Some coffee shops are worth visiting for the aesthetics. Some are actually worth a detour for the coffee itself. Mountain Kids Coffee Roaster, or MKCR, is worth it for the views. Because when it comes to prime cafe location, it doesn’t get better than this.
MKCR is located in a relatively quiet plaza just a stone’s throw from the chaos that is Taipei Main Station. This entire area used to be hidden under the traffic ridden bridge that connects to Sanchong. A few years ago, they completely tore it down and reconfigured the area to reveal Beimen (north gate) in all its glory. Facing the gate is a relatively quiet block, and on this block, a striking modern facade among old, weathered buildings, is MKCR. Visually, it definitely fits the ~ simple life ~ aesthetic that so many cafés in Asia seem to go for. Clean, white, cute minimal logo. Simple furnishings, almost no decor.
They have a takeaway bar at the ground level, and then seating upstairs. Like most other Taiwanese cafes, there are a whole host of rules for dining in (time limits, drink minimums, etc), but it’s worth it for the views. The window overlooking Beimen is everything. Sure, it’s not the most iconic Taipei landmark, but it’ll do as a backdrop for your coffee gram.
Update October 2020: They’ve opened a second location Mountain Kids Chill & Relax, with an indoor/outdoor bar and super cute takeaway window.
|Address||No. 126號, Section 1, Zhongxiao West Road, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City|
No. 359, Jiaxing Street, Da’an District, Taipei City
|Hours||Beimen location: 8am to 10pm every day|
Jiaxing location: 11am to 6pm, closed Mondays
|Price||$$-$$$, you know the deal, Taiwanese cafés are disproportionately pricey compared to the general cost of living|
|Aesthetic||clean, white, simple, minimal, v typical aesthetic asian instagrammer cafe look|
Go here for: coffee with a side of Beimen view, more of a coffee and chat kind of place than a coffee and work kind of place even though they have free wifi
Order this: an espresso drink and a cake or dessert (selections change seasonally, but the cheesecake seems to be a popular choice)
Amount of time to spend: 90 minutes or less, unless you want to get kicked out 🙂
When to come: mornings are better, since the room tends to fill up quickly in the afternoon
Getting here: you can take the green line to Beimen or the red or blue line to Taipei Main. Beimen requires a slightly longer walk with an annoying intersection to cross, but hard to get lost because you’re literally walking toward the north gate (use exit 2). If you’d rather emerge from underground on the right side of the street, go to Taipei Main and take exit Z10, which will be a block away (just walk right past the post office and you’ll be there). But good luck finding Z10
The Jiaxing location is a short walk from the Liuzhangli station (brown line).
Other things to note:
Last visited: October 2018
Last updated: October 2020