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Taiwan Night Markets: A guide to satisfy your street food cravings

Good news for globe trotters: Taiwan welcomes tourists from Hong Kong and Macau and has also resumed visa-free entry for visitors from more than 60 countries. However, visitors from Hong Kong have one prerequisite – they must travel in groups of between five and 40. In addition, Taiwan lifted its PCR test requirement and entry restrictions to allow unfettered access to the island.

So much of Taiwan’s glorious culinary scene is dictated by street food, and the night markets are the best places to binge on such specialities. Think, oyster omelette Taiwanese fried chicken cutlets, soy sauce braised foods, fried sweet potato balls and fresh papaya milk —they are served fresh right here in the Taiwan night markets. 

Best street foods to try at the Taiwan night markets

With a never-ending list of foods, it can be hard to figure out what not to miss in the night markets.We have listed out the best delicacies to make life easy:

Taiwanese oyster omelette

The Taiwanese oyster omelette is particularly appetising for seafood lovers. Slightly crispy and chewy, it will surprise you with a burst of flavours. You will find it hard to stop once you take a bite. 

Lu Wei

Often a favourite among local Taiwanese, lu wei stalls display a variety of meats and vegetables and a secret sauce. Once you’ve chosen the ingredients, hand them to the vendor to stew for a few minutes and drizzle with super flavourful and aromatic sauce.

Ba Wan

The Taiwanese meatball is stuffed inside a translucent dough, usually made from corn starch and sweet potato starch. This unique dish can be hard to find anywhere else, so make sure you take advantage of this.

Stinky Tofu

This fermented tofu dish is one of the best you will try on the island. It goes perfectly with the slightly spicy sauce. If this is your first time, pinch your nose to take a bite. 

Ji Pai

Love fried chicken? Ji Pai is Taiwan’s best spin on this global treat. Be prepared to stand in long queues to taste this delicacy, as the locals usually can’t get enough.

Best night markets in Taiwan

Read on for our list of Taiwan’s best night markets—how to find them and what to try when you get there.

1. Shilin Night Market, Taipei

The most famous of Taiwan’s sensory enterprises is the expansive Shilin. Here, it is easy to spot people from all stripes (backpackers to elderly local couples) wandering through the vendor-lined alfresco bazaar. At the Shilin night market, the air is scented with the aroma of stinky tofu. 

How to reach: Take the MRT to Jiantan Station. Then, take exit one and cross the street to the left diagonally to enter the night market.

Address: No. 101, Jihe Road, Shilin District, Taipei City

2. Raohe night market, Taipei

Raohe in the Songshan district is less intimidating than Shilin but flaunts much more personality. Always begin your exploration with a visit to the gilded 18th-century Ciyou Temple. The fresh-from-the-fryer pork and chive dumplings are a must-try here. After savouring the gelatinous oyster pancakes, and juicy, schnitzel-like spiced chicken patties, cool off with a honey-spiked lemonade.

How to reach: Take the MRT to Songshan Station. The night market entrance will be right next to the temple.

Address: Raohe Street, Songshan District, Taipei City

3. Jiufen Old Street 

Located about an hour from Taipei, Jiufen is a popular tourist destination. Make sure to try the taro balls, glutinous rice cake, peanut ice cream roll and ice cream puff. In addition, one of Taipei’s oldest night markets is located about 15 minutes from Jiufen. So, if you visit Jiufen Old Street, you must stop here. Also, go here after the sun sets since that’s when the food markets in Taiwan start to come alive.

How to reach: Take the MRT to Zhongxiao Fuxing Station. from Taipei. Take exit 2, hop onto the bus 1062 bound for Jinguashi and get off at Jiufen. 

Address: Jishan Street, Ruifang District, New Taipei City, Taiwan 224

4. Fengjia Night Market, Taichung

Home to an estimated 15,000 restaurants and stalls, Fengjia Night Market in Taichung is one of Taiwan’s largest night markets. We have heard great things about their grilled abalone, sausage with sticky rice, and fried chicken chop.

How to reach: There’s no MRT in Taichung, so the easiest way is to book an uber (about 20-25 mins from Taichung TRA Station)

Address: Wenhua Road, Xitun District, Taichung City, Taiwan 407

Taiwan night market

5. Liuhe Tourist Night Market, Kaohsiung

Louie is well-laid out and pleasant to stroll around! There’s ample seating to enjoy delicacies such as papaya milk, sour and spicy noodles, and fried chicken poppers in a relaxed atmosphere. This creamy papaya milk is the highlight here. If you are in Taiwan, this night market is a must-visit, full-stop.

How to reach: Take MRT to Formosa Boulevard Station and take the exit to get to Zhongshanheng Road and then the night market.

Address: Liuhe 2nd Road & 與中山一路口 Xinxing District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan 800

Visiting for the first time? You can’t go wrong in these Taiwan night markets if you come hungry and open-minded.

(All image credits: Flickr and Wikimedia Commons)

 

Taiwan Night Markets: A guide to satisfy your street food cravings

Tania Tarafdar

Tania and yoga are in an eternal relationship. You can see her breaking into yoga asanas in the snow-capped Alps and the Mediterranean Sea coastline. Her friends swear by her food and travel recommendations.


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