When people talk about the “Best Beef Noodles in Taipei”, it is usually a toss-up between Yong Kang Beef Noodles 永康牛肉麺館 or Lin Dong Fang Beef Noodles 林東芳牛肉麵.
Though there are also supporters for other humble-looking but renowned shops such as Liu Shandong Beef Noodles 劉山東牛肉麵, Niu Dian Beef Noodles 牛店精燉牛肉麵, and Halal Chinese Beef Noodles 清真中國牛肉麵食館.
While you never had Beef Noodles in Taiwan before, I must say they are quite unlike any others you have tried before – mostly with thick noodles, different parts of the beef such as shank and tendon, tupically in two types of soup choices.
The “Qing Dun” 清燉 comes with a clear broth with no soy sauce added, typically with lighter taste; while the “Hong Shao” 红燒 is with a dark, more flavourful, mildly spicy soy-infused stock.
Here are some of the best you can Taiwanese Beef Noodles you can find in Taipei:
Lin Dong Fang Beef Noodles 林東芳牛肉麵
No. 322, Section 2, Bade Road, Zhongshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 104
Tel: +886 2 2752 2556
Opening Hours: 11am – 3am (Mon – Sat), Closed Sun
Google Maps – Lin Dong Fang Beef Noodles
Lin Dong Fang Beef Noodles has recently moved with a spanking-new look, much different from the “hole-in-the-wall” eatery that it used to be like.
On the menu are the signature bowls of Beef Noodles (NT$160, NT$190), Half Tendon Half Beef Noodles (NT$210, NT$260), Beef Tripe Noodles (NT$210, NT$240), and Beef Tendon Noodles (NT$240, NT$270).
I ordered a bowl of Beef Noodles, which at NT$160 is an affordable SGD7 or USD5.20.
The light aroma arrived before the bowl, and while the soup looked slightly clear, it was surprisingly flavourful underlying with taste of herbs and spices that didn’t overpower the rest.
Compared to other beef noodle soups that are more robust (especially if you order a ”hong shao”), this had a cleaner, pleasing taste that was still complex and appetising.
The stock is said to be cooked over 20 hours, using beef bones and a secret blend of herbs.
As for the side dishes, the must-order is recommended to be the “Hua Gan” (NT$40) – dried tofu cooked in beef stock. Lin Dong Fang Beef Noodles 林東芳牛肉麵 (Zhongshan District, Taipei)
Niu Dian Beef Noodles 牛店
No. 91, Kunming Street, Wanhua District, Taipei City, Taiwan 108
Tel: +886 2 2389 5577
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 2:30pm, 5pm – 8pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon
Google Maps – Niou Dien Beef Noodles
Despite having a rather ‘short’ history of slightly more than 10 years, Niou Dien Beef Noodles (or Niu Dian) 牛店 has won quite a number of accolades, including the Michelin Bib Gourmand.
It is not difficult to find a long queue outside the shop, also because it is a short walk away from the popular Xi Men Ding and Red House.
One of the most popular bowl is its Man Han Beef Noodles滿漢牛肉麵 (NT$280, SGD12.90) which includes the three different cuts of beef shin, tendon and tripe all together.
The winning element has to be its stock, a consommé like broth cooked from beef bones, mirepoix and herbs.
While the soup is clear and clean-tasting, I was surprised to find it both flavourful and with depth. The appeal is in its subtle flavours, and I found myself taking spoonful after spoonful, letting that warm feeling trickle down the belly. Niu Dian Beef Noodles 牛店 (Wanhua District, Taipei)
Yong Kang Beef Noodles 永康牛肉麺館
No. 17, Lane 31, Section 2, Jinshan South Road, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106 (Near Dongmen MRT, Exit 4)
Tel: +886 2 2351 1051
Opening Hours: 11:00am – 3:30pm, 4:30pm – 9:00pm (Mon – Sun)
Google Maps – Yongkang Beef Noodles
Yong Kang Beef Noodles 永康牛肉麺館 is known to be one of the best Taiwanese beef noodle joints in Taipei, well-known for its spicy soup.
This two-level restaurant serves up signature Beef Noodles with tender Australian beef and chewy noodles in a flavourful broth, definitively a winner judging by the line in front of this dining establishment. (The other famous shop in the neighbourhood is 老张牛肉麵店 Lao Zhang Beef Noodles.)
Their signature dish is the Braised Beef with Noodles in Spicy Broth (NT$200 for small, NT$230 for large, SGD9.00 and SGD10.30).
I enjoyed the “Hong Shao” style of beef broth. It was hearty, aromatic, with that distinct and unique herbal taste. Moderately on the spicy side, the soup was hot and flavourful, that I didn’t have problem finishing.
The Clear Broth Beef Noodles, named “To Stews With Beef Noodles” on the menu (NT$230, NT$200), had a cleaner soup base which reminded me of shio ramen.
The soup base would less intense and you could appreciate the natural flavours of the beef better.
Another feature of the noodles was the Australian beef used, more tender and robust. Yong Kang Beef Noodles 永康牛肉麺館 (Yong Kang Street, Taipei)
Liu Shandong Beef Noodles 劉山東牛肉麵
No. 2, Lane 14, Section 1, Kaifeng Street, Zhongzheng District, Taipei, 110
Tel: +886 2 2311 3581
Opening Hours: 8:00am – 8:00pm (Mon – Sat), Closed Sun
Google Maps – Liu Shandong Beef Noodles (Taipei)
Founded by 劉佩芹 who came to Taiwan in 1949 post-war and started a street side stall selling beef noodles made Shandong-style, his hometown.
With many people from Shandong missing that hometown flavour, it became an instant hit and business flourished.
It is now run by second generation owner 劉少麟 who returned to his dad’s beef noodle stall 30 years ago after his initial business failed.
Known for its specialty Beef Noodles made with beef braised the Shandong way and chewy handmade heavy noodles that need 15 minutes cooking time.
Liu Shandong is the only place in Taiwan to get this type of extra thick noodles.
Popular for its huge portions at an affordable price, Liu Shandong’s rich and robust beefy stock is made with beef bones as well as fat and tendon trimmed from strips and chunks of beef.
What’s unique at Liu Shandong is its use of beef breast and not beef shin which is more commonly used in other beef noodle shops. Liu Shandong Beef Noodles 劉山東牛肉麵 (Zhongzheng District, Taipei)
Jian Hong Beef Noodles 建宏牛肉麵
No. 7, Xining Rd, Wanhua District, Taipei City, Taiwan 108
Tel: +886 2 2371 2747
Opening Hours: 24 Hours
Google Maps – Jian Hong Beef Noodles
While the eatery is not located near a train station, getting here is not that hard – about a 5 to 10 minutes’ walk from the main Ximending food street.
The one feature is that the beef noodle joint opens 24/7, which can satisfy your hunger from wee hours of the morning to middle of the night.
To a tourist who cannot read traditional Chinese, ordering may be tricky as there is no English menu.
Offerings include Beef Noodles, Mixed Beef Noodles, Beef Innards Noodles, also available in soup versions.
They all come in 3 sizes, priced at an inexpensive NT$90 for small, NT$100 for medium, and NT$110 for a large bowl (SGD4, 4.40, 4.85.) This is considering some stores are selling theirs double the price.
Another plus point: Diners can get refillable soup and noodles.
To be honest, while the Australian beef and tendon were cooked quite tender, the same cannot be said about the soup.
The broth with mild herbal taste was decent enough though not particularly memorable, when compared to the other famous brands. Perhaps it could have been more robust, flavourful with more depth. Jian Hong Beef Noodles 建宏牛肉麵 (Wanhua District, Taipei)
Halal Chinese Beef Noodles 清真中國牛肉麵食館
No.1 Lane 137, Alley 7 Yanji Street, Da’an District, Taipei, Taiwan
Tel: +886 2 2721 4771
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 2pm, 5pm – 8:30pm (Mon – Sun)
Halal Chinese Beef Noodles
Shin Kong Mitsukoshi A8 Basement 2, 110, Taiwan, Taipei City, Xinyi District, Songgao Road
Tel +886 2 2722 2646
Opening Hours: 11am – 9:30pm (Sun – Thurs), 11am – 10pm (Fri – Sat)
For Muslim friends travelling to Taipei, worry not as there are quite a number of Halal food establishments to be found in the city.
One of which is Halal Chinese Beef Noodles 清真中國牛肉麵食館, known for its Taiwanese-style Beef Noodles.
There are two branches to be found: the original at Yanji Street which is more casual and old-school, and the swankier branch at the food-court basement of Shin Kong Mitsukoshi A8.
Halal Chinese Beef Noodles boosts of over 60 years of history, known for using fresh Taiwanese beef that is not frozen in order to best retain the natural flavours and texture.
I ordered a Hong Shao Noodles which came with braised beef which was tender and tasty, and broth which had that deep-beef flavour, aromatic, slightly greasy but manageable.
The beef stock is said to be simmered all day to develop deep flavours without much greasiness.
After trying quite a number of broths and must say that their version was indeed quite flavourful, which could be a shoo-in for Top 3. Halal Chinese Beef Noodles 清真中國牛肉麵食館 (Xinyi District, Taipei)
Other Related Entries
Yong Kang Beef Noodles 永康牛肉麺館 (Yong Kang Street, Taipei)
Liu Shandong Beef Noodles 劉山東牛肉麵 (Zhongzheng District, Taipei)
Halal Chinese Beef Noodles 清真中國牛肉麵食館 (Xinyi District, Taipei)
Jian Hong Beef Noodles 建宏牛肉麵 (Wanhua District, Taipei)
Lin Dong Fang Beef Noodles 林東芳牛肉麵 (Zhongshan District, Taipei)
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