I went to Taipei with the goal of hitting up as many night markets as humanly possible. So our first night in the city, we headed off to the closest one to our hotel, Huaxi Night Market (華西街觀光夜市), which was rather sedated the night we went, with a lot of shuttered shops. So we instead spent a fair amount of time traversing Mengjia Night Market (艋舺夜市) instead. Both are anchored by Longshan Temple, a 16th century Buddhist-Taoist temple located in the middle of Taipei’s oldest district, Wanhua.
Shilin Night Market (士林夜市) is a sprawling night market that extends along several streets in the middle of Taipei’s 2nd most populated district of the same name. While it’s widely cited by tourist guides and a great experience overall, if I were pressed for time, I’d pass this one, only because it lacks the signature grittiness of other Taipei night markets. (Food’s still awesome).
Continue reading STREET FOOD 101: Taipei’s Shilin Night Market
Tamsui is a smallish seaside town north of Taipei. Only 30 minutes away from Taipei by subway (it’s at the terminus of the Tamsui Line), Tamsui makes a good day trip for travelers with some time to spare in Taipei. Tamsui is known mostly for Dutch and Spanish settlements back in the 1600s.
It’s also home to the Tamsui Old Street, a historic neighborhood filled with shops, which evolves into the charming Old Street Night Market (淡水老街夜市) as the sun sets.
If you only have time to visit a single night market in Taipei, it’s got to be Raohe Street Night Market (饒河街觀光夜市). Located by the banks of Keelung River, it was the best night market I visited in Taipei, for having a nice mix of both eccentric and traditional street bites.
The most famous night market north of Taipei is in Keelung, a sleepy port town of about 400,000. The Miaokou Market (廟口夜市, literally “temple mouth market”), begins at the entrance of Dianji Temple (奠濟宮) and is home to a variety of interesting street foods.
My first morning in Taipei, I had one thing in mind: having a nice hearty Taiwanese breakfast. Lucky for us, Four Sea Soy Milk King (四海豆漿大王), an unassuming neighborhood breakfast joint, was only a few blocks from our place, nestled in a residential area of Datong District.
Din Tai Fung is a name that needs no introduction among Asian circles. It’s quite possibly Taiwan’s most famous restaurant chain. It’s renown for its precise preparation of xiaolongbao (小籠包), steamed dumplings indigenous to the area around Shanghai.
Sanxitang Teahouse (三希堂) is a contemporary tea house located on the 4th floor of a prominent Taipei tourist attraction, the National Palace Museum, or its local Chinese abbreviation, Gugong (故宮). While quite far from inner Taipei, it’s at least half a day’s worth of your time–there are 3 sprawling stories filled of carefully curated Chinese art collections.