A Picture of Tawain's night market filled with people
Your local guide to Taiwan’s night markets
Written by Irene Chuang
On 21 May 2024
A Picture of Tawain's night market filled with people

Visiting a night market is a ‘MUST’ when travelling to Taiwan. Let’s follow the locals’ steps to explore the hidden street foods and secrets in Taiwanese night markets.

Taiwan would be a top choice, filled with wonderful cultural diversity and abundant gourmets. Especially with its unique night market culture, locals have voted it as one of the most important cultures in Taiwan.

Night market culture is a renowned tradition in Taiwan, offering a unique experience unlike the clubbing culture found in Eastern countries. These markets are more than just places to shop; they are vibrant gathering spots where locals come together, performances unfold, and Taiwan’s vibrant nightlife thrives. Join us on a short but immersive journey through the colourful tapestry of Taiwanese night market culture—a whirlwind adventure for your senses and your soul.

What’s your favourite food in the night market?

What’s the most famous Taiwanese street food in your mind? Is it sticky tofu? Bubble tea? Or Taiwanese oyster noodles? With the rise of night market culture, many street foods have become well-known.

However, there are tons of lesser-known street foods in the night market for visitors to try and immerse themselves in Taiwanese culture. Let’s come and follow our five senior local foodies to explore those hidden secrets and gourmets around the corner!

Shilin Night Market

Shilin Night Market (Shilin, Taipei)

Founded in 1909, the night market has gained recognition as the largest and most well-known in a century due to its popular food courts, diverse storefronts, and numerous roadside stands.

What makes Shilin Night Market so special?
Shilin Night Market plays a significant role in the morning. Many people only see it as a night market, but it opens as a morning market, full of vegetables, meat, seafood, and a variety of traditional Taiwanese dishes. Many households visit Shilin Night Market to complete their grocery shopping at the beginning of the day. When I lived with my parents, I would go to Shilin Market with my grandmother every morning to get all the ingredients they needed for the day. Breakfast stalls would also be open. Grab a warm soy milk with Xiao Long Bao and head to the market for one of the most traditional Taiwanese mornings you’ll ever experience.

Many visitors to Shilin Market opt for the subterranean food court for its odorous tofu, sausages, and other delicacies; however, Xiaodong Road, a local favourite, frequently attracts office workers and students. On this street, you can find Shi-Lai-Yun-Zhuan, the best traditional bento restaurant. When I was in high school, I often came here with friends to grab dinner. Crispy chicken leg rice and iced black tea are a must!

Raohe Street Night Market

Raohe Street Night Market (Songshan, Taipei): a 600-meter-long night market situated beside the Keelung River.

Let’s follow your travel YouTuber, Karina, to discover hidden tips when visiting Raohe Street Night Market.

“Hey there! Entering Raohe Street Night Market is, therefore, akin to entering a culinary paradise; have no fear, you’re in for a delightful experience! Imagine the bustling street, vibrant stalls, and irresistible aroma that wraps you up as soon as you arrive. The pepper bun at the market’s entrance would be the perfect place to start. These buns are a flavour explosion with juicy minced pork and green onions, all sizzling to perfection. “The next stop will be grilled squid.” You can’t miss it. It has this incredible combination of tenderness and smoky flavour that will make your taste buds dance.

“Oh, and the Bubble Milk Tea—a classic Taiwan must-have. Choose your preferred flavour from the wide selection; you’re sure to enjoy it. A personal recommendation is to take 30% sugar if you don’t like sweet food. But we’re just getting started! The menu features an assortment of delectable dishes, including crispy tempura, Taiwanese sausages, and oyster vermicelli, which is comfort in a bowl.

The best part?

Raohe Street Night Market isn’t just about the food; it’s a cultural experience. Each bite tells a story of local flavours and traditions, making it a true taste of Taipei’s culinary heartbeat. Get ready for a food adventure that’s not just a meal but a friendly embrace from Taipei’s culinary scene!

Feng Chia Night Market

Feng Chia Night Market (Xitun, Taichung) is currently the largest market in Taiwan, filled with diverse international foods and traditional breakfasts.

“The breakfast street is a classic in Feng Chia Night Market,” Roger, the travel blogger, said.

A breakfast vendor will set up shop on the street in front of Feng Chia University in the morning. The vendors will serve delectable rice balls, egg rolls, Xia Long Bao, and other traditional Taiwanese breakfasts. I strongly encourage everyone to come in the morning. You’ll discover a different Feng Chia Night Market than the one you saw at night.

A local recommendation is to start your culinary journey at night with the absolute must-try, the Feng Chia Big Sausage. The grilling of these Taiwanese sausages to perfection infuses them with a medley of flavors. On top of that, you should not miss the renowned Chun Shui Tang stall for the signature bubble tea—the birthplace of this globally loved beverage. My personal tip is for the original milk tea; it’s the most classic taste. Overall, Feng Chia Night Market isn’t just a food haven; it’s a cultural phenomenon. Each stall tells a story, and every bite is a chapter in the culinary narrative of Taiwan. Get ready for a food adventure that will tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving more!

Keelung MiaoKou Night Market

A Special Recommendation from the Local:

Keelung MiaoKou Night Market (Keelung, Taiwan)

The history of Keelung’s Miaokou Night Market dates back to the late Japanese colonial period. The nearby century-old temple plays a crucial role in the market’s rise. During that time, the flourishing worship at Dienji Temple laid the foundation for the early economic development of the night market. The continuous stream of worshippers and fishermen brought prosperity and vitality to this area, while the culinary opportunities that followed spurred the growth of the entire district, shaping it into the renowned centennial night market it is today.

Harry, a Taipei resident, says:

I would have to say that Keelung Night Market is the best night market in Taiwan. The increasing number of visitors to Taiwan’s night markets has led to their commercialization, leading to the replacement of numerous food stalls to cater to customers’ evolving tastes. As a result, it is easy to see that most night markets in Taiwan have similar stores and sell comparable dishes. However, the Keelung Night Market retains its unique culture, food stalls, and traditions. I always begin with some delectable seafood options, like irresistible grilled squid and shrimp rolls. Don’t miss out on trying the famous Keelung fish ball soup. It’s an absolute must! This dish truly captures the essence of our charming city. But wait, there’s more! You can’t leave without indulging in specialties like oyster omelettes and flavorful braised pork rice. 

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