Grace Ban, who ‘grams at @lagracieuse, is one of my favorite creatives on Instagram – due to the fact that she uses a medium that tends to be vapid, self-promoting, and self-absorbed – to create beauty in the everyday. Also, because she recently came to Taiwan – and made it look fuckloads better than I ever could. I love seeing talented creatives visit my city (POW WOW! TAIWAN, lookin’ at ya) and giving me a fresh perspective on alleys, corners and views that have somehow lost their luster in the mundanity of “well, I live here”.
While I sadly was shivering in Sweden – therefore wasn’t there to reach out during her visit, home-girl essentially went on a grand tour of every Instagrammable cafe, boutique and shop in the city. I asked permission to share her photos with you, which she gracieusely allowed. Taipei design and cafe junkies, hit up this Taipei cafe guide below to follow if you desire to take your own photos, a la – @lagracieuse – and follow her on Instagram to watch her work her minimalistic magic wherever she goes.
Taipei city streets – the charm of my little village-metropolis is undoubtedly in its quiet, leafy alleys – along with a hint of that tropical vibe – palm trees everywhere.
a poet – A concrete, industrial space is warmed with family-style butcher tables, fiddle leaf figs, and a range of design artifacts. Serves standard cafe fare as well as lunch and dinner service featuring Mediterranean inspired cuisine.
One Fifteen – This combination boutique store and cafe showcases the works of young Taiwanese designers while serving up a range of light tea-time food. Akin to dining in a green-house -the intimate space seats guests at wooden tables awash with natural light.
都一處餐廳 / Do it True
A true testament to Grace’s gramming powers. How she can make dishes of traditional Chinese favorites look good (roast duck and sesame-rolled cakes historically not the most photogenic of food) is beyond my scope of knowledge.
A prime example amongst the explosion of “slow-life” cafes proliferating a city in the most positive way, this is a chill gem to sit in and let life flow by. Have a coffee with a loved one, flip through a magazine, day dream –
Taipei’s cramped apartments means the city doesn’t naturally trend towards a focus on interior design, but Atelier 50 sells a collection of French industrial furniture and home goods, carefully curated and imported from abroad.
“The small alleyways are where all of the beautiful shops and cafes are,” notes Grace – and this alleyway especially, as its home to three shops in the VVG food & design family. VVG Chiffon features a charmingly haphazard collection of DIY and sewing-related knick-knacks.
The grandmother of Taipei slow-life cafes, and undoubtedly still one of the best – proof that a combination of impeccable interior design, home-made food, and a lush patio never become dated. Mosey over to VVG Something across the street – a little shop crammed to the rafters with art and design titles.
The physical outpost of Taiwan’s bible of all things design.
Want more recommendations on cool Taipei cafes? I’ve got you right here.