll and red bean bun.
- Japanese Restaurant (樂屋日本料理) – the locals love this casual Japanese restaurant. They are known for the giant salmon sushi!
- Japanese Restaurant (魚季 Sashimi&丼食) – affordable and fresh sushi and sashimi.
- Taiwanese Restaurant (老街懷舊食堂) – enjoy the old-school vibe inside this Taiwanese restaurant.
- Tianbula shop (張記 甜不辣) – a small shop serving Taiwanese tempura and other snacks.
- Green onion pancake (頭城車站阿伯炸蛋蔥油餅) – scallion pancakes with egg made in the back of the truck next to Toucheng Station.
- Taiwanese meat pie (老家餡餅) – they make the BEST pan-fried meat pie! There are many locations throughout Taiwan, including Luodong.
- Ice cream shop (阿宗芋冰城) – the ice cream shop has been around for 50 years! They sell unique ice cream flavours, including purple rice, peanut and taro. One serving has 3 scoops of homemade ice cream!
Where to eat in Jiaoxi
There are lots to eat in the hot spring town of Jiaoxi. Many local favourites including scallion pancakes and hot spring ramen.
- Ke’s Scallion Pancake (柯氏蔥油餅) – the most famous scallion pancake in Yilan. Always a long queue but worth the wait.
- Rakuzan Ramen (樂山溫泉拉麵) – eat a delicious bowl of ramen while soaking your feet.
- Meat roll & thick soup (羹爸子) – get a bowl of thick soup or a combo with a meat roll and braised pork rice.
- Braised duck (宜蘭滷之鄉) – lots of braised duck parts. If you are unsure what to order, try a bowl of duck noodles.
- Yong He Soy Milk (永和豆漿大王) – a popular breakfast joint all over Taiwan.
- Qing Zhen Breakfast (清珍早點) – a local Taiwanese breakfast for eat-in or takeaway.
- Ice cream shop (秀蘭阿姨泡泡冰) – a mom-and-pop shop selling homemade ice cream. Milk flavour is my fav.
- Bai-Shui Douhua (白水豆花) – try their peanut powder tofu pudding. They also have a shop in Da’an in Taipei.
- Shanghaoji Yilan Souvenir Shop (尚好記) – try their signature plum and hot spring tomato juice.
Where to eat in Yilan City
Each restaurant (besides the night market) specializes in just one or two things. And I noticed there are a lot of bamboo shoots on the menus too.
- Mother’s Love Garlic Meat Soup (阿娘給的蒜味肉羹) – their thick pork soup has a lot of garlic but is super tasty!
- Garlic Meat Heritage (傳承蒜味肉羹) – another thick pork soup restaurant. They also have meat rolls.
- Dongmen Night Market (東門夜市) – many food vendors set up under the Donggang Bridge.
- Just Fresh Meat Dumplings (正好鮮肉小籠包) – a take-out-only restaurant specializing in green onion soup dumplings.
- Dumplings (原來鮮肉小籠包) – try their meat and green onion soup dumplings or meat and bamboo soup dumplings.
- Cheng Huang breakfast shop (城隍早餐店) – a popular breakfast joint featuring stewed pork, bamboo shoots and a fried egg over rice.
- Beimen Bean Milk Monarch (北門綠豆沙牛乳大王) – they are known for their green bean milkshake. Prepare for a long queue, but it’s so worth it!
- Yu’s Mochi Rice Cake (游家麻糬米糕) – really yummy handmade mochi.
Where to eat in Luodong
Many local eateries are concentrated on the main streets and Luodong Night Market.
- Sansing Green Onion Pancake (玉本舖三星蔥餅) – their Yilan-style scallion pancake is more like a pie with lots of green onion inside. There are many Sansing locations around Yilan.
- Luodong Night Market (羅東夜市) – food vendors line all three sides of Jungshan Park, offering typical Taiwanese food and Yilan must-try food.
- Wu-Tau Rice Box (悟饕池上飯包) – a popular restaurant chain in Yilan selling healthy rice boxes which include meat, vegetables and rice.
- Meat roll and thick soup (羅東肉焿番) – a take-out-only restaurant selling meat rolls and thick soup. Go early because the meat roll sells out quickly!
- Taiwanese meat pie (老家餡餅) – the other location in Yilan County that makes the delicious pan-fried meat pie.
Where to eat in Nanfangao in Su’ao Township
Seafood (especially mackerel) is the highlight at most restaurants since Nanfangao is a thriving fishing port.
- Nanfangao Fish Market (蘇澳區第一拍賣魚市場) – get a tray of the freshest sashimi and have a little picnic lunch.
- Seafood Restaurant (富哥鮮魚湯江夏店) – a local Taiwanese restaurant serving braised pork rice, fish soup, sashimi, and other fresh seafood.
- San San (叄三文化廚房) – the cute little cafe serving coffee, tea and their famous mackerel fish snack. Everything at the restaurant is Instagram-worthy!
- Fried shrimp cake (南方澳最大的蝦餅最多的蝦子) – try the shrimp cake, oyster cake, meat cake or with all three ingredients.
- Peanut Ice Cream Roll (阿榮芋冰花生捲加冰淇淋) – choose three different flavours of homemade ice cream for your peanut ice cream roll.
- Asai Shaved Ice (阿賽喇冰) – the shaved ice shop has been around since 1923.
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Which Yilan food are you most excited to try?
I’ve spent over 2 months exploring all the nooks and crannies of Yilan County, looking for all the best attractions in Yilan. And I also spent a lot of time researching what to eat in Yilan and where to find some of the best Yilan famous food.
And as you can see, there is no shortage of good food in Yilan, and you can find delicious food wherever you go. But hopefully, this list of food places in Yilan can jumpstart your culinary experience.
Which Yilan food are you going to try? Or if you find any other specialties in Yilan or a restaurant that should be part of this list, let me know in the comments below.
Thank you for reading my Yilan Food Guide
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