Taichung's traditional markets:
A one-stop destination for fresh
fruit and vegetables
Words by Daniel White and Uvia Chang
Translated by Angela Cheng
Traditional markets are an essential part of Taiwanese life and are filled with fresh fruit, vegetables, fish and other seafood, plus delicious snacks, light meals and inexpensive clothes. These are found in morning and evening markets, well-known to many local residents but often hidden from newer arrivals.
Located near the train station, Jianguo Market is Taichung's biggest morning market, has about 2,000 vendors, and is most famous for its dried foods. Located on ZhongQing Road, the Shuinan Market is a favorite among mothers looking for fruits, vegetables and produce that are cheaper, yet renowned as being fresher than other locations. The snack vendors hidden on alleys here for decades are well-known spots for good traditional eats.
At the LiaoNing and ChongDe 2nd roads intersection is New Yi-Dian-Li Evening Market where, besides meat and vegetables, there are some cooked foods, allowing you to take a table's worth of delicious entrees home for dining. If you want quality fruit gift boxes, Second Market on SanMin Road is a good option that offers many seasonal Japanese and South Korean imported fruits.
Dongxing Market is a large morning market located in North district at the TaiPing Road-WuShun Street intersection. Along its many alleys and streets are fresh vegetables straight from the farm as well as pork and chicken that looks like it was oinking/clucking last night, plus fresh-caught fish and other very cheap items.
In West district, extending from the northeastern stretch of XiangShang Road, Sec. 1 and intersection with HuaMei Street is a much smaller morning market that still offers abundant products, sold under covered alleyways that keep shoppers comfortable even when it's raining. You can get whole chickens for NT$200-400, with free-range chickens usually NT$250. Fruit/vegetables are usually under NT$100, and green onions, radishes, green peppers, celery and other green vegetables are generally under NT$50. Fish prices mostly depend on the type and size, but are usually very reasonable.
For those unable to wake up before noon or busy at work, there are many evening markets in the city that generally provide the same products, including one in North district at the HanKou Road, Sec. 4 and SuiYuan Road intersection which opens around 3 p.m. A bit to the north in Beitun district, there is also a market at the intersection of ChongDe 5th Road and HeBei Road, Sec. 3.