While Taipei may be most famous for their night markets, a traditional Taiwanese breakfast is also a must when visiting the city. One of the most famous breakfast joints is Fu Hang Dou Jiang, located on the second floor of the Hua Shan Market.
The Hua Shan Market is located in a non-descript building and as tourists who can’t read Chinese, we weren’t quite sure how we were going to find this place. However, like most popular restaurants in Asia, you’ll know you’re at the right place when you spot the enormous line. We approached a building with a line snaking around it. Not only does it go around the exterior of the building but it leads up a set of stairs and into the second floor food court. It moved surprisingly quick and we had our food within half an hour (which wasn’t too bad considering the line).
As you move up in the line, you’ll realize that Fu Hang Dou Jiang is quite the production. They have stations of people churning out their popular breakfast dishes. While they are located in a food court, they’ll be the only place open in the morning. Make sure you get here early. I believe they close up shop around 10am. They definitely won’t be open come lunch time.
Unfortunately for those who can’t read Chinese, there is no English menu. Thankfully, we were ushered over to the single server who speaks English. I recommend coming prepared with pictures on your phone of items you want to order to avoid any confusion. We did this quite often while travelling in Asia. I don’t know how we ever travelled without data (#firstworldproblems)!
If you’re only going to order one thing here, it has to be the Hou Shao Bing You Tiao Ji Dan which consists of a thick shao bing stuffed with eggs and a Chinese donut (“you tiao”). Fu Hang is famous for their shao bing (a type of Chinese flatbread) which you can see being prepared as you wait in line. The flatbread is made in a similar manner to naan – the dough is stuck onto the side of a cylindrical oven (like a tandoor oven) and baked.
While Fu Hang offers a thin and thick version, it’s their thick version that has made them famous. Crispy on the outside with a chewy and fluffy interior, the texture was reminiscent of naan bread. The flatbread was folded over a serving of scrambled eggs and a crispy Chinese donut. So delicious! But needless to say, it’s a very indulgent breakfast – tons of carbs and oil. After all, the Chinese donut is called “you tiao” in Chinese which translates into “oil stick”.
We also ordered a Fan Tuan which is essentially a glutinous rice ball stuffed with dried pork floss, preserved veggies and a Chinese donut (yes, the Chinese donut makes another appearance!). I loved the combination of the chewy rice, crunchy doughnut and sour pickled veggies – trust me, it’s a combination that tastes way better than it sounds! I wish I had ordered a couple more to snack on throughout the day.
The last item we shared was the Dou Jiang (aka a hot bowl of salty soy milk). Personally, I never liked this as a kid but thought I’d give it another shot since it was rare to see a customer leave the cashier without a bowl of this – it’s clearly a very popular item. The steaming bowl of soy milk is topped with sliced scallions and bits of Chinese donut. As you can probably tell by now, Chinese donuts are a breakfast staple in Taipei.
After a couple bites, I’ve concluded that it’s still not for me. I’m not a fan of soy milk in general and eating it in this thick curdled form just didn’t make it any better. But like I said, it’s a really popular dish here, so to each their own!
Don’t come here expecting your typical bacon and eggs for breakfast. What they serve here is so much better! Even if you don’t get a chance to visit Fan Hang, make sure you don’t leave Taipei without indulging in a traditional Taiwanese breakfast.
At a glance:
- Located on the 2nd floor of the Hua Shan Market (in the food court)
- You’ll know you’re at the right building when you see the enormous line (they’re notorious for the long queues)
- Specializes in traditional Taiwanese breakfast dishes
- Very carb-heavy
- Must-orders: Hou Shao Bing You Tiao Ji Dan (flatbread with eggs and a Chinese donut) and fan tuan (glutinous rice ball)
- Most customers order the dou jiang (hot salty soy milk) but it’s not my cup of tea
- Get here in the morning; they close before lunch time
Ratings (out of 5):
- Food: 4 stars
- Service: 3 stars
- Atmosphere: 2 stars