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We’re in heaven when at Taiwan 7-Eleven!
Although Taiwan is world famous for its delicious Taiwanese street food, it has to be said that half of the fun we had there was exploring and scouring the Taiwan 7-Eleven stores for interesting snacks and drinks.
As most of our Taiwanese hotels were right next door to 7-Elevens (or other similar convenience stores), we’d often roam the Taiwan 7-Eleven aisles day and night to see what Taiwan snacks we could find.
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Taiwan 7-Eleven History and Social Impact
The first Taiwan 7-Elevens opened in 1979 and stores have since earned themselves a local nickname: 7-Eleven Food Heaven.
We also noticed a definite social aspect to 7-Eleven in Taiwan (more so than any other Asian city) as many have ‘City Cafe’ sections where you can sit down and drink your hot coffee or cold beer.
For instance, the Taiwan 7-Eleven next to our hotel in Ximending, Taipei had an outdoor seated area that would often resemble a nightclub late at night, with drinkers of all ages dancing and sharing alcohol.
With over 6,500 7-Eleven stores in Taiwan (it is the country’s largest convenience store chain), there are plenty to explore and they are open well into the early hours.
How Many 7-Eleven stores in Taiwan are there?
As of 2023, there were around 6,500 7-Eleven stores in Taiwan (it is the country’s largest convenience store chain).
To give you a sense of how big 7-Eleven is in Taiwan compared to other convenience, the next largest convenience store chain in Taiwan is Family Mart, with around 4,000 branches.
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7-11 Taiwan Opening Hours
So if you have a craving for strawberry yoghurt crisps or Hello Kitty sparkling wine at 3am in the morning, no problem!
So late were the Taiwan 7-Eleven hours, many a night, if we’d got back to our hotel late and the local night markets were closed, we would pop into the nearest Taiwan 7-Eleven, grab a couple of local microwave meals (likely with some cans of Tsing Tao) and take them back to our hotel room.
7-Eleven Taiwan and the Environment
What blew us away was Taiwan 7-Eleven’s oh so clever and plastic-free hot food carriers (the novelty of carrying it home never wore off during our entire month in Taiwan).
And to this day (2023), we haven’t seen these incredible bags replicated in any other 7-Eleven stores in Asia; not Thailand 7-Eleven (they give away plastic bags like hot cakes – not good), nor South Korea or Malaysia etc.
Things to buy from Taiwanese 7-11s
From the cute little cartoon character stickers Taiwan 7-Eleven gave out with every purchase through to the smell of mini oden hot pots wafting through the stores, we loved exploring all the Taiwanese 7-Elevens at our ‘convenience’.
Here are some of our most delicious discoveries along with some of the more curious comestibles we came across:
Crazy crisp / chip flavours
From fish skin crisps to strawberry yoghurt pea crisps, tasting our way through ‘interesting’ crisp flavours in Taiwan 7-Eleven was one of our favourite travel hobbies (sad, we know)
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Taiwan 7-Eleven Microwave meals
Hot stuff! There are loads of microwave meals to choose from in Taiwan 7-Eleven, and all so much tastier than the UK ones – we also liked the rather fantastic (not plastic!) takeaway hot food carrier bag.
Mini oden hot pots
The contents would often vary from 7-Eleven store to store across Taiwan, but you can choose from a wide variety of items from tofu and squid balls, plus whatever flavour of instant noodles you so desire.
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In Taiwan, Chinese tea eggs (a boiled egg cracked slightly and then boiled again in tea) are a firm favourite in convenience stores. Through 7-Eleven chains alone, an average of 40 million tea eggs are sold per year (no yoke!)
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Distinctive flavoured milk
Milk-shake it out! We were quite ‘vanilla’ in our 7-Eleven milk choices in Taiwan so we didn’t try many of these.
We’d often munch on a breakfast muffin for brunch in Taiwan (or should we call it ‘7 elevenses’? A British joke there!). Very similar (but tastier and cheaper) than the McDonald’s breakfast muffins, and they warm it up for you behind the counter – yay.
Oodles of different noodle flavours were available in Taiwan 7-Elevens – instant satisfaction!
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Pringles instant noodles
Once you slurp, you’ll have to burp! To note we haven’t seen these anywhere else other than Taiwan 7-Eleven.
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Steamed sweet potatoes
Spud U Like! These are usually available next to the till and are purchased based on weight.
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Hello Kitty wine
An acquired taste and very sickly sweet (after a few cans, it starts to become ‘Hellllleurgh Kitty Wiiiiiiine).
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