It’s no secret that a Vegetarian diet comes some sacrifices. For some that means giving up food they love, passing by unique local experiences and in general giving up the convenience of being able to eat anything you see for sale.
For me, these are just minor sacrifices that I am more than willing to make and once I got the hang of it I found going meatless Taipei pretty easy.
Going to a restaurant where you don’t speak the same language as the restaurant staff can be a daunting task even if you are totally okay with eating anything on the menu. Then if you factor in trying to communicate that you want a dish without meat, it can be especially stressful.
Luckily the Taiwanese are very nice people so after my first few interactions of using only hand signals and google images I realized that they are willing to be very patient and not get frustrated with my lack of Chinese.
In traditional Chinese every word has it’s own symbol a Vegetarian is no exception. So I had a Taiwanese friend draw me up the symbol and I simply show the picture on my phone to restaurant staff and they will usually point out a dish that is suitable to my needs or they simply say they don’t have anything and I move on.
Vegetarian restaurants account for a very small percentage of restaurants in Taipei. Luckily there are A LOT of restaurants around the city so in almost every major area there are some strictly meatless options. Within a few blocks of Mono’tel there are a couple veggie options.
Anywhere else in the city simply pull out google maps and type in “vegetarian” to find the restaurant you’re looking for!
3 Animal Friendly Options Within 10 Minutes of Mono’tel
- This stand is pretty much right outside the hostel. Simply walk out to the street, and take your first right on the very tiny side street. Within 1 minute you’ll see the stand on the left. The stand is run by a lovely Buddhist couple, Tony and Melissa. Tony speaks English pretty well, and if he isn’t there there are plenty of pictures of foods to help you decide. Today I chose the curry pasta for $60 nt (about 2 usd).
- Providing the best value this non-vegetarian restaurant offers 5 veggie items along with rice for $50nt (under 2 usd). To get there simply turn right when you leave Mono’tel and keep walking. Once you get to Fude Street walk to the other side and it will be on your right.
- This is a nice pay-by-weight buffet style spot. Usually a full plate or box comes in around $100 NT. To get there turn right out of Mono’tel, at the second intersection take a left on Fude Street and then a right on the next block. The restaurant is on the right side.