Tried Mei-Kung earlier this week and loved it, but I’m looking for more villager-esque Thai food. You know, the cheap, really flavorful stuff that’s pretty authentic (and frankly, less Taiwanese). Any suggestions?
- Go to Taoyuan Intl Airport
- Buy ticket
- Arrive Bangkok
- Eat Bangkok street food
- Return Taipei
You have just saved yourself approximately NT$ 5,000 over the cost of a 2 person meal at Jolly
I used to know three cheap, authentic Thai places here. All three are now history.
Seriously tho, we’ve tried many Thai restaurants up and down the Tun Hwa corridor and the Jian Guo corridor and exactly three were anything better than edible: Very Thai, Jolly, and a larger place two alleys behind the Sherwood. None of them would be considered street food, and all are way more than cheap or even average I would say - high price. There used to be one (I think it was called Chao Phraya) next to Cosi o Cosi on Tun Hwa south of Civic, but they closed a year or two ago. There was also a lady in a tiny stall next to the Giant shop at Xin Yi and Jian Guo that made awesome Som Tam (papaya salad) - that little hole in the wall looks like it’s been sandblasted, she’s outta there.
However, I do know there are a large number of Thais working in Taipei on construction gigs, and you can be sure around their neighborhoods there’ll be a bunch of little places and stalls and what have you, but I’ve never figured out where exactly they live - probably in Sanchong or one of the cheaper (and less safer - sorry jp) parts of town. Maybe someone else here knows where there are large clumps of Thai?
There’s a bunch in Sanchong but I’ve no idea of the addresses. Closer to the city, there’s one that looks to be authentic near Songshan train station. It’s on Song Long Rd between Songshan Rd and Hulin St. I haven’t tried it, but have seen it packed with Thais.
Since there haven’t been too many replies, there are a couple of yunnan/thai places I particularly like. A-Hui on west side of shipai train station has a good cook in these days, very reliable now after a bad patch a year or so ago. i like the tom yam gung, everything pretty good. my favorite is near nanshihjiao station, forget huaxin street though. go out exit 4 and turn right on xingnan (without crossing it.) 5 or 10 stores down there’s a small place next to a pasta joint, i forget the name. it’s roughly across from the mcdonald’s. cook here is very good, i love the jiaoma chicken. free ice tea and pickled cabbage, friendly service.
Went back to that place in zhonghe again, that jiaoma chicken was good again, not anything else we got though. they list that as one of their “specialties,” if i ever go back i’d stick to those i guess.
a-hui on the other hand is still consistently top-notch, they got a good cook in there now
I can’t remember ever having decent Thai food in Taipei City. Well, some was decent enough, but not cheap and not authentic at all. Restaurant food, not street.
However, I know a couple of places in Xindian back streets that I go back to again and again. Rough-and-ready but very clean and much more like the food you get in Thailand. There’s one behind Dapinglin MRT station in particular that I like. No dishes over NT$100 and its the real deal. I’ll pick up a namecard next time I’m in.
OK we found a pretty good place. It’s on a side street in the Tong Hua night market, which just south of and parallel to Xin Yi, roughly between Jilong and An He. It was late and I didn’t grab a card, but it is just south of the night market in an alley, proceeding south it is on the left side, there is a yellowy lit sign sticking out that says in English “Thai Food” and some other stuff. It is in the alley that is either directly next to the wooden foot and body massage place, or one alley away. If you walk through the night market, there is a very small stand in the middle selling Som Tam (Thai papaya salad) - I think it’s “Linda’s Som Tam”, the Thai restaurant was in the alley across from her to the south, in fact she directed us to it. Pad Thai wasn’t quite as good as my wife’s, but the garlic pork, the Lad Na (noodles in sauce) and Pad Seyu (noodles) were pretty good, and the place was cheap.
I’m not sure if you are talking about the same one, but the great Thai place in the Tong Hua market is in the alley across from the Hi-Life. It is tiny, a little dirty and always has a zoo of animals running around but the food is great and inexpensive. They don’t have cards in there but next time I’m there I will take note of the exact address. If you wanna go before that you cant miss it. Go down the alley about ten meters and its right there.
their food is meh, IM(most humble of)O(s).
I hit that spot hard for many years, and at first I was like: “Wow, its grimy -soooooo authentic- their are animals everywhere -sooooo authetic- they speak Thai -sooooo authentic- blah zay blah zay I’m a foreigner in TW ,I know my shit about other Asian cultures, because I hit the backpacker circuit hard for a few years and watch channel 21 etc…wank wank wanker…check out my lonely planet collection and the stamps in my passport etc…I tagged myself in 594 photos from my last trip to somewhere ‘off the beaten path’ etc…I hate tourist traps nonsense” After being disappointed SEVERAL times for various reasons, I have curtailed my patronage (but still sneak in occasionally).
Realistically it has veered hard right towards every other Thai resto in TW. They don’t really have a dish that differentiates themselves from any other Thai restaurant here, and while it is one of the better ones, don’t get your hopes up.
My advice would be try them all and avoid the chains. I found one on DingJou Rd. in Gongguan that is pretty good, it is a Thai Hmong mix and they have some original plates. Not sure the name but they are family run and sell a bit of groceries out the front and wear a dashiki looking shirt as a uniform.
Hsinchuang (Thai laborers) and Jonghe (Burmese immigrants) might be good places to check, but I rarely hit the county so wouldn’t know where to start.
If you got a bit of scrilla, hit ‘Sukhothai’ in the Lai Lai Sheraton Hotel. Foofy Thai food at its best.
Deuce Dropper: Thanks for the “clever” sarcasm and the lesson on how to become a “real” traveler, but I was merely pointing out the layer of grime on the tables and the myriad of animals running around as I thought it might be a turnoff for some people. Of course the restaurant is not 100% authentic, but it is a decent place to pop into if you are in the neighborhood and looking to avoid the chains!