At least in my humble opinion. I’ve been meaning to get this up on here for quite a while. So I’m just going to try and keep it short and sweet. Actually, short and savoury.
Beef Noodles. They are serious business here in Taiwan. In fact, there’s an annual festival celebrating the beloved Taiwanese dish and awards are given away in a few different catagories, for different types of broths and whatnot. The aroma is very recognizable and it often feels like you smell it around every corner. Not every bowl of beef noodle soup is created equal though. Not by a long shot.
Rewind to about 6 years ago. We had just moved back to Taipei, and a sweet friend from Kaohsiung came up to visit. We had plans to meet her brother, who lives in Taipei, for dinner. He had this great beef noodle place he wanted to bring us to. I was actually nervous. Can you believe that? He was raving about this place, and I was nervous that I wouldn’t like it. I could not have been more wrong. This was my first experience with beef noodle soup in Taiwan, even including our previous 3 years in Kaohsiung. I had no idea what I was missing! I’ve been hooked ever since. Although I’ve tried many other places, often with their own very tasty variation, nothing has quite compared.
My place has some options on what you’d like included in your bowl. You can order your hand made noodles thick or thin and have clear broth or a rich dark broth. You can have both beef and tendons included, if you so desire. I just go with the beef. To save money. Because, you know, it’s actually cheaper to leave out the tendons. I think some places offer tripe too. Ah yes, no thank you. But back to the beef. Big hunks of tender beef, that just fall apart because they’re so perfect. Amazing. The rich, salty broth…it comforts you in a way that you never knew you needed to be comforted. And the noodles?? Don’t even get me started. I’m going on a bit too much about this now, yes?
How to Find the Best Beef Noodles in Taipei
So, there’s no English on the sign. And there’s no English menu either. It’s actually a small Mom & Pop kind of place. It’s kind of a Taiwanese secret. People there have asked me before how I knew about it. (Thanks good friend’s brother!!) I heard a rumour once that the President of Taiwan gets his beef noodle fix from this place. I have no idea if that’s true. But if we’re in the middle of a beef noodle discussion it’s highly likely that I’ll rudely cut you off mid-sentence to just put that little tidbit out there.
There’s no MRT stop within walking distance and I’m sure there are buses, but I have no idea of the numbers. My plan of attack is to always have a Taiwanese friend call ahead and put in my order. Then I drive there with at least one other friend, and I park while they run over and pick up the good stuff. There is some space to park in temporarily right across the road (that’s actually quite an amazing thing in Taipei). And if there’s no room there, you can park underground at the hospital for up to 30 minutes free. Also a good option if you don’t have a friend in on the action with you.
So here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to give you the location on Google Maps and the phone numbers. And wish you the best of luck. Seriously, this place is a bit of a hassle to get to…but really, REALLY so worth it. Especially now that it’s finally getting cool. (I’m so sick of sweating.)
Call them at 2723-9372 or 2722-2707 and order your wonderfulness. I prefer thick noodles, dark broth and no (ahem) tendons. But you go with what your heart tells you to order! It’s currently 200 NT per order. 3 orders will feed my family of 5 for dinner. Oh, they also make a killer Shou Zhua Bing (手抓并) that my friend is obsessed with. And with good reason. It’s like a green onion pancake, but sans green onions and not greasy. They’re 50 NT a pop. Pick up your wonderfulness here at No.239 Wuxing Street, Xinyi District. Enjoy!