Heritage Bakery and Cafe

Heritage Cafe has been mentioned before–positively!–in another forumosa thread about bad cinnamon rolls sold by a prominent chain. But in my view it also deserves its own stand-alone entry. Here’s my take on it.

A couple weeks ago, I was making my way across the older neighbourhood between Ximending and Taipei Main Station when I was stopped in my tracks by a striking storefront with a sign in the window written in a san serif font:

Hankou Street
Est. 1951

Located amidst a cluster of camera shops and (toward Ximending) shops selling stereo equipment, this storefront really stood out. A cafe around here, in this hipster-free zone? Hmmm, I seem to remember Dana Ter writing about this place last fall in the Taipei Times… Since I was in the neighbourhood, I decided to check it out.

Inside, I found friendly frontline staff and the engaging owner, who was busily involved in a photo shoot during my first visit, but had more time to chat about the cafe and its remarkable space in a subsequent visit. The building, I learned, is an old family house that has been brilliantly renovated to foreground its strengths (with an exposed brick wall, and intelligent use of hinoki and some remaining fixtures from the old house). The upstairs seating area is a wonderful space: open and airy and laid out with obvious care.

The goods for sale, though, are down on the ground floor: various espresso based coffees (including a cappuccino I very much enjoyed); old school and satisfying American-style desserts (carrot cake, brownies, cinnamon buns–all of which hit the mark); and some more experimental fruit-based desserts often using Taiwan fruits. For those who are so inclined, I also recall seeing a range of specialty beers and other beverages from the San Francisco area. I would not characterize the prices here as cheap, but they are not unreasonable given the quality of the goods for sale and the extraordinary space of the cafe.

As mentioned above, I found service here to be friendly and helpful. Other online commentators have had more uneven experiences. The only moment of discomfort I’ve had was with a male staff member (a manager?) who spoke to me in full-on interrogative mode–a common Taiwanese discourse style, yes, and by no means the first time I have encountered this, but also perhaps not the best way to make folks feel welcome or relaxed. In contrast, the cafe’s female owner is fully bilingual, fantastic to chat with, and obviously committed to making people feel at home. And in my experience so far, the frontline staff behind the counter is excellent.

With some fascinating eats nearby (including a couple of Chinese Muslim places, as well as other options), and the historic Beimen sites located just around the corner, Heritage is well worth a visit–and easily paired up with a meal or a bit of sightseeing. It’s a lovely addition to this centrally located yet at-times overlooked neighborhood.

Address: 73-2, Section 1, Hankou Street, Taipei City (漢口街一段73號之2)
Hours: 11:00am-7:00pm daily; closed Mondays; open until 8:00pm Fridays and Saturdays


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That whole area in proximity to ximen is changing fast, I expect it will get more and more funky places and little hotels overtime.

There are heaps of hotels in that zone right now. It’s proximity to Taipei Main Station (as well as the terminus of the new Airport MRT) is a significant plus.

There are also a couple of massive demolition / construction sites nearby–really huge lots. More hotels coming? Indeed the neighbourhood is changing.


Since my initial post, Heritage has introduced some pretty stellar sandwiches to complement its repertoire of cinnamon buns and other sweets. Today I stopped in and tried one: arugula with chicken and pesto, served with a small side of yogurt and a visually striking berry compote. While I think the pesto in the sandwich could be ramped up a bit, this was a damn fine lunch, especially when washed back with a nice cappuccino, best enjoyed up in the cafe’s extraordinary space on the second floor. I’ll be back to try some of their other offerings soon.


Sounds like a great place; I’m thinking about taking a first date here on Sunday. Is it quiet enough to talk and get to know someone, or is there loud music blaring?

Heritage is definitely quiet enough, with lots of space between tables. Plus if you get bored in the cafe, there are interesting local sights in striking distance–the refurbished Beimen, the old post office, and Futai Mansion, among other possibilities.

I hope you like it!


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PS If you’re showing up in the afternoon on a weekend, it’d be a good idea to call ahead and reserve a table. Phone contact (according to google): 02-2311-1079.


Thanks for the heads up about making a reservation. I’ll do that.

Not a problem. Hope you have a nice time!


Follow up:

I rate the latte 4/5 and the carrot cake 5/5. The other choices of desserts looked wonderful. The café’s ambiance and décor were pleasant. Service was friendly (you must get your own cutlery but I’m used to that in Taiwan now). I had made a reservation thanks to Guy’s suggestion; at that time I was told there was a 90 minute time limit, but that it would be OK to stay longer if there were no people waiting. After 90 minutes we were politely told that our time was up because there were people waiting; since I already knew about the time limit this was fine with me (we continued our date at nearby 228 park).

All in all I liked Heritage and I’m looking forward to going again to try some of their other delicious looking desserts.

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Does anyone know if this place is pet friendly? Meaning, can I bring Bobby?

I was just at Heritage Cafe on Sunday. Really good desserts! We had chocolate banana pie and carrot cake. I’ve gotta go back to try some others.
On an odd note, someone upstairs dropped a beer bottle by accident. The upstairs tables don’t have any kind of ledge to prevent a glass or bottle from sliding off. Also, it is friendly place but they do have plenty of rules - 90 min, and reservations on the weekend are recommended.

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I’m glad you gave it a try! The scene at Heritage is much more laid back on weekdays, when I have not seen many, if any, “rules.” Dropping bottles from the second floor though should definitely be prohibited!


It was definitely a mistake. It would have hit someone standing at the door. The guy who did it immediate went downstairs to apologize. If it were my place, I’d add an edge on the tables that could have something slide off.
What I mean by rules is that when you walk in they focus on telling you the rules over selling you things. Politely - but still an odd way to welcome someone into the shop.

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I went by and there was no “no pets allowed” sticker. Has anyone seen pets inside?

i didn’t see any pets. wouldn’t hurt to ask? we need a thread about pet friendly cafes

I think they need a quality cat.

Did they smile and tell you whats good? Can’t remember last time a place did that.

They did smile and were very friendly. They didn’t tell me what’s good probably because it’s all good.

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I just had the best food orgasm in my life.
All this talk about how good their carrot cake is made me insanely curious. As far as I am concerned, cake and good are not 2 words that compliment each other in Taiwan.

Today, I was wrong and in a good way. That carrot cake is absolute heaven on a plate, flawless and worth every dollar.

I cried after the last bite.
It. was. that. good.
The flavor. Spot on.
The texture. Moist and dense.
The portion. Just enough to satisfy without over doing it.
The cream cheese frosting was the icing on the cake. Sent it from wow to OMG.
The pecans at the end added just the right crunch.
And, it is a LAYERED cake!