Let’s get one thing out of the way right off the bat: there’s no perfect bowl of beef noodle soup. Everyone has their preferences and sometimes the best bowl is simply the one that’s close and convenient.
Travel guides about Taipei typically talk up Yong Kang Beef Noodles, but the truth is Taipei locals rarely go. Instead, everyone has their neighborhood or childhood favorite, as they should.
I’ve eaten at about a third of the places listed below, and I plan to keep ticking them off. Each time I try a new place, I look for these four things:
- An addictively aromatic soup, whether you like clear or braised
- Springy noodles, whether you prefer thin or thick
- Tender meat that’s flavorful, not dry or overcooked
- Self-serve mustard greens, chili and other condiments
Whether you live in Taipei or you come here often, feel free to use this list as a resource. Or better yet, as a challenge.
Restaurants that deserve to be as widely known as Yong Kang Beef Noodle.
桃源街老王記牛肉麵店 or “Taoyuan Street” is favorite of locals. Bowls are on the slightly pricier side here at 220NT. Note that they’re closed on Sundays and only open from 11am til 3:30pm on Saturdays. As you can expect, it’s packed on weekdays. MRT: Ximen (Map)
Lin Dong Fang Beef Noodle 林東芳牛肉麵 might be the one of the most recognized names in the city. Their new location on Bade Road has vintage style seating on the second floor. Small bowl of beef noodle soup is 170NT. It’s also in the “Late Night” section. MRT: Nanjing Fuxing (Map)
Duan Chun Zhen 段純貞牛肉 is a well-known chain that originated in Hsinchu. They have four stores in Taipei, two in New Taipei City and two in Taoyuan. There’s one inside Q Square by Taipei Main Station (Map), and one inside the VieShow cinema food court in Xinyi District (Map). Soup is a little spicy here so watch out.
Halal Chinese Beef Noodle Restaurant 清真中國牛肉麵館 isn’t just for those looking for Halal-certified restaurants. It’s super popular with locals and gets packed on weekends. Beef noodle soup starts at 155NT at the original store (Map). The Xinyi branch (Map) is pricier, starting at 175NT for a small bowl. Soup is on the spicier side here too.
Lao Tzang Beef Noodles 川味老張牛肉麵店總店 has been open since 1958 and is one of the original beef noodle shops in the city. They’re known for their tomato base broth. Bowls here are 220NT. MRT: Dongmen (Map)
Lao Shandong Homemade Noodles 老山東牛肉麵 has been making its wide handmade noodles for 70 years, and the restaurant’s passed down generations in the same family. It’s pretty much an institution. MRT: Ximen (Map)
Fuhong Beef Noodles 富宏牛肉麵 on the west side of the city has a 4.2 Google Map rating. Since it’s super popular, go during non-rush hours. That won’t be hard since they are open 24 hours every day. MRT: Beimen (Map)
Shi-ji Authentic Beef Noodle Restaurant 史記正宗牛肉麵 gets rave reviews for the quality of beef and the flavorful soup. Note that the standard bowl of beef noodle soup is 240NT, but I’d go with the stewed beef bowl for 280NT. MRT: Xingtian Temple Station (Map)
Reliable places that serve neighborhood families and office crowds.
Liufu Beef Noodle Restaurant 六福牛肉麵 is definitely for purists. It’s a super bare bones restaurant with only two things on the wall menu: beef noodle soup or beef soup. Both options are 160NT. Most restaurants rest in the afternoons, but this one stays open. MRT: Songjiang Nanjing (Map)
13 Xiang Beef Noodle Restaurant 13香牛肉麵 is a family-friendly spot where you can sit and take your time. The noodles are thin here (there’s no thick option) and the soup and beef are great. MRT: Technology Building (Map)
Linjia Beef Noodle Restaurant 林家牛肉麵 is a really crappy dining environment with cheap stools and disposable chopsticks, but the noodles are super high rated. MRT: Taipei 101 (Map)
Muji Beef Noodles 穆記牛肉麵 has been operating since 1979. Try the wide noodles here, but know your bowl of beef noodle soup won’t come with any veggies other than a sprinkle of scallions. Oddly, they’re closed Wednesdays and Thursdays. MRT: Taipei 101 (Map)
Xi Shu Zhuan Beef Noodle Restaurant 西蜀饌牛肉麵 is a family-run restaurant with dozens of noodle and soup dishes on their menu. The braised beef noodles are 200NT, and the version with fresh tomato is 220NT. If you’re near the Dunhua N. Road IKEA, this is the place to eat. MRT: Nanjing Fuxing (Map)
Liu Shandong Beef Noodles 劉山東牛肉麵 has been running since 1951 and typically has long line. If you happen to pass by and there’s no line, you should probably pop in for a bowl. Open 8am til 8pm, closed Sundays. MRT: Taipei Main Station (Map)
Liao Jia Beef Noodle Restaurant 廖家牛肉麵 uses spinach instead of bok choy or baby cabbage, which is pretty unique. Only open from 10am til 5pm. Yup, they don’t do dinner service. Expect to see a long line. Closed Mondays. MRT: Dongmen or Guting (Map)
Late Night Cravings
There’s nothing like eating beef noodle soup at 12:30am and seeing who else is doing the same.
Taiwan Beef Noodles . Chicken Soup 牛肉麵．雞湯 is where you’ll find the after-clubbing or after-karaoke crowd. The original location (Map) is open from 6pm til 4am Mondays to Saturdays. The new branch in Xinyi District (Map) is open from 11am to 4am daily to serve the daytime office crowd. Warning: the broth can be really spicy.
Fuhong Beef Noodles 富宏牛肉麵 (also in the All Stars section) has a 4.2 Google Map rating and it’s open 24 hours every single day. Crazy. MRT: Beimen (Map)
Lin Dong Fang Beef Noodle 林東芳牛肉麵 (also in the All Stars section) is open til 3am every day. They have a steady stream of solo diners coming in at all hours of the night. MRT: Nanjing Fuxing (Map)
Jiuwu Beef Noodle Restaurant 玖伍牛肉麵 has pretty mixed reviews on Google Maps but they’re open til 2:30am every day. MRT: Zhongshan (Map)
High End Bowls
When you’ve tried all the standard bowls, and you feel it’s time to spread your wings.
Regent Hotel won the 2012 Taipei Beef Noodle Soup Festival and serves its award-winning clear broth beef noodle soup inside Azie Cafe for 500NT. You can also order it for room service, and buy gift sets to prepare it yourself at home. MRT: Zhongshan (Map)
Champion Beef Noodles 晶華冠軍牛肉麵坊 is also from the Regent Hotel brand. They have a modern, stand-alone store in the Breeze Xinyi mall. All of the bowls here are super rich. They have a 36-hour sous vide bowl for 680NT, while the Regent’s “Champion” clear broth beef noodles are 320NT. (Yes, it’s cheaper than at the hotel.) MRT: Taipei City Hall (Map)
Pin Chuan Lan 品川蘭 has a bowl of beef noodle soup with a slab of US rib eye steak for 490NT. Sounds intriguing, right? There are four locations in Taipei, including one inside Songshan Airport. The largest branch is in Zhongshan (Map). The Zhongxiao branch recently closed.
Drbeef East Gate 鈜景國產肉品專賣店東門店 is a butcher shop that sells beef noodle soup using fresh cuts of beef. Try the sashimi-style raw beef where they pour the hot broth over. Note: You’re paying for the meat here, not the dining environment. MRT: Dongmen (Map)
Tien Hsia San Jyue 天下三絕 has a Michelin star, people. And a nice dining room too. The “Signature Beef Shank Noodle Soup” here is 280NT. MRT: Zhongxiao Fuxing (Map)
Beef Father/Daddy 牛爸爸牛肉麵 sells a 10,000NT bowl of beef noodle soup that was publicized by CNN back in 2017. But don’t worry, they also make more budget-friendly 500NT and 1,500NT bowls. Just take a taxi there, don’t even bother with the MRT. (Map)
New Kids on the Block
Restaurants with cool, modern interiors that will surprise you.
Sao Dou Hua 騷豆花敦南旗艦店 is known for their fruit-topped bowls of douhua, but their noodle dishes are legit too. Their beef noodle is definitely modern. It comes with a chunk of carrot and a side of fresh tomato sauce. They’re so popular with Japanese tourists that they opened a location in Shinjuku, Tokyo in December 2019. MRT: Zhongxiao Fuxing (Map)
Manor Beef Noodles 牛莊園牛肉麵 is designed for the solo diner with good taste in beef noodle soup. They have high stool seating, a communal table and make a very beautiful bowl of beef noodle soup. MRT: Technology Building (Map)
Niu-ga-tan Beef Noodle Original Store 牛軋堂牛肉麵本家 is located just a block away from Lao Shandong but they’re holding their own. They slice their meat here, as do the two restaurants above. The beef noodle soup is 190NT. MRT: Ximen (Map)
GoodMommy&Co 姑媽咪 has a speakeasy cocktail bar located behind the kitchen, so yeah, this place is cool. You can order a beer and they won’t rush you to turn over your seat. If you head to the cocktail bar, you can order noodles til 10pm. MRT: Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall (Map)
Niu Kong Kuan 牛公館牛肉麵 has a modern, clean dining room and the beef looks amazing. It’s one of the pricier bowls in Ximen at 200NT. MRT: Ximen (Map)
Winners and finalists of Taipei City Government’s annual Taipei International Beef Noodle Festival. See for yourself what all the fuss is about.
Royal Beef Noodle Restaurant 皇家傳承牛肉麵 in Banqiao is the champion of the 2019 Taipei International Beef Noodle Festival. MRT: Xinpu (Map)
Bandao Beef Noodle Restaurant 半島牛肉麵 is a modest family-run restaurant that also happens to be the Beef Noodle Festival champion in 2018. MRT: Taipei City Hall (Map)
Chef Hung Taiwanese Beef Noodle 洪師父冠軍牛肉麵-建北店 won five beef noodle championships from 2007 to 2014 and was also a finalist in 2019. The company has a big overseas presence including two stores in California, six in Canada, two in Hong Kong and seven in China. Their three Taipei locations are in Ximen, Zhongshan and Neihu.
Here are some more Taipei food guides: