Where to eat in Taiwan
A visit to Taiwan will not be complete without getting inside the Taipei 101 Tower, the tallest, if not in general, green building in the world. So, when a huge crowd has the Taipei 101 on their itinerary, we thought to sneak through Starbucks Taipei with a window seat of the landmark where the ever-growing technology and deep-rooted Asian culture meet.
The Taipei 101 Tower features indoor and outdoor observatory decks as their main tourist attractions. It is also a home to, among others, business offices, various restaurants, and a luxurious shopping center. Its food court offers budget-friendly meals. The actual shopping center though has mostly branded stores which sell items that really cost an arm and leg.
Taipei 101 Mall is unlike Eslite Spectrum Songyan Store in Songshan Cultural and Creative Park. The Eslite Spectrum Songyan Store has stores that are mostly not known but sell unique products at more practically reasonable prices. Read also Creative Parks in Taipei
Tickets to access the indoor and outdoor observatory decks can be bought online or on the 5th floor. Tickets normally cost NT$ 600 (P 1,008.79). You may also book a ticket to the observatory decks via Kkday through this link.
Observatory decks are often an itinerary of large groups of tourists alighting from huge tour buses. So, we really expected the observatory decks to be crowded. Besides, it was a gloomy day during our visit. The hazy view doesn’t equate to the price of NT$600.
But, of course, we just wouldn’t scrape Taipei 101 off on our itinerary. Good thing that we found an alternative that got us a spot at Taipei 101 and saw what it was like at Taipei 101.
Our day tour with My Taiwan Tour includes lunch at Taipei 101 Tower so we made use of this to visit Starbucks Taipei 101. Read also the Ultimate Taipei Day Tour with My Taiwan Tour. My Taiwan Tour is one of the most reliable tour guide company in Taiwan. I already availed of their services twice now. You can learn more about their product that includes a schedule of lunch at Taipei 101 through this link.
How to Make Reservation
To make the queue more organized, the Starbucks branch, situated on the 35th floor of Taipei 101, requires an, at least, one-day advance reservation via phone call. Here’s their number: 02-8101-0701. We made the reservation through the help of the staff in the hostel where we stayed, Meander Hostel in Ximending, Western part of Taipei. Read also Meander Hostel Review.
Things you need to know
A Starbucks barista goes down the ground floor to fetch the guests and accompany them to the 35th floor. The waiting line is in the lobby by the entrance door 7. If you’re not with a tour guide, you may just tell your taxi driver to drop you off at the entrance door 7, the one facing the Section 5, Xinyi Road. If you’ll take the MRT via Tamsui-Xinyi Line (Red Line), you can alight Taipei 101 station and go to exit 4.
Make sure to wear at least a smart casual. Avoid wearing shorts and slippers, or else you may not even be able to get through the entrance of the Taipei 101 Tower.
The maximum time you can spend at the coffee shop is an hour and a half. The staff will courteously advise you when your time is up.
Then, each guest needs to order of an at least NT$ 200 (P 336.26) worth of food and drinks from their menu. Their menu is pretty much similar to what they have in the usual Starbucks in the Philippines. The price of a cup of coffee may start at around NT$ 115 (P 235.39). You can partner your drinks with pastries, cakes, sandwiches or fruit which cost around NT$ 65 to NT$ 130 (P 109.29 to P 218.57) per meal.
What to See
The 35th Floor Starbucks in Taipei 101 is only a small room which has more or less 30 seatings. There are approximately a dozen of seatings located by the floor-to-ceiling windows. From this window, you can already get a nice overlooking view of Taipei City.
No other buildings in the city seem to be as high as the 35th floor of the Taipei 101. You can notice the parks and trees in some areas of the city make a good contrast to the commercial establishments.
For one and a half hours, we got to savor the Instagram-worthy overlooking view of the capital city of Taiwan as well as the usual fragrant coffee with delicious snacks by one of the best-loved cafes. We got all these by just spending at least NT$ 200 (P 336.26). I can say that it was well worth it.
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