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You may think that eating at a convenience store sounds weird, but I can guarantee that you will love eating at a 7-Eleven in Taiwan.
Taiwan is very similar to Japan, where there is a big culture of eating at convenience stores. But the 7-11 in Taiwan has some unique items that you will not find anywhere else in the world.
There is so much good food everywhere in Taiwan, and you may never get around to eating at a 7-11. But I’m telling you, you are missing out! You can find some of Taiwan must-try food at local convenience stores.
Before you visit Taiwan
Before you go to Taiwan, take a look at my post on learning all my best tips for travelling to Taiwan. I included a lot of information, including getting a Taiwan prepaid SIM card, transportation around the country and more. And I have many solo travel guides on major cities like Taipei, Taichung, Kaohsiung and many more.
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Why I love 7 Eleven in Taiwan
There are so many reasons to love 7-11 in Taiwan!
Even though each convenience store differs in size and products on the shelf, the majority of them sell similar products, and you can be sure to find excellent customer service at every store.
First, the most popular convenience store has a wide range of food, which I am going to talk about it later.
Second, each convenience store has a sitting area where you can enjoy your food. Just take a look at the fantastic sitting area (pictured above) in Chiayi. Initially, I wasn’t sure if I can eat at the convenience store, but I followed the staircase, and it led me to a beautiful dining room. There is even outdoor seating! Okay, but not every 7-11 looks like this, but it makes each one of them different and unique.
Third, you can buy other things besides food at 7-11. Some of the convenience stores have toiletries, umbrella, alcohol, make-up, and Muji products (pictured above). Muji is a Japanese brand that manufactures furniture, clothing, toiletries and food and is super popular in Taiwan.
Some of the bigger 7-Eleven’s have Muji products on the shelf. It really does come in handy if you forget your toiletries at home, or didn’t bring enough underwear! Ha! Or if you need a stapler in the middle of the night. Ha!
Top 10 Taiwan convenience store must buy
Okay, enough bragging about all the other stuff 7-11 has. Now, onto the reason why you are on this blog – FOOD!!! Here are the top 10 food you must try at a 7-11 while you are travelling in Taiwan.
1. Xiao long bao (soup dumpling)
As I mentioned in my post on introducing Taiwanese food, if there is one food you need to try in Taiwan, it is xiao long bao.
7-11 sells xiao long bao on the refrigerator shelves. There are six soup dumplings inside the package. And it even comes with soy sauce and a tiny fork.
I must say that the xiao long bao at 7-11 is quite good. It is tasty and satisfying.
When you purchase the xiao long bao at 7-11, you can use their microwave to heat the soup dumplings. On the package, it has microwave instructions, so you know exactly how long it takes to warm up the soup dumplings.
While I was in Alishan, I bought the soup dumplings, and the cashier microwaved it for me. And he even had a piece of cardboard paper cut to the exact size of the package and used it as a tray for the steaming hot dumplings. I’m just blown away at how detailed 7-11 is. How thoughtful, right?
2. Onigiri (Japanese rice ball)
Onigiri (Japanese rice ball) is a favourite item on the shelves of 7-11 in Taiwan and Japan. It is really in the shape of a triangle. Maybe it should be called Japanese triangle rice. Ha!
Each onigiri has the perfect amount of rice, a sheet of crispy seaweed and different ingredients. In Taiwan, it has unique ingredients like pork floss, braised pork, shrimp, and various types of fish. Each one costs NT$30+.
The most ingenious part about the onigiri is the packaging. The seaweed and rice are separated by a thin sheet of film to keep the seaweed crispy and not soggy.
When you look at the package, all three corners are numbered 1 through 3. First, pull off the thin plastic strip at #1. Then pull off the packaging at #2, then continue to pull off the rest of the packaging at #3. And voila! (see picture above).
3. Hot sushi roll with grilled meat
I’m not sure exactly what the name of this is, but it is similar to an onigiri where it has rice and seaweed but has a lot more ingredients, and you need to heat it in the microwave.
I’ve never had this anywhere else. It sounds weird to microwave a sushi roll, but it was so good!
Similar to the xiao long bao, the sushi roll package comes with microwave instructions.
7-Eleven has a variety of these sushi rolls and costs about NT$55+ each.
4. Taiwanese tea eggs
Taiwanese tea eggs are hard-boiled eggs steeped in a broth flavoured with tea, soy sauce and spices. The eggshells are cracked so that the broth can infuse the flavour into the eggs.
It makes a great breakfast and an awesome snack. I find that the eggs at 7-11 are a bit saltier than the local places that sell tea eggs, but if you like the soy sauce flavour, then you have to try the tea eggs at 7-11.
It costs NT$10 an egg. It is one of the most inexpensive food you can find in 7-11.
All you need to do is to use the kitchen tongs to pick up the eggs and place them in a plastic bag. Almost all the 7-11’s I’ve been to have tea eggs no matter how small the convenience store is or how remote the location is.
5. Steamed buns
On the cooked food counter at 7-Eleven, you will find a vertical steaming oven full of steamed buns. And they usually have Hong Kong-style barbecue pork bun, pork and bamboo shoot bun, pork bun, spicy pork bun, and a sweet bun.
They are a delicious snack and very filling — not a bad price at only NT$25 for each one.
Unfortunately, there is no English on the label, but hopefully, the photo of the cross-section bun is sufficient.
6. Tianbula (Taiwanese tempura)
Oden is a Japanese one-pot dish where all the ingredients are boiled in a light soy-flavoured broth. It is popular food in Japan, Taiwan and South Korea.
In Taiwan, it is referred to as tianbula. Even though the term in Chinese literally means “sweet not spicy,” there is nothing spicy about the Taiwanese oden. Phonetically, the Taiwanese word sounds like “tempura.”
While you can find this popular Taiwanese dish all over Taiwan, especially in night markets, you can find it at a local convenience store as well.
At 7-11, the one-pot dish has many ingredients, including pork meatballs, tofu, daikon radish, and processed fishcakes in many different forms.
There is a menu right above the boiling pot. It tells you exactly how much each item costs. All you need to do is grab a paper bowl (which is usually beside the pot or underneath the counter), pick up as many items as you like, put a plastic lid on it and pay at the cashier. The cashier will charge you exactly what you have in your bowl.
The staff at 7-11 continues to cook different items throughout the day because it is a popular food at 7-11. The cooked food doesn’t sit around for very long.
7. Cup noodles in traditional beef noodle flavour
One of Taiwan’s signature dish is niu rou mian, the classic beef with noodle in soup. You can get a savoury bowl of deliciousness almost anywhere in Taiwan.
And you can get it in a cup noodle! 7-11 has many different brands of beef cup noodles, and they cost between NT$35 to NT$55.
The convenience store also provides piping hot water to cook your noodles. And they will even give you a pair of wood chopsticks. The sitting area comes in handy when you are eating a hot bowl of beef noodles.
8. Potato chips in local flavours
I prefer savoury snacks over sweet snacks these days. And one of my go-to is potato chips. Who doesn’t like potato chips?
At 7-11, they have many different varieties of potato chips, including scallion pancake, which is a popular Taiwanese snack (pictured above).
I also found other flavours like pork sausage with garlic, grilled beef, and braised soy sauce. They cost between NT$25 – 30.
If you cannot read the Chinese words on the chip bag, there is always some drawing of the actual flavour of the chips, like the one pictured above.
9. Boxed drinks including milk tea and fruit juices
There are so many types of beverages you can try at 7-11 in Taiwan.
Since Taiwan has such a strong tea culture, 7-11 has many varieties of milk tea, black tea and bubble tea (a milk tea with chewy tapioca “bubbles” (or boba or pearl)! I actually cannot believe they have bubble tea in a carton boxed drink. But the bubbles are not soggy or mushy; it is actually quite good.
Moreover, there are many types of fruit juices and vegetable juices to choose from. One of the local favourites is papaya juice with milk. Okay, I know the flavour sounds weird, but trust me, it is really tasty!
10. Ice-cream and popsicles
There are many varieties of ice-cream and popsicles. Some of the unique ones are pudding flavour, matcha flavour, some of them have red beans in them, etc.
One of my favourites is the waffle with ice-cream that tastes like a local candy (pictured above). I’m not sure exactly what flavour the candy is, but it tastes a bit like caramel and the Chinese words say its a milk candy. The flavour is subtle and tasty.
These frozen treats are very popular during the summer. On a hot summer day, you’ll be glad that there are so many 7-11’s around the country.
What are you going to try from 7-Eleven in Taiwan?
Does my list of top 10 food in 7-11’s in Taiwan pique your interest? They are, by far, some of the best convenience food I’ve ever had.
And if you find other unique food items at a Taiwanese 7-11, let me know in the comments below.
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Where to go in Taiwan
Wondering which city you should visit in Taiwan? Check out my solo traveller’s guides to the best cities to visit in Taiwan.