What to Do Around Taipei’s Ningxia Night Market

Posted April 17, 2017

Here’s what to see and where to go around Taipei’s Ningxia Night Market.

Taipei has become synonymous with a modern, futuristic idea of contemporary Asia. But some of its most appealing aspects have been around for decades. Take, for example, the Ningxia Night Market, which got its start more than 60 years ago as a shopping place for clothing and accessories. Today, it's strictly a food affair—a rare specialization in a country that's arguably the world's night market capital (there are at least 30 in Taiwan's northern half alone). Among more than 200 vendors, the specialty here is snacks from across the country. This is also one of Taipei's greenest markets: encouraging the use of eco-friendly chopsticks and utilizing an inceptor that keeps grease from entering sewage systems. Ningxia is a great place to anchor a full day exploring Taipei on foot, stopping at a few favorite spots within walking distance on the way to an evening of food exploration.

Start with a caffeine fix at Spot, an art house movie theater, café, and cinephile bookstore in the old U.S. ambassador’s residence, before heading to MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei), a modern art museum located in the old city hall. Next, travel back in time by continuing on to Lungshan Temple, the city’s most revered site, which has fantastically gilded and lacquered pillars and walls. For lunch, Din Tai Fung’s Nanjing West Road location is a must—it’s not the original (which is located across the Tamsui River in New Taipei City) but is one of the best outlets of the legendary dumpling chain. If you’re not feeling dumplings and noodles, try Bolero, established in 1934 as Taipei’s first Western-style restaurant that’s still popular today. Finally, stop by Red House Theater for an early evening tea. Built by the Japanese in 1908, the red-brick octagonal building is worth a visit for the architecture alone (and was recently renovated, like many old structures in Taipei). Stylishly dressed young people fill the café and independent shops on the first floor.

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