We were pleasantly surprised with the amount of cafes available in Taipei. We needed to get work done on a daily basis at laptop-friendly cafes. In addition, we love good coffee (and taking photos of it in cafes), and we couldn’t wait to explore the scene in a new city.

We would have loved to opt for a coworking space, but we had to do most of our work at night from our Airbnb. We learned a few crucial things about cafes in Taipei while we adventured through the daytime spots.

What to know about Taipei’s cafes for working

  • Some cafes have minimum purchases per customer.
  • Some of the pricing in Taipei's cafes surprised us.
  • The opening hours of Taipei's cafes was not what we're used to.

Many of the independent cafes in Taipei have a minimum per customer of one drink or food item. This is because they know people want to stay a while. Even if you are with someone else purchasing a drink or food item, you will have to purchase your own. While it’s different from what we’re used to, it also makes sense from the businesses’ perspectives.

Beverages at the independent cafes of Taipei are often priced much higher than we’d typically expect, relative to the cost of living in Taipei. We mentioned to locals that we saw menus with pots of tea for USD 6, cappuccinos for USD 5 and a simple americano for USD 4 or more. These prices are more than in NYC! The reason here is also that the independent shops know that people with laptops may stay a while, so there’s a premium for that.

Many cafes in Taipei open late and close late, which is pretty different from the open hours of our favorite cafes at home in NYC. While venturing down Yongkang Lu looking for our cafe of the morning, we found that only two in the area were open. While expecting all cafes to open at 7 am or 8 am (for coffeetime, naturally), this is not the case. Many open their doors at 11 am or 12 pm, but remain open until 10 pm or 11 pm.

Here’s the list of which cafes in Taipei were best for getting work done.

Gingin Coffee Company, Zhongzheng District

Gingin is a charming new and trendy cafe closest to the MRT at Zhongxiao Xinsheng on the blue line. Popular among young professionals and people working remotely, Gingin is an excellent place to have a great coffee and settle down with a laptop for a while.

We tried the americanos, and they were among the best we had in Taipei. What we liked about Gingin was the large amount of natural light coming in through the windows, the back patio, the friendly staff and the laptop-friendly environment. We’d love to come back!

Coffee Z, Zhongshan District

Coffee Z was a good find, as we mostly went off of photos of its interior before we headed there for some work time. Coffee Z has a list of coffee drinks, some dessert food and an entire upstairs floor with tables and chairs that are ideal for working with minimal distractions.

There are no strict policies with minimum items per customer, and guess what - they open at 7:30 am on weekdays (11 am on weekends).

Louisa Coffee, Zhongzheng District

Louisa Coffee is a local chain that we discovered and became quite happy with. We first found Louisa on our first full day of walking around Taipei, and were so happy to have hot americanos (for 45 NTD) and a bagel with peanut butter for Dan. Service is fast, and we found out later that we could show up with laptops to get work done.

You can find Louisa Coffee all over Taipei, but beware - the locations are often very busy and it could be hard to find enough space for both you and your laptop. Also beware that they don’t have a private WiFi network, so when we went there for working, we used our own hotspot or the free Taipei city WiFi.

‘Ecole Cafe, Da’An District

‘Ecole Cafe is a chic space with lots of natural light, fast WiFi, a patio out back and reasonable prices. Best of all, they have a nice jazzy soundtrack playing in the background (I love listening to jazz while I work, so this stuck out to me!).

There’s food and coffee, and we had the americanos. Staying for two hours seemed fine with the staff, and there were other people working on laptops, reading and writing.

Two Shots, Zhongzheng District

Two Shots has its location going for it, as it’s right next to an exit of the Dongmen Station on the red line. Inside, you won’t find much seating. We were lucky to land the two stools at the bar, where we worked for an hour, more or less.

Prices are very reasonable, and we had the americanos for 45 NTD each. They have their own WiFi network, and it worked fine. To note: they do not have a bathroom, and if you need one, they will direct you to use the restrooms in the MRT station below. This is because the coffeeshop connects to a guesthouse, which seems to have its own private restrooms for guests.

Roaster Family Coffee, Da’An District

Roaster Family Coffee is a small place with good service, solid WiFi on its own network and an array of serious coffee drinks. Laptops are welcome, and Roaster Family Coffee is one of the only cafes near Yongkang Street that opens before noon.

We had the americanos and they were satisfying. Due to the cafe’s small size, we felt like we shouldn’t stay forever, so we only stayed for an hour and a half. Roaster Family Coffee isn’t necessarily a good place to spend an entire afternoon, but it’s a nice stop if you’re out and about.

To note: there is a strict “minimum one drink per customer” policy.

515 Cafe & Books, Da’An District

We were delighted to find 515 Cafe & Books, which reminded us of a study, a living room and a bookstore. There is a large array of seating, from dining tables to couches and big chairs near coffee tables. During the morning when we visited, there was a large group eating brunch and some other people studying.

The cafe has two cats, Youzi and Juzi, who get their own section of the menu. The cats roam freely through the cafe and it’s pretty cute.

In addition to lots of drinks and teas, they have a brunch menu of all sorts of food. Prices were standard for the Yongkang neighborhood, with drinks between 120 and 150. WiFi was great. There’s drinking water for unlimited consumption.

Settled Cafe, Wanhua District

Settled Cafe came recommended to us after we accidentally stumbled across it one day while touring Ximending. Settled opened in 2018 and stands out for its sleek white interior.

Staff was very friendly and served us a new pitchers of drinking water as soon as we finished the first (we appreciate this). I had the espresso and Dan had a cold brew. Drinks were great.

The cafe has its own WiFi network, and it seems laptops are welcome, although we were the only ones working there. They’re open in the evenings, usually until 9 pm (except Sundays).

Homey’s Cafe, Da’An District

Homey’s Cafe is a wildly popular cafe and bar that we found because we were looking for a place to work in the area. The place functions more like a restaurant, although you can order as little as one drink (juice, coffee or tea). When you arrive, a host or hostess will seat you where there’s space (or maybe this was because we showed up on a very busy weekend afternoon).

Homey’s is located in an apartment converted into a cafe, so there’s different rooms to sit in, lots of couches and varied seating. The WiFi was alright. Lots of people had laptops or were on talkative dates with friends.

Prices were on the higher end for a cafe, between 110 and 180 for most drinks and foods. To note: the cafe is cash-only.