A review of Yan and Coco’s Choice in DaAn District, Taipei. As a digital nomad on the hunt for friendly places with good coffee or food remote-work suitability. Most photos are shot with a second-hand Fujifilm X100. This is part of my Taipei Coffee Walk: NTU, Zhongzheng, Da’An Districts.
An afternoon in the area around the National Taiwan University could easily drift into evening, and slide gently into night. Wandering the grid of alleys, every storefront will be a new character to study — is it a wooden Japanese-inspired noodle joint, a corner store, a lounge bar shaded by broad-leafed plants, or an open studio? The ensemble is loosely knit together by that demure Taipei chill.
Yan and Coco’s is one such small shop that one could either glide past, or stumble upon, with one of the owners sitting on the patio chair, people watching.
Like many cafes around the area, they open at 11am, so it makes a great place to drop by for brunch and work through the afternoon. The skylight on the side is one of the most ideal places in the area to work without feeling like you’ve missed out on the sunshine.
The bakery doesn’t try to compete with the other “hip” cafes close by like Picnic, so I didn’t have to compete with as many hip university students with stacked textbooks. The place has free Wi-Fi and I spotted a few outlets, so it works perfectly for remote work. Plus, the couple don’t mind people hanging around and are just as happy to chat as they are to leave you alone.
Since the place is more a bakery, I was more interested in their breads and cakes. After trying the sample breads (many of which are European-inspired), I settled on cake (for coffee time!). They have a few in-house options (such as cheesecake), but my favourite is the white chocolate cake because it’s surprisingly light. I normally dislike white chocolate, but this is one of the exceptions. As a cafe, they also serve espresso-based coffee, and I would suggest ordering a drink with milk, as the extraction tends to be on the smokey-bitter end, which works well with their cakes.
Their Story / What I like About Them:
I’ve known this shop since they opened three years ago, so I like dropping by to see what new bread selections they have when I’m in the area. This time around, I noticed new jars in the fridge under the cakes.
Pate? Why? It turns out a French chef who married a Taiwanese lady had a falling out with the restaurant owners who employed him. He had been recommended down the block to this cafe to source baguettes for the restaurant originally and hit it off with the owners, so after he left, he brought a sample for Yan and Coco (the owners) to try. When they liked it, they offered to stock some for him to test the market.
The bakery looks like a local corner shop one would stumble upon somewhere in France or Italy with its olive oils, wines, and other eclectic offerings (they use and sell one of my favourite types of French butter). Like corner shops around the world that people weave into their routines, I’ve encountered friendly regulars by staying for a few hours. One of them was a Canadian who liked coming for their pumpkin soup (apparently, it’s a Canadian thing) and was also quite obsessed about quality service and ingredients. This other guest recommended me to Yamada Coffee (which I’ve included in my neighbourhood coffee walk).
- Coffee: Espresso
- Food: Restaurant mains, desserts, bread
- Cafe Space: Approx 15 people
- Friends: Hangouts, meal
- Workspace: Individual & 4-person tables, 1 table on the patio outside
- Remote Work: Wi-Fi available, 1-2 plugs
|Address:||No. 51, Wenzhou Street, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106|
If you liked this post, check out my Taipei Coffee Walk: Songshan District!