Specialties you shouldn’t miss at Taiwan’s famous night market

People queue to wait for their turn to get a bowl of "standing noodles" at Taipei's Ximending night market - Photo: Dong Nguyen/ Tuoi Tre News

The ‘standing noodles’ and bitter melon juice at Taipei’s Ximending night market will not let you down

One of the most famous night markets in Taipei, the Ximending night market is not only a shopping heaven for tourists looking for souvenirs, but also a place where diners can find an impressive array of local foods.

One of the Ximending specialties not to be missed is the “standing noodles,” aka Ay-Chung Flour Rice Noodle.

The noodle stall earned its nickname because of the long lines of diners who queue to wait for their turn to get a bowl of noodles every night.

Those who are willing to queue for the dish either continue to stand while enjoying it, or take it away, as there is no table service at the stall.

The Ay-Chung Flour Rice Noodle stand is open between 9:00 am and 10:30 pm Monday to Thursday, and runs until 11:00 pm on the remaining days, serving bowls of noodles at TWD50 (US$1.6).

Staff is always busy serving the noodle - Photo: Dong Nguyen/ Tuoi Tre News
Staff is always busy serving the noodle. Photo: Dong Nguyen/Tuoi Tre News

With the simple components of noodles, brown gravy and pig (or cow) intestines, the dish is surprisingly delicious to many tourists.

Seventy five percent of more than 1,000 TripAdvisor members rated Ximending noodles either very good or excellent.

A bowl of Ay-Chung flour rice noodle - Photo: Dong Nguyen/ Tuoi Tre News
A bowl of Ay-Chung flour rice noodles. Photo: Dong Nguyen/Tuoi Tre News

U.S. blogger Mark Wiens, founder of the travel-for-food blog Migrationology, called the stand a “legendary Taiwanese Street Food in Ximending.”

Another specialty of the crowded night market is bitter melon juice.

While the juice is sold in multiple locations around the city, according to some locals, it is most famous at Ximending.

The bitter melon used for the drink is surprisingly bigger than the usual variety, and has a white skin, not green.

Customers must also wait in line for their chance to buy a cup of cool, sweet-tasting light bitter melon for TWD65.

Ximending is also the place to find Taiwan’s famous pineapple cookies, cheese cake, milk tea, and smelly tofu.

People wait in line to uy bitter melon juice at Ximending - Photo: Dong Nguyen/ Tuoi Tre News
People get in line to buy bitter melon juice at Ximending. Photo: Dong Nguyen/Tuoi Tre News
People buy bitter melon juice at Ximending - Photo: Dong Nguyen/ Tuoi Tre News
People buy bitter melon juice at Ximending. Photo: Dong Nguyen/Tuoi Tre News
A vendor sells smelly tofu at Ximending night market - Photo: Dong Nguyen/ Tuoi Tre News
A vendor sells smelly tofu at the Ximending night market. Photo: Dong Nguyen/Tuoi Tre News
A close-up to the smelly tofu - Photo: Dong Nguyen/ Tuoi Tre News
A close-up of the smelly tofu. Photo: Dong Nguyen/Tuoi Tre News
Crowded Ximending at night - Photo: Dong Nguyen/ Tuoi Tre News
Crowded Ximending at night. Photo: Dong Nguyen/Tuoi Tre News
A milk tea shop in Ximending has its menu in Vietnamese - Photo: Dong Nguyen/ Tuoi Tre News
A milk tea shop in Ximending has its menu in Vietnamese. Photo: Dong Nguyen/Tuoi Tre News