The Best Taiwanese Spins on Global Food Brands’ Menus

city543-gastronomy-month-food-cuisine-fine-dining-theme-icon This August, City543 serves up delicious articles on fancy restaurants and cooking classes, bakeries and regional specialties; we’ll teach you the art of choosing, cooking and eating good food.


When in Rome, do as Romans do. The same applies to food. From McDonalds to Coldstone, international food brands are no stranger to adjusting to the local flavor. Taiwan is undeniably a land of great unique food, and smart food brands know the need to adapt. Here are some of the most interesting and awesome Taiwanese takes on global household name food brands.

KFC Egg Tarts

KFC Egg Tart

The KFC egg tarts are everyone’s favorite thing to order from KFC for a nice dessert to cap off a fast food meal. These little pastries are Portuguese, but have been personalized all over Asia per local food culture. The KFCs in Taiwan have come out with mango, brown sugar and even mochi-infused egg tarts.

image via KFC

Pineapple and Super Mango Donuts from Krispy Kreme

夏季KOOL 涼套餐

When it comes to desserts, nothing’s more American than doughnuts, but even the most representative of the American pastry has the potential of a Taiwanese twist. Krispy Kreme comes out with seasonal goods corresponding to Taiwan’s fruit harvest seasons. This summer’s hottest item has been the Pineapple Ring and Super Mango Donuts, available at the two Kreme stores in Taipei City.

image via Krispy Kreme

McDonald’s Spicy Chicken Burger and Corn Soup

Corn Soup S_hero

Although the American menu for McDonalds hasn’t changed in what seems like decades, it’s been changing all around the world according to the local taste, and Taiwan is no exception, of course. From taro or pineapple pies to the family favorite corn soup, the McDonalds here has plenty of Taiwan-only options. Other favorites include the spicy chicken burger, sesame- and matcha-flavored McFlurrys and seasonal options like the Pineapple Shrimp Burger.

image via McDonalds

Tieguanyin Ice Cream from Coldstone

TieGuanYin Coldstone

Tieguanyin (鐵觀音) is a type of tea similar to Oolong and is a local tea favorite harvested in Taipei’s Muzha area. Garnished with raisins, pumpkin seeds,and osmanthus flower syrup, this unique dessert is the definition of the traditional Taiwanese sweet tooth that can’t be found anywhere else in the world.

image via Coldstone

Seaweed Flavored Cheetos

Seaweed Cheetos

Although it shocks most westerners, seaweed flavored-anything is a common snack choice in the Taiwanese household. Even one of the most popular cheesy snacks like Cheetos is not exempt. This sea-veggie twist on the American snack is available in most convenient stores across the country.

image via 7net

Practically the Entire Menu at Pizza Hut

pizza hut

Out of all the brands of the world, perhaps none localizes nearly as much as Pizza Hut. A majority of the Pizza Hut menu is sculpted uniquely to the Taiwanese taste – such as the Takoyaki, Kimchi, Matsusaka Beef, fried shrimp pizzas, and even a vegetarian option that comes with peas and corn. We can’t imagine any of these flavors ever being ordered at the regular pizza parties in the States – but all of them are surprisingly delicious! While the American Pizza Hut only offers breadsticks as sides, Taiwan’s unique Pizza Hut comes with sides ranging from salads, fish-shaped fish sticks, vegetable casseroles, to bite-sized chocolate mochi balls.

image via Pizza Hut

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