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Taichung Nightlifeby courtney donovan smith

It's 1 am: Do you know where your dinner is?

Part 1: The Canal District

Years ago many evenings ended at the now defunct Captains, wolfing down their huge dumplings and washing it down with beer.  Then, for a long period there simply were no pubs with decent food late in the evening.  Recently, there has been an explosion of options.  This is only part one of a two part series examining this weighty topic.

Frog I (105 Hua Mei West St. Section 1; tel:2321-1197) has also been serving food until 2 am for quite some time, and features the second longest late night menu in the Canal District.  Burritos (various types, NT$100-130), tacos (various types, NT$140), sandwiches (NT$110), crepes (NT$90-150), potatoes with toppings (NT$80-95) and fried rice (NT$140).  Availability and choice are the strong suits of this menu, plus their great mega draft beers.

Another long time resident of the Canal District is E Kou (422 Hua Mei St.; tel: 2319-2999), featuring a truly impressive menu that runs until 5 am.  This huge menu covers a variety of BBQ options (NT$70-NT$300), fried meats (NT$150), fried rices (NT$100) and a big selection of ingredients for large hot pots (for 2 or more people).  And that's not all!  Located right next to Napoli it is easy to find, but reading the menu will require Chinese proficiency.

Yet another long-timer is the Night Bar (123 Chung Cheng St.; tel:2321-3623), open until 3 am.  Several fine options are available until late; BBQ pork on a stick (NT$80), BBQ chicken wings ( NT$100) and Fried Dried Tofu (NT$100). 

A more recent option is Shark Den (5 Hua Mei West St. Section 1; tel: 2329-8801), which opened several months ago at the lower end of the Canal District.  Shark Den's kitchen is open until 2 am, and features some serious American food.  Grilled Chicken Sandwich, Shark Burger and Veggie Burger are all served with fries and cost NT$130.  Other menu choices include their Philly Cheese Steak (NT$150) and Chili with fries (NT$130).  Add an NT$80 500cc mug of San Miguel beer and make the meal perfect!

Newer options have appeared within the last month.  Bhoom (upstairs from Frog I) now features bagels with an array of toppings for NT$60-150 served until 2 am (3 am on weekends).  Veggie soup for NT$100 is another recommended choice.  Wash these down with an NT$80 shot of tequila and kick back and enjoy the show!

The Riverside (548 Hua Mei St.; tel: 2327-2360) just launched its new menu, and it will be available daily until 2 am.  Giving the colonel a run for it, the Riverside features chicken, chicken and more chicken cooked up on their fantastic rotisserie.  Whole chickens with tons of extras for small groups are NT$999.  Chicken burgers (NT$160-180), Chicken and vegetable curries (NT$160) and chili are some of the other excellent choices on the menu.

Rounding out this month's installment is the rumour that as of the middle of March we will be seeing schwarmas (otherwise known as 'gyros', 'kebabs', and 'meat roasted on an upright spit and stuffed in a pita bread with sauce') at Napoli (424 Hua Mei St.; tel: 2325-3174) until closing time (between 1 am and 4 am).  We'll be looking forward to that!


Part 2: Outside of the Canal District


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