If you are travelling solo 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 places to eat in Taichung. But start early, especially if you want to sample some of the best food in Taichung. The food vendors close as soon as they run out of food.
Before you try some of Taichung must eat food
Before you visit the Second Market 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.
And here are additional travel tips for trying out all the must eat food at Taichung Second Market:
- Bring cash with you because all the vendors only take cash
- Some vendors will have English menus. But even if they don’t, they might have a photo menu so you can point and order your food.
- Purchase a rechargeable smartcard called EasyCard or iPass. Either card is good for taking public transportation in Taichung. You can get the rechargeable card at any major train station or convenience store in Taiwan.
Travelling through Taiwan? Learn how you can spend 3 weeks in Taiwan
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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 Second Market in Taichung
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 food in Taichung.
At the Second Market in Taichung, vendors line all the small corridors inside the market and around the perimeter too.
The majority of vendors sell cooked food—other food vendors selling fresh produce, including vegetables and fruits. And there are 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.
Second Market: where to find the best Taichung Food
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 and the best things to eat in this Taichung food market:
1. Arashi Braised Minced Pork Shop (嵐肉燥專賣店)
Hidden in one of the alleys in this Taichung food 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, many food vendors are 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!
4. Mei Jian Tea (小庭找茶)
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 Mei Jian Tea (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.
5. 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 Taichung must-eat dishes and satisfy all your food cravings.
I hope you enjoyed my post! And if you like it, share it and pin it to your Pinterest board!
There are so many more things to do in Taichung! Take a look at these posts on other Taichung attractions:
- Miyahara Taichung – delicious ice cream and chocolate in an old ophthalmology clinic
- Zhongshe Flower Market – see blooming flowers all year-round
- Gaomei Wetlands – day trip to the famous wetlands
- Carton King Creativity Park – a whimsical park with cardboard figurines
- Xinshe Sea of Flowers – seasonal flower market in Xinshe
- Xinshe Castle – a European-styled castle in Xinshe