Dadaocheng is an area in Datong District in Taipei, Taiwan. It is one of the oldest areas in the capital city and an important commerce centre for selling Taiwanese products like Chinese medicinal herbs, incense, fabrics, Taiwanese tea and other unique products found in Taiwan.
The surrounding neighbourhood is known as Dihua Street commercial loop (迪化街商圈), and it brings in more than 3 million USD in revenue, making Dadaocheng in Taipei an excellent distribution centre.
Today, Dihua Street (迪化街) is the oldest street in Taipei and the main avenue of Dadaocheng Taipei. Significant efforts were put into conserving the original architecture of the old shophouses, and many young cultural entrepreneurs brought new life into the restored spaces.
Dadaocheng is one of the top tourist attractions as Dihua Street has many things to do, buy and eat. Keep reading and learn about everything you can experience in Dadaocheng in Taiwan.
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What you need to know before visiting Dihua Street in Dadaocheng Taipei
Before visiting Dadaocheng in Taiwan, look at my post on everything you need to know before going to Taiwan. I included a lot of travel information, including how to get a Taiwan SIM Card and get around Taiwan and other travel tips.
Plus, I have a solo travel guide on Taipei for those who have never been to Taipei.
Here are a few additional tips for visiting Dadaocheng Taipei:
- The best time to visit Dihua Street in Dadaocheng is Friday or Saturday. Many eateries are closed Mondays, and other stores are closed on various days.
- Spend an entire day wandering up and down Dihua Street – there is a lot to see and do.
- Leave room in your stomach and try several food places. There are plenty of restaurants, cafes, teahouses, and coffee shops along Dihua Street.
- Dihua St is a good place to buy souvenirs, especially if you want to buy fabrics, local cultural goods, etc. As for the medicinal herbs, check with your country’s customs and import regulations, as you may or may not be able to bring the dried goods home.
- Some local workshops are conducted in Mandarin. But as a shopper, you don’t need to understand Mandarin. Many shop owners speak a bit of English.
How to get to Dihua Street in Dadaocheng Taipei
Dihua Street is in Datong District in Taipei. It is between Nanjing W Road and Minquan W Road.
The street is a 16-minute walk from Taipei Train Station. From the station, walk northwest until you reach Dihua St.
Alternatively, Beimen Station is the closest MRT station. From Beimen Station, walk north on Tacheng Street for 9 minutes.
Map of Dihua Old Street Taipei
I pinned all the best things to do in Dihua Street on the interactive map. Blue pins are activities on Dihua Old Street, green pins are all the shops, and red pins are all the places to eat.
I also included a few other things to do around the Dadaocheng area that are not on Dihua Street; the orange pins represent them.
Click on each individual pin to get more information, and look for the description below.
What to do on Dihua Street in Dadaocheng
From a cultural and historical perspective, there are a handful of attractions that you must visit when you are in Dadaocheng. All the things to do on Dadaocheng are pinned with a numbered blue pin.
1. Taipei Xiahai City God Temple (台北霞海城隍廟)
Built in 1856, Taipei Xiahai City God Temple (台北霞海城隍廟) is one of the oldest temples in Taiwan. Locals visit the temple and pray to the City God for a happy love life. Legend has it that the City God was selected from a mortal who was a standup citizen and an honourable, devoted official.
Moreover, the Wife of the City God is in the temple next to the City God. Married couples visit the pair of Gods and buy a pair of Fortune Shoes so they may be blessed with a happy family.
Many events throughout the year will bring many people to Xiahai City God Temple. If you want to see the temple during a festival, visit during:
- The Lantern Festival (the first full moon after the lunar new year)
- Lamp-Lighting ritual during City God’s birthday (January 10th of the lunar year)
- Xiahai City God Cultural Festival (May 13th – City God’s birthday)
- July Reincarnation Rite (July 26th to 28th)
- Birthday of the Wife of City God (September 4th of the lunar year)
- Deities arrival and departure (December 24th of the lunar year)
Address: No. 61, Dihua Street | Hours: 7am-7pm
2. Costume Rental (貳零年華 salon 1920s)
One of the most unique things to do on Dihua Street is to rent a cheongsam (traditional Chinese dress) and take photos along the oldest street in Taipei. The outfit and the setting make it feel like you returned to the 1920s.
At Costume Rental (貳零年華 salon 1920s), you can rent a traditional Chinese dress, get your hair and make-up done, and have a photography session. Book ahead, especially if you have limited time in Taipei.
Address: No. 87, Dihua Street | Hours: 10am-6pm
3. Cheng Lu Tong (埕樂通)
Cheng Lu Tong (埕樂通) is a cultural centre in several heritage buildings. Don’t be fooled by the restored heritage building; the interior is quite modern.
It is part of the Urban Regeneration Station (URS), and this location is referred to as URS127. And during my visit, the cultural centre had a small gallery of portrait paintings. Even though the space is quite small and narrow, it is enough to display the creativity of each piece of artwork.
The cultural center changes exhibitions from time to time. Pop into the renovated space and see what is happening. It is free!
Address: No. 127, Dihua Street | Hours: 10am-6pm (closed Mondays)
4. Lin Wuhu Fate Gallery – Lin Family Ancestral House (林五湖命相館-林家祖厝)
The Lin Wuhu Fate Gallery-Lin Family Ancestral House (林五湖命相館-林家祖厝) is Dihua Street’s oldest shophouse. The tea house is in traditional Minnan (south Fujian) architecture.
Opened in 2012, the Lin family has been giving tours around their ancestral home on the weekends. But unfortunately, the tour is in Mandarin.
Even if you cannot enjoy a free property tour, you can still go inside the heritage building and look around independently.
Address: No. 156, Dihua Street | Hours: weekends
5. Dihua Street Heritage Building (迪化街十連棟)
At the north end of Dihua Street, the Dihua Street Heritage Building (迪化街十連棟) is a group of restored shophouses with an interior courtyard. The red brick buildings with uniform beautiful archways have several retail stores and are an excellent spot for taking Instagram photos.
There is a feeling of nostalgia in the restored heritage building. It almost feels like you’re back in Taiwan in the 1800s, where Dadaocheng was a thriving commercial hub. It is worth visiting!
Address: No. 362, Dihua Street | Hours: 11am-9pm
5. Design and Architecture of Dihua Street
You cannot walk up and down Dihua Street and not notice the design and architecture of the old street. Many buildings are old, which gives off a retro-vintage vibe. Other buildings are new but made to look old.
Also, take a look at the floor and ceiling details. Everything is done meticulously and with purpose.
I love the look and feel of the old street, which is why I return to Dihua Street every time I’m in Taipei.
Address: Dihua Street | Hours: 24 hours
What to buy on Dihua Street in Dadaocheng
As the main commercial centre in Taipei, there are plenty of things you can buy on Dihua Street. From Chinese medicine, Taiwanese tea, and dried food to modern cultural products and nostalgic necessities you can only find in Taiwan.
Dihua Street is especially popular during the lunar new year. Locals buy traditional new year’s food, snacks and other ingredients right before the new year.
Below are some of my favourite places to shop on Dihua Street, and each shop is pinned with a green numbered pin on the interactive map.
1. Manoirs (漫花時)
Starting at the south end of Dihua Street, many shops and cafes are lining the west side of the street. The one that really caught my eye was Manoirs (漫花時), a fabric store selling many Taiwanese print fabrics.
The store also sells products made with typical Taiwanese prints, such as aprons, cheongsam (traditional Chinese dress) and more.
They also sell other fabric prints and Chinese desserts. That is a weird combo, but the displayed fabrics were the retail space’s highlight.
Address: No. 8, Dihua Street | Hours: 10am-6:30pm
2. Yongle Market (永樂市場)
There are many things to see and eat at Yongle Market (永樂市場).
On the first floor, many food options exist, including fresh produce, prepared food and Japanese food stalls. More on that later.
And during the height of the textile industry, Yongle Market used to be the largest fabric distributor in Taiwan, where over a thousand fabric stores occupied the market. Many of these stores are on the second floor of this Dihua Street market, where vendors sell fabric and their own creative products.
Address: No. 21, Dihua Street | Hours: 10am-6pm (closed Sundays)
3. ArtYard (民藝埕)
ArtYard (民藝埕) is a pottery store in a heritage house on Dihua Street. The store has a collection of teapots, dishes, cups, and other ceramic goods.
The one-of-a-kind ceramic store is great for picking up unique souvenirs while supporting local artists and businesses. There is also a wonderful teahouse on the second floor, which I will explain in the next section.
Address: No. 67, Dihua Street | Hours: 10am-6:30pm
4. Huang Yu Sheng (黃裕生藥行)
Huang Yu Sheng (黃裕生藥行) is a Chinese pharmacy selling medicinal products and dried goods. But out of all the medicinal stores on Dihua Street, I like this one the most for its tea selection.
They sell many types of individually packaged tea where you can pick and choose different flavours. This is the perfect souvenir to bring home, as Dadaocheng is the best place to buy dried goods and tea.
Address: No. 93, Dihua Street | Hours: 9am-5:30pm Monday to Friday; 9am-6pm Saturday to Sunday
5. Gift Shop (梁山泊壹零捌｜台灣文創小百貨)
There are many gift shops on Dihua Street, but the one I like the most is 梁山泊壹零捌｜台灣文創小百貨.
They sell many Taiwan-made products and excellent souvenir items, including bubble tea carrier bags and holders, products with a Taiwanese theme or print, and more.
Even if you are someone who doesn’t like shopping (i.e. me), there is so much to see. I think I spent over half an hour in this store alone.
Address: No. 108, Dihua Street | Hours: 10am-7pm Monday to Friday; 9:30am-7:30pm Saturday to Sunday
6. Gao Jian Home Goods Store (高建桶店)
I had the most fun looking through Gao Jian Home Goods Store (高建桶店). The mom-and-pop stores sell all kinds of nostalgic household items and kitchenware. From woven bags to baskets to anything made with bamboo, there is so much to see that most items are spilling out of the store!
What caught my eye was the display of shopping bags. The store has a big selection of retro Taiwanese-style shopping bags. I love the vintage feeling of these bags. And they are very affordable too!
Address: No. 204, Dihua Street | Hours: 9am-7pm
7. Chinese Pharmacy (山水行)
山水行 is one of many Chinese pharmacies on Dihua Street. The area is known for selling medicinal herbs, so this would be an ideal place to pick up dried goods.
But for someone, like me, who doesn’t know much about medicinal herbs, I did find something I like: seedless dried plum. I always look for these in Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore. The Chinese grandma in me loves this! Ha!
Even if you are not into alternative medicine, these medicinal stores are really interesting. Peek in and see what kinds of things people use to cure different types of illnesses.
Address: No. 208, Dihua Street | Hours: 9am-7pm
8. inBloom (印花作夥)
inBloom (印花作夥) sells many handmade one-of-a-kind products like reusable shopping bags, water bottle holders, and many more. Plus, all the products promote sustainability, which aligns with their motto: “develop an eco-conscious lifestyle inBloom’s printed fabric“.
Moreover, inBloom runs many arts and crafts workshops at its stores. If you understand Mandarin, attending one of the creative workshops would be worthwhile.
Address: No. 248, Dihua Street | Hours: 10am-6pm
9. Yongxing Farm Tools Factory (永興農具工廠)
Yongxing Farm Tools Factory (永興農具工廠) sells products that are made with wood, bamboo or iron. In this millwork shop, you can find wooden plates and utensils, cast iron pans, iron kettles, bamboo steamers, cleavers, and so much more.
I’m mostly impressed by how neatly everything is displayed in this 80+-year-old store. All the merchandise is skillfully displayed in the rustic interior. Plus, the prices are quite good too.
Address: No. 288, Dihua Street | Hours: 8:30am-6:30pm
10. Lao Mian Cheng Lantern Shop (老綿成燈籠店)
At the north end of Dihua Street, there is a small shop selling handmade lanterns called Lao Mian Cheng Lantern Shop (老綿成燈籠店). They sell paper and fabric lanterns in different sizes and shapes, plus other knickknacks.
Even if you don’t buy anything, look at the lanterns, especially at the storefront. I really love how the colourful lanterns add to traditional architecture.
Address: No. 298, Dihua Street | Hours: 9:30am-7:30pm
What to eat on Dihua Street in Dadaocheng
Many local restaurants, food stalls, cafes, teahouses and coffee shops line both sides of Dihua Street. If you want to try traditional Taiwanese food, you are in the right place! And there are many places to drink coffee, tea and alcoholic beverages. See my suggestions below and the red numbered pins on the interactive map for more info.
1. Mikkeller Bar Taipei (米凱樂啤酒吧)
Mikkeller Bar Taipei is a small bar with Scandinavian-inspired interiors in a historical building.
The bar has many draft beers on tap, including beers shipped from Mikkeller in Europe and local Taiwanese breweries. And what is special about the bar is that they also serve cold brew Taiwanese tea on tap. How cool!
And the bar serves some Taiwanese snacks, including gua bao (steamed bun with pork), braised foods and Taiwanese popcorn chicken.
Address: No. 241, Dihua Street | Hours: 4pm-12am Tuesday to Thursday; 4pm-1am Friday to Saturday; 2pm-10pm Sundays (closed Mondays)
2. Food vendors on Minle Street
Besides all the restaurants and cafes along Dihua Street, there are a few food vendors just east of Dihua St on Minle Street, just south of Yongle Market. These vendors serve several Taiwanese classic dishes.
民樂旗魚米粉 is a food stall that serves homemade swordfish and rice noodles, crispy red braised pork, fried shrimp and fried oysters. They have an English menu with photos.
Other vendors serve Taiwanese food like stinky tofu, milk tea and other local dishes.
They open at different times but generally open early and close early.
Address: No. 3, Minle Street | Hours: 6am-1pm
3. Japanese food (丸隆生魚行)
丸隆生魚行 is a popular Japanese food stall known for quality and affordable prices. The small restaurant inside Yongle Market attracts many locals and tourists, and the queue starts at 10 am!
You must spend NT$200 per person, but you get unlimited miso soup. The board menu is in Chinese, but they have an English menu too. Just ask to see one.
And if the queue is too long, there are several other Japanese restaurants in Yongle Market as well.
Address: Floor 1 Yongle Market, No. 21, Dihua Street | Hours: 9am-3pm (close Mondays)
4. Luguo Cafe (爐鍋咖啡)
Luguo Cafe at Art Yard is a cozy coffee shop with an eclectic vintage interior. And they brew specialty coffees and serve homemade desserts.
There are five shops in Taiwan but visit the one in Dadaocheng – I really like the interior! Plus, you can see Dihua Street from the second floor if you get a table by the window.
Address: 2nd floor, No. 1, Dihua Street | Hours: 10:30am-6:30pm
5. South Street Delight Tea House (南街得意)
If you are keen to try tea at a traditional teahouse on Dihua Street, look for South Street Delight Tea House (南街得意), which is just above ArtYard.
Once seated, they will bring samples of different Taiwanese and other teas to smell. Choose a tea based on the fragrance or from the description on the menu.
I tried Jinxuan Oolong and Taiwan Assam Black Tea from Sun Moon Lake. I like the Oolong tea a bit more because there is a hint of Osmanthus. The cookies, traditional sweets and dried fruits are included in the price.
Best of all, the teahouse interior is beautifully decorated with retro-vintage furniture. Try to get the table next to the window.
Address: 2nd floor, No. 67, Dihua Street | Hours: 10am-6:30pm
6. Du Hsiao Yueh Taipei Dihua Branch (度小月台北迪化店)
The first Du Hsiao Yueh restaurant started in Tainan in 1895, and I tried it a couple of years ago in Tainan and knew I had to have their famous noodles again.
The Du Hsiao Yueh Taipei Dihua Branch (度小月台北迪化店) has a similar interior to the ones in Tainan. Part of their kitchen is in the dining room, which is both functional and entertaining.
I ordered their signature Danzai noodles (minced meat and shrimp with yellow noodles) and braised pork with rice. And I even had the braised meatball too. The food portion is small, so you can order a few things to try.
Address: No. 112, Dihua Street | Hours: 11:30am-9pm Monday to Friday; 11am-10pm Saturday and Sunday
7. Lao-A-Bei (老阿伯胖魷焿)
Lao-A-Bei (老阿伯胖魷焿) is a causal restaurant and has been around since the 1960s. It is popular with locals, and there is always a long queue.
You must try the mixed thick soup with squid and fish balls, which they are known for. You can get the soup as is, with noodles or with rice.
They also have braised pork rice and other small dishes. The dishes are quite small, so you could order a thick soup and braised pork rice if you are hungry.
Order and pay at the counter; they will bring you your food. The menu is in Chinese and English.
Address: No. 226, Dihua Street | Hours: 9:30am-5pm (close Wednesdays)
8. Dadaochen Bubble tea shop (大盜陳茶飲)
The list of places to eat on Dihua Street wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t include a bubble tea shop. And Dadaochen Bubble tea shop (大盜陳茶飲) is particularly good.
They have many classic bubble tea flavours and different seasonal drinks, and if you like cheese in your bubble tea, you must try one from Dadochen.
Moreover, they sell handmade sugar cake in front of the bubble tea shop. I’ve seen the cart on the weekends and they sell out quickly.
Address: No. 217, Dihua Street | Hours: 11am-6pm
9. Summer Tree Sweet (夏樹甜品)
Summer Tree Sweets is one of several Taiwanese dessert shops on Dihua Street selling delicious sweet douhua (tofu pudding) desserts.
Get a red bean with almond tofu (my favourite) or an almond tofu ice dessert. They are both refreshing – perfect for a hot summer day!
Address: No. 240, Dihua Street | Hours: 10:30am-6:30pm
10. Almond tea street vendor
There is a street vendor selling almond tea, 麵茶 (translation: noodle tea) and other types of drinks during the weekends in Dadaocheng. He moves up and down Dihua Street, so if you are lucky, you will run into him on Saturday or Sunday.
His famous drink is a mixture of almond, milk, and noodle tea powder. The powder mixture is put in a bowl, then cold or hot water is added. Stir the mixture into a doughy liquid and drink it with a spoon or straight from the bowl.
It tastes like a roasted tea but with a thick consistency. This is a pretty popular drink, and it only costs NT$50.
If you happen to see this vendor and try the signature tea, let me know in the comments if you like it.
Address: Dihua Street | Hours: weekends only
Other things to do and eat in Dadaocheng Taiwan
1. Dadaocheng Pier Plaza (大稻埕碼頭)
The Dadaocheng Pier Plaza (大稻埕碼頭) has several food hawker stalls set up in shipping containers right by the Tamsui River. Locals and tourists love this spot – it is a popular hangout at night. And on weekends, the area is even crowdier, especially with live music.
But there’s not much to do during the day. On weekends, locals catch the ferry to Tamsui, a popular day trip destination from Taipei, to avoid the MRT crowd.
Check out the lively wharf if you are in Datong District in the evening. It is only a 5-minute walk from the south end of Dihua Street.
Address: Yanping Riverside Park, Datong District | Hours: 4pm-12am Monday to Friday; 12pm-12am Saturday to Sunday
2. Showa Ice Cream (昭和浪漫洗濯屋_霜淇淋專賣店)
Not far from Dihua Street is a very Instagrammable dessert shop called Showa Ice Cream (昭和浪漫洗濯屋_霜淇淋專賣店).
From the outside, it looks like you are somewhere in Japan because of its vintage Japanese vibe. And inside, the shop has a nostalgic interior with retro furniture.
They are known for their shaved ice mountain and ice cream. If you can’t make it to this one, they also have another dessert shop in Da’an.
Address: No. 3, Anxi St, Datong District | Hours: 12:30-6pm Monday to Friday; 11:30am-6pm Saturday and Sunday (closed Thursdays)
3. Dadaocheng Cisheng Temple (大稻埕慈聖宮天上聖母)
The original Dadaocheng Cischeng Temple (大稻埕慈聖宮天上聖母) was located closer to Dihua Street, but it was torn down to build urban streets. In 1910, the temple was rebuilt at its current location using the original pillars and stones to preserve the original look and feel of the old temple.
Many people visit the temple today because of its relaxing atmosphere and local Taiwanese food. If you haven’t eaten, enjoy a meal al fresco style under the banyan trees.
Address: No. 17, Lane 29, Bao’an Street, Datong District | Hours: 7am-6pm
Dadaocheng Old Street: where to stay
You don’t have to stay on Dihua Street or in Dadaocheng as public transportation in Taipei is quite good. And there are plenty of excellent accommodations in Taipei for solo travellers all over the city.
However, there are two places I would recommend if you do want to stay near Dihua Street:
- We Come Hostel ($) – choose a dormitory bed at this nearby hostel which is only a few minutes’ walk away.
- Check prices & reviews: Agoda
- OrigInn Space ($$) – The quaint little hotel is in a historic building at the south end of Dihua Street. From the entrance to the ground floor retail store to all the guest rooms, retro finishings and Scandinavian-inspired furnishings are used throughout the space.
- Check prices & reviews: Agoda
Want to join a tour in Taipei Taiwan?
What will you do and see on Dihua Street in Dadaocheng Taipei?
I hope you enjoyed reading my post about my favourite street in Taipei: Dihua Street! It has so much character and is definitely a highlight in Taipei. It doesn’t matter if you are not visiting during the lunar new year because there is always something to see on Dihua Street and lots of things to do.
And remember, these places are only a fraction of all the places in Dadaocheng Taiwan. There is so much to see and discover!
Let me know in the comments which attractions, restaurants or stores you like on Dihua Street!
Thank you for reading my Dadaocheng Taipei post
You might also like these other posts on solo travel in Taiwan:
Introduction to Taiwan
- Things to know before visiting Taiwan
- How and where to buy a Taiwan prepaid SIM card
- How to spend 3 weeks in Taiwan
- 22 must-eat food in Taiwan
- Top 10 must-try Taiwan 7-11 Food
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- Where to stay in Taipei for solo travellers
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- Kimpton Da’an Hotel: best luxury boutique hotel in Taipei