Shilin Night Market – Taipei’s Largest Night Market
Shilin Night Market -- Taipei, Taiwan
Taipei’s Shilin Night Market (士林夜市) is a must-see in Taiwan. Actually, it’s a must-eat in Taiwan.
It’s the largest night market, but also the busiest. The opening of Jiantan Metro station makes it easy to get to, but once you’re in it getting to places easily isn’t going to happen. The crowd is just too thick. That being said, there’s enough amazing food and shopping that you won’t want to move at anything more than a shuffle.
The market opens at 5:00pm and closes around 2am. We started at about 5:30, when the crowd was pretty light. One hour later, it was packed. I can’t really say how much of the market we saw -- it seemed to go forever -- but we spent a total of about two and a half hours there before we felt like we couldn’t handle the crowd anymore.
The food at Shilin is the best. In fact, I think the Shilin night market might be the best place to eat in all of Taipei. There is an indoor food court with over 500 stalls, plus a ton of street stalls with all the tasty things that Taiwan has to offer. I managed to find Taiwanese pork pepper buns, a dough that’s filled with pork and chives and then baked in a tandoori-like oven. We also tried cartwheel pies, also known as wheel pies, which are a fried batter filled with sweet or savory delights. I had to go with a bacon and cheese one. I think it’s physically impossible for me to resist a pastry stuffed with cheese and bacon. I tried once and I blacked out. When I woke up, cheese was oozing out of my nose.
If I moved to Taiwan I would probably become morbidly obese. I would pack on 200 lbs in a year. I’d stop walking and get one of those scooters. The fingers I would use to dial would be too fat. It might be worth it. The food is that good.