Toilet Humor and Tasty Treats at Modern Toilet

Modern Toilet serves all but local food, making the proclamation that if it isn't Taiwanese, it's crap.

There’s a restaurant in Taiwan called Modern Toilet that serves food in toilet and urinal-shaped dishware. Where patrons sit on Western-style toilets surrounded by tile walls and floors, and eat suspiciously-presented food out of porcelain thrones. It’s one of the most bizarre theme restaurants out there, and yet people flock to eat at this bathroom-themed restaurant. 

What makes Modern Toilet so appealing to locals and foreign visitors alike? How did an excrement-themed restaurant become an Instagram-worthy hotspot in this little island nation? This seemingly unappetizing theme restaurant is a commodity within Taiwan and serves as a symbol of national pride in disguise.

Getting Nasty for Nationalism

Modern Toilet may seem on the surface like a restaurant opened by a man of poor taste. But what if I told you that all the dishes served in the restaurant are not traditional Taiwanese cuisine? Modern Toilet serves exclusively foreign foods, making the bold statement that every other country’s food is crap. 

That’s right, this unsavory presentation of food is all a joke, mocking other countries’ food when compared to Taiwanese delicacies. For a country known for its wide range of dishes and overall food quality, it’s no surprise that food would be a point of pride for the Taiwanese. The culture centers around food: from greetings to religious outings, food plays a significant role in the everyday lives of Taiwanese citizens. 

Modern Toilet’s previous Ximending location – enjoy dining on toilets and eating off of sink tables.

Modern Toilet’s Sh*tty Menu

On the menu, you’ll find all sorts of food from around the world. Whether it’s Chinese hot pot in a toilet bowl, a bathtub of gratin, or a sink of pasta with tabos of sauce, you’ll find just about anything non-Taiwanese on this sprawling menu. 

As I said, they have pasta, curries, hot pots, steaks, pork, chicken, and gratin as main dishes. If you want to feed your sweet tooth, try a waffle, or perhaps a turd-shaped soft-serve ice cream served in a squat-toilet-shaped dish. You can also choose from a variety of drinks, from teas to milk drinks and yogurts, and even coffee, beer, and soda. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Modern Toilet drink unless it was served in a urinal instead of a glass. 

If you are just peckish or looking for some a la carte options to add to your meal, they have those too. Chicken wings, vegetables, cheese sticks, and “poopoo bread” are just a few options available. 

Modern Toilet Clogs Instagram

Modern Toilet is a Taiwanese must-see, but at the end of the day, it’s a commodity more than anything. Like most theme restaurants across Japan and Taiwan, nobody is really going for the food. Modern Toilet is, first and foremost, Instagram Ready. 

Aside from the obscure plating methods the restaurant uses, the bathroom theme permeates the entire space. The seats are toilets (seat down, of course), white tile is everywhere, and sink faucets and shower heads serve as wall decor. There are also a variety of photo opportunities throughout the venue, including a bubble pool. 

Final Flush

I have a confession to make: I was genuinely terrified that I was too late writing this article and Modern Toilet was no more. Their website is no longer operational, so I feared they had closed their second location in Shilin. However, I still see reviews being posted for this location to this day. 

Sadly, in 2022 the location in Ximengding did close. The branch of this kooky theme restaurant was unable to withstand the wrath of COVID-19 due to the halt in tourism, which made up the majority of their patronage. Of course, I suppose it’s no surprise that a hygienically questionable themed dining experience would suffer during a pandemic. 

If you are looking to experience the pinnacle of Taiwanese culinary expertise, this may not be your place. However, if you want an experience that was born in Taiwan and serves as a reminder of the inferior quality of foreign food, Modern Toilet is a must-see Taiwanese landmark. Even if you don’t like the food, how many opportunities are you going to get to eat in a public restroom? 

What are your thoughts on this bizarre restaurant? Would you eat here, or would the bathroom imagery feel a bit too grotesque to fuel your appetite? 


Picture of K. Straub-Kuo

K. Straub-Kuo

K has been writing since she was in middle school. She has always loved telling stories and loves to do research on topics that fascinate her even more. K developed an interest in cultures at an early age, but it wasn't until high school that she became fascinated with East Asia's rich cultural heritage that blends seamlessly with the rapid advancements that cause their cities to thrive. Her interest only grew more when she met her Taiwanese-Native husband, whose expansive travel experiences have encouraged her wanderlust. She takes every opportunity presented to her to try something new and is always thrilled to share her experiences with her readers.
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11 Day Back roads of Japan Tour with Project Expedition

***Note: meals are largely excluded on this tour and are the responsibility of tour members***

Days 1-2: Tokyo

There is no itinerary upon arrival until the welcome meeting which will take place in the evening. The first day will consist of learning more about your tour and meeting your guides. Day two is a walking tour of the fashion district of Harajuku. This eclectic district is popular for its eccentric fashion and youth culture. In the afternoon you will get a chance to visit Sensoji Temple, Meiji Shrine, and the surrounding attractions. 

Day 3: Nagano

You will take Japan’s famed bullet train to Nagano before checking into your accommodations. The highlight of this trip is the Jigokudani Monkey Park, where you will get to observe Japan’s bathing snow monkeys enjoying a bath in the natural hot springs.

Day 4: Matsumoto/Nagano

Enjoy a day trip to visit one of Japan’s most beloved castles: Matsumoto Castle. Afterwards, return to Nagano to venture off to Zenkoji Temple, one of Japan’s last standing pilgrimage sties. 

Day 5: Ōtsu 

Travel in the morning to Ōtsu for some stunning views of Japan’s largest lake: Lake Biwa. Top off the night with a delicious ramen dinner. 

Day 6-7: Hagi

Enjoy a quick breakfast before an extended drive to Hagi. You will then check into your local homestay. Pack for two nights as your remaining luggage will be sent to the next destination by your tour company. Make sure you pack comfortably for outdoor activities. This is a chance to experience life like a local as you meet your host family and take part in a welcome ceremony and dinner. 

Day two is an active day as you take a guided cycle tour around Hagi Castle. Afterward, you will have time to participate in seasonal activities with the locals. You will enjoy a homecooked dinner with your host family.

Day 8-9: Tottori

After breakfast with your host family, take a scenic trip by train on your way to Mihomisumi. There, enjoy learning the art of Washi paper making before hopping on another train to Tottori. 

In the morning, explore the unusual Tottori Sand Dunes along the Sea of Japan’s coastline. After that, make your way to the local fish market for some fantastic seafood lunch options. End the day with a trip to Kyoto to check in to your accommodations. 

Days 10-11: Kyoto

Take a morning trip to the well-known Fushimi Inari-Taisha, one of Kyoto’s many beautiful local shrines. This is where you will find the mystical  trail of torii gates along its trails. After this, you will have free time to explore what Kyoto has to offer. Recommended sites include a walk through the geisha district of Gion, exploration of Kinkaku-ji Golden Pavilion, and a visit to Kiyomizu Temple. 

The next day marks the end of the tour. Public transit is available to the airport, or you can speak to your guide to help find accommodations if you wish to extend your stay. 

Sample of an 11-Day Intrepid Tour

Days 1-2: Taipei City

Take the first day to relax and unwind after your travels before joining your group for dinner. After a good night’s sleep, enjoy learning about Taiwan’s love of sweet potatoes at Sweet Potato Mama for some spud-filled activities. Check out Shilin Night Market to enjoy Taipei’s variable food culture.

Days 2-3: Hualien

Enjoy nature at Danong Dafu Forest Park before spending the evening enjoying even more street food at the local night markets (you may have noticed a trend). Visit Qingshui cliff before venturing off to the famous Taroko Gorge.

Day 5: Yilan

Visit one of Yilan’s well-known onion farms to learn about the agriculture behind them before learning to make a Taiwanese favorite: scallion pancakes!

Day 6: Turtle Island and Jiufen

Set out on a 3-hour cruise around Turtle Island before travelling off to Jiufen, famed by Hayao Miyazaki as the inspiration for Spirited Away. You will be able to explore Old Street on your own. My suggestion: Eat everything ,try lots of samples, and make time for tea at the famous Teahouse.

Days 7-8: Sun Moon Lake

You’ll get to hike from the base of the mountainous area through the trails that snake up the mountain. You can then climb the Pagoda which marks the end of your trek for some incredible views. The next day you will get to explore the Chung Tai Chan Monastery for a unique, cross-cultural experience.

Day 9: Taichung

Visit Taiwan’s “Breadbasket”, where you can go oyster picking, bird watching, and exploring the water-life of the area. Try some incredible seafood and maybe even go out after returning to you accommodations near — Oh look, it’s near another night market!

Days 10-11: Taipei

Visit the Rainbow Village before heading back to the city you started in. You’ll get to see the massive collection of traditional art and artifacts contained within the National Palace Museum before taking the evening for yourself. After breakfast in the morning,  Your tour will end.