Looking for a sweet night out in Taipei that involves scrumptious food, style inspiration, and hanging out with young Taiwanese locals? We were when we explored the Daan area next to the National Taiwan Normal University and stepped into the Shida Night Market.
MaryJane Pizza: “Real dope, hand-tossed Italian pizza.”
Their words but we agree. It pains me to say this, but we’ve seen way too many places in Taiwan slapping the plastic wrapped American cheese singlets. It’s not okay. But, fear not! We’ve found you a place that uses real cheese to make really dope pizza.
On the way to the market from the MRT, take a pit stop at the trendy MaryJane Pizza (they’re tagline is “. Come hungry because you are about to get that perfectly crisped, REAL cheese, enough tomato sauce pizza craving satisfied. My mouth is watering writing this post. Quite honestly, MaryJane Pizza is the best we’ve had in our three months in Asia and I’d even choose to eat it back home (pizza is something NJ does really, really well).
The setting is a small pizza joint set up in a cafe style with one table for seating outside. It’s always packed and it closes early, so be sure to arrive early in the night or make a reservation. It’ll be worth the extra effort.
The English menu is creative and laid back in its names and descriptions, giving off a surfer vibe. Plus points. You can also build your own pizza. More plus points. We started with the bruschetta and followed it up with the Mary Jane pizza loaded with “shrooms guaranteed not to show up on any health tests” and real cheese -something we’ve been craving while being abroad here. This meal was incredible for our then tainted standards of Asian pizza.
Splitting the app and pizza with water were enough to fill us up for around $10USD total, which is a bargain for the taste and area. Plus, you get to eat where students and young locals eat, which is always a treat. If you want to go big or go home, you can also try one of their sweet pizza options like Pillow Fight, packed with bananas, chocolate, and marshmallows. Next time, MaryJane.
Shida Night Market: Hipsters & Grunge Shopping
After getting your grub on, keep walking down Lane 80 Shida Road and strut your stuff right into the Shida Night Market. Let the eye candy, punk inspired window shopping, and hipster watching take over.
The appeal of Shida Night Market is that it’s manageable and it has a young edge. Like other night markets in Thailand and Taiwan, it does get crowded, but the smaller size allows you to see it all before getting overwhelmed. It’s several city blocks long and rather than street stalls, Shida Night Market is made up of little shops boasting sweaters, shoes, beanies & snow hats galore, leggings, coats, accessories, and more. The prices aren’t dirt cheap, but are comparable to or cheaper than a H&M.
I also love how Shida brings the high school punk side back out of me. Think 90s grunge mixed with platform kicks. For more of an idea, check out my Boyish Chic wishlist inspired by the market. Eric and I joke that Taipei is home to the OH: the Original Hipster. I’m really inspired by the fashion here because people just wear whatever they want. Part of their outfit may be mainstream, but then it’s totally thrown off kilter with a Totoro backpack or anime eye contacts. It’s a refreshing change from seeing the usual back home in the US.
If you’re comfortable with crowds, Shida Night Market is a cozy, exciting way to be around student aged Taiwanese and get some sweet style inspiration. After the market, head over to 45 Bar – we haven’t been yet, but we hear it’s the dive bar local students and expats hit up.
Favorite kind of pizza – one, two, three, tell me below!
MaryJane Pizza Info
Website | Menu
Address: No. 33-9, Pǔchéng St, Daan District, Taipei City
Hours: M-Th: 12-3, 5:30-9:30PM, F-Su: 12-4, 5:30-9:30PM
Directions from Guting MRT: Take exit 3 and walk straight until you see a Mitsubishi Motors sign on your left side (you will pass a First Bank), and turn left onto this side street. Keep walking straight down this road (you will come to a 4 way point by the construction site near the beginning: take the 3rd road from the left side like you are continuing straight). Make a right at the next small intersection and you’ll see Mary Jane’s Pizza tucked away on the left.
Shida Night Market Info
MRT: Taipower Building Station or Guting
Location: Use Lóngquán St in Daan District as a jumping off point.
Time to spend: 1-2+ hours depending on how much you shop