Shilin Night Market, one of the largest and most famous night markets in Taiwan, a “must-visit” for any visitor; located near the bustling heart of Taipei in Shilin District. It not only attracts many foreign travelers but also many locals as well due to its large selection of street food and cheap merchandise.
How do you get to Shilin Night Market?
It is easily accessible via Taipei Metro’s Tamsui–Xinyi line (Red Line) at Jiantan Station (R15), and then it’s a short walk across the road after exiting from Exit 1.
The street food vendors can be found in 2 separate areas: the food court in the Shilin Market building, and along the streets and alleys around the surrounding area. We’ll try to recommend the vendors that are more iconic and what the locals prefer, let’s begin with the food court!
The original Shilin Market building was built in 1913, it was torn down in 2002 due to ventilation, public safety, and health concerns. The vendors were moved to a temporary building on the field opposite the MRT station, where the Taipei Performing Arts Center is now being built.
The new Shilin Market building was completed after 9 years in 2011, it houses a market place and food court. The market place on the first floor holds 226 stalls: sells groceries mainly in the mornings; clothing and general retail items in the afternoons and evenings.
The main food court is located in the basement (B1) which is accessible via an escalator, it currently holds 94 stalls and is home to a variety of food vendors, so you’re likely to find something that perks your interest, and it’s especially good during bad weather. Opening hours are Monday-Thursday: 15:00-02:00, Friday-Sunday: 12:00-02:00.
What to eat?
1.Loyalty Omelet (忠誠號蚵仔煎)
Stall No. 4-7
This is our first stop, a Taiwanese oyster omelet vendor, it’s one of the most iconic vendors of Shilin Night Market, it first opened in 1972, this shop is actually one of a few locations in the area.
The Taiwanese Oyster Omelet is a night market favorite, the filling is primarily composed of small oysters. Starch is mixed into the egg batter, giving the resulting egg wrap a thicker consistency.
The main difference between “Loyalty Omelet” and the other omelet vendors is that they only use Free-range eggs in their omelets. They also sell a variety of other Taiwanese delicacies, such as the infamous Stinky Tofu, which everyone should definitely try as well!
Stinky Tofu is a form of fermented tofu, the deep-fried version of the dish sold here is usually served with sauce and pickled vegetables, it does have a strong odor, so you may want to pinch your nose when you first try it, however, it is really tasty once you get used to it!
2. ShingJi Shilin Sausage (昇記士林大香腸)
Stall No. 60
Shingji Shilin Sausage first opened in 1967 and was Shilin Night Market’s first sausage vendor. Its’ special is the “Small sausage in large sausage” sandwich, where the pork sausage is wrapped in a sticky rice sausage, complimented by condiments such as garlic, dried radish, pickled gherkins, and special soy sauce, it’s definitely a must-try!
Now it’s time to head out! Our next stop is just around the corner next to the Market
3. HOT STAR Large Fried Chicken (士林豪大大雞排)
Opening Hours: 14:30 – 24:00
You may have heard of or even have had this particular fried chicken before as HOT STAR is now in various countries and have many locations; however, this is the first original stall that opened in 1999!
HOT STAR offers a variety of fried selection such as fried squid, popcorn chicken, moon shrimp cake, but their most iconic offering is definitely their large fried chicken, and it is HUGE! Freshly fried, crispy and juicy, another must try, though you may want to share it between a few people.
4. Ribs stewed in medicinal herbs – Haiyou Shiquan Ribs (海友十全排骨)
Address: No. 49, Dadong Road, Shilin District
Opening Hours: Sunday-Thursday: 14:00-01:00, Friday,Saturday: 14:00-02:00
This is a traditional Taiwanese soup, the rib is slow-cooked with 10 medicinal herbs, allowing all the essence to be extracted into the soup, there are quite a few similar shops in the area, however, Haiyou was just recommended by Michelin Bib Gourmand in 2018, and instead of the typical 10 herbs, they actually use 15.
5. A Hui Vermicelli (阿輝麵線 )
Address: No. 84, Danan Road, Shilin District
Opening Hours: 14:00 – 23:45
Another recommendation by Michelin Bib Gourmand in 2018, A Hui Vermicelli, the vermicelli is enhanced by the sweet flavor of the vegetables, you have the option of adding braised intestine, cuttlefish or both.
6. Da Shanghai Pan Fried Bun (大上海生煎包)
Address: No. 99, Wenlin Road, Shilin District
Opening Hours: Monday,Wednesday,Thursday: 15:00-24:00, Friday-Sunday: 15:00 – 00:30
A local and personal favorite, this Pan-Fried Bun is a must-eat for me whenever I go; first opened in 1957, this family run business has now expanded to multiple locations and overseas. The bun is available with either pork or cabbage stuffing, extremely juicy and flavorful, a perfect pairing to the crispy crust. Although you can typically expect a queue, the wait is definitely worth it!
7. Mini Ice & Egg Toast (炸蛋吐司 小小冰)
Opening Hours: 17:30 – 23:30
This is a new and innovative stall that has recently gone viral on Instagram, they offer a Mozzarella Cheese Roll, which is an egg soaked toast roll with a cheese stuffing that is deep-fried; when you bite into it, the cheese explodes and melts in your mouth, bringing you all the flavor, a must-try for any cheese lover!
They also offer a variety of other stuffings if you prefer something more substantial, such as ham, German sausage or garlic shrimp.
8. Barbecue King Oyster Mushroom ( 燒烤杏鮑菇 )
Address: No. 98, Danan Road, Shilin District
Opening Hours: 17:00 – 24:00
This is another newer and more innovate stall, their main offering is the King Oyster Mushroom, which is organic, you can see the chef grilling it slowly and carefully as you wait, it’s extremely juicy and flavorful on the inside. There are a wide variety of flavors to choose from, 9 altogether: Wasabi, Shichimi, Sale & Pepper, Lemon, Seaweed, Cumin, Black Pepper, Curry, and Himalayan salt. This is a newer, healthier type of street food that you can eat without feeling guilty! Expect to wait about 20~30 mins during the weekends, but it’s worth it!
The list will be maintained and updated, bringing you more recommendations as we find them; please let us know if you have tried any of our recommendations, and if you like them? Also, feel free to recommend other vendors that you liked that aren’t on the list.
Check out our article about Huaxi Street Night Market (Snake Alley).