Raohe St., Songshan Dist., Taipei City 105, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
This little gem of a night market happens to be one of our favorites as well as one of the oldest in the Taipei area. As with many night markets in the country, a temple serves as the backdrop to this street of gastronomical fun. Whether as a pre-meal warmup or digestive workout, Ciyou Temple offers six richly decorate levels to explore and a good place to take in the sights of Songshan District.
By other Taiwanese night market standards, Raohe Street Tourist Night Market (饒河街觀光夜市) is rather small, occupying approximately 600 meters along a single street. Don't be fooled by its relatively short length, as the delicious food offerings are what attract locals and tourists alike. Specialties such as black pepper cake (胡椒餅 - hújiāo bǐng), medicinal pork rib soup (藥燉排骨 - yàodùn páigǔ), and Mama Lin's Sesame Oil Chicken (林媽媽麻油雞 - lín māma má yóujī) bring foodies back time and again. While night markets are not known for their comfort, Raohe offers a special treat for curious explorers. Take any alley off the main street to head behind the market and you'll find a tall wall running along the road. Look for a sign marking the location of the Rainbow Bridge, which is where you can cross over to the riverside park. Here you'll be greeted with a dreamy night view of the Keelung River (基隆河- Jīlóng hé) and the illuminated bridge, which is the perfect spot to enjoy your night market treats and unwind after a fun-filled day in the city.
Little do many know that night markets are administered by organizing committees of local residents. What can be sold, where vendors may setup shop, who (among the very long list of hopeful entrepreneurs) may open a new stall, how many security personnel are needed – this is all a tightly controlled operation. Can you spot the mascot of this night market? Look at the banner of the entrance to the market and notice the image of an owl. The owl is symbolic of the nature of night markets, but we won't give you all the answers right away. See if you can make sense of it!