Taiwan’s xiaochi (小吃)—often found in night markets—fully showcase local customs and dietary culture, presenting a range of special features and flavors from north to south. Truly local tastes are found among those dishes served up in markets, streets and alleys. The fusion of ethnic groups has brought innovation to traditional snacks, creating new favorites while bringing fresh life to old standbys.

Night market foods mostly originated with peddlers canvassing the streets selling old-time snacks, local specialties, hometown-style dishes, seafood and mountain products. As an island with a congenial climate, Taiwan is rich in food resources, and the use of locally available ingredients has thus become a main feature of Taiwanese snacks.

In fact, snack stalls on the street, in night markets, bazaars and near schools have gradually become popular destinations for Taiwanese people during their leisure hours and for foreign tourists who would like to savor Taiwan’s local culture.

To really learn about night market foods, take a snack-hunting trip to different night markets and bazaars, where you can taste a wide variety of fine foods and experience the warm hospitality of the local people.