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The Amazing Colors, Aromas, and Tastes of Local Snack Foods Yansan Night Market’s Inimitable Charms

2017-12-16 12:16TAIPEI

Article|Jiao Tong

Photos|Yang Zhiren

It may be small in scale, but Yansan Night Market (延三夜市) is a night market I very much appreciate. It brings sparkle and shine to Dalongdong (大龍峒), and a uniquely distinguishing dash of charm. Also found along Section 3 of Yanping North Road (延平北路3段) are many morning market breakfast spots such as “Jinjin Soy Milk” (津津豆漿), where fried egg pancakes are sold, and the breakfast stall in front of No. 25-3.

Best Food Treats in the Yansan Night Market Area

I recommend taking an “extended” night market approach, connecting the revivified Jiancheng Circle night market (建成圓環夜市), Yansan Night Market, Dalong Street Night Market (大龍街夜市), and area delicacies. The Yansan market is bursting with delicious flavor choices, unfortunately impossible to fully explore with just one visit. I am enamored with “Ye Family Five Spices Chicken Rolls” (葉家五香雞捲), “Master A-Bao’s Eel Noodles” (阿寶師鱔魚麵), “A-Cong’s Daqiaotou Zongzi” (阿欉大橋頭肉粽), “Taipei Bridge Head Soy-Braised Pork Rice” (台北橋頭魯肉飯), “Xiang Ji Pure Sugar Mochi” (祥記純糖麻糬), “A-Chun’s Congee Shop” (阿春粥店), “Shantou Shacha Beef” (汕頭沙茶牛肉), “Old Cheng’s Noodle Shop” (老程麵店), “Stir-Fried Squid Soup” (生炒魷魚羹), “Chiayi Shredded Chicken On Rice” (嘉義雄雞肉飯), Sun Way Tofu Pudding (杉味豆花), “Shi Family Tangyuan” (施家湯圓; tangyuan are a type of rice-flour dumpling), “Daqiaotou Runbing” (大橋頭潤餅; runbing are steamed spring rolls) – and especially with “Hsinchu Swordfish Rice Noodles” (新竹旗魚米粉).

Sun Way Tofu Pudding
Sun Way Tofu Pudding

Most sellers of rice-noodle soup in Taiwan’s north use thick rice noodles in rice-noodle soup stock made with pork meat and innards. At “Hsinchu Swordfish Rice Noodles” (新竹旗魚米粉) on Section 3, Yanping North Road, and “Yongle Swordfish Rice Noodles” (永樂旗魚米粉) in front of Yongle Fabric Market (永樂布市), instead use soup made with seafood and Hsinchu-style thin rice noodles. There seems to be no special reason for this beyond individual custom. In south Taiwan almost all stock for rice-noodle soup is made with seafood, and there is a clear preference for thin rice noodles. In the north most sellers of rice-noodle soup also sell heibai qie (黑白切), meaning “assorted-cut foods” (already cooked and served fast), and use pork meat, innards, and soup bones to make their soup stock. “Dadaocheng Rice Noodle Soup” (大稻埕米粉湯) is a prime example.

Hsinchu Swordfish Rice Noodles is even better than its delicious competitor vendor located before Yongle Fabric Market. The swordfish, soup, and rice noodles are all comparatively more delicate and refined, enhancing and lightening the taste, in contrast to the heavier, stronger color and flavor of more commonly seen. A single fishball is also placed in a customer’s soup. The swordfish and fishball teamed in my bowl gives me a distinct feeling of pleasure. Fried treats are also quite compelling – I’m especially fond of the fried tofu, fried oysters, red yeast meat, and chicken rolls. Dalong Street Night Market’s Kuo Meals (郭記大塊肉羹), where the specialty is thick pork-meat soup, has a special place in my heart.

This article is from the Chinese-language book Savoring the Tastes of Old Taipei (味道臺北舊城區), published by the Department of Information and Tourism, Taipei City Government. Based on over 10 years of in-depth culinary research, writer Jiao Tong (焦桐) spent almost half a year walking the Bangka (艋舺), Dadaocheng (大稻埕), and Dalongtong areas, trying the food and drink at countless shops, finally deciding on the best 167 for presentation, taking armchair travelers on an exploration of Taipei’s old-time flavors.

Fried egg pancakes at Jinjin Soy Milk
Fried egg pancakes at Jinjin Soy Milk

Savoring the Tastes of Old Taipei

written by Jiao Tong / NT$250 / Chinese version is available at major bookstores

around Taiwan

Hsinchu Swordfish Rice Noodles


No. 83, Sec. 3, Yanping N. Rd., Datong Dist. (大同區延平北路3 段83 號)


A-Cong’s Daqiaotou Zongzi


No. 19-1, Sec. 3, Yanping N. Rd., Datong Dist. (大同區延平北路3 段19-1 號)


Sun Way Tofu Pudding


No. 56, Sec. 3, Yanping N. Rd., Datong Dist. (大同區延平北路3 段56 號)





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