Tuesday, June 05, 2012

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Nanya Night Market, Banqiao

6/05/2012 Taiwan Explorer

Nanya Night Market 南雅夜市 is a famous night market located in the part of Taipei, that calls itself "New". It's located right in the heart of Banqiao, one of Taipei's most populous new districts. This night market attracts a lot of people from close and afar due to the flattering reputation of being a gourmet's paradise. Let us figure out, if Nanya deserves this reputation.

MY IMPRESSION: The first thing that struck me about Nanya was the fact that it's crowded - very crowded. Although it's considered a "tourist" night market, it has a feel of a local night market... and you won't see many foreigners here like in Shida or Tonghua. The problem with this night market is it's shape. The main street is long and wide at first, but then it becomes narrower and that's where the crowds are the biggest - it's simply too small for the amount of people it tries to digest. A big part of the market are shops with clothes and accessories, a smaller part is dedicated to games - it's just your typical Taiwanese night market.

WHAT KIND OF FOOD IS COMMON: Food wise, you can find almost everything at Nanya, from traditional noodles, baozi and oyster omelette stands to modern day steak houses. The most prominent stall is Wang's sesame oil chicken soup 麻油雞湯 (máyóu jītāng), something I definitely recommend, if you come here, because it's famous. Aside from that, I have not really tried a lot of extraordinary food here - just your usual and quite nice Taiwanese street food.

MUST-TRY FOOD AT NANYA NIGHT MARKET: Must try would be the aforementioned sesame oil chicken soup, as well as all the milk bottle popcorn 奶瓶爆米花 (nǎipíng bàomǐhuā), which is very popular with the locals. Most xiao chi 小吃 are very tasty as well, you can hardly make a wrong choice.

Let me share our photos of Nanya Night Market from May 2011 with you:

The entrance to Nanya Night Market.

A sign with the name - so you don't miss it.

The first part is wide, it's easy to walk.

And then it gets more crowded.

We ordered a fried egg at this vendor.

It was super delicious, we chose ham and cheese and a little spice.

And suddenly it's really crowded! Phew...

Restaurants on the side are trying to attract hungry passers-by.

Wild hog meat sausage stall - looks yummy.

Cheap books were attracting readers.

Fried rice and noodles shop was quite crowded.

POPULAR STALL: MILK BOTTLE POPCORN

This is one of the most popular stalls here - those milk bottles are very popular.

They use a lot of butter for their popcorn. The portion with milk bottle cost 150 NTD.

The popcorn is very tasty. We bought it and took it home.

This is the narrow part, which I don't like too much - it's too crowded.

Marinaded chicken feet stall had some hungry mouths to feed.

This is one of the most famous traditional tea shops in Banciao.

You have to spend 200 NTD per person to drink tea here.

We walked further.

POPULAR STALL: WANG'S SESAME OIL CHICKEN SOUP 王麻油雞湯

One of the most famous stalls in Taipei. Check the bags full of used paper bowls.

The dish has a little unusual taste at first, but after a while you'll like it more and more.

Walking further we saw this vendor selling traditional wraps.

And this is shoppers' paradise some might think.

Before we left the night market, we treated ourselves some tasty drinks.

The banana and papaya milk were delicious.

And then it was time to say bye bye to Nanya... for now.

IN CONCLUSION: Nanya Night Market would not be among my favorite night markets in Taipei, but it's definitely a market with lots of history and buzz - one can't just dismiss it too easily. The food for me is average and above, which means it's good, but don't have too high expectations.

To find the night market, go to Fuzhong MRT Station and go out at Exit 1. About 10-15 min walk along Xingmin Boulevard and you'll reach the Nanya Road.

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