Taipei: A Gastronomic Adventure at Shilin Night Market (士林夜市)
Shilin Night Market (士林夜市) is the largest and said to be Taipei’s most famous night markets. Located in Shilin District and accessible by MRT and major roads, it is the prominent destination of tourists seeking nightlife activities in the city. Its winding roads and alleyways are full of different kinds of traditional, local and international items that are bestsellers for tourists.
We just came at the right moment, as our tummies are already growling after our long day-tour in Taichung. The sights, scents, and price of foods here is a food paradise, especially to us budget travelers. And such, you will be enticed to taste some of the foods served in the stores here.
The night market has two sections that are related to one another: the food section housed in the old Shilin Market building and the adjacent road; and the general merchandise section.
Tourist traffic has increased in recent years due to the opening of the Taipei Metro system. The night market is closest to Jiantan Station on Tamsui–Xinyi line (Tamsui/Red Line), and can be seen from the station platform.
At the western edge of the market is the Shilin Night Market Food Court holding more than 539 stalls. Choices are so plentiful and affordable that the food court is always full of patrons.
The adjacent road and alleyways are filled with food carts, hawkers and roadside stands. Among the popular foods here are:
- Bubble tea (珍珠奶茶)
- Fried buns (生煎包)
- Fried chicken fillet (炸雞排)
- Lemon aiyu jelly (檸檬愛玉)
- Oyster omelet (蚵仔煎)
- Oyster vermicelli (蚵仔麵線)
- Peanut candy (花生糖)
- Peanut butter and jelly sandwich (花生奶油和果凍三明治)
- Small Sausage in Large Sausage (大腸包小腸)
- Stinky tofu (臭豆腐)
- Taiwanese “tempura” (甜不辣)
- Dumplings (I forgot the name, peace)
- Suckling pig (aka lechon)
Aside from eateries and restaurants, the surrounding businesses and shops are selling non-food items, like clothing, shoes, jewelry souvenir items, among others. There are also video arcades, karaoke bars, cinemas and specialty shops in the area.
Most people come here at around 8 to 10 in the evening. While some shops are open until 1 or 2 in the morning, it is better to come early to have a taste of its food paradise.
- By MRT
Take the Red Line 2 to Jiantan Station (劍潭), not Shilin Station. After leaving Exit 1, diagonally across the street to the left to enter the night market.
- NORTH COAST: Yehliu Geopark | Pingxi Sky Lantern | Shifen Waterfalls | Golden Waterfalls | Jiufen Old Street | Wanli Abandon UFO Houses
- TAIPEI: Ximendeng | Taipei 101 | Maokong Gondola | Elephant Mountain | Taipei Peace Park | Taipei Zoo | Chiang Kai Shek Memorial | Shilin Night Market | The Red House
- TAICHUNG: Zhongshe Flower Farm | Xinshe Castle | Rainbow Village | Gaomei Wetland Park