Travelers usually eat breakfast at hotel or convenience store. Some BnB facility may help you eat like be at home but no surprise. Trip in Taiwan, you should try local breakfast. It is clean and cheaper choice for travelers, moreover it is a fast way to discover local culture here in Taiwan.
Original Taiwan people make living by farming. The main crops are sugarcane and rice. Farmers sweat a lot and need a real food like rice and meat. However not everyone can afford pork or beef. So rice porridge with pickles, fermented bean curd or sweet potato congee is a common breakfast before 70’s. Nowadays, every children like porridge with dry meat floss. Some Tainan restaurant even serves congee with seafood, such as fish and oyster. The famous one is A-Ton congee (阿堂鹹粥). It’s a must eat restaurant in Tainan. You can show the picture to local people and they will lead you to there.
But you must visit them very early (05:00~07:00) and you can enjoy the freshest seafood.
Clay oven rolls (燒餅), fried bread stick(油條) and soybean milk(豆漿) are imported to Taiwan after China troops retreated to Taiwan in 1949, the solders are far away their home and no chance to back, so that clay oven rolls are comfort food to recall their hometown. Cookers put pastry dough on mud brick oven or barrels of gasoline and bake them by firewood. it make clay oven rolls one side burned and crispy. Bread stick always goes with clay oven rolls. You also can dip bread stick into soybean milk. The most famous Chinese-Style breakfast shops is Yung-Ho Soybean Milk (永和豆漿). Funny thing is some shop even opened from 10pm to 10am. Yes, it is served for late night snack to breakfast. The first Yung-Ho Soybean Milk shop is located in New Taipei city YungHo district. Now it is a chain store and you can easily find it in other cities.
Soup noodle (湯麵) or soup rice vermicelli (米粉湯) or Thick soup noodle(米粉羹) is popular at every traditional market. In the beginning it is for housewives or students. All this kind of soup is from stewed pork bones (only bone, without meat). If you are lucky, you may get a small piece of meat (minced meat from side of bone). Mixing white pepper or chili sauce will make it as a full energy. I almost ate it every day at my last two years in elementary school.
Egg pancake is popular breakfast for workers. It is best food for take out. Many different tastes can fulfill everyone’s request, such as smoked chicken, tuna, pork, ham, corn, cheese or vegetable. In some shop, you may choose rice noodle pancake or whole wheat. The famous shop name is similar and funny. Beauty and nice (美而美), beauty and also nice (美又美), beautiful day and nice (美天美), it is because they were branches in the beginning and change name after contract is expired.
Rice ball is from Japan. It is a triangular shape of rice ball with rolled seaweed outside and nothing inside. Taiwan cooks learned it and changes a lot. The shape becomes round and mix many salted vegetable, boiled egg, pork, tuna or even kimuchi. Many students like it and usually take out. It could be a healthy choice if you choose black glutinous rice or brown rice and stuffed fresh vegetable and egg white only. The black glutinous rice looks a purple color outside and actually it is special rice species with full of nutrition. The big chain store Rick rick ball (瑞斯飯糰 ) is not just make the rice ball but also provide good service. I used to eat it in weekend morning and feel their warm welcom.
Taiwan bakeries are easy found in every street. Not like France baguette, it usually puts some stuffing inside the bread, such as red bean, butter, coconut butter, meat floss, curry and spring onion. If you want something greasy, Taiwan style bread is a good choice. Nowadays many Taiwan bakery chefs get formal bakery training from France or Japan. The most famous one is Wu Pao-Chun (吳寶春). Learn at a local bakery from his 15 years old, his signature dish use Taiwan local ingredients like litchi and dry longan won the championship of Coupe Louise Lesaffre in France (Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie). He owns two bakeries in Taipei and Kaohsiung, you can find the bakery website and get there.吳寶春
Most of breakfast can be took out, if you are not busy on the trip, suggest you eat in the restaurant and be relax, you may know more about Taiwan cultures from the morning.