At the other end of 士林夜市 is 大东路 and its intersecting alleys, which make up the shopping belts of Shilin Night Market. The items sold here cater mainly to girls, with shoes, clothing and accessories making up most of the legal stores. Unless its priced really high, haggling will only yield you minimal reductions.
Why do I say legal? Because there are illegal vendors lined up at the middle portion of the streets. Their disappearing acts are amazing at the sight of policeman patrols, which they will rather lose your business even if they are near to closing it, only to appear back at the same spot 10 minutes later. Really, there are no intentions to detain anyone, but merely routine rounds to keep rent-paying vendors happy!
Along these streets there will be little pushcarts selling snacks as well. From roasted sweet potatoes to chewy mochis, these are perfect to nibble on while exploring the shops!
A bigger, concentrated food bazaar will be at the open area in front of 阳明戏院, along 文林路. Here you can find the franchise store of the famous chicken cutlet, as well as other snacks like Indian erm, flying bread (looks like a cross between naan and prata)?
Grilled Pork Roll with Spring Onion (NT10/piece ~ SGD0.45)
I kind of regretted not trying this, because I thought the taste of lightly grilled spring onion will still be too raw for me. Then again, it shouldn't be that bad given the long queue and heck, it was only less than 50cents per piece! Darn..
If you want to find a proper place to sit down for a meal, there's plenty of choices too. Grills and steamboats are hot favourites in the cold cold weather! I spied this fuss-free steakhouse with an affordably priced menu and no additional taxes whatsoever!
生煎包 (Pan-fried Pork Bun) (NT10/piece)
This store is apparently quite established among the locals, luring the Shanghainese in me to try it out! While the meat filling was indeed very tasty and juicy, the bun's bottom was a letdown as it wasn't crispy enough and somewhat left cold in the open air.
Feeling queasy after all that heaty snacks? Why not grab some fresh fruits? I think strawberries and cherries were in the season as they were wonderfully sweet and juicy, unlikely to have anything to do with sugar syrup or artificial sweeteners!
Shilin Night Market is only one of Taipei's many night markets but definitely among the most comprehensive ones, catering to both feasting and shopping. But that doesn't mean the other night markets don't have their own specialty, I still have a few more to share!
士林夜市 Outdoor Shopping Zone Consists of 大东路, 文林路 and a few other alleys
Directions: Same as previously but this time, turn right after crossing the road from 剑潭 MRT station, and you will need to cross the road again. Keep walking straight and you should hit the junction turning into 大东路 on your left within 5 minutes. (Actually if you looked at the map, you could simply cross diagonally from the MRT side, but I don't want to confuse you too much)