Taipei is an incredibly vegetarian-friendly city. No matter where you are in town, there’s always a vegetarian restaurant nearby. In fact, Happy Cow lists a staggering 370 vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Taipei!
Now that’s a lot to choose from – so where to even begin? In this article, I’ve handpicked some of the most popular plant-based Taipei restaurants, including my personal favorites from 10+ years of living in the city and eating mostly vegetarian.
These will include my personal top 3, the best traditional Taiwanese vegetarian restaurants, some Asian vegetarian ones, Western vegan and vegetarian, and finally, the best vegan ice cream shops.
For night markets, head over to my 90+ recommended vegetarian night market stalls in Taipei and across Taiwan!
Tips for Eating Vegetarian and Vegan Food in Taipei
- See my guide to vegetarian and vegan food in Taiwan for information like how to say you are vegetarian/vegan in Taiwan, vegetarian food at convenience stores, and other tips
- You can often find vegetarian options close to you by using Happy Cow or inputting “vegetarian” or “素食” into GoogleMaps.
- Traditional vegetarian buffet restaurants are very common at lunchtime. You take a plate or to-go box, choose items with tongs, and pay by weight. They’ll ask you if you want a bowl of rice when you pay. You get the choice of white rice (白飯 or baifan) or a healthier one like 5 grain rice (五穀飯 or wugufan) or purple rice (紫米飯 or zimifan)
- These restaurants often prominently display the character for vegetarian (素) or the Buddhist swastika (卍) on their sign at the front (you can see both in the above image).
- Join this Taipei vegetarian Facebook group for more tips and local recommendations.
My Top-3 Taipei Vegan/Vegetarian Restaurants
Here are my three personal favorite plant-based restaurants in Taipei.
Yang Shin Vegetarian Restaurant
Yang Shin Vegetarian Restaurant (養心茶樓蔬食飲茶, GoogleMaps) gets my vote as the best vegetarian restaurant in Taipei. The restaurant features a huge menu of dim sum and vegetarian versions of traditional Chinese/Taiwanese foods.
Here’s your chance to try vegetarian xiaolongbao (小籠包 or “soup dumplings”), Beijing duck, chow mein, and several other dishes that are not usually vegetarian.
The restaurant is casual/formal, with tablecloth tables and large 2F windows facing the street below. Like any dim sum place, it’s best to come with a small group so you can try more dishes.
For vegans, the menu has labels indicating which items have eggs or dairy. You’ll still have tons of options!
Vege Creek (蔬河) is a fun little chain of all-vegan luwei shops where you get to choose your own ingredients. Luwei (滷味) refers to various items braised in a fragrant broth.
Grab a basket or sack and a pair of tongs, then select whatever items you want. There are little metal tokens for the different types of noodles and leafy greens are picturesquely displayed on a wall like a hanging garden.
Take your items to the counter and they’ll prepare them in a delicious broth. At the end, add your own condiments, including seaweed which you may have to ask them to add for you.
There are half a dozen locations in Taipei, including the B1 Food Court of Taipei 101 (find it hidden near the entrance to Mia C’Bon supermarket) and the Departures Area (after check in) of Terminal T2 at Taoyuan International Airport.
This sit-down Japanese udon restaurant caters to business people working in the area + you vegan pilgrims from afar.
The menu features mains like cold or hot udon noodles and some especially interesting sides like black sesame tofu (which I highly recommend!), vegetarian tonkatsu, and tomato soaked in red wine.
Scan the QR code to order from your phone. And an added bonus: there’s a vegan bakery right next door!
Traditional Taiwanese Vegetarian
No matter where you are in Taipei, there is almost always a local vegetarian restaurant nearby. Expect mounds of tofu, gluten, and other mock meats, but there’s no shortage of greens and other fresh vegetables.
Minder (明德素食園) is a classic vegetarian buffet, where you load up a plate to stay or take-away box and pay by weight.
As far as vegetarian buffets go, this chain is a little nicer/cleaner than the typical local ones.
There are at least four locations in Taipei, mostly in malls, including the food court of QSquare (just north of Taipei Main Station) and Eslite Xinyi Store. Plug the Mandarin name into GoogleMaps to find the others.
Three To Vegetarian Restaurant
For the same type of buffet meal but more local (i.e. not in a mall), I recommend Three To Vegetarian (三來素食館, GoogleMaps) near Taipei Main Station and Ximending.
This place has the full spread and is very popular among locals. Don’t be surprised to find yourself sharing your table with a Buddhist monk or nun from the temple across the street.
At this one, you get an empty bowl when you pay and help yourself to the rice. Like most local veggie buffet shops, there’s also a free simple soup, which most people take at the end of the meal.
Another vegetarian restaurant I love near Taipei Main Station is Round Vegetarian (修圓素食, GoogleMaps). I eat here often due to the convenient location just a few minutes from the station, perfect for just before or after catching a train.
This is a super local vegetarian shop with Mandarin-only menu (use GoogleTranslate to scan the menu). Sit first, mark your order on the paper menu at the table, write your table number at the top, and hand it to the staff. Settle your bill at the end.
Most people order a main noodle soup (choice of 4 noodle types) and 1-2 small sides to go with it. Sides include steamed greens, tofu, and various veggie meats.
One stand-out side fish is the vegetarian oyster omelet (蚵仔煎, top of above pictures), which is made with mushrooms instead of oysters. It does have real eggs, so it is their only non-vegan item.
Another is the vegetarian version of rice tube pudding (筒仔米糕, left side of above pic), another very traditional Taiwanese dish that usually has meat.
Space Bao (宇宙生煎) is an amazing all-vegan pan fried dumplings (生煎包) shop. It used to be on Yongkang Street, which is known for its many excellent local restaurants. It was fun because you could order and pay at a large digital screen on the street, then your order would come out through a little window.
That shop unfortunately closed, and as of October 2023, their new location is now be open here. It’s on the fourth floor of the brand new Shinkong Mitsukoshi Diamond Towers mall.
They still do the same lemongrass (orange) and bamboo (white) pan fried buns, topped with the most delicious sauce. Definitely try both!
Delisoys (上善豆家, GoogleMaps) is another shop doing a wide range of veggie versions of Taiwanese and Chinese foods, with a more modern/creative menu.
Some interesting items here include vegetarian dumplings with crispy skin connecting them, sizzling hot plate tofu, vegetarian stinky tofu (yes, stinky tofu is often NOT vegetarian), and fried oyster mushrooms with Sichuan peppercorns.
The picture menu with English helps, and lacto-ovo / vegan items are labeled.
Laixin Vegetarian Handmade Dumplings
Dumplings in Taiwan almost always contain pork, even when they are called cabbage, leek, etc. Luckily we’ve now got Laixin Vegetarian Handmade Dumplings (來欣素食手工水餃, GoogleMaps), which does 100% vegan dumplings, noodles, and soups.
Not only can you get vegetarian dumplings here but also you actually get choices! These include cabbage (高麗菜), radish (蘿蔔絲), and bok choy (青江菜). You can buy them individually or by 10.
You can order the dumplings on their own or in a variety of soups, like soy sauce braised (紅燒), spicy (川味), miso (味增), and hot & sour (酸辣) soup.
Added bonus: the dumplings are colorful! It’s a short walk from Xingtian Temple.
Just because you’re in Taiwan, doesn’t mean you have to do Taiwanese. Here are a few non-Taiwanese Asian vegetarian restaurants that I love.
The Green Room
The Green Room (泰式蔬食, GoogleMaps) is an all-vegan Thai restaurant. Don’t expect super-authentic or very spicy Thai food here (there’s definitely some Taiwanese influence). But do expect an overall healthy and delicious home-cooked veggie food experience.
The basics are covered here, with curries, pad thai, and tom yam soup. They’ve also got some nice herbal teas, kombuchas, and smoothies.
My favorite part of this restaurant is the chill atmosphere. It’s cozy and inviting.
Po Lam Kopitiam
I enjoyed some interesting dishes like vegetarian deep fried fish skin, egg curry, and a barley drink.
They’ve got smaller snack options if you are night market hopping, like satay skewers, fried bananas, or vegetarian fried chicken, or full meal options like laksa and roasted goose bento.
Flavors of India
While you can always find lots of veg food on the menu at any Indian restaurant, Flavors of India (品·印度蔬食餐廳, GoogleMaps) is a dedicated all-vegetarian one.
They’ve got tandoor roasted paneer, Indian wraps, kofta, full thalis (set meals), and a long list of other items.
Western Vegan and Vegetarian
I have to admit that I don’t usually dine at Western vegan or vegetarian restaurants in Taiwan. I prefer local / Asian food when I eat out. When I’m missing Western food, I usually just make it myself at home.
Still, I can’t leave this whole category out, so here are some vegetarian and vegan restaurants that I always hear about in Taiwan vegetarian groups on Facebook. The first three are all-vegan.
- Ooh Cha Cha: Very popular all-vegan eatery started by a group of Californian and Taiwanese friends, with veggie burgers, sandwiches, bowls. Sustainability focused and community involved. Located in Guting, with branches in Banqiao (New Taipei City) and Hsinchu.
- Plants: Another US-style vegan spot highly recommended for dishes like falafel and hummus, chia pudding, vegan bibimpap. Dedicated to plant-based/vegan lifestyle.
- Loving Hut (愛家國際餐飲): All-vegan chain with pizzas, pasta, clay pot dishes, bibimpap, curries, coffee bar, and desserts. There are at least four branches in Taipei and 10+ across Taiwan, including Yilan and Kaohsiung.
- Miacucina: This is an Italian chain with around half a dozen locations in Taipei. I’ve never been, but I have non-vegetarian expat friends who even swear by it, so that must be a good sign. This one is all-vegetarian but vegan choices are more limited.
- Fruitful Food (果然匯): Here we have a vegetarian buffet, but the Western kind of buffet where it’s all-you-can-eat and a little fancier. It’s a mix of Western and Asian, with salad bar, vegetarian sushi, pasta, spicy tofu, fruit juices, grilled grapefruit, ice cream, and other desserts. It’s roughly 50/50 vegan/vegetarian.
Vegan Ice Cream Shops
We can’t leave out dessert, right? Here are a few all all-vegan ice creameries in Taipei.
Soypresso (二吉軒豆乳) is a soymilk soft serve ice cream chain with at least four branches in Taipei (search by the Mandarin name to find them).
They’ve also got douhua (tofu pudding), yogurt, sundaes, and soy milk by the bottle, all non-dairy of course. Their products are all made in house and premium quality – as long as you like the taste of soy milk!
Yongfu Ice Cream
Most traditional Taiwanese ice cream sold from old pushcarts and in night markets in Taiwan is in fact vegan. It still somehow tastes a little creamy, but is more like a Western sorbet than typical milk-based ice cream.
Yongfu Ice Cream (永富冰淇淋) in Ximending is good example and has been running since the end of WWII! Flavors include red bean, taro, strawberry, passionfruit, longan, and lemon.
Nice Cream is a hip spot doing all kinds of vegan desserts, like giant waffles with ice cream, gelato, and milkshakes. They’ve even got full sized ice cream cakes for your next birthday party! There are two locations in Taipei.