Shilin Night Market (士林夜市): Shilin District
Shilin Night Market, the largest night market in Taipei, seemed endless. There was more everywhere we walked and turned. It can get very crowded, almost claustrophobic. We started with the indoor food court, then made our way to the outdoor vendors.
The food court has lots of small stalls. One specialty here is the coffin bread (棺材板), a piece of toast hollowed halfway and deep fried, then stuffed with an assortment of meat, seafood, and/or vegetables mixed in a thick sauce. I really enjoyed the mix of textures: crispy toast; chewy meat; gooey sauce!
Other foods we had at the food court: oyster omelet (蚵仔煎) – omelet with small oysters and vegetables topped with a starchy oyster sauce; minced pork rice (鲁肉飯) – saucy minced pork over rice; stinky tofu (臭豆腐) – fried fermented tofu with minced garlic.
While wandering around, we found a shrimp game. It was NT$100 for 7 poles, skewer sticks with a string and a hook. The objective was simple: get the shrimp into the buckets. We learned quickly that hooking the shrimp was so not simple. The string was not durable at all. It required finesse and patience to gently coax a shrimp onto the hook and into the bucket. We ended up with 5 shrimp. Our prize? Freshly grilled shrimp!
Did I mention Shilin is endless? We made our way around the outdoor vendors and ate until our stomachs couldn’t take it anymore. Taiwanese shaved ice, curry fish balls, Thai rolled ice cream!
Shilin was definitely my favorite night market!