Night markets are definitely part of the usual itineraries of people visiting Taiwan. I honestly wasn’t so excited about it during our visit, thinking I’d rather be eating in a vegan restaurant (which is plenty in Taipei btw!). (Checkout 10 vegan eats in Taipei City, Taiwan) I was still game to try it though since I was travelling with non vegans and I was curious what I can eat as a vegan. During our entire trip I was able to visit four night markets in Taipei and the one and only night market in Hualien.
What’s vegan in Taiwan Night Markets?
I’ve noticed three vegan options that are always present in night markets:
- Grilled king oyster mushrooms
- Fruit juices & shakes
Other vegan options that are available in most night markets:
- Sweet potato balls (some has cheese in it)
- Deep fried battered mushrooms (some has egg/milk)
- Peanut ice cream roll (some has dairy)
- Candied fruit
- Sugar cane juice
Tip: Have a google translate app on your phone to confirm if something is vegan. It can be hard to communicate with the locals.
Here’s the list of the night markets that I got to visit.
Ningxia Night Market, Taipei
We went here on our first night to meet up with friends who are leaving the next day. It’s a small night market, just one street, which consists of mostly food stalls. I got grilled mushroom for 100 NTD, which I find really bland.
Ximending Night Market, Taipei
Ximending is also referred to as the ’Shibuya of Taipei’. It’s popular for shopping so I went there hoping I could buy some pasalubong (but wasn’t able to). I had peanut ice cream roll a.k.a ice cream burrito for 45 NTD.
There’s a stinky tofu stall which didn’t smell bad and the tofu didn’t look like it was fermented. (Stinky tofu can be hard to confirm if vegan since it can be fermented with dairy/ other animal products). Sadly, when I decided to lined up to confirm, it got sold out.
Raohe Night Market, Taipei
I went to this area because I wanted to visit the Rainbow Bridge. (Our furbaby passed away days before this trip and I really wanted to visit the Rainbow Bridge in honour of him. Search about the poem Rainbow Bridge if you can’t relate). Raohe night market is just a few steps away from the bridge. I had curly potatoes and battered mushroom. Deep fried goodness!!
Shilin Night Market, Taipei
I wasn’t planning on visiting this fourth night market on my list. I went to the Shilin Area to try the vegan takoyaki in Mushyaki but sadly, it was closed, so I decided to go here instead. It’s probably the largest and most popular night market in Taipei. There are a loooot of stalls and I really couldn’t be bothered to roam around. I had deep fried sweet potato balls which are good if only they weren’t hard to chew. (Probably got a bad/old batch)
Dongdamen Night Market, Hualien
Dongdamen night market is the one and only night market in Hualien. It’s probably my favourite among all the night markets we’ve been to – very spacious and organised, has a park next to it and musical performances in different areas. I enjoyed everything I tried as well: deep fried king oyster mushrooms, passion fruit shake & ice cream roll. Also, look at that mountain view from the market!
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