Raohe Night Market (饒河夜市)

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Since Taiwan is known for their night markets, you'd definitely want to more than one. We wanted go to at least two, so after our trip to Shilin Night Market (士林夜市), we decided to go to Raohe Night Market (饒河夜市) in Songshan District (松山區). Located just next to Ciyou Temple (慈祐宮), it's also one of the oldest night markets in Taipei and stretches to about 600 metres in length.

We started our food adventure with the famous black pepper bun (胡椒餅), a crispy crusted filled with pork and lots and lots of spring onion. The street vendor we bought it from was located by the entrance of the night market, and although it looked amazing, I was a disappointed with flavour of the filling because it was little too sweet and the black pepper taste wasn't strong enough.

To be honest, after wondering around for another 15 minutes, we didn't actually find that much food we wanted to eat—unlike the time we were at Shilin Night Market. I felt like the food choices weren't as extensive, so next up we just got some dumplings (餃子) to fill our stomachs. (Which weren't that great either.)

Since Raohe Night Market is just one long street, it's much smaller than Shilin so it does tend to get very crowded when there is a lot of people. We went on a Sunday and it was packed. We basically had to walk very slowly and carefully to avoid bumping into people. It even started to get somewhat claustrophobic because each of the two way streets are very narrow.

If you're looking to take a break from all the food, there are many shops in the market itself filled with the claw machines (夾娃娃機). Most games are approximately NTD$10 for each try, but if you pay a certain amount, they promise that you will get something. We tried a few times but didn't get anything.

We found more food that we preferred on the street on the left (i.e., when you walk back down to the entrance), but we tried to avoid eating the same food we ate at Shilin Night Market, so we got some flame grilled beef cubes at a shop called "火焰骰子牛", fried sweet potato balls (地瓜球), a gua bao (割包) and scallion pancake (葱油餅). I absolutely love scallion pancakes, so we had to get it again (heh). The sweet potato balls were amazing as well—it was chewy, didn't feel oily and the sweetness was subtle.

We arrived at around 6:30pm, but before we left at 8:30pm, we had some traditional Taiwanese dessert at a food stall called "京華豆花". We ordered a bowl of taro tofu pudding (芋圓豆花) and pearls with shaved ice (粉圓冰).

I don't intend to compare the two night markets I've been to, but Shirley and I definitely preferred Shilin Night Market more than Raohe. At Shilin, the food was better and place was much bigger with a dedicated game area as well. However, it's not to say that the Raohe Night Market isn't worth going to. It's got its own character: vibrant, colourful and old-school.

Raohe Night Market (饒河夜市)
No. 105, Raohe Street, Songshan District, Taipei
台北市 松山區 饒河街 105號

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