By Daniel White
Translated by Anna Yang
156, NanMen Rd, South Dist
Hours: 10:30 am-2:30 pm; 4-9 pm (closed Sun)
Chimika Submarines is my favorite place to grab a burger and sit on the patio with a few good friends. This tiny roadside shop only sells burgers--made with beef, pork, chicken and fish--but has a plethora of styles and flavors. Despite its name, there are no sub sandwiches here, as far as I know.
Starting from only NT$85, the burgers are massive. I usually opt for the Double Beef Bacon Cheeseburger (NT$165), which is so big that I normally wouldn't be able to finish it, but so delicious that I finish it anyway. On a recent visit, I felt a little more adventurous and decided to sample the Goat Cheese Hamburger (NT$185). It turned out to be perfectly filling and well seasoned with a great blend of flavors and textures, including crisp lettuce, thick tomato slices, a fresh onion and dill pickle. Please note that this burger is only noted on the Chinese menu, which is much more extensive than the English version, but it's well worth seeking out. The only way I can thinking of describing the delight experienced eating this burger is a sublime journey into the middle of Flavor Town.
For those who don't eat beef, I highly recommend the Double Cook Chicken Cheeseburger (NT$120), with succulent juicy chicken in a crispy batter and all the vegetables that come with every Chimika burger. While I haven't tried the Codfish Cheeseburger (NT$85) yet, a friend has given it a strong recommendation. For the particularly hungry, Chimika also offers side dishes like French Fries (NT$45), Onion Rings (NT$50) and Popcorn Chicken (NT$50), and you can add fries and a soda to any burger for around NT$60 to make it a combo.
I frequent Chimika on a fairly regular basis and am always amazed at the steady stream of patrons lining up for burgers. A mainstay for university students on tighter budgets, this place offers value far above the low cost of its fare. I drive all the way across the city several times a month for a hamburger and, if you stop by to try it once, I'll bet that you'll be back many more times.