smith wollensky taipei

Where to Drink in Taipei

Taipei has really grown into a great drinking city, making this post a bit of a beast to put together. The local craft beer scene has matured, and so has the cocktail scene. There are fancy places to get dressed up for, and also plenty of casual places to simply relax and hang out. It’s pretty cool.

While I definitely don’t go out as much as I used to, I did check with a few people who are “in the know” to make sure there are no drastic omissions. Having said that, I’ve purposefully excluded places with gimmicky entrances and bars that require you buy an annual membership. So whether you’re visiting Taipei or you’re a local, I hope you’ll see a handful of interesting places to try. Ganbei!

Afternoon beers at Taihu.

Where to Try Taiwanese Craft Beer

Taihu Craft Beer Tasting Room — Taihu is one of the original Taiwanese craft beer names. The bar is typically packed upstairs, so head downstairs for more seating and some bar games. It’s also one of the few places to try Taiwanese wine from Weightstone. Open daily from 5pm. (Map)

Sunmai Bar — Sunmai is the hipster craft beer brand from Le Ble D’Or, which is famous for its award-winning longan honey beer. The bar is popular with office workers in the area. Open from 4pm. Sunday from 2pm. (Map)

Buckskin Beerhouse — From the makers of Kavalan Whisky, Buckskin is a mainstream craft beer brand you can pick up at 7-11 and supermarkets. Their taprooms are lovely places to spend a few hours. I’m impressed their two locations in Nanjing (Map) and Songren are both open from 8am daily, according to Google. (Map)

Zhang Men Brewing — The new rooftop location above the Breeze Fuxing mall (Map) is a lot roomier than the original space in Yongkang St. (Map)

Redpoint Brewing Co. Taproom — American-style food with craft beer. Open daily from 5pm. (Map)

Jolly Brewery + Restaurant — Craft beer served with Thai food which is a nice change from the usual pizzas, pastas and burgers. Popular with locals. Open daily from 11:30am. They rest in the afternoons from 2:30pm til 5:30pm. (Map)

Beers at The Shrine.

Where to Hang Out with Friends

MUD Bar — A large, very cool space downstairs in the amba Hotel Zhongshan for cocktails and music. Plenty of seats! Open from 7pm. Closed Mondays. (Map)

The Shrine Cafe & Bar — An eclectic and cosy space with very interesting and random decor. They have craft beer on tap, lots of bottles and happy hour from 3pm til 9pm. Open daily from 1pm. (Map)

Another Brick — A lively dive bar in the Guting area a short stroll from The Shrine. Open daily from 6pm. (Map)

Driftwood 西門町 — A huge space in Ximending run by Taihu brewing. Open from 5pm on weekdays. From 3pm on weekends. (Map)

父母 FuMu — A new spot that’s a breakfast joint in the daytime then transforms into a casual bar for cocktails, beers and boardgames til the wee hours. Oh, and it’s dog friendly! Open daily from 8am on weekdays, 10am on weekends. (Map)

Where to Drop $$ on Cocktails

It feels like there’s a new cocktail bar opening every other month so I checked with some big cocktail drinkers where they like to go. Note that most of the good/popular cocktail places in Taipei are priced 400NT or more a drink, so we’re definitely not messing around. And if you’re three or more, I’d recommend calling ahead to see about booking a table.

Bar 春花 The Primrose — The bar is super pretty. Opens 7pm. Closed Mondays. (Map)

AHA Saloon — Some people say it’s the best bar in Taipei. Others say the service kind of sucks. Open daily from 8pm til 2am. (Map)

Bar Mood — I heard the highball is the best here because they have a high-end soda water machine. Open daily from 6pm til 1am. (Map)

Placebo — A favorite of bartenders. Open daily from 8pm til 2am. Saturdays til 3am. (Map)

R&D Cocktail Lab — Super crowded and popular. I’ve even seen a line out the door of people waiting for a table. Open daily from 7pm. (Map)

Digout Bar & Cafe — A friend says the cocktails at this tiny bar are better than at R&D. Open daily from 8pm til 2am. (Map)

The casks at Kavalan Whisky Bar.

Where to Sip Whisky

Admittedly I don’t drink whisky but these are two places whisky-drinkers I know recommended:

Kavalan Whisky Bar — Shiny new space from the Kavalan group where you can drink single malt straight from the barrel. Open from 8pm. Closed Mondays. (Map)

The Malt — Someone on Google Review said this place is a “whiskey lover’s paradise”. Open daily from 7pm. (Map)

White wine by the glass at Addiction.

Where to Eat While You Drink

Le Blanc — Get the steak and unlimited fries. Start with a glass of sparkling wine, then shift to red wine by the glass. Or BYO, there’s no corkage fee. Open daily from 11:30am. Kitchen closes at 9pm. (Map)

Addiction Aquatic Development — Check out the standing sushi bar for the freshest seafood in Taipei and plenty of beer, wine and sake options. Open daily from 11am til 11:30pm. (Map)

Fireweeds — A Japanese izakaya the locals love. They serve beers on tap and have a big selection of sake. Ambiance here is lovely because the restaurant’s in a renovated Japanese cottage. Open daily from 5pm til 12am. (Map)

Acheng Goose — The best place to kill a half dozen bottles of Taiwan Beer. Settle in with a big plate of roast goose, goose blood, the bamboo and the sausages. Open daily from 11:30am to 9pm. (Map)

Taiwanippon 赤綠 — A super casual izakaya restaurant for small plates. The sashimi platter is incredible. They offer wines by the bottle or glass, beer on tap and also a big selection of sake. (Map)

A quiet corner inside MUD Bar.

Where to Drink in the Daytime

Woolloomooloo — The upstairs patio is a lovely spot to watch Taipei traffic pass by. Woolloomooloo is an Australian restaurant and cafe, so all the craft beers and wines are from Australia. If there’s one place to have a boozy brunch in the city, this is it. Open daily from 7:30am. (Map)

Soupstar The Kitchen — A quiet bistro for lunch. They have wines by the bottle or by the glass. Food is great. I love the fries. Open from 11:30am weekdays. From 11am on weekends. Closed Mondays. (Map)

Gonna — My favorite fast casual restaurant in the city that’s bustling every day. They have a house red and white wines by the glass or bottle, plus lots of beer options from Buckskin and Taihu, as well as alcohol-free options from Mikkeller! Open from 8am daily. (Map)

British Oyster Seafood Shed — Chill with oysters shucked to order, fish and chips or the fish burger. Enjoy with Guinness on tap and white wines by the glass. Open 11:30am. Closed Tuesdays. (Map)

Upstairs at Mikkeller Taipei.

Where to Have Happy Hour

Bobwundaye — A dive bar with happy hour from 6pm to 9pm daily. Glasses of wine are 100NT. Order the potato wedges. Open from 6pm til 2am. Closed Sundays. Kitchen closed on Mondays. (Map)

Little Creatures — The Taipei outpost of the Australian brewery with possibly the best happy hour in the city. Buy one get one free craft beer from 4:30pm til 6:30pm Monday to Friday. From 3pm til 6pm on weekends. The beer flight is only 250NT. A bowl of fries is 100NT. Bargains. (Map)

The Formosa Blossom at Smith & Wollensky.

Where to Have Drinks with a View

Bar 88 ⁠— On the 88th floor of the Taipei 101 skyscraper, it’s the highest bar in Taipei. Only visitors to the observation deck on the 89th floor can access the bar, so you’ll need to get a ticket. Open daily from 9am til 10pm. (Map)

Smith & Wollensky ⁠— You’ll get up close and personal to Taipei 101 from the 47th floor of the Nanshan Plaza. Open daily from 11:30am til 10pm. Fri/Sat til 11pm. (Map)

Marco Polo Lounge — One of the best nighttime views of the city from the 38th floor of the Shangri-La hotel. Open 2:30pm til 1am. Closed Mondays. (Map)

The Terrace Bar — It’s only on the 6th floor, but the Terrace Bar at Humble House hotel is pretty special because it looks up at Taipei 101. Open daily from 10am til 1am. (Map)

Where to Have a Quick One

Draft Land — A standing bar with cocktails on tap. It doesn’t get more efficient than that. Opens daily from 6pm til 1am. (Map)

7-11 & Family Mart — No joke, all the convenience stores around town have a serious selection of local and imported beers. Selected 7-11 are even serving beers on tap.

Comments (1):

  1. Darice Chang

    August 19, 2019 at 17:36

    Great list! Loved The Malt — and there’s definitely more amazing whiskey places I’ve been to around town (esp Zhongshan) that I don’t remember the names of….

    My humble suggestions:

    Toasteria Yongkang for Drinks During the Daytime + Drinks with a View (rooftop available!), also at Dunnan but I haven’t been to that location.

    Rawdoor for Where to Eat and Drink or Drop $$ on Cocktails (+ bomb music + movie nights)

    URBN Culture for Eat & Drink (so many craft beers on tap + house brewed kombucha and cocktails)

    Book ing Bar for $$ on Cocktails

    Prozac Balcony for Whiskey Sippers + $$ on Cocktails (also best metal music selection)


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