Best/Worst Bang for your buck at night markets

Hey everyone, thought I would get a discussion going about different kinds of foods in night markets and hopefully it can be helpful to newcomers to avoid or try!

I’m interested to see purchases that were good for the money and purchases that made you think, “Did I seriously just buy this?” Don’t forget to share specific locations if you remember!

I’ll start it off…

I’ve found that those beef cubes are the worst bang for your buck. A lot of them have too much fat and no meat and you’re paying anything from 100-130NT for the large and 50-70NT for the small. Tried it when it was new to the night markets, never had it ever again.

Ironically, my best buy goes to the Taiwanese style steak on a hot plate. For 150-200NT you get a 4-6oz steak with noodles, egg and maybe a veggie. Depending on what store you go to, it’s unlimited refills on drinks and soup! My favorite is Beef King (牛魔王) at Rao He night market.

Hard to beat a GOOD pepper pork bun for bang for buck. My favorite is the one at the Shilin Night Market on Jihe Road. Cart in alley next to Brother Hotel in a pinch. Other cart in alley at SW corner of Fuxing and Minquan. Have heard good things about the guys at Raohe market.

Prices vary a lot depending on the night market, around here I’d say:

Qin Guo night market:

1st place: giant fried squid for 100nt, so huge that I’m often nearly full just with that
2nd place: stir fried boar meat in bread bun or wrap for 60nt
3rd place: a thing that is basically ahlfway between an omelette and a springonion pancake, with a lot more eggs than usual, around 60nt for a large portion that’s a great way to fill up the belly

Luodong night market:

1st place: giant fried chicken for around 90nt, they use a different cut and their ji pai is really huge
2nd place: steak restaurants, there are many around the night market and some of them offer steak + noodles + egg for 120/130nt
3rd place: i find them disgusting, but stinky tofu french fries with veggies and cheese are fairly cheap and can make you feel full very quickly.

i tried those blow torched beef cubes for the first time last week. with cheese an all. sure it was expensive but it was delicious! not something i’ll be eating often but it was pretty great.

i think sharing is a good way to be cheap in the night market. you can try more different things that way too.

Tunghua, 8 pieces of Xiao long bao that tastes better than din tai fung for only NT$90.

The pepper pork buns at Raohe St. (very end by the Temple) are to die for. Long lines always, but they move fast.

Raohe has some excellent food… I especially love the Marumaruyaki (圓圓燒).

If you find yourself out at Ruifang, the indoor food court at end of the food street across from the train station has excellent pepper pork buns too. Worth the wait!

Used to get those all the time. They are very good. It’s nice to know they’re still there.

I’ll have to try this one. Very hard to top Din Tai Fung.

You mean from the beardy guy at the Keelung Rd end?
Those are friggin EPIC, I have no idea how he makes them so good, it’s almost like there’s kind of gravy inside.
On the other end of the stick, as brother RL says, the little steak cubes are a heinous rip off. The one time I got them, they tasted pretty good, I mean it’s (was, anyways) real steak charcoal grilled, but it was stupidly expensive.

Tried the pepper pork buns at Raohe Night Market and wasn’t impressed. On the plus side, the bun was roasted to a nice texture, and I liked that the pork was in chunks instead of finely ground, but the seasoning ruined it for me. It may just be a matter of personal taste, but I don’t like the Fuzhou-style sweet, cinnamony flavor. If you’re a fan of mincemeat pie, you’ll probably like it.

On the other hand, if they are a fan of mincemeat pie, they probably like eating dirt, so, you know, whatever.

This coming from someone who eats out of dumpsters.

Nothing wrong with dumpster diving. It’s amazing the gourmet shit that gets thrown away. But mincemeat pies are better hot, and even better when you don’t eat them at all.


If I’m not mistaken, you guys are talking about, Ming Yue Soup Dumplings (明月湯包)?

I had not too long ago and I still have to give my vote to DTF.

They aren’t soup dumplings, they’re Xiao long bao, as Doc said.



Actually, I was talking about the 上海生煎包 place right next to the Keelung Rd. entrance to the night market. I can’t stand those tangbao things. The last thing I want when I bite into something is a mouthful of hot grease water.

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Yeah, we’re on the same page, friggin Eyesight to the Blind level shit, man…

The hate is reeeeal!

I’ve also had the 上海生煎包 which is pretty damn tasty.

It seems like every food item here has to have a bonus attached to it. Was at Shifen the other day and saw a BBQ chicken wing stand. Looks great I thought, big line. Of course they were chicken wings stuffed with rice.

How do you even get rice into a chicken wing? They at least get points for ingenuity. Personally, I never got the chicken wing thing anyway. All skin and gristle. I guess that’s a positive here though.

My biggest fowl peeve is chicken butts on a stick. Like an idiot, I thought it was chicken nuggets and bit right in. Never had a bigger, skankier mouthful of hot grease in my life.

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I passed on those–they called them “七里香”, nice touch–and got the venison sticks, not bad.