Keelung’s Miaokou Night Market has a reputation of being one of the most popular night market’s in Taiwan. The Main street where the Dianji temple first started drawing patrons to the area is lined with food stalls serving some of the most popular dishes and snacks found in Keelung.
This is a very tourist friendly night market with translations in Japanese and English, some are loose in their descriptions. Honestly lots of great tasting food but I wouldn’t consider alot of it nutritious.
One of my favorite stalls serves oil rice, a sticky style rice with mushrooms and a delicious soup served with lumps of fresh crab meat. Being a port city there is an abundant selection of seafood and other interesting tasty treats.
Further south, in central Taiwan lies the city of Taichung. The climate is drier in this part of the island making for a perfect environment for night markets. Taichung is world-famous as the place where bubble tea was invented.
If you ask most Taiwanese people where their favorite place to go for a weekend is many will say Tainan. This city located in Southern Taiwan was once the capital of the island before the Japanese began their 50 year rule of the country and moved operations to Taipei. There are lovely Japanese colonial era buildings everywhere but most people come to Tainan for the food.
This is the Anping area of Tainan with the oldest streets on the island. People travel from all over Taiwan just to visit and try the many special snacks only made here, like one of my favorites, Coffin Toast.
Of course no discussion on the food of Taiwan would be complete without a visit to Taipei’s Shilin Night Market. This is one of the largest night markets on the island with streets that wind around a section of the city filled with food stalls, restaurants, clothing and souvenir shops, and amusement games. Huge slabs of breaded fried chicken, shui jian bao dumplings filled with your choice of cabbage, leaks, or pork.
The quintessential night market snack, stinky tofu, soft or crunchy with an aroma close to an aged cheese. Deep fried shrimp, beach crabs, even Japanese snacks showing up like Takoyaki, a wheat batter fried with chopped up bits of octopus.
Shilin is jam-packed with people most nights. An eating and social atmosphere you must see if you are to understand the food culture of Taiwan.
Cheng Ben is like a green onion pie. There are regional versions of this snack as well. This one I’m having is fried on both sides with juicy green onions inside. One of my favorite night market snacks.
There are so many foods and dishes to try in Taiwan I can’t possibly cover everything in one podcast. Each region has it’s own specialties making it even more challenging to fit everything in. I haven’t even mentioned all of the amazing and unique tropical fruit grown on the island. The famous Din Tai Fung, dumpling restaurant. Kao Chi, another famous restaurant that serves Shanghai style dumplings. Mango ice and other desserts.
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That’s it for this episode of Far East Adventure Travel Podcast. Thanks so much for joining me. Until next time this is John Saboe, safe travels and Namaste!
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