One of the places I really enjoyed going to during our trip to Taipei last December was Ximending. During our first day in Taipei, this was our stop for the night, rain hampered our walking around and led to G exclaiming her dislike for Taipei which would completely change after the trip ended.
Ximending is known as both the “Harajuku” and “Shibuya” of Taipei, counterparts of the famous fashion districts in Tokyo. There’s a mix of shops, restaurants, street food, and also movie houses.
There is also a Ximending Pedestrian Area named Shimencho after an administrative area that existed during Japanese rule.
We also saw some street performers as well as artists in another part of Ximending.
On to the food,we saw this old lady pushing a cart with an assortment of skewered meat and seafood. You go up choose which one you want and shell grill it on the spot at the back of the cart. Having a limited amount of space in my tummy is a challenge since I have to choose only one stick to be able to eat the other stuff. I could not resist the Taiwanese meatball stick, it was brushed with a sweet savory sauce and was crisp to the bite.
The ultimate, not to be missed street food for me is the candied strawberries. 5 pieces of strawberries in a stick that the vendor coats in a thin layer of caramel. They also have tomatoes and plums, if I’m not mistaken. The strawberries are more expensive at 40NT (P60) while the other are sold at 30NT(P45). The strawberries are so good, Irene, G and I have a few sticks each. A tip is to pop one whole strawberry in your mouth before chewing, we learned this the hard way since the thin layer of coating will break apart easily and you’ll make a sticky mess.