Taiwan night markets: from frog eggs drink to stir fried snake. 

Taiwanese cuisine is usually composed of chinese dishes with several added variations. When in Taiwan, specially in Taipei, one can never find an idle street. From a corner to the next, there will surely be food stalls selling all sorts of taiwanese dishes, delicacies and snacks. There are lots of foods to try out. However, if you are really in for a food trip, you should never miss out the nightmarkets scattered all throughout Taiwan. 

Shilin Night Market is one of the best night markets in Taiwan.

The shilin night market is one of the biggest night markets out there- and probably the most famous. It is readily accessible and is only a couple of minutes’ walk from the station of Jiantan. Here, you can find all sorts of food that even locals are surprised to see. Near the entrance, there is even a stall selling frog eggs drink. It may be disgusting at first, but it was comforting to know after a little bit of research that the drink does not contain a single piece of frog egg. The tapioca of the drink only resembles that of a frog egg, hence, the name of the drink. 

Your eyes (and stomach) will surely feast upon the street foods lined as far as the eye can see.

All sorts of wares are also sold here. Bags, shoes, shirts, books, toys. You name it!

The aroma of street food becomes stronger as you force your way deeper into the market. Some of the street foods we have tried are less daring. Still, it’s not food you get to see and eat everyday. Here are some photos of the ones that we tried:

Grilled Octopus Tentacle Mini Octopus Takoyaki Not sure about this one. I’ll just describe it. Chopped onion leeks are covered by thinly sliced beef strips, then char grilled until tender. Crispy Beef jerky, Taiwan style! One of my favorites. It comes in seaweed, pepper, chili, and original flavor. Be sure to check this one out when you head for Shilin. Similar to the shabu-shabu. Raw ingredients are provided, and a prepared broth is kept hot (preferrably boiling). Customers are free to place whatever they like into the boiling broth, and will be charged afterwards depending on the items they cooked.

Snake alley is another night market selling more exotic taiwanese dishes. Here, live snakes in glass containers are a common sight. A number of restaurants here are serving snake dishes, so, eating here is definitely not for the weak hearted. 

The snake alley

As they say, tasting a country’s food is one way of knowing their culture. Whenever you stop by in Taiwan, make sure to pay these markets a visit and try their dishes out. It will make you appreciate their culture more. After all, you would’nt settle for the common burgers and fries when you can taste authentic Taiwanese dishes right on the spot, RIGHT? Happy traveling guys! 

-Carlo, WHT

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