night markets

One can’t travel to Taiwan without visiting its signature night markets.

From the many unique shops and vendors, to the pungent smells of stinky tofu, Taiwan provides travelers with the food experience of a lifetime.

During our last winter vacation, we made it our personal goal to visit as many night markets as possible during a 10-day period. Although we didn’t visit a night market every night, we were able to check out six different markets spread throughout the country.

Here are our top five night markets, ranked from our least to most favorite.

Zhiqiang Night Market:

First off, I have to give an honorable mention to Zhiqiang Night Market in Hualien. The night we visited Zhiqiang, our camera died, so the only pictures we have are from our cell phone. We’re pretty bummed about it because it was one of our favorite food nights of the trip.

Zhiqiang Night Market was very wide, open, and clean, and offered several standard night market fair, along with a few unique eats that we were able to enjoy.

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Some of our favorite dishes were the pork Gua Bao (aka a Taiwanese Burger) and something that resembled a lamb shawarma.

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We also discovered a stall where they poured pancake batter into a mold, and filled it with things like fruit, vegetables, and our personal favorite – a breakfast mix of eggs, bacon, and cheese. Overall, we left the market on a food high and would recommend anyone visiting Hualien to make Zhiqiang one of their first stops.

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Now on to the Top 5!

#5 Fengjia Night Market; Taichung

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Even though we went in with high hopes, Fengjia turned out to be our least favorite night market.

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Fengjia felt more commercialized and touristy than the other ones we visited; it was cramped and seemed like there weren’t as many new and unique foods to try.

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The positives to the market were that it wasn’t super busy, it was clean, and we didn’t feel rushed by the crowds when trying to decide what to eat.

We’re glad we went, but there are definitely better night markets out there to choose from.

#4 Raohe Night Market; Taipei

Raohe Night Market was the very first night market we went to. This market also felt cramped, and we were instantly greeted with the smells of stinky tofu mixed with fresh fish and exotic fruits.

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At Raohe, we found some of the more well known night market foods like the peppered pork bun, flame-torched beef, and candied tomatoes.

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Having heard so much hype about the peppered pork bun, we were disappointed to find it overly greasy, and not as flavorful as we originally anticipated. Our experience may have been marred by our journey from Tokyo to Taipei, but it wasn’t the best market to start with.

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#3 Shilin Night Market; Taipei

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Shilin Night Market was a great change from its rival, Raohe.

With clean streets, Shilin was bustling with both tourists and locals, and had some of the best food we ate during our stay in Taiwan.

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From the famous Taiwanese fried chicken, to a strangely addicting loaf of cheese bread, everything we ate was a delight.

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The Taro Milk tea was a nice change from your usual American flavors, and an underground food court had more options than you could possibly want.

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If you’re looking for a solid night market in Taipei, this is a great choice.

#2 Liouhe Night Market; Kaohsiung

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Liouhe Night Market was a sweet surprise in the city of Kaohsiung.

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The streets were wide, and there were more options than we knew what to do with.

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Some of our favorites were the sugar cane juice, and the fresh prawns that were jumping around in their tank moments before being grilled up and served to our table.

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Liouhe was smaller than the other markets, but it still had plenty of personality and charm to make it worth our while.

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If you’re ever in Kaohsiung, this is a must visit.

#1 Flower Night Market; Tainan

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And now for our favorite night market in all of Taiwan!

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With so many options to choose from, Flower Night Market has your best food interests in mind.

This open-air market set up in a grid-like pattern is both easy to navigate, while not being too overwhelming.

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Because the market was more open, the stinky tofu stench wasn’t overbearing, and we were able to enjoy our time spent at Flower Night Market.

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Although a bit out of central Tainan, it’s worth your time and effort to make this one of your stops while in Taiwan.

What do YOU think?

After we posted our video with our Top 5 picks, and other night market vlogs, we got a few different opinions on which markets we should have gone to, and which ones we should have ranked higher/lower.

What are your thoughts on our list? Did we miss any good ones that you’ve been to?

Let us know what you think below!