To get great handmade ice cream in Taipei, you don’t necessarily have to go searching for obscure hole-in-the-wall shops that specialize exclusively in ice cream – many restaurants make ice cream as a side business. VIVO Spanish Tapas is one of these. A concept restaurant that offers a complete experience VIVO boasts authentic Spanish cuisine (the head chef is a native of Barcelona); an extensive menu that includes brunch, lunch, dinner and imported wines; artistic modern atmosphere with quirky art-deco design; indoor and outdoor seating; a full coffee bar; and, most importantly, an ice cream bar serving a selection of fresh house-made gelatos and sorbets!
台南是一個很特別的，帶有獨特風格的地方。台南料理是全台最代表又最美味的; 台南人有濃烈當地身分。我的台南朋友Perry說，”來台南，大家都是台南人。” 但我還會加上，來台南，每一種料理都是台南料理。當我住台南的時候我很快發現，吃外國料理本來是浪費時間(還浪費錢!)，因為一般來講它最後都吃起來好像台灣料理–還是多吃虱目魚粥、鱔魚意麵等等正宗當地經典料理比較好，反正這些都比較好吃喔!
Tainan is a special city with a unique style, the most famous cuisine in Taiwan, and fierce local pride. My friend Perry says, “everyone who comes to Tainan becomes a Tainanese.” I’d also add that every food that comes to Tainan becomes Tainanese. When I lived in Tainan I quickly discovered that it’s a waste of time (and money!) eating foreign food, because it all comes out tasting like Taiwanese food – it’s better to stick with authentic local classics like milk fish congee and eel noodles, which taste better anyway. But there are exceptions, of course. Tainan may not have the best pho, kimchi soup, Indian curries or hamburgers, but detail-oriented Tainanese are very adept at churning out some top-quality handmade ice cream. There are several famous ice cream shops in the city, but my favourite is a well-kept secret hidden in a residential part of East District: Vita Ice Cream. Continue reading
It seems the Songshan area is turning into my second ice cream hunting ground. First it was Tenten Gelateria, and now Matias’ Gelato; meanwhile, the number of Songshan addresses on my ice cream hit list continues to grow. But Songshan isn’t the all-you-can-eat window shopping and food-gawking buffet that its neighbour Zhongxiao Fuxing/Dunhua is. Things are a little more spread-out here – you have to do a little work to find the goods! Hidden in plain view on Fuxing North Road, Matias is one of the easier shops to find. Continue reading
The area between Zhongxiao Dunhua and Zhongxiao Fuxing in Taipei’s Da’an district is a gourmet paradise. Along with all kinds of local and international eateries, it’s also home to several of Taipei’s most popular and innovative hand-made ice cream shops. One of these is Crème French Ice Cream, which specializes in low-fat, flavour-rich French-style ice cream. French-style ice cream is unusual in Taiwan – the only other French ice cream shop I’ve found in Taiwan so far is Le Pélican in Kenting.
Located on Guling Street in Taipei City, Le Petit Baron is one of the few handmade ice cream shops in Zhongzheng district. The storefront is tiny – I’ve passed by countless times and only recently noticed it was there. Le Petit Baron’s original location is in Tainan, and they only opened their Taipei location last year – they apparently celebrated their one year anniversary just last week! The owner went to Italy specifically to learn the art of traditional Italian-style gelato. Each day Le Petit Baron has up to 12 different gourmet gelatos to choose from, including refreshing fruit flavours, rich cream-based flavours, liqueur flavours, and limited-edition specialty flavours. According to the staff, the only fixed daily offerings are chocolate and vanilla – the others all vary daily.
Attention all vegan and lactose-intolerant friends – I have some good news for you. You can get vegan soymilk soft-serve in Taipei!
Located just steps from trendy Yongkang street and Dongmen MRT station, IOU Cafe sells house-made gelato, frozen yogurt, soft-serve and sorbet, as well as several popular afternoon tea treats and classic Taiwan-style sweets such as snowflake ice, mango ice and waffles. There are several ice creams made with local ingredients such as Maokong Tieguanyin tea and Taiwanese Irwin mangoes. They also offer exotic flavours such as dark chocolate and cherry, which are made with imported ingredients.