25 Things You Must Eat in Tainan, the Culinary Center of Taiwan

For those who hail from Taiwan, it's common knowledge that the city of Tainan, located on the southern part of the island, is its food capital. Known as "the City of Snacks," Tainan is where people flock to try some of the most delicious and unique dishes of Taiwan.

There's a lot of history there. Tainan is the oldest city and used to be the capital and economic center of Taiwan. Though it has since ceded its political power and cosmopolitan allure, the area has managed to preserve a lot of its food traditions. Meals come in the form of very small plates, seafood is dominant, and unlike northern Taiwan, the dishes tend to be much sweeter (Tainan was once at the hub of sugar production).


Don't expect fancy restaurants with banquet style meals and elaborate decor here. What makes Tainan so renowned is a network of small street vendors who cook and serve the food outside. Some have become so famous over the years, they've been able to afford a brick and mortar, but the concept of each place remains the same: family-owned, home-cooked, and remarkably affordable.

See all 25 bites in the slideshow >>