Donuts might be low on your priority list when visiting Taiwan, but we highly recommend you try this one.

According to our Taiwan-based Japanese-language reporter, Yui Imai, one of the best things about Taiwan is its copious amounts of street food, especially at night markets. And one of the most popular snacks in Taiwan at the moment, Yui says, is donuts. Along the streets of Taipei are tons of donut shops and street stalls selling donuts, often hot out of the fryer.

But donuts are popular in Japan too–just look at how much we love Mister Donut. So why should anyone bother to go out of their way to eat donuts in Taiwan when there’s so much other good food out there?

Because there’s one mega popular donut unlike anything you might find in Japan. It’s sold by a shop called 脆皮鮮奶甜甜圈 (Cuì Pí Xiān Nǎi Tián Tián Quān), which roughly translates to “Crispy Fresh Donuts“, and is located in the Shuangcheng Street Night Market.

Their donuts are so popular with both locals and tourists that the line to buy one can take anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour to get through. Some people buy more than a dozen at a time, and since they’re made fresh for every order, the line moves very slowly.

In Yui’s experience, she usually spends about 30 minutes in line, but she recently went on a Tuesday at about 6 p.m. and was surprised see only two other people in line ahead of her. She’d never seen such a short wait at Crispy Fresh Donuts, so she felt like she’d hit the jackpot.

Timing is everything when beating the line, according to the staff. The early afternoon, when enough time has passed after lunch that people start to get a little peckish, is when they’re the busiest. After that, the crowds die down gradually as the evening progresses, so later in the day may be the best time to go.

As for the menu, Crispy Fresh Donuts serves Milk Donuts, which according to a sign at the shop are “the most delicious”, as well as 10 other kinds, including some with red bean paste inside. Each one costs 25 New Taiwan Dollars, or about 110 yen [US$0.81]. Yui couldn’t resist the appeal of the “most delicious” donut, so she ordered the Milk Donut.

The freshly made donut was still warm in her hand, and this is when Yui most recommends eating it. The exterior is nice and crispy, but the inside is deliciously fluffy. It’s the kind of texture you can only get from a donut fresh out of the fryer.

Plus, the copious milk sugar coating is a gentle complement to the milky sweetness of the donut, and the simplicity of it, coupled with its freshly-fried warmth, is just so tasty. You’ll find yourself taking one bite…and then another…and you simply won’t be able to stop until it’s gone!

These donuts also lack the oiliness or heaviness of other donuts, which makes them easy to eat. Yui could easily understand why some people buy a dozen at a time.

Crispy Fresh Donuts is located just off the busiest section of the Shuangcheng Street Night Market, and they’re open from 11 a.m. to 7:15 p.m., or until supplies run out, so if you plan to stop by later in the evening to avoid the crowds, just be careful not to miss it entirely.

Also, only the milk donuts are made fresh for every order; if you want to try another flavor, you’ll want to stop by at 11:30 a.m., 2 p.m., or 4 p.m., which is the only time they make batches of the other flavors. Once each batch runs out, they won’t have them anymore, so keep that in mind if you plan to visit!

Taiwan has a ton of delicious food for really good prices; just ask our other reporter Go Hatori, who managed to have a weekend vacation in Taiwan for less than 50,000 yen. Still, we recommend making a stop at this popular shop if your itinerary allows it. You won’t be disappointed by the piping hot, crispy soft freshness!

Restaurant Information:
Crispy Fresh Donuts / Cuì Pí Xiān Nǎi Tián Tián Quān / 脆皮鮮奶甜甜圈
Address: No. 24, Lane 17, Shuangcheng St, Zhongshan District Taipei City, Taiwan 10491
Hours: 11 a.m. to 7:15 p.m.
Open every day

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