It was a long day walking around unknown streets in Taipei. Add to that the 2 hours hike we had early morning. We almost decided to go back to our hotel and rest but we needed something to de-stress ourselves — a food trip! So we ended up following our plan for the day and headed straight to Ximending.
The day before, we had Modern Toilet Restaurant on our list. Since it’s within the area, we opt to have it before dinner and have their famous poo-poo ice cream. Unfortunately, I did catch a cold and my throat was already sore. So we decided to skip our planned poo-poo treat and started our streetfood trip to one of Taipei’s popular night markets. This ain’t Shilin my friends but Ximending, once again.
WHAT TO EAT
The street vendors weren’t around at first glance that we had to walk for a few meters and pass by some shops. We noticed one or two men in police vests, riding their motorcycles doing their rounds. We thought we were too late but then we saw the carts coming back. And the rest of the night was history.
1. Chorizo Hotdog
At first, I didn’t find this long and unappetizing meat appealing because who else haven’t tried eating hotdog in his life? If there is, I could count them like I’m picking flowers. I wanted to try something new. But my boyfriend wanted otherwise. So we bought one to have a taste.
To my surprise, it was delicious that I craved for another one. I suggest you try it too!
2. Stinky Tofu
This one I really didn’t want to try. Why? Because I simply don’t eat tofu. And the name isn’t that inviting as well for me to get out of my box and try something new which I said I’d do. Bae was hesitant to try it as well but I told him we can’t really say we’ve been to Taiwan if we won’t try this and so he bought one order.
It really stinks but its distinct taste stood out. The veggies and vinegar with spices made a good complement. You can opt to have it with sweet sauce too!
3. Hot Star Chicken
Taiwan‘s no. 1 chicken shop, Hot Star Chicken, ain’t no ordinary chicken restaurant. It sells extra extra large breaded chicken that will satisfy your chicken cravings. Actually, it’s already in Manila! But it was only in Ximending where we got to savor its succulent taste.
4. Deep Fried Squid Balls, Fish Balls, Gizzard etc.
Just like the streetfoods in Manila, Taipei got some balls too. Ha!
Your chosen variety are to be deep fried for minutes and will be served hot so be extra careful on munching too fast. You got all night to yourself. Tee-hee!
5. Onion Pie
Onion rings? Nah. That’s too mainstream. How about onion pie? Taiwan got you another way to take your onion intake to the next level.
Onions are stuffed in pancake flour, shaped as below and fried until crispy texture or until light brown starts to surface.
6. Grilled Corn
This is something streetfoods can’t live without. Aside from fish balls, squidballs, blood cakes and gizzards, grilled corn should also be in your list.
For health conscious foodies out there, don’t worry too much! You can find a fruit stand waiting for you around the corner.
From kiwi, dragon fruit, apple, mango, pineapple, you name it — snack it like you miss it!
I know, now you’re craving for something sweet. Guess what, you can find mochi along the streets in Ximending too! And they’re cutesy enough for your IG feed. Ehem, follow me if you haven’t! Tee-hee!
9. Veggie Treat
While walking around trying to find something to buy as souvenirs, we saw this shop being lined up with locals. I am not really sure what it was they’re selling. We were just curious why people lined up for a veggie store. That is what I assumed it is. Though the signboard says lemon lemon lemon. We didn’t try it so I have no way of telling what it really was. Can someone tell me?
Oh how I wish I have a huge tummy that can hold a monstrous amount of food. There are a lot more choices you can find in Ximending. Definitely, we’ll come back to try out the others.
Aside from eating your heart out the streets in Ximending, you can also enjoy random street shows. We happen to catch a man showing off his acrobat skills with a ball in hand. It was kind of amazing to see it in person. Usually, I only see such acts in TV shows and that night, I saw it with my own two eyes. He was amazing!
XIMENDING AT NIGHT
Our visit in Ximending Night Market is one of the highlights in our Taiwan trip. There are actually a lot of night markets in Taiwan including the famous and most flocked by foreign tourists — Shilin Night Market. But I’d like to say I prefer Ximending over Shilin. We’ve been to Shilin the night before and we only found a handful of food carts selling streetfoods. Just not sure if it’s because of the rain that came pouring down that night. Well, everyone have different experiences that lead to different preferences so don’t blame me if you don’t enjoy Ximending, okay? But I’m sure you will. And if you want to experience the feel of Shibuya in Japan or Myeongdong in South Korea, Ximending got you covered. 🙂
HOW TO GET THERE
Take the Ximen Station, Exit 6
Thank you for reading.
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