The experience of going to Eastern Ice Shop is not unlike reaching the light at the end of a tunnel. From the bustling main street (Zhongxiao East Road), you turn into the famed Lane 216. The crowds thin out as you walk deeper in until suddenly florescent lights and bright white signs at the corner of the block fill your view. On a hot day, it’s like happening upon an oasis in a dessert (except you’ve reached ice in humidity). Welcome to Eastern Ice Shop. Everything about it screams substance over style. The name is straightforward, directly translating to Eastern District Tapioca Balls Ice Shop, and the logo features a frog (homage to another nickname for boba “frog eggs”). The space is the definition of hole-in-wall and yet it is one of the most popular dessert shops in the stylish neighborhood.
Eastern Ice Shop has been around for over three decades. In that time, they’ve cultivated a loyal local fanbase and attracted international press all while having a virtually unchanged menu. They serve traditional Taiwanese desserts, in shaved ice form and in the winters in hot soup form. Everything is handmade using traditional ingredients and recipes. And they have the system down to ensure fast service and instant gratification. One side is basically a shaved ice stand with a roof over it. Customers line up and recite their orders (iced or hot, and then up to 4 ingredients that you can choose from displayed at the stand, Chipotle style), the bowls are made within seconds and ready by the time you dig up your coins to pay. The other side of the shop is a dining area, a long communal table and stools for self seating. Off to the side, a little station for self-serve unlimited refills of ice and brown sugar syrup. A seamless experience that never disappoints.
|Address||Dongqu: No. 38, Lane 216, Section 4, Zhongxiao East Road, Da’an District, Taipei City Xinyi Road: No. 260, Section 4, Xinyi Road, Da’an District, Taipei City|
|Hours||11-23:00 every day|
|Price||$ – hole in wall prices 60NT a pop with unlimited refills of ice and brown sugar syrup|
|Aesthetic||no-fuss florescent, in an old school kind of way|
Go here for: a classic Taiwanese shaved ice
Order this: definitely get their boba pearls (the namesake fen yuan 粉圓), taro and sweet potato balls are also a popular choice, portions are generous so unless you’re hungry get one to share between two people
Amount of time to spend: 10 minutes for take out (they move fast), 20-30 min to dine in (they move fast)
When to come: daytime weekdays tend to be more chill, evenings and weekends get pretty packed especially during the summer
Getting here: take the blue line to Zhongxiao Dunhua and use exit 3, turn south onto Lane 216 and walk past 3 intersections til you see it. Their secondary outpost is off the red line Xinyi Anhe Station, use exit 4.
Other things to note:
Last visited: October 2019
Last updated: June 2021