With more than 5,000 7-Eleven stores in Taiwan, there’s one on every street corner. The best part? They’re a mini food market all on its own. Taiwan 7-Eleven must buy items will ease your hunger pangs at 3 am.
Yes, Taiwan is well known for its street food and night markets. But much like Japan, there is a big local culture of eating at convenience stores. They even have a sitting area where you can sit and enjoy your food!
Taiwan 7-Eleven stores are so impressive, you could probably eat all three meals there for over a week without having to repeat the same food item twice. The wide variety of options aside, Taiwan 7-Eleven has some of the most unique food items that you will not find anywhere else in the world!
With so much to choose from, how can you make up your mind? Here are our top 10 Taiwan 7-Eleven must buy!
1. Tea Eggs
A classic snack you shouldn’t miss out on while in Taiwan, you’ll smell their savoury and herby scent before you even see them. These hard-boiled eggs are simmered in an aromatic tea broth that imparts a flavour like no other. A humble snack great for any time of the day.
A true testament to their popularity? An average of 40 million tea eggs are sold every year through 7-Eleven chains alone!
2. Xiao Long Bao
Xiao long bao? In a 7-Eleven? You read that right.
Good XLBs don’t just exist in Chinese restaurants. You’ll also find them on refrigerator shelves in a 7-Eleven in Taiwan! The package comes with six soup dumplings, along with some soy sauce and even a tiny fork.
When you make your purchase, you can also use their microwave to heat up the soup dumplings. There are clear instructions on the package, so you’ll know exactly how long to heat them up for.
3. Tianbula (Taiwanese Tempura)
Tianbula literally means “sweet not spicy” in Mandarin. And don’t be mistaken, there’s nothing about it that’s like Japanese tempura. In fact, tianbula is actually oden, a one-pot dish where a variety of ingredients are boiled in a light, soy-flavored broth.
While you can find this popular dish all over Taiwan and in night markets, you can also get it at a 7-Eleven. Customize your own bowl with the variety of ingredients such as fishcakes, tofu, daikon, meatballs and many more.
Simply grab a paper bowl from beside the pot or underneath the counter, pick the items you like and pay at the cashier. If you have your reservations about the ingredients sitting in the pot for too long, don’t worry because tianbula is one of the most popular snacks in Taiwan 7-Eleven. They don’t sit around for very long, definitely one of the Taiwan 7-Eleven must buy food snacks in our opinion!
4. Onigiri (Japanese Rice Ball)
Onigiris are another popular food item in Taiwan 7-Eleven, and it’s not hard to see why. They’re easy to eat, and come in a wide variety of options with unique ingredients such as braised pork, pork floss, shrimp, and different types of fish.
Perhaps the most ingenious thing about an onigiri is its packaging. Each corner is numbered 1 through 3 and directions are shown on how to open it. The seaweed and rice are separated by a thin film to prevent the seaweed from getting soggy. Yay for fresh and crispy seaweed!
And check out this onigiri that comes complete with an onsen egg! Simply heat it up in the microwave for 3 minutes and you’ll get a perfectly gooey egg.
5. Taiwanese Instant Noodles
Taiwanese instant noodles seriously puts all other countries’ instant noodles to shame.
Just look at these Sesame Oil Chicken and Shaoxing Wine Chicken instant noodles, that both come with real chicken chunks! The store also provides hot water for you to cook your noodles, along with a pair of disposable chopsticks.
After trying the instant noodles in Taiwan, you will never go back to the boring old Tom Yum, Seafood and Chicken flavours again.
6. Microwave Meals/Bentos
Rice bowls are a huge thing in Taiwan. Whether it’s topped with chicken, braised pork or tofu, you can definitely find a bento version of it in a 7-Eleven. Simply make your purchase, pop it in the microwave and you’ll have a satisfying meal. And what’s impressive is that there is none of that mushy, left-on-the-shelf-for-too-long sort of texture.
Believe it or not, these bentos from 7-11 may even taste better than some of the ones sold outside!
7. Sweet Potatoes
Before you look at us with disapproval, we promise, these sweet potatoes aren’t just any sweet potatoes.
They’re sweet, fluffy, and come piping hot as they’re kept warm on heated rocks. Makes for a pretty interesting display! Not to mention, sweet potatoes are highly nutritious, full of fibre and vitamins. Definitely one of the healthier Taiwan 7-Eleven must buy food snacks!
8. Pineapple Bitter Gourd Chicken Soup
A Taiwanese twist on the Chinese bitter gourd chicken soup. This is a popular food item during the summertime, as it has a cooling effect on the body.
Pineapple in chicken soup might sound weird, but the tang and acidity actually complements the bitterness from the bitter gourd, making the soup taste much lighter. We say give it a try!
9. Unique Potato Chips
Everybody loves potato chips. And no other country does potato chips like Taiwan. Strawberry yoghurt? Scallion pancake? Pork sausage, grilled beef, soy sauce? Any flavour you can possibly think of, you’ll find it in a 7-Eleven here. If only we had four stomachs like a cow so we can eat everything.
10. Ice Cream
Apart from its food, Taiwan is also known for two things: pineapple tarts, and bubble tea. So it should come as no surprise that these snacks have been transformed into ice cream versions!
You can even get gelato from Ninao – one of Tainan’s hottest gelato parlour – in a 7-Eleven. Try out their most popular flavours: Caramel Egg Pudding and Honey Milk Tea.
Don’t worry if none of those interest you. If you haven’t learnt already, Taiwan 7-Eleven seems to carry a wide variety of anything and everything. Ice cream is no exception. You’ll find classic flavours like vanilla, to Asian-inspired ones like matcha and red bean, along with popsicles, and soft serve too!