Chikan Peddler’s Noodles
Chikan Peddler’s Noodles (Chìkǎn Dànzǐmiàn 赤崁擔仔麵)
Tainan is famous for its xiaochi. Xiaochi literally means small eat and is usually translated as “snack food,” but it’s not really snack food in the way westerners think of snack food. It’s more like tapas. Traditionally this food has been served from night market stalls, vendor carts, and even peddlers walking down the street hauling panniers on sticks. These days there are many shops that specialize in one or two of these foods, but one of the most popular places for tourists to get their hands on a good assortment of these delights is in an old building just down the street from the historic sites around Chikan Lou. This restaurant is called Chikan Peddler’s Noodles, or Chìkǎn Dànzǐmiàn.
The restaurant gets its name from danzi noodles. Danzi were pairs of bamboo boxes that peddlers slung across a stick and carried like panniers. They contained canisters of food, and their portability made them veritable walking restaurants. One of the most common foods carried was a noodle dish that became known as danzi noodles. This is one of the many famous Tainan xiaochi served here.
The menu mostly focuses on some Tainan favorites. Danzi noodles are a thin, dense noodle served in a sweet and tangy broth with minced pork and a single shrimp. Other popular dishes are oyster omelets, steamed taro cakes, fried shrimp rolls, coffin bread, and marinated pork with bamboo shoots. There’s also a kind of salad bar where you can pick out food to be prepared for you. Most of the food costs between NT$50 to $80, so you should be able to try a number of dishes.
The restaurant has a very good atmosphere for eating. Although it’s only been open since 2002, Chikan Peddler’s Noodles is integrated into an old building and loaded with nostalgia. There are a few different rooms in the restaurant both upstairs and downstairs that help carve up the space and give it a more intimate feeling. There’s also sidewalk seating. Old maps, lanterns, baskets, and various cultural artifacts decorate the place. Even the dining tables are old school desks that are certain to send grandpa down memory lane. Be warned, though. While these desks do help the aesthetics of the restaurant, they don’t exactly fit the legs of many foreigners.
The restaurant is on Minzu Road less than two blocks east of Chikan Lou, so it’s easy to fit in while touring the sites. They also have a location in Anping on Yonghua Road, and a location in Taipei’s Shilin district.
Hours: Daily, 11:00AM ~ 12:00 midnight
Phone: (06) 2205336
Location: No. 180 Minzu Road(民族路), Section 2, West Central District, Tainan City