Get your cameras out for this Taiwan cafe adventure
Taipei is quite the undercover hotspot for cafe-hopping – whether in the capital Taipei, or the nature-filled Taichung.
With a cafe scene still going strong with beautiful spaces and eye-catching food, it’s high time to make Taiwan your next food destination. Get your cameras out for these 10 photo-worthy Taiwan cafes!
1. Tamed Fox
With clean lines and white walls, TAMED FOX has everything the minimalist needs for that perfect shot. But it’s not all simple – the health-centric cafe is filled with all kinds of quirky handicraft, along with equally photogenic food to match.
Apart from fancy donuts and gorgeously fixed brunch plates, TAMED FOX also serves some interesting better-for-you desserts. Check out the vibrant Purple Sweet Potato Anzac Ice Cream Sandwich, encrusted with pistachio and Taiwan quinoa crunch!
Tamed Fox Address: No. 56, Lane 122, Section 4, Ren’ai Road, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106 Opening Hours: Weekdays 8am – 5pm; Weekends 10am – 6pm Nearest Station: Xinyi Anhe
2. Smith & Hsu
Taipei tea saloon Smith & Hsu are lauded for their tea blends and old-fashioned scones, but you can expect this high tea joint to be far from Victorian.
There are a few outlets around town, and our favourite is the one at Zhong Xiao. Modernity meets Chinese and Western tea culture in an intimate space that’s perfect for catching up with friends or spending some me-time.
It would be a crime not to try the scones. Warm, buttery and melt-in-your-mouth, these come served classic Devonshire-style with clotted cream, assorted spreads and an array of finger food in a set good for two.
Smith & Hsu Address: No.33, Zhong Xiao E. Road, Sec. 5 Opening Hours: Daily 10am to 10.30pm Nearest Station: Zhongxiao Xinsheng
3. CAT.jpg Cafe
Image Credit: @@rrrulala on Instagram
Fun fact: Taiwan is home to the world’s FIRST cat cafe. With comparatively cheap prices, a cosy space and an adorable resident ginger tabby, CAT.jpg Cafe is the place for a relaxing respite from the busy streets. Image Credit: @cat.jpgcafe on Instagram
Despite its name, this cafe puts the quality of its espresso drinks first – unlike many other cat cafes. A hot latte and hearty sandwich makes for the best start to a morning – studies show that being around cats can help to relieve stress too!
Cat.jpg Cafe Address: No. 154, Chaozhou Street, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106 Opening Hours: Weekdays 7am to 8pm; Weekends 8am to 6.30pm Nearest Station: Dongmen
4. Cafe Marche
For some stunning next-level desserts, stop by Cafe Marche in Taipei’s Zhongshan District.
This French-fusion bistro has an array of plated desserts, from shatteringly-crisp Mille-Feuille layered with fruits and whipped cream to fluffy classic souffles, but the showstopper is definitely the White Chocolate Dome dessert. Arriving at your table as an unsuspecting white sphere, hot matcha cream is drizzled across the top in a pattern – that’s when the magic happens.
Cafe Marche’s brunch and savory mains menu is extensive, with the quiches, pastas and croque madame are popular orders. However, their desserts still remain the stars of the show.
Cafe Marche Address: No. 15號, Lane 16, Section 2, Zhongshan North Road, Zhongshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 10491 Opening Hours: 8.30am – 10pm, Daily Nearest Station: Zhongshan
5. Heritage Bakery & Cafe
Started by San Francisco native Sally Song, Heritage Bakery and Cafe is your one-stop shop for classic American-style cakes with an Asian spin.
The Salted Caramel Cheesecake is a cross between dense, creamy New York-style and the cottony Japanese-style cheesecakes. It gets its unique texture from a mixed base of cream cheese, mascarpone and sour cream, complete with a thick swirl of buttery salted caramel. Another popular dessert is the Guava cake. Imagine soft layers of fluffy sponge cake, frosted with a light, refreshing guava-infused cream.
There’s a good selection of heartier bakes as well. No one should resist a good cinnamon roll – Heritage’s is served warm and chewy, with a sticky pecan-caramel glaze on top.
Heritage Bakery and Cafe Address: 73-2 Hankou St Sec 1, Taipei City Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 11am – 6pm Nearest Station: Ximen
6. Coffee Alley
Known for their delectable waffle creations, Coffee Alley is popular amongst locals and visitors alike. Be sure to get an order of their dessert waffles – the Fresh Strawberries with Cream and Custard waffle comes hot, crispy and generously topped.
Pair this with a smooth Cold Drip Coffee, or get a Sea Salt Caramel latte if black coffee isn’t your thing. They have their fair share of savoury courses as well, like the open-faced Shrimp Sandwich with Raclette Cheese.
Coffee Alley Address: No. 55, Ln. 290, Guangfu S. Rd., Da’an Dist., Taipei City 106 Opening Hours: Daily, 12pm – 10pm (Last order 9pm) Nearest Station: Sun Yat-Sen
7. Le Naturalisme
Matcha lovers, rejoice – you can now get a slice of Japan in Kaohsiung. Set in an old Japanese-style building built in the 1940s, Le Naturalisme serves a wide array of drinks and sweets made with Japanese-grown matcha imported from Uji, which has a richer pigment and flavor compared to most other varieties.
For drinks, the classic hand-whisked hot Matcha is a must-try, which can also be ordered cappuccino-style with a dash of Okinawan brown sugar. Unlike many too-milky versions, the iced Matcha Latte lets its tea component shine, topped with just an airy dollop of milk foam.
Get the sets – which come with both drinks and desserts – for a taste of their signatures. The Intense Matcha Mille Crepe packs a punch with its satisfyingly rich layers of deeply flavoured matcha cream, while on the lighter side, the smooth, chewy Dango pairs perfectly with roasted soybean flour and Okinawan brown sugar syrup.
Le Naturalisme Address: No. 88, Daren Street, Xinxing District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan 800 Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday, 8.30am – 10pm
The soufflé pancake craze is still on, and everyone wants a piece. If you’ve been bitten by the bug, Taichung-based Kichi has just the remedy. Hidden in a small back alley in Dongguan Village, this tiny cafe put their own spin on these ultra-fluffy Japanese-style pancakes.
Apart from the usual suspects of strawberries and cream or matcha, Kichi has pancake stacks like Taro Hojicha Cheese – blanketed in a layer of taro cheese sauce and topped with a dollop of bittersweet hojicha cream, paired with scoops of mashed taro. They also serve savory soufflé pancake pairings!
Kichi Address: No. 2, Alley 1, Lane 262, Beitun Road, Beitun District, Taichung City, Taiwan 406 Opening Hours: 10am – 6pm; Wednesday – Sunday. Closed Monday and Tuesday
Image Credit: @zhu______zhu on Instagram Another hidden cafe gem in Taichung, Overture proves that food can truly taste as good as it looks. Their eye-catching Mille Crepe Cake series is a rainbow of colours and flavours, from deep green Matcha Chestnut to pale pink Strawberry. Perhaps the most eye-catching is the Blue Danube – with striking blue layers naturally coloured with butterfly pea flower and layers of earl grey cream.
Photo Credit: @ritahsu315 on Instagram This cake-centric tea-time paradise also serves a rotating selection of cakes and pastries – classic Victoria sponges, chiffon stacks layered with cream, rustic shortcrust pies, fluffy scones and more.
Overture Address: No. 17號, Alley 8, Lane 150, Section 3, Taiyuan Road, Beitun District, Taichung City, Taiwan 406 Opening Hours: 12pm – 7.30pm; Daily
10. Day Day Eat
Taishan may not be the first place you think about for cafes, but Day Day Eat is one hidden food gem to seek out in this historical district. This hole-in-the-wall bakery specialises in choux pastry, selling everything from airy chouquettes to palm-sized profiteroles filled with custard.
They also have a rotating line-up of cakes in all kinds of unique flavours, like the pretty-in-purple Taro Milk Cake. Each thick wedge has moist flavoured sponge layers with a filling of mashed taro frosting in between – not-too-sweet, yet entirely satisfying.
Day Day Eat Address: No.168, Section 3, Mingzhi Road, Taishan District, New Taipei City Opening Hours: 12pm – 10pm, Daily
Cafes that are a feast for the eyes
Aside from the booming cafe scene and amazing street food, Taiwan has so much more to offer, whether it’s sightseeing in the cities or exploring the picturesque outskirts. If it’s your first time travelling to Taiwan, we’ve got you covered with our Ultimate Guide to Taiwan– with tips on currency, connectivity and travelling around the country. Stay connected with 4G Portable Wifi or 4G SIM Cards, and get the best value for your cross-city travels with Taiwan High Speed Rail Passes. Make Taiwan your next holiday destination!