iVegan is Taiwan's first all-vegan supermarket. If you live in Taipei it's your one-stop shop for all your grocery needs, including fresh fruit and veggies, packaged goods, frozen foods, fresh baking, cleaning and body care products and even housewares.
iVegan opened its doors in August 2013, but I only made it for my first visit in April 2014, a fleeting visit before I left for the airport. I was expecting a small grocery store, but found a large, busy supermarket.
I had just enough time to whip around with my camera and stock up on Taiwanese tea (expensive and hard to find in Japan) and enough green curry paste to last me until I next return to Taiwan. Even in my short and rather limited shopping spree, it was most enjoyable, if a little strange (almost unnerving) to not need to check the ingredients of anything. It just didn't feel right to not have to check the curry paste for shrimp.
iVegan is in the basement of a mostly residential area, but it's well-signposted and just a hop, skip and a jump from Wanlong Station, just six stops from Taipei Main Station on the Green MRT line.
In such a fleeting visit I didn't get to ask the staff much about the supermarket, but the photos and title should speak for themselves/
Organic FoodsiVegan has a small organic selection with a wide assortment of products.
Dairy AlternativesIn the past imported dairy alternatives were difficult to find, except for locally-produced soymilk and tofu. I used to buy imported soymilk from Jasons grocery store (under Taipei 101 and in Hsinchu) but these soymilk outings are no longer necessary.
|I used to bring mayonnaise back from Japan.|
Indian FoodsiVegan sells both frozen and packaged Indian goods.
|frozen Indian foods|
|packaged Indian snacks|
Baked GoodsiVegan sells pizza from Veggie Joy and baked products from Fresh Bakery.
|various frozen products, including pizza from Veggie Joy|
|baked goods from Fresh Bakery.|
Cleaning, Body Care Products & Animal TestingAll products sold at iVegan are strictly vegan, so far as they don't contain any animal ingredients. However the store takes a pragmatic line on animal testing, since many customers off the street will expect to be able to buy conventional cleaners (at conventional prices) and it's difficult to find out about animal testing, especially of third-party ingredients (which most cleaners are made from) and for locally-produced products. IVegan avoids products from the big companies with the worst reputations (Unilever, Proctor & Gamble etc) and of course they support non animal-tested products as much as possible, but they do sell products from local suppliers as long as they don't contain animal ingredients. The store aims to improve its animal testing policy in the future, and welcomes suggestions on how it can achieve this. I didn't specifically check, but I'm sure there are enough products from reputable vegan suppliers that buying everything non-animal tested would not be a problem.
|iVegan has a large variety of vegan (and cruelty-free) body care products.|
Essentials08:00 - 22:00 (every day)
54 Wanlong Street, Wenshan District
It's a 250m walk from Exit 1. Car parking is available.
|There are plenty of signs to point you in the right direction from Wanlong Station, Exit 1.|
About Animals (動物誌)
Tragically, About Animals has permanently closed its doors at the end of March, 2018. This post is left here for posterity. About Animals was a pioneer among vegan restaurants in Taiwan, and also played an important role in other environmental and social justice movements, espsecially Taiwan's steps towards the legalisation of gay marraige.
Near iVegan is a new(ish) bar / restaurant About Animals. While many vegan business choose not to include vegan or animal-friendly references in the name to attract non-vegan customers, which often makes good sense on many levels, it's also refreshing to see a business which does, and nothing can be more direct than the name of this restaurant.
About Animals is run by animal rights activists, and also serves as a space for activist photography and events. It is the place to go to meet animal rights activists in Taipei.
About Animals feels very much like a typical, western pub / burger bar, making it one of its kind in Taiwan. Meals are simple but delicious, and for many foreigners or Taiwanese who've lived abroad it will very much be a taste of home. At a little over 300NT for a meal and drink (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) it's certainly on the expensive side for Taipei, but still good value. Note that About Animals is quite small, so it's probably better to stock up at iVegan after your meal, especially on a busy night.
About Animals is also a hop skip and a jump from Wanlong Station, but from Exit 2 (the other side of Roosevelt Rd from iVegan).
View iVegan (vegan supermarket) & About Animals (restaurant) in a larger map