Your Ultimate Guide to Taiwan Market and street food paradise, Taiwan is hailed by many travel magazines as the best among popular market and food destinations. From Kaohsiung to Taipei to old districts like Jiufen, you will not run out of busy markets and delicious street foods to indulge.
Check out some of the cool and cheap tours you could do in Taipei.
A market and food tour in Taiwan doesn’t need a fortune. It’s as affordable as any other destinations in South East Asia. From your usual sight seeing tours at the day, save your energy and appetite for some shopping and great food.
Where to Stay:
Located very close to Taipei Main Station, Bouti City Capsule Inn is in a perfect location for your sight seeing and ultimate night market and food trip experience in Taiwan.
|Modern facilities and comfortable beds, high-speed WIFI is accessible all over the place. Breakfast is included daily, enjoy your coffee, tea or a bottle of coke (all complimentary) at their spacious and beautiful lounge. Check out their Facebook page here.|
Market and Street Food Tips:
Ningxia Night Market
Take a train and alight at Zhongshan Station and follow the sign to Ningxia Night Market. This smaller but lively and vibrant street night market is primarily for food and one of the oldest in Taiwan. Several stalls are selling the popular street foods such as black pepper bun, barbecue sausages, stinky tofu and fried squid. Take a bite and sample some local favorites and refresh yourself with a freshly prepared sugar cane juice.
Shilin Night Market
The most popular and largest in Taipei where shopping and dining can be combined. The market can be reached by train, alight at Jiantan or Shilin station. Along the street before entering the market properly, you’ll pass by a lot of food stalls, and some have queues. I had to queue to try my personal favorite, the fried chicken chop. It’s heavenly good, and it’s worth the wait!
At the basement of the main building are food stalls. It’s like a huge food court where you can sit down and order local Chinese dishes cooked once you order.
While enjoying the bites from the street food stalls, walk around and do some shopping. More than half of the market and surrounding areas are selling merchandises. Souvenirs, apparels, electronics, cosmetics, local and international merchandise can be found here. Make sure to haggle; sellers are quite good with their English. Electronics are the best buys!
Jiufen Old Street
This small town was founded during Qing Dynasty and only recently discovered more than a century ago. Its location in the mountains is easily accessible from Taipei for a day trip. You can take a direct bus from Taipei Main Station or take a train to Ruifang and transfer to a local bus (either bus 1062 or 1042) to Jiufen.
All around its narrow and steep streets are stalls of local food and delicacies. If you’ll visit on a warm day, it’s best to sit down and have a refreshing mango ice dessert. Many shops are dedicated to one type of specialty; we found a shop selling a variety of tea eggs. Interesting! There are plenty of tea shops as well, black tea or oolong tea are among the most popular gifts or souvenirs from Taiwan.
Jiufen is more beautiful at night, catch the sunset and enjoy the view as the Chinese lanterns illuminate the town.
Liouhe Night Market (Kaohsiung)
Kaohsiung’s pride, Liouhe night market boasts a delicious variety of authentic Chinese street foods and fresh seafood.
Being in the port city where fishing is one of the main industries, you can expect the fresh catch cooked to perfection as you sample the dishes from different stalls at this street market. I love the baked clams and the quail eggs with prawns, it’s unique which I never tasted anywhere else. Yummy!
There are stalls with seats; you can order and enjoy your food while sitting down and people watching. I had my first ever Xiao Long Bao street food experience here; it’s cheap but as good as what you can get from a decent restaurant in Taipei like Din Tai Fung.
Cijin Island (Kaohsiung)
Cijin being a fisher man’s village probably is the best place to eat seafood in Taiwan. Walk along the main street, and you’ll pass by plenty of fresh seafood stalls on your left and right. The price is per 100 grams, and you can ask them to cook it for a minimal fee.
Street food stalls are all over the place, but the grilled squid for NT$50 is the best deal for me. Fresh and cooked perfectly.
In Cijin, tomatoes are not your typical ingredient or side dish. There are plenty of stalls selling tomatoes as a snack. For NT$40 you will get a huge tomato sliced in bite pieces and a delicious dip with a strong ginger and savory sweet taste. A unique experience for me.
About the Writer
Jaypee Licudan is a Filipino Expat based in Singapore. He’s a traveler and writer for Two Monkeys Travel Group – Community Travel Blog and has been to over 30 countries across four continents. He’s major long term goal is to go back to the Philippines for a long time travel to discover the hidden gems of his home country. Follow his blog: The Rustic Nomad
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