Vege Creek started out as a single restaurant close to Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall, but they have gradually expanded into Taiwan's second largest restaurant chain after the Loving Huts. While their original branch, near Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall, offers by far the best dining experience, in 2018 they offered quite a few branches which are particularly useful to travellers, including a branch in the Shin Kong Mitsukoshi Department Store opposite Taipei Main Station, and most recently a branch in the Taipei 101 foodcourt. While their original store offers by far the best dining experience, with so many other vegan restaurants in Taiwan now, I recommend that most visitors just go to stores where it is convenient.
Vege Creek combines modern minimalism in its simplicity with an enormous array of possible meals, with all ingredients hand-picked by the customer for a unique and delicious meal. It's run by two young men who saved money on working holidays in Australia, and returned to Taiwan to set up Vege Creek. It recently featured in the Taipei Times, Taiwan's leading English-language newspaper.
|You know your meal's going to be fresh when it starts with choosing your vegetables from here...|
Customers first choose fresh vegetables off a wall, and then select additional ingredients, such as tofu, mushrooms etc, and place them in a basket. They then choose a card for a type of noodle, and take these to counter to pay. The chef then uses a small kitchen behind the counter and a lot of skill and flair to whip these up into a one-pot wonder in minutes.
|and then additional ingredients from here...|
In many ways, Vege Creek employs the cook-to-order section from the large all-you-can-eat buffets (such as my favourite Fruitful Food) and makes a restaurant out of it. Almost frightening in its simplicity, it's hard to believe that no one I know of has done it before, in Taiwan or elsewhere.
|and then finally a card from here to determine the type of noodle (wheat, bean, ramen, instant, non-fried noodles) .|
The cards for the type of noodle will affect the meal significantly. All meals are cooked in a simple, healthy broth of in salt, pepper and traditional Chinese medicinal herb. Condiments are available, including a fiery chilli sauce, ginger, garlic and Toona, a Chinese herbal flavour similar to basil.
|Take these to the counter to pay. It then takes the chef only a few minutes to turn these...|
|into this! It was cooked to perfection, down to the last piece of vege.|
Price have increased somewhat over the years, or rather each bag contains fewer items than it did when the store opened, and a satisfying meal for a hungry foreigner now runs to NT$200-300.
Yanjie Street, Lane 129, Number 2
Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall Station, Exit 1
The rest of these locations are inside shopping malls, so keep very reliable hours, mostly until around 21:00 or later. They are mostly open during national holidays when other restaurants close.
Taipei Main Station
A new branch recently opened in the B1 foodcourt of the Shin Kong Mistukoshi Station (the tallest building around, just opposite Taipei Main Station). The find the foodcourt, walk out any South Exit of Taipei Main Station (ground floor), through the courtyard, cross the road and enter the tall building over the road. Take the escalators down to B1, and then Veggie Creek is at the north end of the foodcourt, close to the convenience store and the exit which leads back up to the road.
A new branch has recently opened in the foodcourt of Taipei 101. It's located near the famous Din Tai Fong, and Jason's supermarket.
The world's first 24-hour bookstore not only features a Veggie Creek, but also a branch of the Minder Vegetarian chain. This was their second branch, and is still one of the most popular. It's usually open until around 21:30. It used to be open the latest of all vegan restaurants in Taipei, but now Ooh Cha Cha's new bar, Hooch, is open until midnight. Take the stairs down to the Starbucks, keep going down until you reach the food court, and it's on the far side, diagonally across the food court.
|Vege Creek, Dunan Store|