7 Fabulous Night Markets in Taipei
Taiwan is famous for its night markets and amongst its various cities, it is in the capital Taipei that the most celebrated night markets are to be found.
Night markets spring up in the early evening and run till late, offering a combination of street food, dried food, clothes, souvenirs and sometimes entertainment, which means that there is something for most members of the family to enjoy.
As there are night markets scattered across the city, you often do not have to travel very far to find one. They vary in size, style and also popularity, so in this handy guide we will share with you information about seven of Taipei’s most fabulous night markets.
Shilin Night Market (士林夜市)
This is the granddaddy of them all. Mention night markets in Taipei and many people’s first thoughts will be of Shilin. Shilin is the largest night market and has been here in one form or another for over one hundred years.
Shilin contains an excellent range of cooked food, including a full range of Taiwanese specialities only some of which are available in other markets. But it is also good for shopping and a lot of locals as well as tourists browse its racks and shelves the entire evening.
It kicks off around four o’clock and many stalls are open until shortly after midnight or thereabouts. Part of the old market building houses food stalls and restaurants, while a second area houses a wide range of stalls and shops with everything from clothes to mobile phone accessories.
Shilin always has a good crowd, it is big enough and can absorb a lot of people without feeling claustrophobic. It is a little bit away from the city centre, and is a short walk from the Jiantan station on MRT line 2.
Address: No. 101, Jihe Road, Shilin District, Taipei City 111
Raohe Night Market 饒河夜市
Older even than Shilin, this night market is all about the food. A compact run on a few hundred yards of streets sees restaurants on both sides and seating with food stalls in the middle. There’s simpler food available from stalls, and more elaborate meals in the restaurants. Raohe offers some treats less common elsewhere, such as buns, dumplings and various special teas including fried tea. Raohe offers Taiwanese staples done well at a good price – a lot of the visitors are not tourists but locals stopping by for their dinner, and occasional family get togethers. It’s loud, busy, social and humming with activity.
Raohe starts in the early evening and peaks over dinnertime. By eleven o’clock many of the stalls are winding down and packing up for another night. It’s easy to get to, with the temple marking one end of the market street sitting very close to Songshan station, both on MRT line 3 and the railway.
Address: Raohe Street, Songshan District, Taipei City 105
Ningxia Night Market 寧夏夜市
Ningxia night market has a lot to recommend to its the visitor. First, it is centrally located close to the heart of Taipei’s downtown. Secondly, it is the sort of archetypal night market which was traditionally associated with Taiwan but has become rarer elsewhere over the years.
Highlights include a wide variety of fresh Taiwanese snacks and desserts such as Tainan rice pudding and stinky tofu, along with a great range in grilled seafood. Ningxia – immortalised in a celebrated Taiwanese pop song - is all about the food, and it’s a great market if you want to sample the full gamut of night market foods. You can also catch some entertainment, such as the fairground game style stalls.
It kicks off around five and slowly winds down towards midnight. You can walk there in a few minutes from either the Zhong Shan or Shuang Lian MRT stop.
Address: Ningxia Road, Datong District, Taipei City 103
Taipei Tonghua Night Market 通化街夜市
Tonghua is visited more by locals than tourists, although its convenient location close to Taipei 101 means it is quite easy for tourists to find. It’s got the night market basics down pat: a lot of food stalls in a small area, and some shops and stalls on the edges selling clothes, shoes, accessories and more. It feels busy.
You can get there from Xinyi Anhe station on MRT red line.
Address: Alley 1, Lane 40, Linjiang Street, Da’an District, Taipei City 106
Shida Night Market 師大路夜市
This night market is spread around a number of small alleyways clustered together. There are the usual snacks you’ll find in other night markets, but also some great coffee options and a lot of places selling cute and cheap accessories, and reasonably priced local clothes.
The closest station is Taipower Building station on the MRT green line.
Address: Lane 39, Shida Road, Da’an District, Taipei City 106
Liaoning Street Night Market 遼寧街夜市
Liaoning Street is all about food, and specifically seafood. You can choose from a lot of dishes, and can also have fresh seafood cooked for you on the spot. Grilled seafood and oyster omelettes are widely available in night markets, but here they are better than most. The goose meat rice dishes are also popular.
It’s a five-minute walk from Nanjing East Road station on the MRT brown line.
Address: Lane 53, Zhulun Street, Zhongshan District, Taipei City 104
Huaxi Night Market (“ Snake Alley”) 華西街夜市
Close to another two night markets, this bustling night market has stayed popular for decades. It’s mostly covered and is renowned for various dishes, especially those made with traditional Chinese medicinal ingredients like the eponymous snakes and turtles, which can be seen live in some stalls. But other foods are also excellent: Tainan style dan dan noodles, and congee.
It’s a five-minute walk from Long Shan Temple station on the MRT blue line, and close by are Guangzhou and Wuzhou night markets too.
Address: Huaxi Street, Wanhua District, Taipei City 108