Taipei is great for families because it offers plenty of activities both indoors and out while providing a clean, efficient metro system that’s easy to navigate — even with a stroller.
In between cruising the train, floating on the Maokong Gondola and riding the Ferris wheel atop Miramar Entertainment Park, take a lunch break at one of these family friendly restaurants.
For 40 years, Shin Yeh has been feeding dim sum to Taipei denizens and their hungry visitors. Most dim sum parlors are kid-friendly, filled as they are with a low rumble of good cheer and the clinking of chopsticks and teacups.
Shin Yeh is well-stocked with highchairs, booster seats, plastic plates and cutlery, though note that the Taipei 101 branch is much more upscale than the original restaurant and not as good for groups with young children.
The salt and pepper fried oysters are a guaranteed crowd-pleaser at the start of your meal. The fresh spring roll filled with cabbage, bean sprouts and ground peanuts is a riot of textures and, in its burrito-like shape, easy for little hands to hold.
The seafood is quite good here, especially stir-fried prawns with cashews, both refreshing and filling.
Din Tai Fung
This restaurant specializing in xiao long bao (soup dumplings) began life in 1958 as a humble cooking oil shop. Over time, it expanded, opening in 1972 as a full-service restaurant. Today, Din Tai Fung has branches across Asia, and you’ll even find four locations in the United States, all on the West Coast.
Its dumplings have a cult following, and many connoisseurs consider these to be the gold standard of xiao long bao. Make good use of your time in Taipei by tucking into a steamer or two of these sublime bites, as well as a variety of menu options, including soy-marinated smoked fish, sliced duck spring rolls and deep-fried handmade tofu with water chestnuts and mushrooms.
Picky eaters can always fall back on fried rice, available with myriad toppings, or steamed buns filled with pork or red bean.
Highchairs, booster seats, cute plastic dinnerware and even training chopsticks are available for kids.
Unless you’re going for breakfast, eschew the Xinyi branch, where you’ll always see a line in the hot sun.
If you’ve got kids with energy to burn, head straight to this charming eatery. The first floor, done up in fun retro décor, has a slide that zips children down to a basement playroom, where there’s additional seating.
Tykes can draw on the walls, hide in teepees and lounge on bean bags as they play with the small selection of toys. Naturally, there are plenty of wooden highchairs available.
As for the adult-centered cuisine, the Taipei restaurant serves continental European fare, with a focus on seasonal ingredients. Dishes that will please everyone at the table include steak atop a mountain of colorful vegetables such as baby corn and juicy cherry tomatoes, and the more casual baguette sandwiches with various fillings, served with French fries. Though you’ll smile most at the taste, the whimsical plate presentation will leave your kids grinning.