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If you are travelling to Taichung, the second-largest city in Taiwan, then you must visit Taichung Second Market (台中第二市場店) as it is one of the best culinary highlights of the city.
The Second Market dates back to the Japanese Colonial Era, where it was once a gathering place for trading commodities. The marketplace was designed, so the buildings surround a hexagonal courtyard where goods were distributed.
Today, it is one of the best attractions in Taichung. But start early, especially if you want to sample some of Taichung’s best food. The food vendors close as soon as they run out of food.
Before you visit Taichung
Before you go to Taichung, take a look at my post on learning all my best tips for travelling to Taiwan. I included a lot of information, including getting a Taiwan prepaid SIM card, transportation around the country and more. And check out more tips on my solo travel guide to Taichung and learn about other attractions in Taichung.
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How to get to Taichung Second Market
Address: No. 87, Section 2, Sanmin Road, Central District, Taichung City, Taiwan 400
Hours of Operation: Tuesday to Sunday from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm
Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA)
- Take a train to Taichung Station
- From Taichung Station, walk north on Section 1, Taiwan Boulevard
- Time: 13 minutes
Taichung City Bus
- Take one of these city buses to Second Market Bus Stop
- Bus #5, 6, 8, 45, 48, 300, 301, 302, 303, 304, 305, 306, 307, 308, 309, 310, 326
- Cost: free if you use your EasyCard or iPass and your journey is within 10km
What is Taichung Second Market
Taichung Second Market takes up an entire city block between Sanmin Road, Section 1, Taiwan Boulevard, Xingzhong Street and Zhongshan Road.
There are storefronts around the perimeter of the building complex and even more retail stores along the interior corridors that resemble a maze.
With many access points into the market, you can easily find an entrance or exit to the market.
The corridors are quite confusing – some are linear paths and others zig-zag and crosses each other.
What you will find at Taichung Second Market
The Second Market is a place where locals hang out and eat. And not to mention thousands of tourists come through the market each day to sample the best cuisine in Taichung.
At the Second Market in Taichung, many cooked food vendors are selling their signature dishes, food vendors selling fresh produce including vegetables and fruits, coffee shops, clothing stores, tailors, other food stores selling snacks, and other retail stores selling different knick-knacks.
There is even an old temple in the middle of the marketplace, right next to the hexagonal courtyard.
What type of food you will find at Taichung Second Market
The Second Market is famous for many kinds of Taiwanese cuisine, including traditional breakfast food and lurou fan (魯肉飯), which is a braised pork in a soy sauce cooked with five spices and served over white rice.
Other types of food you will find at the market include soup noodles, dry noodles, Japanese food like sushi, noodle and soup, and also desserts like sweet tofu and tapioca.
One of the most famous cooked food stalls is 王家菜頭粿糯米腸 which is right at the south entrance of the market. They are renowned for their radish cake with a fried egg with a tangy sauce. I didn’t get to try this but pinned it on the map for you to find it.
Below are some of the places I tried at the Second Market in Taichung. I pinned these locations on the interactive map above.
Arashi Braised Minced Pork Shop (嵐肉燥專賣店)
Hidden in one of the alleys in Taichung Second Market, you will find the little restaurant called Arashi Braised Minced Pork Shop. They make a few signature dishes with their own Arashi sauce, a Taiwanese braised minced pork sauce, which is good with everything!
I ordered a combination soup with wonton, meat roll, fish ball and radish plus a bowl of sliced pork stew on rice. The portions are small (but most portions in Taiwan is quite tiny), which is great for me because I don’t eat that much. I was quite full after scarfing down the bowl of rice and soup. It was a very tasty meal!
If you fancy the sauce, you can buy them by the jar!
From the east entrance of Taichung Second Market, there are many food vendors set up in a big area. Basically, it looks like one big open kitchen with many cooked food stalls around.
This particular cooked food stall, 聰明擔仔麵, is on the left side as soon as you enter from the east entrance. I don’t believe they have an English name, but I found the Chinese name so you can find the cooked food stall.
They serve a variety of Taiwanese dishes included braised pork with rice, soup and various types of daily vegetables. Everything is pre-made, and they serve it to you right away.
I had the braised minced pork with rice and a small plate of vegetables for just NT$50!
When you enter Taichung Second Market from the east entrance, 山河魯肉飯 is a cooked food stall on the immediate right, across from the previous food stall mentioned above.
They also serve several braised pork dishes. They even have a photo menu showing you exactly what you will get. If you are like me, you can just point to the photo and order your food that way.
I had their famous braised pork with rice and a small plate of vegetables. The entire meal costs only NT$75!
They have many different types of conventional Taiwanese desserts, but the one that caught my eye was this one (pictured above).
It is called 凸餅冰淇淋 (it is the name of the cookie and ice-cream). The unique dessert at 小庭找茶 has vanilla ice-cream and chewy tapioca inside a traditional cookie made with brown sugar. The dessert is not too sweet, and it only costs NT$55.
Lai’s Tea Shop (老賴茶棧)
Enter the Taichung Second Market from the south side and find a couple of people standing around a stainless steel cart. That is Lai’s Tea Shop! The menu is above, but it is in Chinese. But I found their English menu online.
Order their famous black tea. It is not too sweet and super refreshing!
Are you including Taichung Second Market to your itinerary?
Well, you should! Because sampling Taiwanese food is one of the best highlights in Taichung. In one place, you can try many dishes and satisfy all your food cravings.
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Where to go in Taiwan
Wondering which city you should visit in Taiwan? Check out my solo traveller’s guides to the best cities to visit in Taiwan.