Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Veggie Joy

2014 Update
Veggie Joy has closed its fast food restaurant, but will continue to produce its frozen pizzas and baking mixes, such as pancakes and cakes, some of which can be purchased at iVegan.Thank you for all the pizzas, burgers and good conversation! This post on my new Formosa Guide has two nearby vegan restaurants (Huaining Loving Hut and Joy Bar).

Veggie Joy WAS a vegan fast food outlet in the young and trendy fashion district of Ximen Ding (Taipei's version of Tokyo's Harajuku), a short walk or hop on the MRT from Taipei Main Station. It serves pizzas, soup and mexican food. Its style characterises an American fast food joint, only all vegan.

photo provided by Veggie Joy as my visits were in the evening and during bad weather

Veggie Joy aims to bring fast food to the young crowds of Ximen Ding goers, therefore, the restaurant features simple interior, and the food is fast, simple and low-priced, and like the Loving Huts, its purpose is to promote vegan food to non-vegans, so its food is quite rich and likely to satisfy the non-vegan palate - the pro-vegan messages on the walls may be the only reminder to non-vegan clientele that their meal is just that, and vegans may see it as a reminder of their former non-vegan days. Considering all this, it's important to understand that this is no fine dining establishment, and the quality of the pizza for example does not match that of Peace Cafe (when it served pizzas regularly - hopefully it will again) nor the tortilla wraps that of Sophie's Garden. Former (or current) cheese lovers, however, will be pleased to know that they use 'real' imported vegan cheese in their products (rare in Taiwan), giving them an 'authentic' greasy taste which reminds me of take-away pizza from my non-vegan days. Aside from the imported soy cheese, virtually all products and ingredients are made  by Veggie Joy staff to ensure they are strictly vegan, so (like all restaurants run by disciples of SM Ching Hai) one can safely eat here without worrying about whether or not the food is vegan.

Pizza and Chips for lunch

All in all, Veggie Joy is quite unique in Taiwan (anywhere) and definitely worth a visit or two while checking out or chilling at Ximen Ding. For more information, their facebook page can be found here.

Macaroni Cheese
Location, Hours and How To Get There
Hours: 12-9:00PM, Mon - Sat (closed Sunday).
Phone: 0223821617
Address in Chinese: 台北市中華路196之一號, Taipei, Taiwan 108
Jhonghua Road, 196-1.
Take the blue line to Ximen station (one stop from Taipei Main Station). Walk out exit 1, go back to Jhonghua (Zhonghua) road (the main road) and follow it south for around 400m.

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Nearby Sights and Activities
If you haven't already, be sure to have a wander around Ximen Ding. Consider walking back via the Presidential Palace and then through 2-28 Peace Park back to Taipei Main Station. 228 Peace Park is a memorial to the '2-28 Incident', a violent crackdown by the KMT (Chinese Nationalist Party) against an anti-government uprising over corruption, nepotism and economic failure of the new Chinese government.
2-28 Memorial
 The 2-28 Incident was the start of the 'White Terror" era, arguably the darkest in Taiwan's long history, during which approximately 140 000 "dissidents" were imprisoned with countless thousands murdered or simply 'disappeared'. Taiwan's nearly four decades of martial law was only lifted in 1987 by Taiwan's first elected president, Lee Tung-Hui. The Peace Park often has performances and art exhibitions.

The century-old, Japanese-built National Taiwan Museum in 2-28 Peace Park

The National Taiwan Museum is located in the Peace Park. It is over a century old and features exhibits on Taiwan's history, not to be confused with the "National Palace Museum" which holds Chinese artifacts taken from the Forbidden City in Beijing during the Chinese Civil WarThe original Huaning Loving Hut is a convenient stop between the Peace Park and Taipei Main Station. This is of course just an approximate route, and it can be walked easily using the Presidential Palace and the Shin Kong Mitsukoshi building (the second-tallest building in Taipei, opposite Taipei Main Station) as landmarks.

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  1. Actually, the cheese that Veggie Joy uses looks like Daiya cheese, which is SOY FREE! I live in America and it's the vegan cheese I always use. It's great, because it melts really nicely, and is healthier than most other vegan cheeses.

  2. Thank you Isabelle. I didn't realise that, but having had Daiya cheese since I wrote this post (kindly brought back by parents and friends after they visited the US) I can see it probably is, and yes I love Daiya cheese. I never realised it was soy free though!