Cafe-hop In 1 Of Taipei’s Oldest Districts – Dadaocheng 到台北古老大稻埕街区的特色咖啡馆趴趴走

Besides venturing to scenic places, I also enjoy cafe-hopping these days, as you may already know. 😉 Having read about the many interesting cafes in Taipei prior to the trip, I was itching to check them out. While cafes along Yongkang Street & Huashan Creative Park are trendy places known by both locals & foreigners, I wanted to explore areas less touristy yet still exude unique vibes. It was then I chanced upon local bloggers sharing about their cafe-hopping experiences in 1 of Taipei’s oldest districts in Dadaocheng, just up north in downtown Taipei.

除了喜爱寻访绮丽景区之外,近年来,从我的文章不难发现,我也爱到不同地区的咖啡馆趴趴走。在网上为了这次台湾行而搜寻资料时,看到不少介绍台北特色咖啡馆的资讯,就巴不得赶快飞到台湾去了。永康街和华山文创区虽然都是许多爱泡咖啡馆的台北人及游客朝圣的地方,但这次我想去氛围独特而没那么多游客的地方趴趴走。读到不少在地部落客分享他们在台北最古老的街区之一的大稻埕泡特色咖啡馆的体验,我也跃跃一试。反正大稻埕离市区不远,就在它的北部。

Once the most prosperous area in the 19th century, the historic Dadaocheng district is home to many Chinese medicinal shops, dried foodstuff stores and temples. Of course, there are diverse styles of architecture one can find here, besides the notable Xia-Hai City God Temple as well as oldest markets in the city. In recent years, a number of interesting cafes have also set foot in the culturally rich Dadaocheng district. This sounds like an attractively offbeat place to cafe-hop, so yes we made our way there. 🙂 Here’s a compilation of the cafes & sights during our half-day visit in the charming Dadaocheng district!

大稻埕是台北最古老的街区之一,在19世纪也是台湾最繁华的地方。经历过不同时代的风华,大稻埕现在是中药行,售卖干粮及各种年货的商店、市场,以及多所庙宇的聚集地。除此之外,在这里,也能看到许多保留下来的特色老建筑,还有著名的霞海城隍庙和台北市最古早的市场。近年来,有越来越多文创和咖啡轻食馆进驻这个古早味浓郁的地方。感觉上大稻埕就是一个极富魅力的街区,让我们的咖啡馆趴趴走体验更特别,所以话不多说。继续读这篇文章跟着我到大稻埕的特色咖啡馆半日游吧!😁

1. Starbucks Store @Bao-An Street 星巴克 保安门市

International coffee chain Starbucks finding its way into a historical mansion along Bao-An Street
国际知名的星巴克咖啡座进驻台北市保安街的华丽历史建筑

I’m not a Starbucks fan, but this was 1 of the recommended cafe-hopping spots in Dadaocheng because of its location in the old beautiful mansion at the intersection between Chongqing North Road & Bao-An Street. Construction of the mansion began in 1926 & was completed in 1929. It was built for 1 of the most prosperous businessmen in Dadaocheng – Mr Yeh, nicknamed Pineapple King as he built his empire through manufacture of pineapple products. After Mr Yeh passed away, the historical mansion’s ownership changed hands several times, until it was designated a Historical Architecture for preservation purpose by the government around 1997.

先声明,我并非星巴克的粉丝,但许多部落客都提到星巴克保安门市,因为它就坐落在重庆北路与保安街交叉口上的一栋华丽古宅。这栋三层楼高的古宅建于1926年,于1929年落成,是由人称“凤梨王”的富商叶金涂先生所兴建。叶先生是当时大稻埕的富商之一,靠生产凤梨罐头致富。叶先生早逝,房子几经转租,直到1997年,台北市政府封它为历史性建筑,得以保存至今。

The 3-storey mansion is 1 of the most elaborate & gorgeous buildings of that time (1930s), featuring the Baroque architecture style. Starbucks managed to find its way into the iconic building in Sep 2014, adding a contemporary touch to the nostalgic district. While the building exteriors were old, the modern cafe relaxed & hippy theme blended perfectly into the grand retro furnishings all around. Although we didn’t sit down for a cuppa here as we came here straight on a cab after a scrumptious hotel breakfast, a quick tour of the first floor of this Starbucks outlet was enough to send us going “wow”. No wonder it is known as 1 of the 9 most beautiful Starbucks in Taiwan. We also did the touristy thingy before proceeding to our next stop. 😉

这栋三层楼的豪宅以巴洛克式风格为主,是30年代最富丽堂皇的牌楼之一。国际知名咖啡馆星巴克在2014年9月成功进驻这栋古宅,为老区注入一股现代感。古宅和现代化咖啡馆混搭在一块儿,乍听之下不协调,但看起来一点冲突都没有,反而很巧妙地融合在一起成绝配。因为之前在饭店享用了丰盛早餐就直接乘车来到这里,还很饱,所以没有坐下来品尝一杯香醇的咖啡。但至是快速地参观了馆区一楼,就以对它的华丽装潢赞叹不已。怪不得保安门市被誉为全台最漂亮的9间星巴克之一!前往下一站前,我们当然也得做一件游客必做的事咯。😜

Check out the history of coffee & its main producers in the world & do the touristy stuff on level 1 😉
在一楼门市细看咖啡主要产地及历史,还可以盖个纪念章回去!

I’m sorry my photos do not do justice to the beauty of this unique cafe housed in a gorgeous old mansion, as we didn’t spend too much time here. You have to visit the outlet yourself to see with your own eyes!

抱歉我没什么华丽古建筑的好照片可以分享,因为逗留的时间太短暂。如果你到台北市,一定要亲眼来见证它的美!

Address/ 地址: No. 11, Bao’an Street, Datong District, Taipei City/ 台北市大同區保安街11號

Open/ 营业时间: 7.30 am to 10.30 pm daily/ 每天早上7点半至晚上10点半

Directions/ 交通方式: Take the MRT to Daqiaotou Station and leave by exit 2. Walk straight down Chongqing North Rd Sec. 2 until you see the intersection to Bao-An Street. Cafe is on the right./ 搭乘捷运至大桥头站,2号出口过民权西路,直走重庆北路二段到保安街交叉口。咖啡座就在右边。

Website/ 官方网站: Starbucks Taiwan

2. Boan 84 Space 保安捌肆

Just a short 2-min walk down Bao-An Street is Boan 84 Space, a cafe cum art space transformed from a restored building constructed since the Japanese colonial period. We almost missed the shop as there wasn’t any distinct signage indicating its name (see pic above). Instead, as you can see from pic above, Boan 84 Space, which occupies the middle shophouse, is a shabby-looking beige-coloured 3-storey shop with the Chinese words “surgical hospital” in front. The Japanese-style wooden doors were still shut as it was 5 min before its official opening time at 11 am. Only slightly after 11 am when a staff opened the shop did we see the small & faint shop name (in Chinese) on its inner glass door 😅.

从星巴克步行仅2分钟到保安街的另一端,就会抵达保安捌肆,一家集合咖啡馆与文创空间的店铺。店铺坐落于一栋经过整修,建于日治时代的古建筑。由于从外观看不到“保安捌肆”这个招牌,我们差点就走失了。从上图所见,保安捌肆(中间那一家),是个看起来陈旧不堪的三层楼褐色古屋,外面还挂着“顺天外科医院”的招牌。我们抵达店铺时,还有5分钟才是11点,只见传统日式木扇门还是紧闭的。过了11点正不久,店员才开始打开木门,而我们这才看到里面的玻璃门以白色小字体写出“保安捌肆”这四个字,😅。

Past through its doors to be transported back in time in the cosy cafe
进入咖啡馆仿佛走入时光隧道

沿着老旧的斜楼阶梯,上去二楼参观古色古香的装潢

感觉不适吗?或许可以放慢脚步,来这里沉浸于浓浓的怀旧氛围,想象旧时看医生的情形,疗愈心灵☺

Since we were the first customers at Boan 84 Space, we could roam around & snap photos without anyone else in them. Seats were available on the first 2 levels of the shop for cafe-goers to chill over a cup of good coffee or enjoy some food, while level 3 is reserved for art displays, exhibitions or seminars (available for private booking).  As Boan 84 Space used to be a hospital during the Japanese colonial period, we could still find traces of the equipment & furniture used. Love the atmosphere here, especially because tables weren’t placed too close together creating an airy feel. Given the cafe is known for its strong brewed coffee, & it was a particularly sunny day, we each ordered different types of iced coffee to try.

因为我们是保安捌肆开门迎接的首批客人,可以四处拍照,也不必担心会拍到其他人入镜。一楼和二楼都是供给咖啡馆的客人坐下来慢慢品尝咖啡,享用一些轻食。三楼则是展演空间(可以包租)。在古色古香的咖啡馆里,也可以找到旧时的外科医院使用的一些医疗器材及摆设。很喜欢这里的复古氛围,而且,由于空间很大,桌椅都不会摆的太靠近,感觉很宽敞。既然很多部落客都赞保安捌肆的咖啡好喝,而天气又那么热,我们也就各点了一杯冰咖啡试一试。

Cafe Latte (left) & Caramel Coffee Granita (right)
拿铁冰咖啡(左)和焦糖咖啡冰沙(右)

The iced coffee here was indeed quite good, be it my cafe latte (150 TWD, ~S$7) or my friend’s caramel coffee granita (200 TWD, ~S$9.35). I think real coffee lovers would like it here. A relaxing place to chill out with friends for rich caffeine. 🙂

冰咖啡真的蛮不错的,无论是我的拿铁咖啡(台币150元),或是朋友的焦糖咖啡冰沙(台币200元),都带有浓郁的咖啡香。无咖啡不欢的人应该会爱泡保安捌肆,因为不止有香醇的咖啡喝,还是家舒适,让人可以放松心情的好地方。

Address/ 地址: No. 84, Bao’an Street, Datong District, Taipei City/ 台北市大同區保安街84號

Open/ 营业时间: 11 am to 7.30 pm daily/ 每天早上11点至晚上7点半

Directions/ 交通方式: From Starbucks, walk to the end of Bao-An Street. It is on the other side of the street from Starbucks./ 从星巴克 保安门市过去对面,直走到保安街的末端就能抵达。

Facebook/ 面簿: Boan 84

Thereafter, we left Bao-An Street for Dihua Street, a street known for its dried foodstuff & Chinese medicinal shops, as well as the famous Xia-Hai City God Temple notable for the God of Marriage (Yue Lao). It was pretty easy to get there, thanks to Boan 84 Space approachable staff that showed us the directions. Just head towards Liangzhou Street at the traffic junction near the cafe & the third street is Dihua Street, parallel to Bao-An Street.

之后,我们离开保安街,前往以年货大街及霞海城隍庙闻名的迪化街。感谢保安捌肆的店员指引,我们很顺利地到达迪化街。只要在咖啡馆旁的路口朝凉州街直走,第三条街与保安街平行的道路就是迪化街了。

Dihua Street is lined with 2 rows of historical shophouses just like Bao-An Street. Besides many Chinese medicinal shops, there were the occasional cafes & creative art shops along this once-prosperous street. Continue reading to discover what we saw & tried. 😉

就像保安街一样,迪化街两排满是古厝。除了可看到许多中药行之外,偶尔也出现一些咖啡馆和创意小铺在这条昔日繁荣的街道上。继续读我的文章看看迪化街上有那些独特的店铺与建筑吧,🙂

Hunting down unique cafes in the retro Dihua Street!
到复古风浓郁的迪化街寻找独特的咖啡馆!

AMA Cafe – an artistic cafe doubling up as a women’s museum to showcase the sad history of comfort women
阿嬤家咖啡 – 一家不只是品尝咖啡茶点的悠闲角落,还是个展示台湾慰安妇历史的小型博物馆

3. Dadaochen Tea shop 大盗陈茶饮创始店

大盗陈茶饮创始店

As mentioned earlier, Xia-Hai City God Temple, located along Dihua Street, is known for Yue Lao, i.e. God of Marriage that has seen many successful marriages after devotees come here to pray for some luck in love. In addition, Dihua Street also equates to Chinese medicine & the Chinese New Year (CNY) market for youngsters in the city. Just like many other indie cafes that have quietly set foot in this historical street, Dadaochen Tea shop, or DdC for short, was set up by a young couple who got hitched thanks to Yue Lao from the temple just 5 min walk away. Opened earlier this year, DdC is proud to be the first & only tea shop in Taiwan selling the innovative Oolong Milk Tea topped with Mullet Roe (80 TWD, ~S$3.75).

在迪化街上的古老霞海城隍庙因为有个据说很灵验的月老而名声大噪。而且,对年轻一代而言,迪化街就代表是充满中药行及年货大街的老地方。随着越来越多独特的咖啡轻食馆悄悄进驻这条复古的街道,一对情侣档,也因为霞海城隍庙月老的撮合,就决定在离庙宇5分钟距离的地方开设大盗陈茶饮创始店。大盗陈茶饮创始店于年初开业,镇店之宝是全台独创的乌鱼子乌龙奶盖。

If you don’t know what Mullet Roe is, it is a type of cured fish roe that we often see in Japanese dishes. This savoury item is commonly sold at the CNY market & DdC owners decided to use it as a topping on the aromatic Oolong Tea beverage, to inject some unique local flavour at the first original shop along Dihua Street. Of course we had to try such a special beverage! 😁

如果你不晓得乌鱼子是什么,它是一种雌乌鱼的卵巢所制的水产加工食品,常见于日式料理。在台北的年货大街,到处可见乌鱼子的踪迹。大盗陈店主决定为创始店做些特别的饮料,就想到为乌龙奶茶洒上珍贵的乌鱼子,使平平无奇的茶饮增添一些特别的在地风味。所以到大盗陈,一定要品尝一杯乌鱼子乌龙奶盖!

Very nice combination I must say! Because of the Mullet Roe, there was a unique crunch as we sipped the fragrant Oolong Milk Tea. It also sort of covered the strong taste of Oolong Tea that was usually evident if you just drink it on its own. The milk was smooth as well. My friend commented this DdC specialty tasted much better than Singapore’s LiHo Bubble Tea Shop’s Cheese Tea specialty. The beverage may seem expensive at 80 TWD (~S$3.75) but it came in a large size (500ml), & considering Mullet Roe is generally on the expensive side, I thought the price was quite reasonable.

乌鱼子乌龙奶盖不愧是镇店之宝,很好喝哦!因为乌鱼子有一种特殊的嚼感,配上香醇的乌龙奶茶使整杯饮料的口感更佳。乌鱼子的独特风味也使乌龙茶的涩巧妙地盖过去了。加入牛奶的饮料更加顺滑。朋友说大盗陈这杯特别饮料比起新加坡的哩喝泡泡茶店的乳酪茶更美味。售价台币80元的乌鱼子乌龙奶盖乍听之下是贵了点,但这个价钱能买到这么大杯(500毫升)的饮料,内有昂贵的乌鱼子,其实还算蛮合理的啦。

We browsed through the menu & also saw many other tempting flavours to try, such as the signature Yue Lao Milk Tea series with cute Chinese names representing different love stages to tie in with Dihua Street’s landmark. Beverages were also all prepared only after customer ordered, so we had to wait patiently for the beverage to be ready, but that also meant it was fresh. DdC also has a vending machine selling the signature Yue Lao series near the legendary temple, where customers could find a love divine lot in the bottle. Sounds fun, although we didn’t locate the machine in the end. 😛

其实,大盗陈还有很多诱人的饮料让我们跃跃一试,比如符合迪化街特色的月老系列就有:恋爱的滋味(半糖)、暗恋的滋味(三分糖)、初恋的滋味(奶绿)等可爱名称的奶茶供选择。所有饮料都是顾客点单后才当场冲泡的,虽然无法快速领取饮料,但这才能品尝到新鲜好茶啊。就在庙宇不远处,也有一台大盗陈的投币式贩卖机。去年,大盗陈就因推出能占卜愛情的投币式月老奶茶而爆紅。好像蛮有趣的,不过,我们虽然有走到霞海城隍庙那里,但还是没留意到投币式贩卖机,😄。

Address/ 地址: No. 217, Dihua Street Section 1, Datong District, Taipei City/ 台北市大同區迪化街一段217號

Open/ 营业时间: 11 am to 6 pm from Tuesdays to Sundays / 周二至周日,早上11点至傍晚6点

Directions/ 交通方式: 7-min walk from Daqiaotou Station/ 从大桥头捷运站步行大概7分钟

Facebook/ 面簿: DdC

4. Fleisch cafe 福来许 咖啡馆

Our last cafe stop for the day – Fleisch Cafe diagonally opposite Xia Hai City God Temple
我们咖啡馆趴趴走的最后一站:位于霞海城隍庙斜对面的福来许

From DdC to Fleisch cafe, there were many interesting shops that caught our attention. Hence by the time we saw Fleisch, it was past 2.30 pm. Somehow, the sunny day tired us out & my head was aching & stomach growling. So we were so glad to see a cafe where we could settle down for late lunch & drinks.

从大盗陈到福来许咖啡馆的那段路,有许多文创店铺吸引我们的目光,导致抵达福来许时,已过了下午2点半了。炎热的天气使我被热晕了,不止头痛,肚子也一直咕噜叫。因此,看到福来许,开心不已,因为终于可以吃饭咯。

Fleisch is a small 2-storey cafe with only bar counter seats on the first floor. Although there were more seats on its second floor, I was too tired & hungry to climb up, so we settled downstairs to eat first. The cafe serves Japanese fusion food, as well as exquisite pastries & desserts. There were also creative artworks displayed on the shelves beside the bar counter, which were unique but not cheap.

福来许是一家小店铺,至少一楼给我这样的感觉哈哈。二楼有比较多座位,但太累太饿了,懒得爬楼梯,所以就在只有吧台座位的一楼用餐。咖啡馆的餐饮好像较偏向日式风味料理及精致甜点。在吧台旁的架子也有售卖一些文艺饰品,蛮特别的,但不便宜。

我们共享的午餐:日式现捞野生海鱼配饭套餐,还有一块伯爵观音重乳酪蛋糕

The lunch set portion, Grilled Wild Catch of the Day served with rice (390 TWD, ~S$18.20) wasn’t very big, maybe because it’s Japanese style haha. Nonetheless, it was still OK for us so we had room for desserts. The fish was very fresh, tender & well marinated. Besides rice, a small bowl of salad (with a little wafu sauce dressing) & a small bowl of sweet corn soup was served too.

我们点的日式现捞野生海鱼配饭套餐(台币390元)分量并不大,就像一般日式料理一样重质不重量吧,😅。这样也好,就可以“名正言顺”地吃甜点了,嘻嘻。野生海鱼很新鲜,肉嫩,也腌得够味。套餐除了有一碗白饭外,还有一小碗的沙拉(淋上一点日式酱),以及一小碗的玉米甜汤。

The sight of the Earl Grey Guanyin Tea Cheesecake (150 TWD, ~S$7) on the desserts menu tempted us to order, as we both thought it sounded like something special & yummy. It was a wise choice made, as the subtle aroma of earl grey tea mixed with guanyin tea blended well with the strong cheese flavour. While waiting for our meal to be served, we were a bit surprised when the waiter suddenly came up to us, confirming if we were fine to have the cake which wasn’t in a perfect condition (see pic above showing a slightly dented cake at the side) at a discount of 25%. Lovely gesture by the cafe, which we certainly didn’t mind! 😉

看到甜品单上有道伯爵观音重乳酪蛋糕(台币150元),我们都不约而同地说“就点这个!”因为两人都喜欢伯爵茶,也觉得甜点听起来就很特别诱人。结果证明选择是对的,因为伯爵茶及铁观音淡淡的茶香,配搭浓郁的重乳酪让口味变得特别。在等待食物端上桌时,店员突然上前向我们坦白说明蛋糕有点缺陷,确认我们是否还要点它(细看上图可以看到蛋糕左下角好像被咬过的样子)。如果我们🆗,可以75折的优惠价品尝。蛮贴心的举动,我们当然不介意,况且蛋糕这么好吃,谁还在乎什么缺陷!😄

After satisfying our hunger pangs, we went up to level 2, which was the cafe’s main seating area where quite a few tables were filled. The washroom was located here too, together with more exquisite art pieces on display. The large red banner with a big Chinese word “fu” (see top left pic in first collage) indicated that the cafe hopes to deliver the blessings received from the Xia Hai temple just across the street to its customers, which was why the cafe was named as such. Nice one!

饱餐一顿后,我们才上去二楼参观。二楼有较多座位,也有好几桌客人。这里也有洗手间,还有更多的精致文艺创作。看到第一张照片里有个大红的“福”字吗?原来咖啡馆的名字是因为店家希望把在对面城隍庙许来的福气送给来这里的客人。哇,很有意思!

Address/ 地址: No. 76, Dihua Street Section 1, Datong District, Taipei City/ 台北市大同區迪化街一段76號

Open/ 营业时间: 11 am to 10.30 pm daily / 每天早上11点至晚上10点半

Directions/ 交通方式: 10-min walk from Beimen Station exit 3/ 从北门捷运站3号出口步行大概10分钟

Facebook/ 面簿: Fleisch cafe 福来许咖啡馆

And that marked the end of our half-day cafe-hopping adventure in Taiwan’s most important commercial & trading centre 2 centuries ago. Below is a map of our journey for your easy reference.

就这样,我们在台北昔日最重要的商贸中心的半天快乐体验也结束了。以下是在大稻埕趴趴走的地图供你参考。

There are still many fascinating sights in the alluring cultural district that we couldn’t check out such as Dadaocheng Wharf, morning & night markets, & lots of charming old architecture. I’ll be back again to explore further! 😊

这个富文化特色的古老街区很大,还有好多迷人的地方。但由于时间不多,没有办法逐一寻访,例如大稻埕河岸、市场、夜市、和许多保存的很好的古建筑。下次还要再到大稻埕继续探索!😃

Ending this post with a photo of the old Watsons Pharmacy near Yongle Market @Dihua Street 🙂
就以这张在永乐市场附近的旧屈臣式药房大楼的照片为文章划下句点吧🙂

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3 thoughts on “Cafe-hop In 1 Of Taipei’s Oldest Districts – Dadaocheng 到台北古老大稻埕街区的特色咖啡馆趴趴走

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