Why Visit Shilin Night Market in Taipei?
Shilin Night Market is one of the most popular and largest night markets in Taipei!
The market is bustling with energy and is a great place to experience the lively atmosphere of Taipei at night. The bright lights, sounds of vendors calling out, and the crowd’s energy make it an exciting place to visit.
We experienced many night markets during our trip to Taipei. Shilin Night Market was probably the one with the best food! We listed the 10 best food stalls in Shilin later in this article!
Here’s a sneak peek into Taipei’s Shilin Night Market.
Overview of Shilin Night Market in Taipei
Located in the heart of Taipei, Shilin Night Market is not just a market, but a vibrant hub of Taiwanese culture, cuisine, and excitement. This iconic destination is a must-visit for anyone exploring Taipei, offering an authentic and lively glimpse into the local way of life.
The Heartbeat of Taipei After Dark
As the sun sets, Shilin Night Market comes alive, transforming into a bustling maze of lights, sounds, and food stalls.
At its core, Shilin Night Market is a paradise for food lovers. It’s a good time to try local dishes in Taipei.
But it’s not just about food; Shilin is also great for shopping, playing games for kids, or just for a simple relaxing stroll.
Make sure to also spot the fun 3D Tiger Billboard during your visit! See the video below.
History of Shilin Night Market
The history of Shilin Night Market in Taipei is a fascinating journey that reflects the evolution of Taiwanese culture and society. This market, known today as one of the largest and most famous night markets in Taipei, has its roots stretching back over a century.
Shilin Night Market began in the late 19th century. Initially, it was a daytime market where local vendors gathered to sell fresh produce, meat, and seafood.
The transformation of Shilin Market into a nighttime affair began around the period of Japanese rule in Taiwan (1895-1945). During this time, the market started to stay open late into the evening. This change was partly driven by the need to serve the local working population, who would shop after their workday ended.
The cooler evening temperatures also made shopping and selling more comfortable, contributing to the market’s growing popularity during nighttime hours.
Today, Shilin Night Market occupies a large, dedicated space with a well-organized layout. The market has expanded beyond its original focus on food and goods. Now, it includes entertainment options like game stalls and karaoke, making it a comprehensive destination for both locals and tourists.
10 Best Food Stalls at Shilin Night Market
Taipei’s largest night market is full of delicious street food. Here are our top 10 selections:
1. Chung Chia and its pan-fried bao
Crispy on the bottom and soft on top with a delicious filling, Sheng Jian Bao or pan-fried bao is a snack found in all Taiwanese night markets. These buns are addictive and not very greasy. You can choose between a cabbage or pork filling, both are also perfect choices.
The queue can be quite long as the stall is popular with Shilin locals. It is included in the Michelin guide, which has attracted a large number of tourists in recent years.
2. Scallion Pancakes by Guo Jia
Scallion pancakes or Cong You Bing one of the most popular breakfast dishes in Taiwan, but can be eaten at any time of the day. These savory, crispy, and tasty pancakes are also perfect for the evening with a bottle of Taiwanese beer.
The scallion pancakes are our personal favorites!
3. Zhong Cheng Hao’s oyster omelet
One of Taiwan’s signature dishes, oyster omelette is a must-try during any visit to Taiwan. Zhong Cheng Hao makes a great version with just the right texture, fresh oysters, and a delicious sauce to coat it all.
The stall also offers a variety of classic Taiwanese dishes such as Lu Rou Fan and fried vegetables which are worth trying. The oyster omelette still remains their best dish and one of the best on the island.
4. BBQ King Oyster Mushroom
There are many amazing mushroom varieties in Taiwan! And pretty much each night market sells grilled mushrooms. !
In the middle of Shilin Night Market, there is a super cute Grilled Mushroom food stall. Check it out, it’s also one of our favorite (and healthier) foods in Taiwan.
5. Fuzhou Ancestor Pepper Buns
The famous black pepper buns in Raohe Market also have a stall in Shilin, the queue here is usually not as big as in the original Raohe shop. The establishment offers rolls filled with meat and vegetables.
If you plan to visit the Raohe Night Market, don’t hesitate to try the original store. It was recognized by the Michelin Guide.
Another one of our favorite food stalls in Shilin Night Market!
6. Hot-Star Fried Chicken Cutlets
Hot-Star is by far the most famous fried chicken cutlet stall in Shilin Night Market.They first started in a street stall in Taichung before moving to Shilin, which quickly became famous.
Nowadays, the brand has stalls and restaurants all over Taiwan and even a few internationally.
They are significantly larger than the average for this style of restaurant. The recipe is simple: cut a chicken cutlet, fry it, and sprinkle with a mixture of spices.
7. A Hui Vermicelli
Vermicelli noodles or commonly called Mian Xian or Misua are one of the most popular dishes in Taiwan, there are many places to taste them in Taipei. Along with Ay Chung Rice Noodles in Ximending, A Hui Vermicelli is one of the most popular places to enjoy this delicious snack.
Rice noodles are cooked and served in a thick broth with a unique flavor. Which made this dish and this stand famous all over the world.
8. Hao Peng You’s cold noodles
Topped with a sauce made from sesame, cucumber, and pork, these chewy cold noodles are a great snack to eat on hot summer evenings.
This dish is a variation of a typical Japanese dish, cold sobas, introduced to the island during the period of Japanese occupation.
9. Hometown BBQ Chicken
Hometown grills fried chicken over charcoal after frying to make it crispier and give it extra smoky flavor. Although the slices aren’t as big as Hot-Star’s, you can eat this fried chicken only in Taiwan.
10. Hai Yu Pork Ribs
Hai Yu Pork Ribs has been around for over 45 years. The chef prepares his famous pork rib soup with a blend of 15 different herbs, aromatics, and spices. It has become one of the essential stops for all foodies around the world. It is also very popular with the Taiwanese.
Of course, there are hundreds of other food options at Shilin Night Market! Simply stroll through the market to discover the newest stalls and other great Taiwanese delicacies.
Practical Information about Shilin Night Market in Taipei
Visiting Shilin Night Market in Taipei is an exciting and memorable experience. To make the most of your visit, here’s some practical information:
- Address: The market is located in the Shilin District of Taipei, primarily around the vicinity of Yangming Theater and Cicheng Temple.
- Nearest MRT Station: Jiantan Station on the Red Line (Tamsui-Xinyi Line). It’s a short walk from the station to the market entrance.
- General Hours: Typically, the market starts getting lively in the late afternoon and stays open until around midnight. Food stalls often open around 4 or 5 PM.
- Best Time to Visit: Evening hours are the most vibrant. Weekends can be very crowded but also offer the full experience.
Our Tips When Visiting Shilin Night Market
- Cash is King: Many vendors do not accept credit cards, so it’s advisable to carry cash.
- Try Small Portions: With so much to taste, consider smaller portions to enjoy a wider variety of foods.
- Language Barrier: Not all vendors speak English, but many have menus with pictures or some English. Basic English is usually understood.
- Join a Food Walking Tour in Taipei, here are a fee options:
Final Thoughts – Is Shilin Night Market Worth A Visit?
Visiting Shilin Night Market is definitely worth it if you’re in Taipei. It’s more than just a market; it’s a lively place full of fun and culture.
The food is amazing – you can try all sorts of Taiwanese snacks and dishes that are both tasty and affordable.
The whole atmosphere is buzzing and full of energy, which makes walking around and soaking it all in really enjoyable. For us, Shilin Night Market is a highlight of Taipei and a place you shouldn’t miss.
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