9 must-eat street snacks at RaoHe Night Market
Going to a Night Market is a must when visiting Taipei, besides the large and bustling Shilin Night Market, you'll also have to visit the oldest night market in Taipei - the RaoHe Night Market. Albeit it being a smaller and cosier one, it is packed with a lot of good street food!
There are some similarities in the food choices in RaoHe Night Market as the other night markets but there are some absolutely must-try street food when you are here!
You may also be interested in Taipei Food Guide: things to eat and where to find them!
How to get to Rao He Night Market?
Rao He Night Market is easily accessible via metro. From Ximen, take the Songshan-Xindian Line to the end till Songshan Station. From there, it is just a short 2-minute walk to the night market. When you're there, exit the station using Exit 1 or 5 and walk to the Songshan Ciyou Temple. The temple is majestic at night and you'll find this red entrance of the RaoHe Night Market by the temple!
What to eat at Rao He Night Market?
With so many street stalls lining the whole stretch of the night market, what should you eat that would be worth your stomach space and calories? Over our multiple trips to Taipei, here's a list of foods that you might be interested in!
1. Hu Jiao Bing (Pork Pepper Buns)
You know you have to have it when you see a long line of people queuing up for these buns! The 10-minute wait... is so WORTH it!! Fortunately, ever since they have opened a branch at Shi Lin Night market, there is no longer a such a snaking queue except when the tourist buses arrive outside the night market.
Just look at how much meat that was stuffed into the bun! The pork was peppery and soft, the slightly charred external of the bus was crispy. Do let the bun cool down a little before taking a bite! The oil and juice kept in the buns will ooze out if you're not careful!
You'll easily find this store as it is located right at the entrance to the Night Market if you're coming from the Songshan Ciyou Temple.
2. All things grilled
Night markets in Taipei are brilliant with their charcoal grilled products, here are some that we've tried and are absolutely delicious.
Grilled Pork Neck
We really love grilled pork neck ever since trying them in Hong Kong and subsequently in Bangkok. We manage to find a stall that sells it here and we decided to buy a packet which was amazing! This portion of the pork is the softest part and retains the flavour of the fats and sauce that you put on it. The grilled pork was extremely tasty and so addictive!
I absolutely loved squids! The springy texture and how the flavour intensifies when you continuously chew on its meat! At Roahe Night Market, the squid are served to you right off the grill! Coats of flavourful brown sauce is coated as the sellers flip and turn the squid on the grill. They would slice up the octopus and sprinkle a little chilli powder for that extra kick of spice before they close the lid of the plastic container. You absolutely have to eat it when it is hot as it is fun blowing and getting burnt all at that same time!
There's also the fried version that has popped up recently that are actually more tender than the grilled ones! We didn't manage to find one at the Rao He Street Night Market but you can find them at Xi Men.
Onward to more grilled food - scallops! These luxurious seafood are actually a delicious snack at RaoHe Night Market. Similar to the grilled squid, you can see the sauce that is being lathered over the seafood over again while they are on the grill. Finally, it is sprinkled with some chilli flakes. Should you prefer a non-spicy option, you could request to not sprinkle the chilli powder!
Taking things up another notch, here's grilled abalone! They grill it with the shell and will de-shell it for you and place it onto a skewer. This was a decadent treat!
3. Takopachi (Octopus Balls)
Although this isn't by anything Taiwanese, these were delicious takopachi that was crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. The sauce was also sweet and savoury all at the same time. Mmmm, yummy!
4. Herbal Pork Bone Soup
We saw many people having this on the streets so we decided to give it a try! The soup was extremely flavourful with lots of herbs (for those that don't enjoy the herbal taste, you may not like this!). Look at that one layer of fatty oil glistening on top of the soup! The pork, though, wasn't really that soft such that it would fall off the bone, and it didn't had much taste as all its flavour has went into the goodness of the soap. There's not that much meat too, so you could just give the pork a miss and slurp down the soap!
5. Deep Fried Milk Cubes
This was the bomb! It was a tasty sweet dessert and you can find these stalls at the other end of the RaoHe Night Market. You don't quite find this anywhere else so we figured that it was a must-try even though we were already very full!
New Updates: On our recent trip to Taipei, we found stalls selling this in Shi Lin Night Market as well so you can pretty much try it there too!
6. Egg Omelette
Then we saw this, and just had to try it. Choose from various ingredients and the omelette will be made right in front of you! It was really just a simple dish but there's just something so magical about eating omelettes at night and right on the streets!
7. Super Long Fries - Aniki Potato
Aniki Potato is a recent addition to the night market scene. We initially thought that this was just a marketing ploy by having super long fries in a fancy cup and didn't think too much of it. Also, it is quite pricey for just a cup of fries. However, after walking past the little store and taking a whiff of the fragrant potatoes being fried, we decided to try one cup!
The fries were double-fried and it was so crispy on the outside while still maintaining its moist interior. Okay, maybe it wasn't so much as a marketing ploy after all. It was actually tasty! A must-try for fries fans!
8. Iced Glutinous Rice Balls 冰火汤圆
This isn't quite a street-food as it was actually a store at Rao He Night market that provides seats! We discovered this store by chance and decided to have some tang yuan (glutinious rice balls) for dessert.
Those who are not familiar with glutinious rice balls, these little balls usually contain black sesame or peanut in the interior and are eating with a hot peanut or ginger soup. Here, we found something quite interesting. These handmade glutinous rice balls are served atop a mountain of ice!
When served, the waiter would suggest that you quickly eat the rice balls before tasting the ice. Perhaps because it is handmade, the rice balls had a more rough texture and you could taste bigger bits of sesame or peanut within. That doesn't mean it isn't good, in fact, it felt more authentic than the usual factory made ones.
After you've eaten your rice balls, dig into the finely shaved ice! On the tables, you'll find some osmanthus honey and lemon juice that you can pour over the ice. A slight tart and sweet dessert is what you'll get at the end of it! :)
No. 142, Raohe Street, Songshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 105
9. Pork Ribs Noodles (楊排骨酥麵)
Also another little restaurant at Raohe Street Night Market is this Pork Ribs Noodles. The pork ribs are fried before it is soaked in this flavourful broth. This is actually another Taiwanese staple aside from their Minced Meat rice and you can find them at other outlets too. However, this store specialises in the fried pork ribs. You can even purchase 1kg of pork ribs to munch on!
No. 62, Raohe Street, Songshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 105
Bonus: While you are there, take a short detour and head to the Rainbow Bridge!
Great spot for photographers to test out their night photography skills, the rainbow bridge is a colourful addition to the night market!
There were only the two of us and I can't believe that we ate all these foods! So the next time you visit Taipei, or RaoHe Night Market, don't forget to try these 9 must-eat street food!
Have you tried any one of these? Share with us what are the other must-eat foods!
This post was first published on 24 April 2018 and has been updated on 26 March 2019 to reflect new foods in the night market!