Last Updated on November 27, 2020 by Queenie Mak
Dadaocheng is an area in Datong District in Taipei, Taiwan. As one of the oldest areas in Taipei, it is an important commerce centre for selling Taiwanese products like Chinese medicinal herbs, incenses, 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 revenue, making Dadaocheng an excellent distribution centre.
Today, Dihua Street (迪化街) is the oldest street in Taipei and the main avenue of Dadaocheng. Significant efforts were put in conservation in 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 all the things you can experience in Dadaocheng when you visit Taipei, Taiwan.
Related Post – Solo traveller’s guide to Taipei, Taiwan
What you need to know before visiting Dihua Street in Taipei
Before you visit Dadaocheng, take a 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, how to get around Taiwan and other travel tips.
Plus, I have a solo travel guide on Taipei for those of you who have never been to Taipei before.
Here are few additional tips for visiting Dihua Street in Dadaocheng:
- You can spend a few hours in the afternoon wandering in and out of shops along Dihua Street and the surrounding area.
- There are plenty of restaurants, cafes and coffee shops along Dihua Street
- It 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 custom 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 for you to enjoy your afternoon in Dadaocheng. Many shop owners speak a bit of English.
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How to get to Dihua Street in Dadaocheng
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 Street.
Alternatively, Beimen Station is the closest MRT station. From Beimen Station, walk north on Tacheng Street for 9 minutes.
Where to stay in Dadaocheng
It is not necessary to stay in or near 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:
- OrigInn Space ($$) – The quaint little hotel is in a historical building not far from Dihua Street. From entrance on 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
- We Come Hostel ($) – For a more affordable stay, choose a dormitory bed at a new hostel that is only a few minutes walk away from Dihua Street.
- Check prices & reviews: Agoda
What to do on Dihua Street?
From a cultural and historical perspective, there are a handful of attractions that you must visit when you are in Dadaocheng. Here are my top picks:
Taipei Xiahai City God Temple (台北霞海城隍廟)
Address: No. 61, Section 1, Dihua Street | Hours of Operation: 6:16 am to 7:47 pm
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.
There are many events throughout the year that will bring many people to Xiahai City God Temple. If you want to see the temple during a festival, visit during:
- The Lantern Festival (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 Recincarnation 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)
AMA Museum (阿嬤家-和平與女性人權館)
Address: No. 256, Section 1, Dihua Street | Hours of Operation: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm (closed Mondays & Tuesdays)
Ama Museum (阿嬤家-和平與女性人權館) is a one-of-a-kind museum that honours women during the time when the Japanese occupied Taiwan. Ama means grandmother in Hokkien (Chinese dialect) which refers to the grandmothers who comfort younger women during wartime.
Opened in 2016, the two-story museum has historical materials on the women’s rights movement and other cultural artifacts that have to do with women during World War II. The sombre reminder of what happened in the past is meant for healing for the future.
There is an onsite cafe that serves fair-trade coffee. And the museum shop sells consignment goods on behalf of local female entrepreneurs.
The entrance fee is NT$100.
URS127 Cultural Center (知識客廳)
Address: No. 127, Section 1, Dihua Street | Hours of Operation: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
URS127 Cultural Center (知識客廳) is a cultural centre in several heritage buildings. Don’t be fooled by the restored heritage building, the interior is quite modern.
At the time of 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. My guess is that the gallery space changes from time to time. If you do have a chance, pop into URS127 and see what is happening.
As of June 2020, the cultural centre is being renovated and will reopen in October.
Address: No. 103, Section 1, Dihua Street | Hours of Operation: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm (closed Tuesdays)
The original building was built in 1962 and was home of Guanghe Tang Chinese Medicine Shop.
Today, museum207 (迪化207博物館) utilizes all four floors of the heritage building to display the rich cultural history of Taiwan. The initiative started in 2017 and the hope is to inspire its visitors to learn more about Taiwan’s rich cultural history and to cherish historic buildings.
On each floor of the museum, you can see colourful nostalgic exhibits displaying the cultural history of Taiwan. And on the top floor, you can catch a glimpse of Dihua Street from above.
It is free to visit museum207.
Dihua Street Heritage Building (迪化街新天地)
Address: No. 366, Section 1, Dihua Street | Hours of Operation:
At the north end of Dihua Street, the Dihua Street Heritage Building (迪化街新天地) is a group of restored shophouses with an interior courtyard. The red brick buildings with uniform beautiful archways have several retail stores and is 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!
What to buy on Dihua Street?
As the main commercial centre in Taipei, there are plenty of things you can buy on Dihua Street. From Chinese medicine, Taiwanese tea, dried food to modern cultural products and nostalgic necessities that you can only find in Taiwan.
Dihua Street is especially popular during the lunar new year. Locals buy traditional new year food, snacks and other ingredients right before the new year.
Below are some of my favourite places to shop on Dihua Street.
Yongle Market (永樂市場)
Address: No. 103, Section 1, Dihua Street | Hours of Operation: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm (closed Sundays)
There are many things to see in Yongle Market (永樂市場). From fresh produce to food stalls, the market has plenty of things to see and to eat. More about the cooked food in the last section.
During the height of the textile industry, Yongle Market used to be the largest fabric distributor in Taiwan where over a thousand fabric stores occupy the market.
Today, you will find the majority of the textiles stores on the second floor where vendors sell fabric, their own creative products and anything that has to do with sewing.
Gao Jian Home Goods Store (高建桶店)
Address: No. 204, Section 1, Dihua Street | Hours of Operation: 9:00 am to 8:00 pm
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 of the 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!
Lao Mian Cheng Lantern Shop (老綿成燈籠店)
Address: No. 298, Section 1, Dihua Street | Hours of Operation: 9:00 am to 8:00 pm
At the north end of Dihua Street, there is a small shop selling paper lanterns called Lao Mian Cheng Lantern Shop (老綿成燈籠店). They sell paper lanterns in different sizes and shapes plus other knick knacks.
Even if you don’t buy anything, go have a look at the lanterns especially at the store front. I really love how the colourful lanterns add to the traditional architecture.
Address: No. 248, Section 1, Dihua Street | Hours of Operation: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm (Monday to Friday) & 9:00 am to 7:00 pm (Saturdays & Sundays)
There are three inBloom (印花作夥) stores all over Taipei and two of them are in Dadaocheng.
I especially love the store’s motto: “develop an eco conscious lifestyle inBloom’s printed fabric“. They make a many products that and support sustainability such as reusable shopping bags, water bottle holder, reusable utensils and many more.
Moreover, inBloom runs many arts and crafts workshops at their stores. If you understand Mandarin, it would be worthwhile to attend one of the creative workshops.
Fabric Store (欣合手創館)
Address: No. 10, Lane 32, Section 1, Dihua Street | Hours of Operation: 9:45 am to 6:00 pm (closed Sundays)
One of the many things Dadaocheng is known for is fabric stores. And while there are plenty of fabrics along Dihua Street and in Yongle Market, I really like this particular fabric store called 欣合手創館.
They sell fabric by the yard and products made with their own fabrics such as handbags, cosmetic bags and other creative things. Moreover, they made products that can help save the environment like reusable shopping bags, food/sandwich bags, and bubble tea cup holders!
Chinese Pharmacy (永盛藥行有限公司)
Address: No. 85, Section 1, Dihua Street | Hours of Operation: 9:00 am to 8:00 pm (Monday to Saturday) & 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (on Sundays)
永盛藥行有限公司 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…whatever it is you need to buy.
I think these medicinal stores are really interesting and really speaks about the theories and methodologies of Chinese medicine. Peek in and have a look and see what kinds of things people use for curing different types of illnesses.
Address: No. 67, Section 1, Dihua Street | Hours of Operation: 10:00 am to 7:00 pm
ArtYard (民藝埕) is a pottery store in the Old heritage residences on Dihua Street. The store has a collection of teapots, dishes, cups, and other ceramic goods.
The one-of-a-kind ceramic store is a great place for picking up unique souvenirs and supporting local artists and businesses.
What to eat on Dihua Street?
There are many local restaurants, food stalls, cafes and coffee shops along Dihua Street. If you want to try traditional local food, you are at the right place! See all my suggestions below.
Address: No. 226, Section 1, Dihua Street | Hours of Operation: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm (close Wednesdays)
Lao-A-Bei (老阿伯胖魷焿) is a causal restaurant and has been around since the 1960’s. It is popular with locals and there is always a long queue.
You must try the mixed thick soup with squid and fish ball which is what they are known for. You can get the soup as is, with noodles or with rice. It doesn’t matter which carb you choose, you only pay NT$80.
They also have braised pork rice other small dishes. The dishes are quite small so if you are hungry, you could order a thick soup and a braised pork rice.
Order and pay at the counter and they will bring you your food. The menu is in Chinese and English.
Summer Tree Sweet (夏樹甜品)
Address: No. 240, Section 1, Dihua Street | Hours of Operation: 10:30 am to 6:30 pm
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) for NT$80 or almond tofu ice dessert for NT$140. They are both refreshing – perfect for a hot summer day!
Lin Wu Hu Ancestral House / Chen-Wey Teahouse (林五湖命相館-林家祖厝)
Address: No. 156, Section 1, Dihua Street | Hours of Operation:
The Lin Wu Hu Ancestral House or Chen-Wey Teahouse (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 since 2012, the Lin family has been giving tours around their ancestral home. But unfortunately, the tour is in Mandarin.
Even if you cannot enjoy a free local tour, I would suggest to drop by to see the traditional architecture and enjoy some tea in an old tea house in Dadaocheng.
Hence Love tea house (恆樂茶空間工作室)
Address: No. 292, Section 1, Dihua Street | Hours of Operation: 12:30 pm to 6:00 pm
Unlike other tea houses on Dihua Street, Hence Love Tea House is a modern tea shop with modern and minimalist finishings.
Choose from over 40 types of teas like Sun Moon Lake black tea, Alishan Oolong tea and other tea that you can only find in Taiwan. Get a beautiful gift box for yourself or for your loved ones back home.
Japanese food (丸隆生魚行)
Address: No. 21, Section 1, Dihua Street | Hours of Operation: 10:00 am to 3:00 pm (close Mondays)
丸隆生魚行 is a popular Japanese restaurant known for quality fish and affordable prices. The small restaurant in Yongle Market attracts many locals and tourists and the queue starts at 10 am!
You have to spend NT$200 per person but you get unlimited miso soup. The board menu is in Chinese only 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.
Food vendors on Minle Street
Address: No. 3, Minle Street | Hours of Operation: 6:00 am to 1:00 pm
Besides all the restaurants and cafes along Dihua Street, there 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 food vendors serve other Taiwanese food like stinky tofu, milk tea and other local dishes.
They open at different times but generally open early and closes early.
Luguo Cafe (爐鍋咖啡)
Address: No. 103, 2nd floor, Section 1, Dihua Street | Hours of Operation: 11:00 am to 7:00 pm
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 5 shops in Taiwan but visit the one in Dadaocheng – I really like the interior!
Dadaochen Bubble tea shop (大盜陳茶飲)
Address: No. 217, Section 1, Dihua Street | Hours of Operation: 11:00 am to 6:00 pm
The list of places to eat on Dihua Street wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t include a bubble tea shop. Dadaochen is particularly good. They have lots of classic bubble tea flavours, different seasonal drinks and if you like cheese in your bubble tea, you must try one from Dadochen.
The main menu is in Chinese but the seasonal menu has English. Either way, there is an English menu on their website.
Mikkeller Bar Taipei (米凱樂啤酒吧)
Address: No. 241, Section 1, Dihua Street | Hours of Operation: 4:00 pm to 12:00 am (Monday to Thursday), 4:00 pm to 1:00 am (Fridays), 1:00 pm to 1:00 am (Saturdays), & 1:00 pm to 12:00 pm (Sundays) and closed every last Tuesday
Mikkeller Bar Taipei is a small bar with Scandinavian-inspired interiors in a historical building.
Mikkeller 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!
The bar has a casual atmosphere and is the perfect setting to unwind at the end of the day.
Will you visit Dihua Street in Dadaocheng next time you go to Taipei?
I hope you enjoyed reading my post about my favourite street in Taipei: Dihua Street! It has so much character and it’s definitely a highlight in Taipei. It doesn’t matter if you are not visiting during lunar new year because there is always something to do on Dihua Street and lots of thing to see.
And remember, these places are only a fraction of all the places on Dihua Street. There is so much to see and discover!
Let me know in the comments which attractions, restaurant or stores you like on Dihua Street!