One quintessential experience in Taiwan is to head to a night market, and most people think immediately of the famous Shilin or Raohe Night markets in Taipei. These night markets are awesome for a reason, but if you are looking for alternative night markets that are less crowded and not filled with other tourists, here’s my list of underrated Taipei night markets for that local food experience, as well as my research and recommendations on what to eat at these Taipei Night Markets.
Honestly, I get overwhelmed by the crowds and options available so I thought it would be helpful to list some of the famous stalls and specialities in each night market that you should check out, but I recommend wandering around and picking out your own favourites.
In general, most night markets in Taipei operate from about 6pm to 12 midnight, so head down for dinner or supper. Not all stalls are open every day – do a little bit of research before you go.
Here’s a helpful Google Map for you, and I’ve also included addresses and Google Map links to help you track down the stalls more easily.
Nanjichang Night Market 南機場夜市
Nanjichang or South Airport night market is named for an old military airport that was once built in this area – it got its name in relation to Songshan Airport which is in the north of Taipei City. This night market is not very big – most of it exists along 2 roads that meet at a cross junction. There is a mix of tiny restaurants and street food stalls.
What to eat
My recommendations come from a local guy AJ who was also my motorbike tour guide. He lived around the area in his childhood and loves that many of the food stalls he knew in his youth are still around.
Lai Lai Dumplings 來來水餃店: A dumpling shop that has been around for over 30 years. Best eaten in a group as the minimum order is 10 handmade pork dumplings for 70 NTD (S$3), but if you’re me you just have yourself an entire plate for dinner. If you are eating in, grab a seat before ordering what you want from the very busy staff. [No. 9, Lane 309, Zhonghua Road Section 2]
Hao Chi Fried Chicken 好吃炸雞: A food stall along the main Zhonghua Road that serves up a large crispy fried chicken cutlet. Eat it while it’s hot – I took some of mine back to my room to eat and it was definitely tastier when freshly fried. [No. 41, Lane 315, Zhonghua Road Section 2]
Nameless Pushcart Shao Bing 無名推車燒餅: No signboards or names needed for this pushcart (a Michelin Bib Gourmand recipient!) located close to the Nanhai Road side of the market. Just look out for the people selling Shaobing, or fried biscuit-y snacks. These fried wonders range from just 10-15 NTD (S$0.40-$0.60) per piece. There were 4 flavours to choose from, I had a salty and a sweet one and they were lovely crispy treats. [Lane 311, Zhonghua Road Section 2]
Mei Lan Auntie Fruit Juice 美蘭阿姨果汁: This lady has been around for ages and is a well-loved fixture in the market. Her claim to fame is that no additional sugar is added to the fruit juice she makes. I had an apple milk drink because I was a bit curious about the combination, but popular menu items here are the papaya milk and the 8-treasures mixed fruit juice. [Lane 309, Zhonghua Road Section 2]
Other shops that looked popular that I didn’t get around to trying:
- Shan Nei Chicken 山內雞肉: located at the entrance and always super crowded. [No. 20-3, Lane 307, Zhonghua Road Section 2]
- Xiao Di Tong Zi Glutinous Rice Cake 曉迪筒仔米糕: located on the other side of the entrance with equally long queues. [Lane 307, Zhonghua Road Section 2]
- Ah Nan Sesame Oil Chicken 阿男麻油雞: This Michelin Bib Gourmand recipient is famous for chicken cooked in a sesame oil broth and often eaten with mianxian (thin vermicelli noodles) soaked in the same broth. See some pix here. [No. 34, Lane 311, Zhonghua Road Section 2]
- Stinky Tofu Boss 臭老闆現蒸臭豆腐: If you like stinky tofu, this version is fully vegetarian, steamed (not fried) and served without MSG. Also popular here is the Red Vinegar noodles. A Michelin Bib Gourmand recipient. [N0. 6, Lane 313, Zhonghua Road Section 2]
- Song Qing Popiah 松青潤餅: Popiah is basically a thin roll filled with all sorts of vegetables and some fried pork which also garnered a Michelin Bib Gourmand. [No. 4, Lane 311, Zhonghua Road Section 2]
How to get there
Address: Lane 307, Zhonghua Road Section 2, Zhongzheng District 台北市中正區中華路二段307巷 [Google Maps]
Closest MRT stations:
- Longshan Temple (blue Bannan line)
- Xiaonanmen (green Xindian-Songshan line)
From the MRT stations, you need about 15-20mins of walking to reach the night market. Alternatively, take a bus to the Nanjichang Apartment stop.
Around the area:
- The National Museum of History is nearby, but it’s likely to be closed until 2021 at least
- Explore the old Wanhua District – Bopiliao Historical Block and Longshan Temple are not too far away
I first wrote about Nanjichang Night Market in this article about local experiences to have in Taipei
Yansan Night Market 延三夜市
Yansan Night Market is a place I found out by chance, mostly because I wanted to stay near Dadaocheng and ended up at MudanHouse [booking.com affiliate link] which is right around the corner from the market. Yansan market is one of the local spots recommended by the hostel, and the staff gave me some suggestions on what to eat.
What to eat
Shi Jia Meat Soup Dumpling 施家鮮肉湯圓: this isn’t your average soup dumpling stuffed with meat – the outer skin is like mochi which is mushier (?) than your typical dumpling skin. Very interesting mouthfeel, and it makes for a surprisingly filling meal. With a history dating back to 1964, it was awarded the Michelin Bib Gourmand in 2018. [58 Yanping North Road Section 3]
Bao Ji Xiaolongbao 保記小籠包: Another local recommendation, you can order any number of soup dumplings as you want, but if you are used to the Ding Tai Fung style of dumplings, note that these are different with thicker skin, and are not as soft and soupy. Still yummy of course. [3 Yanping North Road Section 3]
Stuff I didn’t get around to eating:
- Da Qiao Tou Cabbage Rice and Pork Rib Soup 高麗菜飯 原汁排骨湯: A deceptively simple looking meal, this is another Bib Gourmand recipient and apparently sells out by 7pm so go early. Read more about it here. [No. 2, Lane 17, Yanping North Road Section 3]
- Da Qiao Tou Glutinous Rice Cake 大橋頭老牌筒仔米糕: The translation of ‘tube rice pudding’ is a bit strange, but this is basically sticky glutinous rice best eaten with your choice of fatty or lean pork and some soup. A Michelin Bib Gourmand recipient with over 50 years of history. [41 Yanping North Road Section 3]
- Xiang Ji Pure Sugar Mochi 祥記純糖燒麻糬: Freshly boiled mochi rolled in ground peanut eaten with a pile of shaved ice – this is perfect for a hot day. See some pix here. [12 Yanping North Road Section 3]
I found a Yansan Night Market food tour available if you rather have a guided experience, though you need to book their Xinyi or Dadaocheng tours first.
How to get there
Address: Section 3, Yanping North Road, Datong District 103台北市大同區延平北路三段 [Google Maps]
Closest MRT Station: Daqiaotou MRT station (Orange Zhonghe-Xinlu Line) Exit 1
Around the area: Yansan is the perfect place to cap off a busy day in the Datong district – it’s just north of Dihua Street. Read more about it in my Taipei Weekend Warrior Guide.
I first wrote about Yansan Night Market in this post about things to do in Taipei in summer.
Linjiang Street Night Market 臨江街夜市
Linjiang Street Night Market is also known as Tonghua Night Market 通化夜市 in the Da’an district. It’s not very far from Taipei 101 so you can pop over after catching the sunset at Taipei 101 or Elephant Mountain.
One interesting thing about the area around this night market is that there are a ton of cheap massage parlours everywhere so it might be worth getting a foot massage after exploring the market. Also, there are a lot of pet shops in the area for some reason.
What to eat
I’ll be quite honest – I breezed through this market because I had already eaten dinner nearby (craft beer and sandwiches – more about that here), but I did some research for this article and here’s what people recommend to eat at Linjiang Street Night Market:
- Shanghai Pan-fried Buns上海生煎包: These steamed and pan-fried buns that originated in Shanghai are one of the most popular things to eat here. They also serve pot-stickers 鍋貼 [106 Linjiang Street]
- Jin Ri Sushi 今日壽司店: Sushi might be a strange choice of food at a night market, but this place is a local favourite [106-2 Linjiang Street]
There are also several Michelin Bib Gourmand recipients in this night market worth checking out:
- Liang Ji Lu Wei 梁記滷味: Dating back to 1965, for those who love braised food and duck parts – the intestines, wings and tongue are popular options [No. 33, Lane 39, Alley 50, Tonghua Street]
- Luo Ji Xiao Chao 駱記小炒: The menu is surprisingly small – pick between stir-fried beef or lamb, or be adventurous and go for the stir-friend conch meat 炒螺肉 [No. 27, Lane 39, Alley 50, Tonghua Street]
- Ya Kou Tien Hsiang Stinky Tofu 雅口天香臭豆腐: The quintessential Taiwanese dish, go for the tongue-numbing Mala if you dare [19-1 Linjiang Street]
- Yu Pin Yuan Ice-Fire Dumpling 御品元冰火湯圓: The signature dish to eat here is the Fire-Ice Tangyuan or 冰火湯圓, which is hot tangyuan (sweet round balls of glutinous rice dumplings filled with sesame or peanut) on shaved ice topped with Osmanthus honey [No. 31, Lane 39, Alley 50, Tonghua Street]
Things that I did eat around the area beyond the night market that you might want to consider:
Ming Yue Tangbao 明月湯包餐館: I was looking for alternatives to Din Tai Fung’s famous soup dumplings and ended up in this local-favourite restaurant where I had a basket of Xiao Long Bao all to myself for dinner. The skin is a little thicker than the Din Tai Fung one, but it’s still pretty yummy stuff. [162-4 Keelung Road Section 2]
Liquid Bread Company: This hipster restaurant serves up craft beer in draft and bottles alongside fancy sandwiches. I was intrigued by the bright interior and also wanted somewhere to sit down and chill out with a cold beer after a long day of walking. [270 Yanji Street]
How to get there
Address: Linjiang Street, Da’an District 106台北市大安區臨江街 [Google Maps]
Closest MRT station: Xinyi Anhe Station Exit 3 (red Tamsui-Xinyi line)
Around the area: After a busy day in Xinyi seeing landmarks like Taipei 101, Elephant Mountain or the cute Four-Four South Village, Linjiang Street Night Market is a nice place to wind down.
I first wrote about Linjiang Street Night Market in this article about a weekend itinerary for repeat Taipei visitors.
Jingmei Night Market 景美夜市
Jingmei Night Market is about as untouristy as you can get. It’s both a day and night market in the Wenshan district in south Taipei and even on a weekday night, it was packed with people. There is a university nearby, and the student crowd and locals are what keeps the prices low.
There isn’t much to shop in terms of fashion and novelties – most of the stuff here are sundries and practical household items, but the cheap local food is what most people are here for.
What to eat
I walked the entire market but was pretty overwhelmed by the crowds so I ended up eating Japanese curry rice at a hipster spot called FleeingByNight Curry 夜奔咖哩 because it wasn’t crowded and had air-conditioning. But if you are looking for more local recs, here’s what I found people are saying are must-eats at Jingmei Night Market.
- Jingmei Shanghai Pan-Fried Buns 景美上海生煎包: this popular stall perpetually sees long queues from as early as 5pm [55 Jingwen Street]
- Hao Chi Salt Chicken 好吃塩水雞: Besides its famous salt chicken, you can also pick out other small side dishes from the stall front here and they’ll mix it altogether for you. More pix here. [113 Jingwen Street]
- Gao Jia Four Spirits Soup 高-雙管四神湯: Another longtime mainstay of Jingmei night market, it has a surprisingly hip looking signage. Sishentang or Four Spirits Soup is a milder sort of herbal soup consisting of four main ingredients. Those who love innards will love that they come in a double layer here. [139 Jingmei Street]
- Xiang Zi Nei Rice Noodle Soup 巷仔內米粉湯: as its name (Xiang Zi Nei = Inside the alley) implies, the space is pretty tight with outside seats squished along an alleyway, but you’ll see it full of people anyway. Get your bowl of thick beehoon soup for just 25NTD and order some side dishes to supplement. See pix here. [119 Jingmei Street]
- Jingmei Tofu Pudding 景美豆花: Opened in 1978, this shop sells traditional Touhua or tofu pudding as well as other icy desserts [86 Jingmei Street]
This Taipei Night Market Tour on Klook [affiliate link] starts from Jingmei MRT Station, and might be a good way for you to sample more food.
How to get there
Address: Jingmei Road, Wenshan District, Taipei City 台北市文山區景美街
Nearest MRT Station: Jingmei (Green Xindian-Songshan Line) Exit 2 or 3 [Google Maps]
Around the area:
- This spot in Xindian is a nice stopover after exploring Bitan at the end of the Xindian line before heading back to downtown Taipei. If you are up to it, cycle north along the river instead of taking the MRT
- Other night market stops worth doing along the way: Gongguan night market at Gongguan Station, where you can also visit Treasure Hill Arts Village, or Shida Night Market at the Taipower Building Station. These are close to the National Taiwan University and are also very popular with students and more off the tourist radar.
I first wrote about Jingmei Night Market in this article about local experiences to have in Taipei
What are your favourite night markets to visit in Taipei? Tell me where I should check out next in the comments.