Top 7 Food to Eat in Sanxia Old Street 2023

sanxia old street flag taiwan
Beautiful afternoon at Sanxia Old Street.

Sanxia has been my home for the past 3 years and it’s a great place to live near Taipei. Whenever I have free time, old streets would first come to mind. Both Jiufen Old Street and Tamsui Old Street are great for first timers but if you want something unique then Sanxia Old Street offers something that you won’t experience anywhere else.

There are many interesting foods that can only be found here! I have tried at many restaurants and food stalls so you will have my first-hand experience of what I recommend should eat in Sanxia.

This guide is dedicated to the food that I highly recommend you try out when wandering through those beautiful red bricked streets. I made a separate guide about all you need to know before coming to Sanxia Old Street.

Read on to find out which food to eat in Sanxia Old Street!

sanxia old street temple
Check out the majestic Sanxia Qingshui Zushi Temple.

How to get to Sanxia from Taipei?

From Taipei, Sanxia can be easily reached by several options:

1. Public Transport (MRT and Bus)

Taking the MRT (Taiwan’s Subway) will take an hour and cost around TWD 40. Go to your nearest MRT station and take the Bannan Line (blue line) to Yongning Station Exit 1 then take the 916 bus to arrive at Sanxia.

2. Uber or Taxi

Taking an Uber or a taxi from Taipei to Sanxia is probably the easiest option. But it will cost you around TWD 500 – 700 and the ride will take less than an hour. I would recommend taking this option if you are traveling in a group of 3 or more people. As you can distribute the cost to not be too expensive and the good side is that it will arrive quicker.

yingge old street 2023
Explore the beautiful ceramic district of Yingge Old Street.

>> Tip: Combine your trip with Yingge Old Street just a few blocks away from Sanxia Old Street and what food to eat in Yingge. <<

How to go back to Taipei from Sanxia

Going back to Taipei from Sanxia is easy since the 916 bus will still operate until midnight. The route to head back is pretty much the same as I’ve described above but in reverse.

What to eat in Sanxia Old Street

And here are some of my must-eat foods in Sanxia Old Street(and which restaurants I recommend!). And the best part is that they are very affordable! So do grab a bite whenever you’re strolling these beautiful red-arched corridors

1. Sanxia Ox Horn (三峽牛角) at 金三峽牛角

food to eat in sanxia old street
The golden cow mascot with unique croissant horns.

If you’re coming to Sanxia Old Street then this must be your first food as it is a staple in Sanxia. More known as “Sanxia Niu Jiao” by locals as a delightful pastry that resembles a cow’s horns.

You might be thinking what’s the difference with croissants then? Well, it came with a boatload of flavors that came as fillings (chocolate, custard, red bean paste, and more). 

The most famous store that sells them fresh every day is (金三峽牛角) (Google Maps), they are easy to recognize just try to find the golden cow with a Sanxia Ox Horn as its horn (it’s pretty cute!)

If it’s your first time then I recommend getting the 金菠蘿牛角 which is their number 1 product! It tastes like pineapple cake but with a bit of crispiness to it. If that’s not enough, then go for the other flavors, I have tried 6 of them, and it’s all very delicious.

sanxia old street 10 bread pack
Box of 三峽牛角 full of different flavors.

Other shops sell this sanxia specialty but I personally never tried them. It’s kind of interesting because not every Taiwanese seems to know that 牛角 came from Sanxia.

Whenever I offered my friends this local snack, they would outright ask me where I got it and most of the time they would be shocked that it was from Sanxia. Some stores even held cooking classes where you can make your own Ox Horn Bread and decorate it with cute edible cookies.

2. Bian Dang (便當) at 厚道飲食店

bian dang taiwan
Get some healthy bian dang.

More commonly known as Taiwanese Bento Boxes which can be found throughout whole Taiwan. The restaurant that I recommend you to try is 厚道飲食店 三峽店 (Google Maps) which has big portions and delicious tender meat. So what’s the difference with Japan’s Bento boxes you might ask, well here it has more of a traditional ambiance to it.

Unlike Japan where it is served with convenience and quick. Here you get the option to choose the side dishes to put alongside your meal.

These lunchboxes have been a welcoming dish in Taiwanese cuisine for generations. Originally inspired by Japanese bento boxes during the Japanese colonial period, you can see how much Bian Dang has changed.

bian dang bak
They have various meat and veggies you can choose from.

A typical Bian Dang that you might find includes a serving of braised pork belly (Lu Rou), which is tender and bursting with savory goodness. Accompanying the pork is a portion of fluffy white rice cooked to perfection, and pickled vegetables that add a refreshing crunch to each bite.

3. Egg Cake (蛋餅) at Xiang Mei Breakfast Restaurant

dan bing sanxia
The process of cooking Egg Cake.

If you are looking for that unique Taiwanese breakfast dish, then this is your best choice! It is a beloved breakfast classic that exists in many brunch stores throughout the island. It might look simple but it is a flavorful dish that has many locals coming for more.

Xiang Mei Breakfast Restaurant (Google Maps) is known to make fresh and amazing “Dan Bing” in Sanxia! It’s a must-try when exploring the beautiful streets of Sanxia Old Street.

If you’re wondering how they make this breakfast, they start with a thin layer of egg which is spread evenly on a hot griddle. Next, a dough mixture, often mixed from a blend of wheat and sweet potato starch, is added on top. As the two ingredients cook together, they create a blend of textures – the crispy outer layer of the crepe and the soft, slightly chewy interior.

egg cake
Delicious Dan Bing with meaty beef.

>> Taipei has many old streets and amazing street foods, check out my specific guide of 10 Best Street Foods in Taipei to help you find which food to try next. <<

4. Pig Blood Cake (豬血糕) at 鄭記三角豬血糕

zhu xue gao
Pig Blood Cake coated with peanut and celery.

Pronounced as “zhu xue gao”, literally translates to “pig’s blood cake.” Yes, you heard it right, it is made from pig’s blood and when I first tasted it, it was very chewy and you won’t be able to tell that it actually has blood mixed in it.

Taiwan has many dishes that combine blood into their cooking like Stinky Tofu (the soup one) will have some duck blood to go alongside with it. So my advice is if you are afraid of eating blood, don’t be! Take it from my experience, It tastes like jelly with a bit of salty flavor.

While it may sound unusual, it’s a popular street food in Taiwan, including the charming streets of Sanxia Old Street. 鄭記三角豬血糕 (Google Maps) serves one of the best in this area with generous portions. This snack is made from a mixture of pork blood and sticky rice, which is then steamed until it solidifies into a cake-like form. Afterward, it’s often sliced into small pieces and served on skewers.

zhu xue gao coat
How they coat the Zhu Xue Gao with peanut.

Pig Blood Cake has a unique texture that’s somewhat chewy and slightly springy, reminiscent of a dense and slightly spongy cake. The taste, however, is mild, with the flavor of pork blood being subtle and not overpowering. It tends to absorb the flavors of the sauces it’s paired with.

What makes this snack popular is the variety of sauces and seasonings it’s paired with. Common choices include a savory soy sauce, a spicy chili sauce, or a sweet hoisin sauce. You have the freedom to choose your preferred sauce, customizing the taste to your liking.

5. Grilled Quail Eggs (烤鳥蛋) at 鳥來姨烤鳥蛋

kao niao dan
These sizzling sound of bird eggs.

These bite-sized snacks often referred to as “Kao Niao Dan” are small quail eggs that are skewered and grilled to perfection. Despite their miniature size, they pack a big punch in terms of flavor and texture.

I saw these skewers many times during my time in night markets and it has always been a busy stall. Creating this bite-sized treat is an interesting feast to the eyes and also delicious on the mouth. 鳥來姨烤鳥蛋 (Google Maps) is your best place to get fresh and quick servings of these Kao Niao Dan!

After finished cooking, these quail eggs are threaded onto skewers, usually several eggs per stick. These skewers are then grilled over an open flame, resulting in eggs with a slightly crispy exterior while retaining a soft and creamy interior.

kao niao dan single
You can choose which flavor you want.

The great thing about Grilled Quail Eggs is the contrast between the crunchy, slightly charred outer layer and the creamy, savory goodness within. Taking each bite offers a burst of flavor that’s both satisfying.

It is often seasoned with a dash of salt or other spices, adding depth to the overall experience. Some vendors also offer dipping sauces, such as soy sauce or chili sauce, for an extra kick of flavor. 

6. Braised Pork Rice (滷肉飯) at 老街豬腳飯

san xia lu rou fan
Perfectly braised pork rice.

This classic Taiwanese dish known as “Lu Rou Fan” is a flavorful masterpiece that has captured the hearts of locals and travelers(especially me).

I always find myself thinking about this food whenever I’m in Taiwan, mostly because I like rice, and combining it with juicy pork meat makes it an all-time favorite dish of mine.

Whenever I am in Sanxia Old Street, 老街豬腳飯 (Google Maps) will be my first choice for Lu Rou Fan. The great thing about this local shop is they have a wide range of authentic Taiwanese foods like 餛飩湯意麵 (a soup noodle with many veggies and Wonton) and 皮蛋豆腐 (tofu served with century egg on top).

It is so common that even every night markets will have many stalls offering this comfort food. Their tender and juicy pieces of pork belly have been slow-cooked to perfection in a fragrant soy-based sauce. The result is a blend of savory, sweet, and aromatic flavors that are sure to leave you wanting for more.

braised pork rice wwang
One of my favorites in Taipei is called Wang’s Broth.

Braised Pork Rice is typically served over a bed of steamed white rice, creating a hearty and filling meal. Some variations include additional toppings like pickled vegetables or a perfectly cooked hard-boiled egg, adding extra layers of taste and texture to the dish.

One of the remarkable aspects is its widespread availability throughout Taiwan, including Sanxia Old Street. Every region may put its own unique twist on the dish, offering a delightful range of flavors for you to explore.

7. Pork Ribs Rice (排骨飯) at 東道飲食亭 

pai gu fan
You need to try this Pai Gu Fan.

Another classic Taiwanese dish that is known for its flavorful pork ribs. Pork Ribs Rice or “Pai Gu Fan” is actually quite similar to Bian Dang, and the reason I separated the two is because of how popular it is here in Sanxia.

東道飲食亭 (Google Maps) has been a local favorite, many people come here to have a taste of their famous pork rice. If you order Pai Gu Fan, you will get juicy pork ribs that are seasoned and cooked to perfection. The ribs are typically marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, garlic, and other aromatic spices, infusing them with rich and savory flavors.

The star of this dish, the pork ribs, is usually served atop a generous portion of steamed white rice. The combination of tender meat and fluffy rice creates a satisfying and filling meal that’s loved by locals and travelers alike.

yingge old street bian dang
A great restaurant in Yingge for Pai Gu Fan.

One of the highlights of Pai Gu Fan is its emphasis on bold and savory flavors. The marinade used for the pork ribs is often a closely guarded secret, passed down through generations in family-owned restaurants and street food stalls. This dedication to flavor is what sets Pai Gu Fan apart and makes it a must-try dish.

While the classic version of Pai Gu Fan is a treat in itself, you may also encounter variations that include additional toppings like pickled vegetables, a soy-infused hard-boiled egg, or a savory gravy. These additions offer a unique twist on the dish, adding complexity to the taste and enhancing the overall experience.

Planning to travel to Taipei?

If this trip will be your first time in Taiwan then visiting the very capital should be your top choice! Not only does Taipei offer amazing things that you can do, but there are many other spots like old streets and night markets that you should consider visiting as well.

Alright, hope you will get the chance to try these 7 must-eat food. Let me know below if you find this post useful or not, and if you have questions or suggestions to add. Until next time!

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