Taipei Coffee Walk: NTU and DaAn District

A shortlist of independent coffee roasters and coffee shops around the National Taiwan University (NTU or Taida) and the Da’an and Zhongzhen area. Notes are by an amateur coffee enthusiast and shoestring digital nomad. Places are reviewed for their remote work suitability, but the main focus is usually either the coffee or the story behind the cafe.

national taiwan university coffee shop

A generous cappuccino at Cafe Macho — Photo by Athena Lam

How to read this coffee list:

The independent cafes on this list were visited during a trip in Spring 2017. Below, you will find a photo of the cafe space, a brief profile of what they offer, and the location on Google Maps.

My map also includes other restaurants and cafes I’ve visited in the Da’An and Zhongzhen Districts throughout several years. 

My map includes 3 types of information. 1) The cafes I’d go to for coffee; 2) the cafes with decent enough coffee, but I would go to for additional reasons (i.e. remote work, food, or ambiance), and 3) other places in the area I like.

The places on this list don’t follow a set of criteria. Usually, I look for places with good coffee, comfortable seating, friendly staff, plugs and Wi-Fi, and good food. Most places average out to being decent enough for a revisit depending on what I’m in the mood for. I try to note in this list exactly what I like about it to help people make a decision.

You can pre-load this map onto your phone and it works offline as long as you don’t restart it. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment!

Other Tips:

  1. Taipei has a lot of free Wi-Fi (metro if you register, restaurants, cafes, and public spaces). Also, ask if you don’t see the Wi-Fi password.
  2. The area around National Taiwan University (NTU / Taida) has a lot of cafes, so you can just wander around the Guting, Tai Power Building metro stations.
  3. Cafes open late in Taipei. Most open after 10am and stay open until 10pm or even midnight.
  4. Many cafes are used to people working for hours. The places that don’t allow it usually will inform you of how long you can stay.
  5. Some places will have a minimum charge and coffee is often more expensive than food.
  6. English is not widely spoken in Taipei. Most of these cafes have some English on the menu, but the local restaurants I’ve recommended often don’t.

Rufous Coffee

rufous coffee taipei independent coffee roaster

Rufous roasts their own beans and is one of Taipei’s early indie cafes — Photo by Athena Lam

Of the best cafes I’ve visited in Taipei so far, Rufous is definitely in the top 3 (although I can’t rank my favourites firmly). They’re quite pricey for their single origin pour-overs, but the cup I got was delicious. The place has a more classic approach to a coffee house, with a wooden interior, shelf crammed with memorabilia, cups and coffee equipment.

Coffee: Single-origin pour over, espresso, syphon
Remote Work: Wi-Fi available, maybe one or two outlets
Hours: 13:00-22:00
Closed Thursdays
Address: No. 339, Section 2, Fuxing South Road, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106
Website Facebook page

Hi日楞 Ryou Cafe

remote work NTU taipei

Hi Ryou opens early and is very remote-work friendly — Photo by Athena Lam

Things I like about Hi Ryou are that it opens early (8:30am), is spacious and green, and has generously portioned food with local and seasonal ingredients. This place requires each patron to at least buy 1 drink, but has free Wi-Fi and outlets along the window seats. This is a popular remote working place.

Coffee: Single-origin pour over, espresso
Remote Work: Wi-Fi available. Outlets along the walls
Hours: 8:30-19:00
Closed Tuesdays
Address: No. 24-1, Pucheng Street, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106
Website Facebook page

早秋咖啡 Cafe Macho

remote work digital nomad taipei

Individual plugs and Wi-Fi available at Cafe Macho — Photo by Athena Lam

Come if you like cafe / bars that cater to local student and artist communities (think indie performance posters, manga books, retro decore). This place also has Wi-Fi and individual outlets and stays open late for night owl remote workers. Their espresso-based drinks are also reasonably priced in comparison to other lifestyle cafes in the area.

Coffee: Espresso
Remote Work: Wi-Fi available, work station outlets available.
Hours: Daily 12:00-00:00
Address: No. 10, Jinjiang St, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan 100
Website Facebook page

山田咖啡 Yamada Coffee

kanazawa coffee brewing method

Kanazawa water pot for a different filter brewing method — Photo by Athena Lam

One of the best filter coffees in the city and at great value because this is basically a takeaway shop. As roasters who began as importers of Kono coffee equipment, they also import Kanazawa water pots (which cost over US$200 and I haven’t found anywhere else outside of Kanazawa City in Japan). They have smelling vials for their roasts, which make a great souvenir to take home. Drop by if you’re in the area, but it’s not for remote work.

Coffee: Single-origin pour over (Kono & Kanazawa methods)
Remote Work: Not suitable.
Hours: 8:00-19:30
Closed Tuesdays
Address: No. 18, Section 2, Roosevelt Rd, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan 100
Website Facebook page

 Yan & Coco’s Cafe

Yan & Coco's choice NTU

European-inspired bakery with Wi-Fi available — Photo by Athena Lam

This is actually a family-style bakery with cafe seating. Two other coffee shops are across the street and right beside it. They have some rare comfort foods from Canada and Europe. Items not found easily elsewhere (in quite the same way) include the pumpkin soup and the small jars of goose pate (made by a French chef who married a Taiwanese lady and fell out with the restauranteur down the block). Wi-Fi is available, and they have 1-2 outlets for remote work. The owners don’t mind if you hang around all day, so it’s a very chill place to hang out.

Coffee: Espresso
Remote Work: Wi-Fi available. One or two outlets in a corner.
Hours: Daily: 11:00-21:30
Address: No. 51, Wenzhou Street, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106
Website Facebook page

Paper Street Coffee Company

taipei third wave coffee

Paper Street is located close to Huashan 1914 Cultural District — Photo by Athena Lam

This cafe is a bit further from the other ones on the list, but I’ve included it because it would be a shame if you missed out! Located across the street from Huashan 1914 Cultural District, it’s a refuge from the crowds. Many bloggers tout it as the best espresso in the city. While the cup I tried wasn’t anywhere near that, it was decent enough for me to definitely return and try a second time, since I like the atmosphere it has at night. Note, it has no Wi-Fi, but does have 1-2 plugs for remote work.

Coffee: Single-origin pour over, espresso
Remote Work: A few outlets in corners
Hours: Daily: 10:00-20:00
Address: No. 28, Section 1, Bade Road, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan 10058
Website Facebook page

Meals:

Taipei vegetarian food

Vegetarian lunch set at Wisteria House, an old cultural tea house — Photo by Athena Lam

The entire area around Taida (NTU) and Shida has affordable local eats. If you want a cozy sit-down place, the dining cafes beside NTU are a great bet — plus, many double up as great lounge bars and have live music at night.

In my map, look for the fork and knife icon for places to eat. Most of them are quite local and more on the street-food end. I have added notes in the map location pins.

If you liked this post, you can check out my other coffee maps:

If you liked this list, please share! Thanks!

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