Prior to our visit to Taipei, I had no idea breakfast in Taiwan is such a big deal. After our experience at Fu Hang Dou Jiang, we were hooked. While looking for another breakfast joint to check out, we came across Yonghe Dou Jiang, which came highly recommended.
Apparently, they are the two most popular Taiwanese breakfast joints in Taipei. So, you really can’t go wrong with either of them. Yonghe Dou Jiang is located in the Da’an district, a few blocks south of Da’an subway station. Look for the bright red sign on the corner. While they don’t have any English signage, you can easily identify it by its open kitchen pumping out fried dough sticks and shao bing, waiting to be eaten.
There are several small tables inside the restaurant but they also offer a number of folding tables and chairs outside.
Unlike Fu Hang which closes before noon, Yonghe Dou Jiang is open 24 hours so you can get your breakfast fix anytime. Service is quick, efficient and relatively friendly. They provided us with an English menu but there are several caveats to this: 1) the translations are terrible (for example, I believe they referred to a fried dough stick as a “frying pan”) and 2) while the menu had pictures, they were in black and white and were in the size of thumbnails…not to mention that the menu was really faded. Instead of using the menu, we just pointed to what other folks were eating.
First up was the Shao Bing Youtiao which consisted of a thin wheat flatbread topped with sesame seeds and stuffed with a fried dough stick (aka “youtiao” which translates into “oil sticks”). So yes, carbs on carbs for breakfast!
I really enjoyed the fried dough stick here as it wasn’t too greasy and tasted quite light and airy. The shao bing was also quite good but personally, I preferred the thicker version at Fu Hang which had a nice chewy texture to it. This one was quite crispy and flakey but didn’t really have much of a textural contrast from the crisp dough stick, making this breakfast dish on the dry side. I recommend ordering this with egg in it.
My favourite Taiwanese breakfast dish is the Fantuan (aka rice rolls) which consists of sticky rice wrapped around a fried dough stick, pork floss and pickled veggies. I enjoyed the sweet and savoury pork floss and loved the chewy rice paired with the crunchy dough stick. It may sound like a strange combination but boy does it ever work. A definite must-order!
To complete our meal, we ordered the Dan Bing. Initially, we had only ordered the shao bing and fantuan but after seeing customer after customer ordering the dan bing, we caved and purchased one too. What a damn good decision!
The dan bing was made up of a thin pancake wrapped around a fried egg. The pancake, which was reminiscent of roti canai but thinner, was slightly crisp and had a nice chewiness to it. We saw people dipping each bite in soy sauce so we did the same. It was another fantastic dish from Yonghe Dou Jiang.
Taiwanese breakfasts clearly aren’t for the health-conscious but they sure hit the spot. Yonghe Dou Jiang is open 24 hours so there’s no excuse to skip out on this killer breakfast joint!
At a glance:
- Youghe Dou Jiang and Fu Hang are the most popular breakfast joints in Taipei
- Located in the Da’an district, a short walk from the Da’an subway station
- Open 24 hours; Fast and efficient
- Staff speak limited English; they have an English menu but it doesn’t translate well
- Seating available both inside and outside
- Must-orders: fantuan (rice rolls) and dan bing (pancake-wrapped fried egg)
Ratings (out of 5):
- Food: 4 stars
- Service: 3 stars
- Atmosphere: 2 stars