I love to eat and try new places. This is a growing list of BEST food and drinks in Kaohsiung. The list covers hidden gems only locals know about and includes Taiwanese breakfast, home cooking, dim sum, sushi, BBQ grill, hot pot, beef noodle soup, guabao, and cocktails.
As I discover the city, I will continue to introduce more places when I find ones worth mentioning. Be sure to check back! In the meantime, if you have any suggestions, I’m all ears!
Table of Contents
- 1 BREAKFAST
- 2 BEEF NOODLE SOUP (牛肉麵)
- 3 GUABAO (割包)
- 4 HOME COOKING
- 5 DIMSUM
- 6 YAKINIKU
- 7 SUSHI
- 8 HOTPOT (火鍋)
- 9 COCKTAILS
- 10 Like this:
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Disclosure: I did NOT receive any compensation or complimentary meals from any of the restaurants featured in this list. This article may contain affiliate links. If you purchase by clicking some of these links, I may receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you. Click here to read full disclaimer.
Xing Long Ju (興隆居)
This is the most popular breakfast spot in Kaohsiung. This place serves classic Taiwanese breakfast such as youtiao (油條), baozi (包子), and danbing (蛋餅). My recommendation is an off-the-menu item, San-He-Yi Shao-Bing You-Tiao (三合一燒餅油條). Literally translated to a 3-in-1 donut, you get youtiao and egg omelets wrapped in a flaky bun. It’s best with soy milk. There is ALWAYS a line out the door. But the line should move fast. Be ready to order (or point at) what you want. See this gallery to get yourself familiarized with Taiwanese breakfast.
📍Location: Google Map ⏰ Hours: 3 a.m. – 11 a.m. Closed on Mondays. ☎ Tel: 07-261-6787
Lao Chai Milk Fish Porridge (老蔡虱目魚粥)
If you want classic southern Taiwanese breakfast, visit Lao Chai for fresh, daily-caught milkfish porridge. Thanks to Kaohsiung’s proximity to the port, milkfish traditionally has been served as high-protein breakfast that provides much-needed energy to the hardworking fishermen. I was pleasantly surprised that it was super tasty and not fishy at all. If you are a bit more adventurous, try fish head and intestines as well. After all, it’s keto-friendly.
📍Location: Google Map ⏰ Hours: 6 a.m. – 2 p.m. ☎ Tel: 07-551-9689
READ MORE | For your daily caffeine fix, click here to see coffeehouses & milk tea shops in Kaohsiung!
BEEF NOODLE SOUP (牛肉麵)
What can be so complicated about beef noodle soup? Although it looks like a simple noodle with beef chunks, selecting the best beef noodle soup in town is a delicate matter. You can get a different answer for every person you ask. It’s like religion in Taiwan; everyone believes his/her own, and it should be respected that way. But in the end, they are all equally slurp-able in their own mouth-watering ways. When visiting Taiwan, beef noodle soup is one of the must-try foods.
Gang Yuan Beef Noodle (港園牛肉麵)
Gang Yuan Beef Noodle would be my pick in Kaohsiung. On top of regular beef noodle soup, this place offers a dry beef noodle, which is a good option to have in hot summer. The beef is tender. The noodle has just the right amount of firmness, and they splash the noodles with a shot of rendered pork fat. Pork knuckles, beef tendons, and side dishes are all tasty. In summer, I like to drink their fresh-squeezed watermelon juice.
📍Location: Google Map ⏰ Hours: 10:30 a.m. – 8 p.m. ☎ Tel: 07-561-3842
Xiao Wang Beef Noodle House (小王牛肉麵館)
This award-winning restaurant stands out with their unique offerings. The soup has an herbal note, which some may love or hate. The restaurant offers many options to construct your bowl to your liking. For noodle snobs, this place offers both thin and thick noodles. Instead of standard all-beef briskets, you can choose half tendon and half beef.
📍Location: Google Map ⏰ Hours: 11:00 a.m. – 9 p.m. ☎ Tel: 07-236-0075
Da Gou Ding Chun Qi Yu Wan (大溝頂純旗魚丸)
Ding Chun Qi Yu Wan is secretly tucked in Yan Cheng Pu’s cafeteria alley. This hole-in-the-wall joint is frequented by old timers and foodies alike, all looking for quick, savory bites. The guabao (割包) is hands-down the best-in-town. Guabao, which translates to pork belly bun, is a slice of slow-braised pork belly wedged into a steamed bun with a spoonful of sugary peanut powder. If you have not already done so, you must add this Taiwanese staple to your food bucket list. Wonton soup (餛飩湯) is also highly recommended here.
📍Location: Google Map ⏰ Hours: 9:30 a.m. – 8 p.m. ☎ Tel: 07-531-4381
Dong Gua Yu Pang Zi (冬瓜與胖子)
This place would be the closest thing to Taiwanese mama’s cooking. An old house was renovated into a restaurant. It feels cozy and inviting inside as if it is your grandma’s house. There is no menu; You get what the chef cooks on that particular day based on the fresh ingredients he gets. The chef-owner is hilarious and friendly. He will take his time to come out of the kitchen and chat with guests. Reservation recommended.
📍Location: Google Map ⏰ Hours: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.; 5:30 – 10 p.m. Closed on Wednesdays. ☎ Tel: 07-727-9023
Di Tang Zai (地糖仔)
Dim sum at Di Tang Zai is delicious and creative. While each dish retains traditional flavor, expect a small twist – sometimes with a new ingredient or a spicy kick. You will be delightfully surprised. Make sure to call in advance to order an off-the-menu crispy rice soup (脆米泡飯). Drinks and desserts are tasty while not overwhelmingly sweet.
📍Location: Google Map ⏰ Hours: 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.; 5:30 – 9 p.m. ☎ Tel: 07-553-2100
Tan Zuo Ma Li (碳佐麻里)
The best yakiniku in Kaohsiung arguably comes from this restaurant. Its zen architecture and artsy design fit right in the upscale neighborhood. The restaurant never fails to deliver with the quality of food and attentive services. BBQ here is delicious no matter which meat you choose. The presentation is pleasing to eyes. We came to conclude that the overall dining experience here is the best. Reservation is a must.
📍Location: Google Map ⏰ Hours: 11:30 a.m. – 12 a.m. ☎ Tel: 07-552-6555
Bu Lao Sushi (不老壽司)
Many local Taiwanese friends recommended this place. Despite its humorous name, the food here was thoughtful. Nigiri, grilled fish, hand rolls and everything else tasted delightful. The atmosphere is clean, bright and modern. Reservation highly recommended.
📍Location: Google Map ⏰ Hours: 11:15 a.m. – 3 p.m.; 4:30 – 9 p.m. ☎ Tel: 07-556-2366
Yoshiro Creative Sushi (義郎創作寿司)
As the name suggests, this tiny restaurant is all about creative sushi. Sitting at the bar, we had an opportunity to chat with the chef and enjoy his interesting and unusual sushi creations. I actually don’t remember exactly what we had that day because we ordered a few items off the menu and let the chef surprise us with the rest. I was too busy talking and eating that I even forgot to take photos. I just remember we left the restaurant with a memorable dining experience and satisfied belly.
📍Location: Google Map ⏰ Hours: 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.; 5:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. ☎ Tel: 07-558-2208
Tian Tian (天天沙茶火鍋)
This place is a hidden gem. The bonito-flake-base soup is so deep and flavorful that I can drink the whole pot. I’m not a big fan of shacha (Taiwanese bbq sauce) typically provided at hot pot restaurants. The house special peanut-based sauce with freshly chopped garlic/green onion/chili pepper is a tasty alternative for someone like me. Vegetables and mushrooms are consistently fresh. As for protein, I usually get fresh-cut beef as well as hand-made squid fish paste (花枝獎) — Taiwanese surf-and-turf! You can also order the beef shacha stir-fry a la carte. Reservation is recommended for dinner, especially on weekends. One meat plate is a minimum order per table.
📍Location: Google Map ⏰ Hours: 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.; 5 – 11:30 p.m. Closed on Thursdays. ☎ Tel: 07-551-8868
Hotel Indigo Rooftop Bar
Hotel Indigo is a five-star hotel located in Kaohsiung’s Central Park. The rooftop bar is classy yet relaxing and has a great night view of the bustling area. Traditional street snacks like salty crispy chicken (鹹酥雞) are thoughtfully recreated. Cocktails are fun and creative. Oolong-Infused Long Island Iced Tea is served in a teapot! How cute is that?
📍Location: Google Map ⏰ Hours: 9 p.m. – 12 a.m. on Mon.-Thurs.; 9 p.m. – 1 a.m. on Fri. & Sat. ☎ Tel: 07-272-1888
ArtHouse Café (畫坊咖啡餐酒館)
If your trip takes you to Hamasen in the evening, stop by this casual bar for a drink. Although coffee is served, ArtHouse is an artsy bar with well-crafted cocktails. Thanks to its misleading English name, I stumbled upon this place while searching for coffee! Nevertheless, we like to sit on its balcony area to chill over cocktails with a romantic night view of the harbor. Bar snacks such as burgers and pizzas are decent here; however, do not go there on an empty stomach as service can be a bit slow.
📍Location: Google Map ⏰ Hours: 6 p.m. – 2 a.m.; Happy hour: Mon.-Fri. 6-9 p.m. ☎ Tel: 07-531-9340
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What else would you like to see on this list?