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To give you an idea of the sheer variety of foods you will encounter in Taiwan’s night markets, here are my 101 recommended Taiwanese street foods to watch out for. In many ways, street food is the best way to experience Taiwanese cuisine.
In this article I’m going to introduce 17 of the best Taipei night markets. I’ll start with the “Big 5” in Taipei City (Shilin, Raohe, Ningxia, Tonghua, and Huaxi). Then I’ll cover some more local night markets in Taipei before moving out into New Taipei City, the large city that surrounds Taipei City, and one special night market in Keelung, a port city on the northeast coast.
For each one, I’ll tell you what dishes the night market is famous for, where to find the Michelin food stalls, and how to get to each night market. At the end, I’ll share some more general information about Taiwan night markets, their history, and more!
What is the Best Night Market in Taipei?
The question we all really want answered is: what is the best Taipei night market? This Wikipedia list of night markets in Taiwan mentions 30 in the greater Taipei area (Taipei City, New Taipei City, and Keelung), around 70 night markets in Taiwan, and there are actually many more that are not listed. So how can you choose which night market to visit on your Taiwan trip?
Nanjichang (#6) is super local and has excellent food, while several more entries after that are well off the tourist beaten track.
In short, there’s no “best” night market in Taipei. Everyone has his or her personal favorite. If you’re still torn, spend some time going through my article below, and see if any of them jump out at you! You can also use the map below to find out which Taipei night market is closest to where you’ll be.
“The Big 5” Best Night Markets in Taipei City
To begin, here are the five most famous night markets in Taipei City than everyone always talks about. This list of course begins with Shilin Night Market, the city’s largest (but not the largest in Taiwan!), and the one that tourists most commonly visit. Then we stop in at smaller (but often preferred) Raohe, Ningxia, and Tonghua, and finish with the night market with a shady reputation: Huaxi.
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.
Other Taipei Night Markets to Know About
If you’d like to get more local and off the tourist track in Taipei, then the following Taipei night markets may appeal more to you.
6. Nanjichang Night Market: Taipei’s most “local” night market
Nanjichang may be small 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.
7. Shida Night Market
Access: It’s a five-minute walk from Taipower Building MRT Station exit 3.
8. 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.
9. Jingmei Night Market
Access: Exit 2 of Jingmei MRT station.
10. Ximending Night Market
This entry may seem a little odd, because Ximending is not really a night market like the others. The funky pedestrian shopping neighborhood is more popular in the daytime. However, GoogleMaps does indicate a “Ximending night market”, and I suppose the area has enough food stalls to call it so. Just don’t go there expecting a long, crowded strip of food stalls like you will at all the other ones.
Learn more about what kind of food is on offer there (both in the daytime and at night) in my Ximending Food Guide, and learn more about the quirkiness of the area in my list of weird things to do in Ximending.
It’s also worth noting that Ximending is Taipei’s best LGBTQ+ district, and has the best collection of outdoor bar patios in Taipei. Head to the backside of Red Theater in Ximending to find it.
11. Gongguan Night Market
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 night market has recently grown in size and now includes two Michelin-rated food stalls.
The first Michelin food stall found there is 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!
12. 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!
Night Markets in New Taipei City and Keelung Worth Visiting
To finish this long article, I’ve got five more recommendations for night markets you may want to consider visiting in New Taipei City. This is actually the largest city in all of Taiwan, and it physically surrounds Taipei City. You can still take the Taipei MRT to reach most of these.
And to begin this section, we’ve got the famous harbor-side night market in Keelung, the largest port city in Northern Taiwan. It is my favorite night market in all of Taiwan!
13. 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. Keelung is one of the best day trips from Taipei, so you could easily plan to spend a whole day there!
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.
14. Sanhe Night Market, Sanchong
Access: Taipei Bridge MRT station.
15. Nanya Night Market, Banqiao
Access: Short walk from Fuzhong MRT station.
16. 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.
17. 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.
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. The list underwent further changes in 2020, with 23 remaining entries.
I’ve mentioned all of the Michelin stalls under each night market’s section. You can also see the complete 2020 Bib Gourmad section here (it’s easy to see which ones are food stalls). You can also see a picture of each of the Michelin rated Taipei night market foods (from 2019).
Here’s a guided Ningxia Night Market food tour that includes some of these Michelin-recognized food stalls.
Why Does Taiwan Have So Many Night Markets?
What is a Taipei Night Market Like?
Tips for visiting a Taipei Night Market
- If you visit Taipei during Chinese New Year, most major night markets remain open, but you may find that many of the stalls are closed during the holiday.
Serious foodies should check out these awesome resources on Taiwanese food!