Give Now

Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Letters From Taipei: Vegetarian Buffets

It can be hard sometimes to find good vegetarian options in US restaurants. In Taiwan, though, the trouble is narrowing down what you want.

taiwan vegetarian buffet with tongs

Photo: Sara Conrad (Earth Eats)

You'd better budget your plate space well.

Food is only one part of a culture and its traditions, but since everyone eats, it’s considered by some to be one of the most important parts. Food is more than what we eat to survive; it has meaning too. Ask someone what they ate for lunch, and you already know a lot about them.

Lots Of Reasons

In the US, vegetarians choose not to eat meat for a range of religious, economical, humane and ecological reasons. It’s the same in Taiwan, and there are a lot vegetarian restaurants here, many of them Buddhist.

I know right away when a see a sign with “素店“, I am in the right place. And if there’s a Buddhist symbol posted, I not only know I’m going to get wonderful vegetarian cuisine but that I’m also going to see a small altar somewhere in the restaurant and hear Buddhist chants playing softly in the background. It’s truly a complete experience.

The Protocol

When walking into a vegetarian buffet, you grab either a to-go box or a plate and tongs (like at the bakery). You then peruse a massive variety of food, picking and choosing how to fill your plate. When you’re finished, or there’s no more room on your plate, the cashier will weigh it and charge you.

I have never paid more than $6 for myself and my son together.

Can’t beat that.

Read More:

  • Letters From Taipei: Noodles Galore (Earth Eats)
  • Letters From Taipei: An Introduction (Earth Eats)
Sara Conrad

Sara is an eternal student. Currently studying Tibetan Culture at Indiana University, she loves to cook with fresh, organic, vegetarian ingredients – but also has never turned down fake mashed potatoes in a buffet line.

View all posts by this author »

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Earth Eats:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

About Earth Eats

Search Earth Eats

Earth Eats on Twitter

Earth Eats on Flickr

Harvest Public Media