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Taipei is an internationalized city of immigrants, and all kinds of restaurants have sprung up to satisfy the diverse appetites of its different residents. Cuisine of all nations is available here, along with all of the regional foods of mainland China and snacks from the different parts of Taiwan--and, of course, vegetarian food too. For visitors, dining in Taipei is convenient and something to be eagerly anticipated, for the city can satisfy whatever palate the gourmand brings to the table.
Yongkang Street, Tianmu, Ximending, the East District shopping area, and Fuxing South Road (which specializes in rice gruel and small accompanying dishes) are all major culinary concentrations in Taipei. Tianmu (with its foreign atmosphere) and Yongkang Street, especially, are home to vast arrays of restaurants that offer an infinite variety of eats including dishes from all over the world as well as traditional Chinese foods and the tastes of different parts of Taiwan.
The Chinese food available in Taiwan covers the gamut from palace cuisine to street-stall snacks, all with their characteristic--and delicious--flavors. The palace-style dishes served at Din Tai Fong and King Join attract numbers of tourists every day. The allure of the snacks sold in Taipei's night markets makes them truly irresistible--Longshan Temple and the night markets at Huaxi Street, Shilin, Tonghua Street, Raohe Street, Liaoning, and Jingmei, among others, all have their own special snacks giving off aromas that draw in diners from far and wide away.
The Shilin night market gathers snacks from all over Taiwan. Everything is here, including such famous delicacies as knife-sliced noodles, pork kidney soup, oyster omelet, Kaohsiung meat balls, little-cake-in-big-cake, Shilin sausages, tomatoes in ginger juice, Dongshan duck heads, frogs-laying-eggs, stir-fried squid, and chili-sauce dumplings.
The East District commercial area is one of the most popular places for shopping in Taipei, with all kinds of shops closely packed against each other. Besides shopping for products from all over the world here, you can also taste all sorts of international foods, Chinese cuisine, and Taiwanese snacks.
If you want a taste of aborigine flavors, you will have to go to Wulai in suburban Taipei where local delicacies such as soft millet cakes and bamboo-tube rice offer distinctive tastes. While at Wulai you can also enjoy aborigine singing and dancing, soak in hot-spring water, view the waterfall, or cross the gorge in a cable car. To get from the scenic area entrance to the waterfall you can take one of the unique push carts--the only ones left in Taiwan but motorized now--up the hill. This may not be the most practical way to travel, but it has its own special exotic feel.
In addition, the natural beauties of Yangmingshan National Park, the community of animals at Muzha Zoo, the priceless treasures of Chinese art in the National Palace Museum, and the tranquil and classic Zhishan Garden are all well worth a leisurely visit.