As a food lover, you’ve probably heard of Din Tai Fung (and maybe already eaten there?).

It’s a restaurant that started in Taipei, and has since expanded into 11 other countries (so far).

While they have a full menu, by far their most popular dish, and their claim to fame – really the main reason you go to eat there – is for the xiao long bao, Taiwanese soup dumplings.

During my trip to Taipei, I wasn’t going to miss it.

Taipei 101
View from the top of Taipei 101 on the 89th floor

Din Tai Fung at Tapei 101

Before getting into this post about eating at Din Tai Fung in Taipei, I have to say that I had already tried Din Tai Fung in Bangkok a few years previously. And to be honest with you, I was a bit disappointed with the flavors of the food.

But I knew I needed to re-try it again in Taiwan.

The original location of Din Tai Fung is located on Xinyi street in Taipei, and everyday for both lunch and dinner, there’s a massive crowd that waits in line to slurp down a few baskets of soup dumplings.

I first wanted to go to the original location. After all, I was in Taipei, so I may as well.

But since we had just visited the Taipei 101 observatory, and after reading plenty of reviews of the Taipei 101 branch of Din Tai Fung where everyone said it was just as good as the original, we went to the Taipei 101 Din Tai Fung.

making xiao long bao
Making dumplings

One of the most iconic symbols of eating at Din Tai Fung anywhere you are in the world is the small army of dumpling makers who look like medical researchers.

Sporting white shirts, white aprons, and white hats and masks, they work away making dumplings at a rapid pace by the quantities. But one of the best things about Din Tai Fung is that even though they produce heaps of dumplings, they are still hand-made, and you can really taste the difference.

what to eat at Din Tai Fung
Din Tai Fung menu

Din Tai Fung menu

As soon as we arrived to Din Tai Fung Taipei 101, we were greeted by the staff, brought over to our table, and the menu was already on our table waiting for us.

The menu is pretty extensive and includes a wide range of Taiwanese, mostly noodle based dishes, with plenty of side dishes.

But really, the entire menu is sort of an up-sell for the xiao long bao, which is what everyone really comes to Din Tai Fung to eat.

But you’ll also find noodle soup and dry noodles, vegetables, a few dim sum dishes, and a few other varieties of dumplings as well.

How to eat xiao long bao
How to eat xiao long bao

How to eat xiao long bao

Before coming to Din Tai Fung, I was more interested in plopping the entire dumpling in my mouth, right out of the steaming basket, and just enjoying the burning hot soup in my mouth.

But conveniently placed at every table at Din Tai Fung is a handy 4-step process for enjoying xiao long bao, and so I gave it a shot.

Here’s are the 4 steps written on the menu:

  1. Put soy sauce and vinegar into the bowl with sliced ginger. Our waitress said 1 part soy sauce to 3 parts vinegar would be best.
  2. Take the soup dumpling and dip it into the sauce.
  3. Then put the dumpling into your spoon, and poke a hole in the wrapper of the dumpling to release the juices.
  4. And finally eat.

I definitely cheated on quite a few dumplings, but this is the official way to eat a soup dumpling at Din Tai Fung.

Ok, let’s move on now to the food…

Din Tai Fung in Taipei
Pork xiao long bao – famous soup dumplings at Din Tai Fung

Pork xiao long bao – soup dumplings

As a blogger and food video maker, I have an obsession with taking photos of food, which normally means that by the time I take my first bite, whatever I’m eating is pretty cold (you can ask my wife about this!).

But this time, my wife and I decided we were going to hold off on taking photos and eat the xiao long bao immediately as it arrived, and then we would order a second tray and then take photos of that tray.

Xiao long bao must be eaten hot.

Price – 200 TWD per tray of 10 (we had 2 trays)

how to eat soup dumplings
This is Step 3, next step – devour!

Following the direction on how to eat a xiao long bao, I dipped my dumpling in the vinegar soy sauce, topped it with ginger, poked a hole into the side of the wrapper, and then took the entire dumpling in a single bite.

It was incredibly good.

Din Tai Fung Taiwan
Din Tai Fung at Taipei 101

The wrapper was thinner than other xiao long bao dumplings I’d had at other restaurants, and the entire dumpling felt more delicate. The pork inside was smooth and soft, and the soup had a wonderful porkiness, without being too oily, and then balanced by the sour vinegar and mild ginger.

What I really loved most about the xiao long bao is that it wasn’t overly salty, but really focused on the ingredients, without covering it up with salt.

Din Tai Fung at Taipei 101
The pickled cucumbers were incredibly crisp

Pickled cucumbers

Right as you walk into Din Tai Fung and take a seat, they offer you their speciality salads.

Being addicted to pickles, I couldn’t resist an order of their pickles, which came neatly arranged in a pyramid formation.

The pickles were incredibly crisp, juicy, and again, not too salty, with a just a little chili oil for flavor.

Price – 70 TWD

wakame
Din Tai Fung house salad included plenty of wakame

Din Tai Fung house salad

We also tried their house salad, which included thin strips of what I think was wakame, a thick sheet like seaweed, plus there were needle mushrooms, and bean sprouts in the mix.

What I liked about the house salad was its sesame oil flavor.

Price – 70 TWD

Din Tai Fung at Taipei 101
Noodles with minced pork sauce

Noodles with minced pork sauce

In addition to the dumplings, for more of a filling dish, I ordered what they called in English, noodles with minced pork sauce.

The noodles were very fresh, laid on the bottom of a bowl very delicately, and topped with a few scoops of a meat mixture that included pork, Chinese sausage, bits of tofu, and what I think were soy beans on top.

The meat sauce had a mild flavor, with a hint of hoisin to it and a slight sweetness from the sausage.

Just like the other dishes, I was pleasantly surprised how it wasn’t overly salty, but just good and fresh, although it could have used some serious chili sauce to bump up the flavor.

Price – 130 TWD

Din Tai Fung in Taiwan
Pork chop noodle soup

Pork chop noodle soup

My wife and her sister mostly ate the pork chop noodle soup we ordered, as I wanted to eat the dry noodles with pork.

The soup used the same noodles, but instead of meat sauce it came topped with a fried pork chop and submerged in soup.

It was alright, but nothing special.

Price – 190 TWD

Stir fried amaranth greens
Stir fried amaranth greens – plain but fresh

Stir fried amaranth greens

I’ve always been a big fan of vegetables, and they had about 6 different types of stir fried vegetables on the menu at Din Tai Fung.

I decided to go for stir fried amaranth greens, which came stir fried very lightly with just a few pieces of sautéed garlic.

The greens were light and fresh, similar to spinach, but not quite so much of that sliminess.

Price – 180 TWD

din tai fung menu
Sticky rice wrap with pork – good flavor

Sticky rice wrap with pork

One of my favorite dim sum dishes is lo mai gai, sticky glutinous rice filled with pork and other delicious goodies, then wrapped in a lotus leaf and steamed. I order it every time I eat dim sum, and it’s been my favorite since I was a kid.

The version at Din Tai Fung was a little simpler, and it mostly included just shreds of pork.

The rice was a wonderful gooey texture, and overall it was pretty tasty.

Price – 75 TWD

Din Tai Fung prices
Steamed taro xiao long bao

Steamed taro xiao long bao

After finishing off two trays of xiao long bao, and all the side dishes, I was honestly feeling quite full and satisfied.

But my wife and her sister wanted to try the steamed taro xiao long bao – a dessert version of the dumplings filled with sweet taro.

The taro inside was like creamy mashed potatoes, very soft and fluffy, and slightly sweet. If you enjoy sweets, this makes a good way to end your meal at Din Tai Fung.

Price – 85 TWD

how much is Din Tai Fung
Din Tai Fung prices

Our total bill

There were 3 of us eating, and I’d say we ordered quite a bit of food for the 3 of us – maybe a bit more than we needed – although we didn’t have any trouble finishing off everything.

Our total bill came to 1,320 TWD ($40.50).

restaurants in Taipei
Din Tai Fung – Taipei 101, Taiwan

Here’s the full video of our meal:

(Or you can watch the video on YouTube here)

Conclusion

Din Tai Fung is one of the most well-known restaurants in all of Taiwan, a place that specializes mainly in Taiwanese soup filled dumplings known as xiao long bao.

There are a number of locations throughout the world and within Taipei, and we chose to eat at the Taipei 101 branch.

Also, check out my Taipei Travel Guide here!

What really stood out to me about the food at Din Tai Fung was how delicate the flavors were and how nothing was overly salty – they really focused on the quality of the ingredients without covering them up with too much salt.

While the side dishes were all alright, the real highlight, which is also their claim to fame, is their pork xiao long bao.

I had eaten at Din Tai Fung before in Bangkok and wasn’t overly impressed, but I think this meal at Din Tai Fung in Taiwan was much better.

Din Tai Fung – Taipei 101 branch

Address: B1, No. 45, Shifu Rd., Taipei City (Taipei 101 Mall)
Open hours: Sunday – Thursday from 11 am – 9:30 pm, Friday and Saturday and the day before holidays from 11 am – 10 pm
Prices: You’re looking to pay about 300 – 500 TWD ($9.20 – $13.34) per person
How to get there: One of the great things about visiting Taipei is that it’s so easy to get around using the public transportation system. To get to Din Tai Fung Taipei 101, take the MRT to Taipei 101 station, follow the signs to exit at Taipei 101, and you’ll see Din Tai Fung right as you emerge from the MRT station.

Have you tried Din Tai Fung?



29 comments. I'd love to hear from you!

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  • Robert Muir

    2 years ago

    Dear Mark,

    I visited the Din Tai Fung franchise in Orchard Road Singapore during a day visit in July last year . Amongst other choices I tried the truffle Xao long bao ………. my god devine !

    Have you had this experience ?

    Enjoy your blog immensely ,

    Rob

  • Ross Hill

    2 years ago

    Anne and I visit the Melbourne DTF every week or two – we’re excited to try Taipei soon!

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Hey Ross, good to hear that. Have a fun trip to Taipei!

  • Eating Adventures

    2 years ago

    Hi Mark,

    Out of curiosity – how does the xiao long bao at Din Tai Fung in Taipei compare to xaio long bao on the street in Shanghai?

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Hey, unfortunately I have yet to visit Shanghai, I would love to visit!

  • Nai

    2 years ago

    Hi Mark,

    I love your blog and videos! I’ve had DTF in Seattle, WA and I just love the dumplings as much as their noodle dishes. I’m glad to hear there’s one in Bangkok. I’m visiting Thailand in November and DTF will have to be on my list!

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Hey Nai, glad you tried Din Tai Fung in Seattle, and that you’ll be coming to Bangkok!

  • Art

    2 years ago

    Tried the original branch in Xinyi. Food aside, one thing that’s very noteworthy is the service. Thanks to Alley for being very nice and accommodating.

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Hey Art, good to hear you tried the original branch, and happy to hear the service was so good!

  • Suvro

    2 years ago

    The soup is NOT from the pork, but a gelatin cube that is made from various clear broths.
    See
    http://steamykitchen.com/88-xiao-long-bao-shanghai-steamed-soup-dumplings.html
    and
    http://brandoesq.blogspot.com/2006/09/work-in-progress-xiao-long-bao.html

  • Bruno Gambini

    2 years ago

    I just loved the Taipei Vlogs! I never expected Taipei would be so much interesting and fun!

    I would like a lot to try these dumplings! They seem to be delicious! And at the end, all that food you eat for only 40USD, at about 13USD per person! Wow, it sure is cheap to eat in Asia!

    Too bad I never found dumplings to eat in Brazil, at least in the city I live. Do you know if Din Tai Fung has branches outside Asia, specially in the US or South America?

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Hey Bruno, thank you very much for watching and reading, really appreciate. Glad you’re interested in soup dumplings as well! Yes, they have branches in the US, I think in California and Washington, but I don’t think there are any in South America yet. Do you travel between North and South America frequently?

      • Bruno Gambini

        2 years ago

        Well, not so frequently as I liked to, but I really like the U.S., have been there many times, even lived there as an Exchange Student, to learn English, when I was a teenager. But, for my next trip, I really dream about going to Far East Asia, and watching your vlogs, I am able to know places that I did not know were so interesting, such as Taipei, Langkawi, Penang, etc.

        I felt sorry for your camera, hope you get it fixed soon. The day you ended the Taipei vlog and said “tomorrow we’ll be in Manila”. Wow, I was excited and waiting for the next day to arrive, in order to see Manila highlights. But, then, unfortunately, you told us about problem you had. Anyway, be waiting for your next awesome vlogs!

        • Mark Wiens

          2 years ago

          Hey Bruno, thank you very much for understanding. Yah I was pretty bummed at the camera breaking, but I do have a few videos coming, and we will try to return as soon as we can. Thank you for your support!

  • Hokyun

    2 years ago

    Hi Mark,

    Actually, I was wondering the very same thing as Victoria.
    How in the hell do you stay so fit after eating all those yummy food?
    Maybe it’s got to do with the weather in Thailand – a lot of sweating, and a lot of walking?

    As always, enjoyed the post.

    Hokyun

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Hey Hokyun, thank you for reading. I think it mostly has to do with my family genes, but also I try to keep pretty active and might be a combination of sweating and eating lots of chilies! But also I try to avoid sweets and packaged foods. Thank you!

  • Victoria Roth

    2 years ago

    Hi Mark and Ying,

    My friend told me that they have a place that serve soup dumplings in Seattle and its really good I will have to try it. Not sure if it’s DTF. My mouth watering just by watching your video. How do you and Ying stay so fit after all the delicious food you guys eat? Do you guys work out? Maybe being young has something to do with it, you think?

    Victoria Roth.

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Hey Victoria, thank you for reading and good to hear there’s a place near you serving soup dumplings. Yah, I think mostly due to our family genes, but also a combination of keeping active and I don’t care for sweets or packaged snacks. Let me know if you try the soup dumplings!

  • Amber

    2 years ago

    We’ve eaten at DTF all over the world, including the original in Taipei. And, I think maybe we have eaten at too many, but I still love the soup dumplings. We will most likely return next month when we are back in Bangkok. I eat mine a little different though. I actually bite the top of the dumpling to release the steam, then after a moment to let it cool, I suck out most of the soup. Then, I dunk in the ginger vinegar and then eat. The husband disagrees with my approach and skips the vinegar all together. I think it goes to show you that everyone has their own way. Thanks for sharing.

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Hey Amber, good to hear from you, glad you enjoy Din Tai Fung and soup dumplings. I’m going to have to try your method next time!

  • Top Secret

    2 years ago

    Hey Mark,
    As usual, a quality presentation. $40 bucks for 3 was an absolute bargain! There are 2 (yes 2!) DTF where I reside, and honest to god I’ve yet to patronize them (I know, shame on me). I never thought of XLB as being a “must try” type of food, I had it before but just not at a DTF location. That one Michelin star is surely their calling card….:) You can take that to the bank….that’s for sure. However, having said all that, I enjoyed the videos and keep them pouring in.

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Hey, good to hear from you, thank you very much for your support and for reading. Yah, I think the Michelin star has definitely helped them in their expansion around the world. Let me know if you try them!

  • Britt

    2 years ago

    They just opened one of these in Melbourne and your post reminded me that I need to get around to visiting!

    Xiao Long Bao is my favourite! But I’ve found that most places that do amazing Xiao Long Bao fail at everything else- I’m usually very disappointed in their main dishes.

    But its not too much of a hardship- when I go back I just fill up on the good stuff- the Xiao Long Bao.

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Hey Britt, cool to hear there’s a branch in Melbourne as well. Yah, I think you’ve got a point about that. Everything else here is good, but not really better than anywhere else, but the soup dumplings are really the highlight.

      • Britt

        2 years ago

        I popped into the Melbourne store yesterday after reading this post and the Xiao Long Bao were amazing. We just kept ordering more. The Taiwanese chicken was also a really yummy dish!

        • Mark Wiens

          2 years ago

          Wow, so cool to hear that Britt, glad you enjoyed the dumplings. I need to try the chicken next time!