Taipei Cafes

@AllisterChang

Thanks!

Thanks for following me as I’ve explored cafés in Taipei this past year!  It’s been fun!  

I’m proud to say that this blog has been cited in Fodor’s, BBC, and Passport Magazine, as well as an earlier mentioned appearance on Radio Taiwan International.

I’m back in Maryland now, so won’t be adding new posts until I come back (hopefully sooner rather than later).  In the meantime, I hope the Google Map I’ve made will continue to be a good reference!

For the next few months, I’ll be hanging around DC before I move back up to Boston for graduate school.

Allister

Eudora 

I promised I wouldn’t post about Eudora until the friend who introduced me to Eudora left Taipei.  She said she didn’t want any new customers stealing her regular corner seat at the window.  She looked so comfortable there with her laptop and a cushion behind her back.

Danshui, at the northmost end of the red line, has the feeling of a small town, with a great view of both oceans and mountains.  Eudora embodies this coziness, with rows of pansies blossoming outside the windows, and simple wooden furniture.  The owner also very clearly takes precious care in making his coffee, so only ask about his philosophy on brewing if you have plenty of time to spare.

Address: No. 6, Lane 37, Gōngmíng St, Danshui District
Tel: 02 2622 7270

Le Park Café / 公園咖啡館

A classic style café of wood, marble, books, & trinkets…

& if I do say so myself, an attractive crowd of artists.

Address: No. 146號, Liáoníng Street, Zhongshan District
Tel: 0227198880
Closest MRT: Nanjing East Road Station
Price: ~ NTD $120 / drink
Hours: 13:00 - 23:00 from Sunday to Thursday; 13:00 - Midnight on Fridays and Saturdays

Noise Kitchen

Photos don’t do this café justice.  Attached to the Taipei Digital Arts Center, Noise Café is a musical playground.  The tables are xylophones and the drawers are accordions.  Along the walls, different sizes and shapes of bottles, glasses, and bowls are connected to a small keyboard.  Each bottle corresponds to a note on the keyboard!  (The Taiwan Beer Bottle plays a D sharp).  

At the counter where you order and pay, they’ve set up a game called “Tea Time.”  ”Tea” is a pun for 踢, which means “kick” in Mandarin.  Kick a block of wood on the floor to turn the clock back a few minutes, and extend your afternoon tea break.

I won’t spoil the fun of exploring the other musical games hidden throughout the café.  Just know that there’s even a noisy way to interact with the pet fish.

If you can’t visit in person, click here to control some of the percussions in the café from the web.  If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

Address: No. 180, Fúhuá Rd, Shilin District
Tel: 0277360708
Website: http://noisekitchen.tw
Price: ~$120/drink

Wistaria Tea House

Arguably the tea house in Taipei.  The 1920s Japanese style building was not only the Governor-General of Taiwan’s residence during Japanese rule, but also featured in An Lee’s film Eat Drink Man Woman.  

There are tables with chairs at the front, and tatami mats with pillows in the back.  The menu is stocked with specialty Taiwanese teas that the owner personally selects, with pricing starting at NTD$220 a pot.  The servers will give you a brief demonstration of how to brew tea.

Private rooms can be reserved for prices starting at NTD$2000, with tea and snacks included.  The Flower Hall seats up to 45 people for a 3-hour rent fee of NTD$7500.  

Teas vary by fermentation, terroir, and age, including a Pu’er tea from 1950.  Water comes from the Wu Lai Mountain Spring, near Taipei.  

Address: No. 1, Lane 16, Section 3, Xīnshēng South Road, Daan District
Tel: 0223637375
E-mail: wistariatea@gmail.com
Website: www.wistariateahouse.com

Pillow Caf’e
During my visit, the employees gossiped over the counter while arranging flower vases. The café dog “Shia Pa” (Taiwanese for “trendy”) decided to take a nap between my feet.  As I pet her and sipped on chamomile tea (NTD$160 per pot), I found myself falling even more in love with this city.
Address: No. 133, Ruì’ān St, Daan DistrictTel: 0227062322
*LGBTQ friendly*

Pillow Caf’e

During my visit, the employees gossiped over the counter while arranging flower vases. The café dog “Shia Pa” (Taiwanese for “trendy”) decided to take a nap between my feet.  As I pet her and sipped on chamomile tea (NTD$160 per pot), I found myself falling even more in love with this city.

Address: No. 133, Ruì’ān St, Daan District
Tel: 0227062322

*LGBTQ friendly*

Topo Café

Why do humans find water so calming?  So many of us want to live by a river, a lake, or the ocean.

At Topo Café, you find yourself literally surrounded by water.  Fish swim through cracks in the floor, while light bulbs filled with water dangle above like rain drops frozen in time.  Smooth jazz plays in the background.

Be careful though, because I’ve already seen two people step into the water.  Thankfully, they didn’t kill any fish.

Teas, including Mate and “Chocolate Mint Truffle,” come at NTD$160/pot.  I also recommend the roast beef sandwich with gruyere, lettuce, and lemon thyme honey mustard for NTD$220.  The coffee here isn’t bad, but I don’t expect it to win any awards.

Topo Café is located near Tianmu Square, which has been an encave for expats for decades.  This is where the Americans congregated, back when the American navy was stationed in Taipei.  To get here, take the MRT to Shipai Station, then take the 紅19 bus to Tianmu Square.

Address: No. 7, Lane 38, Section 7, Zhōngshān North Rd, Shilin District
Tel: 02 2876 9337
Hours: Weekdays from 8:00 to 18:00 & Weekends from 9:00 to 21:00; Closed Mondays

Haaya’s Coffee
Take your shoes off and sit at tables with sunken floors at this Japanese style café.  The slogan here is “Genuine Specialty,” and they put their emphasis on quality coffee.  Our waitress recommended the sun dried Yirgacheffe Heirloom Organic (NTD$200/cup), saying it “tastes like sunshine.”  They organize their 25+ selection of roasts by the categories “Medium - High Roast,” “City Roast,” and “Full City - French Roast.”  For NTD$280, you can also pair your coffee with a slice of their homemade chiffon cake and three homemade chocolate truffles.  The decor is otherwise unremarkable.
There are two branches of Haaya’s Coffee in Taipei:
Songshan BranchAddress: No. 307, Dūnhuà North Road, Songshan DistrictClosest MRT: Zhongshan Jr High School StationTel: 02 2715 1646Hours: 9:00 - 21:00Tianmu BranchAddress: No. 66, Tiānmǔ North Road, Shilin DistrictClosest MRT: Shipai StationTel: 02 2876 1598Hours: 10:00 - 21:00

Haaya’s Coffee

Take your shoes off and sit at tables with sunken floors at this Japanese style café.  The slogan here is “Genuine Specialty,” and they put their emphasis on quality coffee.  Our waitress recommended the sun dried Yirgacheffe Heirloom Organic (NTD$200/cup), saying it “tastes like sunshine.”  They organize their 25+ selection of roasts by the categories “Medium - High Roast,” “City Roast,” and “Full City - French Roast.”  For NTD$280, you can also pair your coffee with a slice of their homemade chiffon cake and three homemade chocolate truffles.  The decor is otherwise unremarkable.

There are two branches of Haaya’s Coffee in Taipei:

Songshan Branch
Address: No. 307, Dūnhuà North Road, Songshan District
Closest MRT: Zhongshan Jr High School Station
Tel: 02 2715 1646
Hours: 9:00 - 21:00

Tianmu Branch
Address: No. 66, Tiānmǔ North Road, Shilin District
Closest MRT: Shipai Station
Tel: 02 2876 1598
Hours: 10:00 - 21:00

Costumice
An idyllic café.  Order a glass of house red (NTD$200) and enjoy the breeze.  When the weather is nice, the big doors slide open and customers gravitate towards the outdoor patio.
According to my friend Andrew, their famous “Seoul Sandwich” (NTD$200) tastes like “Chex Mix.”  Cheese and ham in French toast sprinkled with powdered sugar and almonds.  Not my personal favorite.
When the sun sets, soft lights turn on to add a veil of intimacy.  Fruit juices come in martini glasses to quench your thirst.
Address: No. 65, Lane 161, Section 1, Dūnhuà South Road, Daan DistrictClosest MRT: Zhongxiao DunhuaTel: 02 2771 9251

Costumice

An idyllic café.  Order a glass of house red (NTD$200) and enjoy the breeze.  When the weather is nice, the big doors slide open and customers gravitate towards the outdoor patio.

According to my friend Andrew, their famous “Seoul Sandwich” (NTD$200) tastes like “Chex Mix.”  Cheese and ham in French toast sprinkled with powdered sugar and almonds.  Not my personal favorite.

When the sun sets, soft lights turn on to add a veil of intimacy.  Fruit juices come in martini glasses to quench your thirst.

Address: No. 65, Lane 161, Section 1, Dūnhuà South Road, Daan District
Closest MRT: Zhongxiao Dunhua
Tel: 02 2771 9251

Peg Coffee
A must go for coffee enthusiasts and fans of 海贼王 / One Piece, the pirate manga.
They are so enthusiastic about coffee quality that they stock business cards of other cafés in Taipei with excellent brews.  The coffee menu is longer than the wine menu of a typical French restaurant, with prices starting at NTD$120 a cup.
Juxtaposed alongside this elegant focus on coffee is a quirky obsession with the pirate manga One Piece.  The café is packed full of action figures and posters.
Danny, their new baker, just came back from 2 years in Haiti doing international development work (yes, he speaks Creole), and bakes cakes that, like Peg’s coffee, don’t need to be (and shouldn’t be!) masked behind spoonfuls of sugar.
Address: No. 309, Jiāxìng St, Xinyi DistrictClosest MRT Stop: LiuzhangliE-mail: pegcoffee@hotmail.comHours: 2:00PM - 8:00PM from Mondays through Saturdays; 2:00PM - 6:00PM on Sundays

Peg Coffee

A must go for coffee enthusiasts and fans of 海贼王 / One Piece, the pirate manga.

They are so enthusiastic about coffee quality that they stock business cards of other cafés in Taipei with excellent brews.  The coffee menu is longer than the wine menu of a typical French restaurant, with prices starting at NTD$120 a cup.

Juxtaposed alongside this elegant focus on coffee is a quirky obsession with the pirate manga One Piece.  The café is packed full of action figures and posters.

Danny, their new baker, just came back from 2 years in Haiti doing international development work (yes, he speaks Creole), and bakes cakes that, like Peg’s coffee, don’t need to be (and shouldn’t be!) masked behind spoonfuls of sugar.

Address: No. 309, Jiāxìng St, Xinyi District
Closest MRT Stop: Liuzhangli
E-mail: pegcoffee@hotmail.com
Hours: 2:00PM - 8:00PM from Mondays through Saturdays; 2:00PM - 6:00PM on Sundays