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Café hop with me! Current top 10 spots in Taipei

Taipei is a relative newcomer on the coffee shop scene, however, over the past few years, its café culture has been bubbling to the surface and takes on a fresh approach to feed its people’s aesthetic taste and eclectic appetite, making the city an alluring place for the young, and a new haven for lazy afternoon chill out. A café in Taipei is not just some place to get a warm drink, but also a cultural hub, which has gradually become a part of the local everyday lifestyle.

Now in Taipei, we are spoiled for choice. Trendy cafes are springing up one after another, each with its own unique style and distinctive concept. There are always new places to explore; you never know what awaits you on the next corner.

Here’s a round up of my current favorites.

1. Café De Riz

Café De Riz pairs a coffee and sushi bar into one. It not only has a slick and sophisticated neo-European interior design but also takes on a modern interpretation of traditional Japanese cuisine. From savory dishes such as sashimi bowl and rice balls to tasty sweets such as Hojicha Creme Brulee and Lemon Pound Cake, Café De Riz adds a unique touch to its dishes by combining western coffee drinking culture with Japanese food elements.

Their special onigiri set is a personal favorite! It comes with three rice balls each with a different filling and seasoning. The side dishes vary but generally consist of pickled/stewed vegetables.

Café De Riz adheres to the philosophy that quality rice is the foundation of a good meal. The rice they use is the RAW special blend in line with the establishment chef André Chiang’s RAW. Their brown sugar latte goes surprisingly well with the rice ball set. An absolutely elegant “east meets west” dining experience.

Address: No. 34, Lane 78, Section 1, Anhe Rd, Da’an District, Taipei City, 106 Tel: 02-2755-6587 MRT station: Daan

2. One Fifteen

Abundant natural lighting is a key essential that makes for a good café environment. In the buzzing Eastern District of Taipei, One Fifteen offers a fresh and elegant Mediterranean taste, which is rarely seen in Taipei. One Fifteen’s design resembles a greenhouse, with windows that let in plenty of light and shades of green from outside, making it a very relaxing place to dine on a sunny day.

One Fifteen offers a selection of salads, sandwiches, desserts, teas and other light refreshments. Their mixed berry French toast is to die for! Part of One Fifteen is essentially a clothing store carrying creative Taiwanese designer brands, which also serves as a platform to showcase the young talents’ work from time to time. If you are looking for a place where both fashion and food are in style, this is a gem.

Address: No. 92, Section 1, Da'an Rd, Da’an District, Taipei City, 106 Tel: 02-8773-0115

MRT station: Zhongxiao Fuxing

3. Kiosk Cafe

Behind the gorgeous dark blue door sits a gorgeous open white space with minimal design and great ambiance. The blue and grey marble stonework station sets the stage for the super cool owner with a Mohawk cut, serving an array of brews. For first timers, Kiosk’s lemon olive oil cheesecake and flat white will not disappoint!

Their tartines are also very tasty as well as the daily tarts on offer. Keep in mind that as there is no time limit at Kiosk, it does get quite crowded so make sure you go a little early to avoid a line – the wait is a testament to its popularity.

Address: No. 40, Section 1, Xinsheng N Rd, Zhongshan District, Taipei City, 104 Tel: 02-2542-8090

MRT station: Zhongxiao Xinsheng