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If there’s one dish you need to try in Taiwan, it’s gotta be a hot bowl of beef noodles. After all, it is considered the national dish of the country.

While doing my research for our trip, Lin Dong Fang (林東芳牛肉麵) came up often and is highly regarded as one of the best beef noodle joints in Taipei. Long waits are not uncommon.

For those of you who can’t read Chinese, be warned, there’s no English signage or English menu, like most restaurants in Taipei. I recommend having a picture of the sign in Chinese on your phone so you’ll know you’re at the right place. Nobody seemed to speak fluent English either. The only words our server knew were “beef noodles” which did the trick!

Beef noodle soup in the making

Beef noodle soup in the making

Mike and I dropped by around midnight (Lin Dong Fang is open until 5am) for a late night snack and thankfully didn’t have to wait. It was also nice to eat the piping hot bowl of noodles a little later in the evening when it wasn’t 30+ degrees outside!

This no-frills, hole-in-the-wall noodle joint offers a number of cold side dishes in addition to beef noodles but we stuck to the noodles (mainly because we didn’t know how to order anything else!).

Lin Dong Fang Beef Noodles

Lin Dong Fang Beef Noodles

Here’s a look at their Beef Noodle Soup. I believe their signature is the half beef and half tendon noodles but again, we weren’t sure how to order it and just ate whatever they brought us.

The noodles came in a bowl of clear broth, different from the heavier spicy broths I’m used to. From what I’ve read, Lin Dong Fang uses Chinese herbs in their broth, giving it a bit of an herbal-y note. Personally, I prefer a heavier, spicy broth as I found the flavour of this broth to be very subtle. Good but subtle.

Beef Noodle Soup

Beef Noodle Soup

The dish consisted of sliced beef shank which was incredibly tender. Absolutely no complaints – great flavour with just the right amount of fat. The noodles were also spot-on. Cooked to a nice al dente, the thick noodles had a nice chew to them.

All tables are equipped with a container of “beef butter”, a mixture of chili oil and beef bone marrow. I added a bit into my broth for a nice kick.

Condiments including their famous "beef butter"

Condiments including their famous “beef butter”

Despite my preference towards spicy broths, I still thought this was a pretty great bowl of beef noodle soup – the beef and noodles were perfection. If you’re planning a trip to Taipei, Lin Dong Fang is a good bet to get your beef noodle fix!

At a glance:

  • Hole-in-the-wall joint known for serving one of the best bowls of beef noodle soup in Taipei
  • Serves a clear broth (personally, I prefer spicy); meat and noodles were perfection
  • No English signage/menus; servers speak limited English
  • Open until 5am in the morning; visit during off-peak hours to avoid the line

Ratings (out of 5):

  • Food: 3.5 stars
  • Service: 3 stars
  • Atmosphere: 2 stars

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