If you ever get a chance to visit Taipei, Taiwan, then you definitely know that one of the things you have to do is to visit a Taiwanese Night Market. After all, you can find some of the best night markets in Taipei, Taiwan.
These night markets are not your average markets where you can only find small and useless stuff, but instead it is a place where you can find all sorts of amazing things that’ll have you browsing around for hours on end.
However most who come to visit these night markets are mainly coming for the food. After all, these night markets are world famous for selling all types of delicious Taiwanese style foods. In fact, they are so amazing that some of the night market vendors have even made it onto Michelin Bib Guides.
It is a quintessential Taiwanese experience that many people love. You’ll get to learn all about the culture by seeing how people interact here as well as try all the delicious foods these markets have to offer. Heck, many locals from all over the country come to these night markets as a place to be social and hang out with one another.
Before we get any further, I know the question most of you all have been wondering.
Which night market is actually the best one and worth it to visit?
Obviously you don’t want to be wasting your time at a night market that isn’t any good.
So how do you choose?
According to Wikipedia, there are at least 30 kinds of night markets in Taipei alone, Which I know is quite a bit. So choosing a specific night market to visit can definitely be a confusing thing to do.
However the answer to that question is that there is no best or worst night market. I know it sounds silly but its true. All night markets in Taiwan are so amazing and innovative that you will have fun regardless of whichever one you pick.
Sure some may be more famous than others, however they all provide a sense of fun and entertainment which you will absolutely love. Plus each of these night markets have their own unique features and specialties, so it really depends on what type of experience you are looking for.
But rest assured, we will get to the bottom of this.
In this post, we’ll be discussing what a night market is as well as things you can do at a night market. We’ll also be discussing the 5 10 best night markets in Taipei, Taiwan you definitely need to check out as well as 5 other night markets which are lesser known but just as good as the rest.
So if you’re ready, lets get started!
- What Is A Taiwanese Night Market?
- Things To Do At A Taiwanese Night Market
- 5 Best Night Markets In Taipei, Taiwan
- Ningxia Night Market – Simple To Roam Around
- Other Popular Night Markets You Might Not Have Heard About
- Tips For Visiting A Taiwanese Night Market
What Is A Taiwanese Night Market?
A Taiwanese Night Market is basically a place where vendors set up shop and sell all kinds of interesting things.
Depending on which night market you go to, you may find different things however most of them tends to have the same kind of genre.
For instance, at most night markets you can find vendors selling clothes and accessories, trinkets, toys, antiques, touristy items, as well as delicious food.
Some night markets might even offer entertainment such as carnival games or even people performing out in the open.
It is also a popular place to wander around and hang out with friends. You’ll find countless locals who come here with their friends or family and just browse around while having fun.
And you can find some of the best night markets in Taipei, Taiwan.
What Time Do They Open And Close?
Not all night markets are the same.
After all, each vendor is individually owned so they might all have different operating times.
But a general rule of thumb is that most of the vendors will most likely be opened around 5 to 6 pm.
They will usually stay open all the way through midnight, with most of the shops starting to close up around 10 pm.
Things To Do At A Taiwanese Night Market
There are many things for you to do at a Taiwanese Night Market.
One of the most popular things to do when you visit one of these places is to simply eat. There are a ton of different restaurants and vendors all around selling many different foods. So people who come here tend to eat at one vendor then hop to the next and eat again.
Another thing you could do is to try some shopping. After all, night markets are full of shops selling a variety of items. You never know what you might find at one of these markets.
Depending on which night markets you go to, some may even have some entertainment. For instance, you might find some carnival games in some stalls where you can play for prizes like stuffed animals or toys. Another form of entertainment is watching people perform around you. Some days they’ll be singers who sing songs where you can watch, or some might do magic tricks or act like a statue. It’s an interesting place to see some amazing things.
One other cool thing is to simply mingle around with people. I mean, night markets are insanely popular in Taiwan so you’ll always be able to find tons of people at night markets. It’s a great way to learn the culture as well as a place to pick up some new friends.
5 Best Night Markets In Taipei, Taiwan
Here is the list of the 5 best night markets in Taipei, Taiwan.
Shilin Night Market – Most Popular Night Market
How To Access: Do not exit at Shilin Station, instead exit at Jiantan MRT Station Exit 1, then cross the street to enter Shilin Night Market.
Shilin Night Market is one of the country’s most famous night markets of them all. It is also the biggest and most popular in Taipei. Here you can find over 500 food vendors as well as other vendors that sell a variety of different things.
Many tourists from all around the world make Shilin their very first night market to visit if they ever come to Taipei. It is also highly popular among the Taiwanese teens because of all the trendy shops that are around here.
You’ll be able to wander around for hours on end here as there is simply so many things to see and do.
Because of the huge amounts of vendors here, finding something you want in particular might be a hard thing to do. Instead, I would suggest to roam around randomly until you find something that interests you.
For instance, you can find all the traditional street foods here like bubble tea, black pepper bungs, ice cream burritos, stinky tofu and more. But the thing you definitely need to try here is the gigantic fried chicken. It is literally the size of your head and so tasty to eat.
Plus there are also some highly popular vendors which have made it into the Michelin Guide for outstanding street foods.
- Chung Chia Sheng Jian Bao – is a type of baozi that is filled with pork and gelatin that is so delicious to eat.
- Good Friend Cold Noodles – specializes in cold noodle dishes.
- Hai Yu Pork Ribs – Specializes in Taiwanese style pork ribs.
These are the 3 shops currently that made it into the Michelin Guide.
Widely considered to be one of the best night markets in Taipei at least for foreigners. It is a great night market to visit especially if its your first time. Plus it is close in proximity to many entertainment spots like movie theaters and bowling alleys which makes this a perfect place to visit for some fun.
Raohe Night Market – Best Overall Night Market
How To Access: Leave the station of Songshan MRT Station at Exit 1 or 3.
Raohe Night Market is one of the city’s oldest night markets. It’s one of my choices for the best night markets in Taipei. The reason for this is because it is not as popular as Shilin but just as good. It mainly consists of one long street that stretches from east to west, with a variety of shops in between for you to shop at.
Some of the items you can find at this night market consists of food, electrical goods, games, DVDs, beauty products, clothing and accessories. They even have a small place for arcade games for the kids to play.
Aside from the shops, Raohe also has a few Michelin Guided shops which it includes in its guide.
- A Kuo Lu Wei – Specializes in selling items braised in a spiced marinade. Some of their popular items include duck wings, pork uterus and baby sweetcorn.
- Beef Noodles and Beef Entrails Soup – The name of the shop might be weird but it does serve some delicious food. You’ll want to to try the beef offal soup and meat sauce dry noodles.
- Chen Tung Pork Ribs Medicinal Herbs Soup – They serve up some really delicious soup. One soup in particular which you need to try is the signature pork rib soup that has been cooked with Chinese herbs.
- Fuzhou Black Pepper Bun – These freshly made buns are so delicious and juicy. They sell literally only one item but it is worth it. The buns are filled with pork and pork juices with lots of black pepper. There is always a line here so be prepared to wait.
Aside from the night market, it is also really close in proximity to a popular temple. Songshan Ci You Temple which is devoted to Matsu, goddess of the sea is located at the eastern entrance. It is one of the prettier temples in Taipei.
Another thing you should look for which is behind the temple is the rainbow bridge. The reason it is called rainbow bridge is because during the night time, the bridge will be lit up in rainbow colored lights.
Huaxi Night Market – Infamous Night Market
How To Access: Head to Longshan Temple MRT Exit 1 which will bring you near the night market. You’ll have to walk past Bangka Park, which is kind of shady but usually harmless.
Huaxi Street Night Market or better known as Snake Alley is a very unique night market. No other night markets in Taiwan has a reputation like this market does as the area used to be a red light district. Back then you can find all kinds of brothels and prostitutes all around this area but in 1991 it became outlawed.
It’s definitely on my list of being one of the best night markets in Taipei in terms of “WOW” factor.
It has also gained a reputation where the night market here specializes in snake meat. Which is why the night market is also called “Snake Alley”. In fact it was so popular that many tourists from all over would come in groups taking pictures of the vendors handling and killing the snakes to turn into food and drinks.
However the handling and killing of snakes have been largely frowned upon and has greatly lost its appeal to the masses. Slowly the night market has transformed and has stopped practicing the selling of snakes.
Nowadays while people still visit this night market (mainly tourists), many locals have a negative view about this night market due to its past.
But even with everything surroundings its past, it still managed to get one of their restaurants added into the Michelin Guide.
The restaurant which is called:
- Hsiao Wang Steamed Minced Pork with Pickles in Broth – Popular restaurant known to serve minced pork and pickled cucumber in broth. Another item you might also like is the steamed rice with “black gold” pork sauce.
Aside from the food, you’ll find a variety of shops that specialize in selling adult toys, dvds and some clothing shops. You’ll also find a bunch of massage parlors and nail salons.
It is a different type of feel and experience compared to night markets like Shilin or Raohe.
Near the night market, there are some places you can check out.
For instance, if you want to do some shopping, you can head to the underground Longshan Temple Shopping Complex. Here you can buy all sorts of interesting things like clothes, toys, accessories and anything else you can think off.
Another thing that might interest you is the Longshan Temple which was built back in 1738. This temple is dedicated to the goddess of mercy. You’ll find many people here as they all will pray or wish for certain things.
However, there is much more to this area than just Huaxi.
In fact, there are 3 other night markets located in the same area as Huaxi Night Market.
Lets talk about them briefy.
Wuzhou Street Night Market
If you head north from Guangzhou Night Market and then head one block west of Huaxi, you’ll find Wuzhou Night Market. It is similar to Guangzhou Night Market as they sell a variety of different foods. However the specialty here is seafood.
So if you like cheap seafood that is delicious, than this is the place to visit.
Guangzhou Street Night Market
If you head to the north western side of Longshan Temple and head west to Guangzhou street, you’ll find this night market. This place is pretty similar to other night markets as you’ll find vendors with carts selling a variety of different foods.
Xichang Street Night Market
If you head along side the eastern side of Longshan Temple, you’ll find a really old night market that doesn’t really feel like a night market at all. You’ll find people who sit on blankets with a variety of goods out on display for sale.
Ningxia Night Market – Simple To Roam Around
How To Access: Exit from Zhongsan MRT Station to the southern end of Ningxia. This will take about 5 to 10 minutes. Or if you exit from Shuanglian MRT Station then you will be at the northern end.
Ninxia Night Market is a smaller night market compared to Shilin and Raohe, but still has plenty to offer.
You’ll notice immediately when you come that the walkways here are pretty narrow as the vendors are pushed quiet closely together. So you’ll often be bumping into people and having to avoid them.
If you are wanting to visit a night market experience that isn’t too grand and not too packed, then this is the place to visit. Here you can find all the usual night market things like food stalls, clothing and accessory stalls, as well as many other stalls. They even have some areas where kids can play games like balloon darts, pockets throws etc…
Just like the other night markets, Ningxia is also home to a few Michelin Guided shops.
- Fang Chia Shredded Chicken on the Rice – This is a simple shop that specializes in shredded chicken on rice. It is a tasty item to have that is also cheap.
- Liu Yu Zi – This shop only sells two items. Taro only balls and Taro balls with salted egg yolk and pork floss. Definitely try the Taro balls with salted egg yolk and pork floss as the flavors are just out of this world.
- Rong’s Pork Liver – Just as the name implies, this shop sells pork liver that is in a rich broth and the liver is never grainy.
Surprisingly enough is that there are quite a few oyster shops all around selling all kinds of delicious oyster treats.
Overall it is a fantastic night market that offers the same experience as others if you don’t want to be jam packed with a crowd.
Linjiang Night Market – Near Taipei 101
How To Access: From Xinhe Anhe MRT Station, take exit 3 or 4 then head east and turn right at Tonghua Road. From here just follow the line of people to the market entrance.
One of the best things about this night market is that it is a favorite among the Taiwanese locals. Plus, it is in relatively close proximity to the famous Taipei 101.
Here at this night market, you can find all your usual favorites like delicious food, clothing and accessories, entertainment and many other kinds of stalls as well.
However I have to say the food here is some of the best tasting food ever. After all, a lot of the food here are very traditional and have not changed all throughout the years. So you can find a lot of classic Taiwanese dishes here that all taste amazing.
Just like the other night markets, this night market is also home to a few Michelin Guided restaurants.
- Liang Chi Lu Wei – This amazing stall specializes in over 20 kinds of marinated foods like dried tofu, chicken offal, kelp and duck wings and more!
- Lo Chi Hsiao Chao – This place is kind of hidden but well worth the find. Some of their highlights include fried lamb, beef or even clams.
- Tien Hsiang Stinky Tofu – Judging by its name, you can already tell what kind of food this stall serves. They specialize in selling crispy, golden tofu dices that is bursting with juices.
- Yu Pin Yuan Iced and Hot Tangyuan – This stall specializes in selling hot sesame or peanut dumplings paired with shaved ice and drizzled with osmanthus syrup. It’s a cold and hot concept that tastes delicious.
And because it is in such close proximity to Taipei 101, after you are done wandering around the stalls, you can roam around the area of Taipei 101 and find many things to see and do.
Definitely on my list of being one of the best night markets in Taipei in terms of things to do around the area.
Other Popular Night Markets You Might Not Have Heard About
Nanjichang Night Market
Nanjichang Night Market is truly a local favorite here in this city.
Despite it being a smaller sized night market, it still has a lot to offer.
For instance, you can still find the usual night market attractions like food stalls or shops selling a variety of goodies.
It is also home to 4 Michelin Guided shops which include:
- A Nan Sesame Oil Chicken – This shop specializes in serving sesame oil chicken soup all year round. Try to come early as the chicken legs often sell out before 7 pm.
- Stinky Tofu Boss – Just like the name implies, this shop specializes in selling stinky tofu. It is silky and porous and the tofu is steamed to order with mushrooms and basil which adds to the flavor.
- Sung Ching Taiwanese Burrito – This shop specializes in serving different kinds of burritos. With 10 different fillings in a popiah roll, you simply can’t go wrong.
- Unnamed Clay Oven Roll – This is a shao bing stall that always draws a crowd of people.
Shida Night Market – Trendy Market
Shida Night Market is a pretty trendy market. Located near the National Taiwan Normal University, it is a popular place for many students to come and visit.
Plus this night market is famous for its fashion because a lot of young entrepreneurs are here setting up shop selling their new creations. Which makes this place a very trendy place as new trends are always popping up here.
It use to be a very popular place however it has since died down. It was even almost shut down a few years ago due to noise and garbage complaints.
However even with that being said, it is still a decent place to visit.
Ximending Night Market
To be honest, i’m not sure you can call this a night market.
However Google definitely thinks so, so who am I to tell you its not.
But in my opinion, it is more of a shopping district with a variety of retail stores out and about selling their things.
It is super popular among the young generator and tourists as you can literally buy all sorts of cool things here. From clothes to watches to even toys and souvenirs.
They even have restaurants and bars around here. You can even find some vendors selling street food here but not a lot.
Overall it is a great place to do some shopping as well as some sightseeing.
Jingmei Night Market
Located near the Jingmei River, you can find the quiet yet friendly Jingmei Night Market. It is pretty popular among locals as it is open during the day and night. Plus not many tourists visit this location so you don’t have to worry about any crowds going on.
Aside from that, it is basically your usual night market with many things similar to the other night markets. You can find delicious food, clothing and accessories, games, and many other usual things as well.
Liaoning Night Market
Liaoning Night Market is a lesser known night market that is mainly visited by the locals. This place is different from the other night markets in that this place isn’t actually closed off to traffic.
Other than that, everything else is pretty much similar to other night markets and you can find the usual goodies here as well.
Tips For Visiting A Taiwanese Night Market
- Try going early if possible as most stalls set up around 5 to 6 pm. This will be the time where you can find the freshest foods as well as avoiding the crowd.
- Try to avoid the peak time of 7 to 9 pm. This is the time when most of the people tend to come and it can get extremely crowded, especially during the weekends.
- Do not haggle for food. Depending on which vendor you go to, some clothing vendors may offer a bit of a discount, but the overall majority will not allow you to haggle for things. After all, this is Taiwan. Most of the things here are already incredibly cheap.
- Use the restroom before you come here as it may be hard for you to find a restroom once you are at a night market.
- Bring money to spend. There will be tons of things for sell including delicious food and you don’t want to miss out on any of it.
- Dress lightly as in wear shorts and breathable clothing. The reason for this is because night markets are small compact areas with huge crowds. It can get really hot just walking around, so the lighter you dress, the better it’ll be.
Hopefully this post about “10 Best Night Markets In Taipei, Taiwan” was able to give you a better insight as to which night markets you should visit if you ever visit Taipei, Taiwan.
Also, if you are planning to visit Taiwan anytime soon, you might also be interested in some of my other Taiwan posts.
- Taipei – best restaurants in Taipei, Taiwan
- Taipei – 15 awesome things do to in Taipei Taiwan
- Food – 15 delicious foods you must try when visiting Taiwan
- Taipei – best themed cafes in Taipei, Taiwan
Or you can check out my complete list of things to do in Taiwan by clicking here.
Let me know how your trip goes!