Some popular Taiwanese snacks and candy include nougats and pineapple cakes. Keep reading to find additional delicacies to bring home.
I’ve lived in Taiwan for more than 5 years and have tried and seen many snacks and candies. I want to provide recommendations based on my experience on what you should try.
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Popular Taiwanese Delicacies to Bring Home
|Pineapple cakes||Sun cakes||Taiwanese nougat candies||Instant noodles|
|Taiwanese pastries||Egg rolls||Tea||Pork floss|
|Iron eggs||Dried fruits||Mochi|
Best Taiwanese Food Souvenirs & Snacks
The following sections will explain what each popular Taiwanese snack is, where to get them, what they taste like, and their average price.
1. Pineapple Cakes
- Taste: Buttery, sweet, tart pineapple filling, crumbly pastry, fragrant with tropical notes.
- Avg. price: NT$50–620 per box
- Chinese name: 鳳梨酥
Taiwanese pineapple cakes are a sweet traditional pastry with butter, flour, egg, sugar, and pineapple jam or slices. They are typically square or rectangular, with a jammy pineapple filling encased in a tender short-crust pastry.
Pineapple cakes are a popular snack and dessert in Taiwan. They are also often given as gifts.
Here are some of the best places to buy pineapple cakes in Taiwan:
|Taiwan Sun Cake Museum||Pineapple Hill Culture Park|
|Chia Te||Many bakeries|
|Taiwan Handicraft Promotion Center||Kong Kee|
|Sunny Hills||Ruyi Sunny|
|Sugar & Spice||Take it Easy Bakery|
Also find affordable pineapple cakes (NT$50 a box) at supermarkets like Carrefour and PX Mart.
2. Sun Cakes
- Taste: Honey mixed with maltose.
- Avg. price: NT$270 ($9.50) for a box of 10
- Chinese name: 太陽餅
Taiwanese sun cakes (taiyang bing) are a pastry originating from Taichung, Taiwan. They are made with a flaky crust and a sweet filling, typically made of maltose (condensed malt sugar). The cakes are round and are about 2 inches in diameter.
Stores typically sell them in gift boxes as souvenirs. However, you’ll often find them sold individually in grocery stores or standalone bakeries.
Ingredients for these cakes involve flour, butter, sugar, maltose, eggs, milk, and salt.
Here are some of the best places to buy sun cakes:
- Supermarkets: Lowest prices.
- Sugar and Spice (糖村): Higher-cost, but best-tasting.
- Chia Te Bakery (佳德糕餅): 2 birds w/ 1 stone deal; buy pineapple & sun cakes here.
- Taipei Leechi (台北犁記): Another noteworthy bakery.
- Tai Yang Tang Lao Dian (太陽堂老店): Not familiar w/ this place, but it’s an option.
3. Taiwanese Nougat Candies
- Texture: Soft, chewy, sticky, with crunchy inclusions like nuts or seeds.
- Avg. price: NT$150 per box
Taiwanese nougat candies are typically chewy, dense, and grainy. The exact texture can vary depending on the ingredients and cooking method.
For example, chocolate nougats are more dense and chewy than fruit nougats, which are often lighter and airier.
Taiwanese nougat candies are very popular in Taiwan. They are frequently sold in small, individually wrapped pieces, making them a convenient snack or souvenir. They are also popular in desserts, such as cakes and ice cream.
Find Taiwanese nougat candies at any supermarket or hypermarket. I also recommend checking out specific stores like Salico for nougats that are popular in Taiwan.
4. Instant Noodles
Avg. price: NT$10–60 per pack
Taiwanese instant noodles are a popular snack and meal in Taiwan. They are also a popular export, and found in supermarkets and convenience stores around the world.
Find Taiwanese instant noodles in any supermarket and hypermarket or at convenience stores. You’ll find them cheaper at grocery stores, though. However, you will find single packs of noodles at convenience stores.
Grocery stores will mostly sell them in packages—more than 1 pack.
Here are a bunch of popular instant noodle brands to try:
|Noodle Name (EN)||Name (ZH)||Avg. Price|
|Wei Lih Men||維力炸醬麵||NT$20|
|Shuang Xiang Pao||雙響泡鹽味豚骨||NT$28|
|Ke Xue Mian||統一科學麵||NT$30|
|Ah Q Tong Mian||統一阿Q||NT$30|
|Man Han Da Can||統一滿漢蔥燒牛||NT$51|
|Shui Yuan Vegetarian||味丹隨緣素肉骨||NT$78|
|Hua Diao Ji Mian||台酒花雕雞麵||NT$48|
|Wei Wang Prince Noodles||味王王子麵||NT$31|
5. Taiwanese Pastries
Taiwanese pastries are a diverse and delicious array of sweet and savory treats. Various cultures, including Chinese, Japanese, and Dutch influence them.
Anything in this category involves baked goods throughout Taiwan. I’m not recommending anything specific here. I’m suggesting that you try some of Taiwan’s various baked goods.
Look in bakeries or baked good sections in grocery stores throughout Taiwan.
6. Egg Roll Snack
These are a type of Taiwanese dessert made with a thin wrapper of dough that is filled with a sweet filling. The egg rolls are then deep-fried until golden brown.
Flavors you could find include:
- Red bean paste
- Green tea
Egg roll snacks are not the same as the savory Taiwanese egg roll snacks that are made with meat and vegetables. They are a sweet dessert snack that is made with a different type of dough and filling.
Find these at supermarkets, hypermarkets, or specialty stores such as IMEI.
7. Tea Bags or Packages
Taiwanese tea is known for its unique flavor and aroma, which is often described as being smooth, delicate, and refreshing.
Some of the things that make Taiwanese tea different from tea from other countries include:
- Climate: Taiwan has a warm, humid climate that is ideal for growing tea leaves.
- The variety of climate conditions helps to produce tea leaves with a complex & nuanced flavor.
- Soil: The soil in Taiwan is rich in nutrients, which helps to produce high-quality tea leaves.
- The island is also home to a variety of minerals & trace elements that can be found in the tea leaves, giving them a unique flavor & aroma.
- Tea processing methods: Taiwanese tea makers have a long & rich tradition of tea processing.
- They use traditional methods that have been passed down for generations, which helps to preserve the unique flavor & aroma of Taiwanese tea.
Find loose-leaf tea and tea bags at many Taiwanese tea shops, some souvenir stores, supermarkets, hypermarkets, and convenience stores.
Some types of tea you’ll find in Taiwan include:
- Oolong; wūlóng (烏龍): Has a floral, fruity, & sometimes grassy flavor.
- Black tea (紅茶): Earthy, malty, floral, with hints of sweet & bitter notes.
- Green tea (綠茶): Grassy, vegetal, floral, with sweet undertones & slight bitterness.
- White tea (白茶): Subtle, delicate, floral, with sweet undertones & light fruitiness.
8. Pork Paper
- Avg. price: NT$120+
- Chinese name: 猪肉纸
Taiwanese pork paper is a type of dried pork snack popular in Taiwan. It’s made from thinly sliced pork and then marinated in a soy sauce-based mixture. The pork is then cooked and dried until it is crispy.
It can be found in most supermarkets and convenience stores in Taiwan. It is also available online from a variety of retailers.
9. Iron Eggs
- Taste: salty
- Chinese name: 淡水阿婆鐵蛋
Tamsui iron eggs are a type of snack food that originated in the Tamsui District of New Taipei City, Taiwan. They are made by boiling eggs in a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, and spices, and then drying them.
The resulting eggs are dark brown and have a chewy texture. They are said to taste sweet, salty, and slightly spicy.
They are often sold by street vendors or in small shops throughout Tamsui District in New Taipei City.
10. Dried Fruits
Taiwan’s home to various dried fruits like:
- Dragon fruit
- Goji berries
These will vary by price depending on where you get them. I don’t recommend any specific brand or location to buy them from.
Find them at most supermarkets and convenience stores, as well as at specialty shops.
Avg. price: NT$40+
Taiwanese mochi is a type of mochi that is made with glutinous rice flour, sugar, and water. It’s often filled with a variety of fillings. Taiwanese mochi is typically steamed or boiled, and then coated in a sweet glaze or dusted with powdered sugar.
You’ll find various flavors such as:
- Peanut butter
- Red bean
- Green tea
If you are looking for a delicious and unique snack or dessert, then Taiwanese mochi is a great option. It is certain to satisfy your taste buds and leave you wanting more.
Get fresh mochi from night markets or street food vendors. These usually taste best but aren’t ideal for bringing home. If you’re in Taipei, go to Raohe Night Market, and you’ll find a Michelin Star cart (Mochi Baby) famous for its mochi.
To find mochi you’ll bring back to your country, get it from supermarkets. They’ll have preservatives to stay fresh during your plane ride. They don’t taste as good as fresh ones but still taste great.
Tips for Buying Taiwanese Food Souvenirs
Here are some tips for buying Taiwanese food souvenirs:
- Consider the recipient’s taste: When choosing food souvenirs, it is important to consider the recipient’s taste.
- If you are not sure what they like, it is always a safe bet to choose something that is popular in Taiwan, such as pineapple cakes, mochi, or dried fruits.
- Buy from reputable vendors: When buying food souvenirs, it is important to buy from reputable vendors.
- This will ensure that the food is fresh & of good quality.
- Check the expiration date: When buying food souvenirs, it is important to check the expiration date.
- This will ensure that the food is still good when you give it to the recipient.
- Pack the food carefully: When packing food souvenirs, it is important to pack them carefully.
- This will help to prevent the food from spoiling or getting damaged during transport.
If you have food restrictions (e.g., Halal or kosher), many shops will label them as so. And many food items won’t have English ingredients.
Do you have food allergies? I wouldn’t trust Google Translate for ingredient translations. I’d bring a local to translate the ingredients to prevent any mishaps.
Where to Buy Taiwanese Food Souvenirs
Find Taiwanese food souvenirs at the following places:
- Night markets
- Gift shops
- Boutique stores
- Street food vendors
- Convenience stores
Hypermarkets and supermarkets offer the lowest prices among all these shops. Gift and boutique stores will often provide the highest-quality variations and brands of each food type.