Night markets!!! Asia is known for them and I love going to them in Taiwan. The ones I usually go to are: Shilin night market (士林夜市) and Tonghua night market. Shilin is the most popular one and there’s always a TON of people. It’s insane. You can get there via the red line on the MRT. Tonghua is right near my uncle’s house so it’s really easy to get to. It’s like a 15 minute walk for us.
You basically just eat a lot of street food when you go to night markets. Super cheap and a great way to get a meal in and shop at the same time!
Fried squid cubes
Omg this shaved ice place was amazing…we got strawberry, coffee, and green tea & red beans.
If you go to Taiwan, you have to try the gua bao!! It’s a fluffy steamed bun that’s stuffed with pork belly, pickled mustard greens, cilantro, and dusted with peanut powder. The one we went to was on Tonghua Street called 石家割包!
Ok this next restaurant is gross. It’s called Modern Toilet in Ximending (a big shopping district). People call it the “harajuku of Taipei” because of the eclectic fashion and stores there. Anyway, my brother really wanted to go to this restaurant to eat so we all went and just…don’t. The food wasn’t that great and it’s such a tourist trap. You can find way better street food than eating at this restaurant. I mean, the concept is funny and I can see why it’s attractive, but it’s a waste of money.
Inappropriate photos to follow…
Yeah, this is where you sit to eat.
Ximending at night. Pretty!
We went hiking on elephant mountain (象山) one morning. It’s a long and steep way up (lots of stairs) and once you get to the top, you get these gorgeous views of Taipei City. You can keep going higher, too. Where we were was only HALF way up the top and this was already pretty high. It took us like 30 minutes. It’s seriously steep..like a vertical incline the whole time and going up stairs, lol
We went to this Peking duck place (Taoranting 陶然停) in Taipei one Sunday with a bunch of family. It was REALLY good Peking duck. They were way bigger ducks than the ones in the US!
This next place is a MUST GO in Taipei. I think this was one of my favorite spots. It’s called Shenkeng. It’s the “tofu capital” of Taiwan. It used to be an agricultural and mining town but it’s now famous for its numerous tofu and street vendors. This entire street has amazing shops and I LOVE how gorgeous the street is and the storefronts. Just look at it…
This restaurant is the most popular restaurant here. On the weekends, the lines are out the door. It’s called the restaurant under the big tree (see that big tree? lol) – all the dishes in there pretty much have tofu in all of them. So I guess if you aren’t a fan of tofu, you probably shouldn’t come here :P BUT you still should cause you’re on vacation and why not try something new and delicious?!
This doesn’t look super appetizing but it was REALLY good and flavorful. The literal translation was like red braised tofu.
I LOVE BAMBOO. You can’t get good bamboo here in the states so when I’m back in Taiwan, I eat my entire weights’ worth!
This tofu street vendor was really cool. He had tofu on a stick and would grill it and put toppings on it for you.
They have these shaved ice places in Shenkeng that you can choose up to 3 toppings on top and then they put these fresh sweet potato and taro mochi-type things (handmade) on top. I was really skeptical of the sweet potato and taro mochi things but man, I could eat them all day. They’re so chewy and delicious.
These were the sweet potato mochis being made
Ahhhh doesn’t this look amazing?! The white jello things are almond flavored jelly. SO GOOD. I loveeee the almond flavor!!
No visit to Taipei would be complete without visiting the famous Din Tai Fung!! They originated in Taiwan and are known for their soup dumplings. It’s crazy – they’re so articulate with each dumpling and they have to have a certain number of folds on top or it’s not up to “par” and gets set aside and not delivered to guests. You definitely have to hit up Din Tai Fung. We went to the one in Taipei 101 but they have various locations.
This dandan mein was AMAAAAAAAAAZING.