Taipei Night Markets

Taipei Night Markets

When I first found out I would be visiting Taipei for business, I didn’t have any idea what the place was all about. I always thought of Taipei as just another asian city.

As a Filipino, I needed a tourist visa to enter Taiwan, and I’m happy to tell you guys it was pretty easy getting one. No fuss really, it took less than an hour and I just had to pay a visa fee, no interview necessary. It cost $60 (around Php 2,000) which isn’t bad.

Which means people can acquire one without much effort. And that’s a great thing, because although I didn’t expect much from Taipei, the city completely surprised me, and is now among the top three asian cities on my personal list.

There are various night markets in and around the city, and they are all massive. Rows upon rows of different stalls of street food, boutiques and small pop-up stores that sell everything from trinkets to magnets, sit-down restaurants that serve authentic Taiwanese fare.

There’s just so much to see, do and eat at Taipei’s night markets, you better make sure you eat very little during the day to make room for all the food available at night.

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Taipei’s night markets are absolutely massive and there’s just a ton of people there nightly. It’s a great place to waste the night away and try a lot of different things.

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This is what they call the Taipei burrito. Obviously inspired by the classic California-Mexican creation, it has reached Taipei but they’ve made it their own, of course. It has thinly sliced grilled beef and crispy vegetables. The wrap is made of a light, crispy flatbread much like an Indian roti prata.

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This is what it looks like ready and it’s totally delicious. The outside is crispy and the beef is tender and juicy. It’s a little on the heavy side so it’s great for sharing.
The best night market in Taipei in my opinion is the Shilin (Xilin) Night Market, because it’s so vast and has everything you would need or want to see, but they are all very good nonetheless.

And it’s not just food either, there are a lot of different stores that sell pretty much everything — Nike basketball shoes, tourist-y souvenirs, among others.

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This particular store sells a bunch of hats. Most are locally sourced and made. Taiwan is one of the major manufacturers of apparel, and you can find them all here for cheap at the night markets.

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This store sells original Nikes! I got a pair of Jordans for less than a hundred bucks here, and they are awesome. Check the label on your Nike shoes, they’re probably made in Taiwan. And if you get them here, the price will be a lot lower.

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They even have these little games stalls like the ‘perya’. Pop a ballon and win prizes!
But back to the food.

The food is the highlight of this place. The famous stinky tofu. The crispy chicken. Ice cold pearl milk teas. Fried milk (yes, that’s right. Fried milk). They can all be found here.

There’s just so much to eat. If you love street food, Taipei is the place to be.

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Fried milk balls. Chewy, mily, crispy on the outside little balls of goodness. Eat on the go with a poky stick

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Various grilled meat made right on the street. Much like our ihaw-ihaw, these stalls sell pig and chicken innards but with a distinct Chinese flavor that’s also very delicious. Best enjoyed with an ice-cold beer.

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This is a lady selling fried potstickers on a portable stove with wheels. Streetfood is actually not allowed, but it’s become part of the city that the authorities just let the vendors do their thing. Sometimes though, when the police clamp down, vendors make a break for it. That’s what the wheels are for.
Make no mistake about it, Taipei is one of the best places to spend a weekend because of these night markets.

It’s just an amazing place to roam around and get lost in. And I leave you with more photos of glorious street fare.

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Candied strawberries on a stick. Again, built for eating on-the-go.

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Various dried fruit for sale like sour plums and pickled mangoes, all made specifically for snacking and nibbling on while enjoying the sites and sounds of your surroundings.

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A Chinese lady selling steamed dimsum. Authentic, flavorful and satisfying. That about sums it up.

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Don’t miss the Taipei Night Markets, especially the Shilin Market! It’s totally worth it and you won’t forget the experience.
 

 

Stamed by,

C 😎 

Tung Po Dim Siu Yi Restaurant

Tung Po Dim Siu Yi Restaurant

My friend who works in Hong Kong took us to this “restaurant” near her place. While walking, she told us not to expect too much about the ambiance and cleanliness but she promised us that the food there was excellent. We’re not really picky when it comes to choosing where to eat, so long as the food is great!

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Good thing we agreed to eat there because Anthony Bourdain (you know, the guy who has the best job in the world: travels all over and eats all the best food you can possibly imagine) happened to visit that same resto and featured this on his show.

So we arrived at the place and yes, those are actual photos of the same exact place where the No Reservations host dined in. If cleanliness is your number one priority when choosing a restaurant, I’m not sure you’ll be too thrilled to eat here.

Tung Po is located above a wet market in Java Road. There are a lot of restaurants on this floor — it’s very well lit, with lots of tables and chairs, a lot of hungry people (both locals and tourists), busy staff, and steam from freshly cooked dishes! It’s quite chaotic and noisy but that’s the beauty of this place, it’s a go-to place for those who want to drink and eat authentic, delicious Hong Kong food!

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Tung Po Dim Siu Yi’s menu
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We wanted to try a lot of dishes but we only chose 3.

There was a lot of interesting food on the menu but we only ended up ordering three dishes:

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One of the dishes Anthony Bourdain also tried, Squid Ink Pasta
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Spare Ribs
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Buttered Garlic Shrimp

 

You can watch the No Reservations episode about Tung Po here.

The squid ink pasta was palatable, with the noodles al-dente and the sauce nice and flavorful, but squid ink isn’t really my thing. It’s a great discussion piece however, and I’m sure people will appreciate its adventurous quality.

The pork spare ribs however was my favorite dish among the three. The authentic preparation and burst of flavor did well to satisfy our late-night craving after a day on the road.

And of course, who could dislike buttered garlic shrimp? The prawns were crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. And the garlic — oooh the garlic — absolutely yummy. Nothing can go wrong with these three ingredients.

Make sure you drop by Tung Po Seafood Restaurant when you’re in the North Point area. They’re open until late at night and you won’t regret the decision to eat there.

Tung Po Seafood Restaurant 東寶小館

2/F Java Road Municipal Services Building
99 Java Road, North Point
北角渣華道99號渣華道市政大廈2樓
Tel:+852 2880 5224
MTR: North Point Station – Exit A
Tram/Bus: King’s Road, North Point Station stops

 

Stamped by,

D ❤