Serious foodies consistently choose Raohe as their favorite one. “It’s way better than Shilin Night Market!” they’ll tell you (referring the city’s largest and traditionally most famous one). Raohe Night Market boasts an impressive 6 Michelin-awarded food stalls – all of which I’ll introduce below.
Unsurprisingly, Raohe Night Market is packed to the gills every night of the year. It can be hard to decide what to eat, especially as you’re swept along by the never-ending flow of hungry humans.
In this article, I’ll help you tackle this buzzing night market: how to get there, tips for a better experience, and what to eat, including the most famous food stalls. For vegetarians, see my vegetarian night market guide.
Welcome to Raohe Street Night Market
According to elderly vendors in the market, Raohe Night Market (also called Raohe Street Night Market) started out as a morning wet market near the riverside in eastern Taipei city.
Shoppers could combine their morning grocery shopping with a visit to Songshan Ciyou Temple (松山慈祐宮), the huge Matsu temple which still lies right next to the night market’s entrance.
Over time, Raohe Street became most famous for its night market, but there is still a daytime market in the middle of it, Songshan Market (松山市場).
Tips for Enjoying Raohe Night Market
Raohe Night Market, like any other very popular night market in Taiwan, gets so crowded that it can unenjoyable to visit. Here are some tips to improve your experience.
- The best time to visit is 5:00 to 7:00 PM, when the stalls are just getting started. From 7 to 10 PM, the night market becomes uncomfortably packed. The crowds get thinner again from 10 PM to 12:00 AM.
- Friday and Saturday nights are the busiest, so avoid them if possible.
- You’ll find large trash bins at either end, below the eastern and western entrance gates. For restrooms, visit Ciyou Temple. A few small restaurants in the night market also have toilets.
- Make sure to visit the temple either before of after your night market feast. It’s quite impressive!
- Shop owners don’t like it if you eat in front of their shop. Instead, duck into one of the many claw machine parlors, which have no staff, or eat your food in peace at the LOVE sign beside Rainbow Bridge in the riverside park, just one block north of the night market.
- You could visit Raohe Night Market 100 times and still try different foods each time. If you only have one chance, either decide your must-eats before going in (use this article to plan!) or try to exercise some restraint before you decide what to eat.
- This is not the best night market for kids. Because the two lanes are so narrow, they get very packed and taking a stroller would not be fun. Also, there are very few kids games (Ningxia Night Market and especially Shilin Night Market have way more).
Raohe Night Market is located in Songshan District of eastern Taipei. Swipe your EasyCard to ride the Taipei MRT Green Line to Songshan MRT station. Exit 5, which is here, will get you to the best spot to admire Ciyou Temple.
From there, you can’t miss the large, lit up entrance gate to Raohe Night Market across the street.
If you happen to be coming in from out of town on the TRA train, for example from a day trip to Jiufen and Shifen, get off the train at Songshan Station, which is just south of Songshan MRT station, instead of riding the train all the way to Taipei Main Station.
Walking Route and What to Eat
Now for the most important question: what are the best foods in Raohe Night Market?
For the below walking route and food recommendations, I’ll assume you’re coming from Songshan MRT station.
There are two lanes of food stalls going down Raohe Street. That’s means there’s a row of stalls down the middle of Raohe Street, forming a lane on either side of it. Most people stick to the right side lane at all times.
Some stalls are so popular that they have seating areas taking up the whole center of the street and you can access them from either lane.
Click on the Mandarin characters for each food stall to find its location on GoogleMaps.
Ciyou Temple and Night Market Entrance
Before entering Raohe Night Market, take a moment to admire or possibly enter Songshan Ciyou Temple.
This huge temple is dedicated to Matsu (goddess of fishermen and the sea, and patron saint of Taiwan). It dates all the way back to 1753 – nearly as old as Longshan Temple, the city’s most famous one.
One of the night market’s 6 Michelin-rated food stalls is also just outside the market entrance. A-Kuo Lu Wei (阿國滷味) is a few steps south of the eastern entrance gate. In fact, this was the only street food stall at Raohe Night Market to make the cut in Michelin’s 2023 Taipei Bib Gourmand list.
Lu wei (滷味) means braised foods. A variety of items, such as duck wings, white radish cakes, and tofu skin are cooked in a broth of soy sauce and spices.
Take your pick from the items displayed using one of the metal bowls and tongs provided, hand it over, and they’ll dress it up for you to take away. You could get a full meal here without even stepping into the night market. But then you’d be missing out on all the fun!
The market’s iconic Entrance Gate is between A-Kuo Lu Wei and Ciyou Temple. It’s impossible to miss it.
Just after you pass under the Entrance Gate, the most famous food stall in the whole night market will greet you in the middle of the street (actually, you’ll see the roped-off queue for it first!)
Fuzhou Black Pepper Buns (福州世祖胡椒餅, also called “Fuzhou Ancestor Pepper Pie” on GoogleMaps) is so popular, many would consider it a sin to visit Roahe without trying one of these.
The stall’s only item, buns stuffed with pork, green onions, and black pepper, are broiled to perfection on the inner walls of a charcoal-fired clay and brick oven.
The buns come out piping hot and are served immediately, thanks to the high demand. The oven imparts a satisfying smoky flavor. The exterior is flaky while the insides are juicy and peppery. They are TWD 60 a piece and the line moves quickly.
Lane 1: Going Into the Night Market
After Fuzhou Black Pepper Buns, take the right (north) side lane into the night market. Resist the urge to buy every single food you see as soon as you enter the night market – we still have a long ways to go!
Towards the end of the first block, watch for Keelung Miaokou Tempura (基隆廟口天婦羅味) on the left side. These deep fried fish cakes are a signature item from the famous Keelung Miaokou Night Market in Keelung city– if you won’t have a chance to make it to this amazing night market, try it here!
A small dish (TWD 60) is served with slices of cucumber and a red sweet & savoury sauce.
If you’re looking for somewhere to duck out for a few minutes to eat your first items without the crowds, turn right at Lane 221 and walk one block north to Raohe Evacuation Gate (a river flood wall).
Take the stairs over the wall to find the famous LOVE Sign and Rainbow Bridge, which is lit up with Rainbow Lights at night. If you cross the bridge, you can even find some scenic spots to view Taipei 101 with the bridge in your picture.
However, you still have a lot of night market left to cover, and it’s better to move quickly before it gets too crowded. So consider to save this for the end of your night!
Head back to Raohe Street and continue along in the same direction.
On the second block on the night market, some temptations will include deep fried oyster balls at Dongshi Oyster Balls (東石蚵仔包), a Chiayi specialty, and tamagoyaki (Japanese rolled omelets with various toppings) at Golden Egg Tamagoyaki (金蛋爆漿玉子燒).
Press on until you reach a series of food stalls which are so popular that they take up most of the street. The first of these is Shi Boss Stinky Tofu (施老板麻辣臭豆腐, also called “Shi Boss Spicy Tofu” on GoogleMaps).
Shi Boss has achieved Michelin status for its spicy/stewed version of stinky tofu. For this variety, big hunks of semi-firm tofu are stewed in a spicy broth with tofu-like hunks of duck blood. The tofu is served in a bowl of the broth, topped with green onions and pickled vegetables. It is especially satisfying on a cold day.
I really loved the stinky tofu here, although I did ask for mine without duck blood. Say “不要鴨血 bu yao ya xie” if you want the same. But note the the tofu has already been cooked with the blood hunks in the soup, so the soup is not vegetarian).
Take the chance to sit and the chairs provided and rest your legs while you eat!
According to many locals, Shi Boss is not the best stinky tofu place. Some people say that Xiagang Mingpeng Stinky Tofu (下港名彭臭豆腐) is better. This competing stall also takes up much of the street, right after Shi Boss.
Xiagang has both the stewed/spicy version (麻辣臭豆腐) and the regular deep fried version (臭豆腐) of stinky tofu as well as oyster omelets (蚵仔煎).
I’ve only tried Shi Boss. If you’ve tried the stinky tofu at both Shi Boss and Xiagang, let me know which one you think is better in the comments below!
The third famous food stall occupying the middle of the street, and right after Xiagang, is Chen Dong Ribs Medicinal Herbs Soup (陳董藥燉排骨攤位). This is another Michelin-recommended stall.
Although the rib soup isn’t the most photogenic dish out there, the highly aromatic steam coming off the massive soup vats will surely pique your curiosity as you walk by.
Also watch for the below souvenir snacks stall, including the famous penis cakes and chocolates, which you can also find in Ximending and Shilin Night Market.
For something innovative, try these Stinky Tofu Fries (妖怪臭薯條), which you’ll soon see on the left side. While most people try this for the novelty, serious stinky tofu connoisseurs will (rightly) point out that it these aren’t as good as the real thing – they just aren’t stinky enough!
I went for the cheese sauce topping, but they’ve also got teriyaki, wasabi pepper, honey mustard, and more. If you’re not brave enough to try real stinky tofu, this would be a great introduction for you. Also, these ones are totally vegetarian!
I also enjoyed the same stinky tofu fries at Luodong Night Market in Yilan.
Next up, look to the right for Dongfahao Fried Rice and Noodles (東發號), yet another Michelin-approved eatery. This sit-down restaurant does oyster & intestine vermicelli (蚵仔麵線, or meesua in the Taiwanese language), the left side dish in the above photo.
Their meesua recipe is unchanged for 80+ years. It’s less thick than others, as they don’t use corn starch like most vendors of this dish do. They also served pork stew (肉羹) and oil rice (油飯, right side of above picture).
Ready for dessert yet? Popular Authentic French Churros (法國道地吉拿棒) on the right side may hit the spot. One stick is only TWD 40.
Besides the classic cinnamon & sugar coating, you can also choose strawberry, peanut, roselle, red tea, peanut, and other flavors.
You’ve got a second choice for sweet treat at this point, and this one is a Michelin recommended one. Mochi Baby (麻糬寶寶) is an old-fashioned mochi stall.
The skinny, red stall is so inconspicuous that you have to be careful not to miss it. What’s more likely is that you’ll hear the “click…click…click” noise made by the old-school mochi pressing machine used.
If you’re not familiar with mochi, these are gooey rice cakes coated in peanut powder. They taste chewy and cool in the mouth – best enjoyed as soon as you get them. And yes, these are totally vegetarian.
After Mochi baby, the night market continues another 150 meters or so to the end.
You’ll find there are more products for sale at this end of the night market, but there are still lots of food stalls, too.
At the western end, you’ll find a large entrance gate similar to the one at the eastern end of the night market.
When I last visited, there were some lights in trees here, further adding to the atmosphere at this quieter end of the night market.
Lane 2: Going out of the Night Market
Believe it or not, you’ve now only covered half of Raohe Night Market. We still need to walk all the way back via the lane on the south side of the street, again keeping to your right.
Heading back into the night market on this side, the first food spot the gets my stamp of approval is Po Lam Kopitiam (寶林咖啡館饒河店), a Malaysian all-vegetarian sit-down restaurant on the right.
The menu includes items like vegetarian chicken drumsticks, deep fried (tofu) fish skin, Malaysian noodles, BBQ veggie pork bentos, and more. It’s mostly vegan, unless very obvious (like the egg curry below).
If real seafood is more your thing, then save your stomach space for Jiahe Squid King (加賀魷魚大王) on the right. At TWD 150 for a plate, this stall is not cheap.
But this is money well spent, as the squid (which is usually rather bland as far as seafood goes) is dressed in an incredibly flavorful sauce, with chilis, garlic, and fresh basil.
It’s not obvious from the street, but the stall has 2F seating, including a toilet. It gets busy.
We all know that spicy seafood goes down best with beer. So consider taking your food to-go and grabbing a chair at TimeBeer 精釀專賣, a super-narrow, hole-in-the-wall craft beer bar just down the street.
Timebeer has several local craft beers on tap, plus more in bottles. You’re allowed to bring outside food in.
A small glass of draft beer will set you back TWD 180, while bottles start at 200. These are normal prices for craft beer in Taipei – and yes, you could get several night market foods for the same price as a small beer here. But that didn’t stop me!
There’s a popular okonomiyaki (Japanese seafood pancake) stall with a yellow sign right in front of the bar.
Continuing along, watch for a stall to your left called Miss Wang’s QQ Chilled Balls (王小姐QQ涼圓). There you can often see an elderly man preparing the traditional chilled balls (涼圓 or liang yuan), which are a specialty of Chiayi and Changhua.
The little, cold, QQ (chewy) balls have a translucent outer skin and are stuffed with red bean or mung bean. They look quite photogenic chilling on the frozen metal racks.
For the record, “chilled balls” is my own translation of “涼圓”. If you can think of one that sounds less creepy, please let me know!
Moving along, on the right you’ll soon find another tempting chilled dessert. Yupinyuan Fire and Ice Tangyuan (御品元冰火湯圓) is a new Raohe Night Market branch of the most famous stall at Tonghua Street Night Market near Taipei 101. The Tonghua location is also Michelin-rated.
The shop’s main specialty is hot sesame and peanut-stuffed rice balls (湯圓 or tangyuan) served atop crushed ice and doused with sweet osmanthus syrup.
This dish is subtle, so people either love it or don’t understand the appeal. It’s mostly about the contrast between hot and cold. They don’t put enough syrup, but you can add more yourself from the metal tin at the counter.
In the second last block before you get back to the eastern entrance of Raohe Night Market, you’ll pass several game shops and gashapon machine parlors on the right side. If you’re looking for unusual souvenirs from Taiwan, here’s your chance!
Towards the end of the games street, watch for a stall on the left with a very purple sign. It’s called Lao Yu Zai’s Taro Balls (老竽仔芋頭酥). If that name sounds familiar to you, it’s because there’s a similar (and much more famous) stall at Ningxia Night Market called Liu Yu Zi, which sells basically the same item.
But this is not a copycat stall. Lao Yu Zai has been going since 1964 – the current vendor says his mother first set it up when Raohe was still a wet market.
Besides the classic taro balls stuffed with pork floss and salted duck egg yolk (the only kind made at the Ningxia stall), Lao Yu Zai has more kinds. These include vegetarian options like plain taro balls, taro stuffed with real cheese, and taro stuffed with red bean with egg yolk.
If by some miracle you still have any remaining appetite at this point in you Raohe Night Market visit, there are still a few more options in the final block before you leave.
On the left side, directly opposite lane 709 (a narrow alley with red lanterns and a few food stalls), a small stall called Little Master’s Big Chicken Cutlet (小師傅大雞排) serves some of the largest and best chicken cutlets (雞排 or jipai) that can be had.
The cutlets are extra crispy on the outside, juicy in the inside, and locals report that the stall uses clean oil.
Last but not least, if you want a final sweet treat for your walk back to the MRT, grab a bun from Master An’s Fire & Ice Pineapple Buns (安師傅冰火菠蘿). These large, poofy buns are not pineapple flavored – the name comes from how their sweet top has the same texture has pineapple skin.
“Fire and ice” refers to the option to add ice cream to one of the freshly baked buns. Ice cream choices include vanilla, mango, taro, and champagne grape (香檳葡萄). If you don’t want ice cream, you can also add butter or cheese.
Congrats! You have successfully tackled Raohe Night Market!
In this article, I’ve only really covered the most famous food stalls in the night market and some of my own personal favorites. There are literally hundreds more for you to discover on your own.
Let me know in the comments below what your favorites were!