Looking for the best restaurants and cafes in Kenting National Park? You’ve come to the right place! I love food, I live here (in Manzhou), and I’ve tried most of the eateries and coffee shops in the national park, multiple times.
Finding really good restaurants in this part of Taiwan is not so easy. It’s no secret that there is quite a few tourist traps out there where food is just horrible and overpriced, or where service is at best “just ok“. On this page, I’ll help you to avoid those traps and show you the real gems. Read on!
So here is a list of the best Kenting restaurants and cafes where my wife and I, my friends, (and locals) keep going back to again and again. The highest concentration of good local restaurants is in Hengchun, and I have a page dedicated to that town.
Table of Contents
Restaurants in Kenting Village
Kenting Village is the area around Kenting Street 大街 (which turns into a busy night market every night) and it’s got the highest concentration of places to eat in the national park. Quite a few restaurants are shameless tourist traps with unreasonable prices, small portions, or downright bad food. Still, there are some good options. Here they are:
Alex Reggae Bar
My favorite BBQ place in all of Kenting National Park. Located at the southern end of night market street 大街, across from Little Bay, this food stand / booze truck serves finger-licking, affordable meat on skewers, beer on tap, and cocktails that will make you wish you had left your car or scooter at the hotel.
Everything is always cooked to absolute perfection, over a coal fired grill. Alex is a cool dude and his playlist matches his Rastafari dreads.
My advice: get the beef, and try it with his homemade hot sauce – DA BOMB!! Be ready to wait for a while if all the tables are taken, but it’s a 100% worth it!
Bai Sha Tan (Thai Food)
(Somewhat) authentic Thai dishes, outside seating area with good view of Kenting Street (good for people watching), fast service, cold Taiwan beer on tap, decent portions.
- Thai Green Papaya Salad, 160$
- Chicken Green Curry, 260$
- Spicy Fried Pad Thai, 180$
- Spicy Beef Salad, 250$
Address: No. 58, Kending Road, Hengchun Township
Eastern Hengchun Peninsula
Fatchun Cafe 肥春號
One of my favorite cafes in the Hengchun area, Fatchun occupies an old and refurbished countryside house on a beautiful, small piece of land covered by the kind of green lawn you’d expect to see in North America. Super popular
The outside sitting area is really nice to chill and sip endlessly on a frothy cappuccino, read an inspirational book, or chat with friends. The owners are young, friendly, professional, and obviously take huge pride in their craft – brewing and making outstanding coffee! The chicken wrap is good, but the beef one has peanut butter in it and it’s just super weird. Go for the chicken one!
Address: 15, Kanglin South Road, Hengchun Township
Sea Turtle Cafe
Sea Turtle Cafe has a location to envy. It’s right by the sea, in Wanlitong, a small fishing community along country road 153. Lately, it’s been super (almost too) popular with influencers, Youtubers, and “Instagram queens” 網美. The coffee is really good, and strong. Not many seats, so you might have to stand or drink outside by the sea, which is perfect, unless it’s 36 degrees, or pouring cats and dogs.
Address: 18-3 Wanli Road, Hengchun Township
Shan Nan Cafe 山男
Shan Nan Cafe has a superb location on top of the mountain behind Shan Hai 山海. The ocean view you get here are unparalleled and that’s why this place gets ultra-busy around sunset. For sundown pics, it’s hard to beat.
The inside seating area is large, colorful, and sleak. The outside part has a couple of chairs, hammocks, and structures that are obviously appealing to Instagramers.
Address: No. 2-9號, Hongchai Road, Hengchun Township
Phone: 0905 938 900
Ali Seafood Restaurant
Ali Seafood Restaurant is the most popular Chinese / Taiwanese seafood restaurant in the whole Kenting area even with locals – which is a telling sign. My wife and I have been there at least 50 times over the years and we’ve never seen this place quiet, its always packed, because the food is consistently good and fresh.
Bring a thick sweater, and maybe a tuque, as the place is freezer-like freezing 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!
Address: 20 Shawei Rd, Hengchun Township
Hours: 11am – 2pm, 5pm – 9pm
Houbihu Fishing Harbor
Houbihu Marina is the biggest fishing harbor in Kenting National Park. That’s where most locals 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. Or more. If you have to wait that long, walk to a fridge and grab a cold beer. That’s what I always do anyway. I find it makes waiting time pass faster. Cheers!
Houbihu harbor 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 exception to this rule – they are very cheap and it’s as fresh as it gets. As of November 2022, you could get a very generous plate of salmon and tuna sashimi for 250NT$. More than enough to feed 3 middle-sized men, or 4 small people. Or 2 big guys.
There’s also a couple of seafood restaurants across the road from the port, and my favorite is Qiu’s Sashimi Restaurant (listed below).
Qiu’s Sashimi (seafood) 邱家生魚片
Qiu’s Sashimi used to be in the main building at Houbihu Harbor, but now they are located across the road on the hill, next to a diving shop. The menu is extensive and good across the board. Seafood is what you’re here for, and you’ll want to consider the three-cup squid 三杯中卷, the fresh fish on display in the ugly tanks at the front, sashimi, their selection of mountain vegetables, or fried rice. Qiu’s get ridiculously busy on weekends, so you might want to follow my previous advice and grab a beer from the fridge as you wait, in order to not lose your sanity.
Address: 79-51, Daguang Road, Hengchun Township
Hours: 11:00am to 19:30
Hengchaikeng Harbor 橫柴坑漁港
Hengchaikeng is a little, remote harbor that’s just a few minutes drive north of Baisha Beach. This little, peaceful village is famous for its fresh and delectable seafood. There’s about five very traditional restaurants that overlook the harbor. I’ve eaten at all of them and can’t recommend one over the others – they’re all good!
I’d like to mention that food here is prepared the traditional Taiwanese way. There is no bling-bling sauce, or fla-fla presentation. The items are cooked very honestly, and humbly, without sauces or sprinkles. Salt, garlic, maybe a side of soy sauce is all you will get. The result? Unaltered (raw) taste of the sea – priceless!
It’s a little out of the way to get here, about 25 minutes from Kenting, but the trip is totally worth it! Most of the customers are locals, I’ve never seen westerners or backpackers, so the place provides a more authentic Taiwanese experience than eating at a made-for-tourists eatery on Kenting night market street.
Restaurants in Nanwan
In January 2019, my wife Ruby and I finally opened a Pizza Rock branch in Nanwan, right in front of the sea. This was our 21st restaurant in Taiwan, and it’s also our smallest. Space is limited inside, so call in advance if you want to try one of our delicious and Taiwan-famous thin-crust, stone-baked pizzas. We also serve Italian baked pasta, Greek and Caesar salad, imported beer, wine, coffee, and creme brûlée.
If you like to have a cold beer in the sun, you’ll fall in love with our outdoor patio where we have 6 big wooden picnic tables, and a solid sound system where we play rock music all day long. Welcome to visit Ruby and I at Pizza Rock Nanwan!
Address: 100 Nanwan Road, Nanwan, Hengchun Township
Phone Number: (08) 888-1535
Business Hours: Every day from 12pm to 9pm. Last call is at 8:30pm.
Piccolo Polpo Bistro
Located right across the road from Nanwan Beach, Piccolo Polpo Bistro serves very decent (and expensive) French/Italian meals . On the menu you’ll find risotto, seafood, pasta, salads, good wine, and a small selection of authentic and mouth-watering Italian appetizers. They also (oddly) have Japanese beer on tap, and I highly recommend it!
Address: 60 Nanwan Road, Nanwan, Hengchun Township
Jialeshui / Tip of Taiwan
Under Star Lab Cafe
Under Star Lab is a super nice cafe / bistro that’s facing the Pacific Ocean, just south of Jialeshui. It’s in the same building as Hotel De Plus. The place is popular with tourists who use the front lawn as “studio” to take selfies. Their latte is really delicious!
Address: No. 33, Xinghai Road, Manzhou Township
LUMI is the southernmost cafe in Taiwan! It’s actually the ONLY cafe in the vicinity. And it’s operated by one of the friendliest Dutch you’ll ever meet – Stella, who’s been living in the area for quite a while.
Lumi is located between Eluanbi and Longpan Park, along what I believe is the most scenic road on the whole island. Driving (or riding) around the southern tip is an absolute must thing to do while in Kenting National Park, and LUMI Cafe is one of those small and special places that you remember long after your trip is over.
Address: 39, Kengnei Road, Hengchun Township
Phone: 0905 196 590
Summer Point Cafe
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. Summer Point’s coffee is fresh and the burgers are authentic American-style. French fries are also quite decent. Staff is friendly and can give you local travel info.
Address: 252 Chashan Road, Gangkou Village, Manzhou Township
Also in Jialeshui, Food Corner is a tiny outdoor cafe which serves an OK cup of black coffee for just 50NT$. 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 organize surfing lessons or rent you a surfboard.
Address: 390 Chashan Rd, Pingtung County, Manzhou Township
Hours: 10am to 6pm (they close earlier if the waves are good for surfing at sunset)