Luodong Night Market (羅東夜市) is the largest and best night market in Yilan county in northeastern Taiwan. It is in Luodong, the furthest south of Yilan’s three main urban centers (the other two being Jiaoxi and Yilan city).
This night market has a more local vibe than the big ones in Taipei, plus some unique Yilan specialties.
Yilan in general is very popular for day trips and weekend getaways from Taipei. For those spending the night in the county, they’ll tend to choose Jiaoxi for hot springs or Luodong for its night market. Luodong is also a suitable base for visiting nearby attractions like Zhang Mei Ama’s Farm and Taipingshan. It’s also a convenient stop between Taipei and Hualien.
In this article, I’ll cover everything you need to know, including how to get there, where to stay, and what to eat at Luodong Night Market, with a map!
Luodong Night Market Introduction
While many night markets in Taiwan sprouted up around temples, Luodong Night Market started out with food stalls catering to clients at a local movie theater.
Like so many others, the night market gradually expanded over time. Today, it is considered one of the best night markets in all of Taiwan.
The night market is square shaped (with one side missing), running along the north, east, and west side of Luodong Zhongshan Park (羅東中山公園).
I can’t think of any other night market built totally around a park in Taiwan. It’s nice, because anytime the crowds get to you, or you want to focus on devouring your food, you can just duck into the park for a quiet respite.
The park has a large pond, some cute statues, a playground for kids, and restrooms (see map below for their location).
Luodong Night Market is especially known for its angelica mutton soup (see the final entry of the article), dragon phoenix legs, and Yilan specialties like green onion cakes (you’ll find several different versions of them) and cilantro peanut brittle ice cream wraps.
Getting to Luodong Night Market
Luodong is the furthest south and furthest from Taipei of Yilan’s three urban centers. Buses and trains from Taipei will stop at Jiaoxi first, then Yilan City, then Luodong.
Still, the time difference is not big, and Luodong is well connected to Taipei. In fact, many locals will hop off the Hualien-to-Taipei train at Luodong, because Luodong has buses to different parts of Taipei.
On this Klook page, you can book a bus from Taipei Bus Station, Technology Building MRT station, or Banqiao (New Taipei City) to Luodong. The ride takes about 90 minutes, but that can vary depending on traffic. There’s no toilet on the bus.
You can also just show up at Taipei Bus Station or Taipei City Hall Bus Station (connected to Taipei City Hall MRT) and buy a ticket for the next bus to Luodong.
By train, it takes 1.5 to 2.5 hours from Taipei to Luodong, depending on which train you get. The train times, and whether you need to book seats or not, depends on the train type. See my guide to booking trains in Taiwan for all the info you need.
Arriving at Luodong bus or train station, it’s a 10-minute walk to the night market. There are luggage storage lockers at the west entrance to the station, which is accessible 24 hours. Luggage can be stored for up to 24 hours. Find more info in my guide to using luggage lockers in Taiwan.
Where to Stay Near Luodong Night Market
There are many reasons to spend the night in Luodong, whether it’s to enjoy the night market, to break up a trip from Taipei to Hualien, or as a base for visiting the many attractions in southern Yilan county.
Cuncyue Hot Spring Resort (see on Booking / Agoda) is the only “hot spring” resort in Luodong. I use quotations because it’s not real hot spring water, just regular hot water but styled to look like a hot spring tub in your room (for better hot springs resorts, stay in Jiaoxi and just take a taxi or Uber to Luodong Night Market). Still, it’s a good place for families, with indoor playroom, outdoor pool, and 10 minutes walk from the night market.
Yilan county, and especially Luodong, is famous for its minsus (民宿 or local B&Bs/guesthouses). Mostly these are large local houses, usually outside of the city in the countryside, where you can rent one room or the whole house.
Some recommended minsus around Luodong are this one, this one, or this one. Last but not least, Moment Hotel, which is connected to National Center for Traditional Arts, is also great for families but further from the city.
What to Eat at Luodong Night Market
We’re going to start this Luodong Night Market walking tour from the northwestern corner of the park, because that’s where I started (near the guesthouse I stayed in!)
After a short detour to Yifeng Scallion Pie (top-left), we’ll walk along the north side, down the east side, make another small detour to Buytomgray (bottom-right). Finally, we’ll go west along the south side of the park, finishing at the southwestern corner and most famous food stall (Uncle Zao’s).
Were going to start our night market tour with a small detour one block west of the northwestern corner of the park. This is a little outside the night market, but it’s worth the short walk!
Yifeng Scallion Pie (義豐蔥油派, here) is one of the few vegetarian green onion cakes I could find at Luodong Night Market. I was very surprised about this!
Usually, green onion cakes (蔥油餅 congyoubing or 蔥抓餅 congzhuabing) in Taiwan don’t have meat (note: some contain lard). Yilan is famous for its green onion cakes, but there are many different kinds, including ones that are more like spiral pastries or pockets stuffed with green onions and pork (we’ll get to those below).
At Yifeng, they serve the more classic (found throughout Taiwan) round and flat green onion pancakes. As usual, egg and spicy sauce are option add-ons. I’m a huge green onion cake fan, and this one really hit the spot.
Way to fill up before even entering the night market!
At the northwestern corner of the park, which is one of the main entrances to the night market, Grandpa Zai’s Dragon Phoenix Legs and Spring Rolls (阿公仔龍鳳腿春捲, here) is one of the night market’s most famous vendors.
This long running stall serves “dragon phoenix legs” (龍鳳腿), which are like little pork sausages on a stick (similar to chicken rolls served at Keelung Night Market), with cabbage and fish paste inside. They go for TWD 20 a piece or 6 for 100. Many reviewers say the stall’s spring rolls are even better.
If this stall happens to be closed like when I visited (hence why I used someone else’s photo above), I’ll introduce another one with the same dish below.
Venturing into the night market, you’ll find that the north side has a lot of clothing shops. Because there are fewer food stalls, it isn’t as crowded as the east and south sides.
One stall that stood out to me was Half Tang Dynasty Fried Ice Cream (半唐主義炒冰, here). The ice cream is made on the spot by squishing ingredients like strawberries and sweetened cream on a cold surface, spreading the mixture out until it freezes, then scraping it off in off in rolls. It’s fun to watch them make it!
Just past it, I also recommend Yachun Fruit Tea (雅淳水果茶, here), which specializes at traditional pineapple fruit tea (水果茶).
The iced tea comes with huge chunks of pineapples which have been boiled with spices (you can see the large pots full of them on the stall). The tea is super fragrant, sweet, and delicious!
Just past the northeastern corner of the park, I found Brother’s Cai’s Classic Dragon Phoenix Leg’s (財哥古早味龍鳳腿, here), another spot serving the same snack as Grandpa Zai’s.
The ones at this stall seemed a little smaller, with crunchy chunks of white radish inside. You get to choose your own sauce and put it on yourself, including wasabi and a sweet soy & savoury sauce.
The stall also has deep fried eggs with meat and deep fried marlin fish cakes – all three items are winners!
At the northeastern corner of the park, you’ll be turning right to walk down the east side of the park. This is where the night market starts to get very crowded. You’ll also find a (rare) trash bin at this corner. Use it while you can!
Right away, you’ll see Little Lin’s Sanxing Green Onion Cakes (小林三星蔥包, here) on the park side. You might not notice it at first, but there’s usually a long line behind the stall, going back into the park, to prevent crowding on the street in front of it.
The green onion cakes here are actually 蔥包 (green onion “packages”) – semi-circular pockets stuffed with green onions and pork. They are deep fried until super crispy on the outside.
Like many green onion cakes stalls throughout Yilan county, the stall is named after Sanxing (三星), a small village famous for its green onion cake vendors and green onion DIY picking farms like this one. Anyone heading to Taipingshan or Zhang Mei Ama’s Farm can easily add a stop in Sanxing.
A little further down and on the non-park side, Little Bing’s Peanut Brittle Ice Cream Wraps (小丙花生捲冰淇淋, here) serves a local treat you may already be familiar with.
These popular ice cream wraps contain a bizarre but surprisingly delicious combination of peanut brittle shavings and fresh cilantro (coriander). They were actually invented in Yilan but can now be found at night markets and tourist attractions across Taiwan.
It’s hard to miss this stall – just watch for vendor shaving the enormous peanut brittle cube.
Just past the above, also on the non-park side, Ajie’s Hong Kong-style Pancakes (阿傑港式薄餅, here) is yet another spot for a sweet treat.
The pancakes served here are just a hint crispy on the outside and fluffy/spongey on the inside. They are served with a choice of fruit jams, cheese, chocolate sauce, coconut butter, or smore. The signature (招牌) one has peanut butter, sweetened condensed milk, and cream.
Seven Skillful Flavors Sanxing Green Onion Cakes (七巧味三星蔥多餅, here) is another super popular green onion cake, right in the middle of the east side of the park, where a road branches off to the east.
The green onion cakes here are called 蔥多餅 (literally “green onion cake lots cakes”). They are huge balls stuffed with pork and green onions, then deep fried.
Like the last green onion cake place I introduced, the line for this one goes behind the stall into the park. This is also the perfect spot to access the park and its restrooms.
Tang Shu Shu Stinky Tofu Fries (堂薯薯臭薯條) is here, but I saw it earlier than the location marked on GoogleMaps. This was my first time trying this relatively new Taiwanese street food, which can also be found at Raohe Night Market in Taipei.
These are French-fry-shaped slices of deep fried tofu, served with pickled cabbage (just like normal stinky tofu). The fries come doused in non-traditional sauces like cheese sauce, honey mustard, or Thai sauce.
Compared to normal stinky tofu, this one is not really stinky at all. If you aren’t brave enough to try real stinky tofu, it would be a good stepping stone. However, serious stinky tofu lovers will find it not stinky or flavorful enough.
The third green onion caked place I want to introduce is Gourmet Green Onion Pies (饕家三星蔥餡餅, here). This one is at the southern end of the east side of the park.
The green onion cakes here are a variety called 蔥餡餅 (congxianbing or “green onion pie). They are a spiral shape of dough stuffed with green onions only (no pork!), but not as many green onions as the previous two “green onion pocket” places.
The pies are dusted with salt and pepper powder and best eaten when straight out of the frier – according to reviewers, the quality and freshness can be hit or miss at this stall.
The street on the south side of Luodong Zhongshan Park is arguably the heart of the night market.
On the park side of the street, there is a long row of connected vendors, all of which have small seating areas below canopies. The night market’s most famous food stall is here – it will be the final entry.
The southeastern corner of the park was the busiest spot in the whole night market when I visited (noted on my map). In part, this was because of lines for two very popular stalls:
Sanxing Green Onion Meat Skewers (三星蔥肉串, here), where slices of meat are wrapped around green onions before being grilled, and yet another green onion cake stall, with the big round stuffed kind: Yubenpu Sanxing Green Onion Cakes (玉本鋪三星蔥餅, here).
From this intersection, I made a small detour out of the night market to find Buytomgray (白糖粿販賣所, here) on a main road one block to the south. I saw this in a Taiwanese food blog and couldn’t miss it!
The stalls sells baitangguo (白糖粿), which are fried sticky rice cakes coated in a variety of sweet powders, such as plum powder, cinnamon & sugar (tastes like Cinnamon Toast Crunch!), peanut powder, or black sesame.
One order comes with two pieces and you can’t mix flavors. These were super delicious and worth the detour!
Heading back to the southeastern corner of the park, it’s time to venture west down the south side of the park.
The focus on this lane is on the row of connected vendors on the park side of the street. Several of these sell angelic mutton soup, and all of them were very busy when I went, but I’ll introduce the most famous one further below.
But before we get to that, heads up to vegetarians, one of the vendors here is all vegan (in a sea of mutton and meat-focused stalls!). It’s called Shunhao Vegetarian Food (順好素食, here). Like all the other popular vendors on that side of the street, it has a few chairs and tables.
I went for the vegetarian braised pork rice (素肉飯 or suroufan), which was more than just veggie meat on rice – it also had several kinds of tofu, black fungus, corn, goji berries, and seaweed.
The menu includes other traditional vegetarian dishes, like noodles, vermicelli strew, and meatball soup. See my vegetarian guide to night markets in Taiwan.
The only notable shop on the non-park side of the road is Weijie Heart Tapioca (魏姐包心粉圓, here). The specialty at this dessert shop is 包心粉圓 (包心粉圓 or “stuffed heart tapioca), little translucent tapioca balls stuffed with red bean.
The balls are served hot, but ice cream or shaved ice desserts. When you mix the hot and cold components, it creates a pleasant contrast. Ask for it to stay (內用 or nei yong) to get proper dishes instead of paper.
King’s Slushie Stop (大王冰鋪羅東夜市總店, here) is yet another sweet, slushie treat option. The signature item here is a large cup of iced wintermelon tea with scoops of traditional ice cream in it (大王冬瓜檸檬冰沙). Taiwan’s version of an ice cream float!
The slushie is tasty but very sweet. The vendor has origins going all the way back to 1933!
I’ve managed to save Luodong Night Market’s most famous food stall for the last spot of the article. Uncle A-Zao’s Angelica Mutton Soup (阿灶伯當歸羊肉湯, here) is a few steps before the southwestern corner of the night market.
Angelica (當歸) is a traditional Chinese herb often used for cooking herbal soups or stews in Taiwan. The angelica mutton soup (當歸羊肉湯) has slices of mutton in a clear, herbal broth. It may not look so special, but it’s all about the rich, complex fragrance and flavor of the broth.
Besides the famous dish, the stall also dishes out excellent stinky tofu, braised pork rice, and fried noodles.
People line up in droves at A Zao’s. You won’t notice right away from the street, but the line goes behind the kitchen, into the covered courtyard of a temple tucked away behind the stall.
At very busy times, you might have to leave your name, and they’ll call you when it’s your turn. They’ll want to know if you intend to stay (內用 nei yong) or go (外帶 wai dai) – to go is always faster.
If A Zao’s is a must for you, consider starting your evening here, before it gets too busy!