Shihlin Taiwan Street Snacks

2431 Durant Ave Suite B, Berkeley
(669) 270-1688

Recent Reviews


Definitely one of the greatest Taiwanese fried chicken(Jipai) sellers!!!

Rachel C.

Good to see more Taiwanese food in the East bay. Shihlin have some of the most classic and popular street foods in Taiwan. I've tried the chicken and Mee shua. Neither are very authentic but are good enough when craving Taiwanese food. The Mee shua is overpriced and too sour and garlicky.

Million L.

I would come here more often if I can order from Snackpass even if Shilin have to raise a percentage on the price.

Nick C.

I get that broke college students don't demand the finest dining options, but there really are some quality lunch spots on and around campus. Shihlin is not one of those places. Depressing environment, unpleasant food. The rice on my popcorn chicken plate was good. The rest - half boiled egg, tofu slices, a few piece of dark and fatty fried chicken pieces - were a chore to eat. Bit worse than McDonalds quality.

Vincent H.

They recently moved to the old Gong Cha location in Sather Lane, so now the place is more spacious and there is actual seating available. I've only gotten their Treasure Rice Box, which has rice, veggies, tofu, half a tea egg, and their signature large chicken breast. I personally really like it because it has a nice peppery taste and spice. Totally recommend eating here.

Henry Nguyen

Grandma braised chicken was good. Best thing was the XXL chicken. Crispier than popcorn chicken

Alan Flake

Oooh. The smell of the chicken reminds me of my old home city.

Andrew Kerr

I really love their food. I always get excellent service here. The place is clean and the employees are always very nice. Would recommend to others.

Iris X.

I used to love this place but lately the quality has gone down and I am less than satisfied. I was craving the treasure rice box because I really like the chicken. I personally like spicy, and the mild used to have a pretty strong kick which more than did the job for me. However, I've noticed that now even the very spicy is NOT very spicy. Maybe other guests asked them to tone it down, not sure. What was the worst part about my experience today was that there was barely any chicken in my box. At first glance, but box looked full, but it turns out much of it was just seasoned panko/breading with absolutely no chicken inside it which I think is unacceptable! The chicken was also unusually dry this time. I respect this establishment and the store manager is always very nice and offering samples for us to try, but I found it disappointing that my box was full of just breading.

Jose R.

This place is pretty good and the people in charge are pretty nice and will give you free food when the restaurant is alone and you talk to them/ if you ask them about the dishes. The place can definitely expand too bad I am going on a cleanse because this was my favorite place but I have been having this too much I legit went to this for the last 4 days and the staff sometimes know my order.

Victoria Boone

Tell me why only the young lings like this place? Most of my family members think this place is a rip off. This place seriously had the best dumplings! The taro ones, oh my GOD. Best place ever for dumplings of all kinds.

Jenny Rios

Delicious!!! The shrimp and pork dumplings were so juicy. The pork and veggie were my favorite, they had great flavor. I wish they had fried dumplings. The Restaurant is very clean and newly remodeled. The service is very fast and efficient. Expect a wait! They should add some benches outside.

Joyce Welch

Best Dumplings in town. If you're a fan of dumplings or noodles I highly recommend this spot.

Peel S.

Very disappointing. Don't bother with this place unless you're really craving it. This whole food corner is gross with dirty windows, stained floors and I suppose a healthy night time rat population. I only had the oyster mee sua since it was what I was craving and it was a sad sad departure from the real thing. I paid $8 for a student to ladle some lukewarm mee sua into a tiny paper bowl, add some toppings and sprinkle a few sprigs of drying cilantro. Flavor was almost non existent, noodles were soggy, only a few tiny oysters of suspect quality that added nothing to the game. I'm sure their fried chicken isn't bad but they already left a poor taste in my mouth. Maybe the San Mateo one is good but the demographic here has ruined this location.

Adam Edwards

Nice people. Nice food.

Kevin W.

This may be the closest thing to the night market food in Taiwan, just a lot more expensive than the markets themselves. Love the chicken (always get the legs and thigh). Also the Berkeley location is the only one that's serving oyster omelette. I wasn't too thrilled about that though, the oysters were definitely not fresh. Didn't leave a good taste. Either way, will always be a spot to come back to if I crave the chicken.

Lynn C.

This is what happens when my childhood favorites are's just not as good as it should be and I leave a little disappointed. The restaurant is more of a food stand, with very limited seating (most take it to-go). They specialize is Taiwanese fried chicken and you and get no spicy to super spicy. I opted for mild and it definitely had a good kick, so if spicy foods are not your jam, just get no spicy. While the chicken was good, part of the batter was soggy, and the overall rice plate was just mehhh. Veggies were cold and they squirted they rice with teriyaki sauce. If I did come back again, id just get the fried chicken and nothing else.

William G.

Like other places in Asian Ghetto, this is a decent place if you're looking to grab a small meal to go. The Grandma Braised Meat Rice isn't bad, the braised ground chicken meat is actually pretty good and the tofu is a nice touch. My main reservation is that at 8 dollars, there are better options in Asian Ghetto.

Alex W.

Thought this place was really delicious! It's located on the corner near "Asian ghetto" as most locals call it. The restaurant is tucked away in the corner and is usually open mon-sat only! They do allow call-in orders, so if you are in a rush I highly recommend going this route and giving yourself 15-20 mins as this place is quite popular! Service wise, this place has got really great people. The owners are very friendly and they sometimes give out sample free tea drinks! On occasion, the few samples I tried I ended up buying on the spot because it was so delicious. The chicken is cooked soooo good my mouth is watering as I type this. Very juicy and dipping it in a little hot sauce makes for a perfect meal. The portions are pretty decent for the price you pay. Go try this place out!

Frances C.

Chicken thigh & leg (5/5): I've been ordering this ever since they opened the Berkeley location and the taste has been consistent: crunchy, flavorful, pipping hot - just like the ones you'd get in the actual night market. Noodles with oyster (3/5): When I first tried this in Taiwan I really liked it. But the ones here isn't as flavorful. I still keep ordering it every time I go since I miss the taste :( The server nice enough to ask if we wanted more noodles, since it was 15 minutes away from their closing time.

Judy L.

I ended up coming during their 1 hour break from 4-5pm and I had no idea, but they were so nice and so understanding that they still let me order my food! I got the xxl chicken thigh again, but this time I asked for the seaweed powder! It's not on the menu, but if you want something really delicious, get it with seaweed powder. Again, the workers are amazing. Service is so nice and they're all so welcoming. The owner literally seems like a chill uncle that you would love to be around.



Evan D.

I was so excited to finally hold a giant piece of chicken breast in my hands but turns out the **** GIANT XL CHICKEN COMES PRE-CUT UNLESS YOU REQUEST IT TO NOT BE ****. FOOD: Everything is served mostly in to-go bags and containers, basically giving you that street style food aesthetic. My boyfriend and I ordered two things here: the XXL Crispy Chicken and the Crispy Salt Pepper Mushrooms. - chicken - not very flavorful unless you put spice on it, it's just average oily chicken, very bland and tasted like regular popcorn chicken. I was also disappointed that it came pre-cut because it did not specify it on the menu that it was pre-cut, all I had for reference of how it would turn out... was a photo of the giant chicken on the menu - mushroom - was pretty good, super crispy and seasoned pretty well. SERVICE: Wait time was longer than I expected, I was eating food from another place while waiting for the food here to come out because I got so hungry. PRICE: Price is pretty reasonable for most of their items, xxl chicken is a bit overpriced imo. LOCATION / AMBIANCE: The inside is very cramped and seemed kinda dirty. There is not much sitting room inside aside from like 4 tables and they were occupied when I got there. There are some benches next to some trash cans outside which looked pretty dirty too. YOU WILL NOT FIND PARKING IN THE STREETS.. UNLESS YOU ARE THE LUCKIEST MAN ON EARTH, jk it is just difficult to find parking on the street. But, you can just park in the nearby parking garage and walk over, or obviously since this is a college town you can take the bus or walk down a couple streets.

Yuchen Z.

Awesome place to have a bite! Food is delicious and authentic. Service is fast! Crispy chicken is the BEST!! Will definitely come again!

Malgosia P.

Omg their chicken is to die for. We ordered something else (what do we know) and owner gave us chicken for free. They should have a Michelin star for it!!!!

Yanjun W.

9.28 lunch. I was hungry in the library and went to a food street. I ordered the Jiayi Chicken Rice. $6.00 +tax. There were yellow radishes, onions and chicken. There were seats in the restaurant but most people chose to take away. The restaurant is famous for its chicken chop.

Gel Z.

Came here on a whim.The shop itself is small, like many of the other spots in the Asian Ghetto. There is a self-service station for condiments, water, and utensils by the ordering booth. Workers themselves were nice and friendly! Very accommodating and are willing to answer questions about the food! The menu offers a variety of options for chicken snacks. Food itself is decent and portion size is generous given the cheap prices (under $10). Decided to get the Jiayi Chicken Rice with a sweetened green tea (though the tea was a custom request). Tasted pretty standard, as a typical Taiwanese Chicken Rice would taste like. Chicken is a bit dry, but still is flavorful, and goes well with the rice (the chicken broth flavor comes through in the rice), fried shallots, and cilantro. Overall, I would say, considering the prices, other options nearby, convenience, and service, I would come back to try their fried chicken dishes!

Dianna H.

I was in the area doing some axe throwing with friends, and afterwards we were looking for a snack spot. This fit the bill perfectly! We came on a Sunday afternoon around 4 pm and it was pretty empty in both the small restaurant as well as the outdoor seating area known as the Asian Ghetto. We were offered a couple samples of drinks to try when we first walked inside, which I thought was nice of them. I asked what the most popular item on their menu was (big surprise, it was the XXL chicken) and went with that for $7.99. You can also pick spice level and breast vs thigh, a choice that I appreciated having. I went with mild and dark meat. I appreciated that they cut up the chicken into small, bite-sized pieces and included a couple of skewers so that the three of us could easily share it. The chicken was fried perfectly with the right amount of spice, and the meat was juicy. I did notice a couple of slightly fatty pieces (or maybe it was just a lot of skin) so I didn't eat those. I'm glad I was sharing it with my friends, as it would've been too much to finish by myself. Each bite also started tasting the same after a while. I would definitely get this again if I'm in the area and want a light snack.

Patrick Y.

As a Taiwanese American, I will volunteer to be its harshest critic. Although this place does do a good job at introducing the guai lo's to taiwanese food, this place is not "spectacular." It is at most the baseline to what Taiwanese food should be. In my opinion, the chicken is smashed so thin that there is barely any meat in the "chicken steak". The bento box reminds me of the meals that I would get back in socal at other taiwanese places. In any taiwanese food court, this place would not excel. The proportions are rather small compared to all the other restaurants surrounding them. I would recommend if you miss taiwanese food or never had taiwanese food in your life. I hope this place improves by the next time I visit as this is the only option for taiwanese food in Berkeley.

Charles C.

Good chicken, give free samples, decent service. The "Popular Chicken" is their focus item, and it is quite good. You can pick anywhere from not spicy to extra spicy. They also give free samples of their tea.

Tzu-Han Liao

人生吃過最好吃的士林大雞排,竟然不是在士林!是在柏克萊!好吃到爆炸!爆汁!皮超脆粉超好吃!瘋掉! 葡萄柚綠茶裡面有葡萄柚本人!超好喝!它們家是用有機茶~成本比一般的飲料店貴兩倍~烏梅汁也超好喝很濃~ 旁邊的貢茶不只奶蓋是我喝過美國最好喝,裡面賣的雞蛋仔超級好吃!滿滿的紅豆抹茶 日本麻糬鬆餅好吃到,回台灣開都會爆的那種!

Liya Zhu

The fried chicken is actually good, but you will be charged a 25cents if you pay with anything beside cash

I.C. Chan

Good Taiwanese food and beverages

Raoul Duke

The chicken is amazing.

Matt K.

Believe the hype. I've only been to this chain the once, but I'm definitely going to make it back here when I get a chance! The popular crispy chicken thighs are most excellent and a great meal. I got two for one on a deal day which was rad. This allowed me to try both the spicy and Mike seasonings (go for the spicy). Low entry price for deliciousness is well worth it.

Ashlee T.

The xxl chicken is one of their most popular items. However, it didn't really hit the spot for me. The breading fell off most pieces of chicken & some pieces were a bit tough. The popcorn chicken bento was definitely a hit for me. It was crispy & really flavorful & wasn't too fatty. The shoyu egg is okay for me, but you could tell it was sitting out for a while because there was a bit of a thin dry crust on it. I liked the tofu & broccoli sides a lot more. The toppings they put on the rice is A1. The popcorn chicken came with a minced pork topping and the xxl came with a pickled daikon type topping. The minced pork was definitely a dish in itself and something I'd order as a full dish the next time I return. There's another location in Milpitas that my boyfriend often goes to & told me I needed to try it. I definitely wasn't disappointed, but my personal opinion is to get the popcorn chicken over the xxl.

Kayla B.

I love this place!!! The owner Jason really cares about his customers - and it shows. I help to manage four education programs at Berkeley during the summer, and our students have the chance to choose where they want to go for dinner on the weekends. They consistently ask for Shihlin -- and the majority of them are from Taiwan! I'd say that's the best stamp of approval. The food is delicious, the drinks are amazing, and the service is unparalleled. I live in NYC during the year and will miss coming here for sure.

Gordon C.

Very authentic. Good snack, good mee sua, good milk tea. I feel like I'm back in Taiwan without the need of buying a plane ticket. The clerks are very friendly. You can have the food to go or dine in. I would want to try the chicken or popcorn chicken next time.

Jennifer W.

Due to the lack of authentic Taiwanese food in the Berkeley area (aside from boba), I was so excited for this place to open. I've since been back several times when I've had my Taiwanese food cravings, but this place just barely satisfies that craving. I've ordered the grandma's braised meat rice, the treasure ricebox, and the XXL crispy chicken. First, the grandma's braised dish is basically a small-ish bowl of lu rou fan, except not as flavorful and savory as one would normally expect. It's also more watery than I'm accustomed to eating. It also comes with an egg (lu dan) and tofu, which are both alright. Can't complain but also can't rave. Second, the treasure ricebox is a bigger dish (packed in a to-go lunchbox) with rice, the same crispy chicken as the XXL, some stir fried veggies, tofu, and egg. Again, not bad, but could use some more flavor. Everything just tastes kind of bland. Third, the XXL crispy chicken is a pretty big piece of chicken. Unfortunately, there isn't much going on in terms of taste unless you put a decent amount of spicy powder, at which point you're more just tasting spice rather than the actual flavor of the chicken. Yay for numbing taste buds! Lastly, what I wanted to try but didn't get to (due to not seeing the sign until I was waiting for my food) was the popcorn chicken! Apparently it's a limited-time dish just for the summer. If I go back again this summer, I'd definitely want to try that, considering nowhere else near campus sells popcorn chicken.

Evy D.

They were so friendly and warm. The food was great, reminded me of good ole Taiwanese street food. Fantastic bubble milk tea, made from loose leaves!