JJ Bakery only made Taiwanese breads when it first opened in 1996, but has expanded its menu to include European and American pastries too. Visit the flagship in City of Industry or the one in Arcadia for Taiwanese breakfast offerings in addition to the usual selection of baked goods. Additional locations in Hacienda Heights, Rowland Heights, Torrance, and Temple City.
Everyone comes into Ahgoo’s Kitchen for chef Thomas Yeh’s green onion sesame pie — it’s crisp on the outside, pillowy within, and bursting with scallion flavor. The battered and seaweed-flecked fish is terrific too, along with any protein prepared in Yeh’s three flavor sauce.
Dai Ho Restaurant
Dai Ho prepares one of the best renditions of Taiwan’s national dish: beef noodle soup. Each bowl is packed with bouncy egg noodles that are the very definition of Q, while the broth is deep, dark, and unabashedly rich.
Tasty House 悅來軒
This San Gabriel newcomer has all the makings of a neighborhood stalwart: good service, a comfortable dining room, and very good cooking. Order the smoked tea duck, bitter melon with salted eggs, and three-cup combination with chicken, squid, and pork intestines, along with plenty of steamed white rice.
Half and Half Good Old Time
An offshoot of the Half and Half chain of boba shops, Half and Half Good Old Time serves Taiwanese cafe comforts, drinks, and desserts. All drinks are made with crushed ice and honey boba, and priced under $4.
The best time to visit this Taiwanese porridge specialist is during lunch. Choose a trio of savory side dishes from the buffet of options to pair with the simple yam rice porridge. The funky anchovies with peanuts and the twice-cooked pork are always great options.
Corner Beef Noodle House
For many Taiwanese residing in Los Angeles, no one makes a better bowl of beef noodle soup than El Monte’s Corner Beef Noodle House. Every bowl is chock-full of tender meat and tendons, along with curly noodles with plenty of Q.
Huge Tree Pastry
The Liu family in Monterey Park serves some of the best Taiwanese breakfast in LA. Order a deep-fried cruller and dip it in a bowl of steaming soy milk. Also terrific are the scallion pancakes that come with or without an eggy coating, and the fan tuan rice rolls stuffed with a fried doughnut, pork floss, scrambled eggs, and pickled mustard greens.
Look beyond the utilitarian dining room at Cindy’s Kitchen to find some of the most deft Taiwanese cooking around. Every table starts with a few cold appetizers that can be selected from the refrigerated case. Also popular is the beef noodle soup, twice-cooked pork, and fried pork chop served over rice.
This stinky tofu specialist serves its signature wares hot from the fryer and in a shallow pool of sweetish soy sauce. The accompanying kimchi balances the tofu’s more pungent notes. Also tasty is the “mushroom sliced pork rice,” a sweet and savory braise punched up with pickled mustard greens and a hard boiled egg.
Address: 704 W Las Tunas Dr, San Gabriel, CA 91776
Must try: Beef Noodle Soup, Rice Sausage, Pork Belly Bun
Come into Arcadia’s beloved SinBala for a taste of Taiwanese street food. The sweetish sausages come topped with slivers of raw garlic, Sichuan peppercorns, and even mangoes. Also great here is the basil-flecked popcorn chicken.
The specialty at Monja Taiker is the red grain pork, decadent and deep-fried slices of pork reminiscent of Cantonese char siu. Round out any meal with the minced pork rice or the pork and mushroom dry noodles.
Yi Mei Deli
With three locations in Southern California (Rowland Heights, Chino Hills, and Monrovia), Yi Mei Deli serves up solid Taiwanese breakfast and small bites. The guai shu shu (deep-fried intestines stuffed with sticky rice) are snappy and filling, while the gua bao (pork belly buns) never disappoint.
Must Try: Popcorn Chicken
1737 Fullerton Rd, Rowland Heights, CA 91748
3972 Barranca Pkwy Suite K, Irvine, CA 92606
88 Beef Noodle
1045 S Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA 91007
Must Try: Beef Noodle Soup
841 W. Las Tunas Drive, San Gabriel, CA 91776
Must Try: Asian Burger
Bopomofo Cafe serves up Instagram-ready milk teas, along with Taiwanese-American comfort fare in San Gabriel. The Taiwanese fried chicken sandwich served on a pineapple bun is rightfully popular.