Intoxicating smells from every market corner; aromatic tastes of fragrance. From creamy papaya milk to umami pork buns, the heart of Taiwan lives in the taste buds.
When someone told me Taipei is home to 15 different night markets, I couldn’t believe it. After a quick Google search from the bed of my hostel, I was dumbfounded that this, in fact, is the case.
There was no possible way I could cover 15-night markets in the span of the 7 days I was in Taipei. I had to map out some sort of game-plan. After scouring the internet for all the information I could find, I decided to visit Shilin Night Market, Ximen Night Market and Raohe Night Market in three separate evenings – tackling Gongguan Night Market and the famous Yongkong Street during the day.
Here are just a couple of my favourite food market finds:
Pork Belly Bun – Lan Gia Gua Bao at Gongguan
Sweet and tender pork wrapped in a cloud-like bao with cilantro and crushed peanuts, this sweet and savoury snack is a highlight of the Gonguan Market.
Bubble Milk Tea at Chen San Ding at Gongguan
You can’t go to Gongguan without hitting up this bubble tea joint. Experience the sweet warmth of the brown sugar bubbles and the refreshing cold of the creamy milk — the combination will melt all of your worries away.
Papaya Milk at Raohe Night Market
Smooth, creamy, milky, fruity and a touch o sweetness. Papaya milk puts all smoothies to shame.
Mango Shaved Ice on Yongkang St.
Nothing beats a bowl of shaved ice for two on a hot spring afternoon in Taipei. Plenty of places in Taiwan carry this favourite, but no one does it like Yongkang.
Blow Torched Steak Bites at Shilin Night Market
You’ve had grilled steak, fried steak and possibly undercooked steak…but have you ever had blow torched steak?
Fuzhou Pepper Buns – Pork Pepper Buns at Raohe Night Market
This is before. The after? A crispy, sweet, salty and extremely satisfying pork stuffed bun.
Taiwanese Sausage Anywhere at Anytime
A Taiwanese staple. No matter the night market you choose, this juicy and perfectly grilled sausage will have you going back for more and more.
It is no secret that Taiwan’s number one attraction is food. If you ever find yourself in Taipei or any other city in Taiwan, hit up the closest night market and eat your heart out. Make sure you bring plenty of change and an empty stomach — you’ll be up all night. Relax, take your time and enjoy all the Taiwanese classics at every market corner (though you may want to opt out of the stinky tofu…I did! )
My favourite night market experience would have to be Shilin Night Market. Although it is the busiest and arguably the most popular, it has such an electric vibe about it. There are so many food options to choose from and plenty of shopping to be done as well. The streets are tight and lineups can run long, but it is worth the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. If shopping and crowds are not your thing you can opt for Raohe as it has a huge emphasis on street food. Get there right at 5pm to avoid the lineups!
I don’t think any other country could give me the food experience that Taiwan gave me, but I’m open to suggestions!
Thank you for joining me on my 7-Part Taipei Journal Series. Missed any? Read them all below:
- Taipei Journal #1: Class Upgrade, Chiang Kai-Shek & Taiwan Downpour
- Taipei Journal #2: Wisteria Tea House
- Taipei Journal #3: Ximending & Avengers Infinity War
- Taipei Journal #4: Jiufen Old Street aka The Spirited Away Town
- Taipei Journal #5: Beitou Hot Springs & Thermal Valley
- Taipei Journal #6: Taipei 101 & Elephant Mountain
- Taipei Journal #7: Taipei Night Markets and Street Eats — NOW READING
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