Itinerary in a Nutshell:
1. Morning: Fu Hang Soya Bean and Shopping for Souvenirs at Taipei Main Station
2. Afternoon: Porridge Lunch at 一流清粥小菜
3. Evening: 豐盛食堂 or 師大夜市
DAY 5: CENTRAL TAIPEI
Disclaimer: The following itinerary is a combination of our itinerary for the morning before we headed to Hualien, and the afternoon/evening after we came back from Penghu (Our itinerary was: Taipei-Hualien-Taichung-Penghu-Taipei). As such, some of the attractions may seem repetitive. If you’re looking for a full day of food hunt or chilling, this post would be useful.
On our last day in Taipei before heading to the scenic Hualien, we decided to forgo the sumptuous breakfast prepared by Doris’ aunt and head straight to Fu Hang Soya Bean (阜杭豆漿), which was located one stop away from Taipei Main Station (MRT: Shandao Temple 善导寺 Station Exit 5). As a must-visit breakfast spot for many travellers despite the long wait, Fu Hang Soya Bean serves fresh and warm soya bean milk, including both sweet and salty renditions. In addition, the fried fritters, egg crepes and roasted flatbread are the perfect companions to go with soya bean. If you’re a soya bean junkie, we highly recommend a visit here. For a detailed review, click here.
After breakfast, you can head to Taipei Main Station for some last minute shopping of clothes or souvenirs. They offer a fantastic range of gifts at Taipei Main Station, so do not fret if you haven’t bought enough for the trip!
After our flight back from Penghu, we safe-kept our bags at Songshan Airport for about 6hours (NT70+)(Note time limit for inserting coins: 100secs. You can also safe-keep bags at Taipei Main Station), then headed to 一流清粥小菜
Official Website: Facebook
Address: 台北市復興南路二段104號 (Taipei City Fuxing South Road, Section 2, no 104) (View Map; located between Brown Line, Da-an and Technology Tower MRT Stations)
Operating Hours: 12pm – 3.30am (Closed on Mondays) (wef from August 2013)
Budget: about NT150-200/pax (Have a glance at the menu here)
After days of feasting on 鲁肉饭, Oyster Mee Sua and Xiaolong-baos, your stomach definitely deserves a time-out. If you’re craving for some light refreshing dishes, head down to the “Porridge Street” along 復興南路二段, where 一流清粥小菜 and a few other porridge eateries reside. They bear much resemblance to the local Teochew porridge stalls, where you can order the dishes of your choice and they will serve the selected dishes straight to your table. In particular, 一流清粥小菜 serves free-flow piping hot sweet potato porridge!
Official Website: http://sing-ya.com.tw
Address: 10654 台北市大安區忠孝東路三段265號 (捷运板南線忠孝復興1號出口; MRT Brown Line Zhongxiao Fuxing Exit 1)
Operating Hours: 10am-10pm
Every one of us probably has a hidden Doraemon residing in us – we all love Dorayaki! After a refreshing but probably not extremely filling porridge lunch, head down to Sing-ya Dorayaki (星野銅鑼燒), which supposedly serves the best dorayaki in Taipei. The good and bad thing about Sing-ya is that the dorayaki are freshly made with no preservatives added. Therefore, you have to consume it within half to an hour or you must chill it immediately (i.e. you can’t buy it home as a souvenir for your friends/family ): ).
We ordered the Matcha-Red Bean Dorayaki, which comprised azuki beans and green tea mousse. The green tea mousse was sufficiently smooth and milky, though it tasted more like matcha whipped cream, instead of matcha filling. That said, although the pancake skin was ice-cold (if you see the ice crystals on the filling), it was very soft, chewy and not too sweet. We also ordered a Chestnut Dorayaki that was recommended (but not exceptionally fantastic); it was just whipped cream with chestnut filling. Hence, we’ll suggest that you opt for the Matcha-Azuki combo instead.
After so much feasting, we decided to take some time to chill at Taipei Main Station, since London Gal had some last minute errands to run. If you’re looking for some other indie cafes to chill, you can check out:
Hello Kitty Sweets
Address: 台北市大安路一段90號 (90 Da-an Road Sec 1, Taipei, Taiwan)
Opening Hours: 11:30 – 22:00 (Daily)
Getting there: Zhongxiao Fuxing MRT station, Exit 3 (Less than 5-min walk) (捷運板南線忠孝復興站3號出口)
Comments: Reservations recommended, each patron (except children below 1 m in height) has to spend a minimum of NT330 and you are limited to 1.5 hours per sitting. Many bloggers have commented that the food looks much nicer than it actually tastes, but fans of Hello Kitty are probably not deterred.
Stay Real Cafe
Address: 台北市敦化南路一段177巷21號 (Dunhua South Road Sec 1, No 21)
Comments: This cafe is opened by Ah-Shin, a member of the famous Mayday band. There are two outlets, one near Taipei 101 and one in Ximending.
5 Senses Cafe
Web Links: Facebook; Blog link; Douban Link
Address：台北市基隆路三段85號 (Ji-long Road Sec 3, No 85)
Opening hours: 1100-2400 (daily)
Comments: This cafe was already famous before it was made even more famous by the wildly popular Taiwanese idol drama, 《我可能不会爱你》 – this was the place where the female protagonist 程又青 orders her daily dose of double mocca. In any event, it is a relaxing place for catching up or pure chillax.
Cha for Tea
Address: 台北市中山 北路五段570號 (570, Zhongshan N Rd Sec 5, Taipei)
Tel: (02) 2888-2929
Opening Hours: 11.00am – 11.00pm
Official Website: Facebook
Address: 大安區麗水街1-3號, Taipei, Taiwan (Click for the map here and Namecard details here) (Dongmen Station)
Tel: +886 2 2396 1133
Operating Hours: 11:30 -14:00 (Lunch); 17:00 – 21:00 (Dinner) (Reservations recommended)
Budget: NT400-600（Prices: here)
If the snaking queues at Din Tai Fung or Kao-chi get too much to bear, head down to 豐盛食堂, nestled in the corner of 麗水街 and a few streets down Yongkang Street (though reservations are also recommended at 豐盛食堂). Enjoy some heartwarming Taiwanese local delights and immerse in the retro 70s atmosphere. Although prices are not cheap (about NT350-600) and the food is above average (and not mind-blowing), this place is probably the most ‘Taiwanese’ that you can get in the vicinity.
ShiDa Night Market (師大夜市)
Directions: Alight at Taipower Building Station (台電大樓) Exit 3. Need to walk for about 5-10mins before reaching the night market.
If you prefer to grab some nibbles at the nearby 師大夜市, we have some recommendations for your perusal:
燈籠滷味 (Lantern Hot Stew)
Address & Walking Directions: 52 Longquan Street.
The food store is located in Shida Night Market situated near National Taiwan Normal University, which starts in the lanes 10 minutes walking distance from Taipower Building (台電大樓), MRT station, Exit 3. Walk along the main Shida Road, and as you get nearer the market area, you will notice more people along the lanes to the right. The market covers several intersecting streets. Walk into the market and lookout for the stall name “燈籠” with red lanterns to distinguish the store.
Note: There are many copycat stores, and there is one just a few doors away also donning the red lanterns but with a different sign name.
Official Website: http://ijysheng.com.tw
Address: 台北市師大路 53 號
Being curious bunnies, we also passed by 一之轩, a local bakery packed with students and locals. Ijysheng is a chain of more than 10 stores in Taipei, and sells freshly baked bread, pastries and cakes. Take a look at their hot-sellers and make your pick!
These buys accompanied us en route to Japan, and since most Taiwanese bakers learn their craft from Japanese bakers, you probably would not go wrong – our fellow French wwoof in Japan said that the bread was not bad!
Pls continue on to Hualien Part I: Overview