Sat, Oct 04, 2008 - Page 16 News List

The faces and spaces of Shida

A mostly residential district between two of Taiwan’s premier universities, Shida offers a traditional morning market for locals and a lively night market for the university and office crowd

By Noah Buchan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Because Shida’s night market is close to a university that teaches Mandarin to international students, it is only natural that foreign restaurateurs are increasing their presence in the area. Biff’s Pitas at 9-3, Ln 49, Shida Rd (師大路49巷9-3號) makes tasty and inexpensive burritos and pitas using fresh ingredients. Walk two minutes south from Biff’s to 51, Yunhe Street (雲和街51號) and you’ll find Maryjane Pizza, which serves satisfying thin-crust pizza. There are even several burger joints, most notably KGB: Kiwi Gourmet Burgers, at 5, Ln 114, Shida Rd (師大路114巷5號), which also stocks an array of hard-to-find Antipodean beers and local microbrews. For dessert, check out Dancing Cows (搖滾牛冰淇淋), 66 Longquan St, (龍泉街66號) for its premium American-style ice cream sold in a huge array of flavors, of which I personally recommend Oreo.

By 8pm the narrow drag of Longquan Street starts to feel even narrower as young entrepreneurs flock to tiny rented street-side spaces and open large portmanteaus stuffed with scarves, watches, leather bags, purses and wallets.

At night people come to Shida’s markets to be seen as much as they do to shop and eat, and Shida park (師大公園), across from the market, is an ideal place in the evening to sit, chat and engage in some people-watching. On many weekends, space here is given over to vendors who sell anything from honey to books.

Facing the park and on the opposite side of Shida Road from the night market are two hangout spots where one can enjoy a glass of iced tea or pint of beer while sitting at a table outdoors or on a veranda. Roxy Jr, at 1, Ln 80, Shida Rd (師大路80巷1號); and Vino Vino, at 2, Ln 80, Shida Rd (師大路80巷2號), both offer great views of the park; and Jr is open 24 hours a day. Back on the night market side of Shida Road, Underworld (地下社會), in the basement at 45 Shida Rd (師大路45號), is a bar that has live bands on weekends and some weeknights.

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