Exploring the Culinary Delights of Shilin Night Market (士林夜市): Top 8 Must-Try Foods

December 29, 2023

Taipei's Shilin Night Market (士林夜市) is not just a market; it's a vibrant epicenter of Taiwanese street food, buzzing with energy and tantalizing aromas. This sprawling market, known for its wide array of food stalls, offers a sensory overload with its diverse and delectable offerings. Here's a curated list of the top 8 must-try foods at Shilin Night Market, each rated for its flavor, uniqueness, and overall experience.

1. Giant Fried Chicken Cutlet (雞排)

  • Rating: 10/10
  • No visit to Shilin is complete without trying the iconic Giant Fried Chicken Cutlet. Crispy on the outside and juicy inside, this oversized snack is a flavor explosion. Its sheer size and perfect seasoning make it a clear winner.

Photo: Lin Victor • Howie • Yuan • Randy Ngatimin • Sam Lin • Yuan

2. Oyster Omelette (蚵仔煎)

  • Rating: 9/10
  • A classic Taiwanese dish, the oyster omelette combines fresh oysters with a savory egg batter and a sweet-and-spicy sauce. Its unique texture and rich flavor earn it a high spot on this list.

Photo: Tung Vincent (蛋蛋) • Josephine Wong • nasusyrrehs difo • asukasun Yang • Chan k k

3. Stinky Tofu (臭豆腐)

  • Rating: 8.5/10
  • Stinky tofu might be an acquired taste due to its pungent aroma, but it's a must-try for the adventurous foodie. Deep-fried and served with pickled cabbage, its crispy exterior and soft interior create a memorable experience.

Photo: 陳家慧 • Chris Lai • 蔡武雄 • ZAKI METAL • Renee Huang (草食營養師)

4. Bubble Tea (珍珠奶茶)

  • Rating: 8/10
  • Taiwan is the birthplace of bubble tea, and Shilin offers some of the best. The combination of chewy tapioca pearls and creamy, sweet tea is a delightful treat as you explore the market.

Photo: Liu Weibo • 魚池貳壹-台北士林總店Tea21 • 唐文文 • 王朝威老師 Wang Music

5. Grilled Squid (烤魷魚)

  • Rating: 7.5/10
  • A popular choice for seafood lovers, grilled squid is marinated and grilled to perfection. Its smoky flavor and chewy texture make it a standout dish.

Photo: https://ourglobaltrek.com • https://hungryhongkong.net • https://www.goingthewholehogg.com

6. Taiwanese Sausage (台灣香腸)

  • Rating: 7/10
  • These sweet, slightly spiced sausages are a staple at Taiwanese night markets. Often served on a stick or with sticky rice as a "bun," they offer a quick, flavorful bite.

Photo: 李志芬 • 宋伯中 • 冠正宗創始店大腸包小腸 Taiwanese sausage with sticky rice • 李志芬 • 布魯娜娜

7. Mango Shaved Ice (芒果冰)

  • Rating: 7/10
  • Perfect for cooling down, mango shaved ice combines fresh, sweet mango with fluffy, light ice, often drizzled with condensed milk. It's a refreshing and fruity dessert.

Photo: Sandy • 辛發亭冰品名店 • Richard Wang • Kelly Wu • Jitender Singh

8. Braised Pork Rice (滷肉飯)

  • Rating: 6.5/10
  • A humble yet comforting dish, braised pork rice is soul food for many. The flavorful pork is stewed and served over rice, offering a simple but satisfying meal.

Photo: 哈利不是波特 • 陳俊甫 • 曾莫敵 • Tsao Lien • 撿紅魚

Tips for Visiting Shilin Night Market

  • Go Hungry: With so many tempting options, you'll want to try a bit of everything.
  • Cash is King: While some vendors accept digital payments, cash is still widely used.
  • Be Adventurous: Don't be afraid to try something new – you might be pleasantly surprised.
  • Mind the Crowd: The market can get crowded, so keep an eye on your belongings.

Shilin Night Market is not just about food; it's an experience that engages all senses. From sizzling woks to colorful stalls, each dish tells a story of Taiwan's rich culinary heritage. Whether you're a local or a traveler, these top 8 foods are a perfect starting point for your gastronomic adventure in Shilin. Happy eating! 🍴🌃

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