A Little Food … Tasty Street Eats in Taipei, Taiwan

My 15 hour long layover in Taipei may not have been enough time to settle in and truly explore all that Taipei, Taiwan has to offer but it’s plenty enough time to eat!

There were moments where the Asian culture shock was creeping up but the familiar pace of a city extinguished a lot of the potential angst. Instead of focusing on being lost throughout the day I followed my nose along the streets of Taipei, allowing the locals on their lunch breaks to dodge around me as I poked my nose into all kinds of treats.

Some were suspiciously meaty and avoided. But a busy street food cart perched right on the corner of a busy sidewalk caught my eye. The muffin pan-like cart top took about one minute to produce a whole steaming hot treats filled with mysterious fillings.

The man pours what looks like pancake dough into the holes. The woman scoops in your chosen filling. More dough. As the lunch snacks briefly cooked the well honed dance of movements between the duo working the street cart never faltered.

Street food in Taipei, Taiwan.

The long queue of locals flowed with swift ease and stood as a testament to these tasty and simple treats.

When my turn came I put the first glitch in their process and both of them smiled indulgent if harried smiles as I indicated through pantomime my choice of two pancakey-things filled with a thick red bean paste and a third with sweet creamy custard.

These eats got me through my hike to Taipei 101 and before my street eats had fully digested dusk painted itself across the sky and the Shilin Night Market beckoned.

Street food vendor at the Shilin Night Market in in Taipei, Taiwan

To be truthful the entire point of the Shilin Night Market trip was to spend as long as possible wandering food stalls sampling foreign treats with name’s I knew not then and know not now.

I found that Taipei was like so much of Asia, even to many of the locals the street eats are incredibly affordable and families converge on the street stalls for their nightly dinner as well.

Street eats, decorative fruit, at the Shinlin Night Market in Taipei, Taiwan.Candy coated sweets at the Shilin Night Market in in Taipei, Taiwan

Sweet treats weren’t far either and with a small crowd around these fried milk balls I was intrigued enough to try a stick of the burn-your-tongue-hot sweet cream coated in batter.

Fried milk balls at the Shinlin Night Market in Taipei, Taiwan.Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

It makes me chuckle to think that for all that the rest of the world laughs at the US for deep fried ice cream and snickers bars, we’re not the only ones take odd concoctions, coat them in batter and drop ’em a vat of grease!

For the record, they were tasty as expected and I munched them rapidly as I ran from the beginning rain and back to the metro terminal.

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25 Responses to A Little Food … Tasty Street Eats in Taipei, Taiwan

  1. Shiroi Neko January 6, 2011 at 3:39 am #

    Really nice.

    Wanna go there too.

    • Anonymous January 6, 2011 at 4:27 am #

      I loved it – so worth a visit, even if it’s a short one :)

  2. My Kafkaesque Life December 19, 2010 at 10:46 pm #

    Taipei is awesome :) Great photos you have posted here. Can’t wait to go to all the night markets and explore them.

    • Anonymous December 20, 2010 at 3:14 pm #

      Markets are my favorite spots to visit in any new place and Taipei’s are
      among the largest, so you can’t go wrong when you’re exploring :-)

  3. Erin December 9, 2010 at 8:49 am #

    Great post on our wonderful Shilin Night Market! I’m quite overdue for a visit actually. There’s another night market here in Taipei that I love even more than Shilin. If you ever get back, lemme know and I can take you on a foodie tour!

    • Anonymous December 10, 2010 at 3:33 pm #

      Oooo – if I come through Taipei again I will definitely take you up on the
      offer of a foodie tour! A good market and street eats are pretty much my
      favorite way to pass the time! Thanks for stopping in and commenting :)

  4. ferienwohnung spanien December 8, 2010 at 5:48 am #

    Yummy post.I am a food lover and likes to eat various food during my travel.Taipei appears to be awesome place for foodies like me and i will travel to Taiwan soon for enjoying the street food.

    • Anonymous December 8, 2010 at 7:46 pm #

      You will be in heaven as a foodie -the night market has street upon street
      of different great eats – it all smelled so tasty that even the meat had me
      enticed to take a few sniffs (and that’s saying a lot since I’m a
      vegetarian!). Enjoy Taiwan when you make it there! :)

  5. zablon mukuba December 7, 2010 at 4:12 pm #

    i love street food, its always delicious

    • Anonymous December 8, 2010 at 7:44 pm #

      Street food has never let me down yet! It’s a fav part of traveling through
      Asia :)

  6. Erica Kuschel December 6, 2010 at 8:04 pm #

    Street food is definitely something I am looking forward to. These pictures are awesome!

    • Anonymous December 8, 2010 at 7:43 pm #

      Oh trust me, the street food will never let you down. In Asia it is one of
      the top highlights of backpacking! :)

  7. BeersAndBeans December 6, 2010 at 6:38 pm #

    OOOHHH this stuff looks fantastic!

    • Anonymous December 8, 2010 at 7:42 pm #

      Thanks! The food was just as tasty as it looks! :)

  8. GlobalButterfly December 6, 2010 at 2:08 pm #

    Oh yum!!! These pics are fabulous and now I want to go find something to eat hahaha. :)

    • Anonymous December 8, 2010 at 7:41 pm #

      Thanks Andi – I had to hunt down lunch right after I wrote the post :)

  9. a wandering sole December 6, 2010 at 4:50 pm #

    The pancake things look delish! My aunt is from Taipei so I feel like I have an excuse to visit… but food is now just another reason!

    • Anonymous December 8, 2010 at 7:42 pm #

      You absolutely have an excuse to go visit, hopefully she still lives there
      or would go too though, it’s really a city best explored with a local! :)

  10. Ayngelina December 6, 2010 at 1:46 pm #

    Shannon loves these photos, sometimes it’s just best to eat your way through a lay over!

    • Anonymous December 8, 2010 at 7:40 pm #

      I think it’s safe to say that it’s *always* best to eat your way through a
      layover! ;-)

  11. Andrea and John December 6, 2010 at 9:38 am #

    I’ve always wanted to go to Taiwan and this is just another reason – the food looks sensational! – Andrea

    • Anonymous December 8, 2010 at 7:39 pm #

      The street eats are incredible – when you make it there you will not be
      disappointed! Thanks for stopping in and commenting Andrea :)

  12. Liezel December 6, 2010 at 10:38 am #

    Wow! Those pictures makes me hungry, this looks awesome!

    • Anonymous December 8, 2010 at 7:40 pm #

      Thanks Liezel for stopping in and commenting, hopefully you had a snack
      nearby after reading the post! :)

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