To really get acquainted with Taiwan, you’ve got to understand its food culture. And what better place to do just that than at Taiwan’s bustling night markets!
Night markets are a BIG deal in Taiwan. In fact, there are more than 70 night markets in Taiwan, with approximately 30 of them just in Taipei! But, if you’re looking for the very best Taiwanese street food, you need to know where to find it. To help you out, here’s my list of the 12 best Taiwanese night markets!
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The Best Night Markets in Taiwan
Shilin Night Market (士林夜市), Taipei
Let’s kickstart this Taiwan night market list, right in the capital city – Taipei.
Shilin Night Market is Taipei’s most popular night market and a great place to fill your belly with delicious street food. It has an interesting mix of local Taiwanese night market food, but it’s also a cool spot to sample some other Asian street food like Japanese and Korean dishes.
However, the most famous street food to try is the huge fried chicken chop at Hot Star! Just a heads up – the line is usually dreadfully long. So get ready to wait up to 30 minutes (if not longer) to bite into this juicy Taiwanese snack!
Shilin Market is a 2-minute walk from Shilin MRT Station. Join this Shilin walking tour to explore its nooks and crannies and sample the market’s best street food!
Raohe Night Market (饒河街觀光夜市), Taipei
If you’re looking to sample the best pork pepper buns in Taiwan, then you need to get yourself to Raohe Night Market!
As one of the oldest night markets in Taipei, it’s a must-hit spot when exploring Taipei at night. Here you’ll find a great selection of food, and it’s the perfect place to fill your belly at dirt cheap prices. Besides pepper buns, try the flame-torched beef cubes, luwei (braised snacks), and sweet potato balls!
Raohe Night Market is situated in Taipei’s Songshan District, a 3-minute walk from Songshan MRT Station. Just a heads up, it gets really busy around 7-8 pm, so be prepared to join the scrum!
Ximending Night Market (西門町夜市), Taipei
First things first. Ximending is not your typical Taiwanese night market but more of a pedestrian shopping area. You’ll find a whole bunch of shops here selling everything from clothes to jewelry to souvenirs. But it’s the bustling atmosphere and awesome selection of Taiwanese street snacks that make it such a hot spot.
Some must-try snacks include mee sua (flour vermicelli), oyster omelets, and rice sausage stuffed with meat sausage. You should also make a point of trying some of the weird and wacky drinks here. You’ll find everything from gold foil brown sugar boba milk to strawberry bubble milk tea to cherry blossom tea to black tea vermicelli in Ximending! If you’re looking for something a bit stronger, pop into Driftwood – Taipei’s coolest craft beer pub!
Jiufen Old Street (九份老街)
Known for its dozens of lantern-strewn alleys, gorgeous views, and epic street food, the charming hilltop village of Jiufen is arguably the most popular Taipei day trip.
There are lots to do in this quaint little village, but if you’re a foodie, you’ll definitely want to sample as much of Juifen’s street food as you possibly can! Peanut and taro ice cream crepes, glutinous rice cakes, and taro balls are just a few of the must-try dishes here. For a unique experience (albeit pricey), pop into one of the tea houses where you can enjoy authentic Taiwanese tea, sweet treats, and beautiful views!
Jiufen is about 40km from Taipei, but it’s not the easiest place to reach. Read my guide on getting to Jiufen from Taipei to find the easiest routes.
Dongdamen Night Market (東大門夜市), Hualien
Hualien might be famous as the main gateway to Taroko Gorge, but it’s also home to a fantastic night market!
Dongdamen is the main place to find delicious cheap eats in the city. Although the market is quite big, there’s not a huge selection of food here. Unlike other Taiwan night markets, Dongdamen has surprisingly lots of room to move around thanks to its wide walkways. In addition, you’ll also find loads of stalls offering seating – perfect for sitting down with an ice-cold beer while enjoying your food.
Grilled clams, Thai basil rice, and grilled mochi are among the best food options to try here.
Fengjia Night Market (逢甲夜市), Taichung
Touted as the largest night market in Taiwan, Fengjia Night Market is over 1km wide and is a must on any Taichung itinerary. This sprawling market is jam-packed with cool shops, game stalls, and lip-smackingly delicious xiao chi (small eats).
There are so many great street food snacks in Fengjia that you could easily spend countless nights here! Must-eats include squid balls, flame-torched steak, sausages wrapped in sticky rice, candied fruit, and of course, stinky tofu! Oh, and for the very best scallion pancakes in Fengjia, pop into 逢甲丹丹香蔥油餅!
Fengjia Night Market is extremely popular, so it gets super busy after the sun goes down. Get ready to elbow your way through the alleys!
Ita Thao Shopping Street (伊達邵商店街), Sun Moon Lake
Ita Thao might not be the biggest night market in Taiwan, but it’s an essential stop in Sun Moon Lake.
Sun Moon Lake is Taiwan’s largest natural lake. Located just 1.5 hrs from Taichung, it’s easily accessed by bus or on a day tour (if you don’t feel like planning a thing). This beautiful alpine area boasts a wealth of amazing things to do, and feasting on the local aboriginal food is one of them!
The best place to sample some really interesting dishes is at Ita Thao. The village, situated at the opposite end of Shuishe Pier, is chock full of eateries and vendors dishing up everything from black tea ice cream and gao bao (Taiwanese hamburger) to wild boar sausages, aruzay fish, and pig’s blood cake! It’s a cool place to stroll around, snack on various Taiwanese street food, or simply enjoy the vibe!
Some shops open in the morning, but the best time to visit is at night – when things really get bustling! Don’t come too late, though, because Ita Thao turns into a ghost town after 9 pm!
If you’re not staying in Ita Thao, hop on a ferry at Shuishe Pier or take the SML shuttle bus.
Liuhe Tourist Night Market (六合觀光夜市), Kaohsiung
Kaohsiung’s main foodie hub is Liuhe Night Market (also spelled Liouhe). Located in Xinxing District, Liuhe is the biggest and most popular night market in Kaohsiung. During the day, you won’t find any food here, but at night the area gets closed off, and stalls pop up everywhere!
There are roughly 130 stalls in Liuhe Night Market, serving a wide variety of Taiwanese street snacks. But, the shining star here is undoubtedly seafood. Make sure to try the fried crab, seafood congee, and oyster cakes. If you’re looking to quench your thirst, you’ll find all the usual Taiwanese drinks here, but for something really special, try the papaya milk at 鄭老牌木瓜牛奶.
Liuhe opens up around 5 pm and there are several cool shops where you can buy clothes, cellphone accessories, souvenirs, and everything in between.
Kenting Night Market (墾丁大街夜市)
If you’re heading down south to soak up the epic beach vibes in Kenting National Park, then the Kenting Night Market is probably already on your list of things to do!
You’ll find Kenting Night Market running along both sides of Kenting Street, the main street in town. Kenting Night Market is all about food, so you won’t find many game stalls here like elsewhere in Taiwan. There is, however, a really great selection of shops! Here you buy anything from swimwear to flip flops to snorkeling gear and much more!
Seeing that Kenting is right on the coast, you’ll find some excellent fresh seafood options here. Filling up on fresh oysters, sushi, tiger prawns, and tender squid are a must, but if you have a sweet tooth, don’t miss the fruit popsicles, deep-fried milk, dragon fruit smoothies, and banana pancakes!
Since it is by far one of Taiwan’s best night markets, it gets crowded quickly, especially on weekends. Most stalls are open from 6 pm to 10 pm, giving you plenty of time to stuff your face!
Anping Old Street (安平老街), Tainan
A short stroll from Anping Old Fort, you’ll find a maze of alleyways filled with vendors selling Tainan’s best local snacks.
Visiting Anping Old Street is just one of the awesome things to do in Tainan, and there’s a certain old-world charm about this market that you won’t find anywhere else in Taiwan.
Besides the relaxed vibes, you’ll find some surprisingly unique Taiwanese dishes here. Among these are coffin toast, shrimp cakes, douhua (tofu pudding), and huge grilled oysters! Come hungry because there’s plenty of great food to try!
Danshui Old Street (淡水老街), Tamsui
Just on the outskirts of Taipei, you’ll find the seaside town of Danshui, known for its picture-perfect sunsets, cool promenade, and tasty seafood.
The Old Street is where you’ll get to sample some of Danshui’s best local specialties, such as ah-gei, fish ball soup, and iron eggs. But if it’s seafood you’re after, head to stalls lining the waterfront where you’ll find oodles of seafood options cooked in every way imaginable!
Danshui is a great place to spend the day, so don’t just visit for the food! The Old Street is a short stroll from Tamsui Station, the last stop on the Red MRT line. Just keep in mind that the ride takes about 40 minutes from Taipei Main Station.
Miaokou Night Market (基隆廟口夜市), Keelung
Northern Taiwan‘s port city, Keelung, might not be on your Taiwan bucket list, but it’s actually one of the best places to sample seafood on the island. And the 40-odd-year Keelung Night Market is just the place to gobble up fresh and delicious ocean treats!
While you’ll find all the usual Taiwanese street foods on offer here, it’s really the seafood that makes this night market so special.
However, with more than 200 stalls, the hardest part about visiting Keelung Night Market will be deciding what to eat! Among the most famous dishes to try here include braised eel soup, butter crab, and steamed seafood. Other specialties are tianbula (Taiwanese tempura), pot rim rice soup, and pork rib soup.
Keelung is less than 25km north of Taipei City, and the market opens at 5 pm daily. Join this night market food tour or hop on a train to explore the market at your own pace.
Taiwan Night Markets in Conclusion
While this list of Taiwanese night markets is only a small sample of what is on offer, it should give you a taste of the very best night markets in Taiwan not to miss!
Well, that wraps up this Taiwan night market guide. Which night market is your favorite? Feel free to share your top finds in the comments below!
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oysters and crab legs says
Loved this! Your pictures brought me back – I could almost SMELL them! This post inspired me to order some oysters and crab legs and make myself a Taiwanese feast this weekend. Thanks for that!
Now I’m even craving oysters! Lol! Enjoy your Taiwanese feast and thanks for stopping by.