What to Eat and Drink in Taiwan
The Water: Overall, the answer is no, do not drink the water. Some locals will drink the water. The level of filtration and sewage systems in Taiwan is very basic, notable by the smell of sewage coming up from under-ground pipe grates that cover the streets of Taoyuan. If your school has drinking fountains, it is likely that these are filtered, and okay to drink. You can buy large jugs of water at any convenience store and there are often water refill stations that cost 5-10NT to refill your jugs.
MSG (Monosodium Glutamate):
7-11 and Familymart: The Foreigner's Friend: Perhaps the most surprising thing about Taiwan is something all-America: the abundance of 7-11's which are open on every corner. These are not your ordinary 7-11's, however, carrying an amazing amount of different instant foods which they will nuke for you in store. And, yes, there aer Slurpees. This easy access food-stop is a place which all foreigners flock to when they arrive.
Fruit Stands: Slowly, however, you begin to appreciate the fact you can get three containers of delicious, freshly-cut fruit for 100NT, or roughly three dollars USD. The fruit here is amazing in diversity and unbelievably juicy.
Fast Food: Thank your lucky stars that there are McDonalds and KFC's located abundantly across Taiwan. You can get the staple hamburger and fried chicken, milkshake and chicken-poppers. Be advised that chicken tenders are actually bone-in chicken breasts at McDonalds, something akin to pieces of fried grease surrounding a bone. There is also a bit of extra MSG in the chicken at KFC, so be adivsed if you, like some of the unlucky few here, are allergic to MSG.
Foreign Food: Octopus on a stick and real Bi-Bim-Bop are unbeatable here.