Taiwan; It’s eclectic and innovative and, word on the street, a foodie’s haven. You heard it here first; Taiwan is making headways amongst foodie culture. There’s more to this cuisine than just the intrinsic ingredients and depth of flavours; it’s about getting out there and experiencing the food; through smelling, seeing, and feeling. And there’s no better place to do this than in the food markets. It’s time to dig in.
Most street markets happen once the sun has set, making for a truly magical experience. Taipei’s Shilin Night Market is certainly a highlight for both visitors and locals. Not only can you pick up clothing and gadgets, you’ll also find some of the tastiest finger foods across the sprawling five hundred plus stalls. Each vendor is a specialist, so whether you’re having oyster pancakes or crab soup, your taste buds are in for a real treat.
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For a sit down dining experience, we couldn’t keep the mouth watering Fifi’s from you. Found on Renai Road in Taipei this is the perfect restaurant to go to for sharing dishes with friends and family (you can order as much food as possible and we won’t judge you, promise). Start with bean curd stripped salad, stuffed green peppers and pumpkin with salty eggs before devouring the best don po pork to grace Taiwan; you won’t be disappointed. Not only is it worth visiting for a culinary sensation, there’s also a third floor lounge staying open until late so you can enjoy Taipei’s vibes all night long.
Back to the street, Keelung’s Miaokou Night Market specialises in the freshest and most exciting, seafood. Located near the famous Dianji (Miaokou means ‘temple entrance’), walk between the glowing rows of lanterns that give the market its warming glow and make your way through the stalls, stopping to sample the delights on offer whenever you can. The atmosphere is fast and frenetic, as hawkers implore you to buy, sit and eat in the fastest possible time, but don’t let them rush you; it’s all just part of the market atmosphere.
Finally, whilst it’s not technically ‘food’ we couldn’t go without mentioning bubble tea. Originating from a street vendor in 1980s Taipei, bubble tea has now taken the world by storm. Fruit or milk based, bubble tea is now the go-to drink for many with its surprise of tea infused tapioca boba (bubbles); not bad for something that started on a street corner in Taipei. We suggest you try almond milk with popping boba for a really refreshing drink. If you’re craving it back home, then there’s plenty of places in the UK that will leave you satisfied. Take Bubbleology in London for example. Located just off of Shaftesbury Avenue, they’ve got an extensive bubble tea menu and have been a long time favourite of ours here at Black Tomato.
Whether you’re in Taiwan to soak up the eclectic street life or take in the cutting edge surroundings, we really think you can’t miss out on a little food splurge. It won’t disappoint.