[Article extracted from Lady Iron Chef. I’ve also googled and added information, with acknowledgement, to 2 of the eateries listed.]
Yong Kang Street is a dining destination in Taipei. Whether its cheap and delicious Taiwanese snacks like ‘cong zhua bing’, shaved ice mountain or beef noodles; nice and chic cafes where you can get a cup of good coffee and desserts; or niche boutiques selling lifestyle products – there are plenty of options at Yong Kang Street. You can easily spend a day wandering in the alleys.
Here is our guide to Taipei’s Yong Kang Street, featuring the niche boutiques, trendy cafes and local eateries.
Tip: Getting to Yong Kang street is easier with the opening of Dongmen Station. To go there by train, take the blue line to Zhongxiao Xinsheng station and change to the yellow line to Dongmen Station. Otherwise, take a cab and tell the driver to go to Yong Kang Street, and drop at Din Tai Fung.
1. Boite de Bijou
A French patisserie that serves desserts like Mont Blanc, chocolate banana mousse, yuzu mousse, blueberry tart, citron tart (NT$120-150). Their financiers and madeleines (NT$450/box) come in nice packaging, and make excellent gifts for friends.
Boite de Bijou is listed in our guide to Taipei’s best desserts.
No 19-1 Lane 33 Lishui Street
Tel: 02 3322 2461
Daily: 10am – 9pm
2. Bunny Listens to the Music
Like the name suggests, this cutesy restaurant has a whimsical vibe to it, and it is the perfect place to go for a date. They are under the same management as Boite de Bijou – a patisserie around the corner – so you can expect to end your meal with good desserts.
No 15 Lane 6 Qingtian Street
3. Cafe Xiaomijo
With places like Cafe Xiaomijo in the area where you can grab a bite and have a cup of coffee, it is easy to understand why Yongkang Street is so popular. The artsy cafe is tucked in the same alley as For Good Cafe (formerly Flat White Cafe), and the dim-lighting makes it a cosy and homely space to take a break.
No 5 Lane 41 Yongkang Street
Tel: 02 2395 7617
Tue to Sun: 11am – 11pm
4. Din Tai Fung
Din Tai Fung’s Xinyi flagship store is also at Yong Kang Street. If you are in the mood for xiaolongbao, or if you are a big fan of the brand, you have to make a trip to their original outlet.
No. 194, Section 2, Xinyi Road
Tel: 02 2321 8928
Mon to Fri: 10am – 9pm
Sat & Sun: 9am – 9pm
5. Duke Rabbit Cafe
Another cutesy spot in Yong Kang Street where you can go for afternoon tea is Duke Rabbit Cafe. They serve desserts such as tiramisu and French strawberry tart – prices range from NT$75 to NT$130.
No 6 Lane 37 Yongkang Street
Also on Qingtian Street is Ecole, a quiet and chill-out cafe where you can escape from the crowd at Yong Kang Street. Named after the French word for “school”, the cafe is located near to Shida University, so it is not uncommon to see students studying in the cafe.
1 Apart from coffee, there is a selection of Assam, Ceylon, Darjeeling and Turkish mint teas that sooth the nerves as well as the mind. The chef, who studied in Lyon, presents authentic light repasts such as panini with either chorizo, salmon, duck breast and cheese (NT$160), cheese platter (NT$250), quiche (NT200) and a tapas set (NT$250) that varies daily. These can be washed down with your pick of beers from Germany, Belgium and the UK or handmade cakes and brownies.[1 – additional information from Taipei Times.]
No 6 Lane 1 Qingtian Street
Tel: 02 2322 2725
Mon to Fri: 8am – 10pm
Sat & Sun: 11am – 11pm
7. Eating Time
A stylish restaurant which has a big menu serving breakfast (NT$220-420), burgers (NT$230-280), grilled steaks and ribs (NT$800-1000). We loved the decor of the place and could have easily sat there for the whole day.
No 18 Yong Kang Street
Tel: 02 2351 3663
Daily: 8am – 11pm
8. For Good Cafe
Taking over the premise of the now-defunct Flat White Cafe, For Good Cafe is perpetually full and it remains one of the most popular spots in Yong Kang Street. They have a rather limited food menu, so have your meal at other places before coming here for coffee and desserts.
No 12 Lane 41 Yongkang Street
Tel: 02 3393 8659
Daily (except Tue): 12pm – 10pm
9. Kao Chi
An alternative to Din Tai Fung is Kao Chi, which is equally famous for their steamed pork dumplings and Shanghainese dishes. This is a spot long ago flooded by tourists – because of media publicity – but still good enough to attract locals.
No 5 Yongkang Street
Tel: 02 2341 9984
10. La Douceur Patisserie
With more than a dozen desserts (NT$160-170) – such as Vanilla Mousse with chocolate cake and marshmellow, Mont Blanc, Matcha Cake, Cherry Mousse, 72% Dark Chocolate Tart – available on the menu, La Douceur will satisfy every sweet tooth. They also have, hands down, one of the best macarons (a box of 7 for NT$530, or 9 for NT$1520) in Taipei. Choose from flavours like strawberry, passionfruit, caramel mandarin, lavender and caramel.
La Douceur Patisserie is listed in our guide to Taipei’s best desserts.
No. 223 Jinhua Street
Tel: 02 3322 2833
11. L’Air Cafe Neo Bistro
The head chef of L’Air Cafe Neo Bistro has worked for famous establishments like L’Atelier Joel Robuchon and Justin’s Signatures, so naturally you can expect well-executed French fare. The set lunch (NT$2200) is excellent value, and it allows customers to sample some of the chef’s signature dishes. For something light, come here from 2pm to 5pm for their much-lauded crepes.
No 5 Lane 164 Jinhua Street
Tel: 02 3343 3937
Daily: 11.30am – 2pm, 5.30pm – 9pm
12. Les Bebes Cupcakery
One of the better cupcake bakeries in Taipei, Les Bebes Cupcakery serves simple and good-quality bakes. The cupcakes come in two sizes – regular and mini – and they are the perfect gifts to buy for friends, or treats for yourself.
No 149-4 Chaozhou Street
Tel: 02 2358 2226
Daily: 11am – 8pm
13. LV Sang
Visitors to Taipei who are looking for authentic Taiwanese food should go to LV Sang. The menu is dedicated to Yilan (a region located along the East coast of Taiwan) food, and you will definitely be happy with its variety of affordable and delicious dishes.
No 12-5 Yong Kang Street
Tel: 02 2351 3323
Daily: 11.30am – 2pm, 5pm – 9pm
14. Morita Cafe
Besides dishing out pasta and brunch, Morita Cafe – a princessy and dreamy cafe – also offers afternoon tea (NT$880) in a beautiful 3 tier dessert stand. They recently opened a new bakery on the main Yong Kang street, opposite Eating Time Cafe.
No 7-3 Lane 198 Xinyi Road Section 2
Tel: 02 2358 7665
Daily: 11am – 10pm
15. Rose House
Another place where you can have a peaceful afternoon is Rose House, a Victorian-themed teahouse, on Li Shui Lane. It has a Little Prince Afternoon Tea Set (NT$399) featuringcheese cake, rose lychee jelly, rose macaron, roll cake, scone, creme brulee, quiche, bacon burger and petite sandwich.
No 1 Lane 3 Li Shui Street
Tel: 02 2394 8202
Sun to Thu: 11am – 10pm
Fri & Sat: 11am – 11pm
16. Slack Season Noodles (Tu Hsiao Yueh)
Slack Season, or Tu Hsiao Yueh, originated from Tainan. Frankly, while the noodles are tasty, it is rather over-priced for the small portion. Still, this is a great chance to sample their famous dan dan noodles without travelling down south.
No 9-1 Yong Kang Street
Tel: 02 3393 1325
Daily: 11.30am – 10pm
17. Smoothie House
Smoothie House is a popular fruit covered snowflake shaved ice shop which has two outlets on Yong Kang Street. Besides their original shop at No 9, they have also taken over the premise of their former-competitor Ice Monster (popularly known as Yong Kang 15).
No 9 Yong Kang Street
Tel: 02 2395 8770
Daily: 11am – 11pm
No 15 Yong Kang Street
Tel: 02 2395 8770
Daily: 10.30am – 11pm
18. The Green Steps
On the quieter strip of Jinhua Street, this cafe is small but more than cosy. If you want to stay closer to the sounds of the birds chirping, take the outdoor seats and sip some chamomile while you feel the breeze caress your face. But hide away in the indoor with a mezzanine and enjoy the scent of fresh pastries filling the air.
1 Food-wise, offerings are a variety of cakes or cookies (NT$120), and desserts that range from NT$150 to NT$200, including the old faves like Tiramisu, and the good, slightly nutty Chocolate Brownie with cream. Bagels and waffles are NT$160, or you can choose from tuna or chicken for the filling toasted sandwich (NT$160).
2 Plenty of good teas and coffees are available, including more unusual choices like Lavender Latte (NT$200/300 pot), or the house special coffee (NT$200), which is also a latte, with a subtle and intriguing herby flavour. Lavazza and Illy black coffees are available; two well-known, quality names in Italian coffee. Also available for take away are packets of Taiwan’s oolong tea. These start at NT$380/150g and go up to NT$750 for the Alishan leaves.
3 Outside patios are still somewhat of a rarity in Taipei and, with some cover from the elements, this is a great place to while away the time. Once it is dark and the lamps are lit, the atmosphere is one that will certainly add a touch of romance to the night. [1 – 3: Additional information from Taiwan Fun.]
No 27 Lane 243 Jinhua Street
Tel: 02 2392 3719
19. Yong Kang Beef Noodles
This is an institution in Taipei. You can practically find it in most of the travel guides to Taipei. It offers a huge selection of soup and noodle, but everyone comes here for their famous beef noodles (NT$180).
No 17 Lane 31 Section 2 Jinshan South Road
Tel: 02 2351 1051
My new favourite dessert spot in Taipei, Zenique is a teahouse and patisserie which serves really good French desserts (NT$160-180/slice) like Kyoto Matcha, Rose Versailles and Tarte Aux Fraises with tea-infused flavours. They also have nine different macarons (NT$60). We absolutely love their rose macarons.
Zenique is listed in our guide to Taipei’s best desserts.
No 8 Lane 4 Yong Kang Street
Tel: 02 2395 1558
Sun to Thu: 11am – 11pm
Fri & Sat: 11am – 10.30pm
21. 8% Ice Cream Shop
A cool ice cream parlour that not only serves good gelato – with flavours like matcha, pumpkin sesame, banana and walnut – but also has a very nice interior.
No 6 Lane 13 Yong Kang Street
Tel: 02 2395 6583
Daily: 12pm – 10pm
For more recommendations, read our guide to Taipei’s best desserts