Must go Cafes in Taipei
Replies: 10 - Last Post: Dec 8, 2012 4:52 AM Last Post By: zhangfa612
Jun 8, 2008 7:38 AM
Jun 9, 2008 4:33 AM
1What kind of good food are you talking about? Taipei is a mecca of food so you'll have to narrow it down a bit!
I'll try to give some suggestions though:
For Sichuanese food, don't miss Kiki on Fuxing N. Road. Modern decor though some tables are traditional-style with the barrel-shaped seats and everything. Food is AMAZING, especially the pork-stuffed green peppers if you can handle the spice.
For Japanese, pretty much any of the low-tabled seafood-and-beer restaurants. Try the ones on Minsheng W Road after Shuanglian Station (near Ningxia Night Market) or there are also a few around Shandao Temple MRT in the lanes slightly to the south. You'll know them by the fresh seafood displays, low square tables and blue-and-white Japanese curtains. Danshui, on the MRT, is also good. I recommend the restaurant on the boardwalk with the giant neon beer stein sign. Their steamed fish is amazing.
For Taiwanese, well, there is no 'must-go' Taiwanese cafe. Some will say Dingtaifung. I found it overrated. But good local food is everywhere; your best bet would be Raohe or Jilong (Keelung) Temple Street night markets.
For foreign food, especially backpacker-friendly food, Grandma Nitti's is the place to go. I can also recommend a bunch of good Indian, Sri Lankan and Middle Eastern restaurants.
For decor, Wistaria House (it's a teahouse) or the little teahouse near Wenzhou Street (walking north, it's on the left just past the Gongguan branch of Cafe Bastille, which has good beer and snobbish service). I think it's at #80 Wenzhou St. - I have the card but can't actually read the Chinese to say for sure what it's called.
Kubilai Khan (世祖 in Chinese for some reason) on Fuxing S. Road has awesome decor - you'll know it by the giant red lanterns outside - but I can't speak for the food as I've never been.
For amazing outdoor scenery, don't miss a trip to Maokong for tea and dinner. The tea is fine everywhere, but for food you should exit the gondola, turn left and keep walking past the first cafe area and up to something called "Taipei Receation" area (missing the R) or some such - there's a teahouse upstairs with a cute little brown dog that does amazing mountain pig and lemon diced chicken. Ask to sit upstairs.
There's also a small cafe in Red House Theater (Ximen Exit 1, cross street and look left at the big ol' brick building) that does expensive but good tea and coffee.
The expensive but also quite good cafe in the National Concert Hall lower level (under the stairs and inside leading up from CKS/Freedom Square) has great atmosphere. All tatami, lanterns and wood.
For beer/drinks, Red House (not the same as the Red House above) on Shida Road a little past Jr. Cafe is great, with tasty brownies, an excellent beer menu and a cozy semi-outdoor atmosphere.
On that same road, the large white-stucco-and-wood Vino Vino does a good salmon fried rice but don't get the set meal. The decor is sort of Mediterranean (?) and the balcony - all wood overlooking a park - is a good place to relax with a bottle of house wine.
Jun 9, 2008 7:47 PM
Jun 9, 2008 11:12 PM
3Another pleasant cafe (which I haven't been to yet, but sure looks cool) is the cafe in the SPOT film house (the former US ambassador's residence), on Zhongshan N. Rd. just north of Nanjing Rd.
Wisteria has been closed for repairs for a little while, but it may have opened by now. If not, they post the address of another good tea house nearby (called Tengju). Even if you don't go to either, you should definitely go to any tea house in Maokong.
For food there's too many good options to mention. I personally really like many of the stands at Yongle Market, just south of Xiahai Temple on Dihua St., and along Minle St. Jilong Night Market is also excellent.
Jun 10, 2008 9:20 AM
4I thought Anhe road was basically one long strip of bars and a school or two!
There is a really cute Taiwanese restaurant - very low key with an old-fashioned feel - near Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall down one of the lanes opposite the hall on Zhongxiao Rd. Unfortunately I don't remember which one as we found it at night, at random.
Jun 12, 2008 11:52 AM
Jun 16, 2008 7:00 PM
Jun 18, 2008 7:55 AM
Jun 18, 2008 8:56 AM
8The food they serve in Dingtaifung here in United States such as shaolongbao is distinctly Shanghainese. I have never been to the one in Taipei but I was was told they serve similar things. Could the regional consciousnesss (for food) be deminishing a bit amoung younger people? ( I assume your students are young?)
Jun 18, 2008 7:34 PM
9neuron, actually my students are older - I teach business English and get mostly senior managers who want to learn to give better English-language presentations or make a better impression while abroad on business.
My students are of the generation that was taught that Chinese and Taiwanese food are the same, that all educated people should have a Beijing accent, and that the KMT represented the true China.
So I'd say it's the opposite, because when I had younger students they'd always point to the night markets or Tainan eateries for ''Taiwanese food"!
Dec 8, 2012 4:52 AM
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