Shilin Night Market

Those of you who read the blog regularly will have observed that food features heavily in my posts. I had really enjoyed my street food experiences in Thailand and Vietnam earlier this year, so Thai street food was one of the reasons that I planned an extended stay in Bangkok at the beginning of this trip. But I had no idea that street food was such a prominent feature of Taipei. It has been such a pleasant surprise to find so many areas with extensive street food offerings. I really enjoy wandering along the streets, looking at all of the offerings and then selecting something different to sample.

Last night, I headed to the Shilin Night Market for another fix of Taiwanese street food. The market sells more than food, but food is a large part of the market and is what I was interested in. To get there, I got onto subway train on the red (number 2) line heading towards Tamsui and got off at the Jiantan Station. Once at Jiantan Station, leave via exit 1 and the market is a short walk away.

Entrance to the covered Shilin Market


The covered market has two levels: a food court on the basement level and a variety of stalls on the ground level. But the covered section is only a small part of the overall market, which stretches across several nearby streets and lanes. And street food stalls can be found on most of those surrounding streets.

Cooked oysters
Grilled squid


Various meats on bread


Big cock pineapple cake. I’ve no idea why!
The ‘big cock pineapple cake’ apparently comes in different flavours
Fun fair type game to win stuffed toys
Shooting game using air-powered weapons

Whilst trying to decide what food to eat, I came across this stall in the basement of the covered market. Amongst its offerings were chicken gizzards, chicken skin, chicken hearts and chicken butts! So I ordered some chicken butts, and they tasted OK. Slightly crunchy but well seasoned and slightly spicy.


Chicken hearts
Chicken Butts
The cook adds some seasoning to my chicken butts


There was a long line to buy this ‘original cake’ in large slabs that were boxed up to take home. Selling like the proverbial hot-cakes
The cake looked so soft and moist – but I didn’t need a big slab of cake so I moved on
BBQ pork with green onions inside
This was an opportunity to include some veggies into my diet
My second food selection for the night. Tasty!
Grilled squid
“Wow Frog eggs”
What’s left of the frog eggs, I presume
Chicken feet and other meaty options
One of the lanes in the market area
Part of the market’s basement food court
Taking a chance with that rickety stand holding up the shrimp tank!
Shrimp still swimming around – can’t get any fresher than that!

I was feeling quite full already, but all of the different foods were tempting me. The sight of those fresh shrimp pushed me over the edge. So I sat down and ordered some shrimp for my third feeding of the night. Plus a large beer to wash them down.

Three large shrimp, grilled in salt

With no room for any more food, I left the market and caught the subway back towards my hotel. But when I reached the hotel, I decided to take a walk to work off some of the calories that I’d consumed. So I wandered around the streets for an hour or so, observing in the night-time activities.

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