'Grandma Houses'

Old House Inn 'Xie House'

Dotted around Tainan are several ‘Old House Inn’ Xie Houses 謝宅. They are old Japanese Western housing. The owner is dedicated to preserving Tainan’s past by restoring his old family homes and turning them into Inns. There’s no website, so best message them on Instagram @oldhouseinn2008.

To book a room in the Inn you must book in advance. When checking in, one of the guides will meet you on the street and takes you to the house. The rooms have Japanese bedding and german engineered baths – a very tranquil place to stay.

Secret Locations

Measuring the Sugar Apple

Qing Ji Shuigou Hang

Taiwan is known as the fruit kingdom. Most fruit will be extremely good, fresh and so sweet.

Go to ‘Qing Ji Shuigou Hang’ 清吉水果 Fruit Shop and try the sugar apple which is crazy sweet. But only eat this after you’ve drunk your fruit juice of choice. Otherwise everything will taste bland. There is also an option to upgrade your juice with a bottle of Yakult!


No. 294, Section 1, Fuqian Road,
West Central District, Tainan 700

Cool Shaved Ice Shop

Majikku Shaved Ice

A very cool place tucked away in an old market. They only serve two items:

Shaved Ice and Butter Beer. A ‘Majikku’  type of place. Very fun and quick, and a much needed cooling stop from the hot weather. At night, the lights go down, and they serve their selection of whisky. Shaved Ice, Butter Beer and Whisky what more could you want from a place.

It’s not the easiest place to find, so if you are lost – head towards Mi Shi Coffee 秘式咖啡

No.23, Lane 2, Shennong Street, West Central District,
Tainan City, Taiwan 700

A Ming himself

A Ming Pig Hearts

Every trip to Tainan will involve a visit to A Ming 阿明豬心. Wander down the ‘Bo An Road’ for popular street snacking. Ah Mins offal is a Tainan institution.  Keep an eye out for Ah Min himself, who memorises the entire restaurants orders without writing anything down. Get the Pig Heart with Glass Noodles.

On the same street is a ‘Ah Long Xiangchang Shu Rou’ and ‘Chun Yen Fang Noodles’ both recommended.

No. 72號, Bao'an Road, West Central District,
Tainan City, Taiwan 700

A quick xiao chi pit stop

Turkey Rice
Roubuo Turkey Rice

An old favourite, and so simple – the most moist and oily turkey over freshly plump steamed chi shiang rice and a little pickle. Recent trips have not been as good as used to be.  If you visit, grab a small bowl to share between two and move onto the next Xiao Chi.

No. 12-2, Gongyuan Road, West Central District,
Tainan, Taipei

Milkfish balls

Yong Ji

A popular breakfast place for locals. Get the Lu Ro Fan and their speciality – the milk fish ball soup. Milkfish are farmed around Taiwan and are popular in Taiwan’s food culture. Often served as roughly formed fish balls. Here they are served in a light refreshing soup. The special fish skin soup runs out early.

82-1, Kaishan Rd, West Central District,
Tainan, Taiwan

Roadside Dumpling fix

No Name Noodles and Spicy Wonton

Walk down from Ching Ji Fruit shop and look out for a queue for ‘No name spicy Wonton. ‘Hong You Chao Shou’. As with anything good, there will be a queue, but it is worth it. Situated on Fu Qian Road. Order the spicy wontons and the yang chun noodle, which means ‘simplest noodle’.

No.322, Section 1, Fuqian Road, West Central District
Tainan City, Taiwan 700

A retro cafe

Kadoya Coffee & Sweets

A retro cafe, inspired by the Showa Japanese Kissaten. Here you can taste the dreamiest cakes, so pretty and tasty, where the chef owner learnt the true essence of Japanese Western Patisserie.

It has become infamous for it’s owner disliking guests taking photos and instagramming the very instagrammable retro vibes.

Leather upholstered chairs, metal tea wares and dollies, make you nostalgic for a by gone era.

No. 36號, Section 1, Shulin St, East District,
Tainan City

A rest from all the walking

Pari Pari Apartments

A vintage Japanese kissaten (which means tea-drinking-shop’). It has a shop on the ground floor, a cafe on the first floor and an apartment that you can rent on the top floor.

Just opposite is a good value sushi shop Zyuu Tsubo, with only ten seats. Arrive before it opens to get a spot or you will be faced with a very long wait time.

No. 9號, Lane 158, Section 2, Zhongyi Road,
West Central District, Tainan City

Shin Ben Shan Almond Tea

Shin Ben Shan Almond Tea

An almond drink specialist. Get the Hong Yu Tea with Almond, which also has a hint of condensed milk or simply the freshly made Almond milk. A good cooling pitstop for the hot weather, you’ll find it on Guo Hua Street.

No.8, Lane 20, Section 3, Guo Hua Street, West District,
Tainan, Taiwan 700

Squid noodle soup

Guo Hua Street

One of the nicest things about Tainan, is the mini trails around the city. One of our favourite trails is Guo Hua Street.

You’ll see an old indoor market tucked away off the street, start there. It doesn’t look like much but inside there is a very good Shaved Ice Shop, Jiang Hsui Hao, serving traditional shaved ice. Just behind this shop is a Yi Mien Shop serving Wonton Yi Mian Noodles with a serving of it’s homemade special (very spicy) chilli sauce.

Venture out and right outside is a Squid Noodle Stall, serving a very light and clean broth. A stones throw away, just around the corner is the Almond Milk stall.

Between Section2 and Section 3 Guo Hua Street, West District,
Tainan, Taiwan 700

Night Market

Hua Yuan 'Flower' Night Market

The largest Night Market in Taiwan. From a distance it looks like a battlefield with all the tall flags waving. Only open on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. There is endless food and like all night markets it gets extremely busy. Come ready with an empty belly, as you will want to try lots of food.

Some of the popular Taiwanese street foods are: Stinky Tofu, Ducks Blood in Soup, Taiwanese Sausage and Rice Sausage, Fried Chicken and Ice Cream Wrap with Shaved Peanut Brittle and Coriander.

No. 533號, Section 3, Hai'an Road, North District

Temples hidden in back alleys

Walking the alleys
Shennong Street

Tainan is like the Kyoto of Japan. It’s an older city that is great to just walk around. Wander through the city, going through the tiny alleys and find hidden gems. Dotted around the city are all types of temples.

If it’s your first time in Tainan, try Shennong Street 神農街. It’s a nice area to walk around. However it’s quite touristy, so don’t expect hidden gems and quality food. Instead go to experience a nicely preserved street capturing the history of Tainan.

Shennong Street, West Central District
  • Qing Ji Shuigou Hang
  • Majikku Shaved Ice
  • A Ming Pig Hearts
  • Roubuo Turkey Rice
  • Yong Ji
  • No Name Noodles and Spicy Wonton
  • Kadoya Coffee & Sweets
  • Pari Pari Apartments
  • Shin Ben Shan Almond Tea
  • Guo Hua Street
  • Hua Yuan 'Flower' Night Market
  • Shennong Street


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