After a day of traipsing around Beitou Hot Springs and drooling over our room at the Taipei Grand Hotel, we were once again ready to eat. Since we had already tried out Raohe Night Market, we wanted to try another well-known market in Taipei – Shilin Night Market.
Shilin Night Market:
Said to be Taipei’s largest and most famous night market, Shilin Night Market is a foodie’s dream come true. Mixing outdoor food stalls with indoor restaurant style stalls, Shilin has a huge selection of Taiwanese delights – ranging from crispy fried chicken, savory oyster pancakes, sweet milk teas, and fresh seafood.
Our First Impression:
When we first arrived at the market, we immediately noticed that it was much cleaner than Raohe, and didn’t smell as strongly of stinky tofu. There were so many different options available, and we wasted no time finding something to eat.
Looking back on our trip and all of the night markets we visited, Shilin ranked at number three out of five markets.
Shilin Night Market Food:
Even though we had already been to four other night markets throughout Taiwan, we were still able to find some new and unique foods at Shilin Market. Here is what we ate!
#1 Fried Shrimp with Cheese:
Deep fried shrimp combined with cheese was a great way to kick off our night of eating. It wasn’t the best or most amazing thing we ate, but it did remind us of typical carnival food you would find in America. The outside was crispy, and it didn’t leave us feeling greasy or full. We finished this pretty quickly and then moved on to find our next item.
#2 Sourdough Salt Bread:
I mean, how can you go wrong with a big slab of sourdough bread??
This was pretty plain, but did have a few green onions inside, and had a sweet and salty taste to it. It was a bit dry, (and Caleb thought it was stale), but not a terrible second choice.
#3 Sweet Cheese Bread from Le’ Old Time Flavor of Taiwan :
This wasn’t the last thing we ate, but it was the BEST thing we ate at Shilin, and possibly in Taiwan.
There were two different types of bread available on this night – plain, and cheese.
We ordered the cheese bread, or as it said on their sign, “the original cheese floss.” I’m not exactly sure what cheese floss is, but what I do know is that this cheese bread brought us to a different dimension. I originally thought we were paying for a few slices, but I thought wrong. They gave us an entire loaf of bread.
The smell of the bread alone was enough to make an angel cry, but once we cut into it, we started tearing up ourselves. The plastic knife that they gave us cut right into the bread like it was a stick of warm butter, and the cheese was gooey and melted on the inside.
It tasted like a mixture of angel food cake mixed with regular white sandwich bread, and the cheese tasted a bit like Kraft American Cheese. Because they gave us an entire loaf, we ate our fill, and then had it for breakfast again the next morning (it was just as delicious the next day).
We will never forget this bread.
#4 Fried Chicken:
Our first taste of Taiwanese fried chicken was at Flower Night Market in Tainan, but we wanted to try it one more time.
The chicken at Flower Night Market was more sweet, and had a lot of bones. We enjoyed it, but once we tried the chicken at Shilin, we knew which was our favorite.
Shilin’s fried chicken was crispier, more tender, and was boneless. Hot Star Fried Chicken also put a special spice mixture on their chicken, which added a nice kick and extra flavor.
If you’re looking for a place to get fried chicken in Taiwan, Hot Star Fried Chicken at Shilin Market is the way to go.
#5 Taro Milk Tea:
Taro became one of our favorite things on this trip, starting with the Fried Taro Cakes at Chung Shui Tang, and ending here at Shilin Night Market.
The taro milk tea at Shilin was sweet and smooth, and the taro taste wasn’t too strong. The stall we bought it from included tapioca balls, which added a nice chewiness to the drink. Taro became our new favorite milk tea flavor!
Definitely a must try in Taiwan, and Asia in general.
Want to Visit Shilin?
Hours: 6 p.m. – 12 a.m. every night
How to Get There: Take the Red Line 2 to Jiantan Station (劍潭), not Shilin Station. After leaving Exit 1, diagonally cross the street to the left to enter the night market.