15+ Snacks in Taiwan that Make the Perfect Food Souvenirs

A white plate covered with Taiwanese snacks cut in half

When I first started living in Taiwan, I soon realized how important packaged snacks are. People frequently gift them on certain holidays, after traveling, or sometimes for no reason. Similar to Japan, the packages are often more beautiful than the snack itself.

When it comes to boxed snacks, just like street foods, you’ve got your everyday ones, and then there are some pilgrimage-worthy “famous” bakeries and shops with secret recipes going back for generations.

These “snack souvenirs” are the perfect addition to the usual Taiwan souvenirs I recommend buying.

I’m going to introduce over a dozen famous snacks and where to find them in Taiwan. I’ll then recommend my personal favorite traditional bakeries and snack shops in Taipei and how you can even take a class to make your own DIY pineapple cakes.

The Top Taiwan Snacks

Here are the most famous Taiwanese snacks which make for the perfect food souvenirs to take home from Taiwan.

Note for vegetarians: some traditional pastries in Taiwan contain lard. Always ask first if you prefer to avoid it. Ijysheng Bakery has a good selection of vegan baked items. Here’s how to ask for vegetarian or vegan food in Taiwan.

Pineapple Cakes

Dozens of individually packaged pineapple cakes on a shelf in a bakery in Taiwan
Pineapple cakes are Taiwan’s most famous snack

Pineapple cakes (鳳梨酥) are without a doubt Taiwan’s most famous snacks. If you don’t at least try one during your visit, you’re missing out on an important aspect of Taiwanese cuisine.

These rectangular cakes consist of pastry baked around a thick pineapple jam. Traditionally, wintermelon was also added to reduce the tartness, but in recent years there is a growing trend towards pure pineapple.

Two side by side images of pineapple cakes, each cut in half. The one on the left is more yellow inside and the one on the right is more brown inside
Wintermelon (left, Pan’s Cake) vs pure pineaple (right, SunnyHills)

ChiaTe Bakery (佳德) is considered the epitome of pineapple cakes. Its main bakery in Taipei has a minimum one-hour line, but you can order them online for hotel delivery or pickup at the airport. You can also find their pineapple cakes at 7-Elevens or grocery stores. The store has more variety, though.

Taipei LeeChi (台北犁記, here) is another contender for best pineapple cakes in Taipei, and minue the long line.

If you like a softer, sweeter cake like I do, then go for traditional ones with more wintermelon like Pan’s Cake (小潘蛋糕坊, here and here) in Banqiao, New Taipei City. If you prefer something more tart and fibrous, then choose a newer brand like SunnyHills (微熱山丘, here).  

Some brands will do a regular + a gourmet version (usually gourmet means pure pineapple) as well as a pineapple + egg yolk one. The latter are sweet and salty and y absolute favorite.

A Taiwanese pineapple cake cut in half to show the pineapple insides
ChiaTe’s pineapple cakes are perfectly balanced

I’ll cover what it’s like to visit each of these famous bakeries in the final section below.

Many other bakeries across Taiwan sell pineapple cakes. You can also find tons of them at Taoyuan International Airport and other airports when flying out, but prices will be higher than in the city.

Mochi

Mochi cakes covered in peanut powder inside a plastic bag
Michelin-rate mochi at Raohe Night Market

Mochi (麻糬 or “glutinous sticky rice cakes”) is another very popular traditional snack in Taiwan. It comes in two forms: ready-to-eat or as a packaged snack.

Traditionally, street vendors make the ready-to-eat kind. The machine they use makes a distinctive clicking noise. It is served cool and usually coasted in peanut and/or sesame powder.

Here’s a famous traditional mochi vendor in Taipei and another Michelin rated one in Raohe Night Market.

A hand holding up a half-eaten ball of mochi with taro paste inside
Ready-to-eat mochi with taro in Hualien

In bakery chains such as IJySheng (一之軒), you can also find larger ready-to-eat balls of mochi stuffed with red bean, taro, peanut, sesame, or other fillings.

Yilan and especially Hualien are the best places in Taiwan to buy mochi as a packaged snack. The two counties are famous for their flavored mochi, with flavors like melon, strawberry, taro, and more. They are smaller balls which usually come individually wrapped and may or may not contain jam in the middle.

A hand holding up three colorful little mochi balls (yellow, green, and red)
Colorful mochi balls from Hualien (sold in a individual packages suitable for taking home)

I especially recommend the mochi at Tzen-Chi Mochi Zhongshan Store (曾記麻糬中山門市) near Dongdamen Night Market in Hualien city. They have both ready-to-eat and packaged types (see the two pictures above).

In Yilan, there’s even a DIY mochi making experience available.

Nougat

Three plastic packages standing upright with mango nougat inside
Mango nougat at Salico

Growing up in Canada, I’d always heard of nougat but we seldom eat it unless its inside a chocolate bar. We prefer sweeter treats like fudge.

But nougat (牛軋糖) is crazy popular in Taiwan. I think part of the appeal is that it doesn’t melt even in the summer in Taiwan. It just gets slightly softer and more delicious. It is also several times less sweet than fudge.

Because of my North American sweet tooth, it took me a long time to get into nougat. But now as I get older and prefer less sweet things, I’ve finally fallen in love with it.

A single piece of brown colored nougat in a little unwrapped wrapper
Honey black tea nougat from Cherry Grandfather

You may come across nougat vendors in daytime food markets or night markets, where it is sold as little logs.

For a snack souvenir variety to take home, Salico (大黑松小倆口, order online for hotel delivery), Sugar & Spice (糖村, order online for hotel delivery), and Cherry Grandfather (櫻桃爺爺) sell the best ones.

Salico is a traditional bakery near Ximending, while the other two are chains with multiple locations across Taiwan.

The honey scented black tea nougat (蜜香紅茶) from cherry grandfather is the best nougat I’ve ever tried, while the mango one at Salico and matcha from any brand are great, too.

Nougat Crackers

Close-up of two nougat crackers on a white plate
Delicious nougat crackers from ChiaTe

At some point, some culinary freak decided to squish a layer of sweet nougat between two salty, green onion-flavored soda crackers. The result, called nougat crackers (牛軋餅), was magical.

I didn’t believe it for years, as I watched my students pound these things during the breaks at school. The combination seemed weird to me, so was never willing to sacrifice my valuable stomach space to try one.

Only recently did I finally taste one and I was an instant convert. I’m actually a big fan of salty-sweet combinations (hence why I love pineapple cakes with egg yolk), and this was far better than I had imagined. The crispy + chewy textures work so well together.

Two rows of boxes of nougat crackers on a display shelf
Nougat crackers at Cherry Grandfather

The nougat cracker in question was none other than ChiaTe’s (the same brand that does the most famous pineapple cakes in Taiwan). It was so good that I can’t imagine any other brand (and there are many) does them as well.

But some research informs me that Cherry Grandfather, Salico, Sugar & Spice, IJySheng, and Kong Kee (港記酥皇) all do their own versions. You can also try Jia Vin Bakery (佳賓餅家, with locations in Jiufen and Yongkang street) for some unique coffee flavored ones.

According to my wife, Taiwanese families often enjoy them as a Lunar New Year snack, but of course they are widely available year-round.

Hearties Real Tea Popcorn

A white bowl filled with popcorn, green colored on the left half and brown on the right half
Baozhong (left) and oriental beauty (right) oolong tea popcorn

To balance all these traditional snacks, I’m throwing in a modern one. I recently discovered and tried Taiwanese tea-flavored popcorns by Hearties and fell in love with them.

I’m a huge Taiwanese tea nerd, so it’s always fun to find foods infused with Taiwanese tea flavors. I absolutely loved the Oriental Beauty (東方美人) and Wenshan Pouchong (文山包種) flavors. They really tasted like those teas!

A young girl holding up a pack of hearties real tea popcorn, with a yellow wall behind her
My daughter could be a mascot for this popcorn!

Celiacs will be happy to learn these popcorns are 100% gluten-free. One kind, vegan cheese foam green tea, is the only vegan one. If you’ve never heard of this before, it is based on a popular drink in Taiwan with has a cream cheese-like foam layer on top of an iced tea.

The company offers free shipping anywhere in Taiwan or you can stop by their shop near Tonghua Night Market to pick up a few bags.

Overall, these make for a great Taiwanese snack souvenir, whether you are a tea fan or just want to avoid the heaviness of most other traditional snacks.

Sun Cakes & Wife Cakes

A white plate with two round cakes on it, each cut in half.
Sun cake (left) and wide cake (right)

Sun cakes (太陽餅) and wife cakes (老婆餅) are two traditional Taiwanese pastries. Taiwanese snack connoisseurs may strongly disagree with me on this, but they don’t seem very different to me.

Both are round, thin, flaky pastries with a soft sugary layer inside. I’ve taste-tested them side by side – sun cakes are a little flakier, poofier, and more floury on the outside. Wife cakes are usually a touch thinner, softer, and often have little holes poked on the top.

The exterior of an old red brick building with Mandarin characters indicating that it is the Taichung Sun Cake Museum
Sun Cake Museum in Taichung

I also have to admit, these just aren’t my favorite Taiwanese snack. They are just too dry and floury for me – with some hot Taiwanese tea, they are more palatable.

Sun cakes originated in Taichung, so you can find tons of sun cake shops and even a Sun Cake Museum (全安堂台灣台中太陽餅博物館, here).

We visited the museum recently and found it was nothing special, but we had a great experience buying sun cakes A-Min Shi Sun Cake Shop (阿明師老店太陽堂, here).

A metal baking tray covered in round sun cakes
Fresh sun cakes straight out of the oven at Ah-Min Shi Sun Cakes in Taichung

In Taipei, you can get a free sun cake sample at Ruyi Sunny Cake Kaifeng Store (如邑堂 台北開封店, here) in Ximending and decide for yourself if you like them!

As for wife cakes, Ruiyi Sunny Cake has samples of them, too, so you can even try them side-by-side like I did. ChiaTe, Lee Chi, and other traditional bakeries also carry them.

Moon Cakes

Close up of two Taiwanese moon cakes in front of two glasses of tea
Moon cakes are steeped in tradition

No other Taiwanese snack is more associated with a specific festival than moon cakes and mid-autumn festival (AKA moon festival). The tradition has origins going back a staggering 3000 years.

Putting aside all that history, it took me years to actually like moon cakes. They were probably the first traditional pastry I tried when I first came to Taiwan in 2008. Only two weeks into my first semester as a teacher in Taiwan, I received over 10 boxes them from my students’ parents.

A display at the front of a bakery with several stacked moon cakes inside
Moon cakes at Salico

Moon cakes vary a lot in shape and size. They range from little two-bite pucks to literal pie-sized cakes several inches thick. Their ingredients vary widely, too – you can find anything from lotus seed, green bean, taro, or red bean paste to nuts, whole salted egg yolks, and even meat.  

But all of them, even the smallest ones, are typically very dense, calorie heavy, and filling. They are more like a meal than a snack. Every year at Moon Festival, I would receive so many of these things, which I didn’t even really like, that I had to regift them.

A wooden tray with moon cakes on it, another white plate with more which are cut in half, and some cups of tea behind
Enjoying moon cakes during Moon Festival

But at some point over my years in Taiwan, something strange happened – I actually started to like and even crave them. I think that moderation is key, and having a family to share them with you helps.

The best time to buy moon cakes is obviously around Moon Festival in autumn. At that time, visit any bakery in the city to find them. Major 5-star hotels like Okura Prestige and Shangri-la will do their own branded ones which are often unique and quite good. These hotels also make their own brands of pineapple cakes which are usually excellent, too.

Throughout the year, bakeries like Salico, Leechi, ChiaTe, and so on will also carry a limited supply of moon cakes.

Lemon Cakes

A bright yellow lemon-shaped cake on top of its yellow wrapper
Lemon cake from If House in Taichung

If you’re a citrus fan, then you may want to seek out some of Taiwan’s lemon cakes (檸檬蛋糕). These vibrant yellow cakes are more like a North American cake (think birthday cake) coated in lemon-flavored icing.

Taichung is also a hot spot for lemon cakes. We enjoyed the ones we purchased at If House (一福堂老店 or “Yi Fu Tang” here) in Taichung city center, which also happened to be a few doors down from the sun cake shop I recommended in the sun cake section above.

A stack of boxes of lemon cakes on a counter in a bakery, with a woman beside it piling more of them, and more stacks at the back
If House bakery in Taichung

Again my North American taste buds prevent me from really loving these…If I’m going to eat cake, it needs to be very moist and deadly sweet, with about three times the icing. These Taiwanese cakes come close for me because I do love lemon, but just don’t quite cut it. They are cute, though, because they actually look like lemons!

I’ve also seen similar lemon cakes at IJySheng bakery chain across the country.  

A Taiwanese lemon cake cut perfectly in half on a white plate
Inside a lemon cake

Fruit Jellies

Some large boxes of passion fruit jellies with yellow strings for carrying them hanging on the sides
Passionfruit jellies at Salico

While they’re more of an everyday snack that you buy at the grocery store rather than seek out a famous shop, fruit jellies (果凍) are extremely popular in Taiwan. They are also my daughter’s single favorite snack in Taiwan.

Wang Wang Fruit Jelly (旺旺果凍) is a classic Taiwanese jelly brand that you can find in any chain grocery store. They come in little round cups that you pop into your mouth as well as larger drinkable packs.

A box of plum jellies with Mandarin words on the side and pictures of the jellies
Plum jellies in Ximending

A few traditional snack shops, such as Salico and Kong Kee in Ximending, also sell them.

If you’re bringing a souvenir snack home for anyone with younger kids, these are usually a winner. However, we find that our Asian supermarkets back home stock tons of them, so we never bother carrying them back.

Sachima

Some packages of sachima on a shelf
Sachima with raisins

Sachima (薩其馬) is another traditional Taiwanese snack food with origins in Manchuria (northeastern China).

This popular snack consists of little strips of fried batter bound together with a stiff sugar syrup. I’ve always considered it like Asia’s version of North American rice crispy squares. Compared to ours, these are a little less sweety and chewy because of the lack of marshmallows.

The classic sachima that you can find at any Taiwanese grocery store are softer and loved by young children and adults alike. They are always rectangular and usually individually wrapped in see-through plastic.

A hand holding up a package of sachima called Taroko
Hualien-style sachima

Meanwhile, in Hualien you can find a variety that’s a little harder and more tightly packed. I recommend the Taroko brand sold at Fengshing Bakery (豐興餅舖中華店, here), which has been making them since 1928.

ChiaTe and Hsin Tung Yang (the dried meats store, see below) also make their own takes on sachima.

Meat Floss, Paper, & Jerky

Two packages of dried meat jerky with Mandarin words on them
Typical Taiwanese meat jerky

Meat floss (肉鬆), meat paper (肉紙), and meat jerky (肉乾) are three popular types of dried meats in Taiwan. They are often but not always sweet.

Meat floss is usually made with pork but there’s also a fish and even vegetarian version. Taiwanese add it to almost anything – congee, sushi, sandwiches, bread, and more. My kids love the stuff and eat it like candy.

Meat paper is what it sounds like – very thin strips of dried meat. Meat jerky can come in chunks, sticks, or cubes. Both of these are usually made from pork or beef.

A shop with the words 快車肉乾 at the top, sliding glass doors, and many packaged dried meats on the shelves
Kuai Che dried meats shop

Dried seafoods are also very popular in Taiwan. You’ll see (and smell!) them at most seafood harbors, traditional food markets, and grocery stores in Taiwan. Dried squid, cuttlefish, or squid stripes are very popular.

Two very common chain stores, Kuai Che (快車肉乾, website) and Hsin Tung Yang (新東陽, website) specialize at all kinds of dried meats. You can find them in major cities across Taiwan and even at Taoyuan International Airport.

Make sure you check first whether you are allowed to carry meat back to your country. You are NOT allowed to bring any meat into Taiwan, but you can take it out.

Dried Tofu

Two plastic packs of Taiwanese dried tofu (dougan) side by side, an orange one on the left and yellow one on the right
Dougan available at 7-Elevens in Taiwan

Dried tofu (豆乾 or dougan) is the vegetarian answer to meat jerky.

The English translation “dried tofu” is a little misleading. The tofu is not really “dry” – as you can see in the pic below they are actually often a little saucy or wert. Taiwanese also refer to noodles in sauce as “dry” to differentiate them from noodles in soup.

Dougan refers to several types of tofu, including firm tofu cakes you buy at the grocery store for cooking, rubbery Hakka versions sold as street food snacks, and beef-jerky like ones you can buy as packaged snacks at 7-Eleven.

Looking straight down at half a dozen metal vats, each filled with dried tofu chunks in sauce
Dried tofu in Shilin Night Market

For amazing Dougan to eat on the spot, try this stall in Shilin Night market or Hakka markets like Neiwan Old Street in Hsinchu and Nanzhuang Old Street in Miaoli.

As a food souvenir to take home, go for the packaged, beef-jerky-like variety. These are usually coated in a sweet honey or barbecue syrup (as opposed to China, where packaged Dougan is almost always spicy).

They are dessert-like and highly addictive. The ones two photos above are available at 7-Elevens in Taiwan, while supermarkets carry several other brands.

Instant Noodles

A collage of 8 different types of instant noodles from Taiwan
My top-8 instant noodle brands in Taiwan

Who doesn’t love instant noodles? Even when our luggage space is limited and every square inch counts, we still usually lug home at least a few boxes or packs of instant noodles.

That’s because Taiwanese instant noodles are just SO DAMN GOOD! Here’s a run-down of some of the most common ones (listed in order from the photo above (clockwise from top-left):

  • Weili Noodles (維力 炸醬麵) This is me and my wife’s absolute favorite Taiwanese instant noodles. The brand is iconic and nothing beats their taste. You can even buy tins of just the sauce at supermarkets. The green version is vegetarian.
  • Wei Wei A (味味A): Their chicken ribs noodles (排骨雞麵) are another Taiwanese classic
  • Man Han Big Meal (滿漢大餐): These paper bowl noodles come with packets of real meat inside. Flavors include spicy beef noodles and chili pork.
  • Ah-Q (阿Q) For a non meaty-option, Ah-Q’s seafood instant noodles has been my go-to for years.  
  • Su Piao Xiang (素飄香) all-vegetarian (vegan) instant noodles, regular (green) or spicy (red), available in paper bowls at 7-Eleven or regular packages.
  • TTL Huadiao Chicken Noodles (台酒TTL 花雕雞麵): Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor makes these, hence the little packet of cooking liquor inside
  • Lai Yi Ke (來一客): When you want a smaller portion, these come in the smaller paper cups rather than huge bowls
  • Science Noodles (科學麵): Universally loved by kids in Taiwan, these are little packages of instant noodles meant to be crushed up and eaten dry.

You can find the paper bowl ones at convenience stores, but to be more efficient with luggage space, buy the normal packaged versions at at grocery store.

Iron Eggs

Rows of packages of iron eggs for sale in Tamsui
Iron eggs, a delicious Tamsui specialty

Iron eggs (鐵蛋) are a unique specialty that originated in Tamsui district of New Taipei City.

The story goes that she accidentally invented them when she recooked some soy sauce eggs too many times. The eggs became black and rubbery but were quite delicious.

You can now purchase packs of these in Tamsui, supermarkets, and convenience stores across the country. They come in different flavors and can be made with regular eggs or smaller quail eggs. They are really good!

Milk Candy

A small yellow box of milk candies with the name written in white Mandarin characters on it
Taiwanese traditional milk candy

One classic Taiwanese candy that you can find in convenience stores and grocery stores across the country is milk candy (牛奶糖). Mention or show it to any Taiwanese and it will bring up fond memories of their childhood.

Milk candy has stood the test of time, as even my kids today still love the stuff. We always bring a few packs home on our Taiwan trips.

D*ck Cakes

A sign for a chocolate cake shaped like a penis with a little penis cartoon character licking it
It is what it is…

There’s no hidden meaning here. These are literally just cakes shaped like huge c*cks. They’ve been sold for ages by vendors in Shilin Night Market, Raohe Night Market, and Ximending.

I’ve never actually had the balls (no pun intended) to buy one of them and check whether they are actually good. But if you need a fun and surprising snack souvenir for someone back home, there you go.

Read my guides to Ximending, Shilin Night Market, and Raohe Night Market to find out exactly where the vendors are.

A row of boxes and cakes on display, all shaped like penises
At least they are wearing underwear…

Best Snack Shops and Bakeries in Taipei

The below are the five best traditional bakery experiences I’ve had in Taipei.

ChiaTe Bakery

A long line of people standing in front of ChiaTe Bakery in Taipei
Typical morning line for ChiaTe Bakery
Looking down a long line of people on a street in Taipei for a famous bakery
Line for ChiaTe stretching down the street

As the most famous bakery in the entire country, ChiaTe (佳德鳳梨酥, here on Nanjing East Road, website) inevitably draws a line. A very long one. I recently went on a weekday morning and had to wait a full hour to get in.

So was it worth it? For me, yes and no. Yes, because you can find several special ChiaTe items inside that you can’t find anywhere else. For example, I found these special strawberry and melon versions of pineapple cake which I’ve never seen before.

A tray with varies packaged pastries from ChiaTe on it
Some strawberry cakes, melon cakes, and other interesting goodies I scored at ChiaTe

The store also carries nougat crackers, wife cakes, moon cakes, lotus seed yolk pastries, jujube pastries, mochi cakes, and cheesecakes, just to name a few.

While I only purchased a few random samples, many people in the line in front of me were buying so many huge boxes of items that they couldn’t even carry them by themselves.

The payment till in ChiaTe Bakery, with one customer standing at it shot from behind, and many stacks of pastry boxes beside the counter
Stacks of pastries at the counter of ChiaTe

Also yes because there’s something about waiting in line for a while (a way of life in Taiwan!) that makes it feel more special or VIP when you finally get your turn. The pictures of all the pastries on the windows outside seriously stir your cravings as you’re waiting.

On the other hand, no, because I don’t really think any snack is worth waiting a full hour for. Also no because you can purchase ChiaTe pineapple cakes in so many other other places, including many 7-Elevens, supermarkets, and you can even order them online.

In the end, you decide, but don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Shelves filled with pastries and a few customers inside ChiaTe Bakery
Inside ChiaTe bakery

Taipei LeeChi

A large table inside a bakery shop, covered with packaged pastries for sale, some fancy orange lights above, a few customers shopping around, and staff member standing on the right side
Taipei Leechi has classy vibes

If you want to visit an exceptional traditional bakery but don’t want to wait in the long line for ChiaTe, then I recommend Taipei LeeChi (台北犁記, here, website) instead.

LeeChi is another household name in Taiwan, dating all the way back to 1894. In my opinion their pineapple cakes are just about on par with with ChiaTe’s. They come in a smaller sized one and a gourmet pure pineapple one.

But for me, LeeChi’s egg yolk pineapple cake is honestly the definition of perfection.

Boxes filled with individually packages snacks on display in Leechi Bakery in Taipei
Pineapple cakes and other pastries

The shop at LeeChi feels the fanciest of any of the traditional bakeries I’ve been to. And the best part – there was no line when I went. I could see there maybe being a short line at peak times, but nothing like ChiaTe’s.

Besides their very famous pineapple cakes, LeeChi’s most popular items include mung bean cakes, moon cakes, and wife cakes.

SunnyHills

The exterior of SunnyHills pineapple cake shop, with lots of trees in front of it
SunnyHills is in Minsheng Community, a lovely neighborhood with lots of trees

SunnyHills (微熱山丘, here, website) is a relative newbie on the block when it comes to pineapple cakes, but they have gained fame quickly. Their signature pineapple cakes are longer than usual and made with 100% pineapple.

To be honest, everyone seems to love these more than I do. The current thinking in Taiwan, especially among younger people, is that pure pineapple is superior to those traditional ones with added wintermelon.

However, I find SunnyHills pineapple cakes to be too tart, fibrous, and dry for my taste. I’d rather have ones with wintermelon!

One packages pineapple cake with the words SunnyHills on it on a tissue paper on a small round wooden tray on a table, with a small cup of tea also on the tray
One free pineapple cake and cup of tea for every visitor

Having said that, it’s worth the trek out to their Minsheng community headquarters for the experience itself. Every visitor to the shop gets to enjoy a free cup of tea and an entire SunnyHills pineapple cake, with no pressure to buy after.

If you do buy some to take home, they are beautifully packaged, boxed, and come with a cute, complimentary cloth bag. Unsurprisingly, they are the most expensive pineapple cakes I’ve encountered, at TWD 300 for only 6 or 50 a piece (other brands are usually 30 to 45 a piece).

An open box of SunnyHills pineapple cakes showing six individually wrapped cakes and a price tag at the bottom that indicates TWD 300
One box of cakes

Besides pineapple cakes, the only other snack I saw for sale there were banana waffle cookies – their main thing is really just the pineapple cakes.

If you happen to be driving in central Taiwan, you can also visit the Sunny Hills Nantou Store. In Kaohsiung, there’s a location here at Pier 2 Art Center.

A hand holding up a SunnyHills cloth take-away bag beside the SunnyHills store sign on the exterior of the building
Cute cloth take-away bags

Ruiyi Sunny Cake Taipei

Looking down at 5 little samples of pastries and a paper cup of tea on a white and yellow table top
The free samples I got at Ruiyi Sunny Cakes in Ximending

If you don’t know exactly what you like and want to try some items without committing to buy, then Ruiyi Sunny Cake Taipei Kaifeng Store (如邑堂台北開封店, here, website) in Ximending is your place.

Like the previous entry, they provide free samples with no pressure to purchase. When you enter and sit, they’ll give you a little cup of tea and around 4 little samples of their products. I got a piece of sun cake, pineapple cake, taro pastry, and nougat. They told me I could request to try anything else off their menu of 15 items.

None of the items I tried necessarily blew me away, but it’s a great option if you’re new to Taiwanese snacks and just want to try them first.

Other Snack Shops Worth Visiting

Here are a few other traditional bakeries and snack shops that I recommend:

Some boxes of fruit mochi cake on a display shelf in a snack shop
Cakes at Cherry Grandfather
  • Cherry Grandfather (櫻桃爺爺, website): A nicer chain with some of the best nougat available, walnut candies, and more. Many locations, including Ximending.
  • Salico (大黑松小倆口, here, website): A traditional bakery with decades of fame, selling nougat, nougat crackers, moon cakes, pineapple cakes, fruit jellies, sandwich cake, and more. Conveniently located just outside of Ximending.
A row of colorful buildings in Taipei, pink on the left, yellow in the middle with a 7-11 at the bottom, and Salico bakery in purple on the right, with blue sky above
Salico is the purple building on the right
  • Kong Kee (港記酥皇, here, website) A small traditional bakery just around the corner from Ruiyi Sunny Cake in Ximending. Their #1 product is mung bean cakes, which are really delicious, but they must be kept cold so they aren’t suitable for taking home as souvenirs.

    They also have pineapple cakes, fruit jellies, sun cakes, nougat, and other pastries.
  • Sugar & Spice (糖村, here in Ximending, flagship store here in Taichung, website): Sugar & Spice is a well-known chain famous for its nougat, nougat crackers, cookies, crepes, and various other cakes.
A stack of many long, red colored Pan's Cake pineapple cake boxes
Pan’s Cake boxes
  • Pan’s Cake (小潘蛋糕坊, here and here, website) This very traditional pineapple cake shop has two locations in Banqiao (New Taipei City). Their signature pineapple cakes are the most wintermelon-heavy ones I’ve every tried (which I personally love).

    Their pineapple cake with egg yolk is my favorite. You can buy whole boxes of 15 fresh ones to go or packages to take home. You can sometimes find them at 7-Eleven, too.
Several shelves filled with boxed cakes at Sunmerry bakery, with the yellow shop sign visible outside at night
Various cakes at Sumerry
  • Sunmerry (聖瑪莉, here and here, website): This bakery is conveniently located at the start of Yongkang Street, in Ximending, and others. Their pineapple cakes are tiny and bite-sized but not my favorite. Their packaging is very colorful and cute, and they also sell mango cakes, nougat crackers, and freshly baked pastries.
  • IJySheng (一之軒, website): A super common bakery chain across Taiwan. They are best known for their freshly baked breads and pastries – you can even usually find a schedule on the wall indicating what time specific items will come out of the oven.

    They also sell ready-to-eat mochi balls and some packaged snacks like pineapple cakes and lemon cakes, but the quality doesn’t match other brands. IJySheng’s packaged snacks have labels indicating which are vegan.
The outside sign of Ijysheng Bakery
Ijysheng Bakery in Shida Night Market

Make Your Own Pineapple Cakes at Kuo Yuan Ye

Vertical image of a boy wearing a cooking apron, smiling at camera, sitting at a table making pineapple cakes, holding one of them up which is stuck to the inside of his palm
My son making pineapple cakes at Kuo Yuan Ye

For something extra fun, you can even make your own pineapple cakes at Kuo Yuan Ye (郭元益糕餅博物館, here) in Taipei. The two hour DIY class can be conducted in multiple languages (when we went there were guides in Mandarin, English, Korean, and Japanese). It’s aimed at kids but adults can also do it.

Besides learning how to make the cakes from scratch (except the pineapple/wintermelon jam, which was pre-made for us), there’s a small cultural museum on site and chance to dress up in traditional taiwanese clothing while the pastries are baking.

At the end, you get to take home the box of cakes that you made and each person gets TWD 50 towards more pastries in their pastry shop. There must be one adult per kid in the class.

A display with plastic models of four different cakes cut open to see what's inside and packs of those same cakes for sale on a shelf behind
Cakes for sale in the Kuo Yuan Ye shop

2 thoughts on “15+ Snacks in Taiwan that Make the Perfect Food Souvenirs”

  1. You have me so excited for my first visit to Twain! My daughter is moving to Taipei in September 2024. Do you have any videos of your recommendations?

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