Fo Guang Shan Buddha Memorial Center Tea House

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Buddhist Monastery Kaohsiung

Thousands of people flock daily to the multi-structure complex at Fo Guang Shan Buddha Memorial Center, which debuted after WWII and includes a new Buddha, eight towering pagodas, and a sprawling food court containing tenants like Starbucks and a restaurant from Kaohsiung City’s Grand Hi-Lai Hotel. We opted to eat like Buddhist Monks instead of tourists.

Buddhist Monastery Kaohsiung
We walked up the hill, toward a welcoming Buddha, before turning right into the tea house.

Chicken Kaohsiung
A stylish chicken struts in front of the Tea House.

Tea House Kaohsiung
Buddhist monks run the Tea House, with a a monk figurine and vending machine framing the entrance. The space is spare, just an airy dining hall and a tranquil soundtrack that includes soft rock music.

Vegetarian Food Kaohsiung
Each diner receives complimentary porridge with taro, spongy tofu, carrots, peanuts and scallions.

Vegetarian Food Kaohsiung
The monks offer a choice, either noodles cooked in soy milk or curry rice. The noodles supported strips of tofu, mushrooms and spinach, which provided texture and bitterness.

Vegetarian Food Kaohsiung
I didn’t get to taste the curry rice, but a fellow tour goer devoured a bowl.

Bus bowls yourself and fill cups with either water or hot black tea.

Buddhist Monastery Kaohsiung
Fo Guang Shan’s monks don’t formally charge for food, but they do have a suggested donation box near the entrance, and I left NT$ 50 ~$1.65, which seemed to be the accepted rate at my table. This was simple, straightforward comfort food, and since Fo Guang Shan Buddha Memorial Center is a must-visit stop in Taiwan, you might as well get a meal with a sense of place, instead of the less compelling options in the tourist center.


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

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