Keelung Night Market

Crowds of pedestrians walking through Rensan Road at night; the road is lined by three rows of yellow lanterns on either side.

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Keelung Night Market often flies under the radar of most tourists as it is located in Keelung City, one of Northern Taiwan’s rainiest regions, and it isn’t located adjacent to any must-see attractions for first-timers. It also requires close to a one-hour commute by train to reach. That being said, we hope our readers aren’t dissuaded from planning a visit, as Keelung Night Market is home to some of the best street food in North Taiwan, and the night market’s evening ambience is second-to-none. For this reason, we also consider Keelung Night Market to be one of the best night markets in Taiwan.

A tourist stands in the middle of Rensan Road and takes a photo with her cellphone.
A tourist eats a bowl of noodles on the street in Keelung Night Market.
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Like most markets, the origins of Keelung Night Market, also known as Keelung “Miaokou” Night Market—”miaokou” meaning “temple entrance”, can be traced back to some center of commerce or exchange. Around 40 years ago, the market sprung up at the entrance to Dianji Temple, a popular local temple. Due to the large number of pilgrims visiting this temple, food stands found they could make regular business by setting up in the streets adjacent to the temple. As time went on, the vendors became known to local residents and started attracting visitors and tourists in their own right. Today, the night market extends throughout several streets.

The courtyard of Dianji Temple next to Keelung Night Market.
Food stands, tables and chairs line one side of the street in Keelung Night Market.
All the seats are full in an roadside eating area.
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Inside the market, over 200 food stands offer what some food experts remark as “the largest variety of dishes in the whole of Taiwan”. The market is located only a few blocks away from Keelung’s Inner Harbor and Keelung Train Station, making it a reasonably easy destination for individual travelers to reach. Due to its proximity to Keelung Harbor, the seafood here is as fresh as can be, and many types of seafood are available. Fried, steamed, and deep-fried seafood; fried sandwiches, also known as “Nutritious sandwiches”; charcoal-cooked glazed fruit skewers (Tanghulu), are the area’s recommended dishes.

A stall, which has been operating since 1933, sells crab soup on the side of the street.
A close-up of a freshly-cooked butter crab.
Assorted fresh seafood on display outside of an eatery.
A dish of stir-fried seafood.
A stall serves deep-fried sandwiches.
Close-up of a deep-fried sandwich in Keelung Night Market.
Enjoying a deep-fried sandwich in Keelung Night Market.
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Other famous dishes in Keelung Night Market include tempura, pot rim rice soup (a type of noodle served in soup), butter crab, pork knuckle soup, one-bite sausages, thick bean-sprout soup, and a huge assortment of fried, roasted, and steamed fresh seafood. In the summer months, bubble ice or “pao pao bing” makes for a refreshing option.

A stall sells roasted sweet corn.
A close-up of a bowl of pork knuckle soup.
A boiling bowl of sugar-syrup sits next to fruit skewers.
Biting into a glazed fruit skewer.
A stand sells a variety of freshly squeezed fruit juice.
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Consider combining a trip to Keelung Night Market with a day trip to the picturesque mountain town of Jiufen for sweeping views, tea houses and North Taiwan’s most popular old streets.

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