You haven’t really been to Taiwan until you’ve experienced one of its night markets. These snack-focused havens are the quintessential experience in this food-obsessed nation.
There are over 100 night markets in Taiwan – where to even start?? In this article, we’ll travel from the north to the far south of Taiwan, hitting the most famous night markets along the way. I have personally visited all of these night markets, some of them multiple times.
My suggestion is to take your pick, dive in, and just order whatever looks tasty! Still, I’ll give you a few suggestions for the top items to order at each one, with all the locations marked. Enjoy your feasting!
Taipei & Northern Taiwan
Taipei’s night markets will feature prominently here, but there are a few more outside of the capital that are worth the trip! See my guide to Taipei City.
Keelung Night Market (Keelung)
Keelung Night Market (基隆夜市), the northernmost entry on this list, also happens to be my personal favorite night market in all of Taiwan. Why, you ask?
For starters, it’s a pretty one, with its rows of hanging yellow lanterns and handsome temple at its core. Second, each stall is numbered, with its main specialty labeled in Mandarin and English, unlike any other night market in Taiwan. Finally, the location near Keelung’s port makes for perfect nighttime strolling.
You can have a local show you what’s best to eat on this Keelung Night Market food tour.
The night market is a 10-minute walk from Keelung train station, with 45-minute trains to Taipei. Find other things to do in Keelung in my Keelung city guide.
Shilin Night Market (Taipei)
Taipei’s largest and most famous night market, Shilin Night Market (士林夜市), is also the city’s most touristy night market.
Whether you avoid it because of this, or you consider it a must, you’ll be ridiculously spoiled for choices at the estimated 500+ food stalls here. You can find everything here, from creative innovations to solid classics. There’s also a large section of games and toys for kids.
Don’t miss stinky tofu and oyster omelets in the large underground food court, Modern Toilet (a poo-themed restaurant), Good Friend Cold Noodles, and penis-shaped cakes – the perfect souvenir for your loved ones back at home!
Jiantan MRT station is the closest, but you can also go from Shilin station. To be guided by a local, join this Shilin Night Market food tour.
Raohe Night Market (Taipei)
While Shilin is the most famous, serious foodies tend to prefer Raohe Night Market.
The market is a more manageable size, not to mention the seriously impressive Songshan Ciyou Temple next to its entrance. But most importantly, there’s just a whole lot of really good food here.
Houshanpi is the closest MRT station, but Songshan Station on the TRA train line is even closer, if you happen to be riding in from another city. Wufenpu Shopping District, the best place to buy cheap clothes in Taipei, is also nearby.
Ningxia Night Market (Taipei)
Ningxia Night Market (寧夏夜市) likely ranks third in fame and popularity among Taipei night markets. The market consists of a lane of food stalls pushed together to form a walkway down the middle of a street – at least you won’t get lost at this one!
Ningxia never fails to impress, with a vast array of goodies and more Michelin-rated stalls.
Liu Yu Zi is the single most famous stall, doing deep fried taro balls stuffed with egg yolk and pork floss. Other popular ones are this chicken rice stall and mochi on ice here. The market also specialties at oyster omelets, with a few multi-generation brick-and-mortar shops on the west side of the street.
Ningxia is a 10-minute walk from the MRT station – get off at Shuanglian to access the northern end of it or Zhongshan to access the southern end. Dihua Street, “Taipei’s Oldest Street” and the best place to buy tea and traditional herbs, is nearby.
Tonghua / Linjiang Street Night Market (Taipei)
Linjiang Street Night Market (臨江街觀光夜市), also called Tonghua Night Market (通化夜市), is known for being close to Taipei 101 and the ritzy shopping district. Yet, this classic Taipei night market retains its reputation for true-to-tradition foods.
Come here to sample authentic renditions of Taiwanese classics. Due to its location, visitors often dine here after watching sunset from Elephant Mountain or Taipei 101, a few MRT stops or walkable distance away.
The night market is a five-minute walk from Xinyi Anhe MRT station, which is 1 station before Taipei 101 and 2 stations before Xiangshan (Elephant Mountain).
Huaxi Night Market (Taipei)
Huaxi Night Market (華西夜市) is the black sheep of Taipei Night Markets. In the 90s, tour groups were taken here to watch snakes being skinned for making snake soup and snake blood wine.
Needless to say, the appeal faded with time, and Huaxi has gone from Taipei’s most iconic to most ignored night market (did I mention there’s also a red light district for elderly people next to it?), despite the fact that it’s right beside the city’s most famous temple.
Come to Huaxi Night Market to get a taste of that wilder, old-time vibe. The night market still specializes in herbal dishes, especially appealing to an older generation of Taiwanese dishes.
There are actually four night markets here: the main Huaxi Night Market, Wuzhou Street Night Market one block to its west, Guangzhou Street Night Market running west from Longshan Temple to the above two, and Xichang Night Market on the street just east of Longshan Temple. All are accessed from Longshan Temple station.
Nanjichang Night Market (Taipei)
Nanjichang Night Market (南機場夜市) is often described as the most local of Taipei’s major night markets.
It’s foods are oh-so-good, with four Michelin-rated stalls (on par with Raohe and Linjiang). But still, the vast majority of visitors to Taiwan still always stick to Shilin, Raohe, Tonghua, and Ningxia, and leave Nanjichang out.
I suspect this will change over time, so enjoy Nanjichang’s local vibes while you can!
Smelly Boss has some of the best mala (spicy, stewed) stinky tofu I’ve had outside of Shenkeng stinky tofu street. I love the Chiayi-style oyster balls here, while A-Nan Sesame Oil Chicken is one of the best.
It’s a 15-minutt walk from Longshan Temple MRT. See other off-the-beaten-track places in Taipei here.
Nanya Night Market (New Taipei City)
Speaking of super local night markets, Nanya Night Market (南雅夜市) is the best night market in New Taipei City. It is still on the Taipei City MRT line, but in Banqiao district, the seat of New Taipei City.
Nanya Night Markets feels like a world away from Taipei – don’t expect to see many, or any tourists there. You can also expect truly local prices, usually a little cheaper than Shilin and other touristy night markets in Taipei.
Like many night markets outside of the Taipei city center, you can also expect more games, clothing, and regular shops besides all the food stalls.
It’s a short walk from Fuzhong MRT station.
Zhongli Night Market (Taoyuan)
You probably known Taoyuan City as the location of the Taoyuan International Airport, but the city also has a bustling night market of its own, Zhongli Night Market (中壢夜市). The night market is in Zhongli District, where you’ll also find the Taoyuan HSR station.
Despite the fact that millions of foreign tourists pass through Taoyuan every year, a miniscule fraction of them ever make it to this large locally super popular night market.
It’s a 15-minute walk from Huanbei, the last station of the airport MRT line. From Huanbei, it’s 3 stops to Taoyuan HSR station, 8 stops to the airport, and 21 stops (1 hr 22 min) to Taipei. The night market is also 20 minutes’s walk from Zhongli TRA station. See more info on how to travel from Taoyuan Airport to Taipei.
Chenghuang Temple Night Market (Hsinchu)
As is often the case, this night market started out with a few food stalls in front of a temple, then spread down the adjacent streets.
This one is a perfect example, as the temple is now buried inside the night market. The temple is Hsinchu city’s Chenghuang Temple (City God Temple), and the night market is thus called Chenghuang Temple Night Market (新竹市城隍廟夜市).
On great thing about this market is that you can find loads of tasty traditional foods both in the daytime and at night. It’s all connected to Hsinchu Central Market, which is rocking in the morning time. That’s means you’ve pretty much got great food just about around the clock.
Seek out the taro paste balls (芋泥球) at this tiny stall, this 90+ year-old braised pork rice (滷肉飯) shop, and the unique-to-Hsinchu “thick thick soup” (稠稠的羹) at this shop – it’s on the sweeter side, with the choice of meat, fish, or squid.
Luodong Night Market (Yilan)
Luodong Night Market (羅東夜市) is one of the best night markets on the east coast of Taiwan, along with Dongdamen in Hualien. It is in the Luodong city center, one of the three urban centers in Yilan county.
While many night markets first develop in front of temples, this one grew up to serve customers outside a local movie theater. It is a sprawling night market featuring the usual classics plus several local Yilan specialties.
Probably the most popular stall in Luodong Night Market is Uncle A-Zao’s Angelica Mutton Soup. Yilan specialties like ox tongue cakes (牛舌餅), Yilan-style green onion cakes (蔥抓餅, try here or here), and smoked duck (熏鴨, try here).
The night market is just west of Luodong Train Station. Luodong area is known for its large number of minsus (民宿 or “guesthouses”). It’s also a good base for visiting popular tourist places like Zhang Mei Ama’s Farm, DIY green onion experiences, and Taipingshan.
Here I’ll cover the most memorable night markets in Taichung on the west coast and Hualien on the east coast.
Feng Chia Night Market (Taichung)
Feng Chia Night Market (逢甲夜市, also spelled Fengjia Night Market) is the most famous night market in Taichung and one of the largest in all of Taiwan.
The night market started out with some stalls in front of Feng Chia University but gradually spread out into the neighborhood. It now stretches 1.5 kilometers from north to south, with many small lanes and streets in between.
The night market is known for its sheer diversity of foods. Some very popular ones include Ming Lun Dan Bing, the whale shaped containers of clams at Seaside Republic, and Yixin Vegetarian Stinky Tofu and Meesua.
The night market is a little ways from the Taichung city center, with no MRT connection to the city center (yet). It’s a 10-miniute Wenxin Yinghua MRT station, which connects to the Taichung HSR station. Some visitors stay around Feng Chia Night Market for their Taichung visit just to be close to the night market.
Yizhong Street Night Market (Taichung)
Although less famous than Feng Chia, Yizhong Street Night Market is more conveniently located near the Taichung city center and Taichung Station.
This night market is also a more manageable size, so you are unlikely to get lost (can’t say the same about Feng Chia!) It is located next to a high school, so it has younger/trendier vibes, comparable to Ximending in Taipei.
At Yizhong Night Market, I really enjoyed the super crispy stinky tofu at 21 Stinky Tofu. The deep fried chicken fillets (雞排 or jipai) at this stall are really popular, while most locals consider the traditional shaved ice desserts here a must.
Yizhong Street Night Market is just north of Taichung Park. Consider watching sunset beside the pond in the park before heading over. It’s a 20-minute walk north of Taichung Station.
Dongdamen Night Market (Hualien)
Jumping over to the east coast of Taiwan, Dongdamen Night Market (東大門夜市) is the most popular night market in Hualien. Because many so tourists stay in Hualien City as a base for visiting Taroko Gorge, many of them make it to this night market.
The night market is held in a large, dedicated space close to the sea, with alphabetical areas and numbered stalls. It has lots of fun games for kids. It’s a good place to try some Taiwanese aboriginal foods.
The night market is a 30-minute walk from Hualien Station, so consider hopping in a taxi or bus.
We finish our night market hopping in the tropical far south of Taiwan, covering Chiayi, Tainan, Kaohsiung, and Kenting.
Wenhua Road Night Market (Chiayi)
Chiayi city is the gateway to Alishan, and most tourists see little more than the train station. There is some excellent food to be enjoyed in Chiayi, though – so much that Netflix even did a whole Chiayi episode on Street Food Asia series.
Wenhua Road Night Market (文化路夜市) is the city’s main one. It is here that you’ll find Smartfish, one of the two restaurants featured on the Netflix documentary. Their specialty is fish head stew (沙鍋魚頭), but you’ll need to wait in line to try it.
The night market is a 10-15 minute walk from Chiayi Station.
Garden Night Market (Tainan)
Garden Night Market (花園夜市, also called “Flower Night Market”) is currently the most popular night market in Tainan, a city that locals consider the food capital of Taiwan.
An important thing to know about this and other night markets in Tainan is that each one only takes place on certain nights, and famous vendors often move between them. Garden Night Market only runs on Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Popular stalls include this Thai ice tea at 龜龜毛毛泰國奶茶, Thai banana pancakes at 無敵BANANA, shwarma at 中東口味沙威瑪, braised foods (luwei) at 二師兄, and souffle pancakes at 炫の日式舒芙蕾鬆餅專賣. I don’t pin them because they tend to move around and appear at other Tainan night markets, too.
The night market is a little ways from the Tainan city center – just hop in a taxi to get there.
Ta-Tung Night Market (Tainan)
Ta-Tung Night Market (大東夜市 or Dadong Night Market) is Tainan’s second-most popular and runs on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday.
If you find it looks similar to Garden Night Market, that’s because both are held in empty parking lots, and many of the popular food vendors operate at both night markets. Which one you choose just depends on which night you want to go.
台灣地瓜球 at the northwestern entrance is super popular for its deep fried taro and sweet potato balls. The aboriginal grilled meats at 原住民石板烤肉, bowls of tofu topped with various ingredients here, and duck blood with fish balls at 陳記麻辣鴨血 are also worth the wait.
Ruifeng Night Market (Kaohsiung)
Kaohsiung city’s most famous night market among locals is Ruifang Night Market (瑞豐夜市, also spelled Rueifong Night Market).
The market is north of the city center. Even though it’s close to Lotus Pond and Zuoying HSR Station, comparatively few tourists make it here. This is a shame (or perhaps blessing, depending on how you look at it), as the night market boasts some delicious traditional and creative modern foods.
Access is from Kaohsiung Arena MRT Station. See my guide to Kaohsiung here.
Liuhe Night Market (Kaohsiung)
Liuhe Night Market (六合夜市) is the most popular night market in Kaohsiung among tourists, mainly due to its convenient location. It is close to Formoas Boulevard MRT Station (the one with the famous Dome of Light art installation).
But Liuhe still has some excellent foods, so don’t snub it. It also has one of the few 7-Elevens in Taiwan that serves draft beer! There are a couple 7-11s, but it’s this one.
Exit 11 of Formosa Boulevard Station is the closest to the main entrance, but you could also walk over from Kaohsiung Station area.
Kenting Night Market (Kenting)
I finish off this article with Taiwan’s southernmost major night market, Kenting Night Market (墾丁大街夜市).
The night market is in the main tourist village of Kenting National Park, sometimes called Kenting Big Street (墾丁大街). It is set up right along the highway running through town.
Many years ago, when Kending was more popular among domestic travelers, and on the busiest weekend of the year in Kending (Spring Scream music festival on the April long weekend), I saw this night market so packed with people that the crowds took over the highway, and trucks had to crawl through at a snail’s pace.
This market has beach resort vibes, so you expect fun items like gelato and drinks served it oversized plastic bottles. It’s probably the only night market in Taiwan where you can come in beachwear and no one will look twice.
Expect even more seafood than usual, which goes nicely with the many cocktail stalls there, including Tipsy Bar, which is set up in a minivan.