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As big lovers of street eats and budget bites, Taiwan is our favourite foodie foray in the whole of Asia. With over 300 notable night markets dotted all over the country, the Taiwanese (and lucky tourists) are blessed with a treasure trove of tasty tidbits (even stinky tofu tastes much better than it smells!).
After recently spending a month travelling across Taiwan sampling oodles of noodles and other superb street food, these are our top picks for the best night markets in Taiwan we encountered – and we plan to return soon as we know there are loads more we need to tickle our taste buds at. Here are 10 of the best night markets in Taiwan:
The best night markets in Taiwan:
Shilin Night Market, Taipei
The largest night market in the whole of Taiwan, Shilin is a street food lover’s paradise, with a combination of food and shopping stalls. Easily reached via the MRT (alight at Jiantan Station), our highlight here was when we explored the underground Shilin Night Market Food Court – a little overwhelming at first as various stall holders wave their plastic menu cards at you, just take a little time to explore before picking a stall to go.
We’d recommend having lots of snack food so you can visit more stalls (don’t commit to just one!), as the choice here is immense. Finish your night by playing fairground stall games; it’ll help you burn some of those calories off you consumed earlier in the evening!
Miaokou Night Market, Keelung
Seafood lovers rejoice! Keelung is a coastal port city that has fresh and frequent supply of fish straight off the boat, making Keelung’s Miaokou Night Market one of the most renowned in the whole of Taiwan. Accessible from Taipei (a 40 minute drive or take the train from Songshan Station), signature dishes of Keelung market include Crab Thick Soup and the shrimp based Ding Bian Cuo. Anthony Bourdain (RIP) also visited Keelung Night Market as part of his The Layover programme, which first inspired us to check Keelung out.
Flower Night Market, Tainan
Chock full of sublime streetfood fare, we’d read a lot before visiting Tainan Flower Market about how amazing it was. Whilst it was huge and very much worth a visit, it is probably the one night market we felt a lot of the food stalls were quite similar – the layout also causes lots of bottlenecks (meaning it took us a lot longer to fill our empty bellies!).
That said, we managed to reacquaint ourselves with the local legend that is Tainan Coffin Bread (delicious) and the fried chicken here (Taiwanese style) – the amusement stalls here are also fun to watch and take part in, with locals trying to pop balloons with darts or win other prizes with children’s fishing rods.
FURTHER READING – Things to do in Tainan City
Raohe Night Market, Taipei
One bite from the famous pork pepper bun stall at the Raohe Night Market and we were smitten by the place (prepare to queue though). Incredibly busy but equally entertaining, Raohe Night Market is an absolute delight because the food here is sooo good and the trader’s are incredibly friendly. We saw lots of random delights – from Rilakkuma the bear serving eclairs to dogs in jumpers, we’d relished our regular visits to Raohe by night when we stay in Taipei.
Combine your trip with some tranquil time at the Songshan Ciyou Temple, a stone’s throw away from the market entrance and also open at night (make sure you climb the stairs at the back of the temple for some aerial views of Raohe Night Market).
FURTHER READING – The best Taiwanese food you need to try in Taiwan
Ningxia Night Market, Taipei
A little bit smaller than Raohe or Shilin Night Markets, Ningxia Night Market is just as busy and is a treasure trove of tasty Taiwanese tidbits. With the northern section of the market featuring a variety of authentic, roadside food carts jam packed together, the southern area is where to find the amusements and general trinket section. The restaurants that run along the road are also worth a look at too and there are many that serve the famous oyster omelette. Tip – arrive early as the market is very narrow and can get extremely congested.
Liuhe Night Market, Kaohsiung
Located in the heart of the city, Liuhe Night Market is the king of Kaohsiung’s evening epicurean delights. A busy main road by day, the street is closed off at night with a line of food stalls either side, with seafood the local speciality (although we opted for Beef Noodle Soup). Unlike a lot of night markets, this is easy to navigate and impossible to get lost (unless you’ve had too many Tsing Tao beers).
FURTHER READING – Things to do in Kaohsiung
Feng Chia Night Market, Taichung
The largest night market outside of Taipei, Feng Chia Market offers an awesome array of alleyways and nighttime nooks for your dining delights. Combining food, drink and gift stalls, this is also next door to the local university campus, so the streetfood is super cheap to entice the local students.
Ruifeng Night Market, Kaohsiung
Larger than Liuhe Night Market and near to legendary Lotus Lake, hop off at Kaohsiung Arena MRT for the bevy of budget bites that Ruifeng has to offer. Unlike Liuhe where the stalls are in lines, Riufeng has more of a community feel, with a dedicated space that almost feels like a town square (and numbers are boosted by all the tourists that visit too).
Huaxi Night Market, Taipei
When we first heard this was also known as ‘Snake Alley’, we were a little bit worried but this is a merely a titular throwback to the more sultry side of the area years ago (a former red light zone) before it was gentrified and began to welcome tourists.
We decided to make a whole evening of exploring the local area, starting with going into the Longshan Temple before devouring our own bodyweight in dumplings (we know, we know…!). Whilst we really loved this market was that it felt quite ‘old-school’ in its tastes – authentic and traditional. We were also blown away by the ancient arcades where groups of old men were competitively playing Tetris on the street.
We round out our top 10 Taiwan night markets with Liaoning Night Market in Taipei which we discovered purely by chance whilst exploring one evening near our hotel. Whilst not as big and bold as other night markets, we loved it as there were no tourists there and it was so photogenic – neon noir meets authentic local cuisine that smelt soooo good!
Having a pocket WIFI device was super handy during our trip. We pre-ordered one online with Klook and collected the device at Taipei airport and dropped it off at Kaohsiung’s airport. The rental cost was pretty cheap at only £1.25 per day, and we were both able to connect our phones to it.
Other Taiwan blog posts
- Things to do in Taichung, Taiwan
- Visiting Hutong Cat Village in Taipei
- Taiwan ‘7-Eleven’ Heaven
- Top things to do in Kaohsiung, Taiwan
- Top things to do in Tainan, Taiwan
- Pier 2 Art Centre and Shoushan Love lookout in Kaohsiung, Taiwan
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