[Taipei] Tao Yuan Street Beef Noodles 桃源街牛肉面
Address: No. 15, Táoyuán St, Zhongzheng District, Taipei | 台北市中正区桃源街15号
Closest Metro stop: Ximending 西门町
Hours: Mon-Sun, 10:00am – 8:00pm
Date visited: December 2013
Thoughts: It was delicious and I'm happy to enjoy this as my first meal in Taipei as some claim it to be the best in Taipei. However, I personally liked the meat and red-braised spicy broth at 林東芳牛肉面 (Lin Dong Fang Beef Noodles) more.
This shop actually doesn't have an official name. It's commonly referred to as 桃源街 (无招牌) 牛肉面, which directly translates to "Tao Yuan Street (No Name) Beef Noodles," since there are two beef noodle houses on the same street, one with a name and one without. The one without a name is actually more acclaimed.
It'd be difficult to accidentally stumble upon as the site's quite out of sight (haha). It's popular nonetheless and you'll find the place packed during any regular meal hour.
Some locals claim that this is one of the best Taiwanese beef noodle shops in the city and way better than the more internationally famed 永康牛肉面 (Yong Kang Beef Noodles) but others beg to differ. I have not tried Yong Kang so I can't speak for it but I do prefer Lin Dong Fang more.
There are two floors but by the time my friends and I arrived at 7:30pm (almost closing time), it was still a full house.
Like most specialized beef noodle shops in Taiwan, there's only a limited menu. You have two types of beef noodles to choose from: red-braised spicy broth 红烧牛肉面, or clear broth 清汤牛肉面. I was disappointed by their lack of beef tendon (my favorite!), but I figured that if they only beef shank, it better be exceptional.
(P.S. They also offer a pork knuckle noodle soup (猪软骨面) if you don't eat beef.)
Clear broth braised beef noodle soup (NT$180) . I normally would have ordered the red-braised noodle soup but I had a sore throat so I went for the clear broth. The broth was savory without being salty. I didn't feel thirst-quenched afterwards, which probably means there was little or no MSG for extra flavoring.
The noodles were firm and chewy though not the hand-cut thick type. .
I wasn't mind-blown but reasonably impressed as my first meal in Taipei. I would recommend it if you happen to be in the area.
Edit: Check out Lin Dong Fang Beef Noodles (林东芳牛肉面)! I liked their beef noodles more.