Non-brand name coffee shops

So I am really not a big fan of starbucks, dantes, or other chain coffee shops. I really like the ambience in those off the beaten track, small, not chain coffee shops, the ones you hang out in for a while reading a book or something. I found one near gongguan mrt but I was wondering if anyone knew of any places like that?

Taipei used to have tons of those little mom/pop cafes where they serve a selection of coffees . Kilimanjaro, Blue Mountain, Jamaica, etc etc. They use the syphon method to prepare cup by cup. A lot of these may have fallen victim to the chains. I remember my then fav cafe a cup of coffee went for bout 60 to 70nt while dante was serving acceptable coffee for 25nt, vienna coffee for 30.

The chains may be unstoppable. But there should still be quite a few mom/pop cafes around. Some are better then others of course. But I wonder how prices are nowadays. I stopped by a super tiny one in tamshui last year. Very small but clean and cute place. I stopped because there was a large dog at the entrance. They offered a selection of coffees done the syphon way and was very good. BUT BUT?? That one tiny cup of coffee cost me 150 nt !! way too expensive.

Thats the kind that was normally 70nt (in 99) . And I was thinking man have the price gone up like crazy.

Still they were packed that place. Admittedly a lot of people went for their cheaper coffees at bout 60nt or so that were not made cup by cup.

Try GaBee :slight_smile:
It’s located in the ally near Ming Shen E. Road Sec.3; behind the building of Sherwood Hotel.

Google Map link:

Nearby, you can also find “smith&hsu”, the tea store. They got amazing scone in the afternoon tea set :lick:

you know Gah bee in taiwanese means coffee right? :slight_smile:

The south east asian hokkien call it kobi

Another coffe shop, “Astoria”!
Quite nostalgia!
The coffee shop is on the 1st floor; downstair is the bakery :lick:

Better go there sooner before the building is torn down by the end of this year because of the urban renewal development plan in that area.

Google Map

[quote=“tommy525”]you know Gah bee in taiwanese means coffee right? :slight_smile:

And that’s why that store is named after :slight_smile:
Simple and easy to remember :slight_smile:

There are two places on Chengdu Road in ximendeng, close to the station exit. I like this one … ugOOt-i7Dw

Lots of oldsters having a cup, not everyone’s cup of umm coffee I guess but definitely not short on local character. I go there once in a while for beans, they vacuum brew a decent cup sure enough

Actually Gongguan area is probably the best for independent coffeeshops in Taipei, just take a walk around in the alleyways heading up towards Shida area.
Shida night market also has a few. I wouldn’t write off Dantes and Doutors…I think they have something to offer at a good price.

Thanks guys. Guess I need to go do some exploring :slight_smile:

[quote=“I am a City Girl”]Nearby, you can also find “smith&hsu”, the tea store. They got amazing scone in the afternoon tea set :lick:[/quote]

Definitely recommended. I’ve been there about a dozen times now.

Astoria??? Good Lord I been at an Astoria as a child, not sure if at that location though. Still there? How bout Taipei (or Taiwans) oldest restaurant, still there ? BOLERO. I think Iv been there once or twice.

I guess technically it’s a chain, but everything about Cama Cafe looks, tastes and smells gourmet. I often see an employee roasting coffee at the front while I enjoy my cup of joe. And the best part of it is the price. :thumbsup:

chains are not bad actually. they have the money to set up a place nicely

I like Fong Da Cafe in Ximending. They have their own roasts and use a siphon pot. I believe there is also another cafe with a similar ambiance next door, but Fong Da is the original–been around since about 1956.

Some other cafes I like:
The Wooden Door (off XinYi Road)
Cozy Cafe (near ShiDa, off HePing E. Road)
Mo!Relax (ShiDa area)

I think Cama Cafe is good too, but the one in my neighbourhood doesn’t have big/enough space so I never want to drink coffee there, just a coffee to go :smiley:

Chains do take away form local charms. Makes every place alike.

Its so nice to have a fav cafe . I used to have my fav cafe in Kaohsiung, a fav in Tainan, one in Chiayi and many in taichung and taipei. Remember all the theme cafes in Taichung? Man they were awesome !!

Anyone remember POMPIDOU ?? It was great ! with a ceiling that opens up completely and a stream that ran under the plastic plexiglass?

How bout DUKE , also in Taichung? A very civilized place indeed. Used to have this violinist who played superbly. He looked like Rasputin but he was good !

Chains make every nook and corner the same. Shame in that sense.

The place I loved in Kaoshiung charged a bit more then normal for drinks but when lunch time came around, they passed out a menu with (get this) FREE lunch boxes ??? MUst be the only cafe in the world giving out a free llunch with your coffee?? Many restaurants gave out free coffee with your set meal, but this was the reverse !! Loved that place. Sadly it later became another nameless PUB.

Used to love going to every cafe in Taipei with me buds. Each one has its own unique character and the coffee was just a little different as well.

Some better then others of course.

Even here on this side of the pacific. The small cafes are going the way of the big chains. Its becoming all the same.

A fun way to spend a few hours in the afternoon when in SAn Francisco is to go to the Ferry Building and take the ferry to LARKSPUR LANDING. Its bout 12 bucks round trip. Takes bout 45 mins on the regular ferry and 30mins on the faster catamarans.

Try one in each direction. This is one of the cheapest cruises around anywhere (Star Ferry is cheaper and beats it but still). Takes you past Angel Island , after cutting right cross the SF bay.

Very scenic.

And on the other side there is a small complex of shops there, after crossing the concrete footbridge over the traffic.

there used to be a quaint cafe there called MUGS that i liked to stop by for a cupa. It was filled with MUGS of all sorts . And was a chilled place. NOW its been turned into just another STARBUCKS. The business has increased in fact, but the charm is gone.

Try Mucho Mucho

Mucho Mucho - Taipei City, Fuxing S. Road, Section 1, Lane 107, Alley 5, No. 29.

Great coffee, great staff and amazing Chocolate Brownie!!

Got another one, Le Park Cafe.

Le Park Cafe
TEL: 2719-8880
It’s in my neighbourhood too.
Quite nice to spend some time there. Rather relaxed.
The address is : No. 146, Liao Ning Street, Taipei City.

Google Map

Nearest MRT: Nanjing East Road Station, ( close to the Westin Taipei Hotel Parking Lot)

La Crema

Online review that is pretty much spot on:

Btw, I can only speak for their espresso; don’t really know if they have anything else. :thumbsup:

Fair Trade coffee shop
1F, Lane 14, Hangzhou South Road,Taipei City.

They use Fair Trade coffee bean in the shop, and you decide how much you’d pay for your coffee.
Quite interesting and perhaps fairly new idea in this city.
I have not been there yet, but definitely would like to give it a try some other time :slight_smile: