In Taiwan, only convenient stores and tea shops outnumber breakfast chains. And that’s saying a lot. You’ll often see at least one per block and in certain areas you will see several grouped together, all trying to outdo the others in sales of hamburgers, sandwiches, coffee and dàn bǐng.
Yes, in Taiwan, hamburgers (or what the Taiwanese would call a hamburger) are breakfast food. So if you are buxiban teacher and you ask for a list of breakfast foods from your kids, they will invariably include hamburgers, sandwiches, and even salad to the list of morning munchables. Luckily, you will also find familiar standards such as bagels, toast with peanut butter, coffee, tea, bread, waffles, etc.
Probably the best food you can get for breakfast in Taiwan is a local food called dàn bǐng (蛋餅). It has often been translated into English as either egg pie or breakfast burrito, but neither name really fits the bill. Burrito would seem closer as it is basically a breakfast wrap, but you won’t find any beans inside the flatbread. You will certainly find egg (dàn is Chinese for egg), and there are a variety of additional ingredients that can be added to the egg such as cheese, corn, bacon or ham. My personal preference is the bacon and cheese dàn bǐng. It’s not always on the menu, but they will make it to order.
There are a good variety of chains with names like Good Morning, Laya (aka Laguardia), My Warm Day, etc, but not a whole lot of variety between exists between them. My Warm Day tends to get my money as I think the quality is a bit better than the others. Of course, everyone will have their favorite place. For the most part, all the chains are offering the same thing, so location, seating, and cleanliness may have more influence on you choice than the menu. Perhaps you will even be choosing one because it is right downstairs from your apartment. After all, they are everywhere. Most of the places close up around noon, but the Laya across from the train station seems to be open in the afternoon.