Taichung's Best Vegan Restaurants

Located in the centre of Taiwan, Taichung has few sights or attractions, and I don’t recommend that visitors to Taiwan spend more than an afternoon in the city, mostly for a couple of good meals, as Taichung boasts some of the country's best vegan restaurants. Taichung is, however, considered a great place to live, for vegans and non-vegans, Taiwanese and foreigners. Compared with Taipei weather is milder, air is cleaner (all things being relative) and it now has an excellent - and free - bus system, with an MRT (subway) in the works.

The Taichung vegan scene is led by Bluesomeone, who was and still is Taiwan’s most famous vegan blogger.  She has inevitably needed to turn down her blogging now that she and her engineer-gone-chef run a busy café and a new restaurant, and she now writes little in English, but here is her blog (Chinese only) and her Facebook Page, with some English.

I am working on a Taichung chapter for my travel guide to Taiwan for vegans, but am posting this in the meantime, for readers of my books or (as always) for anyone looking for information on vegan food in Taiwan. 

Summary

Best restaurants overall: Bluesomeone’s Vegan Restaurant & Veg Farm.
I strongly recommend that all visitors to Taichung try at least these two restaurants.

A nice place to chill, with a drink, snack or light meal: Bluesomeone’s Vegan Café
Something different: Gaia Café (Singaporean)

Veganday Cuisine ($$, Fusion)

11:30 - 15:00; 5:30 - 21:00 (every day)
西區大忠南街91號
Da Zhong South Street, Number 91
4.5km from Taichung Station, or an hour's walk. It's accessible from several bus routes (use directions link immediately below).


This sample spread from the opening party displays some of the most popular menu items. I personally tried the fried wontons (front middle) and the cauliflower wings (rear middle); both were delicious, and about as healthy as fried food like this can be.  


Bluesomeone’s new restaurant serves far more creative food, and while it’s just opened, from my visit as a customer and when I recently attended her opening party, I can say that she seems certain to serve some of the best Western and fusion food in Taiwan. If you have time when you pass through Taichung, I highly recommend a visit. It also has a small bench along a wall where customers can do PC work.

Veg Farm (無國界蔬食餐廳, $$$, International)

Mon-Tue, Thu-Fri: 11:30-21:30, Sat-Sun: 11:00-21:30, closed Wednesday.
北區學士路206號
Number 206, Xue Shi Road, North District
Five kilometres north of Taichung Station. Several buses ply the route. 
Several buses ply this route.

Delicious, healthy tortillas from VegFarm. The only place which does comparable vegan mexican food in Taiwan is Tofunia in Taipei.

I believe I have eaten at every vegan restaurant in Taiwan, and I think I can safely say that Veg Farm has the best vegan international cuisine in Taiwan, including some very authentic Mexican dishes. If you're craving a tortilla, fresh hummus, or a healthy salad then this is the place to come.  They also serve some great desserts, including matcha (real matcha!) cake, and baked apples - a taste from my childhood I've never seen in Taiwan before.

Food is fresh and healthy, and service is excellent. Emphasis, however, is clearly on the food more than the atmosphere, and the restaurant can become crowded at busy times due to its popularity. This is probably Taichung's most expensive restaurant, so expect to spend around NT500 (or more) per person, but this is excellent value for what will almost certainly be one of your best meals in Taiwan. 

Bluesomeone’s Vegan Café (瑪登布魯, Western, $$)

Thu-Tue: 11:30-16:00, 5:30-20:30, closed Wednesday
民權路53巷3-1號
Number 3-1, Minquan Road
A few minutes'walk from Taichung Railway Station
It can be difficult to find as GPS doesn't work so well in the narrow alley; before giving up try around all the nearest corners. There is always a sign out the front.
 



It’s not easy to find a British-style pub in Taiwan, much less a vegan one. Someone who must have really loved or missed their local café / pub in England must have somehow imported all this old furniture and set this up many years ago. It was then taken over and run as a quiet, quirky vegan cafe by a semi-retired vegan man. When he retired (from that) it was taken over by Bluesomeone, who kept the decor and also introduced some main meals, mostly rice and casserole dishes, and also a lentil-based shepherd's pie. The cafe is most famous, however, for its unique atmosphere, its drinks and its desserts, which include waffles and ice cream. While these come together for a very enjoyable and memorable dining experience, for Bluesomeone's cuisine at its best I recommend her new sister restaurant Veganday Cuisine (below). Set meals cost around NT400.

This is a busy café with large, wooden dining tables. As such, it’s not somewhere to work (and take up a table) for a long time. Veganday Cuisine (below) has a bench along the wall suitable for reading or doing PC work. This is a place for a meal, a drink and conversation, and is perfect for spending that hour before your train, since it’s only a few minutes’ walk from the Taichung Station.

Gaia Café Bistro (啡比尋嚐, $$, Singaporean)

Call first to check they are open (staff speak English): (04) 2462-7001
台中市西屯區福順路255巷26號
Xitun District, Fushun Road, Lane 255, Number 26
10 kilometre's drive from Taichung Railway Station, or up to an hour by bus (use directions below from your phone or tablet).


Indian food is always good, but this had quite a unique Singaporean twist.

Gaia is, as far as I know, Taiwan’s only Singaporean vegan restaurant, and certainly the only place to get a vegan Laksa in this vegan-friendly country.  In fitting with Singapore’s cosmopolitan society, Gaia also serves Taichung’s only Indian curries (for Taipei, please see the new vegetarian Flavour of India). Besides the fragrant Singaporean flavours, Gaia also offers some good Western-style burgers.

Other Restaurants Not Listed Here

The restaurants listed here are so far the only ones I am confident are 100% vegan. There are several other restaurants which are listed as vegan on Happycow because either the owners or customers believe that they are, but they may well be “vegan restaurants which aren’t”, that is restaurants run by vegetarians (or non-vegetarians) which don’t serve meat or dairy, but are ignorant or neglectful of animal-derived ingredients, especially in their sauces or fake meat. The only reviewer of Tesher Veg House (listed on Happycow as vegan, as we can’t prove otherwise) writes: “The ladies running the kitchen were also delightfully sweet even though we couldn't communicate that well with them. We did confirm that everything was vegan though!” As delightful as the ladies no doubt are, it’s unlikely that the menu at a place like this is intentionally vegan. That is not to say, however, that it’s impossible to get vegan food at others, or that we shouldn’t visit them to encourage and educate the owners in veganism. But if you can’t speak Chinese, here are some places which I’m very confident are 100% vegan.

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