I was introduced to Taiwanese menswear label WISDOM through friends just this past month – and immediately loved their aesthetic, what they term “Urban Outdoor.” Very clean, very well-crafted; combining the quality of traditional outdoor gear with an urban edge: and all proudly Made in Taiwan.
I was even more intrigued when they debuted a look-book shot at various cafes and coffee-shop across Taipei. Titled: “MY URBAN DAILY COFFEE AND DRINKS”, it brings to mind the excellent, well-researched [and don’t forget, quirkily translated] features in Japanese mens’ lifestyle magazines, particularly POPEYE. These boys know all the good spots. Some I’d already been to, and I ended up going to check out the others after reading their guide. As usual, I’ve provided Facebook links, where you can find addresses, opening times, and latest information.
Love this bike-themed cafe [affiliated with nearby custom bike shop SENSE 30]; rustic-vintage decor. A great dinner date spot as well – pasta, sandwiches and drinks available. Personally a big fan of their sweet potato fries and smoothies.
Aside from the endearing too-large space between the name and the exclamation point (don’t you hate when that happens when you’re switching back and forth writing Chinese and English?), VEGG OUT ! is one of the many outposts catering to the cold-pressed juice trend that exploded across Taipei this past year. At this point, a smoothie in a mason jar is the norm rather than the exception, but still a cute spot for a healthy version of 下午茶.
Another juice bar that’s been making the social media rounds. This one has no funnily-spaced exclamation mark, but it does have very pretty juices. [This juice trend, though. Wonder how long it’ll stick around.]
Back to coffee again – particularly, coffee sourced from the Alisan region of Taiwan. The Japanese proprietor, fascinated with the unique properties of Alisan coffee, started Alisan Project; which has since evolved from coffee beans [sold at many specialty stores around the city] to a line of coffee-related products – and into a brick-and-mortar cafe.
Located amidst the lovably run-down alleys of the city’s aging Datong district, this Euro-inspired specialty store and cafe oozes vintage charm. In addition to antique furniture and wares, the boutique also offers a selection from independent Asian designers. The adjoining cafe is equally charming. A place you want to set aside an entire afternoon – and more than a few Instagram posts, if you’re a social media addict – for.
Gorgeous cakes and desserts abound at this bakery. Selections vary daily, so make sure to check their drool-worthy Facebook page [post after post of beautifully photographed desserts] to check what’s available.
Love having quick lunches at this cozy, ramshackle little spot right in the shadow of 101. Come for a warming curry – or their weird drink coffee-and-soda [which I was informed is very popular in Japan] – as a respite from the gleaming department-store cafes and restos that typify eating in the Xinyi District.
As part of my role as virtuous blogger, I am compelled to inform you that, regardless how exciting the combo may sound, neither the curry or the coffee at CURRY&COFFEE are very good. It’s a tiny shop in Minsheng Community just around the corner from the flagship Fujin cafe: Fujin Tree 353 – which recommend much more.
For more recommendations on gorgeous, highly-Instagrammable Taipei cafes, click here.
All photos via WISDOM