New York City has long been renowned as being the epitome of the “Melting Pot” as it embraces the multicultural diversity throughout the city. The Chinese influence in Chinatown, the Italian presence in Little Italy and even the Irish communities scattered around the boroughs are all integral to the multicultural society New York City has become. But what about the Taiwanese culture in New York City? It may not be the first immigrant group you think about when considering the melting pot concept but we would argue that the influence this has had on the city is just as important as those larger communities.
Whether you are enjoying a visit to the myriad of international restaurants throughout Manhattan or living in one of the other New York boroughs, no one can argue that the Big Apple isn’t a diverse collection of cultures. We want to take a look at how you can embrace the Taiwanese culture the next time you take a trip to New York City, not only through the variety of delicious restaurants but also through the rich heritage that can be seen throughout the city.
By the time you have finished reading this post, we are convinced that you will not only be ready to explore New York’s Taiwanese districts but also to head to Taiwan and experience everything this beautiful nation has to offer.
Taiwanese History in New York City
Let’s take a look at how Taiwanese history has developed throughout New York City over recent decades. Prior to the 1950s, the amount of Taiwanese immigration into the United States was relatively small, however, between 1960-1980 the number drastically increased before economic and political conditions in Taiwan improved and the numbers started to decrease.
An interesting concept that many folks don’t understand is that many of the Taiwanese communities did not integrate with the existing Chinatowns, simply because they don’t speak the same language. Instead, they opted to find smaller communities or places known as “Little Taipei” or “Little Taiwan”. This was certainly the case in New York City.
Today, Chinatown in the heart of Manhattan is predominantly Cantonese based immigrants while the Taiwanese populations can be found in other spots such as Flushing, which is now the second largest Chinatown outside of Asia (and potentially could surpass Manhattan’s in the future!).
Best Taiwanese Restaurants
Visitors to New York City that are interested in experiencing Taiwanese culture will likely want to know where the best restaurants are located. Don’t worry, you are in for a real treat if you choose to take a weekend getaway to the Big Apple in search of experiencing the very best of Taiwan’s authentic dishes.
Here are a few that we would highly recommend checking out but please feel free to leave your recommendations below.
- Baohaus – Located in the heart of Manhattan’s East Village, Baohaus opened in 2009 with a stereotypical menu consisting of “baos.” Chairman Bao for example, consists of Braised Berkshire pork belly served with ‘Haus Relish’, crushed peanuts, Taiwanese red sugar, and cilantro. Sound delicious or do you need something a little more appetizing? Why not try the Minced Pork Stew on Rice!
- Taiwan Bear House – A relatively new addition to Taiwanese culture in New York City is a restaurant located near Columbus Square – Taiwan Bear House. Renowned as a “stylish, modern eatery,” visitors can enjoy a variety of authentic style dishes that will likely increase your desire to head on the next plane to Taiwan!
- Taiwan Pork Chop House – What better way to experience authentic Taiwanese food than being able to watch the chef prepare this for you! Affordable prices make this a popular spot among visitors to New York City and definitely a spot you won’t want to miss if diverse cuisine is what you are looking for.
All of these restaurants are in Manhattan but don’t worry, there are plenty of other options in Queens and Brooklyn.
As I mentioned, the Flushing Chinatown is a thriving community and with restaurants such as Happy Stony Noodle, Taiwanese Specialties, and Main Street Taiwanese Gourmet, visitors exploring the more culturally diverse neighborhoods will not be short of options.
Taiwanese Culture in New York City
If sampling authentic minced pork on rice or stereotypical dumplings isn’t Taiwanese enough for you, New York can be proud of the Taiwanese heritage and culture that thrives throughout its five boroughs.
Whether it’s arts, culture, sport or music that inspires you, New York City boasts a plethora of events and activities that portray a stereotypical reflection on day to day living in Taiwan.
Even if you are not planning a visit to the Chinatown community in Queens, many of New York’s museums frequently have exhibitions with a Taiwanese background.
The Queens Museum, for example, has frequently held exhibits by Taiwanese artists that showcase the myriad of talent, while The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Chinese Art Initiative at the iconic Guggenheim Museum has presented a variety of new commissions from Taiwan.
Arts and Music
For those of you that want to take a serious interest in Taiwanese arts and culture, the Taipei Cultural Center is focused on driving initiatives that will achieve the following:
promote international cultural exchanges and present the rich diversity of Taiwan’s culture and arts (Taipei Cultural Center)
Visitors to Manhattan in July may have seen the amazing “Taiwanese Waves” live concert held in Central Park, dedicated to showcasing the unique sounds of Taiwan to New York City.
If arts and culture don’t intrigue you and you prefer a little sports action, the New York Mets certainly inspired their fans to consider a trip to Taiwan on August 20th when they celebrated the 13th annual Taiwan Heritage Day at Citi Field.
Traditional Taiwanese performances offered attendees to the game an opportunity to catch a glimpse of what they could expect should they venture to Asia.
Mets fans that attended the Marlins game a couple of days earlier also received a free promotional Taiwanese t-shirt courtesy of the Taiwan Tourism Bureau and this is another great way to promote to a city that is already embracing the vibrant culture of Taiwan.
Ready to Visit Taiwan?
For those of you that have already experienced Taiwanese cuisine in New York City or perhaps some of the events that we mentioned, perhaps you will now be ready to have the true, authentic experience and visit Taiwan!
a hugely underrated gem of Asia, and any time you spend here will be richly rewarded. (David Code)
But what exactly can you expect when you arrive there? I think it’s fair to say that you will have an extremely friendly welcome and everything you experience will be amazing. Here are some of the iconic attractions that make Taiwan such an attractive travel destination in Asia.
- Taipei 101 – If you love architecture, the Taipei 101 skyscraper towers above the skyline at 1,667 feet above the ground. Between 2004 and 2010, this was the world’s tallest building before the Burj Khalifa in Dubai surpassed this. An iconic reflection of Taiwan, this is a must-see attraction.
- Kenting National Park – From the urban environment in Taipei to the breathtaking rural landscapes in Kenting National Park, Taiwan offers a distinctive blend of attractions worth exploring. Renowned for white-sand beaches, caves and spectacular coral reefs, this is undoubtedly a hotspot for folks looking to relax in Taiwan.
- Tainan – Although most visitors will want to experience Taipei, consider adding the ancient capital of Tainan to your itinerary. Visit Taiwan’s oldest city and explore the history and heritage of the ancient temples here along with other historic sites that offer inspiring reflections on Taiwanese culture.
These are just a few reasons why Taiwan needs to be on your radar but if traveling across the world isn’t feasible, just remember that New York City has plenty to offer in terms of Taiwanese culture!
***TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR ENTRY INTO THIS SWEEPSTAKES, YOU HAVE TO RESIDE IN ONE OF THE FOLLOWING STATES – CONNECTICUT (CT), NEW JERSEY (NJ), NEW YORK (NY) OR PENNSYLVANIA (PA)***
Are you ready for the chance to win the trip of a lifetime to Taiwan? The Taiwan Tourism Board has an AMAZING opportunity for folks currently residing in one of the above four states to win a five-day, four-night stay at the five-star Regent Taipei Hotel in Taiwan!! Sounds awesome right!
To have a chance at winning this amazing prize, simply enter your details into the following Sweepstakes link: SNY Take Off to Taiwan Sweepstakes
Sweepstakes closes on September 4th at 11:59 PM Eastern so be sure to enter!
GOOD LUCK FOLKS!!
If you are ready to embrace an eclectic blend of Taiwanese culture, New York City is certainly a place you can experience this. However, there is nothing quite like visiting the destination itself, so hopefully, we have inspired you to consider adding Taiwan to your travel bucket list.
History, heritage, modern day architecture and gorgeous beaches are just a few reasons why Taiwan should be on your radar but if this is a little unrealistic right now, why not consider taking a trip to Queens or Manhattan, NYC and enjoy the variety of Taiwanese inspired attractions and restaurants available. We are convinced you won’t leave disappointed!
Disclaimer – This post is sponsored by Taiwan Tourism Bureau.