Taiwan, an island, cherishes seafood as a culinary staple. For generations, seafood soups and congee used to dominate the breakfast tables and early morning street food stall menus, until they were slowly phased out for more popular wheat-based dishes like scallion pancakes and egg crepes. Emmanuel is one of the few exceptions and has been whipping up comforting bowls of hot tilapia soup for hungry customers in the morning since 1977.
For decades, the place was an old road side stall servicing blue-collar workers. But in 2021, the third-generation owner convinced his parents to take over and give the brand a 21st-century face-lift. They’ve since relocated to a cozy brick-and-mortar space with indoor seating and air conditioning.
Despite the refresh, the menu and the prices have stayed exactly the same: whole slabs of fish sourced fresh from the market daily are served in soup, usually paired with a hearty serving of stir-fried rice vermicelli with a heaping of braised ground pork, crunchy bean sprouts, and housemade chili sauce. Every fish is carefully skinned and gutted and served whole—with the head, eyes, and fins still intact.
While the menu is small, there is something for everyone on it. If fish isn’t your thing, they do a classic egg drop soup or one topped with hearty slices of pork.The best part? The prices for each dish has stayed well under 100 NTD ($3 USD).
Know Before You Go
Get there early because they tend to sell out of fish. They are closed on Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays.