- Quality: ★★★ – Good
- Location: Between Qiyan Station & Beitou Station, Taipei, Taiwan (Map Below)
- Type: All Vegan; Taiwanese & Thai
- Price: $$ – Average (for Taiwan, $100 TWD/$350 USD for a main dish)
- Hours: Mon-Sun, 11:30am-8pm
- Website: Restaurant Website, HappyCow Page
- Menu: Click Here
- Language Barrier: English Menu available
- Phone Number: 02-28947570
About & Location:
Yummy Vegan House is an all-vegan restaurant located in the Beitou district of Taiwan. Offers a small variety of Taiwanese,Chinese, and Thai main vegan dishes. Also serves small dishes, a few desserts, and drinks/smoothies. It’s located just about halfway between Beitou Station and Qiyan Station, although it’s slight closer to Qiyan Station. Both stations can be reached on the Red Line (Tamsui Line). If you’re coming from central Taipei, get on the train heading towards “Beitou.” There is only one exit from Qiyan station, on the north end, and to get to Yummy Vegan House you should take this exit and then keep walking north (towards Beitou Station).
- Chinese: 台北市北投區中央南路一段218號
- English: 218, Sec. 1, Zhongyang South Road, Beitou District, Taipei, Taiwan
Yummy Vegan House is a small cafe that serves mainly Taiwanese/Chinese dishes, including Fried Rice, Chinese Cheese Ramen, and dumplings. They do have some international offerings as well, such as brownies, smoothies, and a few Thai dishes. While the menu isn’t necessarily expansive, it has a good variety of soups, rice dishes, noodle dishes, and stir-fries, so there should be something to suit most tastes (so long as you like Taiwanese/Chinese food). The serving sizes are ample, but if you’re still hungry there’s also a lot of small side-dishes you can order.
I ended up ordering the Spices Fried Rice ($120 TWD), Handmade Peanuts Tofu side-dish ($45 TWD), and the Sweetened White Gourd Drink with Soymilk ($50 TWD). The Spices Fried Rice was exceptional, and tasted very different from the fried rice I used to eat at Chinese restaurants in the US. I think the difference might be a more liberal use of spice (presumably Chinese 5-spice) in this recipe – the cinnamon and cloves especially were really noticeable, but not in an overpowering way. It was perfect, not too oily or too spiced (at least for me). It included a nice assortment of fried veggies, including cabbage, okra, raisins, and mushrooms. It also came with a side of clear soup with tofu, seaweed and carrots.
When I ordered the Handmade Peanuts Tofu, I was expecting something more like fried tofu with peanut sauce (the kind I frequently used to order at Thai restaurants), but it turned out to be something I’d never tried before: block of chilled, creamy tofu with a salty, slightly sweet peanut glaze over the top. In spite of being very different from what I expected, I enjoyed it. I’m not a huge fan of cold tofu dishes, but the sauce was really delicious and (to me) unusual, so I wasn’t disappointed. Plus it was really refreshing in the hot Taiwan heat!
Lastly, I ordered the Sweetened White Gourd Drink with Soymilk, which I’d been really anxious to try. I’d seen a lot of stalls selling sweetened white gourd juice at Night Markets and in Ximending district, but they all seemed to contain honey, so I wasn’t able to try them. White Gourd is a white version of the aptly-named green Bitter Melon, a squash that grows throughout Asia (and in parts of Africa and the Middle East also). Although it’s very bitter, it’s long history of medicinal uses and unusual taste have made it very popular throughout Asia. I’d never seen Bitter Melon juice in Japan before, so I was surprised to see so much of it in Taiwan and hoped to try it (and thanks to Yummy Vegan House, I got to!). I was expecting it to be an interesting but slightly unpleasant experience, but actually it was incredible! The drink was so heavily sweetened that it wasn’t bitter at all. The flavor actually reminded me a lot of Horchata, which makes me wonder if there was a little cinnamon added into it.
On the way out I saw several bags of buns on the counter and had to buy them (I’m a huge fan of steam buns). They came in mixed packs of five with some really unusual flavors: one had a sesame paste filling, on had sesame seed and edible flower petals, one had chopped pistachios and seeds, and another had berries. Some of them I steamed in my hostel’s microwave, but I also ate a few un-steamed. That’s probably not an acceptable way to eat them, but for a hungry vegan on the go it was really useful to have a snack like this in my bag!
The restaurant was very clean but had a relaxed, casual atmosphere. They and English menu, although I’m not sure if the staff speak much English – I didn’t actively try to communicate with them, as it didn’t become necessary. My food was prepared quickly, and overall I had no problems at all with service. Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to return (there were just so many places to eat in Taiwan), but if I go again I will certainly be visiting here again! I want to try that Chinese Cheese Ramen!