Does Taiwan often fetishize Japanese aesthetics? Yes. Is it problematic? A little. But hey, the western world does it too, and at least Taiwan pulls it off tastefully (at least in some cases). Xiaoqi is a textbook example of the growing trend of hybrid lifestyle shop + cafe that has been taking Taiwan by storm. The substance is certainly Taiwanese, the style vaguely Japanese. And together it makes for a brand that has local bloggers in a chokehold.
The minimalist aesthetic offers a clean canvas for curated ceramics, household goods, cookware, gifts and other food-adjacent products on the shop side. And these products make up the foundation of the cafe experience, where food carefully plated onto the very bowls and plates you want to buy are artfully arranged on a tray and complemented by tea delicately brewed in the very teaware you are drooling over. It’s practically a verticalized retail experience, and honestly we’re not even mad about it. Whether you’re looking to shop for a fancy artisan crafted teapot (go to the gallery) or nicely bottled umeshu (hit the wine shop) or just looking for a casual chic lunch set (go to one of the cafes), Xiaoqi has you covered.
|Address||Breeze Nanshan (Cafe + Shop): No 17, 3F, Songzhi Rd, Xinyi District, Taipei City|
Huashan Cultural Park (Cafe + Shop): No. 1 Zhongsi B-2 1F, Bade Rd Section 1, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City
Zhongshan (Shop): No. 29, Chifeng St, Datong District, Taipei City
Zhongshan (Cafe): No. 27, Chifeng St, Datong District, Taipei City
Zhongshan (Gallery Shop): No. 4, Lane 17, Chifeng St, Datong District, Taipei City
Zhongshan (Wine Shop): No. 7, Lane 17, Chifeng St, Datong District, Taipei City
|Hours||varies by location but generally opens around 11-12pm and closes around 8-9pm|
|Price||$$ – things are generally just slightly more than you want to be paying for it but you don’t mind because you’re paying for the aesthetics; but also their set meals aren’t bad; the products range from pretty mid level to more high end artisan pieces|
|Aesthetic||Taiwanese Japanese minimalist, neutral palettes and natural textures all around|
Go here for: picking up some pretty Japanese liquors, getting a casual lunch or taking a leisurely “afternoon tea” break, or shopping for cute household goods and ceramics so you can do it all at home
Order this: one of the lunch sets for something savory, or tea and a sweet cake for an afternoon treat
Amount of time to spend: about an hour or so for a meal, plus another 20 minutes to peruse the shop; if you’re hitting the various shops scattered around Chifeng St give it at least an hour.
When to come: weekdays for a more peaceful experience; honestly just avoid Huashan during the weekends; the Breeze location tends to be pretty tolerable even on the weekends as long as you avoid peak meal hours
Other things to note: They also have a pretty extensive online shop of household goods, tableware, decorative pieces and gifts, but only ship locally within Taiwan.
Last visited: September 2021
Last updated: November 2021