One of the most popular experiences people have while visiting Taiwan is checking out a Taiwanese night market. With most major cities hosting one or more night markets across the island, there are a whole host of night markets to experience to choose from.
With over 15 alone, Taipei (台北市 / tai bei shi) packs a punch when it comes to number of night markets that you can check out. Here is my ranking of the top night markets in Taipei to visit. As I continue experiencing more Taipei night markets, I will continue updating this list.
4. Linjiang/Tonghua Street Night Market
Narrow but less touristy is how I would categorize Linjiang Night Market (臨江街觀光夜市 / lin jiang jie guan guang ye shi) also known as Tonghua Street Night Market(通化街夜市 / tong hua jie ye shi). Because of the make-up of the crowd, this night market also feels a little more safe than some of the larger night markets in Taipei.
As you get closer to Tonghua Street, there are many more shops that you can drop into.
Come for the more laidback pace, leave having enjoyed some egg tarts (蛋撻 / dan ta) and stinky tofu (臭豆腐 / chou dou fu).
3. Ningxia Night Market
Whereas Linjiang is small, Ningxia Night Market (寧夏夜市 / ning xia ye shi) has more space as the street it is situated on is wider. Ningxia also has slightly more food options.
There are a few more tourists that go to this night market, perhaps as a result of its proximity to Ximending (西門町 / xi men ding).
Overall, I like this night market because you don’t feel like you’re being pushed around or pressured into choosing things to eat at a moment’s notice. There are also a bunch of really great food options. Try the oyster dishes, goose, and shaved ice dishes (if the weather is right).
2. Raohe Night Market
If you’re looking to stay away from crowds, you’ll probably not want to check out my top two options. If you’re looking to better understand the culture and get a feel for popular night markets in Taipei, then carry on.
Raohe Night Market (饒河夜市 / rao he ye shi) is next on my list. It’s my number two because of the delicious and varied food options as well as the number of nearby attractions.
Raohe starts near at the entrance of Songshan Ciyou Temple (松山慈祐宮 / song shan ci you gong), a stunning temple. It’s also a short walk from Wufenpu (五分埔 / wu fen pu), a clothing district, where you can shop for the latest in Taiwanese fashion. Wufenpu is an experience in itself, and one that I would recommend checking out before visiting Raohe Night Market.
As Raohe Night Market sits adjacent to the Keelung River (基隆河 / ji long he), there’s a walking path that runs along the river and a beautifully lit-up bridge called Rainbow Bridge (彩虹橋 / cai hong qiao) that crosses over into Neihu District (內湖區 / nei hu qu).
When it comes to food, there are a bunch of delicious and well-known options including herbal pork bone broth, pepper buns, and fried dumplings.
1. Shilin Night Market
As much as I would like for the best night market in Taipei to be one other than Shilin, no other night market can really compare to the sheer immensity that is Shilin Night Market (士林夜市 / shi lin ye shi).
When you add the night market above ground to the section below ground, you end up with a maze of eating and shopping that can easily take a few hours to explore—even then, there’s no guarantee that you will have seen everything.
Shilin has most of the popular food options that you would find at many of the above night markets, in addition to fusions catered towards tourists. Shilin Night Market also also has its fair share of shopping. In fact, if you enter Shilin from Jiantan MRT Station, you’ll pass dozens of stores selling clothing, phone accessories, stationary, and other trinkets before getting to food.
This night market is also known for its games. Ranging from pinball-type machines to catching shrimp with a paper net, there’s a whole host of games to keep market-goers entertained.
Perhaps my least favorite thing about Shilin is the fact that when you enter, you’re greeted with a sign that alerts you to the fact that there are pickpocketers. This comes with the territory of being one of the largest tourist draws in Taipei, though. Just be safe, aware, and keep track of your belongings at all times when visiting.
Despite this con, Shilin remains the top night market in Taipei for me because of how big and how much of a cultural experience it represents.
If you visit, don’t forget to check out the boba shops along Wenlin Road, the underground part of the night market, people playing games, and sponge cake.
What does your ranking of best night market in Taipei look like? What night markets in Taipei should I check out next?