Living in Kaohsiung
The Love River or Ai River is a river in southern Taiwan. It originates in Renwu Township, Kaohsiung County, and flows 12 kilometers (8 miles) through Kaohsiung to Kaohsiung Harbor. Love River is the spine of Kaohsiung, playing a similar role to the River Thames of London. It is of great cultural significance to the people of Kaohsiung and plays an important role in its economy and tourism. A riverside park, the Love River Park, runs along the riverbank in downtown Kaohsiung City. A night market operates in the park, and there are three outdoor cafés, often with live bands. Boats which hold about fifteen people take tourists up and down the river. The scenery is enhanced by attractive city structures near the river, such as the Holy Rosary Cathedral, Kaohsiung Bridge, and the Kaohsiung District Court. Cultural events such as concerts and Lantern Festival are often held by the river.
Lotus Pond (蓮池潭) is a popular tourist destination on the east side of Zuoying District in Kaohsiung City in southern Taiwan. Opened in 1951, it is famous for the lotus plants on the lake and for the temples which ring the lake. This lovely man-made lake is situated between kueishan (Turtle Mountain) and Panpingshan (Half-Level Mountain). Various Chinese-style structures located in and around the lake give it an intensely traditional Chinese flavor, to which a touch of mystery is added as night falls. The crowds of visitors here are especially thick during holiday periods. Some famous tourism spots nearby or on Lotus Lake are the Spring and Autumn Pavilions (春秋閣), the Dragon and Tiger Pagodas (龍虎塔), and the Confucian Temple (孔廟).
Originally named Cihou, Cijin is a long, narrow island that forms a natural breakwater protecting Kaohsiung Harbor. The island can be reached from the city either by ferry or through the Harbor Tunnel. This small but scenic island features an over 300-year-old Tienhou Temple, devoted to Matsu, Goddess of the Sea, which is designated as a third-grade national historic site. Cijin is also the only place in Taiwan where you can still ride a three-wheeled pedicab a risk shaw powered by a man dressed in traditional Chinese costume. Yet another favorite attraction here is fresh, delicious, and reasonably priced seafood.
The best way to describe Dashu is the rural suburbs. But for being on the outskirts of the city, Dashu contains some major tourist attractions, for example, EDA World, the largest outlet mall and tourist resort in Taiwan, FoGuangshan, the largest Buddhist monastery in Taiwan, and Jiutieqiao, the Old Railroad bridge, formerly the longest bridge in Asia… until it fell down.
Qiwei - Qishan
Qishan and Meinong have fantastic hiking trails that are close to town and very popular with local residents. From Qishan district starts a mountain range just over the river toward Meinong. The mountains line the border between Meinong and Shanlin districts and can be hiked from beginning to end. The entire hike would take you about four hours. From the Qishan side you can go to Qiwei Mountain (旗尾山). Cross the footbridge from McDonalds and turn left. Follow the road until you see a small scooter parking lot on your left and a big entrance way for the hiking trail. There are approximately 940 steps to the pavilion/resting spot at the top from Qiwei with fantastic views. From there just head east along the mountains for as long you want. Be forewarned that this is a mildly dangerous hiking trail. Sometimes there will be no more than a few ropes for support and many of the steps on the staircase are damaged from monsoons and earthquakes.
Lingshan – Meinong
Lingshan (靈山) is at just about the middle of the major mountain range between Qishan, Shanlin, and Meinong districts. If you want a longer hike, you can park your scooter at the bottom of the mountain and walk all the way up. If you prefer a shorter, but still challenging hike, drive up to the temple (GPS: 22.909305,120.519859) and then hike the rest of the way up. It should take you about 30 minutes to reach the viewing point and rest area. From the top you can enjoy the views and hike east or west along the range. Toward the west is Rentoushan (人頭山) that is reachable along the path behind the little temple at the rest area. Bring a stick with you because plenty of monkeys live here.
Shuangsi Tropical Viviparous Forest - Meinong
This is an easy to find destination. Just head into Meinong’s “downtown” and follow the signs for “Viviparous Forest” and “Yellow Butterfly Valley.” A scooter ride from Qishan should take you about 30 minutes. The Viviparous Forest is an easy hiking trail. A relic of Japanese colonization, the forest was originally a Japanese testing ground to see what animals and plants could survive in a Southern Taiwan climate. You can still find strange animals and plants here from all over the world, and contains the most diverse array of plant life in Taiwan. Once you’re done visiting, you can back track on the road you took to arrive and visit nearby Hakka tourist attractions like the Hakka Cultural Museum and Village (normally open on weekends, but check ahead online).
Traditional hand painted oil paper umbrella - Meinong
These shops are right off of the main road (中山路) in Meinong. From the Qishan bus station, it’s about a 20 min bike ride. You can also catch a bus from Kaohsiung main station which drops you off right in front of the Jing Zih Ting Umbrella Store (bus #8025 or 8035, bus stop: 雷音寺). Handmade oil-painted umbrellas are made out of paper and bamboo and are a staple of Meinong’s Hakka culture. They are a symbol of good luck and prosperity for Hakka people and were brought to Taiwan in the late 1800’s. Once a central export item to the Japanese, they are now used primarily as a decorative item. The friendly shopowners make them right in their shops and offer DIY lessons on the weekends. If you’d like to purchase one or learn about how these intricate umbrellas are made, visit these shops.
Address: Meinong Prosperity Paper Umbrella Store (美濃廣德興紙傘店) - No. 362, Sec. 1, Jhongshan Rd., Meinong Township, Kaohsiung County 843, Taiwan (R.O.C.) - Tel: 07-6810451.
Meinong Folk Village - Meinong
The Meinong Folk Village is a great place to get a taste of traditional Hakka culture. It’s located off the main street of Meinong (中山路), right next to the Sage restaurant (mentioned in the restaurant section). This place is a hot spot for tourists on the weekends and has just about everything you can think of when it comes to local Hakka culture. Perhaps the most prevalent mark of Hakka cultural influence in Taiwan is the vibrant Hakka flower pattern textiles, used to decorate storefronts, lanterns and paper umbrellas; you can see these textiles everywhere in the Folk Village. You can also find paper umbrellas, Hakka food and snacks, local produce, traditional Hakka clothing, and hand crafted souvenir shops. My favorite thing about this place is the little toy shop hidden in the back corners of the village owned by an old man who plays music with a broomstick and saw.
Address: No. 80, Lane 421, Sec. 2, Zhongshan Rd., Meinong Township, Kaohsiung County
Flower season - Meinong
Spring is a great time of the year to visit Meinong. Meinong farmers are commissioned by the government to transform their vacant plots into flower fields. From January to March, Meinong is covered with vast fields filled with colorful cosmos flowers.
Xinwei Scenic Bridge – Liugui District
If you’re ever heading to the Baolai/Bulao hot spring area or Maolin, be sure to check out the Xinwei Scenic Bridge (GPS: 22°53'32. 4"N 120°37'30. 9"E). It is easily accessible by car and scooter (Taiwan provincial highway 28, 45 kilometer mark) and by public transportation (catch bus # 8038 or 8025 from KH Main Station, bus stop: 糖部). The Xinwei scenic bridge is built in the shape of a purple crow butterfly and lights up at night, giving the illusion of a gigantic butterfly from a distance. Although it only takes about 15 minutes by foot to cross, its convenient location makes it the perfect scenic pit stop. The bridge extends across the Laonong Stream, linking Meinong and Liugui to Maolin and Pingtung. At the end of the bridge, you will see signs for Maolin National Scenic Area to your right and Boalai/Bulao hot spring areas to your left. Both places are great for biking and hiking or as a relaxing getaway.
Eating in Kaohsiung
Eating out in Kaohsiung is inexpensive, delicious, and convenient. Some ETAs enjoy cooking but be aware that powerful ovens like you’re used to are not widely available in Taiwan.
As a large city, Kaohsiung has many restaurant options and many different cuisines. Besides Chinese and Taiwanese food, Kaohsiung has many Thai, Japanese, and Korean options. "Western" food in Taiwan tends to differ from that of the U.S., but likewise, the U.S. certainly doesn't have soup dumplings, oyster omelets, and fried rice like those in Kaohsiung.
Name: Lee & Daughters
Address: 133 Ersheng 2nd Road, Kaohsiung
Favorite dish(es): Egg skillets (winter menu), Salmon Benedict French Toast (spring menu)
Review: Hands down our favorite brunch place in Kaohsiung! Owned by a team of sisters and specializing in the local organic ingredients, everything at this small brunch restaurant is handmade and amazingly delicious. Be prepared to wait, however, as it is very popular and seating is very limited, especially on the weekends. No reservations and no English menu available, but the staff is very helpful.
Address: No. 124, Xintian Road, Xinxing District, Kaohsiung City, 800
Favorite dish(es): Nachos, Taco Salad, Tortilla Chips
Review: Does Pancho’s have the best Mexican food you ever tasted? No. Does Pancho’s have the most authentic Mexican food you ever tasted? No. Does it have the best, authentic Mexican food at a convenient location in Kaohsiung? Yes. When you miss tortilla chips, when you want the crunchy goodness of an actual tortilla bowl, when you crave black beans served as a vegetable and not a desert, Pancho’s is the place.
Name: Gien Jia
Address: No. 107-1, Jinmen Street, Xinxing District, Kaohsiung City, 800
Favorite dish(es): Tiramisu, House Salad, Poached Chicken Pasta, Truffle Fries, French Bread
Review: Gien Jia could hold its own against an artisanal Italian place back in the States. It has a beautiful interior, solid drink menu, and Italian dishes made with fresh produce. The only caveats are that it is comparably expensive with comparably small portions. Very much like an artisanal Italian place back in the States.
Name: Ba Fang Yun Ji Dumping
Review: Ba Fang Yun Ji Dumpling is a dumpling chain restaurant with many locations. Notably there is one behind the Cultural Center. Its dumplings are cheap, fast, and delicious.
Name: Michino’s Diner
Address: 2 locations: 7 Minzu 2nd Road or 79 Datong 1st Road, Lingya District, Kaohsiung
Favorite dish(es): Breakfast burrito, omelets, and quesadillas
Review: Standard American style restaurant serving American style breakfast and lunch options. Recommend the breakfast set that comes with unlimited tea and coffee refills, fresh juice, and fresh fruit. Closest thing to a real Mexican breakfast burrito near the Cultural Center apartment. English menu.
Name: Maharaja Indian Restaurant
Address: 392 Mincheng 2nd Road, Zuoying District, Kaohsiung
Favorite dish(es): Saag Paneer, Baingan Bharta (Eggplant), Lamb Korma
Review: The best and most authentic Indian food in Kaohsiung. Recommend going with a group though in order to get the most for your money. 3 main dishes usually serves 4 people. Nice atmosphere, English menu, and can accommodate 10+ people.
Name: Silver Spoon Thai Hot Pot
Address: 3F 262 Wufu 2nd Road, Xinsing District, Kaohsiung
Favorite dish(es): Green Curry and Lemon Grass Hot Pot
Review: Great for a group. This restaurant serves Thai style hot pot and offers unlimited drinks and hot pot add-ins for one hour from the time you order. If coming from the MRT, get out at Exit 2 and go up to the 3rd floor of the President Department Store. The restaurant is directly across from a Fitness Factory gym.
Name: Cheese Me
Address: No. 52 Wenheng 2nd Road, Lingya District / 苓雅區文橫二路52號
Favorite dish(es): Hakka Salted Pork w. Sauerkraut Panini; Basil Pesto Chicken & Bacon Panini; Chicken with Teriyaki Sauce Panini; vegetarian dishes available
Review: Cheese Me is a great spot for when you’re craving affordable Western style food that consistently tastes good. It’s safe to say this is the only panini-exclusive restaurant in Kaohsiung. The owner/head cook is a Taiwanese American who grew up and lived in California before setting up shop in Kaohsiung. He’s open to feedback on his recipes and can make sandwiches to order, too. When you upgrade any sandwich to a “Super Set” for $59 you also get a drink, soup and dessert. With a superset, the most expensive meal falls just short of $200. Cheese Me is in Lingya District (near 85 tower) and in the middle of the night market. It’s open a bit later than most Taiwanese take-out places, and is more substantial than night market grub. There is limited seating at the bar, but most people order take-out or delivery so there’s usual space.
Name: Super Fast Food Delivery /超人外送
Address: No. 224 Zhongshan 2nd Road, Lingya District /苓雅區中山二路224號
Favorite dish(es): Grilled Chicken and Bean Burrito; Mexican Style Fries; Grilled Mushroom Cheeseburger
Review: Super Fast Food Delivery has some of the best cheap Tex Mex food in Kaohsiung. They also have a variety of pizzas, burgers, hotdogs and fries. You will not get this much tasty variety for so little anywhere else in the city. The owner is another California transplant to Kaohsiung who wanted to bring authentic Californian fast food to Taiwan. All the meats for the hot dogs are imported and fries sauce (with the exception of ketchup) is made in house. Also, there’s free water provided. This restaurant opened in late 2014/early 2015, so they haven’t had a chance to renovate the dining area, meaning it’s still pretty bare bones. There’s a small table and some benches outside that could seat up to three people, and a few regular-sized booths in the quiet, back dining room. By no means is this a fancy place to bring a hot date, but it’s definitely a place to bring your homesickness and indulge on the yummy flavors of hard-to-find American cuisine without breaking the bank. Available for delivery to Minquan dwellers.
Name: Legends Lunchcart
Address: 1 Lane 46, XinGuang Road, Lingya District
Favorite dish(es): Legends Burger; Pastrami Sandwich; Tomato Basil Soup
Review: Legends Lunchcart (or just “Legends”) is a restaurant across the street from both 85 Skytower and the new public library (in the same building as Mr. O. Gelato). They specialize in sandwiches, hamburgers, grilled cheeses, salads and soups. Legends can easily become one of your favorite daytime or evening expat hangout spots. The owners and staff are boisterous and friendly, and they make great food. Legends can seem a bit pricier than similar Western restaurants (like Super Fast Food Delivery), but the atmosphere is more energetic and homey when it’s a bit crowded. Sometimes, Legends will host special events like “Greek Night” or nighttime boat parties. If you want more information on special events, ask for Sky or Henry.
Name: Long Shifu / 龍師傅
Address: Near 60 Dehang Street, Cishan district (just down the street from the intersection with 7-11, on the opposite side of the street from the shoe store)
Favorite dish(es): Fried fish with vegetables; Sweet Orange fried chicken with vegetables
Review: This is a nice buffet-style Taiwanese lunchbox place in Cishan, good for a sit-down meal or take-out. If you ever need a quick place to eat decent Taiwanese fried chicken (sweet or salty), this is the place to go. They have reliable hours and consistently good food. Vegetarian meals go for under $100 whereas three sides, white rice and a meat, fish or eggs will cost you $100 or more. Free sweet, black tea provided with all meals. The owner, Long Shifu, speaks some English and is usually in the kitchen cooking. If you ever need some help ordering or have any questions, feel free to ask.
Address: No. 8-4, Qingnian 1st Road, Lingya District, Kaohsiung City, 802
Favorite dish(es): Any of their salads, especially the chicken salad
Review: A delicious place to eat near the Cultural Center, it’s great to get a salad when you want to eat healthy food. In addition to salads, they offer bagels and sandwiches, but I recommend going here for their salads. They have an English translation on their menu, too.
Address: No. 79, Wufu 1st Rd, Lingya District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan 802
Favorite dish(es): 小籠湯包 (soup dumplings), 生菜沙拉捲餅 (vegetable and salad roll), 牛肉麵 (beef noodle soup)
Review: Very close to the Cultural Center, this place is delicious and affordable. Come with friends so you can order multiple dishes to try many things on the menu. There are usually a lot of people/families, but the food comes out pretty quickly. They also offer complementary soymilk and winter melon tea, but depending on your taste buds, it may be too sweet. They also have an English menu in case you need it.
Address: 813高雄市博愛二路777號 漢神巨蛋4F (We went to the one at Hanshin Department Store up near Kaohsiung Main Arena, but there are multiple locations throughout the country. See website for more details.)
Favorite dish(es): Any of their okonomiyaki
Review: If you’re a fan of okonomiyaki (which are grilled savory pancakes with eggs, vegetables and meat inside), look no further! They’re delicious and great to share with friends as you can order multiple okonomiyaki and try a little bit of everything. In addition to okonomiyaki, they also have noodles, rice omelettes, rice bowls and more! A bit on the pricier side, but the taste is worth it. I recommend getting okonomiyaki with noodles inside. The only downside is that there is no English menu, however if you can read Japanese (as there is Japanese on the menu) or simply ask the staff in Chinese, you’ll be fine.
Address: No. 156, Ziqiang 3rd Road, Lingya District, Kaohsiung City, 802
Favorite dish(es): Any of their dumplings, 牛肉捲餅, 甜烙餅,
Review: Located in the Ziqiang Night Market, it’s in between the Sanduo and Central Park MRT stations. Another great family-style Chinese restaurant, you can’t go wrong with any of their dishes! They also have an English menu if you ask for it.
Name: 鼠尾草 (Sage)
Favorite dish(es): Hokkaido (Japanese style) hot pot
Review: Sage is one of the best hot pot restaurants in Meinong. Their most popular menu items are the hot pot dishes, which you can order in a variety of Southeast Asian flavored broths. The portions are big, and most meals come with rice, vegetables, and a special dipping sauce. In addition, they also offer a few fried rice and vegetarian dishes.
Name: K-town Diner
Address: No. 403號, Anji Street, Zuoying District Kaohsiung City, 813
Favorite dish(es): Canadian Breakfast
Review: Bacon! Need I say more? K-town is an American diner that specializes in western style breakfast and brunch. There you can find french toast, bacon, hash browns, omelets, apple pie and a variety of a la carte options – just in case you want to order something that doesn’t come with your meal. They also serve western style burgers, sandwiches and pastas.
Name: Meinong traditional Hakka restaurants #1 / Meinong traditional Hakka restaurants #2
Address: Jhongshan Rd., 362 – Sec 1, Meinong Township, Kaohsiung County / No. 80, Lane 421, Sec. 2, Zhongshan Rd., Meinong Township, Kaohsiung County
Favorite dish(es): Ban tiao
Review: If you’re ever in in the mood for a traditional Hakka meal in a bucolic setting, take a trip to Meinong. At these restaurants, you can indulge in authentic Hakka cuisine and traditional Hakka tea, also known as Lei cha. Lei cha is a combination of herbs, nuts, tea leaves, and grains pounded together and mixed with green tea, served as a cold refreshing drink. The main dish in most Hakka meals consist of thick noodles made from rice flour, called ban tiao. You can order ban tiao fried, boiled, cold or hot with a topping of stewed pork lard and/or fried onions. Other popular traditional dishes include stir-fried pig intestines, wild lotus and steamed winter melon.
Name: 和楓牛奶堂 (He Feng Milk Hotpot)
Address: 825高雄縣橋頭鄉白樹村樹德路66號 (close to the Ciaotou MRT stop)
Favorite dish(es): Pumpkin Milk Hotpot
Review: This is the most delicious milk hotpot you will find in Kaohsiung. The owners have a farm, so they use fresh milk in their dishes, and some people even just go there to buy gallons of milk. The place is small-ish, maybe can seat 30 people at a time, so if you have a big party, best to reserve ahead of time. Menu is in Chinese.
Name: 羅師傅麵飯館 （Master Luo's Restaurant)
Address: 高雄市鼓山區濱海一路25號 (in Siziwan Bay)
Favorite dish(es):Stir-fried beef with scallion, fried beef dumplings
Review: Incredibly delicious, super cheap stir-fried food. They have an English menu, and free tea/soy milk.
Name: 石頭日式燒肉 (Japanese BBQ)
Address: No. 481號, Dexian Road, Nanzi District, Kaohsiung City, 811
Favorite dish(es): Beef Slices
Review: This is an all-you-can-eat restaurant, ~$500 NTD for 2 hours. You BBQ the meat and vegetables yourself on a grill in front of you. They also serve sushi. Drinks are also included. They have an English menu. This is a review for the Nanzi branch, but this restaurant is a chain, so there maybe a branch closer to you, just google the restaurant name. Here is the website (all in Chinese,though): http://stone-yakiniku.com.tw/
Name: 楊寶寶 (Yang Bao Bao Dumplings)
Address: No. 100, Chaoming Rd, Nanzi District, Kaohsiung City, 811
Favorite dish(es): Beef soup dumpling, pickled cucumber, chicken soup
Review: This restaurant is so renowned in Nanzi, that people travel to Nanzi just to eat there (crazy, right?) It is cheap, has fast service, and is a large restaurant, so even if there is a wait time, it usually isn't more than 5 minutes. They have an English menu.
Address: 400 Zhenghe South Road, Qianzhen District, Kaohsiung 806 / 806高雄市前鎮區鄭和南路400號
Favorite dish(es): Cheeseburger w/ caramelized onions, Proscuitto sandwich, chicken caesar burger
Review: EAT is a solid East-West Fusion restaurant a minutes-walk away from the Minquan apartment. Fare includes Asian-style rice/veggie/meat combos, along with a variety of Western-style sandwiches, burgers, and salads. The prices are reasonable, the service is good, and the food is high quality. Also, it's owned by one of Fonda's friends, and when she’s working the kitchen prepares for one of the best-tasting, most elegantly crafted burgers you’ve ever had. 4/5 stars
Name: True Pancake
Address: 202 Siwei Road, Lingya District, Kaohsiung 802 / 802高雄市苓雅區四維三路202號
Favorite dish(es): Veggie and soup pancakes, shepherd's pie pancake combo, fried chicken pancake combo, anything served with their pana cotta fruit salad.
Review: True Pancake serves arguably the best pancake breakfast in all of Kaohsiung, with a wide variety of both sweet and savory pancake combos. For fruit lovers, the pana cotta/cream fruit side is also a treat. What’s more, the interior is charmingly decorated, the coffee and tea drinks are fantastic, and the restaurant has a great location just a short walk from the San Duo Shopping District. There’s only one problem – the very "Taiwanese" service at the restaurant leaves a lot to be desired. If the restaurant is busy (as it often is on weekends), they'll just give you a standard "no seats for an hour" response, even if one table is just about to be finished eating. They also hold tables for reservations for far too long, which is especially aggravating when you’re starving on a late Sunday morning. All this can make going to True Pancake a bit of a 麻煩 (bothersome) experience, but if you're aching for a (pan)caking, it's well worth the effort. 3.5/5 stars
Name: Elegant Herb Garden
Address: Lane 134 Zhongshan Road, Dashu District, Kaohsiung / 大樹區水寮里中山路134巷
Favorite dish(es): Basil chicken pesto pasta, pumpkin vegetarian pasta, BBQ pork ribs, tuna crackers, pretty much any of their teas.
Review: The Elegant Herb Garden an absolute gem tucked away in the farm-filled Dashu district, about 30 minutes from central Kaohsiung. Make the commute and you'll be rewarded with mouth-watering Western-style dishes, delicious teas, and one of the prettiest (and greenest) restaurant atmospheres I've ever seen. It's also locally famous for organically growing its own herbs and spices, giving the food a freshness that's difficult to find elsewhere. A truly wonderful way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city on a sunny afternoon. 5/5 stars
Name: Andy’s Pizza Garden
Address: No. 273 Yucheng Street, Zuoying District, Kaohsiung
Favorite dish(es): Margherita Pizza, Andy’s Supreme Calzone
Review: This is one of the only legitimate pizza restaurants in Kaohsiung. One of the owners is a foreigner and his son is his young apprentice and together they cook delicious pizzas and calzones right out of a real brick oven! Strongly recommended.
Name: General Sushi
Address: No. 38 Mingfeng third Street, Qianzhen District, Kaohsiung
Favorite dish(es): Pork/Chicken rice, shrimp roll, crab roll
Review: It’s kind out of town but this is some of the best sushi in Kaohsiung. This restaurant is well worth the trip, especially for an ETA possibly working out in Siaogang. It’s extremely popular though, so try to call ahead and make a reservation or get there right at opening time.
Name: 檸檬草香茅火鍋專賣店 Lemongrass Hot Pot
Address: No. 250號, Xintian Road, Qianjin District, Kaohsiung City
Favorite dish(es): Curry hot pot, tomato hot pot, thai hot and sour hot pot
Review: Allegedly the original Kaohsiung lemongrass hot pot spot, this charming restaurant has wonderfully kind and helpful staff as well as amazing hot pot. The menu is a little confusingly organized so just know that you have to order: 1) broth 2) meat 3) carb (for example, rice, noodles, etc) and 4) sauce. For sauce, we highly recommend the third combo option on the menu- it totally makes the meal! This is an awesome affordable hot pot restaurant right around the central park area.
Name: Smokey Joe’s
Address: 800高雄市新興區忠孝一路208號, but there are actually three branches
Favorite dish(es): For a flat burger go here
Review: This restaurant is included exclusively as a warning to future ETAs. Many people, knowing you are a foreigner, will recommend this destination to you for its alleged western cuisine. Enter into one of its two over the top, smothered in cliché décor venues and you will discover a pathetic attempt at food you vaguely recognize from home. Recommended only for the truly desperate (however, with Kaohsiung’s many restaurant options, it’s hard to ever get that desperate).
Name: Mr. O Gelato
Address: 802高雄市苓雅區新光路48-62號 802高雄市苓雅區新光路48-62號
Favorite dish(es): Fudge Chocolate is out of this WORLD
Review: This is probably the best gelato in Kaohsiung. The small, heartbreaking caveat is that Mr. O closes painfully early, usually too early for post-dinner dessert. However, the flavors are all amazing and generous helping served.
Name: “Chinese Burrito Stand”
Address: Southeast corner of Wenheng Second Road and Wenheng Second Road Lane Nine
Favorite dish(es): Chinese chicken burrito, original or Thai style- add cheese and egg!
Review: There can be no higher review than two Americans eating Chinese burritos from this stand twice a week every week for six months. Not much else to say here but that every person who tastes the golden burrito, the Chinese burrito, falls in love with it. An adorable married couple runs this stand and will likely remember your “regular” within two trips.
Address: No. 72-5, Wenzhong Rd, Gushan District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan 807
Favorite dish(es): Margarita pizza
Review: Jacaranda is a great pizza joint located in Northern Kaohsiung by Houyi station. Sit down and enjoy a delicious deep-dish pizza (even the Chicagoans rave about it) while sipping on a cool craft beer. Not in the mood? The menu offers a wide variety of salads and other comfort foods. Note: you cannot get pizza until after 6:00PM. Closed on Thursdays.
Name: Linjia dumpling stand
Address: No. 386 Guanghua Second Road, Lingya District, Kaohsiung
Favorite dish(es): Xiao Long Bao
Review: Want an easy meal to go? Why not try Linjia dumplings? Delicious and fast, these handmade dumplings are made right before your eyes from scratch. Great snack after school or for a quick dinner. I also suggest the xianbing if you’re in the mood for something tasty! Vegetables are also served there and the owner is actually the president of the Guanghua night market.
Name: Din Tai Feng
Address: B1, No. 777, Bo-ai 2nd Rd., Zuoying Dist., Kaohsiung City(Hanshin Arena Shopping Plaza)
Favorite dish(es): Fried rice
Review: All the wai guo ren love this restaurant. No reservations and you may have to wait for up to 3 hours in Taipei (about 45 in Kaohsiung), but believe me it’s worth the wait. Xiaolongbao, fried rice, sautéed spinach, and the string bean dish are all a must. If you’re looking to impress your friends from home with a nice meal, this is the place to go.
Name: Neighborhood Chinese Restaurant
Address: corner of Yide and Fuxing
Favorite dish(es): Mapo Tofu
Review: Want to share a good meal with friends? Look no further than the corner of Yide and Fuxing where you can get a wide variety of seafood dishes or my personal favorite, Mapo Tofu. Also a fun place to go on Monday nights during the night market where the restaurant and street will be hopping.
Name: Vicky Foods – Burritos and Indian Food
Address: Houchang Road, Nanzi District, Kaohsiung City, Kaohsiung, Taiwan 811
Favorite dish(es): Beef burrito
Review: This place is worth going to Nanzi for. It is a hole in the wall and easy to miss. Its owned by an Indian guy and his family and is open for lunch and dinner. Be sure to get there early though, because he closes at 7:30.The Beef Burrito is made with good Australian beef. It is definitely a fusion of Mexican and Indian flavors - a unique dining experience. Beloved by Nanzi ETAs. Also only 70 NT.
Name: Chun Shui Tang 春水堂
Address: No. 322, Hedi Road, Sanmin District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan 807
Favorite dish(es): any tea option
Review: This joint is a Taiwanese tea house. The food is really tasty, but the tea is so good. Actually to die for. So so tasty - you cant go wrong. The food is Taiwanese cuisine and a la carte, so great for a snack/study place or a heavy meal. Think upscale Taiwanese food. The price is a bit more expensive than most taiwanese places, but cheaper than most foreign food.
Favorite dish(es): Beef Noodles
Review: The staff is very kind, and the beef noodles are famous. They have won many awards for being the best in Taiwan.
Favorite dish(es): Try all the different sorts of indigenous food—the roasted pig is especially good
Review: This place serves a fusion of Chinese and indigenous food. You have to call ahead to make a reservation, and typically they will ask you how large your party is so they know how much pig to roast. You can order all sorts of dishes to be shared family style. As you eat, there are performances of indigenous dancing, in which they call for customers to join in.