Best Street Food in Taipei: A Culinary Adventure Awaits around the city (updated 2023)
Taiwan’s day and night markets are truly legendary and the breath of food choices from the best street food vendors at these markets have gained a cult following from locals and even visitors to this foodie driven city of Taipei. You’ll enjoy visiting the markets and sampling some of the most exotic and delicious little bites to bigger meals to sample at these amazing markets. Check out all the popular night markets and street food in Taipei below for more images and suggestions on what you’ll find at these fantastic food venues.
How to get around Taipei
Navigating Taipei, Taiwan, is a breeze, thanks to its efficient and diverse transportation options. Here’s how to get around this vibrant city:
1. **Mass Rapid Transit (MRT)**: Taipei’s subway system, the MRT, is the backbone of the city’s public transportation. It covers most major areas and attractions, making it a convenient and affordable way to get around.
2. **Buses**: Taipei has an extensive bus network that reaches areas not served by the MRT. You can pay with an EasyCard (contactless card) or exact change. Look for route maps and schedules at bus stops.
3. **Taxis**: Taxis are readily available and reasonably priced. They are especially convenient for reaching destinations not accessible by public transport or for traveling at odd hours.
4. **Biking**: Taipei is becoming more bike-friendly, with dedicated bike lanes and rental stations. You can rent bicycles for short trips or explore the city’s bike paths.
5. **YouBike**: Taipei’s bike-sharing system, YouBike, allows you to rent bikes at various locations and return them at any station. It’s a convenient way to explore the city on two wheels.
6. **Walking**: Taipei is a pedestrian-friendly city with well-maintained sidewalks and pedestrian crossings. It’s a great way to explore neighborhoods and discover hidden gems.
7. **Cable Cars**: To reach destinations like Maokong or Yangmingshan National Park, you can take cable cars or gondolas for a scenic ride.
8. **Airport Transportation**: The Airport MRT connects Taipei Taoyuan International Airport to the city center. It’s a fast and convenient way to travel to and from the airport.
9. **Scooters**: Scooters are a common sight in Taipei, but they require a local license to ride legally. Renting a scooter is an option if you have the necessary documents and experience.
10. **Car Rentals**: Renting a car is not recommended for exploring Taipei itself due to traffic and limited parking. However, it can be useful for day trips to surrounding areas.
11. **Mobile Apps**: Use navigation apps like Google Maps or local apps like Taipei Metro to plan your routes and access real-time information.
12. **Day Passes and Cards**: Consider purchasing transportation passes like the Taipei Unlimited Fun Pass, which provides unlimited MRT and bus rides for a set number of days.
Taipei’s transportation system is well-maintained, clean, and easy to navigate. With the MRT at its core, you can efficiently explore the city’s diverse neighborhoods, cultural attractions, and culinary delights. Choose the mode of transportation that suits your itinerary and enjoy your journey through this dynamic city.
Where to find the Taipei night markets
There are many night markets all around Taipei to enjoy especially at night when the temperatures are cooler and the night time venues are loud, colorful and definitely foodie focused. You can visit the popular Taipei night markets at Shilin, Raohe, Huaxi, Ximending, LinJiang, Ningxia and many other local markets throughout the city. While exploring the chaotic and entertaining markets look out for these popular snacks and street food that you should try below. Some of the vendors do have English translations, but most are pretty cut and dry with their offerings with no explanation outside of some rudimentary English translation, so look with your eyes and nose and note some of these exceptional worth try street foods below.
It’s easy enough to get to those markets with most being located close to metro stops, bus lines and even taxi/Uber pick up if you want to head out right away. Walking around the length of the market gives you an insight to which stands are really popular and giving you a lay of the land before you commit to trying something local and delicious.
Check out the Raohe night market and some cool tips
Best night markets to visit in Taipei
Here are some of the best street food markets in Taipei:
Shilin Night Market: One of Taipei’s most famous and largest night markets, Shilin Night Market is a food lover’s paradise. It offers a wide variety of street food options, including oyster omelets, grilled squid, stinky tofu, and more.
Raohe Street Night Market: Located near Songshan Temple, Raohe Street Night Market is known for its lively atmosphere and delectable food stalls. Don’t miss out on trying the popular pepper buns, braised pork rice, and Taiwanese sausages.
Ningxia Night Market: A smaller but equally charming night market, Ningxia Night Market is loved for its authentic local flavors. It’s a great place to sample traditional Taiwanese dishes like oyster vermicelli, tempura, and Taiwanese-style meatballs.
Tonghua Night Market: Tonghua Night Market is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. It offers a mix of street food, trendy eateries, and unique shops. Don’t forget to try the famous beef noodle soup and scallion pancakes here.
Huaxi Street Night Market: Also known as Snake Alley, Huaxi Street Night Market is renowned for its exotic food offerings, including snake soup and snake meat. If you’re feeling adventurous, this is the place to try something out of the ordinary.
These street food markets are just a few examples of the vibrant culinary scene in Taipei. Each offers its own specialties and unique flavors, providing a delightful experience for food enthusiasts. Explore these markets and discover the rich tapestry of street food delights that Taipei has to offer.
What are Taipei’s night markets famous for?
The night market scene started in Taipei in 1899 selling a variety of snacks and easy take out food and became very a popular and fun activity around the city especially with cheap and unusual tasty bites from around the region. In the Taipei metropolis, there are over 30 night markets happening daily typically starting from 6pm to 10pm all around the city. Outside of all the unusual food stands, you an find souvenirs, cheap clothing, shoes, jewelry and handicrafts along with fun strolling and shopping late into the night.
Try these popular foods to eat at Taipei’s night markets now
Taipei’s legendary Stinky tofu (Chou Dou Fu)
Do you dare try this favorite local food that Taiwanese crave at the local markets?
Try the famous Bubble tea in Taipei
Did you know that bubble tea originated in Taiwan and locals and visitors alike look forward to trying all sorts of bubble tea or “Boba” flavors and juices. Check out this popular brown sugar milk tea concoction in many of Taipei’s night markets below.
Black pepper Beef pie (Shen Bin)
At the Raohe night market in East Taipei, the longest lines are right out the main front gate leading you to this vendor booth filled with workers making this amazing beef and onion baked pie in tandoori like ovens. It is hot, flaky and filled with beef and green onions in a goey and yummy mixture that you’ll absolutely love and that’s why it is so popular at the Raohe night market.
Here’s a quick video of how it is prepared at the night market below.
Braised pork belly over rice (Lu Rou Fan)
Definitely a comfort food that is a popular take away dish at any of the markets in Taipei, if you are craving a nice hot rice, gravy and fatty pork dish, this is definitely worth trying out and enjoying while touring the rest of the markets offerings.
Check out where to find the most popular spot to try this delectable comfort food below
Deep fried dumplings (Goutie)
Another popular comfort food you can easily find at any outdoor markets are the deep fried dumplings called Goutie andy they so yummy. When you get them fresh from the fryer, they are hot and crunchy on one side and soft, chewy and of so delicious on the inside made with pork, shrimp or chicken with cabbage and various spices. A simple sauce of Soy, chili, vinegar and ginger and garlic make this a yummy take away this you can eat all by yourself which really you don’t want to share with anyone.
Stuffed wings with rice
This is a very popular street food that you can find all at outdoor markets all around Taiwan and this classic Taiwanese take away dish is a local favorite and easily prepared with chicken wings and stuffed with rice and made with a sweet honey and barbeque marinade. Crispy on the outside and tender, boneless and sweet flavored on the inside.
This is how they are typically prepared and sold at the local night markets in Taipei below.
Deep fried squid, crab or shrimp
If you love seafood then look out for these vendors that regularly sell a variety of fresh seafood deep fried to perfection and eaten hot from the pot and then grilled quickly on charcoal. These delicious seafood take out food are simply prepared, hot and really yummy. They are usually sold per stick so by just a few so you can also savor some more street food at the markets.
Soup dumplings or (Xiaolongbao)
A really yummy treat with dumplings that are filled with hot soup broth inside the dumplings, these are a classic Taiwanese dish that everyone will just love. These delicate dumplings are made with thin dough with pork, spices and pork broth that is what comfort food is all about in Taiwan. Best way to eat the dumpling is to poke a hole in the dumpling to let the broth come out into the spoon since they are always piping hot.
Trying soup dumplings in Taipei at a specialty shop
Chinese donut or (Youtiao)
Translated to oil stick in English these long donut type sticks are typically served for breakfast with any noodle type dishes and dipped into the soup to make them soft and dumpling like. Most of the time this twisted donut is served with sweet or savory soy milk, rice porridge or a local soup broth. These are the typical and more sit down type of foods you can find at any street vendor in any market.
The donuts are stacked and served with a simple soup dish below.
Pigs blood rice pudding
If your feeling adventurous, try the pigs blood rice pudding that’s served on a popsickle stick. A semi gelatinous rice cake is drenched in pork blood then steamed and then covered with a sweet syrupy sauce. Afterwards, it is coated with peanuts and topped with cilantro. You get a mochi style savory dish that surprisingly is very tasty.
Simple grilled abalone and oysters
Taiwanese locals love their seafood and like to have them prepared very simple by grilling and served with a nice easy soy sauce combination dip. You’ll find many street food to more café style eateries serving these delicacies along with other popular seafood dishes like local fish, eels, crabs and other exotic snail dishes.
Taiwanese mixed intestines
For those food adventure seekers, you’ll find quite a few stalls that sell a variety of different types of intestines and other internal parts from pig, pork, chicken and other animals at these vendor stalls. Popular favorites include pig intestines and stomach, beef tripe, liver either fried, boiled or stir fried with a simple soyu sauce.
Quail egg Takoyaki balls
These delicious balls are filled with quail egg and shrimp and prepared Takoyaki style or done in an egg shaped container that is turned over and cooked on both sidesa to come up with an egg ball that melts in your mouth. This comes with a variety of toppings like Thai sour, honey mustard, orange yogurt or cheese
Grilled pork sausage (Da Chang Bao Xiao Chang)
A very simple grilled pork sausage that is the Taiwanese version of a hot dog either served on a stick on a bun. The pork sausage is wrapped with a glutinous rice sausage cover, garlic, vegetables and lettuce and served with soyu or soyu and wasabi combination. Try this small pork sausage wrapped in a big sausage combo treat at a street market when you find it being sold fresh from the grill.
More inside tips to sampling the best street foods in Taipei
Here are some inside tips to help you make the most of sampling the best street foods in Taipei:
Explore Night Markets: Taipei’s vibrant night markets are a street food paradise. Visit popular ones like Shilin Night Market, Raohe Street Night Market, and Ningxia Night Market to discover a wide range of local delicacies. Wander through the bustling alleys, follow the enticing aromas, and let your taste buds guide you.
Embrace the Small Eateries: Some of the best street food gems are found in small, hole-in-the-wall eateries or food stalls. Don’t hesitate to try dishes from these unassuming places, as they often serve up authentic and delicious local favorites. Look for long queues or crowded spots, as they are usually an indication of quality.
Go Beyond Stinky Tofu: While stinky tofu is a must-try street food in Taipei, be sure to explore the diverse culinary offerings beyond this famous dish. Sample other local favorites like oyster omelets, beef noodles, scallion pancakes, bubble tea, and mango shaved ice. Keep an open mind and let your taste buds savor the variety.
Try the Night Market Snacks: Night market snacks are a highlight of Taipei’s street food scene. From crispy chicken cutlets and grilled squid to stinky tofu, fried buns, and oyster vermicelli, there’s a wide array of snacks to indulge in. Share dishes with friends or family to try more flavors and make the experience even more enjoyable.
Practice Food Etiquette: When dining at street food stalls, it’s important to follow local customs and practices. Be patient when waiting in line, use serving utensils provided, and dispose of your trash appropriately. Observing good food etiquette shows respect for the vendors and contributes to a pleasant dining environment.
Stay Hydrated: As you explore Taipei’s street food scene, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water or trying refreshing local beverages like freshly squeezed fruit juices or bubble tea. Hydration is key, especially during hot and humid days.
Venture Beyond Taipei: While Taipei offers an incredible street food experience, consider venturing beyond the city to explore street food in other parts of Taiwan. Cities like Tainan, Kaohsiung, and Taichung also boast their own unique culinary delights, adding more depth to your street food adventure.
Final thoughts on visiting Taipei’s famous night markets
It doesn’t really matter which of the popular night markets you visit, because the food booths, enjoying the scene and sampling most of the delicious street food is where it is all at and walking the entire lenght of the market is also part of the fun in exploring and finding something unique and really local.
Pin this for later
Check out these other posts on Fruits, markets and foods of the world
Visiting Taiwan – check out these other posts
Conclusion to The best street foods in Taipei
Taipei’s street food scene offers a diverse array of mouthwatering delights. Explore night markets, try small eateries, and embrace the local flavors. Practice food etiquette, stay hydrated, and savor the experience. Embark on a culinary journey through Taipei’s streets and create lasting memories.
Thanks for visiting today and checking out this post on The best street foods in Taipei. I hope you are inspired to plan a visit and enjoy these wonderful attractions. If you enjoyed the images and post, could you please share it with any of the social media buttons located around the post.
If you like what you see, come and check out my other social media channels for more updates, including Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter
Some links in this article on The best street foods in Taipei are affiliates which provide a small commission to support this site at no extra cost to you. Thank you for reading, and happy travels