At the end of the article, I’ll also discuss the history of Taipei’s night markets and some general tips for visiting night markets in Taiwan.
Michelin-Recognized Taipei Night Market Stalls
In the inaugural Michelin Food Guide put out in 2018, 10 Taipei night markets made the Bib Gourmand selection, a list of restaurants and eateries that didn’t quite get a star, but deserve recognition for the high quality of their food. You’ll find three of them at Raohe, two at Tonghua, Ningxia, and Nanjichang, and one at Shilin Night Market.
In 2019, the list expanded to include 24 stalls, with a total of four at Nanjichang, Raohe, and Tonghua, and three at Ningxia and Shilin. Stalls at two more smaller night markets that I didn’t cover in the original version of this market were also added: two at Gongguan Night Market and three at Yansan Night Market. I have since visited those and will add information about them below as well.
I’ve mentioned all of the Michelin stalls under each night market’s section. You can also see the complete 2018 Taipei Michelin Bib Gourmand Selection list here, and the 2019 Taipei Michelin Bib Gournamd Selection here, with the food stalls listed at the bottom. You can also see a picture of each of the Michelin rated Taipei night market foods here.
Here’s a guided Ningxia Night Market food tour that includes some of these Michelin-recognized food stalls.
The Top 6 Best Night Markets in Taipei
1. Shilin Night Market: The King of Taipei Night Markets
With origins as early as 1899, Shilin Night Market is the country’s most famous night market, and also the largest and most crowded in Taipei. Shaped liked an upside down triangle between Jihe and Wenling roads, there are 500+ food vendors here.
Keep an eye out for the Shilin Night Market Food Court, an air-conditioned underground food court that provides an ideal escape in summer. If you want to find it directly, take Jihe road up the Western border of Shilin Night Market, and enter right at the first road going in.
Despite its size and fame, Shilin Night Market only got one of the 10 spots on the 2018 Michelin Taipei street food list: Hai You Pork Ribs (海友十全排骨). See if you can find it! (it’s at #49 on the main lane through Shilin Night Market—).
In 2019, Shilin stalls Chung Chia Sheng Jian Bao (鍾家原上海生煎包, 38, Xiaodong Street/小東街38號), specializing in Shanghai-style pan-fried buns, and Good Friend Cold Noodles (好朋友涼麵, #31, Danan Road/), specializing in cold sesame noodles were added to the Michelin list.
Access: Get off at Jiantan MRT station (exit 1), not Shilin station. Cross the road and enter the beast.
2. Raohe Night Market: Great All-Around Experience
The third Taipei Michelin food stall recognized in 2018 is Shi Boss Spicy Tofu (施老闆麻辣臭豆腐) about halfway down the night market. The vendor specializes in a soup version of stinky tofu with duck blood curds, or the usual deep fried version served with pickled vegetables. For some reason, this stall was removed on the 2019 list.
In 2019, Michelin added two new Raohe food stalls to the Bib Gourmand list: Beef Noodles and Beef Entrails Soup (紅燒牛肉麵牛雜湯, find it at the far end, around Raohe street #63) and A Kuo Luwei (阿國滷味, #759, Bade Road Sect. 4, right at the market’s entrance).
Besides the usual assortment of great food, I like Raohe because it’s close to a few other interesting sights, notably Songshan Ci You Temple, devoted to Matsu, goddess of the sea, at the eastern entrance. Don’t miss it; it’s one of Taipei’s prettiest temples, and make sure you go up the six floors at the back!
If you’re interested in temples, check out my article introducing my favorite 30 temples in Taipei and New Taipei City!
Wufenpu Garmet Wholesale Market is also walking distance from here. This huge market is a great place to find all kinds of kinds of cheap clothing, especially T-shirts plastered with English words or phrases that don’t make sense.
Access: Exit 1 or 3 of Songshan MRT station. YouBike station is just behind exit 3. Here’s how to rent a YouBike in Taipei.
3. Ningxia Night Market: Easy to Handle, Amazing Mochi, and lots of Oyster Omelets
Ningxia is located near historic Dadaocheng and Dihua Street, one of the most interesting neighborhoods for wandering and street photography in Taipei.
If you love traditional taro snacks, don’t miss the excellent taro balls in Jiufen, New Taipei City!
Another reason to come to Ningxia is the awesome traditional mochi on offer. According to my wife (I don’t usually eat mochi), most mochi in Taiwan is coated in peanut powder, but the ones at Ningxia are made the traditional way, boiled right before you eat them so they are still warm, and with the atypical option of ground sesame seeds instead of peanut powder.
Finally, for beer lovers, I stumbled upon a great little craft beer place with friendly local staff called Beer Ammo (軍火庫精釀啤酒 #109 Nanjing W. Rd) that claims to offer over 300 mostly Belgian and local craft beer bottles, only one minute’ walk towards the MRT from the southern end of Ningxia Night Market.
Access: It’s a 5-10 minute walk from Zhongshan MRT station to the southern end of Ningxia, or from Shuanglian MRT station to the northern end. If you happen to be coming in on the yellow MRT line like I always do, then you can also walk from Daqiaotou Station in 10-15 minutes.
4. Tonghua (Linjiang Street) Night Market: Authentic, Old-Fashioned Foods, Near Taipei 101
I was surprised however to find that another stinky tofu stall, which I haven’t tried yet, made the 2019 Michelin Bib Gourmand list. It’s called Tien Hsiang Stinky Tofu (雅口麻辣豆腐) but indicated on GoogleMaps in Chinese as Yakou Stinky Tofu (雅口麻辣豆腐專賣). It’s located at the eastern end of Linjiang street, and supposedly also has really crispy and delicious stinky tofu.
At the center of the night market, near Yi Kou Jin Su Stinky Tofu, there’s a cluster of some of the night markets other most famous stalls, including the following:
Access: From Xinhe Anhe MRT exit 3 (escalator) or 4 (just barely closer, no escalator), head east then turn right at the Watsons (Tonghua Rd.) Follow the stream of people to the market entrance on Linjiang street (pictured above).
5. Huaxi Night Market (Snake Alley): Taipei’s Most Infamous Night Market
In 2019, one Michelin Bib Gourmand selection was even added for Huaxi Night Market: Hsiao Wang Steamed Minced Pork with Pickles in Broth (小王清湯瓜仔肉, #17-4, Huaxi Street/), known for its meaty, 40+ year-old recipes.
1. Xichang Street Night Market
2. Guangzhou Street Night Market
Starting at the northwestern corner of Longshan Temple and running west on Guangzhou Street, this market is the most similar of the four to other night markets in Taipei. The foods on offer are pretty standard, but I did find one rather special item: deep fried marlin cakes stuffed with hard boiled egg.
The vendor places them on a tray and you get to lather them in wasabi and hot sauce with a brush. They are really delicious, and you won’t find them anywhere else. Oh, and they only cost 10 NT ($0.30)!
3. Huaxi Street Night Market
4. Wuzhou Street Night Market
Access: Longshan Temple MRT exit 1 is the most convenient for Longshan Temple and all four night markets. You’ll need to walk past Bangka Park, where groups of local homeless hang out, sleep, and play Chinese chess.
It’s still safe, and there’s always a lot of foot traffic from the day and night markets, local residents and tourists, and of course Longshan Temple.
6. Nanjichang Night Market: Taipei’s most “local” night market
When first published this article, I didn’t include Nanjichang Night Market, and fellow local bloggers quickly noticed. As I said above, everybody has their favorite, but local experts claimed THIS was the one. So of course I had to check it out and add it here.
Nanjichang is little compared to others, but don’t let it’s size fool you; there is truly a wide range of excellent foods crammed in, including two out of the 10 Michelin Taipei night market stalls in 2018, and 4 out of 24 in 2019.
And indeed, the feeling at Nanjichang is very local, and prices are cheap. Come here for a truly local night market experience in Taipei! Nanjichang’s claims to fame include its dumplings, stinky tofu, sesame oil chicken, and taro shaved ice.
Literally “South Airport”, Nanjichang is in a location that was beside a military airport in Japanese times. Unlike most night markets, many (but not all) of the vendors are open in the daytime as well, but the action really starts around 5 p.m., like at most night markets.
The main entrance is at the intersection of Zhonghua st. section 2 lane 315 alley 5 (中華路二段315巷5弄) and Zhonghua st. section 2 lane 307 (). Lane 315 alley 5 is the main section, with alleys 307 to 313 branching off to either side of it and containing more stalls and restaurants.
Right at the entrance, there is a famous chicken restaurant (山內雞肉) on one side, and braised pork rice (lu rou fan or 滷肉飯) restaurant on the other. Just in from the lu rou fan spot is 曉迪筒仔米糕, a great place to try tong zai mi gao, a kind of sticky rice mold topped with pork, mushrooms, sweet sauce, and cilantro that is especially popular in Southern Taiwan.
A few more steps in and you’ll spot Shanghai Shui Jian Bao (上海水煎包), a popular spot for pan fried buns. At the intersection with lane 309, you can’t skip Keelung Tianbula (基隆黑輪綜合甜不辣), which I can honestly say is the best tian bu la (a Taiwanese version of Japanese oden) I’ve ever had.
Venture east down lane 309 to find the newer location of Smelly Boss (臭老闆) at #46, which serves Michelin recognized stinky tofu that is literally the best stewed version of stinky tofu I’ve ever tried.
The soup it is stewed in is incredibly flavorful, and the two large hunks (NT70) come topped with mushrooms, ginger slices, and fresh Asian basil.
Back on the main lane, the section between 309 and 311 contains a tiny little gua bao stall, a famous fried chicken fillet stall called Yummy Chicken (好吃雞排), and an excellent fried oyster ball vendor called 好佳蚵嗲. As I mentioned in the Ningxia Night Market section, I love this fried balls of goodness.
At this stall, they serve them to you on a metal plate, which is great because they tend to be steaming hot and messy. We had ours with an order of deep fried cuttlefish and a stick of deep fried cilantro, which I’ve never seen before, and was really tasty! They also had deep fried sticks of celery and green onions.
Another side trip down lane 311 will bring you to the second Michelin night market vendor at Nanjichang: A Nan Sesame Oil Chicken (阿男麻油雞). This extremely popular shop tends to open a lttle later, around 6-7, and there’s always a line waiting.
Lane 313 has the first of two 2019 Michelin-recognized additions: Sung Ching Taiwanese Burritos (松青潤餅)
Back to the main lane again, there’s only a few more lanes to cover. One of the last stalls on the street is a very old fashion shao bing (燒餅) stall, which serves crispy, sugar filled pastries that are best eaten warm. There’s always a line. In 2019 it was added to the Michelin list as Unnamed Clay Oven Roll (無名推車燒餅), since it lacks a name.
Walking west down lane 313, you can find the original location of Smelly Boss at #6, and Taro Shaved Ice King (南機場芋頭大王).
Access: The nearest MRT, Xiaonanmen, is a 15-minute walk via the Taipei Botanical Garden. You can also walk from Longshan Temple MRT in about 20 minutes.
4 other Notable Taipei Night Markets (+ 2 new additions)
1. Shida Night Market
Access: It’s a five-minute walk from Taipower Building MRT Station exit 3.
2. Liaoning Night Market
Access: Follow the signs from Nanjing Fuxing MRT station exit 3. You’ll pass a Japanese style cocktail bar that could be worth investigating.
3. Jingmei Night Market
Access: Exit 2 of Jingmei MRT station.
4. Ximending Night Market
I put this at the end of the Taipei City Night Markets list because, well, it’s not really a night market. However, Google indicates the area as such, and based on my keyword research, a lot of people out there search for the term, so I’m still going to mention it.
Ximending is actually a pedestrian shopping district that super popular and trendy among youths and visitors. It’s actually got so much great food, including street food, that I wrote this entire Ximending Food Guide, as well as this list of weird things to do in Ximending.
Check the above articles to find out where you can find great local food stalls in the daytime, as well as some great Japanese restaurants, cocktail bars, and more.
5. Gongguan Night Market (new addition)
Although I didn’t include Gongguan Night Market in the original version of this article, I had to visit and include it after I found out that it won two entries in the 2019 Michelin Bib Gourmand Guide.
This small night market consists of two relatively short lanes on either side of Shuiyuan Market (水源市場), a traditional daytime fruit and vegetable market. Gongguan are is near Shida Night Market (see above) and is also very popular among university students and young international visitors.
The first Michelin stall I pretty much went for was Hsiung Chi Scallion Pancakes (雄記蔥抓餅), which specializes in one of my favorite Taiwanese street snacks, which I usually call “green onion cakes.” These are generally good anywhere you get them, but this stall of course gets it all right, complete with the addition of fresh Asian basil, your choice of toppings, and (something I’ve never seen before) honey mustard as one of the sauces to choose from.
The second Michelin-recommended stall you may want to seek out is Lan Chia Guabao (藍家割包), specializing in classic guabao, the “Taiwanese hamburger.” I also noticed a very long line for a stall doing deep fried taro and sweet potato balls, so that must be worth trying as well!
6. Yansan Night Market (new addition)
I must admit I’d never even heard of Yansan Night Market until I read the 2019 Michelin Taipei night markets list. So I was quite surprised to find that it got not one but three entries!
After visiting, I would say that Yansan barely counts as a night market; it’s more of a regular street with several hole in the wall restaurants along it, some with tables out on the street. And the one I went for (pictured above) is actually open in the daytime, not at night. I would say check out this “night market” in the daytime if you’re looking for very traditional foods and an off-the-beaten-track snacking experience.
The three Michelin-recommended shops are Cabbage Rice and Pork Rib Soup (高麗菜飯 原汁排骨湯), which does a very traditional soup and is the first shop you’ll encounter coming from nearby Daqiaotou MRT station. Shi Chia Big Rice Ball (施家鮮肉湯圓) is further down and specializes in glutinous rice balls stuffed with pork and served in soup.
Last but certainly not least is Daqiaotou Rice Cakes (大橋頭老牌筒仔米糕), which does a very special and unique Taiwanese dish, which is sometimes called Tube Rice Pudding, or tong zai mi gao in Mandarin (don’t ask me to type out the way it is usually pronounced in Taiwanese).
Although it does come with a slice of meat (I let my wife eat that), I do really like this dish normally, and the serving at this shop was indeed really, really good. And I loved how they let you put the sauce yourself, so you can choose as much as you’d like!
5 Night Markets in New Taipei City and Keelung Worth Visiting
1. Miaokou Night Market, Keelung
It only takes 40 minutes to an hour to get to Keelung, northern Taiwan’s largest port, and home to my favorite night market in Taiwan. The market’s name literally translates as “temple entrance,” as it grew from the plaza in front of Dianji Temple.
Access: It’s about a 10-minute walk from the Keelung train station.
2. Sanhe Night Market, Sanchong
Access: Taipei Bridge MRT station.
3. Nanya Night Market, Banqiao
Access: Short walk from Fuzhong MRT station.
4. Le Hua Night Market, Yonghe
Le Hua is within walking distance of the fascinating and off-the-beaten-track Museum of World Religions Taipei.
Access: It’s a 5-10-minute walk from Dingxi MRT station exit 1.
5. Xinzhuang Temple Street
Access: Go straight out Xinzhuang MRT exit 2, take your first right, and walk in a few blocks until you reach the front of the temple. Go right and you’ll see the start of it.
To reach New Moon Bridge, turn left at the big temple in the middle of the night market. There is also a YouBike rental station just before the pedestrian ramp up to the bridge.
Why Does Taiwan Have So Many Night Markets?
What is a Taipei Night Market Like?
Tips for visiting a Taipei Night Market
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