Let’s start with a little about the Shilin Night Market…
Shilin (Shihlin) Night Market is a night market in the Shilin District of Taipei, Taiwan. It is often considered to be the largest and most famous night market in the city.
Its renowned view isn’t just shared between the tourists, but the locals, too. They all flock here for a vibrant night filled with superb food, dazzling clothes and amusing games.
The night market encompasses two distinct sections sharing a symbiotic relationship: a section formerly housed in the old Shilin Market building, containing mostly food vendors and small restaurants. Further more, the food court holds over 500 stalls, and the second floor serves as a car park. 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 the Tamsui Line (Red Line). From the platform of Jiantan Station, riders can see the enclosed food court located across the street from the MRT station.
My List of the 10 most delicious foods of the Shilin Night Market
Yes, the Shilin Night Market offers a huge range of classic and traditional street foods that’ll surely make the top of most people’s lists. So, to benefit my readers, who plan to visit and eat at this night market, I have blogged what I’ve feel would make the top 10 most delicious eats for any foreigner in Taiwan. I hope this gives you all a good start what to look for! enjoy!
My list put the order of locations as, the B1 basement , the outside stalls and then lastly, the inside stalls. This is because that’s how you’d enter the Shilin Night Market from the MRT station, it just makes sense to have it in that particular order…
1. Grilled Prawns, (烤蝦＠迷你釣蝦場)
The grilled prawns are one of the most popular eating attractions at the Shilin Night Market. This is because you must fish them for yourself first before they are grilled, ready for you to eat.
The vendor sells you 7 little wooden fishing sticks at 100NT$, These are wooden chopstick sized sticks connected by a small thread to a small hook). You can fish them as much as you want until the thread breaks, a little bit like a game!
Even with several chances, I only manage to successfully fish about 4 prawns, to then be grilled…
From here, I headed down the stairs which is just nearby to the food court in the basement (B1).
2. Stinky Tofu, (臭豆腐)
Yes, it may the vastly shared reputation of smelling like the sewers, but it’s known, too, for it’s huge difference in delicious taste, be that an acquired one. This dish makes it in my top 10, as, in all fairness, it’s a true delicacy that has a crisp and puffy texture, along with a punch from the pickled vegetables. Seriously, overcome it’s deceiving smell and give it a try! The Stinky tofu stall is located by the entrance of the B1 Basement. Note, if you have trouble finding the stinky tofu, follow the putrid smell. COST: 60NT$ a dish with vegetables.
3. Oyster Omelette, (蚵仔煎)
This has to be my personal favourite within the list. It’s a sweet and simple starchy omelette, mixed with vegetables, then topped with sweet chilli sauce. What’s more, the beauty of this is that you may ask for oysters, or prawns, or a mixture of both. COST: 60NT$ (can of tea: 30NT$).
4. Seafood, (海鮮)
A typical vendor like this would offer a fair selection of seafood. The vendor’s seafood would commonly range from sea snails, scallops, prawns, fried baby soft shell crabs. The price range for most of them are between 150NT$ to 200NT$ per plate.
5. Aiyu Jelly, (愛玉)
You’ll find this at most drink stores. It is made fro fig seeds, and the gelatinous jelly is formed by washing the seeds. They are best eaten with sugar syrup and a drizzle of lemon juice. In fact, the Aiyu originates from Chia, the Alishan region of Taiwan. COST: 40NT$ a cup.
Moving on to the street vendors…
6. Honey Barbecue, (蜜汁燒烤)
All the barbecue meats have an extra coating of honey to make it all the more sinfully delicious! COST: Ranges between 30NT$ to 50NT$.
7. Giant Grilled Squid, (大魷魚)
I’ve always been a seafood lover, so this has always come as a delight to eat. In fact, you can even smell the grilling scent from afar which lassos people towards these vendors, to try the sensational giant grilled squid. COST: 100NT$.
8. Giant Sausages, (大香腸)
Another popular night market delicacy you mustn’t miss is the king sized sausages! Costing at: 60NT$ for small, and 100NT$ for large. one can surely get you from hungry to relatively full. It also comes with optional coats of sauce, served with a stick that goes through it to hold and eat like you would an ice cream.
9. Shaved Ice, ( 雪花冰)
‘Shaved ice’, or as known as ‘snow flake ice’ is an ice-based dessert made by shaving a block of ice (or frozen milk). Various flavours are available here, such as peanut, mango, chocolate and sour plum. COST: 60NT$ a dish.
10. Bacon Wraps, (培根捲)
These bacon wraps are a delicious bundle of happiness. Lightly grilled bacon wrapped around scallion. When eating them, you must be weary of the small toothpick inside which keeps the bacon wrap together. COST: 25NT$ each.
For more information, checkout the English version of the official website of the Shilin Night Market.
Night Market Address: No. 101, Jihe Rd, Shilin District, Taipei City, Taiwan 111.
Transportation: Nat’l Hwy 1 → Exit at Taipei Interchange → Sec. 4, Chongqing N. Rd. → BaiLing Bridge → Sec. 4, Chengde Rd. → Ln. 292, Sec. 4, Chengde Rd. → Danan Rd. → Jihe Rd. You should see the Shilin Night Market once you leave the station exit. Traffic information is subject to change. Please check with the transportation station before departure.
Phone Number: +886 2 2881 5557.
Opening Hours: Daily, from 5pm – 12am.
Written by katie Smiths
My name is Katie, I’m an accountant from Los Angeles, working for an international company in Taipei as an expatriate. Looking to meet new people and explore different cultural values.