Taipei has no shortage of local bakery chains. Some have evolved over a couple generations already, some are imported (usually from Japan), and others are newer to the scene as locals iterate on the fast-changing trends in the bakery scene of Taiwan. Gakuden is one of the newer generations of chain stores compared to the old school names in the city, but has been around for long enough (since 2009) to be solidly established in the city.
Like most other bakeries, Gakuden specializes in bread that merges Japanese and Taiwanese and European baking traditions. Compared to the more traditional Taiwanese bakeries, there is a little more variety and a little more European influence in the textures of the breads and pastries, but often with Asian flavors and ingredients (think: everything from your traditional taro and sweet potato breads to mini mushroom focaccias, matcha tarts and raisin scones). The sandwiches and cakes are more aligned with Japanese traditions. They also often have seasonal promos and limited edition holiday products.
With special breakfast and coffee combos and some locations that have (comfortable, air-conditioned) seating available, Gakuden is a popular and reliable choice for grabbing breakfast to go and for a mid-day pick me up. While it may not be a destination bakery, it’s certainly worth a detour from your commute if there’s a location in the neighborhood.
Go here for: breakfast to-go, bread to-go, an afternoon tea work session
Order this: a breakfast combo of a sandwich of bread + coffee (at a discounted price); their greatest hits are clearly labeled, including a cheesy bread, multi-grain loaf and salted butter rolls
Amount of time to spend: great for a 5 minute stop by, or a few hours working or meeting (they don’t have a time limit)
When to come: mornings are a little more calm, after school gets out it get’s pretty crowded
Getting here: all of the locations are pretty close to or inside an MRT or train station
Other things to note:
Last visited: October 2019
Last updated: March 2021