After checking in at Cho Hotel, we proceeded to Wufenpu, which is the biggest clothing market for wholesale in Taipei. This market is located in close proximity to Raohe Night Market, which is a popular destination among food lovers seeking to sample the finest Taiwanese street food.
Wufenpu is similar to Bangkok’s Pratunam Market, but prices here are higher, and bargaining is not common. If you’re not a wholesaler or reseller buying in bulk, you’ll have to pay retail prices for single pieces, which can be as expensive as what you’d find in shopping districts like Ximending. The quality of clothing in Wufenpu is not exceptional, and it may not be worth the high prices. It’s better to shop elsewhere. However, you might come across some cheap bargains displayed by some shops at the entrance, but they may have limited sizes, colours, or defects like misspelled prints, so be sure to inspect thoroughly before buying anything.
From Wufenpu, it’s just a 5-6 minute walk to Raohe Night Market.
Raohe Night Market 饒河街觀光夜市
Raohe Night Market, also known as Raohe Street Night Market, is situated in Taipei’s Songshan District and is one of the oldest and most well-known night markets in the city. It has a rich history dating back to the late 19th century and is a must-visit spot for anyone seeking to experience the vibrant energy of Taipei’s street food scene.
The night market spans approximately 600 metres and features a wide variety of stalls selling traditional Taiwanese snacks and trendy fashion items. Visitors can explore the stalls and indulge in a variety of local delicacies, including pepper pork buns, stinky tofu, grilled squid, stuffed chicken wings, shaved ice desserts, sweet potato balls, and more.
Aside from food, the market is an excellent place to shop for souvenirs, clothing, and accessories. You can find everything from handmade jewellery and bags to stylish clothing and fashion accessories. It’s an ideal place to pick up some mementos to bring back home.
The market’s lively and bustling atmosphere is another highlight. It is popular among both locals and tourists, making it a great place to experience the excitement of Taipei nightlife. The neon lights, the sound of sizzling food, and the aroma of local snacks all contribute to the energetic and lively ambience.
In this blog post, we will explore the various food stalls and must-try dishes at Raohe Night Market and share insider tips on how to make the most of your visit.
Getting to Raohe Night Market is simple and convenient via public transportation. You can take the MRT (Songshan-Xindian/Green Line) to Songshan Station and exit from Exit 5. It’s just a brief walk from there to the entrance of the market.
Food Stalls and Must-Try Dishes
One of the biggest draws of Raohe Night Market is the incredible selection of street food. It offers everything from traditional Taiwanese snacks to more unique dishes, ensuring there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Here are some must-try dishes and popular vendors that you should keep an eye out for:
Pepper Buns 胡椒餅
Fuzhou Shi Zu Pepper Buns is famous for their black pepper pork buns. These buns have a crispy exterior and a juicy interior, filled with savoury pork, green onions, and a generous amount of black pepper, which adds a spicy kick. The buns here are highly recommended, as they are more flavourful than the ones we tried at the Chongqing South Road outlet.
Mountain Pig Sausage 山豬肉香腸
If you come across a Taiwanese sausage stall labelled as “Mountain Pig,” you should definitely try it out! These sausages are much larger and thicker than the ones found in supermarket packets. The main attraction is that they are extremely meaty and juicy, with a real meat flavour and texture rather than the processed sausages that are heavy on starch. These Taiwanese sausages are so good that we can never seem to have enough of them!
Shaped like a pancake and topped with okonomiyaki sauce, mayonnaise, and bonito flakes, with a small side serving of wasabi. It contains a whole egg, bacon, and cabbage, and is tender and not too dense. The combination of sauces and toppings adds to its delicious taste.
Sweet Potato Fries 甘梅薯條
We had this at Fengjia Night Market in Taichung and really enjoyed it. So when we saw this stall at Raohe Night Market, we had to get it too. The fries are made from thick pieces of sweet potatoes that are fried perfectly, resulting in a crispy exterior and a soft, moist interior. We can choose from a variety of seasoning powders, including Signature Plum Powder, Salt & Pepper, Golden Curry, and Wasabi, or simply enjoy the natural flavour of the sweet potatoes without any seasoning.
Chicken Meat Rolls 雞腿捲
OMG, this was one of the best things we had at Raohe Night Market! Although they may resemble sausages in appearance, one bite of these rolls releases a burst of natural chicken meat juices and oil in your mouth! It’s no wonder they are called ‘爆漿’ chicken rolls. The dish is made by deboning a chicken leg and rolling it up, resulting in tender and juicy meat with a slightly crispy skin. Absolutely delicious!
Pan-Fried Dumplings 煎餃
Thin layer of dough filled with a mixture of ground meat, vegetables, and seasonings. The dumplings are then pan-fried until the skin becomes crispy. A soy-sauce based dipping sauce is served alongside the dumplings, which enhances the overall savoriness of the dish. These dumplings are perfect for eating on the go, as each one is a perfect one-bite size.
Star Fruit Juice 楊桃汁
Star fruit juice is a refreshing beverage that pairs well with street food. It has a deliciously tangy and sweet taste that is perfect for quenching your thirst. If you have never tasted star fruit before, its flavour can be likened to a blend of citrus, pineapple, and green apple. Additionally, drinking star fruit juice is said to help reduce “heatiness” in the body, especially after consuming a lot of fried foods.
Souffle Pancakes 舒芙蕾
This particular stall’s Souffle Pancakes can easily rival those of popular Japanese brands! The Brown Sugar Boba Souffle Pancakes are incredibly soft and wobbly, providing a comforting texture as you take a bite. The addition of tapioca balls gives a nice chewy texture as well.
The best part is that these pancakes are very affordable compared to those from a typical souffle pancake shop. The owner is also very friendly and accommodating, even allowing me to take photos on his counter when he noticed me snapping away on my camera.
Insider Tips for Navigating the Food Stalls
With a plethora of food stalls and dishes to choose from, Raohe Night Market can be overwhelming for first-time visitors. To help you make the most of your visit, here are some insider tips:
If you want to avoid the crowds and get the best selection of food, try to arrive at the market before it gets too busy. The market usually opens around 5.00pm, so arriving around that time is a good idea.
Start with the famous snacks
Raohe Night Market is known for its signature snacks like black pepper buns and stinky tofu. Start your food adventure with these popular dishes before exploring the other food options.
Come hungry and share dishes
Come with an empty stomach and share dishes with friends so you can sample a variety of dishes without getting too full.
Don’t be afraid to try new things
While it’s tempting to stick with what you know, don’t be afraid to try new things. Many of the stalls offer unique and delicious dishes that you won’t find anywhere else.
Be prepared to wait
Some of the most popular food stalls at Raohe Night Market have long lines, so be prepared to wait. Don’t let the lines deter you, as the food is well worth the wait.
Many food vendors and stalls at Raohe Night Market only accept cash, so be sure to bring enough Taiwanese dollars with you. It’s also a good idea to bring smaller bills and coins as some vendors might not have change for large denominations.
With all the delicious food options, it’s easy to forget to drink water. Make sure to stay hydrated and bring a bottle of water with you to the night market.
Be mindful of your belongings
The night market can be quite crowded, so make sure to keep an eye on your belongings and be aware of your surroundings.
Raohe Night Market is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the best of Taiwanese street food. With countless food stalls offering a diverse range of mouth-watering dishes, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Remember to come on an empty stomach, be ready to wait in long queues, and carry sufficient cash. So, brace yourself to indulge in the scrumptious delights of Raohe Night Market and immerse in the lively ambience of Taipei’s street food culture.
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