Restaurants and Cafes in Kenting
Finding good restaurants and cafes in Kenting should be easy, right? After all, there are so many of them all over the place around Hengchun, Kenting Village, Baisha, Nanwan and Jialeshui.
Unfortunately, in this part of Taiwan, quantity doesn’t equal to quality. There are in fact very few good restaurants in the Kenting area, and it’s better if you do some research before going out for a bite, otherwise you will most likely end up wasting a lot of money on miserable food and poor service.
Find the places listed here on a MAP at the bottom of this page.
Ali Seafood Restaurant - awesome seafood at affordable price!
Over the years, I have discovered some really good restaurants and cafes in Kenting and Hengchun. Here they are...
Ali Seafood Restaurant
The ultimate Taiwanese seafood experience!
(If you somehow have to choose only one restaurant in Kenting, Ali is the place! You may skip the other ones if pressed by time.)
Ali Seafood Restaurant is the most popular Chinese / Taiwanese seafood restaurant in the whole Kenting region even with locals - which is a good sign. I have been there at least 30 times and I have never seen this place quiet. There’s always a lot of customers, which is definitely wanted at a seafood place for freshness - the fish are not just sitting there in the heat, waiting to be picked, like at many other restaurants in the southern part of Taiwan. Rotation is fast. Fish are so fresh, even the frozen ones still seem alive and staring at you begging to be picked...
The variety of fish, seafood, and vegetables is huge and the portions are very generous. You can select what you want at the counter by the fish tanks by simply pointing. Some of my favourite dishes are the shrimps, squid, cabbage, parrot fish, and the lobster. Ahhhh!! THE LOBSTER!! Ali's lobster was voted #1 dish in Taiwan (by me and my wife). So freakin delicious!! You have to be careful, people might try to steal it... It's THAT good! Check it out... here's a picture:
You can choose to have your fish either fried, steamed, or barbecued. Beer is super cold and cheap. You need to grab your rice by yourself at a little station in the centre of the restaurant. By the way, their rice is delicious - it has pieces of sweet potatoes in it. Service is fast, and efficient, but don't expect English. Parking lot is Wall Mart-size, so you could invite 200 of your friends, or drive a 30-foot-long Winebago and park it with ease. (I don't know why, I have a fond passion for big parking lots, and Ali wins.)
Bring a sweater as the place is freezer-like cold (to keep the customers fresh?) Ali Seafood Restaurant is a bit outside of town, on the way to Baishawan (Baisha Beach) so you'll need wheels to get there, take a taxi, or be ready to walk a very long way!
Ali Seafood Restaurant in Kenting is an all-star favorite of mine. Do it. You won't be disappointed!
Address: 20 Shawei Rd, Hengchun Township
Hours: 11am - 2pm, 5pm - 9pm
Houbihu Fishing Harbor
Houbihu Marina is the biggest fishing harbour in Kenting National Park. That’s where most local Taiwanese and restaurants buy their seafood. There’s a couple of very traditional restaurants in the main building. It’s always packed and you might have to wait 5 to 10 minutes to be seated. This is where the boats come to unload their catch, so it doesn’t get any fresher than that. Prices are a bit high, but the plates are gigantic. The boxes of freshly-cut sashimi are the exeption to this rule - they are cheap and it is 100% super fresh! Try the giant octopus legs also.
Address: 43 Daguang Road, Daguang Village, Hengchun Township
Fresh sashimi at Houbihu Harbor
One of the seafood restaurants at Houbihu
Piccolo Polpo Italian Restaurant
Located right across the road from Nanwan Beach, Piccolo Polpo Italian Restaurant serves what I believe is the only true Italian food in Taiwan (apart from my own pizza, of course!) This newly established spot serves delicious risotto, seafood, pasta, salads, and a small selection of fantastic, authentic Italian appetizers. Piccolo Polpo restaurant is my wife’s main “thing to do” when we travel to Kenting. She’d be totally fine driving 4 hours from Taichung to Kenting, have their risotto and return to Taichung absolutely satisfied. It’s that good!
The location is nice, you can see the ocean. I like to sit at the bar next to their open kitchen. The cooks and the chef are real pros and it’s half the pleasure of being there watching them preparing dishes. Good wine & beer, real coffee, warm decor, but hard to find a parking spot.
Get there early on weekends as it tends to fill up quickly. It’s popular with both locals and travellers. Call in advance to reserve a table.
Address: 68 Nanwan Road, Nanwan, Hengchun Township
(They will be moving 3 stores away in 2017, just look to your right...)
Summer Point Restaurant in Jialeshui
Summer Point is a warm little cafe in Jialeshui, just across the road from the beach. It's kind of a laid-back surfers' hangout where you can grab a beer after hitting the waves. Their coffee is fresh and the burgers are American-style. French fries are also quite decent. Staff is friendly and can give you local travel info.
Also in Jialeshui, Food Corner is a tiny outoor cafe which serves one of the best cup of coffee around - only 50NT$ for an Americano! Also on the menu are burgers, sandwiches, fresh juices, and tea. Be ready for some serious heat in the summer, you are sitting next to the road, there is no AC, no fan either, but it shouldn't stop you from giving it a try. I love this place, the vibe is laidback to the max, and Doris the owner can give you information about surfing at Jialeshui and she can even organise surfing lessonsor rent you a surfboard.
Address: 947, Pingtung County, Manzhou Township
Hours: 10am to 6pm (they close earlier if the waves are good for surfing at sunset)
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