Night Out – Shilin Night Market


One reason why I came to Taiwan was to experience the street food and night markets. When people talk about wanting a “home-cooked meal”, street food is just that. You’re talking about families that take their recipes and start a business. This relation of home-cooked meals to street food is why I have no clue why people scoff at street food. It’s a little dirty; sure. There are likely no health codes, but there’s some amazing food if your open-minded.

Just like anything, you gotta pick carefully. Don’t blow your appetite on the first stall you see. Survey. Analyze. If you’re cheap, you might be crunching numbers and seeing what’s the best deal. If you’re like my girlfriend, you’re looking for the exact bite you want next. I’d love to breakdown each and every night market or street food area, but it’s impossible, plus I have one stomach. I’ll start with Shilin because it was the first night market I visited in Taiwan.


Shilin is located in the Shilin district of Taiwan, got it? Well Google didn’t. If you type “Shilin Night Market” you’ll be directed to somewhere completely else. After a Red Eye into Taiwan, the last thing you want to do is get lost, but I fucking did. I realized the mistake and hailed a taxi. 15 minutes later I was there. Check out how far off Google was. On the right of the map, you’ll see “Shilin Nightmarket” which is nowhere near the real market.

Night markets are an amazing thing, but they’re also confusing. There’s no Information Center helping you. They just have food everywhere and it’s overwhelming. Usually the course of action is to do a lap around the area then decide. Good luck in an area jam-packed with people, no dice. Then if you want to go to only popular places, good luck with that as there can be huge queues for stuff (What they call lines). My strategy was realize you won’t be back here for years, many fucking years, get to eating at the popular ones and try not to throw up, oh and enjoy the food.


The best bite of food I ate was the sausage in a sausage. They take a sausage that’s filled with sticky rice, cut it down the middle, then take a pork sausage and cut that down the middle and in both cuts they lather a sweet soy sauce with scallions. Then they wrap it all together like a hot dog and boom, it’s one of the funkiest things to eat, but one of the tastiest bites in the market.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It’s important when visiting any night market to do a bit of research if you can. Many night markets have a few dishes they’re known for, you’re getting seafood at Keelung and sausages in Shilin. And I KNOW I missed a lot, Stinky tofu and many others. Check out what I ate.

Source: Shilin Night Market

Follow us on Twitter at @dapperguide or Like us on Facebook